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War of the Titans: Tensions between China and the United States increase

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  • Thu, 10/04/2018 - 15:23
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The American vice president, Mike Pence, insisted today that Beijing is trying to interfere in the legislative elections next month, and declared that "what the Russians are doing pales in comparison" with the Chinese intervention in the political system of the North American country.

"President (Donald) Trump's leadership is working, and China wants another US president," Pence said in a speech at the Hudson Institute.

Pence accused China of focusing its tariffs on "the industries and states that will play an important role" in the November legislative elections, and of trying to "make voters" of Trump "turn against" his administration.

Both countries have maintained a trade war since July, when Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese imports from the technology sector and Beijing responded with similar measures that mainly affect agricultural goods such as soybeans, which are grown in rural states that voted for Trump in 2016 for the most part.

"China has mobilized actors and undercover groups and propaganda media to change the perception of Americans about Chinese policies," as a senior official of our intelligence agencies recently told me, what Russians are doing pales in comparison to what they are doing in China," he said.

"But our message to the leaders of China is this: this president will not stop, and the American people will not be influenced, we will continue to defend our security and economy," he said.

Last week, Trump accused China of manipulating the legislative elections on November 6, because, he said, "they do not want" the Republicans to maintain control of Congress. Pence accused China of focusing its tariffs on "the industries andstates that will play an important role" in the November legislative elections, and of trying to "make voters" of Trump "turn against" his administration.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi denied that Beijing had interfered with the political system and dismissed the accusation as "unjustified".

Trump did not provide evidence last week to prove his accusation, beyond citing an advertisement in an Iowa newspaper that blamed the US president for Chinese tariffs on agricultural products.

Pence went further by claiming that "senior Chinese officials have tried to influence business leaders to condemn" Trump's trade war, but he did not provide proof of that either.

Mike Pence also accused China of providing a "lifeline" to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, with the credits granted to Venezuela in exchange for oil, and condemned that Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador have broken ties with Taiwan, creating a situation of tension between these countries and the American giant.

"Beijing has provided a lifeline to the corrupt and incompetent Maduro regime in Venezuela, promising $ 5 billion in questionable loans that can be paid for with oil," Pence said in a speech on China at the Hudson Institute.

China is, since the last decade, one of the most important commercial partners of Venezuela, a country that pays a large part of the credits and imports with oil, an energy source of which the South American
country has the largest reserves on the planet.

The US vice president warned that this system is "charging the Venezuelan people with more than 50,000 million dollars of debt," and warned that China "uses the so-called 'debt diplomacy' to increase its influence."

"It offers hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa, through Europe and even Latin America, but the terms of those credits are opaque, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly towards Beijing," he warned.

Pence also lamented that the Chinese Communist Party has "convinced three Latin American countries" - in reference to Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador - to "break ties with Taipei and recognize Beijing."

"These measures threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait, and the United States condemns them," he added.

"Although our Government will continue to respect our one-China policy (...), the United States will always believe that the embrace of democracy in Taiwan shows a better path for all the Chinese people,"  said Pence.

The "one China" policy, which Beijing imposes as the basis of its ties with any country, means that the only Chinese government that Washington should recognize is the Beijing-based one, which distances it from Taiwan's independence aspirations.

President Donald Trump questioned his respect for that policy shortly before coming to power in December 2016, when he spoke by phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the highest level contact between Washington and Taipei in almost 40 years.

However, Trump pledged to respect the "one China" policy in February 2017, which allowed him to channel his relations with the Chinese Government, which, however, could be annoyed by Pence's words in support of the "democratic" model "in Taiwan.

 

Source: EFE

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