Chinese embassy in the US has denied retweeting US President Donald Trump on December 9, saying its official Twitter handle was hacked. Trump had reiterated his claim of electoral fraud and asked why the election results weren’t immediately overturned. While the tweet was promptly flagged by the micro-blogging platform as “disputed”, users noticed a retweet from the official Twitter handle of the Chinese embassy.
A similar claim was made in September by Chinese embassy in the UK after its ambassador’s official handle liked a pornographic clip. The embassy had then called for an investigation and said that the account was attacked to “deceive the public.”
The Trump administration has been at loggerheads with Beijing over Covid-19, treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, Hong Kong crisis, aggression in the South China Sea, and data security. It sanctioned several Chinese officials over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims and ordered the shutdown of China’s Houston Consulate.
While foreign interference in US presidential elections remained a major concern for the country’s security agencies, the intelligence assessment had suggested that China doesn’t want Trump to get re-elected. Trump also tried to create a narrative the Democrats are soft on China, but Joe Biden promised to remain “firm” on human rights and other issues.
“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,” William Evanina, Director of National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told a press conference before the elections.