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The US elections: Despite the assurance, China seeks to “influence and interfere”

The US elections: Despite the assurance, China seeks to “influence and interfere”

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that America has seen “evidence” of Chinese attempts to “influence and arguably interfere” with the upcoming Presidential elections in America—despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s earlier commitment not to do so.

He made these comments in an interview with CNN on Friday while ending his visit to China, where Blinken had discussions with top Chinese officials, including Xi, as the two countries navigated contentious issues, from US technology controls to Beijing’s support for Moscow.

The top diplomat said he reiterated President Joe Biden’s message, which he gave to Xi Jinping during their summit in San Francisco last November, to not interfere in the 2024 US presidential elections.

Following this, Xi pledged that China would not do so, according to CNN.

“We have seen, generally speaking, evidence of attempts to influence and arguably interfere, and we want to make sure that that’s cut off as quickly as possible,” Blinken said when asked whether China was violating Xi’s commitment to Biden so far.

“Any interference by China in our election is something that we’re looking very carefully at and is unacceptable to us. So I wanted to make sure that they heard that message again,” he added.

Blinken noted there were concerns about China and other countries playing on existing social divisions in the US in influence campaigns.

Based on what it claims its “principle” of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, Beijing has repeatedly said that it does not interfere in US elections.

However, China and its affiliated nations have been accused of political interference in other countries, such as Canada, according to CNN.

Blinken’s trip, marking his second visit to the country in less than a year, is the latest in a string of high-level engagements that culminated in the Biden-Xi summit late last year and have seen the two countries start to expand what had been severely diminished bilateral communications.

“We are (now) focused on areas where we’re working to cooperate, but also we’re being very forthright about our differences. And that’s important if we’re going to avoid the competition we’re in turning into conflict,” Blinken said.


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