Election interference is a sore subject in the United States.And rightly so, with the widespread belief that Russia had some role in causing discord leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election.
While everyone has a differing view on how much Russia interfered and its impact, few deny it happened.Now the United States is accusing China of trying to interfere in the 2018 Midterm Elections.
Chinese Election Interference
The news comes straight from Vice President Mike Pence, who made a statement suggesting that China wanted to undermine President Donald Trump. His belief is that China wishes to destabilize the United States government in the midst of a trade war between the two nations.
Pence spoke at the Hudson Institute, where he mentioned that China was being more proactive in the ways that it interfered in domestic politics in the United States. While China has been a major world player for many years, it has preferred to remain isolationist in such situations in the past.
“China Wants a Different President”
The statement from Mike Pence indicates that China does not like dealing with President Trump. While there is no tangible evidence to suggest that is the case, it is a distinct possibility. Trump has been very tough on China when it comes to trade and its economic policies.
Rather than paint possible Chinese interference as a bipartisan issue, Pence believes that it is largely an issue that will impact Republicans in the upcoming election. He spoke about how roughly 80 percent of the counties targeted by the supposed Chinese interference voted for President Trump in 2016.
Possible Chinese Hacks
The news of Chinese interference in the American elections comes amid an interesting backdrop involving the Asian nation. A separate news report days before Pence’s remarks indicated that China may have hacked major American companies, such as Amazon and Apple.
While the companies denied the claims of being hacked, it does give credence to the idea that China is attempting to play a more direct role in its relations with the United States. The nation that famously kept to itself may be ready to assert itself on the world stage.
The Politics of Election Interference
The current United States political climate is such that any issue is politicized by different parties. The concept of a foreign entity attempting to interfere in American elections would have united the parties – but not at the moment.
The Democratic Party has been speaking about Russian election interference for the past two years. FBI and CIA investigations have taken place on the matter. While a few Republicans have admitted that Russia interfered to some capacity, it has been hard for people to get such an admission out of President Trump.
It would not be surprising if Democrats took a similar approach to the Chinese interference story. If the Republicans claim such interference is designed to hurt their chances, it may be the turn of Democrats to play the “so what” card in response – especially if the elections turn out favorably for their party.