Update: Highlights from Pence’s speech (via Bloomberg):
*PENCE SAYS TRUMP HAS MADE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA `A PRIORITY’
*PENCE: CHINA USING WHOLE-OF-GOVT APPROACH TO INFLUENCE U.S.
*PENCE: HOPE THAT FREEDOM IN CHINA WOULD EXPAND WENT UNFULFILLED
*PENCE: CHINA USING STOLEN TECH TO TURN PLOWSHARES INTO SWORDS
*PENCE: CHINA POLICY HAS USED CURRENCY MANIPULATION, IP THEFT
*PENCE: CHINA USES `DEBT DIPLOMACY’ TO EXPAND ITS INFLUENCE
*PENCE: CHINA EXTENDED LIFELINE TO `CORRUPT’ MADURO REGIME
*PENCE SAYS CHINA IS MEDDLING IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
*PENCE SAYS WHAT RUSSIANS DOING `PALES’ IN COMPARISON TO CHINA
*PENCE: U.S. WILL ASSERT AMERICAN INTERESTS ACROSS INDO-PACIFIC
*PENCE CALLS FOR GOOGLE TO END DRAGONFLY APP DEVELOPMENT
So that confirms it – China is the new enemy number 1. Xi is the new Putin!
* * *
The White House is about to ratchet up tensions possibly far beyond what they already are amidst the ongoing US trade war with China.
At 11 a.m. eastern time Vice President Mike Pence will deliver at address at the neoconservative Hudson Institute where he’s expected to call China out on a number of explosive issues around the globe where Beijing’s increasingly aggressive actions are seen as a threat to the US, but will especially focus on the Sunday incident involving the USS Decatur which was dangerously intercepted by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea.
The Chinese ship reportedly came within a mere 45 yards of the American warship in international waters; however, it’s but the latest in a string of such threatening incidents intended by Beijing to lay claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea on the basis of its man-made island chains.
According to Reuters, which has previewed the speech, Pence will say Beijing’s actions were dangerously provocative toward the USS Decatur “as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision.”
“Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated. We will not stand down,” Pence will say.
Pence is also expected to address the issue of the Chinese Communist Party of recently convincing three Latin American nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize China.
Pence will address the issue in the following: “These actions threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait – and the United States of America condemns them. And while our administration will continue to respect our One China Policy, as reflected in the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, let me also say that Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people,” he will say.
Meanwhile President Trump signaled recently the he hopes to cool tensions by calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a friend even after he hit china with tariffs on $200 billion in goods. However, at a news conference last week in New York Trump said, “Maybe he’s not any more, I’ll be honest with you.” During a UN General Assembly meeting Trump had shocked diplomats and heads of state by leveling the charge of election meddling in November’s mid-term elections, a charge which Beijing rejected.