China congratulates Biden, hopes for reset in relations
China on Thursday congratulated US President Joe Biden on his inauguration and called for a reset in relations between Beijing and Washington after an especially rocky patch of diplomacy under Donald Trump.
“I think after this very difficult and extraordinary time, both the Chinese and American people deserve a better future,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.
She said Biden had used the word “unity” several times in his inauguration speech, and that it was “precisely what is needed currently in US-China relations.”
She pointed out that China and the US need to relaunch cooperation in a number of areas. She particularly welcomed the new administration’s decision to remain in the World Health Organization and return to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Many people of insight in the international community are looking forward to the early return of Sino-US relations to the correct track in making due contributions to jointly address the major and urgent challenges facing the world today,” Hua said.
She also criticized ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other former officials, a day after China imposed travel and business sanctions on 28 of them, including Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien and UN Ambassador Kelly Craft.
“Over the past few years, the Trump administration, especially Pompeo, has buried too many mines in Sino-US relations that need to be eliminated, burned too many bridges that need to be rebuilt and wrecked too many roads that need to be repaired,” Hua said. “I think both China and the United States need to show courage, show wisdom, listen to each other, face up to each other and respect each other,” Hua said.
“I think this is the responsibility of the two major countries of China and the United States, and it is also the expectation of the international community ... if both countries put in the effort, the kind angels can triumph over evil forces.”
Also on Thursday, China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai offered his congratulations to Biden on Twitter.
“Congratulations to President Biden on his inauguration! China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote sound & steady development of China-US relations and jointly address global challenges in public health, climate change & growth,” Cui tweeted.