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(The Daily Caller News Foundation)—China recently promised the Biden administration that it would not interfere in the U.S. 2024 presidential elections, CNN reported on Tuesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping assured President Joe Biden in November that his country would not meddle in the 2024 elections, a promise made again by Beijing’s foreign ministry to the White House over the weekend, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN. China has been credibly accused on several occasions of interfering in U.S. elections, more so in recent years because it doesn’t fear retaliation from the Biden administration, according to declassified intelligence.
Biden first brought up the matter to Xi on the sidelines of a key international summit in San Francisco in November, where the two had met for the first time in over a year amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, the two sources told CNN. Xi promised Biden that it would not be an issue going into this year’s election cycle.
The promise was made again last weekend by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to White House National Security Council (NSC) Advisor Jake Sullivan, the sources told CNN. The Biden administration is reportedly keeping a close watch to see if Beijing will hold up its end of the bargain.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made intentional decisions and actions to try and upend the stability of U.S. elections, especially in the 2020 presidential elections and the 2022 midterm elections, according to a declassified U.S. intelligence report from December. Beijing’s goal in doing so is to undermine U.S. democracy, which the CCP perceives as a growing threat to its regime.
The CCP attempted to interfere in the 2022 midterm elections much more aggressively than it did in 2020, likely because it didn’t fear retaliation from the Biden administration as much as it did from the former Trump administration, according to the intelligence report.
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“PRC influence actors [had] more freedom to operate ahead of the midterms than the presidential election in 2020, probably because PRC officials believed that Beijing was under less scrutiny during the midterms and because they did not expect the current Administration to retaliate as severely as they feared in 2020,” the report states.
One way China tries to interfere in U.S. elections is by influencing public opinion and discourse. China does this in part through cyber operations, including by creating social media accounts pretending to be American voters and then promoting divisive political opinions and pro-Beijing propaganda, according to a Microsoft Threat Intelligence report from September.
In some cases, these CCP accounts are run by “bots.” Facebook parent company Meta shut down thousands of Chinese bot accounts posing as American voters that were working to create political chaos online, the company reported in its Adverisal Threat Report in November.
A senior intelligence official said last week that the National Security Agency (NSA) had not seen any recent signs of foreign meddling ahead of the U.S. elections in November, according to CNN. The FBI and Department of Justice have taken legal actions to try and prevent Chinese cyber operations from interfering in the elections.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.