China Congratulates Biden on Presidential Win
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday did what its United States counterpart, the State Department, has thus far refused to do: acknowledge and congratulate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.
“We express our congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris,” a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a daily news conference. “We respect the choice of the American people.”
Early in his administration Trump made a big show of establishing a good relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, even hosting him at his Mar-a-Lago estate. But U.S.-China relations are now at a low point. Trump has called the country a security threat, blames it for not controlling the coronavirus and imposed trade tariffs and other economic sanctions.
China’s official statement was issued in a setting similar to one in Washington, D.C., this past Tuesday, when Sec. of State Mike Pompeo was addressing reporters from the briefing room at the State Department. At that briefing a reporter asked Pompeo if his agency was going to cooperate in smoothly turning over diplomatic operations to the incoming Biden administration.
Smirking, Pompeo replied, “There will be a smooth transition into a second Trump Administration. We’re ready.” Pompeo was heavily criticized for making such a snide political statement in his capacity as the nation’s top diplomat.
Even though Trump’s campaign continues to pursue legal challenges to the election results and his own administration refuses to cooperate with the President-elect’s transition team, Biden has been receiving congratulatory calls from world leaders all week.