Donald Trump accuses China of meddling in U.S. elections over trade stance
U.S. President Donald Trump accused China of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections on Wednesday, saying Beijing did not want his Republican Party to do well because of his stance on trade.
“China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November. Against my administration,” Trump told a U.N. Security Council meeting whose ostensible subject was on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Trump did not provide any evidence for his allegation.
China rejected the charge.
“We did not and will not interfere in any country’s domestic affairs. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China,” the Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi told the Security Council.
WATCH: China denies claims by Trump that it’s meddling in 2018 election
Trump also used the session to defend the U.S. withdrawal in May from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, hint at progress in U.S. efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program, and to criticize Iran and Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s war, now in its eighth year.
“The Syrian regime’s butchery is enabled by Russia and Iran,” Trump said.
WATCH: Trump wants support for Iran nuclear sanctions, accuses China of meddling in midterms
Trump’s focus on China and his allegation of election meddling came as a surprise during a formal meeting around the Security Council’s iconic horseshoe that was expected to concentrate on the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade, we are winning at every level. We don’t want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election,” said Trump, who is attending the U.N.’s annual gathering of world leaders.
Trump himself is not up for re-election until 2020 but November’s voting will decide whether his Republican Party can keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Some opinion polls show that the Democratic Party could make a strong showing in the elections.
WATCH: Trump elaborates on claims China’s interfering in 2018 midterms, 2020 presidential election
During a roughly 10-minute speech, Trump made no reference to allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election that brought him to power.
The allegations have dogged his presidency and have given rise to an investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
In July at a summit in Helsinki, Trump accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials and the U.S. president describes investigations into the interference as a political witch hunt.
However, Trump did fault Moscow, and Tehran, for their involvement in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad. “The Syrian regime’s butchery is enabled by Russia and Iran,” he said.
© 2018 Reuters