Pentagon report accuses China of trying to undermine United States defense industry

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Washington has long identified China as a major culprit in the cyber hacking of US government and corporate databases but USA 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.

China on Friday (Oct 5) rejected United States Vice-President Mike Pence's charge that Beijing was meddling in American elections as "unwarranted" and "ridiculous". The world's two largest economies have been in an open trade war that shows no signs of slowing down.

While the vice president stressed the threats posed by China to American interests, he emphasised that the U.S. desires a productive relationship with Beijing.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said Beijing objected to Pence's "groundless" allegations and urged the U.S.to stop hurting ties between the two countries.

Washington blames China for hacking into USA government and corporate databases although officials and independent analysts have failed to detected the kind of systematic manipulation of social media and hacking of emails that Russian Federation is alleged to have engaged in before Mr Trump's shock election victory in 2016.

Pence said China has responded to Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing with tariffs of its own created to inflict maximum political damage. A recent intelligence report said China uses joint ventures to try to acquire technical know-how, seeks partnerships with US government labs to learn about specific technology and information about running such facilities, and uses front companies to hide the hand of the Chinese government and acquire technology under USA export controls. The Ministry also slammed the accusations that China is somehow trying to meddle in United States internal affairs, noting that it has "no interest" in local American infighting.

"The worldwide community has already known fully well who wantonly infringes upon others' sovereignty, interferes in others' internal affairs and undermines others' interests".

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He was to accuse Beijing of convincing three Latin American nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize China.

"Beijing has mobilised covert actors, front groups and propaganda outlets to shift Americans' perception of Chinese policies", he said.

The speech comes as the US and China engage in an escalating trade dispute, after Washington imposed tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing retaliated with its own taxes on American goods.

The democratic, self-governing island is home to nationalists who fled in 1949 after losing China's civil war and has waged an increasingly lonely campaign for diplomatic recognition as the Republic of China.

"The United States Navy will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows and our national interests demand", Pence said.

"We will not be intimidated", Pence said of the operation, the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters. "But be assured, we will not relent until our relationship with China is grounded in fairness, reciprocity, and respect for our sovereignty", he said. China "has taken a sharp U-turn toward control and oppression", Pence said, adding: "A new wave of persecution is crashing down on Chinese Christians, Buddhists and Muslims".

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