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A shoddy campaign show: Pence’s speechwriters need more common sense

CIIS Time:10 10, 2018 Writer:Kang Jie Editor:Wang Jiapei


US Vice President Mike Pence's speech on October 4, which criticized China's “meddling in US elections,” was considered to be the second "Iron Curtain Speech" by some observers.

Mr. Pence's speech has caused serious damage to Sino-US relations. Nevertheless, it was just a shoddy patchwork of false logic, misconceptions and trifles, written in a hurry to meet the timing of pre-election advertising, rather than another Churchillian Iron Curtain Speech.

The first impression I got from the speech was that Mr. Pence and his speechwriters have lost their creativity in discourse. At the end of the second decade in the 21st century, Mr. Pence still used Cold War language to blame China.

Ironically, Mr. Pence urged China to “resume reform and [its] opening-up policy,” ignoring the facts that China was no longer a closed economy.

On the contrary, China has been more open and more inclusive than ever. Giving foreign investment access to the financial, insurance and service sectors and holding the world's first International Import Expo, are the best examples of China's new opening-up policy.

Mr. Pence's speechwriter also lacks common sense on the liberal democracy system in the United States. Pluralism, which means the freedom to organize and promote a range of interests in the policy process, is one of the core features of American democracy.

Throughout the speech, Pence accused China of influencing US government officials, corporations and interest groups, as well as the presence of Chinese media in the US. Nevertheless, as is known to all, influencing the decision-making of government officials and legislators through many interest groups and lobbying groups, is just a natural part of American political life. Foreign-funded lobbying efforts targeting the US' foreign policy exist on both Capitol Hill and within the White House. What's more, nothing can be more natural and legitimate than publishing articles in the newspaper in the practice of “freedom of speech.” If the lobbying and publishing activities were labelled as "meddling in elections," then how should American people participate in the democracy process?

Moreover, in terms of foreign lobbying groups and publishing stories, the US' allies such as Israel and Japan, should be accused as the most sinful suspects of "meddling in elections."

The speech was just a series of eye-catching fabrications. In order to divert attention from “Russiagate," Brett Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegation, and the Trump family's tax evasion before the mid-term elections, the Trump administration has to heat the cold soup of “China threats.”

Unfortunately, this time they chose the wrong direction of attack. The United States itself is notorious for violating the sovereignty of other countries and interfering in other countries' domestic affairs.

In recent years, the hegemonic ambitions of some American politicians and strategists, have become the biggest uncertainty upon the global future.

Millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have suffered from the United States' military operations in the name of "regime change," many regions are facing threats from separatism, extremism and terrorism supported by the United States in the name of "promoting democracy," global free trade, prosperity and development are being threatened by the “American First” policies.

Mr. Pence' s accusations against China at this time and the delusion that the "American people will not be intimidated," is an indicator that the United States is in strategic anxiety and the GOP is in crisis.

Mr. Pence quoted two Chinese proverbs in his speech. I'd like to add another two to sum up. The first one goes: “If you are out to condemn somebody, you can always trump up a charge” and the other one is, “Truth stands like a rock, no matter how big the wind is.”

 

 

Kang Jie is an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies. 

 

 

Source: CGTN, October 5, 2018.

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