Congratulations for the Democratic candidate come almost a week after election results were announced, following those of most other governments. The Chinese were slow, weary of further friction with the Trump administration. The president-elect said he was ready to work with Francis against poverty and climate change, and on integrating migrants and refugees.
Washington (AsiaNews) – China and the Vatican congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the US presidential elections of 3 November.
This comes almost a week after the results were announced giving the Democratic candidate the edge in the race for the presidency, several days after most other governments.
Among the major countries, and those of greatest importance to the United States, only Russia and Mexico are still holding out their congratulations to the president-elect.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China "respected the choice of the American people." Hence, "We congratulate Mr Biden and Ms Harris.”
He also noted that the Chinese government expects “the outcome of this US election” to “be ascertained in accordance with US laws and procedures," he said.
On Monday, it was not the “right” time to compliment Biden since incumbent President Donald Trump had filed a series of lawsuits to contest the outcome of the polls.
According to analysts, growing tensions with Washington are making Beijing overcautious about the final outcome of the US electoral contest in order to avoid friction with the Trump administration before the new one takes office in January.
The latest developments are likely to accelerate Biden's international "recognition".
Yesterday, the Election Infrastructure Government Co-ordinating Council – which is made up of senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the US Election Assistance Commission – rejected the allegations of fraud made by Trump, stating that the 3 November vote was the "most secure in American history".
Meanwhile, Biden increased his lead in electoral votes by taking Arizona, a state the Democrats had not won since 1996.
Biden’s transition team also announced that Pope Francis offered his congratulations and blessing yesterday in a phone call with the president-elect. This was confirmed by the Vatican Press Office.
The phone conversation took place after the US Bishops' Conference congratulated the president-elect, the second Catholic to be elected president in US history (the first one was John F Kennedy).
Biden said he wanted to work with the pontiff to help the poor and the marginalised, address climate change, and integrate immigrants and refugees, issues that have seen the Pope and Trump on opposite sides.
During the election campaign, the president-elect sparred with some US Catholics who are critical of his support for abortion.