U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has cemented his election victory with a projected win in Arizona.
NBC News reported late Thursday that Biden had won Arizona’s 11 Electoral College votes. The projected victory in the state extends Biden’s lead over incumbent President Donald Trump.
Biden now has 290 Electoral College votes, according to NBC’s current tally. On Saturday, NBC News projected Biden would win the U.S. presidential election after calling Pennsylvania for the former vice president. The state pushed him over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidential race.
Polling averages had indicated that Biden was a slight favorite to win Arizona. Trump won the state by slightly more than three percentage points in the 2016 election. Biden now has 1,668,684 votes in Arizona compared with 1,657,250 for Trump, a margin of 49.4% to 49.1%.
The last time Arizona voted for a Democratic presidential candidate was in 1996, when Bill Clinton won re-elected. Otherwise, known for GOP stalwarts such as late Senator John McCain, Arizona has been solidly Republican since the 1950s.
And while Trump continues to refuse to concede the election, Biden’s win has now been officially recognized by China.
On Friday morning, China became one of the last major countries to congratulate U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to make few changes to U.S. policy in conflicts with Beijing over trade, technology and security.
China, along with Russia, had avoided congratulating Biden after he and vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris secured enough Electoral College votes to unseat incumbent President Trump.
“We respect the choice of the American people,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin. “We congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.”
Wang gave no reason for the delayed congratulations but said, “The result will be confirmed according to U.S. laws and procedures.”