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Xi tells Biden that China will not interfere with 2024 presidential election

By Mandy Donalds
January 31, 2024

Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, have assured their American counterparts that China will refrain from interfering in the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election.

During a meeting in November with President Joe Biden, Xi Jinping conveyed that China intends to remain impartial in the 2024 presidential race, currently expected to be a contest between Biden and former President Donald Trump, as Newsmax reported.

This commitment was reiterated by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, reinforcing Beijing's stance on non-intervention, as  CNN reported based on two sources.

U.S. Intelligence and Election Security

According to a source familiar with the situation, the topic of potential election interference by China has been a recurring subject of discussion during recent high-level meetings between the two nations.

President Biden and President Xi met face-to-face for the first time in a year during their attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.

During this meeting, Biden brought up the issue of potential Chinese election interference.

In a brief exchange, President Xi assured that China would not interfere in the election, as reported by CNN.

U.S. intelligence reports have previously indicated the involvement of Iranian, Cuban, and Chinese agents in attempts to influence U.S. elections.

A December U.S. government report concluded that although Russian and Chinese hackers targeted certain election systems during the 2022 midterms, there was no compromise of the electoral process by foreign governments.

Additionally, advancements in artificial intelligence by China have raised concerns about the potential for more sophisticated influence campaigns.

The New York Times highlighted efforts to use AI in crafting messages that exacerbate societal divisions, a tactic that could pose challenges to maintaining electoral integrity.

Preparing for Foreign Influence

While traditionally, Russia has taken a more active role in attempting to sway U.S. elections, China's approach has evolved since 2020.

Directives from senior Chinese officials have been aimed at influencing U.S. policy and public opinion in favor of China, with an emphasis on amplifying societal discord.

Despite these strategies, a senior official from the National Security Agency recently indicated that there have been no signs of significant new foreign influence operations targeting the 2024 election.

However, the possibility of attempts by Russia, Iran, China, and other actors to impact the electoral process remains a concern.

Chris Krebs, the former leader of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's efforts to safeguard elections from foreign interference in 2020, shared with CNN that the combination of growing geopolitical instability and the tumultuous political climate within the country creates numerous incentives and chances for various threat actors to attempt interference in this year's election.

Krebs stated, "Throw in AI-powered influence campaigns and 2024 might be unlike any prior election."