Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Pence to address China in Hudson Institute speech

Pence to address China in Hudson Institute speech

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.

"China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections", Pence said in a speech at the conservative Hudson Institute.

A trio of Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee has written a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting "additional information" about President Trump's accusation, made last week at the United Nations General Assembly in NY, that China has been "attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election".

Pence followed that up, saying intelligence assessments found that China is targeting US state and local governments as well as officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy.

Pence on Thursday said "there is a new consensus on China rising across America", where more business leaders are "thinking twice before diving into the Chinese market if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing's oppression".

"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.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers a speech at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2018.

Pence called on one firm in particular to stop cooperating with China.

A Chinese Luyang-class destroyer sailed within 41 metres of the USS Decatur in the South China Sea on Sunday
Pence to address China in Hudson Institute speech

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 also urged Google to end development of its "Dragonfly" app that would make it easier to track internet searches and thus strengthen the Chinese Communist Party's censorship efforts.

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

Bloomberg Businessweek cited 17 unnamed intelligence and company sources as saying that Chinese spies had placed computer chips inside equipment used by about 30 companies, as well as multiple United States government agencies, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.

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.

She said China was a "builder of world peace" with no interest in meddling in U.S. elections. "We will not be intimidated; we will not stand down", he says.

"China's aggression was on display this week", he said, referring to a unsafe encounter between the People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer Lanzhou and the United States destroyer USS Decatur in the hotly-contested South China Sea Sunday.

"Beijing is pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President", Pence said. China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.

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