Pence accuses China of 'malign' campaign to undermine Trump

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Additionally, Pence warned of the influence by Chinese media outlets, warning that China Radio broadcasts in American cities, while China Global Television Network reached more than 75 million Americans.

"We urge the US to correct its wrongdoing, stop groundlessly accusing and slandering China and harming China's interests and China-US ties", foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

Analysts with the Eurasia Group consultancy noted the allegations of Chinese meddling are largely unsubstantiated and could allow Trump to distract from the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Pence's sharply worded address comes days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to visit China on a trip focused on nuclear diplomacy with North Korea - an area in which the United States still seeks Beijing's cooperation. He provided the same example previously tweeted by the president - a four-page, paid advertisement critical of Mr. Trump's trade policies that appeared in the Des Moines Register.

Pence accused the Chinese of suppressing its citizens at home with the creation of "an unparalleled surveillance state", of brutally repressing religious minorities and of oppressing countries overseas through loan programs that favor Beijing and leave those nations beholden to China.

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The vice president cited United States 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.

"This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air".

Trump signed an executive order in September authorizing sanctions against those found to be involved in election interference, but US officials have said repeatedly they have not seen almost the same level of activity by Russian Federation and others in the midterms as in 2016.

"Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election", Trump said.

Mr Pence accused China of using its economic power to bully smaller countries and said it had threatened the stability of the Taiwan Strait by pressuring three Latin American countries to sever ties with Taiwan and recognise Beijing. The Vice President also challenged Beijing's vision for the Chinese people's future, noting that Taiwan's "embrace of democracy" shows a "better path" for the entire Asian nation.

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Pence also accused China of "reckless harassment" because of an incident on Sunday in which a USA destroyer, the Decatur, traveled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea.

"Much of what we know remains classified", Bolton said.

"Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows and our national interests demand", Pence explained.

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