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Chinese Election Meddling Hits the Midterms

Beijing-linked cyber-actors seek to discredit the election process

Having consolidated his hold on power at the Chinese Communist Party’s recently concluded 20th National Congress, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has now set his sights on influencing the U.S. midterm elections. China’s latest efforts to sow doubt about U.S. election integrity are consistent with Xi’s stated goal of championing China’s autocratic model as a “new choice for humanity.” The threat of Chinese interference in democratic elections demands immediate action by policymakers in Washington and other Western capitals.

As early voting across the United States kicked into high gear this fall, so, too, did the activities of Chinese government-affiliated cyberactors seeking to discourage Americans from voting, discredit the election process, and sow further divisions among voters.

In one social media campaign uncovered by U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant, a Chinese hacker group with the code name Dragonbridge posted English-language videos across social media, blogs and other platforms questioning the efficacy of voting and highlighting “civil war” as a possible way to “root out” the United States’ “ineffective and incapacitated” system. These posts also suggested attacks against law enforcement and other forms of political violence. Separately, Twitter announced in late October that it had disrupted several China-based operations on its platform. Those campaigns involved 2,000 user accounts and more than 250,000 tweets containing false election-rigging claims about the 2020 U.S. presidential election and hate speech against the transgender community.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Foreign Policy.

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