Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi announced in a video call with the US-China Business Council (USCBC) that it was time for the United States and China to "get back on the right track." He expressed that the beginning of a Biden presidency, come January, would be the key to "restart dialogue" between the two countries.
But Wang is most likely not hoping to begin a fresh conversation so much as looking for a change in tone from American leadership.
The Trump administration has been increasingly critical of Chinese Communist Party and of the National People's Congress. Over the course of the past four years, the Trump administration and the State department have pressured China for their handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, their continued blind eye towards human rights offenses in the Xinjiang province, political intimidation directed towards Taiwan, and a virtual takeover of the city of Hong Kong.
Most recently, Mike Pompeo declared that the Department of State would place sanctions on as many as 14 Chinese government officials for using threats, violence, espionage, sabotage, or malicious interference internationally—a move that prompted China to warn the United States to not interfere with its domestic policy.
That's something they would like to change going into 2021.
"The US should also abide by the norms of international relations, not frequently intervene in China’s internal affairs and not hinder Chinese people's right to pursue a better life," Wang said.
"For issues that cannot be resolved in the near term, [the United States] must take a constructive attitude of management and control to avoid an escalation that affects China-US relations overall."
Wang perhaps hopes that a Biden presidency will mean a clean slate between China and the United States. With China having been put on its heels by a longstanding diplomatic shouting match, Biden looks like a window of opportunity.
"The most urgent task at the moment is that both sides should work together and remove all kinds of interference, to achieve a smooth transition of China-US relations," Wang said.
Biden has said that he will not immediately lift the sanctions put down by the Trump administration—at least not initially. But China has a vested interest in changing the conversation at the outset of a new president's tenure in the Oval Office.