Mike Pence using ‘hearsay evidence’, China says on US election ‘meddling’
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Mike Pence using ‘hearsay evidence’, China says on US election ‘meddling’

THE CHINESE government has vehemently rejected US Vice President Mike Pence’s claim that Beijing was interfering in America’s mid-term elections, calling the leader’s claims “unwarranted” and “ridiculous”.

The denial came in wake of a speech Pence made on Thursday in which he touched on China’s alleged military aggression, commercial theft and rising human rights violations, antagonising the Asian power as meddling in the upcoming US elections.

“The relevant speech made unwarranted accusations against China’s domestic and foreign policies and slandered China by claiming that China meddles in US internal affairs and election,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement, as quoted by the AFP.

“This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it,” she said.

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Expanding on complaints aired by President Donald Trump at the United Nations last week, Pence accused China of waging an “unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion” ahead of critical congressional elections on Nov 6, and wanting “a different American president.”

“And when it comes to influencing the midterms, you need only look at Beijing’s tariffs in response to ours. The tariffs imposed by China to date specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election,” Pence said during the speech.

“By one estimate, more than 80 percent of US counties targeted by China voted for President Trump and I in 2016; now China wants to turn these voters against our administration.”


Flags of US and China are placed for a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing, China, June 30, 2017. Source: Reuters/Jason Lee/File Photo

Pence claimed last week, the Chinese government paid to have a multipage supplement inserted into the Des Moines Register –- the paper of record of the home state of our Ambassador to China, and a pivotal state in 2018 and 2020.

“The supplement, designed to look like the news articles, cast our trade policies as reckless and harmful to Iowans.”

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Relations between the world’s two largest economies have plummeted in recent weeks with Trump placing US$250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, in part over charges that Beijing forces US companies to hand over technological know-how.

“It is very ridiculous for the US side to stigmatise its normal exchanges and cooperation with China as China interfering in its internal affairs and elections,” Hua said.

“China always follows the principle of non-interference in others’ internal affairs and we have no interest in meddling in US internal affairs and elections,” she said.

“We urge the US to correct its wrongdoing, stop groundlessly accusing and slandering China and harming China’s interests and China-US ties.”