Pence Urges Google to Axe 'Dragonfly' Search Project for China

Mike Pence

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In a speech of his own last month, Coats also accused China of "unprecedented" cyber activities explicitly aimed at undermining US interests, but he stopped short of accusing Beijing of engaging in election interference. But U.S. officials and independent analysts say they have not detected the kind of systematic manipulation of social media and hacking of emails that Russian Federation is alleged to have engaged in during the 2016 election, which Trump won.

"They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade".

The latest incident in the South China Sea comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, and the situation could soon worsen, as the USA military is reportedly considering a proposal for a major show of force as a warning to the Chinese, which perceive American actions moves to contain Chinese power.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers a speech at the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2018. China's ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai - in an interview with National Public Radio aired shortly before Pence's address - said there was a "much larger need for cooperation" than competition with Washington. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, and Kamala Harris, D-California - does not probe a detail volunteered by Pence today - that a senior career intelligence official told him Russia's activities "pale in comparison" to China's efforts to interfere in American domestic affairs. The two countries have imposed increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other.

"Chinese security agencies have masterminded the wholesale theft of American technology, including cutting-edge military blueprints and using that stolen technology".

Google declined comment, except to reiterate that its China search engine project was "exploratory" and not close to launch.

Bloomberg Businessweek cited 17 unnamed intelligence and company sources as saying that Chinese spies had placed computer chips inside equipment used by about 30 companies, as well as multiple USA government agencies, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.

But Apple and Amazon denied the report.

Pence also slammed China's militarization of contested areas in the South and East China Sea, its practice of "debt diplomacy" in developing countries, and its efforts to convince other nations to sever ties with Taiwan.

The White House responded publicly Thursday to a heated confrontation between the Chinese navy and a United States destroyer in the South China Sea this past weekend.

Touching a particularly sensitive issue for China, Pence attacked Beijing for coaxing three more Latin American nations to switch recognition from Taiwan.

The Vice President said a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards of the Decatur "as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly manouevre to avoid collision". "We will not stand down". China considers the self-ruled island a wayward province.

Pence also denounced Beijing's crackdown on minority Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

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