Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeatedly refused to call China an “opponent” on Thursday when he was pressed multiple times by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
Cooper and Biden had the following exchange where Biden repeatedly refused to call China an “opponent”:
Cooper: Do you view China as an opponent? Because the president says you’ve been too cozy with China, too accepting of them in the international community.
Biden: I, I’m not the guy, look, China, we now have a larger trade deficit with China than we’ve ever had with China and in our administration when the World Trade Organization he keeps going on about, just ruled that his trade policy violate the World Trade Organ–we sued, we went to the World Trade Organization 16 times.
Cooper: Do you view China as an opponent?
Biden: I view China as a competitor. A serious competitor. That’s why I think we have to strengthen our relationships and our alliances in Asia.
Joe Biden repeatedly refuses to call China an opponent pic.twitter.com/keIkkQJ4Zk
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 18, 2020
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell responded by writing on Twitter: “China wants Biden to win. So he won’t criticize them. This is a scandal.”
China wants Biden to win. So he won’t criticize them.
This is a scandal. https://t.co/bVs2CzjoJ7
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 18, 2020
National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina said in a statement last month the following about China as it pertains to foreign nations looking to interfere with U.S. elections this fall:
We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China. Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues. For example, it has harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.
A week later, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned that China was “trying to elect Joe Biden” and that China had ” the most sophisticated global influence programs and strategies and abilities and capabilities in the world.”
Barr told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer that China was more aggressive and assertive than Russia in terms of trying to interfere in U.S. elections, according to U.S. intelligence.
The NCSC added the following about Russia and Iran, which were the top two other nations that were deemed to be a threat in the upcoming U.S. elections:
- RUSSIA – We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.” This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia. For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.
- IRAN – We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections. Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.