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China won’t interfere in 2024 US election, Xi Jinping promised Biden: Report


China won’t interfere in 2024 US election, Xi Jinping promised Biden: Report

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jan 31, 2024 08:34 IST
Written By: Devika Bhattacharya

Xi Jinping and Joe Biden
Chinese President Xi Jinping assured his American counterpart Joe Biden that China would not interfere in the 2024 US presidential election, CNN reported, citing sources privy to the exchange. The pledge was later reiterated by Chan’s Foreign Minister to the US National Security Adviser during a recent meeting in Thailand.
The initial promise from Xi came during a high-stakes bilateral in California last year, which aimed to defuse the heightened military and economic tensions between the United States and China. The topic of election interference was broached by Biden and addressed by Xi in a “brief” exchange.

The issue resurfaced last weekend during more than 12 hours of meetings in Thai capital Bangkok, where US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang reiterated the pledge given by Xi, ensuring that Beijing would abstain from meddling in the US presidential elections later this year.

The issue of foreign meddling in US elections remains a key concern for American officials, particularly in light of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. While China has historically been less direct in its tactics, concerns about its cyber capabilities and recent intelligence reports persist.
While experts say China has traditionally been less overt in its influence efforts compared to other nations, there is ongoing concern about its cyber capabilities and potential for interference. Chinese hackers have previously penetrated critical US infrastructure, raising alarms about possible disruptions to essential services or defence readiness.

Intelligence reports indicate an uptick in aggressive tactics by Chinese operatives targeting US voters and political figures. Since 2020, directives from top Chinese authorities have called for increased efforts to sway US policy and public sentiment, utilizing methods such as fake social media accounts to criticise American politicians.

In response to these threats, US officials are bracing for potential foreign interference attempts not only from China but also from Russia and Iran. Strategies may include disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, and advanced AI-driven operations designed to influence the electoral outcome.
The US government, through the FBI and the Justice Department, has taken steps to counteract Chinese cyber activities and safeguard its elections. In a recent operation, it remotely disabled aspects of the Chinese hacking campaign, news agency Reuters reported citing security officials.

Published By:
Devika Bhattacharya
Published On:
Jan 31, 2024