On Friday, a senior official for China issued a scornful rebuke of Mike Pence.
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called Pence a liar after he stated that Beijing was muzzling American businesses and violating the rights of protesters in Hong Kong.
“His remarks are full of arrogance, prejudice, critical biases and lies,” Hua said during a press conference in Beijing.
The efforts to “smear” China were an attempt to “distract from problems in the U.S. such as gun control and wealth inequality,” Hua added.
On Thursday, Pence spoke at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., and accused China of “coercing corporate America” by silencing companies, think tanks, scholars and government officials.
Pence specifically pointed to American company Nike, which he stated removed Houston Rockets merchandise from its stores in China after the government there expressed outrage over a National Basketball Association general manager tweeting his support for Hong Kong protesters.
Pence went on to claim that NBA players and owners “lose their voices” when it comes to discussing China and act as a “subsidiary of the authoritarian regime.”
This latest disagreement comes amid a tenacious trade war between China and the U.S. that includes accusations that China steals or coerces foreign firms to hand over sensitive technology.
Back on Oct. 14, Donald Trump stated without any evidence that China of U.S. agricultural products as part of last week’s tariff deal with Beijing.
CHINA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AGRICULTURAL PURCHASES FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS & RANCHERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
While Trump continues to claim that he is still optimistic that the trade war will be resolved, reaching an agreement is going to be a difficult task if China continues to use violence against protesters in Hong Kong, Pence stated on Thursday.
Pence went on to state that China was “suppressing religion” and existing as a “surveillance state” that targets ethnic minorities.
On Friday, Hua responded by stating that Americans should “look themselves in the mirror to fix their own problems and get their house in order” before making accusations about other countries. “The U.S. has already abandoned its morality and credibility,” she added.