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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a message on “Light Of The Internet Expo” during World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, November 23, 2020. China is one of the last major powers to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a message on “Light Of The Internet Expo” during World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, November 23, 2020. China is one of the last major powers to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. | Photo: EFE/EPA

Published 25 November 2020 (10 hours 44 minutes ago)
Opinion

The Chinese president says ‘healthy and stable’ relations between the world’s top two economies are ‘the common expectation of the international community.’ 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden for his election victory earlier this month and expressed hope for “win-win cooperation” amid several conflicts between the world’s top two economies over trade, technology, and security. In a congratulatory message on Wednesday, Xi told Biden that “healthy and stable” relations were “the common expectation of the international community,” according to a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

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“We hope the two sides will uphold the spirit of non-conflict and non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, will focus on cooperation, control differences and promote the healthy and stable development of Chinese-U.S. relations,” the statement said.

Xi’s message meant that China has now become one of the last major governments to congratulate Biden. There was no explanation for the delay, but some commentators suggested Beijing might want to avoid straining relations with Trump, who has yet to concede defeat.

In the United States, news networks called the November 3 presidential race in Biden’s favor on November 7, prompting leaders worldwide to congratulate the former vice president for his victory over President Donald Trump.

Relations between China and the U.S. are at their worst in decades, with disputes ranging from technology and trade to Hong Kong and the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has unleashed a barrage of sanctions against Beijing.

In January, a deal was signed between the two, bringing a partial truce that obliged Beijing to import an additional $200bn in US products across two years, ranging from cars, machinery, and oil to farm products.

The Trump administration has also targeted Chinese tech firms, which claims to pose security threats, including video-sharing app TikTok – owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance – and mobile giant Huawei.

But it is far from certain that relations will improve under a Biden administration.

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