Washington: President Donald Trump on Thursday again invited foreign interference in a US presidential election by publicly calling on China to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, the kind of request that has already triggered an impeachment inquiry in Congress.

The Republican president said he believed both China and Ukraine should look into 2020 presidential hopeful Biden and his businessman son Hunter, and described the impeachment probe as “crap”. “And by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have offered no evidence for their assertions of corruption against former Vice President Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic Party nomination to run against Trump.

Questioned about whether he had asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate, Trump said: “I haven’t, but it’s certainly something we can start thinking about.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump’s appeal to China was particularly striking given that Washington and Beijing are locked in a bitter trade war which has damaged global economic growth.

The China remarks stiffened the resolve of Democrats in the House of Representatives to push ahead with a probe into whether Trump should be impeached following revelations by an anonymous whistleblower who said that Trump asked Ukraine in July to investigate the Bidens.

Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at a time when the United States and Europe were trying to woo Ukraine away from next-door-neighbour Russia.

Some Republicans criticised Biden for taking his son on the Air Force Two vice presidential plane in 2013 to China, where Hunter had business interests. REUTERS.

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