China rejects Trump call to investigate Bidens

China on Tuesday rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE's call for Beijing to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden MORE and his son, saying it has no desire to impose itself in U.S. domestic affairs. 

“China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the South China Morning Post

“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear.”

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While speaking with reporters last week, Trump stepped up his effort to place Biden under scrutiny, calling on both Ukraine and China to look for dirt on the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden. 

“I would say that [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend they start an investigation into the Bidens. Because nobody doubts they weren't crooked," Trump said, before encouraging China to "start an investigation into the Bidens."

The president noted that he hadn't explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open an investigation. But he said that it is “certainly something we can start thinking about.”

The comments come amid a House impeachment inquiry into the president in the wake of revelations about his effort to enlist Ukraine's help in his 2020 reelection campaign. A whistleblower complaint, which was declassified last month, accuses Trump of pressuring the new Ukrainian president to work with his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Barr wrote 2018 memo contradicting Trump's claim that abuse of power is not impeachable MORE to investigate the Bidens over unfounded allegations of corruption. 

A publicly disclosed White House memo of the leaders' July 25 phone conversation verifies several key components of the complaint. 

The president's public comments regarding China prompted widespread backlash from Democratic lawmakers. Joe Biden's campaign immediately issued a rebuke of Trump's remarks, saying they represented "a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over country."

Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub also reiterated that "it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election."

Many GOP lawmakers, however, have dismissed the seriousness of Trump's public call for foreign nations to investigate a political rival.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech MORE (R-Fla.) suggested that Trump was joking, saying that he couldn't tell if it was a "real request" or part of an effort to get the media "outraged by it."