BEIJING: China on Wednesday (Sep 19) denied US President Donald Trump's claims that it was meddling in the US mid-term elections by taking aim at his political base in their escalating trade war.
"Anyone who has some knowledge of China's diplomacy will know that we will not interfere in other countries' domestic affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.
"We don't want others to interfere in our domestic politics, and we will not interfere in the domestic politics of others."
The US announced on Monday that it would push ahead with tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods, on top of US$50 billion already targeted.
After China on Tuesday retaliated with duties on US$60 billion of American products, Trump accused China of trying to sway the elections.
"China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me," Trump wrote on Twitter.
Accusations of election meddling are especially sensitive in the US, given the political maelstrom over Russia's alleged intervention to support Trump in the 2016 presidential vote.
It was not clear what statement from Beijing Trump was referring to in his post. A short video published this summer by Beijing had suggested that farmers would not vote for Trump if their incomes were hurt by his trade policies.