November 26 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated Joe Biden on winning the US presidential election, voicing hope the two countries could promote a healthy and stable development of bilateral ties.
Sino-US relations have deteriorated to their worst in decades during incumbent US President’s Donald Trump’s four years in office.
Disputes have simmered over issues ranging from trade and technology to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.
In his congratulatory message to Mr Biden, Mr Xi said healthy ties between the world’s two biggest economies were not only in the fundamental interests of their two peoples but also expected by the international community, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
An official of Mr Biden’s transition team said: “We appreciate the congratulations from all world leaders who have conveyed them, including President Xi.”
During the election campaign, Mr Biden vowed to take a tough line on China’s expanding influence worldwide and referred to Mr Xi more than once as a “thug” for his human rights practices.
On Tuesday (local time), in formally unveiling his foreign policy team, Mr Biden said allies were looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader in the Pacific, where China has been seeking to supplant it as the dominant power.
At the same time, Mr Biden, who is due to take office on January 20, has prioritised progress on issues such as climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and global health, for which he will need Chinese cooperation.
China’s foreign ministry congratulated Mr Biden nearly a week after many US allies had, holding out as Donald Trump, who is still challenging the election results, refused to concede defeat.
In 2016, Mr Xi sent congratulations to Mr Trump on November 9, a day after that year’s election.
Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan congratulated Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, on being elected as the next US vice-president, Xinhua said, without providing further details.