Beijing: China on Friday refuted the charges of meddling American elections by terming them as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unwarranted’, a report claimed. The development came a day after the White House alleged China on mounting ‘an unprecedented effort to not only meddle American elections, but also shape the public opinion of the country, which makes pale the efforts of other countries through lobbying’. Also Read - Joe Biden Administration 'Undecided' On Ending Trump-Era H-1B Visa Ban
Earlier on Thursday, US Vice President Mike Pence launched a scathing attack on China, accusing the country of using ‘predatory’ economic practices and military aggression against the US and trying to cripple President Donald Trump’s chances of winning re-election. His onslaught comes in the wake of a near collision between a Chinese military ship and a US Navy ship near the disputed area of the Spratly Islands in South China Sea. Also Read - This 10-Second Video Clip Has Been Sold For a Whopping Rs 48.4 Crore, What's Special About It?
“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,” he said. Also Read - Chinese Cyberattack Behind Mumbai's Last Year Power Outage, Report Claims
The Vice President supported his claims by citing data from US Intelligence agencies, although, he did not provide any proof for the same. “To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working. China wants a different American President,” Pence said.
He also accused China of subduing its citizens via “an unparalleled surveillance state,” adding that they oppress religious minorities and overwhelm other countries with loans that are in favour of China.
Pence further alleged that Chinese security agencies have mastered “the wholesale theft of American technology” and that the country’s efforts are focused on stealing US intellectual property.
He also called on Google to “immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers.”
“Worst of all, China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections,” the Vice President added.
He also mentioned the incident, wherein the Chinese ship came within 41 meters of the US ship – USS Decatur – as a case of “reckless harassment,” adding that the US Navy “will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated; we will not stand down.”
A spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry had earlier defended the step by saying that the US was posing a threat to China’s sovereignty by sending battleships to the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
(Inputs from Agencies)