Chinese leader says it’s in the interests of both countries to promote the healthy and stable development of relations

Wang Qishan also sends congratulatory message to vice-president-elect Kamala Harris

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message congratulating Joe Biden on his election win on Wednesday night, marking Beijing’s formal recognition of the result after Washington officially started the power transition days ago.

Xi said it was in the interests of both countries to promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations, but also the shared expectations around the world, according to official news agency Xinhua.

“We hope both countries uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, manage and control conflict, to promote China-US relations towards a healthy and stable path, and advance the noble course of global peace and development jointly with every country and the global community,” Xi said.

Vice-President Wang Qishan also sent congratulations to US vice-president-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday.

Soon after Biden declared that he had won the election on November 8, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the leaders in Europe to congratulate him. But China did not send a message, prompting speculation that Beijing was waiting until the result had been confirmed officially so as not to appear to be favouring any side or risk getting embroiled in US domestic politics amid strained ties with Washington.

Fu Ying, a former Chinese deputy foreign minister, wrote on Tuesday in

that it would be “a tragedy of history if two countries of such power moved toward confrontation based on misperceptions”, and said “cooperative competition” was possible between the two nations.

The Chinese foreign ministry has called for the new US administration to meet Beijing “halfway” to jointly improve relations.

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