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Donald Trump accuses China of meddling in US elections, influencing American farmers and ranchers; Beijing rejects charge

Washington: US president Donald Trump has escalated his tirade against China and accused it of trying to influence US mid-term elections by attacking American farmers, ranchers and industrial workers, a charge denied by Beijing.

Trump did not offer evidence to support his accusation nor did he specify whether it was the upcoming mid-term elections in November which China was allegedly targeting. He tweeted:

He followed up with a threat of additional tariffs, adding:

The accusation comes one day after China promised to take "countermeasures" against Trump's plan to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The new duties, which take effect on 24 September, will begin at 10 percent, then rise to 25 percent on 1 January, 2019.

China responded to the latest announcement by hiking tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports. The more than 5,000 products affected include coffee, honey, and industrial chemicals, according to reports.

Reacting to Trump's accusation of election interference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "Anyone who has some knowledge of China's diplomacy will know that we will not interfere in other countries' domestic affairs," adding that "We don't want others to interfere in our domestic politics, and we will not interfere in the domestic politics of others."

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Updated Date: Sep 19, 2018 14:56:25 IST