Prompted by the counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the last election and concerns about the upcoming election this November, President Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the upcoming U.S. congressional elections. The accusation came after China signaled opposition to the president’s trade policies at a meeting at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.
“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade,” Trump told the U.N. Security Council. “I don’t like it when they attack our farmers and I don’t like it when they put out false messages. But besides that, we learned that they are trying to meddle in our elections and we’re not going to let that happen just as we’re not going to let that happen with Russia.”
When pressed for details about evidence of his accusatory statement, Trump indicated there was “plenty” and did not elaborate. Instead, he insinuated that some information was classified. He was also quick to point out China’s efforts with propaganda using ads against Trump’s tariffs, such as the advertising insert called “China Watch” in the Des Moines Register to make it look like news.
Present during Trump’s statement, China’s foreign minister shrugged when Trump’s words were translated for him.
“We do not and will not interfere in any countries’ domestic affairs,” said Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China, and we call on other countries to also observe the purposes of the U.N. charter and not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.”
Reporters were briefed by a senior Trump administration official after his accusations against China, indicating that China was increasing covert activities to punish Trump’s supporters and meddle in the election process. The official also indicated that China is hurting workers and farmers in those states and districts that have proven to be Trump supporters, and has made attempts to halt free speech on college campuses in the U.S. They also punish or reward companies, movie studios, and even political candidates for criticizing or supporting Chinese political views.
This is not the first time China has been accused of interfering with an election. Fire Eye, a Cybersecurity firm, released a report in July indicating “active compromises of multiple Cambodia entities related to the country’s electoral system,” which included the National Election Commission. China has been accused of the interference by Trump due to the similarities in the method used for the hack, which matched a group of known Chinese hackers that were involved in multiple cyber operations. Such attacks included breaches in U.S. colleges, defense contractors, as well as engineering and maritime technology firms.
Trump warned China that “they can’t get involved with our elections.” However he also praised his personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and indicated he would communicate with him this week.
~ Liberty Planet