The government of China has offered congratulations for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris over their recent victory, days after other world leaders did so. Outgoing President Donald Trump has frequently antagonized China during his time in office; he has targeted goods from the country with steep import taxes (that are paid by Americans), and he has sometimes sounded more focused on scapegoating China for the COVID-19 pandemic than he’s been on developing meaningful plans to fight the virus in the United States. The Trump campaign took the pre-Election Day stance that Biden was a shill for China, which just is not true.
At a Friday press conference, Wang Wenbin, who’s a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said as follows:
‘We express our congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. We respect the choice of the American people.’
Donald Trump, it’s worth reiterating, does not respect the choice of the American people. He has baselessly alleged that the recent presidential election was full of widespread fraud, which he has yet to prove in any meaningful respect, no matter the slew of bombastic court cases that his team has filed in states around the country. This week, he even trumpeted a One America News Network report on Twitter that claimed that millions of Trump votes were “deleted.” The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that no such mass deletion took place, but it’s not as though Trump seems likely to take these authorities from within his own administration seriously.
At the Friday press conference, the Chinese spokesperson reiterated that China “would respect American laws and procedures for determining the winner of the election,” reporter Raymond Zhong explains in The New York Times. This stance yet again contrasts starkly with the president’s own perspective. Trump has repeatedly alleged corruption on the part of officials throughout the country, who his top ally Rudy Giuliani recently suggested could have been engaged in some kind of centrally-directed plot to steal the election from Trump.
More specifically, Trump has tried to trample on local election laws — in Pennsylvania, he has claimed that ballots were “illegally” received for counting after Election Day, despite state regulation allowing for the validity of ballots that arrive after Election Day but were mailed back before it ended. In Nevada, his team has alleged that thousands of non-residents voted illegally in the state, despite state regulation that specifically allows students, members of the military, and military spouses to maintain voter registrations in the state if they move elsewhere.
No matter Trump’s refusals to concede the election and accept the basic reality that he lost, the world is already moving on without him. Many world leaders have publicly congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory, and President-elect Biden has already personally spoken with leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In other words, there’s little, if any meaningful global backing for the president’s claim that the election was stolen from him. It’s time for Trump to leave office.