Beijing doesn’t interfere in other nations’ internal affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, rebuffing President Donald Trump’s earlier tweet accusing China of meddling in US elections.
The spokesperson, Geng Shuang, voiced China’s position while talking to reporters on Wednesday.
A day earlier, Trump wrote on Twitter that China is “actively trying to impact and change” the election “by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.”
Shuang’s comments come on the heels of reports that Washington has ordered two Chinese state-run media outlets, Xinhua News Agency and Global Television Network to register as foreign agents in the US.
Several Chinese media outlets have already been forced to register under the controversial and outdated Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), introduced in 1938 to counter Nazi propaganda and used later during the Cold War. The US has since wielded the FARA rules against any foreign media it brands ‘propaganda tools’ and accuses of meddling in its domestic affairs.
FARA has recently come under fire from several rights and journalist groups, such as Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, which blasted the US for applying the law to RT and the Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera. They called it “a dangerous precedent” and warned that it could lead to censorship.
The US and China are locked in a trade war. In a recent rise in tensions, Trump announced import tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing vowed to retaliate by imposing duties on $60 billion worth of US goods, and by filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The US midterm election is scheduled for November 6. Up for grabs are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate seats, and governorships in 36 states and three territories.