ABC News(NEW YORK) — After President Donald Trump publicly accused Beijing of interfering with the upcoming midterm elections at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was at the meeting, lashed back.
"We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusation against China," Wang said. "China has,all along followed the principle of non-interference in other countries domestic affairs. This is a tradition of Chinese foreign policy. Our observance of this principle has received acclaim from the international community."
Trump had told the meeting, "China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November, against my administration."
"They do not want me, or us, to win," Trump told the Security Council, "because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade, and we are winning on trade."
China's state-run tabloid, the Global Times, accused Trump of concocting a "creative campaign strategy to connect China with the U.S. midterms."
In an editorial headlined "Trump's 'blame China' midterm strategy won’t secure GOP victory,' the Global Times said Trump's "goal here is to turn the issue into a game by targeting China to help him and the GOP attract more votes."
The U.S. and China are embroiled in an escalating trade war, with $200 billion worth of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and $60 billion worth of Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods going into effect just this week.
In the first round of reciprocal tariffs that came into effect earlier this year, China had targeted U.S. agricultural products out of states that helped carry Trump to victory in 2016.
Trump later tweeted pictures of a paid China Daily advertorial insert in the Des Moines Register, saying that "China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers, made to look like news. That's because we are beating them on Trade, opening markets, and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over!"
Meanwhile on Chinese social media, news articles praising Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi quick comeback to Trump’s comments became one of the top-five trending topics on Sina Weibo.
Chinese netizens also picked up on the laughter during Trump's speech on Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly and were dismissive of his latest broadside against their country.
A Sina Weibo user named "Heart of the Motherland is a Red Star" wrote: "Why did Trump saying that we are interfering in the mid-term elections in the United States? Why did they say Russia interfered in the 2016 US election? I think you know why. Only under the guise of foreign interference do the American people feel that they need someone like Trump. Trump is so cute, everything is written on his face, he tries plays deep, and acts like emperor. What a joke."
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