Sunday, 21 October, 2018


Pence Accuses China Of Undermining Trump Campaign

Chinese shipping containers seen at the Port of Long Beach Los Angeles on Sept 29 2018 'We will not stand down,' VP Pence warns China
Conrad Doyle | 05 October, 2018, 18:42

Pence's speech at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington marked a sharpened USA approach toward China.

Pence accused China of "a whole-of-government approach" to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence also accused China of "reckless harassment" because of an incident on Sunday in which a USA destroyer, the Decatur, traveled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea.

Citing Trump's move to levy tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and threatening to "levy even more, with the possibility of substantially more than doubling that number", Pence said that "the American people deserve to know that, in response to the strong stand that President Trump has taken, Beijing is pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President".

But Pence said: "As a senior career member of our intelligence community told me just this week, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country".

A digest of the top political stories from the Globe, sent to your inbox Monday-Friday.

Pence's speech comes amid rumors that the USA military is proposing a "major show of force" near China's territorial waters in November - "several missions" over the course of a week to demonstrate American naval and air superiority within striking distance of mainland China. Google employees and others have protested the company's plan to build a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship.

The Chinese Communist Party is rewarding and coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists and government officials, Mr. Pence will say.

Pence spoke days after Trump himself accused China of attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.

But reaction to the vice president's remarks by critics on Thursday, however, warned that Pence and the Trump administration are playing a unsafe game. "The Russians do it".

China said a Chinese warship had been sent to warn the U.S. vessel to leave an area of irrefutable Chinese sovereignty. "Can't talk now, because they're not ready, " Trump said on Monday after announcing a new trade pact with Canada and Mexico at the White House.

The White House responded publicly Thursday to a heated confrontation between the Chinese navy and a United States destroyer in the South China Sea this past weekend.

He said: "China is meddling in America's democracy".

Vice President Mike Pence left his audience stunned during a speech to the Hudson Institute Thursday morning accusing the Chinese government of an "unprecedented effort" to undermine American democracy by operating "front groups" and propaganda outlets.

Trump has justified his trade policy by accusing China of stealing intellectual property and limiting access to its market.

Mr Pence said Chinese security agencies have masterminded the "wholesale theft of American technology", including military blueprints, and warned Washington would continue to take action.

Pence also said China had deployed anti-ship and anti-air missiles on artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, despite promises not to militarise them.

"A Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards of the USS Decatur as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly manoeuvre to avoid collision". "We refuse to accept ... unwarranted accusations against China".

"The United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows and our national interests demand". "We did not and will not interfere in any country's domestic affairs", said Wang.

Pence also weighed in on Beijing's effort to diplomatically isolate Taiwan's China-skeptic president, Tsai Ing-wen.

China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.

China's Defense Ministry said a Chinese naval ship had been sent to warn the United States vessel to leave and that Beijing had irrefutable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and the waters around them.

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