In a blatant attempt to invert the script on election "meddling" and interference, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused the Chinese government of seeking to undermine US democracy and charged, without evidence, that Beijing is acting malevolently because "China wants a different American president".
"And while our administration will continue to respect our "one China" policy, as reflected in the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, let me also say that Taiwan's embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people", Pence was to say. "China is just very different and very hard".
China angrily denounced on Friday renewed United States allegations that it was interfering in upcoming American midterm elections.
"The U.S.is going to get all its partners to gang up on China, but it's clear that Canada did this because there was a gun to its head", said Mary Lovely, an economics professor at Syracuse University who studies trade issues. As evidence, he pointed to a recent advertisement that a Chinese state media outlet placed in the Des Moines Register, an Iowa newspaper. The new U.S. -Mexico-Canada agreement would sunset Class 7 and open wider Canada's need for milk products to American businesses. This posed an acute dilemma for the administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, given that NAFTA underpins three-quarters of the exports Canada sends south of its U.S. border and 2.5 million jobs in the country depend on this trade. Beijing, of course, has been open about its opposition to new tariffs imposed by Trump and has made no mystery about its strategy of letting US farming communities and other industries understand that its economic retaliation would be targeted at Trump's political base.
But most of all, he portrayed China as a growing threat to the US, even on a military front.
The Trump administration is embroiled in a trade war with China and has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, prompting retaliation from Beijing. In September past year, in the middle of playing host to American trade negotiators to revive Nafta/USMCA, he flew to Xiamen to attend the 9th summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations. And now he's effectively siding with the US against the Asian powerhouse.
Trump Says It's a 'Very Scary Time' in America-For Men
Kavanaugh, whose Senate confirmation has been thrown into doubt by the accusations, has denied the claims by all three women. Chris Dudley and Dan Murphy said they had never seen the nominee black out at college or behave inappropriately with women.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded to Trump's comments at the meeting, saying that China follows a principle of non-interference in other countries domestic affairs.
Pence spoke days after Trump himself accused China of attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.
Washington has long cited China as a major culprit in the hacking of USA government and corporate databases.
Even so, Pence said: "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". Canada has successfully used Chapter 19 to challenge the United States on its softwood lumber restrictions. He condemns a Chinese ship passing this week within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur, calling it "reckless harassment".
Pence described the encounter in which a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards (41 meters) of the USS Decatur as "reckless harassment", and repeated a USA refrain: that the United States Navy "will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows and our national interests demand".