CHINA – We check that China prefers PTrump is a resident – which Beijing sees as unpredictable – did not win reelection. China expanded its influence efforts before November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, the pressure political figures it viewed versus China’s interests, and misrepresented and opposed China’s criticism. Although China continues to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, public rhetoric in recent months has become increasingly critical of COVID-19’s current response, the closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and action on other issues. For example, it strongly criticized the statements and actions of the Hong Kong Government, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing acknowledges that all these efforts could affect the presidential race.
RUSSIA – We have examined that Russia is using a set of measures to especially the rejection of the former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’ This is in line with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies in Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition within Russia. For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian Parliamentarian Andriy Derkach spreads allegations of corruption – including by publicizing leak phone calls – to exacerbate the candidacy of former President Biden and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-related actors are also looking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and television in Russia.
IRAN – We are examining that Iran aims to overthrow the US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country ahead of the 2020 elections. Iran’s efforts along these lines will probably focus on on-line influences, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-US content. Tehran’s motivation to carry out such activities is, in part, driven by an understanding that President Trump’s reelection will result in a continuation of US pressure on Iran in an effort to reverse regime change.