A senior Chinese government official has rejected accusations by the United States that Beijing is seeking to meddle in upcoming midterm elections in America, saying his country has “no intention” of interfering in US politics.
Gao Feng, the Chinese Commerce Ministry’s spokesman, made the comments on Thursday after US Vice President Mike Pence accused China of “malign” efforts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of US congressional elections in November.
Pence’s accusation comes as Washington and Beijing are also engaged in an escalating trade dispute, slapping tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods over the past few months.
“China had to have countermeasures against [the US tariffs]. The measures were rational and restrained. We were only safeguarding our legitimate rights and interests and have no intention of interfering US internal affairs,” Gao said.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry’s spokesman also said his country was open to restarting trade talks with the US but said sincerity was necessary.
“Now the best way is for both parties to show sincerity and mutual respect. And to open dialog and negotiations based on equality and honesty,” Gao said.
US security officials claimed on Wednesday that China was waging an “unprecedented” campaign to sway American public opinion ahead of the November congressional elections and posing a counterintelligence threat to the US.
Trump himself accused China last month of seeking to meddle in the November 6 elections.