China says Pence's allegations of meddling created 'out of thin air'

Pence accuses Beijing of meddling in US elections: ‘China wants a different American president’

China says Pence's allegations of meddling created 'out of thin air'

Pence's speech comes a week after Trump accused China during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council of interfering in American elections to help his Democratic rivals.

'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.

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.

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

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 favour.

"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.

But his statements on the November US elections were at the forefront of his speech.

Casting aside Pence's criticism of China's allegedly malicious influence across the globe, Beijing emphasized it views itself as one of the guarantors of "world peace" and a "defender of worldwide order". The two countries have imposed increasingly severe tariffs on each other.

A Chinese Luyang-class destroyer sailed within 41 metres of the USS Decatur in the South China Sea on Sunday

He also urged Google (GOOGL.O) 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 comment, except to reiterate that its China search engine project was "exploratory" and not close to launch.

The vice president cited USA intelligence agencies but offered no evidence to back up his claims, which are likely to inflame relations between Washington and Beijing, already at their lowest point in years thanks to the burgeoning trade war, policy differences and U.S. allegations of political interference. Apple Inc AAPL.O and Amazon AMZN.O denied the report.

He accused China of "reckless harassment" because of an incident on Sunday in which a Chinese naval vessel almost collided with a US destroyer, the Decatur, near the Spratly islands.

He was to accuse Beijing of convincing three Latin American nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize China.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the Trump administration banned government employees from buying tech from Chinese tech firms, Huawei and ZTE. "We will not stand down".

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. China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province. US officials have said they are considering targeted sanctions over alleged human rights abuses.

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