In a spontaneous show of indignation Wednesday, President Trump broke away from a U.N. Security Council meeting to accuse China of seeking to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.
“They (China) do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade, and we are winning on trade — we are winning on every level. We don’t want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election,” he said.
Trump later took to Twitter to continue his verbal assault on China, referring to a four-page insert in the Des Moines Register, produced by a state-owned Chinese publication which argued against U.S. tariffs.
Trump referred to the article in tweet also on Wednesday:
China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers, made to look like news. That’s because we are beating them on Trade, opening markets, and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over! pic.twitter.com/ppdvTX7oz1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
Trump’s leveling of tariffs on Chinese imports has been seen as a war of attrition, with both sides seeking to wear down the other through enormous excise taxes.
So far in 2018, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese products, totaling $250 billion. Beijing, in turn, has retaliated by placing 10 percent tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods, both of which went into effect Monday.
In response to Trump’s comments, Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, stated:
“We did not, and will not, interfere in any country’s domestic affairs. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations.”
For some, Trump’s comments seem random and misguided, being that he has yet to direct similar criticism towards Russia for its allegedly underhanded tactics in affecting the 2016 presidential election.
On several occasions, in fact, the president has voiced his desire for the U.S. and Russia — a nation which represses human rights — to be allies.
Trump’s accusatory remarks may seem spontaneous and out-of-the blue, but for many federal elected officials and political observers alike, the former New York businessman’s outburst was merely just another example of his paradoxical and eccentric behavior.
[The Guardian] [New York Times] [Photo courtesy AP via Financial Times]