China denounces 'ridiculous' U.S. claims of election meddling

05 October, 2018, 08:41 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Chinese shipping containers seen at the Port of Long Beach Los Angeles on Sept 29 2018

Vice President Mike Pence launched a broad attack against Beijing Thursday, accusing China of "predatory" economic practices, military aggression against the United States and of trying to undermine President Donald Trump and harm his chances of winning re-election.

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech Thursday, bluntly accused China of "meddling in America's democracy" to an extent that far surpasses Russian Federation, though he provided little detailed evidence to back up his claim.

Neither Mr Trump nor Mr Pence provided hard evidence of Chinese meddling.

Pence's speech at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington marked a sharpened USA approach toward China that goes beyond the bitter trade war between the world´s two biggest economies and includes disputes such as cyber activities, Taiwan and freedom of the seas.

China's ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai, in an interview with National Public Radio aired shortly before Pence's address, said there was a "much larger need for cooperation" than competition with Washington.

"The U.S. side has sent warships into waters near China's islands and reefs in South China Sea time and again, which has posed a grave threat to China's sovereignty and security, severely damaged the relations between the two militaries, and significantly undermined regional peace and stability", the Ministry of Defence said in response to the latest clash.

According to Pence, the USA intelligence community says China is "targeting US state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy".

"From its continued hacking of our defense secrets to its focus on collecting vast repositories of personal and personality-identifying information to better enable espionage activities, China exploits our transparency and open society", Coats said.

After Trump's accusations directed at China last week, Wang Yi, China's Minister of Foreign Affairs, rejected the charge directly while in NY for the United Nation's General Assembly.

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.

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

Last month, a United Nations rights panel said it had received credible reports that up to one million ethnic Uighurs may be held in extra-legal detention in Xinjiang and U.S. officials have warned of sanctions against China for human rights abuses.

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

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.

He condemns a Chinese ship passing this week within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur, calling it "reckless harassment".

Mr Pence also joined other U.S. officials in denouncing Beijing's crackdown on minority Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.


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