As tensions have increased over trade and other issues, the United States and other nations have intensified naval and aerial patrols in the sea to signal that the territories there remain in worldwide waters. However, the officials acknowledged that Beijing saw these missions as "provocations".
"It's using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing's political influence", he will say, with the goal of shifting Americans' perception of Chinese policies by mobilizing "covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets".
The speech reflects a decision by the Trump administration to make a deliberate pivot on China policy, a senior administration official told CNN.
Among the institutions targeted for Chinese Communist Party coercion, according to the vice president, are "businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars (and) journalists".
Mr. Mattis acknowledged that there were "tensions" between China and the United States, but he wanted to be reassuring, saying that they were not going to "not worsen".
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to visit Beijing next week amid tensions over trade and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The speech from the vice president, scheduled for 11 a.m.at the Hudson Institute in Washington, will do little to ease concerns that the rivalry between the two countries is threatening to turn into open confrontation.
In recent days, however, China's anger spiked when the US announced a $330 million military sale to Taiwan. China justified what the U.S. termed as "aggressive maneuvers" as "defense duties" aimed at protecting the country's sovereignty. Chinese officials confirmed it sent the Luoyang to drive the USS Decatur away and urged the U.S.to stop its "provocative" actions.
Pence will say the USA intelligence community has determined that China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. It could be expanded further to the west coast of South America, where Beijing is making investments in the continent.
The observer also predicted that China would step up its military presence in both areas.
"The terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing", Pence said.
Pence condemned efforts by Beijing to pressure allies of Taipei to sever their ties and embrace China, which he said "threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait".
The Defense Ministry insisted the America freedom of navigation patrol "gravely threatens China's sovereignty and security, gravely damages relations between China and the U.S. and their militaries, and gravely injures regional peace and stability".