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U SVice President Mike Pence is hitting airwaves today, claiming that China is undergoing a “malign” campaign to undermine US President Donald Trump ahead of the upcoming mid-term election. With the two countries already on the brink of a full-on trade war, enflaming headlines will only draw attention to the widening divide between the two nations.

Key highlights

In an attempt to build on Trump’s address at the UN last week, Pence claimed that China is trying to interfere with the upcoming US mid-term election while speaking at Washington’s Hudson Institute. Neither Pence nor Trump have delivered any concrete evidence of a Chinese effort to covertly undermine re-election efforts by Trump.

According to Pence, China has “mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies”, and also accused China of intentionally targeting tariffs at states that supported Trump in the 2016 election, a fact that nobody should be surprised by.

He said that in June, Beijing laid out its strategy in a sensitive “Propaganda and Censorship Notice” which stated that China must “strike accurately and carefully, splitting apart different domestic groups” in the United States.  The allegations, however, have raised questions as to whether Trump and his aides are trying to deflect attention from an investigation of his campaign’s possible ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and also set up China for blame if Republicans do poorly in November’s vote. – Reuters