Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. Biden arrived in Beijing to raise concerns over a Chinese air zone ramping up regional tensions, looking to bolster ties while also underscoring alliances with Tokyo and Seoul. His trip follows weeks of furore after Beijing declared an “air defence identification zone” (ADIZ) covering East China Sea islands disputed with Japan. AFP PHOTO / POOL (Photo by LINTAO ZHANG / POOL / AFP)

November 25, 2020

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.

(Reporting by Colin Qian and Tony Munroe; Writing by Tom Daly; Editing by Toby Chopra/Mark Heinrich)

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