Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday night, Oct. 7, defended his administration’s approach to China, saying it will hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for the virus, while blasting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as a “cheerleader” for the CCP.

During the vice presidential debate, Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) slammed the Trump administration over the trade conflict with the CCP, claiming that the United States lost hundreds of thousands of jobs due to the war.

“You lost that trade war,” Harris said. “What ended up happening is, because of a so-called trade war with China, America lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Farmers have experienced bankruptcy because of it. We are in a manufacturing recession because of it.”

“And when we look at where this administration has been, there are estimates that by the end of the term of this administration, they will have lost more jobs than almost any other presidential administration,” Harris continued.

Pence shot back at the senator, was entitled to her own opinions but not her own facts.

“Lost the trade war with China?” he said. “Joe Biden never fought it.”

“Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for communist China over the last several decades,” Pence continued. “And again, Senator Harris, you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Pence added, “When Joe Biden was vice president, we lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs and President Obama said they were never coming back. He said we needed a magic wand to bring them back. In our first three years, after we cut taxes, rolled back regulation, unleashed American energy, this administration saw 500,000 jobs created. And that’s exactly the kind of growth we’re going to continue to see as we bring our nation through this pandemic.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris during the 2020 vice presidential campaign debate on Oct. 7, 2020. (Screenshot/C-SPAN)

During the debate, the vice president also targeted the CCP to attack the Democrat rivals.

“So, now with regard to China, first and foremost—China [the CCP] is to blame for the coronavirus, and President Trump is not happy about it,” Pence said.

“China [the CCP] and the World Health Organization did not play straight with the American people. They did not let our personnel into China to get information on the coronavirus until the middle of February. Fortunately, President Trump, in dealing with China from the outset of this administration—standing up to China [the CCP] that had been taking advantage of America for decades—in the wake of Joe Biden’s cheerleading for China,” Pence said.

The vice president explained that after President Trump suspended all travel from China in January, Biden opposed the president’s decision and argued that it was hysterical and xenophobic.

“But President Trump has stood up to China and will continue to stand strong,” Pence said.

“We want to improve the relationship, but we’re going to level the playing field and we’re going to hold China [the CCP] accountable for what they did to America with the coronavirus,” he said. 

According to the Global and Mail, China’s censors immediately blocked foreign networks’ live coverage of the debate while Pence was answering questions about China.

The signal was cut to prevent viewers from seeing the debate for nearly three minutes. It affected only a small number of people in China with access to channels like CNN, which is available in some hotels and residential compounds but not in most homes.