Saturday, 20 October, 2018

VP Mike Pence LASHES OUT: China 'Wants A Different American President'

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Thursday at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press Vice President Mike Pence spoke Thursday at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C
Nellie Chapman | 05 October, 2018, 20:42

While China does maintain global efforts to influence overseas Chinese and has been accused of several high-profile cyber raids on American computer systems, there has so far been no public evidence of the sort of influence operations the US has said Russian Federation carried out in 2016.

"As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me: What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country", Pence was to say.

Such paid supplements by foreign governments are commonplace in USA newspapers, but Pence complained that the United States was not allowed to print similar advertisements in China's state-controlled press.

The vice president also brought up the increased aggression by China's navy in the South China Sea. He said Beijing was employing a "whole-of-government approach" to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the USA, and accused China of meddling in America's democracy. 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.

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

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 U.S. officials had to make a quick detour to avoid collision.

The Trump administration is walking a fine line with China; they need the world power's support to enforce anti-nuclear proliferation agreements made with with North Korea, but they also need to talk a tough game on trade and defense.

Pence spoke days after Trump himself accused China of attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.

In his prepared remarks, Pence quotes an assessment from the US intelligence community that "China is targeting USA, state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy".

Google used to have a presence in China, but the company pulled out of the country after clashing with Beijing over an uncensored version of its search engine that Google ran out of Hong Kong. "For example, Google should immediately end development of the "Dragonfly" app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers".

"We will not be intimidated".

"Going into elections, Trump has got to look like a strong leader and it helps to have an enemy overseas - this is a truism of worldwide relations, " said Rosita Dellios, an associate global relations professor at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia.

Chris Johnson, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and China expert now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, said Pence's speech appeared aimed at building a narrative that a vote for the Democrats would be vote for China.

Pence also protests Beijing's construction of military fortresses in the South China Sea as well as Chinese efforts to intercept American ships carrying out naval exercises created to contest China's territorial expansion.

He condemns a Chinese ship passing this week within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur, calling it "reckless harassment". China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.