As news channels assumed that Joe Biden would defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, China’s state-run media made several comments on the outcome.
In an article published on Sunday in the Global Times, a militant English-language tabloid, various Chinese experts were quoted on the subject:
While the world has growing expectations of the 46th U.S. president, some Chinese experts said the result “provides some ‘breathing space’ for the tense relationship between China and the U.S.”.
Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the Faculty of International Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that Biden will initiate a “buffer period” for China-US relations – relations could still deteriorate, but not as quickly.
“Biden will be more moderate and mature in dealing with foreign affairs,” Jin said, the state newspaper said.
Da Wei, director of the Center for Strategic and International Security Studies at the Beijing University of International Relations, told the Global Times: “Biden’s China policy will build on the Trump era. Indeed, a fundamental change in China policy is probably the most important political legacy left by the Trump administration”.
Before the article, the Global Times in a Sunday tweet hinted that there was an international sense of relief at Biden’s victory: “The Trump era seems to be over. Leaders of several countries have already sent congratulations to @JoeBiden as the next US president”, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On the social media platform Weibo, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin weighed Trump’s refusal to make concessions and wrote that “American society is now deeply divided, creating the ground for further political faux pas,” according to the New York Times.
Before networks projected Biden’s victory on Saturday, Hu posted a tweet on November 4 from another user who shared her opinion on what a Biden victory could mean for China.
“If Biden is elected, I am really sure that relations between China and the US will normalize. Because Beijing is the For Biden city [sic],” was the screenshot. Hu described the Twitter user as “smart netizens.
The New York Times also reported that the Southern Daily, the official newspaper for the southern province of Guangdong, wrote about Weibo that Biden would probably treat Russia instead of China as the greatest foreign threat.
“One thing is certain, things will never be the same again,” the newspaper said about Weibo, the Times said. “The world is not the world it was before.”
On Saturday, after Trump falsely tweeted that he had won the election “by a wide margin,” the People’s Daily, the main mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, responded mockingly by writing “HaHa” next to laughing emoji.
Trump continued to make baseless claims about election fraud, suggesting that he was indeed the winner of the election, despite the fact that Associated Press, Fox News and other Biden had predicted that he would win.
Washington Newsday asked for a comment on Biden’s campaign, but did not receive a response in time for publication.