US President-elect  Joe Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden
AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin won't congratulate President-elect Joe Biden until legal challenges to the US election are resolved and the result is official, the Kremlin announced on Monday. Putin is one of a handful of world leaders who have not commented on Biden's victory, which was called by major news organisations on Saturday. When Trump won in 2016, Putin was prompt in offering congratulations - but Trump's challenger in that election, Hillary Clinton, also conceded defeat the day after the vote.

The leaders of China, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey have also put their congratulations on hold.

China on Monday declined to congratulate Biden as the winner of the US presidential election, saying the outcome should be determined by the country's laws and procedures.

China has not yet come out with an official reaction to Biden and Kamala Harris' victory in the November 3 presidential election, even though official media here are carrying out commentaries on their election.

Trump's four years in power were the worst phase in China-US relations as the ruling Communist Party of China headed by President Xi struggled to deal with what China's officials say is the most elusive and unpredictable American leader.

Trump pushed aggressively on all aspects of US-China ties, including with his relentless trade war, challenging China military hold on the disputed South China Sea, its constant threats to Taiwan and branding coronavirus as 'China virus" after it emerged from Wuhan in December last year.

The Biden tenure could usher in a "buffering period" for already-tense China-US relations and offer an opportunity for breakthroughs in resuming high-level communication and rebuilding mutual strategic trust between the two countries, the official media here quoted Chinese experts as saying.

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