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Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Hudson Institute in Washington, Oct. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

In Standoff With China, Trump Opts for Platitudes Over Policy

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018

In a speech last week that seemed as much an effort to catch up to recent events as a formal declaration of policy, Vice President Mike Pence put Beijing on notice that “the United States of America has adopted a new approach to China.”

The address, delivered at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, for the most part covered familiar ground in terms of American grievances with the bilateral relationship. Having spent the past 20 years seeking to invite China into the international order as a “responsible stakeholder,” the U.S. has now run out of patience over Beijing’s unfair trade practices, domestic repression and assertive militarization of the South China Sea. Perhaps scrambling to lend weight to President Donald Trump’s recent charge of Chinese interference in America’s midterm congressional elections, Pence also added a new item to the list: “a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic and military tools, as well as propaganda,” that China is deploying “to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States.” ...

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