US Vice President Mike Pence launched a broad attack against China, accusing the country of "predatory" economic practices, military aggression against Washington and of trying to undermine President Donald Trump and harm his chances of getting re-elected.
Citing Trump’s move to levy tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and threatening to "levy even more", Pence said, "the American people deserve to know that, in response to the strong stand that President Trump has taken, Beijing is pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President".
"To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working. China wants a different American President," CNN quoted Pence as saying.
The Vice President cited US intelligence agencies but offered no evidence to back up his claims.
Pence also 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 abroad through loan programmes that favour Beijing and leave those nations beholden to China.
He said that Chinese security agencies have masterminded "the wholesale theft of American technology".
Pence added that Beijing works to steal US intellectual property, leading to a "new consensus" among US businesses about investing there.
He especially called out to Google to stop cooperating with China, CNN reported.
Google, Pence said, "should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers".
The Vice President while accusing China of military aggression, said that "Beijing was using its power like never before".
"Chinese ships routinely patrol around the Senkaku Islands (in South China Sea), which are administered by Japan."
He said that China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined, and is prioritising capabilities to erode US military advantages "on land, at sea, in the air, and in space".
Pence’s speech comes a week after Trump stood in front of world leaders at the UN and accused Beijing of meddling in US politics.>