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We won't meddle in the 2024 election, China's Xi Jinping told Biden: report

Matthew Loh   

We won't meddle in the 2024 election, China's Xi Jinping told Biden: report
  • Xi Jinping told Joe Biden in November that China would stay out of the 2024 election, per CNN.
  • The outlet cited two unnamed sources saying that Xi gave the assurance during the APEC summit.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping promised President Joe Biden in a brief in-person exchange in November that Beijing would stay out of the 2024 US election, CNN reported.

The outlet, citing two sources familiar with the matter, reported that Xi made his pledge as he and Biden spoke amid the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in San Francisco. CNN did not name the two sources.

Both leaders had wrapped their meeting with a list of issues through which their countries could cooperate. This was a rare positive sign in US-China relations as military communications risked falling apart, and tensions festered that year.

But this mention of election interference, and Biden confronting Xi over the possibility of Beijing seeking to influence internal American politics, were not previously reported.

Biden was the one who broached the subject with Xi, one of the sources told CNN.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the same promise to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as they met in Bangkok over the last weekend, the source said.

Sullivan was also the one to bring up the issue, per CNN's source.

Foreign election interference has increasingly been in the spotlight in the US, especially in the wake of the Russian hacking controversy in the 2016 election.

China has long said that it does not interfere in the internal politics of other countries, a talking point Beijing often uses as a jab against US foreign and military policy.

"China does not interfere in US elections. We oppose making China an issue based on election politics," the Chinese Foreign Ministry told CNN when asked for comment.

And Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Wednesday: "The presidential election is the domestic affair of the United States. China, committed to the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs, will not interfere in America's presidential election."

But a US intelligence report declassified in December said that China had been using "influence actors" to affect the outcomes of the 2022 midterm elections, hoping to boost candidates seen as more pro-China. Iran, Russia, and Cuba also tried to interfere in the midterms, the report said.

At the time, China's Foreign Ministry called the accusations "groundless and fabricated out of thin air."

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