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Although Chinese leader Xi Jinping still has not yet issued a statement or called to congratulate Joe Biden on his election win over Donald Trump, prominent commentators in China are already discussing what his presidency means for U.S.-China relations. Trump is still mounting dubious legal challenges to the election’s outcome, and has now embarked on a purge of the Pentagon, getting rid of his defense secretary and several other senior officials, so China may be refraining from comment to avoid any erratic response from the White House.
When asked why the Chinese government has not yet congratulated Biden, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin had a vague response. “We always believe China and the United States should strengthen communication and dialogue, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, expand cooperation based on mutual benefit, and promote the sound and stable development of China-U.S. relations,” he said. China’s most authoritative media outlet, the state-run People’s Daily, reprinted Wang’s answers, without any other commentary on what the future of relations with Washington might hold.