Pence Accuses China Of Undermining Trump Campaign

05 Octobre, 2018, 03:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

In a blatant attempt to invert the script on election "meddling" and interference, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused the Chinese government of seeking to undermine US democracy and charged, without evidence, that Beijing is acting malevolently because "China wants a different American president".

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".

The latest incident in the South China Sea comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, and the situation could soon worsen, as the United States military is reportedly considering a proposal for a major show of force as a warning to the Chinese, which perceive American actions moves to contain Chinese power.

"China wants a different American president", Mr Pence said in a speech at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, adding the United States will continue to expose Beijing's "malign influence and interference".

Washington has long cited China as a major culprit in the cyber hacking of US government and corporate databases.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers a speech at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2018.

"China's aggression was on display this week", he said, referring to a unsafe encounter between the People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer Lanzhou and the U.S. destroyer USS Decatur in the hotly-contested South China Sea Sunday.

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"Another part of it is trying to distract attention from the real threat, which is Russian Federation", he said. "They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade". "For example, Google should immediately end development of the "Dragonfly" app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers".

Google declined to comment, except to reiterate that its China search engine project is "exploratory" and not close to launching.

Pence also slammed China's militarization of contested areas in the South and East China Sea, its practice of "debt diplomacy" in developing countries, and its efforts to convince other nations to sever ties with Taiwan. "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".

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

Pence also denounced Beijing's crackdown on minority Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Pence asserts that China's actions surpass those of Russian Federation in trying to shape American opinion.

The democratic, self-governing island is home to nationalists who fled in 1949 after losing China's civil war and has waged an increasingly lonely campaign for diplomatic recognition as the Republic of China. US officials have said they are considering targeted sanctions over alleged human rights abuses.

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