Washington - Vice-President Mike Pence laid out allegations of Chinese election interference in a harshly worded speech on Thursday, signalling a firmer US pushback against Beijing as trade anxiety weighs on the looming midterm congressional elections. Pence accused China of taking "a whole-of-government approach" to sway US public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign. The speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington contained some of the most critical remarks about China by such a high-ranking US official in recent memory.

"There can be no doubt, China is meddling in America’s democracy. Beijing has mobilised covert actors, front groups and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policy. 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," said Pence. Pence’s speech is the latest sign of a deterioratio...

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