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

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In a speech of his own last month, Coats also accused China of "unprecedented" cyber activities explicitly aimed at undermining USA interests, but he stopped short of accusing Beijing of engaging in election interference.

"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.

'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.

Washington blames China for hacking into United States government and corporate databases although officials and independent analysts have failed to detected the kind of systematic manipulation of social media and hacking of emails that Russian Federation is alleged to have engaged in before Mr Trump's shock election victory in 2016.

He cited a Chinese government-run media company's four-page supplement in the Sunday Des Moines Register of Iowa as an attempt to turn voters in that state against Trump's trade policies.

"China has no interest in interfering in U.S. internal politics and elections", she said. The Ministry also slammed the accusations that China is somehow trying to meddle in U.S. internal affairs, noting that it has "no interest" in local American infighting.

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

"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.

On a separate briefing call with reporters on Thursday about the administration's newly unveiled National Strategy for Counterterrorism, National Security Adviser John Bolton, responding to a question about China's actions, said he expected there would be "more on this subject in the weeks and months ahead".

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Citing intelligence, Pence said "China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy".

He accused China of waging a sophisticated influence campaign against Mr Trump's Republican Party in retaliation for his trade policies against Beijing.

"China wants a different American president", Pence said, adding that the "meddling" was meant to undermine support for Trump and his agenda.

"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.

Last week, President Donald Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in US politics. He condemns a Chinese ship passing this week within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur, calling it "reckless harassment".

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

'We will continue to take action until Beijing ends the theft of American intellectual property and stops the predatory practice of forced technology transfer, ' Pence said.

The PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

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