Monday, 15 October, 2018

China slams 'ridiculous' United States election meddling charges, East Asia News & Top Stories

Mike Pence Modal Trigger Getty Images
Orlando Vargas | 05 October, 2018, 15:57

Vice President Mike Pence escalated Washington's pressure campaign against Beijing on Thursday by accusing China of using a range of tools to interfere in American politics ahead of next month's USA congressional elections.

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.

'China is meddling in America's democracy, ' Pence said, calling it a 'a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the president, our agenda and our nation´s most cherished ideals.

The administration's offensive on China comes as a cloud hangs over Trump with an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russian Federation to swing the 2016 presidential election in the Republican real estate tycoon's favor.

"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.

Pence's speech served as a follow-up of sorts to Trump's charge before the U.N. Security Council last month that China was meddling in USA elections to help Democrats. The Ministry also slammed the accusations that China is somehow trying to meddle in USA internal affairs, noting that it has "no interest" in local American infighting.

Mr 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 recognise Beijing.

"What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country", he added.

"The global community has already seen very clearly in the end who is invading the sovereignty of other countries, interfering in their internal affairs, and damaging their interests".

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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.

"To that end, Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans' perception of Chinese policies", Pence said.

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.

It was Axios, in fact, which last month reported that the White House had "secret anti-China plans" that, based on administration sources, would be launched in the weeks ahead.

Whereas Pence accused China of "reckless harassment" by increasing its military presence in the South China Sea, he said the United States "will not be intimidated" and "will not stand down", even as a Chinese and American warships came within 50 yards of one another this week in those waters.

"The United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows and our national interests demand", he said.

He accuses China of threatening "to deny a business license for a major USA corporation if it refused to speak out against our administration's policies". "But be assured, we will not relent until our relationship with China is grounded in fairness, reciprocity, and respect for our sovereignty", he said.

Mr Pence also joined other United States officials in denouncing Beijing's crackdown on minority Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

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