Chinese government sidesteps question on when it will congratulate US President-elect Biden

More than 24 hours after US media declared Biden victorious, China stays one of the few major countries but to ship a message of congratulations to Biden and his group on their defeat of Donald Trump, leaving many to take a position whether or not officers there are ready for the outgoing president to concede defeat.

And with two months to go till Trump leaves workplace, Beijing could wish to keep away from something that might additional destabilize US-China relations.

Speaking at an everyday press briefing in Beijing Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin mentioned that China had “noted” Biden’s declaration of victory.

“We understand that the outcome of the general election will be determined in accordance with the laws and procedures of the United States,” mentioned Wang in response to CNN’s questions. “We will handle the issue of the statement (of congratulations) in accordance with international practice.”

Wang didn’t elaborate what “international practice” would possibly contain, particularly given the big variety of nations who’ve already congratulated Biden, together with the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, France and Germany.

Beijing’s obvious unwillingness to supply a agency reply on the election outcome comes as Chinese state-run media exhibited a cautious optimism {that a} Biden presidency would possibly assist reset US-China relations, which have deteriorated markedly throughout Trump’s time in workplace.

World leaders congratulate Joe Biden on his victory
In an editorial revealed Sunday, state-run newspaper the China Daily mentioned that relations might be “reset for the better,” particularly on commerce, the place the 2 international locations have waged a economically damaging two-year lengthy commerce warfare for ever and ever.

“By adhering to this approach and strengthening the ballast of their trade ties, the two countries can regain the generally positive momentum that has characterized their relations over the past four decades,” the editorial mentioned.

China’s government-backed nationalist tabloid the Global Times revealed an editorial titled, “Drop illusions over China-US relations, but don’t give up efforts,” by which it beneficial that Beijing “communicate with the Biden team as thoroughly as it can, making greater joint efforts to recover China-US relations to a state of great predictability.”

However, it concluded by noting that in the long run, China may rely solely on itself. “China must become a country the US cannot suppress or destabilize, and make it that cooperation with China is the best option for the US to realize its national interests,” the editorial mentioned.

US China tensions

In the final weeks of the marketing campaign, on the path and in debates, President Trump emphasised taking on China as an necessary a part of his platform, hitting out at Beijing as in the end responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, or the “China virus” as he incessantly termed it.

Meanwhile, his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has been flitting round Asia shoring up an anti-Beijing alliance, visiting Japan, India and a number of other different international locations on China’s periphery.

“America is rising to the China challenge,” Pompeo mentioned final month, including the ruling Chinese Communist Party is “the greatest threat to freedom and democracy today.”

Analysts count on Biden to rein in this sort of rhetoric and take a extra pragmatic method to Beijing, even when he could also be equally suspicious of Chinese affect and rising power as his one-time Republican rival.

Speaking earlier than the election outcome, Jeff Moon, an analyst and former US diplomat in China mentioned he anticipated Biden to renew the “traditional practice of relying heavily on the US inter-agency community and America’s traditional allies, introducing more deliberate decision-making on US-China issues” in distinction to Trump’s usually capricious insurance policies towards Beijing.

“That approach will result in a more formal and predictable pattern of bilateral engagement that will help re-set the tone of relations by stabilizing the overall US-China relationship and avoid the possibility of misunderstandings that could escalate conflict,” Moon instructed CNN.

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But he added that deeper points will possible stay unsolved. “After decades of US-China dialogue and cooperation on the full range of bilateral issues, China has consistently refused to adopt policy changes and reforms addressing American concerns,” Moon mentioned. “China’s formula for reset is thus unacceptable to the United States.”

Speaking final month, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the US, mentioned Beijing has been “firmly opposed, all along, to a new ‘Cold War’ or decoupling, and we are committed to the sound and stable growth of China-US relations.”

“The China-US relationship is experiencing severe difficulties rarely seen in the past 41 years of diplomatic ties,” Cui mentioned. “This has seriously undermined the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people.”

But the break in relations has not solely been pushed by Washington, for all that Trump could have accelerated it.

In half, frayed ties are a results of Beijing’s personal more and more aggressive international coverage and its army expansionism, in addition to rising worldwide dismay on the continued human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

And whereas Beijing could hope this was merely because of the strain of the US presidential election marketing campaign, Biden boasted of his potential to take on China in distinction to Trump, denouncing the outgoing president for initially embracing China’s strongman chief Xi Jinping, and praising his coronavirus response.

But Beijing could not really feel obliged to compromise with the US below a Biden administration, particularly as the chance of radical or unpredictable motion is significantly decrease than below Trump, who final month threatened to make China “pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world.”

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