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Beijing censored Pence’s comments on China during VP debate, restored signal on Harris’ turn
By Ramon Tomey // Oct 23, 2020

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censors temporarily cut the live feed of the Oct. 7 U.S. vice presidential debate while incumbent Vice President Mike Pence talked about China. Viewers in China saw color bars and a “please stand by” message during the three minutes when Pence spoke about the communist country. The broadcast on Chinese television was subsequently restored when Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris started speaking.


Nathan VanderKlippe, a Beijing-based correspondent for Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, tweeted about the live censorship a day after the debates. Without the censure, Chinese people would have heard Pence claim that China banned staff members gathering information about the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic to enter the country until February. “China and the World Health Organization did not play straight with the American people,” he said. (Related: Chinese Communist subversion of the WHO undermined global pandemic response.)

The broadcast of the vice presidential debate subsequently resumed in time for Harris’ turn. Her response sounded more satisfactory to CCP censors: “The administration’s perspective and approach to China has resulted in the loss of American lives [and] jobs, and America’s standing.”

Both comments by Pence and Harris came after debate moderator Susan Page of USA Today asked: “How would you describe our fundamental relationship with China? Are we competitors, adversaries [or] enemies?”

Pence answered by mentioning China’s response to the pandemic, but Harris ignored Page’s question and criticized President Donald Trump’s “weird obsession” with undoing the accomplishments of former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden – the latter now her running mate as the Democratic presidential nominee.

She cited how the succeeding administration removed an office in the White House responsible for monitoring pandemics, a claim Pence repudiated. Breitbart reported back in March that no team members were fired from the White House despite former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s dissolution of the office.

Beijing has already made clear who it supports

White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro called the CCP’s censorship of the vice presidential debate a “calculated” effort to deceive people during an Oct. 8 interview with Martha McCallum of Fox News. “What China does is they regularly monitor international broadcast. You got your seven or ten second delay. And that was quite calculated on their part,” he said.

Navarro also insinuated that the CCP and the Democratic Party were working hand-in-hand in against the incumbent president: “What we have is the [Democratic Party] and the [CCP] effectively making common cause in the defeat of Donald J. Trump.”

The CCP’s censorship of Pence during the vice presidential debate clearly shows its dislike of the Trump administration and its hardline approach toward China.

Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times published an article in August expressing the CCP’s support towards Biden. The article by Yang Sheng described him as “smoother to deal with” compared to the “more troublesome” Trump, and expressed hope that the Democratic candidate’s victory in November could “revive the legacy” of Obama.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences research fellow Lü Xiang, who the Global Times interviewed for the article, said: “The Trump administration's unilateral, selfish and hegemonic stances have left diplomats from the two countries almost nothing to talk about when they meet.” However, he also mentioned that both countries “have more reasons to dialogue and cooperate” if Biden fixes the previous administration's damage.

Unsurprisingly, the CCP is very much invested in the upcoming November elections based on its efforts to influence both the voting process itself and the candidates themselves – most specifically Joe Biden, whose son Hunter has illicit ties to Chinese companies.

An election victory for Biden and Harris means smoother deals for the CCP at the expense of the American people.

Sources include:






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