In a blatant attempt to invert the script on election “meddling” and interference, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused the Chinese government of seeking to undermine U.S. democracy and charged, without evidence, that Beijing is acting malevolently because “China wants a different American president.”
Speaking at the right-wing Hudson Institute, Pence told the audience that “China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections.”
While Pence declared that behavior of Russia “pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country,” he only cited vague internal declarations by U.S. intelligence agencies and then pointed to an advertisement, purchased by the state-run China Daily newspaper, that was placed in the Des Moines Register that criticized the Trump administration’s trade war tactics. 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 U.S. farming communities and other industries understand that its economic retaliation would be targeted at Trump’s political base.
The relevance of Pence’s comment, reports Axios, was this:
After Trump’s accusations directed at China last week, Wang Yi, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, rejected the charge directly while in New York for the United Nation’s General Assembly. “We did not and will not interfere in any country’s domestic affairs,” said Wang. “We refuse to accept … unwarranted accusations against China.”
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