United States Intel: China’s Aggressive Attempt to Manipulate 2022 Midterm Elections

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The United States intelligence agencies recently released a declassified assessment of foreign risks to the 2022 midterm elections, which revealed China’s concerted efforts to influence certain races. 

The report highlighted China’s intent to sway outcomes by supporting candidates deemed pro-China while countering those labeled as anti-China.

The intelligence assessment disclosed that China tacitly endorsed attempts to shape the results of a handful of midterm races involving members of both US political parties. This aggressive maneuvering underscores Beijing’s increasingly assertive approach to exploit societal divisions and influence American politics.

The report emphasized that China perceives these information operations as a response to the US’s intensified efforts to promote democracy, viewing such endeavors as a threat to its interests. 

Notably, since 2020, Chinese senior leaders have directed escalated efforts to sway United States policy and public opinion in their favor, granting more freedom to influence US elections than during the 2020 presidential election.

Chinese Influence Tactics Ahead of United States Midterms

united-states-intel-china's-aggressive-attempt-to-manipulate-2022-midterm-elections
The United States intelligence agencies recently released a declassified assessment on foreign risks to the 2022 midterm elections, which revealed China’s concerted efforts to influence certain races.

This directive, as outlined in the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, allowed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) influence actors greater latitude ahead of the midterms due to perceived reduced scrutiny and expectations of less severe repercussions.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., remained tight-lipped, offering no immediate comment in response to these allegations on Monday night.

While China, Russia, Iran, and other governments sought to influence the 2022 midterms, there was no evidence of cyberattacks aimed at tampering with United States election infrastructure or ballot counting. Instead, foreign actors predominantly focused on amplifying genuine US narratives to manipulate electoral outcomes and exacerbate social and political rifts.

Interestingly, Russia’s strategy aimed at undermining the Democratic Party and the United States’ support for Ukraine, while Iran focused on exploiting societal divisions. The report concluded that this foreign activity exceeded that of the 2018 midterms but fell short of the intensity typical of a presidential election year.

These global influence operations relied on covert social media use, proxy websites, payments to influencers, and engagement of public relations firms, underscoring the evolving tactics employed to sway American elections.

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