69°F
weather icon Clear

Pence lambastes China, alleging interference in US elections

Updated October 4, 2018 - 4:28 pm

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence delivered a blistering attack on China Thursday, elaborating on President Donald Trump’s charge last week that Beijing is trying to influence the U.S. midterm elections.

“To put it bluntly,” Pence told a small crowd at the conservative Hudson Institute, “President Trump’s leadership is working; China wants a different American president.”

Pence said that an unnamed senior member of the intelligence community told him “what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.”

The vice president also accused China of using technology to turn “plowshares into swords on a massive scale.”

To applause, Pence urged American business leaders to “think twice before diving into the Chinese market.” Pence specifically called on Google to “immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers.”

The Google press team responded, “We’ve been investing for many years to help Chinese users, from developing Android, through mobile apps such as Google Translate and Files Go, and our developer tools. But our work on search has been exploratory, and we are not close to launching a search product in China.”

Pence’s speech was intended to fill in blanks left by the president’s remarks to the U.N. Security Council last week.

“Regrettably, we found that China is trying to interfere with our 2018 election,” Trump said. “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade.”

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded to Trump’s salvo that his country does not “and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any country, and we don’t accept any groundless accusations made against China.”

In his speech, Pence returned to the only example mentioned by Trump — a four-page supplement in the Des Moines Register on the cost of U.S. tariffs to soybean and other farmers that was written by China Daily.

“The supplement, designed to look like news articles, cast our trade policies as reckless and harmful to Iowans,” Pence said.

On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Washington Post cybersecurity forum, “We currently have no indication that a foreign adversary intends to disrupt our election infrastructure.” Rather than Russian cyber-games, Nielsen explained, she sees “a more holistic approach to influence the American public in favor of China.”

Contrary to Nielsen’s take, Pence did offer one example of a Chinese cyber-attack – on the host think tank he was addressing.

“After you offered to host a speaker Beijing didn’t like, your website suffered a major cyberattack, originating from Shanghai,” Pence told the group. “The Hudson Institute knows better than most that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to undermine academic freedom and the freedom of speech in America today.”

In August, however, Hudson President Kenneth Weinstein wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he credited Russian hacker “Fancy Bear” for the attack.

Mike Pillsbury of Hudson’s Center for Chinese Strategy described Pence’s 40-minute speech as “a checklist of the things the administration is concerned about with China.”

Brookings Institution China expert Ryan Hass described the speech as an attempt to shift public scrutiny away from Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Hass wrote for Brookings that Pence was sending “a stark warning to American companies, urging them not to abet Beijing’s oppression.”

Former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said of China, “I have no doubt that they are fooling around. Why not? The Russians were so successful I think everyone would want to get in the game.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.
Clark County commissioner calls on landlords to bring properties up to code
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom has called on landlords in older parts of the valley to bring their properties up to code and keep them well-maintained or face the prospect of inspections, fines and citations. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Harry Reid speaks out against anti-Semitism
Unnerved by the rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and the general pervasiveness of bigotry, including in Nevada, former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid organized an educational forum at UNLV on Thursday as part of his call to unite people against it. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and updated on Israeli relations. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump says border wall will have 'hundreds of miles' built by end of next year
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and discussed the progress of the border wall and the current relations there. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Protesters disrupt Trump's speech
Just as President Donald Trump started to make his opening remarks during his appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting, protesters disrupted his speech. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roerink On The Problems With Taking Water From Eastern Nevada - Video
The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to take billions of gallons of water that doesn’t exist from Eastern Nevada via a pipeline that would cost ratepayers $15 billion. Doing so would devastate the wildlife and people who live there. That’s according to Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, which opposes the pipeline.
Las Vegas Election Night Wrap-Up
The Review-Journal's Politics and Government Editor, Steve Sebelius, wraps up election night. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Olivia Diaz Speaks To Ward 3 Supporters After Primary Election - Video
Olivia Diaz speaks to her supporters at a election party after results started coming in for the Ward 3 primaries.
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (edited)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife, Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (Full)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Gun Debate Shows Limits Of Government - Video
On Monday, the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on Assembly Bill 291. It would ban bump stocks and allow local governments to pass additional restrictions on firearms.
Lucy Flores speaks out about Biden incident
Former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, expresses her feelings about an incident with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Harry Reid takes the stand in injury lawsuit
Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took the stand on Thursday in the product liability lawsuit brought against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
Jurors hear opening statements in Reid personal injury trial
Opening statements were made on Tuesday in the product liability lawsuit brought by Harry Reid against against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
Mayor Goodman delivers Meals on Wheels
Mayor Carolyn Goodman delivers Meals on Wheels to seniors on March 26, 2019.
Las Vegas City Council Ward 1 race
Candidates for Las Vegas City Council Ward 1. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Bernie Sanders to unveil bill to cancel all student loan debt

Days before the first Democratic presidential debates, Sen. Bernie Sanders and House progressives are unveiling legislation canceling all student debt, going further than a signature proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the two jockey for support from the party’s liberal base.

South Bend residents confront Buttigieg after fatal police shooting

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg faced criticism Sunday from angry residents of South Bend, Indiana, at an emotional town hall meeting a week after a white police officer fatally shot a black man in the city where he is mayor.

‘Dreamers’ should immediately be made citizens, Biden says

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is calling for Congress to grant citizenship immediately to more than 800,000 U.S. residents who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Pompeo meets Saudi king, crown prince to discuss Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Saudi King Salman and separately with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the escalated crisis in the Persian Gulf.

Trump places Saudi arms sales above Khashoggi death inquiry

“Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of (American) product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs,” the president told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

US unveils $50B Palestinian economic plan amid doubts

The scheme, which calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website.

Dems’ presidential field takes spotlight in South Carolina

Almost the entire sprawling Democratic presidential field of more than 20 candidates took the same stage Friday in the South’s first primary state.