While most media outlets intentionally focus on how China’s congratulations on Thursday to Joe Biden for his supposed presidential win were “belated,” the fact is all the countries who have done so already have been premature. As I have noted, Biden is not president-elect – yet.
Nevertheless, Beijing is clearly happy with a possible Biden win, having Chinese state media bashing President Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for days. This was a prelude to show Biden their difference in approaches to Team Trump and Team Biden.
And now China has officially congratulated Biden for winning, despite, notes CNN, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin admitting that: “At the same time, we understand that the outcome of this U.S. election will be ascertained in accordance with US laws and procedures.”
It was a curious translation to use the term “ascertain” since that is the term used by the 1963 Presidential Transition Act when referring to the requirement that the federal General Services Administration (GSA) designate a winner before a transition can begin. This is something, which I pointed out earlier, has not yet been done.
Why their supposed caution in celebrating Biden’s win more prominently? CNN notes:
Chinese state-run media has so far been cautious in its handling of Biden’s win in comparison to its increasingly strident tone towards the Trump administration, amid an ongoing deterioration in bilateral relations.
While some outlets have published profiles of Biden or highlighted a popular Beijing restaurant he visited in 2011, most Chinese media has focused their post-US election coverage on alleged fraud and ensuing turmoil.
Experts have suggested that Beijing might have been reluctant to do anything that risked antagonizing the outgoing US administration in its final months in power.
Still, Joe Biden’s close and questionable business and other ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime – via his son Hunter Biden during his time as vice president – and beyond – and Joe Biden’s inability to call China even something as innocuous as an “opponent,” surely makes Chinese leaders hopeful of a confirmed Biden win.
The U.S. Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) also confirmed in an earlier Election Threat statement that the Intelligence Community (IC) assesses that China’s regime wanted President Trump to lose, and hence favored a Biden win.
President Trump is the first president to forcefully respond to the expanding China threat. He has made it clear that the U.S. stands with its allies in the Pacific such as Taiwan, and others threatened by China’s maritime bullying and expansion.
Trump has extended U.S. naval forces further into areas in the South China Sea claimed by China, rapidly built up U.S. missiles and other forces to face China, and also bulked up the “Quad” – the informal coalition of India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S., to counter Chinese expansionism.
The Trump administration has also pushed back hard on the massive and unprecedented Chinese espionage effort in the U.S., IP theft, and technology. With Trump, China faces an opponent more like Ronald Reagan countering the U.S.S.R. than any other they have faced.
With Biden potentially compromised by the CCP to the point he can’t even call China an “opponent,” the CCP hopes with him in the White House to return to decades of business as usual, essentially appeasement and engagement.
Beijing is probably celebrating a Biden win much more loudly privately, inside the Forbidden City.