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Pence asks Google to end development of its 'Dragonfly' App

twitter-logoPTI | October 4, 2018 | Updated 22:12 IST

By Lalit K Jha Washington, Oct 4 (PTI) US Vice President Mike Pence Thursday asked Google to immediately end development of its "Dragonfly" app that would make it easier to track someone's internet searches, saying it will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers. Indicating a new policy of the Trump administration to blunt the Chinese global aggressiveness, Pence said that more business leaders are now thinking twice before entering the Chinese market "if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing's oppression." "But more must follow suit," he said. "For example, Google should immediately end development of the 'Dragonfly' app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers…," Pence added. In a major policy speech at the Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank, Pence said that more journalists are reporting the truth without fear or favour, and digging deep to find where China is interfering in American society. "We hope that more American, and global, news organisations will join in this effort," he said. More scholars are speaking out forcefully and defending academic freedom, and more universities and think-tanks are mustering the courage to turn away Beijing’s easy money, recognising that every dollar comes with a corresponding demand. "We're confident that more will join their ranks," he said. Across the nation, the American people are growing in vigilance, with a newfound appreciation for Trump administration's actions to re-set America's economic and strategic relationship with China, to finally put America First, he added. "And under President Trump's leadership, America will stay the course. China should know that the American people and their elected representatives in both parties are resolved," he said. Pence alleged that the Chinese Communist Party is spending billions of dollars on propaganda outlets in the United States, as well as other countries. China Radio International now broadcasts Beijing-friendly programming on over 30 US outlets, many in major American cities. The China Global Television Network reaches more than 75 million Americans – and it gets its marching orders directly from its Communist Party masters, he alleged. "That's why, last month, the Department of Justice ordered that network to register as a foreign agent," Pence said. The Communist Party, he said, has also threatened and detained the Chinese family members of American journalists who pry too deep. And it has blocked the websites of US media organisations and made it harder for US journalists to get visas. This happened after the New York Times published investigative reports about the wealth of some of China's leaders, he charged. "But the media isn't the only place where the Chinese Communist Party seeks to foster a culture of censorship. The same is true of academia, he said. "Look no further than the Chinese Students and Scholars Associations, of which there are more than 150 branches across American campuses. These groups help organize social events for some of the more than 430,000 Chinese nationals studying in the United States; they also alert Chinese consulates and embassies when Chinese students, and American schools, stray from the Communist Party line," the Vice President added. PTI LKJ ZH ZH

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