“We respect the choice of the American people,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at his regular daily briefing. “We congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.”

“At the same time,” he added, “the result will be confirmed according to U.S. laws and procedures.”

NPR’s Emily Feng in Beijing reports the spokesman’s qualification is an apparent nod to the fact President Trump has still not conceded. She notes that still missing is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s personal congratulations to Biden.

“Analysts,” reports Feng, “say China is hesitant to endorse a Biden victory because Trump remains in office for the next two months and could further sanction China if angered.”