Pence: “All-Out Cold War” Coming If China Doesn’t Change Course; “We Won’t Back Down”

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 11/14/2018

The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin has revealed stunning comments issued by Vice President Mike Pence during a conversation between the two aboard Air Force Two as the VP traveled for an official trip to Asia this week, where he landed in Singapore for regional summits highlighting Indo-Pacific security, trade and investment.

Pence reportedly said the White House is prepared to undertake take dramatic policy changes regarding China if Beijing does not capitulate to its demands as the trade war continues. In addition to the issue of tariffs, pressing security issues include the US demanding Chinese cessation of what’s reported to be widespread intellectual property theft and refusal to recognized America freedom of navigation through and above the South China Sea.

According to Rogin, Pence went so far as to speak of “an all-out Cold War” during the interview, promising that:

If China wants to avoid an all-out cold war with the United States and its partners, it must fundamentally change its behavior, according to Vice President Pence. The United States, he assured me, won’t back down.

Threat of initiating a “cold war” with China is one thing when analysts and op-ed pages have thrown the term into the public square of late; however, its quite another, constituting dramatically escalatory rhetoric, when the vice president of the United States says it. It represents a dangerous crescendo after months of down spiraling Washington-Beijing relations, and at a time when Russia is demonstrating its increasingly cooperative stance of solidarity with China.

The words also come weeks before Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30. Given the timing, we could also be witnessing the administration laying the groundwork for Trump’s classic “arguing from the extremes” to pressure foreign leaders to give up more during negotiations.

According to Rogin’s op-ed:

Pence told me in an interview that Trump is leaving the door open for a deal with Xi in Argentina, but only if Beijing is willing to make massive changes that the United States is demanding in its economic, military and political activities. The vice president said this is China’s best (if not last) chance to avoid a cold-war scenario with the United States.

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