Vice President Pence accuses China of meddling in U.S.

Chinese shipping containers seen at the Port of Long Beach Los Angeles on Sept 29 2018

'We will not stand down,' VP Pence warns China

Pence made a wide range of allegations on Thursday, accusing China of making an "unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion" in both the upcoming 2018 congressional, and 2020 presidential elections, citing tariffs targeting states that voted for Donald Trump, and an advertisement criticising the US President's trade war run by state-media in a US newspaper.

Washington has long identified China as a major culprit in the cyber hacking of US government and corporate databases but USA officials and independent analysts say they have not detected the kind of systematic manipulation of social media and hacking of emails that Russian Federation is alleged to have engaged in during the 2016 election, which Trump won.

US intelligence agencies assess that Russian Federation interfered in 2016 to boost Trump over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton through hacking and releasing sensitive documents and social media manipulation. "We will not stand down". A recent intelligence report said China uses joint ventures to try to acquire technical know-how, seeks partnerships with US government labs to learn about specific technology and information about running such facilities, and uses front companies to hide the hand of the Chinese government and acquire technology under USA export controls.

Neither Mr Trump nor Mr Pence provided hard evidence of Chinese meddling.

China hit back furiously on Friday, branding Pence's accusation "ridiculous".

Noting that the Trump administration is now taking a more assertive stance towards China, Pence slammed Beijing's policies on everything from trade to maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

The president told the United Nations that China was retaliating against his administration for the trade practices it had employed.

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 global order".

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Pence also said more US companies should think twice before entering the Chinese market if it means turning over their intellectual property. But Pence said that a senior member of the intelligence community recently told him that "what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country".

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.

He was to say that a Chinese naval vessel came within 41m of the USS Decatur "as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision".

He said Beijing was employing a "whole-of-government approach" to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States, and accused China of meddling in America's democracy.

Taiwan has been ruled by the Republic of China government since 1945, after Japan - which had occupied Taiwan for 50 years - was defeated in the Second World War.

Pence also denounced Beijing's crackdown on minority Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

National security adviser John Bolton said much of what the US knows about Chinese activities in the United States remains classified.

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