In a hard hitting speech, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday attacked China for its “rogue” attitude in its neighbourhood, specifically mentioning its recent border attacks against India. “The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has escalated border tensions with India, the world’s most populous democracy. It’s militarising the South China Sea and illegally claiming more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes,” Pompeo said during an online conference on democracy in Copenhagen, Denmark. During questions he said democracies and freedom-loving peoples of the world needed to come together to tackle China.
Pompeo was careful to focus his criticism on the Chinese Communist Party but unusually cited Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, by name. “General Secretary Xi Jinping has green-lighted a brutal campaign of repression against Chinese Muslims, a human rights violation on a scale we haven’t seen since World War II. Now, the PLA has escalated border tensions with India,” he said.
Pompeo spoke a day after he expressed deep condolences to India on the death of 20 soldiers in violent clashes with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15.
Pompeo said China was responsible for “pushing disinformation and malicious cyber campaigns so as to drive a wedge between the US and Europe.” The Chinese Communist Party wants to undo the progress the free world has made and adopt a new set of rules and norms that accommodate Beijing.
He claimed Beijing had “lied about the coronavirus and let it spread to the rest of the world, while pressuring the WHO to assist its cover-up campaign. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, and the global economy has been decimated.” China continues to refuse to provide medical information or allow outside scientists.
Pompeo, who recently met Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi in Hawaii, said much of his conversation was about “the fundamental idea that we’re just watching [their] actions. It’s no longer enough to listen to what the Chinese Communist Party is saying. We can see their actions.” He ticked off a number of them, “Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, what they’re doing in India, what they’ve done in the economic zones along the Philippines and Malaysia and Indonesia and Vietnam, the coercion on Australia.”
The US minister warned that “China’s objective is in fact to single out and indeed to threaten to single out more directly” individual countries. He called for a collective response from the world’s major countries to what Beijing was doing. “America is engaging in a response to Chinese Communist Party and aggression in a way that America has not done for the past 20 years” and said this was now a bipartisan position.