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Chinese interference grows in the US election, real and imagined

(ATF) Chinese state media has reacted with bemusement and harsh criticism towards the US’ Republican National Convention and the Trump Administration’s election campaigning.

The Peoples’ Daily published a 30,000-word article eviscerating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent speech that lambasted China. Titled “Mouth of Lies and [the] Truth About Pompeo’s China Speech,” it filled several pages of solid text. But, it did cover a lot of ground, as it critiqued all the hot issues that have reared in Sino-US relations in recent times – the coronavirus epidemic, bilateral trade, Huawei 5G technology, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea issue, and more.

Other state outlets such as Huangqiu.cn (Global Times) focused on the Republican National Convention, where the President’s son Donald Trump Jnr, denigrated the Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden as “Beijing Biden.”

That slur, the paper said, was the latest “operation” the Trump team insisted on using to attack its rival.

The paper’s editorial said: “The (US) general election is approaching, but the US intelligence agencies continue to exaggerate about Russia, China and other countries’ attempts to intervene in the US 2020 general election. In terms of specific operations, Trump often associates with China when bombarding opponents, [is] accusing his opponents of being weak against China.”

According to Chinese dissident journalist Simone Gao, China is up to its own tricks – using propaganda bureau teams known as “Spamoflague Dragon“, which issue daily videos in English to praise China’s fight against the coronavirus, its stance against the Hong Kong democracy protests, and now, and they are reportedly focused on anti-Trump messaging.

But rather than being blatantly pro-Biden, the group likes to pour oil on fires already raging, such as Black Lives Matter protests, and the US’s mismanagement of the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Gao, the groups’ videos are often unsophisticated and have language mistakes and robotic dictation. But she alleges that the Chinese consulate in Houston was closed because a team there worked with TikTok to target and influence people disaffected by the Trump administration.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he has long emphasised that some US politicians always save themselves by repeatedly using hypothetical future scenarios … making groundless attacks to discredit China, without any real evidence.

China urges these American politicians to show some professional quality, he says, and take a responsible attitude towards their own credibility and the image of the United States – and stop slandering China.

Chris Gill

With over 30 years reporting on China, Gill offers a daily digest of what is happening in the PRC.


AF China Bond