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Blinken Tells CNN: US Has Evidence of China Trying to Influence Upcoming Elections

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: Arab News)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the United States has observed indications of Chinese efforts to influence the forthcoming US elections, despite an earlier commitment from Chinese leader Xi Jinping not to do so.

During an interview with CNN’s Kylie Atwood on Friday, at the conclusion of a three-day visit to China, Blinken addressed a range of contentious topics discussed with top Chinese officials, including Xi. Among these issues were US tech controls and Beijing’s support for Moscow.

Blinken reiterated a message from President Joe Biden to Xi during their November summit in San Francisco, emphasizing the importance of not interfering in the 2024 US presidential elections. He recalled Xi’s pledge that China would refrain from such interference, as reported by CNN.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: CNN)

In response to a question regarding whether China’s actions were in violation of Xi’s commitment, Blinken acknowledged evidence suggesting attempts by China to influence and potentially interfere with the elections. He emphasized the US’s firm stance against any interference and expressed concerns about exploiting existing social divisions in the US for influence campaigns.

China has consistently denied interfering in US elections, citing its principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. However, China or affiliated actors have faced allegations of political interference in other nations, including Canada.

Blinken’s trip, his second to China in less than a year, marks a series of high-level engagements aimed at improving bilateral communications between the US and China. Despite differences, both countries have started to expand their dialogue on various fronts.

During the visit, Blinken raised the Biden administration’s concerns about China’s support for Russia’s defense industry, emphasizing potential repercussions if such support continues. He noted the role of Chinese assistance in bolstering Russia’s military capabilities despite the conflict in Ukraine.

Antony Blinken (Credits: CNN)

Despite China’s stance on maintaining neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, Blinken underscored the need for China to acknowledge the impact of its actions. He warned of additional actions by the US and other nations if China fails to address these concerns.

Blinken also defended the right to protest in the US, responding to questions about recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations on college campuses. While acknowledging instances of antisemitism at some protests, he emphasized the importance of legitimate expression of views in democracies.

Regarding efforts to resolve the conflict in Gaza, Blinken highlighted Hamas’s role in deciding whether to accept a ceasefire. He noted recent de-escalation in tensions in the wider region and expressed hope for progress towards a ceasefire and broader regional stability.

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