China hits back at Pence, calls his criticism 'lies'

China hits back at Pence, calls his criticism 'lies'
© Aaron Schwartz

A top Chinese official blasted Vice President Pence on Friday, saying a recent speech he gave was full of "lies."

"His remarks are full of arrogance, prejudice, critical biases and lies," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference, according to NBC News.

Hua described his comments as an attempt to "smear" China and distract the American public from U.S. issues like gun control and income inequality. 

Americans should "look themselves in the mirror to fix their own problems and get their house in order," Hua said.

In a Thursday speech, Pence said that China was "coercing corporate America" by silencing companies and officials. His comments came amid controversy after an executive of the Houston Rockets basketball team tweeted in support of the pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters. 

"Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners, who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country, lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of other peoples," Pence said Thursday.

"In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime," he added. 

In his speech, Pence said the Trump administration supports the Hong Kong protesters. CNN reported this month that Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping in June that he would not be vocal about the Hong Kong protests while Washington and Beijing conduct trade negotiations.