Vice President Mike Pence sharply criticized Chinese interference in U.S. politics and increasing military aggression Thursday, leveling up a blistering rhetorical assault at a moment when Washington and Beijing are hardening the battle lines after months tension over tariffs and trade.
The U.S. “will not be intimidated” and “will not stand down,” Mr. Pence told a conservative think tank in Washington, expanding on President Trump’s recent charges of Chinese meddling by insisting that Beijing “is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy.”
“Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perceptions of Chinese policies,” said the vice president, citing “a senior career member of our intelligence community.” “What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.”
Mr. Trump raised the issue at the U.N. General Assembly in New York a week ago, accusing Beijing of attempting to subvert the U.S. election process to hurt him and fellow Republicans in the upcoming midterms. Chinese officials firmly deny the allegation.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry last week accused the Trump administration of engaging in “slandering” through “unwarranted accusations” of U.S. election meddling. (Read more from “Pence Warns China on Election Interference” HERE)