Days after Trump remark, China refuses to investigate Joe Biden and son Hunter; says it doesn't intervene in other countries' affairs
Trump remarked last week that like Ukraine, China should also probe the Bidens' dealings. The Republicans though felt it was more a move to needle the media.
Days after President Donald Trump said China should also investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter like Ukraine, Beijing rejected his idea saying it doesn’t want to intervene in America’s domestic affairs. On October 8, the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a regular news briefing that Beijing has been following the principle of non-interference in other nations’ internal affairs for a long time.
“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear”, he said. Trump has been facing an impeachment inquiry for allegedly influencing the Ukrainian leadership to investigate Biden, who is a former vice president, along with his son Hunter who had professional dealings in the East European country. Trump has been accused of seeking foreign help to derail the 2020 electoral campaign of a domestic political opponent and the inquiry was launched on September 24 by the Democrats following a whistleblowing complaint about his phone talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump, however, has been on a counter-offensive after the launch of the inquiry and accused the Bidens of wrongdoing in Ukraine. He even said that senior Bien had removed funds from Ukraine and China. When asked whether he had asked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to look into the Bidens, Trump said although he didn't do it, a thought could have been given to that.
Crucial US-China talks
Trump’s call for a Chinese investigation into the Bidens came at a time when Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war. The two sides are set to meet at the high-profile 13th round of trade talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday (Oct 10-11). The Chinese delegation led by Vice President Liu He will meet American officials led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“[Ukraine] should investigate the Bidens, because how does a company that’s newly formed, and all these companies if you look at – and, by the way, likewise China should start an investigation into the Bidens", Trump had said. However, the seriousness of the president’s China remark was still being weighed. While the White House didn't clarify whether it was a joke, there are Republican members who felt that it was nothing but an effort to needle the media.
Observers feel issues like impeachment inquiry and the Hong Kong protests could overshadow the trade talks between the US and China but Beijing will budge a little from its stand on not investigating the Bidens.
Trump’s China remarks have polarized an already divided political space in the country. While they have hardened the Democrats’ resolve to push the impeachment drive, Trump’s Republican allies including Vice President Mike Pence said that the president did the right thing by bringing the Bidens’ alleged link with China in focus.