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Pence: China is meddling in mid-term elections

Vice President Mike Pence accused the Chinese government of meddling through an aggressive military, economic and political campaign to expand its influence inside the United States.

In a speech at the Hudson Institute, Pence said China has used covert actors, front groups, and propaganda in an attempt to sway US public opinion.

“To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working, and China wants a different American president,” Pence said. “As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.”

Going beyond the mid-terms and other efforts, Pence accused China of directly undermining President Donald Trump after the administration has talked tough and taken action against specific Chinese trade, economic, and foreign policies.

“Our intelligence community says China is targeting US state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing political influence,” said Pence.

President Trump signed an executive order in September authorizing sanctions against Chinese hackers involved in election interference.

Since then, the vice president says China has targeted more than 80 percent of the counties here in the United States won by Trump in 2016 election.

Pence gave the example of an advertising supplement that China ran in the The Des Moines Register, which he said “cast our trade policies as reckless and harmful to Iowans.”

The vice president also warned American businesses to be vigilant against Chinese efforts to leverage access to their markets and technology.

Specifically, Pence took aim at Google, wanting the tech company to stop a software project saying it would accelerate censorship efforts in China.

“Google should immediately end development of the Dragonfly app. That will strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” said Pence.

While Google maintains it is “not close to launching a search product in China,” it’s been reported several employees have resigned over the issue.

The vice president also brought up the increased aggression by China’s navy in the South China Sea.

Just last week, a Chinese navy vessel came within 45 yards of a US warship on a routine mission.

Pence ended his speech stating America will not be intimidated and we will not stand down.

He also called on all Americans to pray for the relationship between China and America.