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China finally congratulates Biden on US election victory: ‘We respect the choice of the American people’

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie

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China has congratulated Joe Biden on winning the US presidential election. Reacting several days after most other world powers acknowledged the result, the Chinese foreign ministry said: “We respect the choice of the American people.

“We extend congratulations to Mr Biden and [Kamala] Harris,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular daily briefing.

“We understand the results of the US election will be determined according to US laws and procedures,” he added.

DAVOS, Jan. 17, 2017 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images)© Xinhua News Agency DAVOS, Jan. 17, 2017 — Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images)

The acknowledgement from Beijing comes about five days after the race for the oval office was called for Mr Biden. The two countries have been mires in conflicts over trade, security and technology that have only escalated under the presidency of Donald Trump.

The electoral win for Mr Biden is expected to encourage China to try and renegotiate Mr Trump’s trade deal, viewed in Beijing as being “twisted” in Washington’s favour, according to advisers to the Chinese government, reported South China Morning Post.

China was among the few countries yet to congratulate Mr Biden. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has opted to save his congratulations until the official election count results are announced in December.