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Posted: Oct 6, 2018 4:08 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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