• China could attempt to influence the 2024 elections, says a new US intelligence report.

  • This is because of China’s desire to “magnify US societal divisions,” the report said.

  • The report added that China may not be able to reign in influence operations even if they want to.

China may try to influence the 2024 elections, and some propaganda actors might go rogue and operate outside Beijing’s control, according to a newly released threat assessment by the US intelligence community.

According to the annual threat assessment report, China’s desire “to sideline critics of China and magnify US societal divisions” could spur it to meddle with this year’s elections. The 40-page report was originally published on February 5 but was only publicly released on Monday.

China’s propaganda arm, the report said, had used TikTok accounts to target candidates from the GOP and Democratic Parties during last year’s midterm elections. It added that China’s propaganda actors “increased their capabilities to conduct covert influence operations and disseminate information.”

The report further suggested that the Chinese government may be unable to rein in propaganda and influence operations even if they want to.

“Even if Beijing sets limits on these activities, individuals not under its direct supervision may attempt election influence activities they perceive are in line with Beijing’s goals,” the report said.

The report’s conclusions differ greatly from what Chinese leader Xi Jinping had said about election interference last year.

Xi met President Joe Biden during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November. During their meeting, Xi told Biden that China would stay out of the 2024 elections, per CNN.

China has long denied allegations that it might be interfering in the domestic politics of other countries. This is despite multiple claims of interference by countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

“The presidential election is the domestic affair of the United States,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in January. “China, committed to the principle of non-interference in others’ internal affairs, will not interfere in America’s presidential election.”

Representatives for China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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