VP Pence: China 'Meddling in America's Democracy'

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VP Pence: China 'Meddling in America's Democracy'

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian defended the naval maneuver on Tuesday, accusing the USA of threatening China's sovereignty and safety by repeatedly sending warships to disputed areas of the South China Sea.

Beijing, of course, has been open about its opposition to new tariffs imposed by Trump and has made no mystery about its strategy of letting US farming communities and other industries understand that its economic retaliation would be targeted at Trump's political base.

Pence made a wide range of allegations on Thursday, accusing China of making an "unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion" in both the upcoming 2018 congressional, and 2020 presidential elections, citing tariffs targeting states that voted for Donald Trump, and an advertisement criticising the US President's trade war run by state-media in a US newspaper.

She said China was a "builder of world peace" with no interest in meddling in USA elections.

Pence was to address the issue, saying that the USA intelligence community has determined that China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy.

"And while our administration will continue to respect our "one China" policy, as reflected in the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, let me also say that Taiwan's embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people", Pence was to say.

"As we speak, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States."

Pence alleged that China was waging a sophisticated influence campaign aimed at swaying the November 6 elections against Trump's Republican Party in retaliation for his trade policies against Beijing.

"To put it bluntly, President Trump's leadership is working; China wants a different American President", Pence added.

"Much of what we know remains classified", Bolton said. The two countries have imposed increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other.

He urged Google to end development of its "Dragonfly" app, which would make it easier to track internet searches and strengthen Chinese censorship.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the Trump administration banned government employees from buying tech from Chinese tech firms, Huawei and ZTE.

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

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

Pence also denounced China's manoeuvres in the South China Sea, its oppression of Christians, Muslims and other religious believers, and Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature infrastructure and foreign policy initiative.

"We will not be intimidated", Mr Pence said of the operation, the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.

He accused Beijing of "reckless harassment" in an incident on Sunday in which a Chinese naval vessel almost collided with a U.S. destroyer near the Spratly islands. China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.

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