Much of the destiny of the 21st century will hinge on the relationship between the U.S. and China, said Vice President Pence in remarks on October 24. While emphasizing the importance of the relationship, he also highlighted points of contention between the world’s two largest economies. Pence called out the Chinese government’s harmful practices around the world, including “China’s debt diplomacy and military expansionism; its repression of people of faith; construction of a surveillance state; and, of course … China’s arsenal of policies inconsistent with free and fair trade,” such as intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.
Thank you to @TheWilsonCenter for welcoming me this morning. America is reaching out our hand to China. And we hope that, soon, Beijing will reach back, this time with deeds, not words, and with renewed respect for America. pic.twitter.com/Ur5svgI7Ek
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 24, 2019
To hold China accountable for its repression of religious freedom, Pence noted that the United States has put visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials who are responsible for the ongoing persecution of more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslims.
Further, the United States has sanctioned more than 20 public security bureaus and eight Chinese companies for their complicity in this human rights atrocity.
Pence described how the United States, to protect the freedom of the South China Sea, “has increased the tempo and scope of our freedom of navigation operations and strengthened our military presence across the Indo-Pacific.”
But beyond the points of contention, Pence emphasized “the enduring friendship between the American people and the Chinese people” and the importance of working together “to share a peaceful and prosperous future.”
“The United States seeks engagement with China and China’s engagement with the wider world,” said Pence. “Despite the great power competition that is underway, and America’s growing strength, we want better for China.”