China on Friday shed its initial hesitation and congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris for their victory in the 2020 US presidential election, saying Beijing respects the choice of the American people.
“We have been following reactions on the US elections from both within the US and the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here when pointed out that more world leaders as well as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres have congratulated 77-year-old Biden.
“We respect the American people’s choice and we extend congratulations to Biden and Harris and we understand that the result of the US presidential elections will be determined following the US laws and procedures,” Wang said.
China initially hesitated to congratulate Biden, a Democrat, after Republican incumbent President Donald Trump refused to concede.
On November 9, Wang had declined to congratulate Biden on his victory, saying the outcome of the American election should be determined by the country’s laws and procedures.
He, however, was more forthcoming on the victory of Harris as the first woman Vice President-elect.
When reminded about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s statement calling for greater gender equality in a recent UN conference on women and does
China have any comment on Harris, Wang quoted a Chinese saying which states women hold half of the sky.
“In China, there is a saying that women hold half of the sky. China has been committed to realising gender equality and advancing women’s development around the world,” he said.