In a recent development in the ongoing rift between the United States and China, President Donald Trump accused China of meddling in the upcoming November midterm elections.
“Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration,” he said.
Trump added, “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade. We are winning on trade. We are winning at every level. We don't want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election.”
He made the comments at the United Nations Security Council and said it was a rebuke of the ongoing trade war between the two countries. However, the president failed to provide any explanation or evidence of any kind to support his claim.
Wang Yi, China's State Councilor and Minister for Foreign Affairs addressed Trump’s comments and denied the accusations.
“China has all along followed the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs. This is a tradition of Chinese foreign policy. We do not and will not interfere in any countries' domestic affairs. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China, and we call upon other countries to also observe the purposes of the UN charter and not to interfere in other countries' internal affairs,” he said.
The meeting in which the commander-in-chief accused China was meant to discuss the issues of nuclear nonproliferation. However, Trump maintained his history of making baseless claims at world stages and went ahead and accused China of interfering in the midterm elections.
Although the president didn’t give any details of the accusation at the meeting, he later took to Twitter and presented evidence of the claim – and it was even more absurd because he cited an Iowa newspaper advertisement.
Trump posted an image on Twitter a recent China Daily sponsored insert in the Iowa-based Des Moines Register newspaper, which is paid for openly by the state-run China Daily. The image contained articles that supported China’s stance on the trade rift.
China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers, made to look like news. That’s because we are beating them on Trade, opening markets, and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over! pic.twitter.com/ppdvTX7oz1— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
The articles also made connection between Iowans and China. One of the articles also stated how Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iowa twice.
Like the United States and most other countries, China also spreads its stance in other news publications. However, that doesn’t mean that China is interfering in U.S. midterm elections and definitely is not ample evidence to support a claim that big.
The president then said when a reporter later pressed him to elaborate on the claim, “Plenty of evidence they would like to see me not win. First time ever they've been confronted on trade. They can't get involved.”
The trade war between the United States and China is intensifying as both countries continue to slap tariffs on each other.
In a recent move that proved there was no sign of compromise from either side, the U.S. imposed fresh taxes of 10 percent on a list of 5,745 Chinese imports worth $200 billion.
In a retaliatory measure, Chinese customs agency slapped a 5 – 10 percent tax a list of 5,207 American goods worth nearly $60 billion.
It is also important to note how the president is moving ahead by imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and is completely looking over the fact that they are hurting the U.S. the most.
Economic analysts fear it could push the global economy into a great depression. More than 1,100 leading economists across the U.S. are concerned the worst economic downturn in the history of industrialized Western world will make a comeback if Trump isn't thwarted from imposing outrageous trade policies.
It is also feared that the trade war between China and the United States might turn into a diplomatic issue and there is possibility it might also hinder the diplomatic process.
Consider the recent diplomatic spat between China and Sweden.
Earlier this month, a Chinese family arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, reportedly on a family vacation. However, things turned ugly when they showed up at a hostel they had booked a little too early ahead of their schedule.
The family of three, which was identified as The Zengs, was supposed to arrive at the Generator Stockholm hostel at 2 pm. However, they turned up a little after midnight. The tourists thought they could spend the night in the hostel lobby and also offered to pay extra.
However, the management disagreed and asked the family to leave but the Zengs refused to leave prompting the hostel authorities to call the police.
The Chinese tourists were then forcibly booted out of the hostel’s lobby.
And since then things between the countries are worsening. China has described the incident as “brutal mistreatment” and accused the European country of violating the human rights of its citizens. Moreover, Chinese authorities issued a safety alert for its tourists in the country and also demanded an apology from Sweden.
On the other hand, Sweden responded to the demands and said they will soon appoint a prosecutor “to determine whether the police have actually committed negligence or illegal acts.”
So, if a mere incident of a mistreatment of tourists can turn things this ugly, then the trade war between two global economies, the U.S. and China, also has full potential of turning into one huge disaster.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Carlo Allegri