Beijing blasts Pence’s speech on ‘Chinese meddling’

Andrew Cummings
October 5, 2018

The report, which resulted from a Trump directive in July 2017 to assess the health of industries whose products and services are important to national defense, also accused China of "systematic theft" of USA weapons systems and the illicit transfer of dual-use technology that has upset the military balance between the US and China.

Mr. Pence's speech comes as conflict with China increases.

"Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election", Trump said.

Just hours before Pence spoke, the US Justice Department indicted seven Russian intelligence agents as part of a joint crackdown with Britain and The Netherlands on alleged hacking by Moscow, including against the Democratic Party, Trump's domestic rivals.

Pence accused the Chinese of suppressing its citizens at home with the creation of "an unparalleled surveillance state", of brutally repressing religious minorities and of oppressing countries overseas through loan programs that favor Beijing and leave those nations beholden to China. China accused the US of violating its "indisputable sovereignty".

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

Speaking before the Economic Club of Washington, Kudlow - using language with echoes of the Iraq war - spoke of a "trade coalition of the willing to confront China".

Mr Pence said Beijing had "mobilised covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans' perception of Chinese policies" and was targeting its tariffs to hurt states where Mr Trump has strong support.

The report deems China's control of rare earth metals and strategically important technologies like printed circuit boards to be a growing risk to the United States defence industry, and calls for the United States to step up investment in particular industries to mitigate China's influence over the supply of strategic products.

The negative image of China was magnified in the run-up to the USA congressional elections in November, he said, with both sides now trapped in a vicious cycle of tit-for-tat politics.

"It is very ridiculous for the USA side to stigmatise its normal exchanges and cooperation with China as China interfering in its internal affairs and elections", Ms Hua said. "These actions threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait - and the United States of America condemns these actions", he said.

-Beijing compelled Delta Airlines to publicly apologize for not calling Taiwan a "province of China" on its website, he said.

Washington has long identified China as a major culprit in the cyber hacking of USA government and corporate databases but US officials and independent analysts say they have not detected the kind of systematic manipulation of social media and hacking of emails that Russian Federation is alleged to have engaged in during the 2016 election, which Trump won.

"Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows and our national interests demand, " Pence said.

"We remain committed to continuing an active dialogue with members from both sides of the aisle, working proactively with Congress on a variety of issues, explaining how our products help millions of American consumers and businesses, and answering questions as they arise", Pichai had said in a statement. The vice president, a favorite of conservative US Christians, also criticized China on human rights, voicing disappointment that rising prosperity has not led to reforms.

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