China slams 'ridiculous' US Vice President Pence's election meddling charges
China slams 'ridiculous' US Vice President Pence's election meddling charges
05 October, 2018, 08:44
Vice President Mike Pence launched a broad attack against Beijing Thursday, accusing China of "predatory" economic practices, military aggression against the USA and of trying to undermine President Donald Trump and harm his chances of winning re-election.
Neither Mr Trump nor Mr Pence provided hard evidence of Chinese meddling.
Mike Pence was "speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air", the Foreign Ministry said Friday, condemning the speech by the U.S. second in command at the Hudson Institute on Thursday.
Pence also accused Beijing of showing its "aggression" when a Chinese navy vessel recently sailed in the dispute-ridden South China Sea near the USS Decatur destroyer, which according to United States officials had to make a quick detour to avoid collision.
China called US accusation of interference in its elections "extremely ridiculous", and defended its foreign policy record in response to a lengthy criticism by US Vice-President Mike Pence.
"China has no interest in interfering in USA internal politics and elections", she said.
In his prepared remarks, Pence quotes an assessment from the USA intelligence community that "China is targeting US, state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy".
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.
Mr Trump has justified his tough trade policy against Beijing with accusations that China steals U.S. intellectual property and limits access to its own market.
Pence said Chinese security agencies had masterminded the "wholesale theft of American technology", including military blueprints, and warned Washington would continue to take action. "For example, Google should immediately end development of the "Dragonfly" app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers".
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.
"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. We will not stand down'.
Pence accused China of using its economic power to bully smaller countries and said it had threatened the stability of the Taiwan Strait by pressuring three Latin American countries to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize Beijing.
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.
The speech, which will likely strain relations further, came days after a Chinese military vessel almost collided with a US Navy ship in the waters around the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.
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