Former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to spotlight China’s “adversarial intentions” toward the U.S. and its allies in a keynote address Wednesday at a key international summit.
In remarks prepared for the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul obtained exclusively by The Washington Times, Mr. Pence highlights what he calls China’s increasing provocations as a threat to global stability.
“The reality is that China is remorseless about intellectual-property theft, industrial espionage, illegally subsidizing industry,” he is expected to say. “Just last week, the director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation joined his counterpart in the United Kingdom in issuing a dire warning about the growing industrial-espionage threat posed by Chinese hackers.”
Mr. Pence’s address at the summit is the latest in a series of public appearances in which the former vice president has offered a glimpse into his foreign-policy ideas and placed his imprint on GOP messaging as the party eyes the presidential election in 2024.
The theme of this year’s conference, “Embracing the New Normal: A Proposal for the Future,” prompts participants to confront the challenge of an increasingly unpredictable international-affairs landscape rocked by a third year of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Pence, who led the White House Coronavirus Task Force during the Trump administration, will directly confront China’s lack of transparency surrounding the origins of the pandemic, according to prepared remarks.
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“No nation in history has inflicted more chaos on mankind than China did through its reckless mismanagement of the coronavirus,” he is expected to say. “American tariffs must remain in place until China opens its markets and until China comes clean about unleashing the coronavirus pandemic on the world.”
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that China’s leaders cannot be trusted,” his prepared remarks continue.
“The world is awakening to the fact that the Chinese Communist Party aspires not merely to join the community of economically developed nations, but to sit atop a new global order created in its image – a world in which freedom is constrained, but Beijing’s power is not,” Mr. Pence will say.
The Asian Leadership Conference has hosted various heads of state throughout the globe as speakers. Previous speakers from the U.S. have included former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush; former House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican; and Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
This year’s forum offers Mr. Pence a chance to tout the tough-on-China policies he stood behind as vice president.
“Under the Trump-Pence administration, I am proud that America stood up to China like never before,” he is expected to say. “As a result, we changed the national consensus on China in the United States and now leaders across the political spectrum in America recognize that the Chinese regime harbors adversarial intentions towards the United States and our allies.”
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Mr. Pence, who has been an outspoken critic of President Biden’s posture toward the Chinese Communist Party, is expected double down in his criticism of the current White House.
“The recent signals sent by the current American administration should be cause for deep concern for freedom-loving nations across the Asia Pacific,” Mr. Pence is expected to say. “The Biden administration has announced that it is considering removing the tariffs imposed on China during our administration, allowing China to resume its trade abuses without consequence. This is unwise and unacceptable.”
“Appeasement has never worked a single time in human history, and it will not work now,” his remarks read. “Peace and economic progress proceed from strength. And we must ensure that our leaders send an unambiguous message that China’s military and economic aggression will no longer be tolerated.”