China hits back at Pence accusations of meddling in US elections

China hits back at Pence accusations of meddling in US elections
© Anna Moneymaker

China slammed Vice President Pence's accusations of meddling in U.S. elections as "unwarranted" slander in a statement Friday.

Pence accused China Thursday of interfering in U.S. elections with the intention of hurting President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE.

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"To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working; China wants a different American president," he said at an event at the conservative Hudson Institute.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying roundly dismissed Pence's claims.

"The relevant speech made unwarranted accusations against China's domestic and foreign policies and slandered China by claiming that China meddles in US internal affairs and elections," she said in the statement.

"This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it."

Chunying also warned that U.S. efforts to slander China are "doomed to be in vain."

She also requested that the U.S. retract its accusations.

"We urge the US to correct its wrongdoing, stop groundlessly accusing and slandering China and harming China's interests and China-US ties, and take concrete actions to maintain the sound and steady development of China-US relations."

Pence's remarks Thursday came as U.S. officials, including Trump himself, have ramped up their rhetoric against what they say are Chinese efforts to undermine American businesses, provoke the U.S. military and develop a sophisticated election-meddling campaign similar to what Russia carried out in the 2016 election.

The comments echoed Trump's explosive allegation, made last week at the United Nations Security Council, that China is already interfering in the 2018 midterm elections.