China on Friday became one of the last major countries to congratulate Joe Biden on being elected US president.
China, along with Russia, avoided joining the throng of governments that congratulated Biden last weekend after he was projected to have secured enough electoral college votes in the November 3 election to win the White House.
“We respect the choice of the American people,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
“We congratulate Mr Biden and (vice presidential running mate) Ms (Kamala) Harris.”
Mr Wang gave no reason for the delay but said “the result will be confirmed according to US laws and procedures”.
China’s government is mired in a tariff war with the Trump administration over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.
President Donald Trump has also called China a security threat and imposed export curbs and other sanctions on Chinese companies.
Political analysts expect few changes under a Biden administration due to widespread frustration with Beijing’s trade and human rights record and accusations of spying and technology theft.