China's Xi congratulates Biden on U.S. election victory

FILE PHOTO: China’s President Xi Jinping speaks while taking part in an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army’s participation in the Korean War at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated Joe Biden on winning the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, voicing hope the two countries could promote a healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Sino-U.S. relations have deteriorated to their worst in decades during incumbent U.S. President’s Donald Trump’s four years in office, with disputes simmering over issues from trade and technology to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.

In his congratulatory message to Biden, 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, Xinhua reported.

China’s foreign ministry congratulated Biden on Nov. 13, nearly a week after many U.S. allies had, holding out as Trump, who is still challenging the election results, refused to concede defeat.

In 2016, Xi sent congratulations to Trump on Nov. 9, a day after that year’s election.

Also on Wednesday, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan congratulated Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, on being elected as the next U.S. vice president, Xinhua said, without providing further details.

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