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Posted: Oct 6, 2018 4:23 AM
Updated: Oct 6, 2018 4:28 AM

China accused US Vice President Mike Pence of slandering the country with "baseless" allegations Friday, after he delivered a scathing speech in Washington claiming Beijing was trying to covertly influence US politics for its own political gain.

Pence launched his full-throated attack in a speech to the Hudson Institute, accusing China of everything from predatory economic practices to military aggression to advance Chinese interests at the expense of the current world order.

"Beijing is pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President," Pence said. The vice president cited US intelligence agencies but offered little evidence to back up his claims.

Beijing quickly responded in a statement Friday, accusing Pence of "malicious slander" and urging the US to "correct its wrongdoing."

"This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the statement.

"We are committed to joining hands with the US to work for non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation."

A senior official in the Trump administration official told reporters that Pence's speech reflects a US decision to take a more assertive approach in dealing with China that is more "constructive and results oriented."

The official said the re-evaluation came after China failed to respond as expected to the offer of greater political engagement by improving human rights and relaxing restrictions on markets and intellectual property.

The Trump administration is planning to release a report Friday that accuses China of seeking to undermine the US industrial base, and of posing a risk to the supply of materials and components for the US military.

Expanding China influence in the US

In his speech, Pence portrayed China as a country determined to use all the tools at its disposal, linking issues around military, trade and domestic politics, to counter current US policy.

"As we speak, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic, and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States," he said.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have soured precipitously in recent months in large part due to military tensions and a trade war between the two countries.

President Donald Trump has moved to levy tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, part of an effort to negotiate new trading terms between the world's two largest economies. China has enacted its own tariffs on US goods in response.

"We don't want China's markets to suffer. In fact, we want them to thrive. But the United States wants Beijing to pursue trade policies that are free, fair, and reciprocal," Pence said.

"Sadly, China's rulers have refused to take that path -- so far."

While Pence and President Donald Trump have been publicly critical of China, Pence's broadside Thursday was unprecedented in that he portrayed the United States and China as two countries locked in an inevitable direct competition with each other.

Analysts say that Chinese leaders have long feared that Washington policy in the Asia Pacific region was designed to box in China and contain its rise, and believe that Pence's speech is likely to fuel those concerns.

'A better path'

The vice president's speech also touched on the sensitive topic of Taiwan, which Beijing considers an integral part of its territory despite the island being self-governed for almost 70 years.

Under the "One China Policy," Washington officially recognized Beijing and removed its embassy from Taiwan, though it continues to regard the sovereignty status of the island as unresolved.

Pence said Thursday that "while our administration will continue to respect our One China Policy ... Taiwan's embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people."

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen responded to Pence's comments Friday by tweeting her thanks.

"I thank @VP @mike_pence for recognizing #Taiwan's democratization achievements & the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait. Working together with the #US, we look forward to the continued promotion of peace & stability in the region," she posted on Twitter.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604509

Reported Deaths: 7638
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249671779
Ramsey52513897
Dakota46840471
Anoka42774458
Washington27428291
Stearns22557225
St. Louis18138313
Scott17551136
Wright16379149
Olmsted13399102
Sherburne1202095
Carver1067448
Clay826192
Rice8202110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619952
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475581
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459763
Isanti440064
McLeod430661
Morrison424762
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347033
Pine334923
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163323
Fillmore157610
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122712
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371101

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58263640
Linn21221339
Scott20308248
Black Hawk16157312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13510211
Dallas1129199
Pottawattamie11228174
Story1071648
Warren583791
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517574
Webster515894
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486976
Des Moines467672
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268240
Benton259855
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198735
Page194522
Buchanan194033
Cedar192423
Hardin187544
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137233
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53311
Adams3444
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