China on Wednesday called on the United States to show “respect” in their trade dispute and rejected President Donald Trump’s claims that it was meddling in the US midterm elections by taking aim at his political base.
The comments follow a combative series of tweets claiming Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on US goods were seeking to influence knife-edge midterm congressional elections in November.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang rejected the claims, saying: “Anyone who has some knowledge of China’s diplomacy will know that we will not interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs.”
“We don’t want others to interfere in our domestic politics, and we will not interfere in the domestic politics of others,” Geng said at a regular press briefing.
Accusations of election meddling are especially sensitive in the US, given the political maelstrom over Russia’s alleged intervention to support Trump in the 2016 presidential vote.
China separately also rejected claims — made by Trump in the past — that it has manipulated the value of the yuan downwards to compensate for the effect of US tariffs on its exports.
“China will never rely on the depreciation of the renminbi (yuan) to stimulate exports, because a one-way depreciation of the renminbi exchange rate will have more disadvantages than advantages,” Premier Li Keqiang told an economic forum.
The US announced Monday that it would push ahead with tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, on top of $50 billion already targeted.
This means the additional levies will hit more than half of US goods from China — its largest source of imports.
After China retaliated on Tuesday with duties on $60 billion of American products, Trump accused China of trying to sway the elections.
“China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years. They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it,” he added, warning of a “great and fast economic retaliation” if China targets American farmers and industrial workers.