One day after US Vice President Mike Pence all but declared China to be the US's new "enemy No. 1", a status previously enjoyed by Russia and its president, during a speech at the Hudson Institute that outlined allegations of Chinese election-hacking, while blasting President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party for illegally asserting territorial dominance over the South China Sea and Taiwan (while at the same time promising that the US will impose its military will across the Indo-Pacific), the Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued a statement warning the US to stop "fanning fires" and "escalating tensions" between the world's two largest economies, claiming that the US has no right to "irresponsibly" question the One China Policy that has long labeled Taiwan as an inalienable part of China, according to Bloomberg.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
The ministry insisted that building necessary defense facilities has nothing to do with militarization, that China attaches "high importance" to safeguarding human rights and that "all ethnic groups have freedom of religion" - a claim that runs contrary to the deluge of reporting by US media outlets regarding China's repression of its ethnic Uyghur minority. Instead of lobbing accusations at China, the US should "focus on its own domestic human rights issues instead of interfering with China's internal affairs."
Pence sought to expand on President Trump accusations, made before the UN Security Council last week, that China had been trying to undermine Republicans by interfering in US elections. While neither Trump nor Pence cited any evidence to justify their claims, Pence said China's election-hacking efforts were "sophisticated" and vowed to expose Beijing’s "malign influence and interference."
Here's more on Pence's speech from Reuters:
Pence said Beijing, with an eye not only to the congressional elections but also to Trump’s 2020 re-election bid, had "mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies" and was targeting its tariffs to hurt states where Trump has strong support.
"China wants a different American president," Pence said.
Shortly before Pence took the stag (but hours after excerpts of his expected remarks had been released) Bloomberg Businessweek published an explosive report on a top-secret multiyear US investigation into China's successful infiltration of hardware used by 30 US companies - including Apple and Amazon - and the US intelligence and defense industries.
China and the US have blamed one another for the cancellation of a planned security conference that was expected to involve high ranking officials from both countries. And with the US still planning to expand its tariffs to cover virtually all the Chinese goods flowing into the US market, and China recently partaking in a massive joint military exercise with Russia, the deterioration in the relationship between the US and China has been nothing short of alarming.