William Barr, the U.S. Attorney General, has called China the biggest threat to the 2020 American elections. He believes that the Chinese threat even eclipses the danger posed by Russia, which is documented to have interfered in the previous election held in 2016. He was speaking in an interview with Fox News.
Interfering in elections
“In my opinion, it’s China… And not just to the election process, but I think across the board — there’s simply no comparison. China is a very serious threat to the United States geopolitically, economically, militarily, and a threat to the integrity of our institutions given their ability to influence things,” Barr said to Fox News, as reported by Washington Examiner.
Last month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reported that there was no proof of the Kremlin actively trying to meddle in this year’s elections. However, it admitted that there were countries seeking to influence public debates on social media to sow the seeds of discord in the country and influence the preferences of voters to their liking. It dismissed reports that Russia was somehow helping Trump with his reelection.
The organization warned that the hostile campaign of adversary nations will become more intense as the election gets nearer. It also singled out China, criticizing the country for promoting policies in line with Chinese interests and said that Beijing might resort to more comprehensive activities if bilateral relations between the two nations worsen.
Last year, Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese real estate tycoon, revealed that Beijing was not looking forward to President Trump having a second term in office. The Chinese government was apparently courting pro-China elements inside the U.S. to derail Trump’s reelection campaign. The effort is being led by Chinese President Xi Jinping through the CCP National Security Commission that was set up in 2013 and has exerted greater control over other security organs.
“For the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the security committee has given very clear instructions that it is not permissible for Trump to win the 2020 election… President Trump has already caused a lot of damage to the CCP, so they have declared he will not be allowed to have another four years in power,” he said to The Washington Free Beacon.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has cast a shadow on the 2020 U.S. election that is scheduled to take place in November. There is talk that the election might be postponed if the virus situation is not brought under control around a month prior to the election. The primaries have already been postponed by several states. Georgia shifted primaries from March 24 to May 19, Louisiana from April 4 to June 20, Maryland from April 28 to June 2, and Kentucky from May 19 to June 23.
Candidates are increasingly adopting digital strategies to get to their voters since public talks and conferences are now almost impossible. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has launched a podcast called “Here’s the Deal.” “Why am I doing this? Well, first, so we can keep talking with each other. We can’t hold rallies any more, but we’re not gathering in large public spaces. We’re living in a new normal,” Biden said at the start of the first episode, as reported by Al Jazeera. The date of the general election has been established by federal law. In order to change it, Congress will have to pass a law and then get it signed by the President.