Off The Wire
Asked about Bidens, China says doesn't intend intervening in U.S. affairs
BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday that China had no intention of intervening in U.S. domestic affairs when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Beijing investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.
The Republican president, the subject of an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. Congress for asking Ukraine’s president to investigate the Bidens, last week suggested that Beijing “start an investigation” into the 2020 presidential hopeful and his son Hunter, who had business interests in China.
Trump has said Biden and his son are “corrupt” but has shown no evidence to back that up.
“China has always pursued non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.
“We have no intention of intervening in the United States. Our position has remained consistent and clear on this,” Geng said without elaborating.
Trump’s appeal to China was particularly striking as the two countries are set to hold another round of talks in the United States this week to resolve a bitter trade war.
Questioned about whether he had asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to look into the Bidens, Trump told reporters on Thursday: “I haven’t, but it’s certainly something we can start thinking about.”
Trump’s remarks on China have also stiffened the resolve of Democrats in the House of Representatives to push ahead with an inquiry into whether he should be impeached following revelations by an anonymous whistleblower who said Trump asked Ukraine in July to investigate the Bidens.
Trump froze $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine shortly before speaking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, prompting accusations from Democrats that he had misused U.S. foreign policy for personal gain.
Trump has described the impeachment probe as “crap”.
Some Republicans have criticized Biden for taking his son on the Air Force Two vice presidential plane in 2013 to China, a trip that came months after Hunter became an unpaid board member of a new investment fund with a Chinese private equity manager.
Hunter Biden has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The younger Biden was also on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at a time when the United States and Europe were trying to woo Ukraine away from next-door-neighbor Russia.
Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore