Pompeo said that these are the kinds of actions that authoritarian regimes take, and they have a real impact not only on the Chinese people there in China and Hong Kongers in Hong Kong, but a real impact on people all around the world.
“The United States has a responsibility and the capability to push back against that, ensure that the American people are properly served by a foreign policy that recognises the threats that emanate from China today,” he said.
Responding to a question, Pompeo said that the recent Chinese actions be it on the India border, or Hong Kong or the South China Sea, have been part of the Chinese behaviour in the recent past.
“It’s not just over the past six months. We’ve seen over the past number of years continued Chinese build out of their military capabilities, and then continually more aggressive action. I mentioned India. You’ve mentioned the South China Sea.
“We see these same kind of things with them attempting to build ports around the world as part of their Belt and Road Initiative, places where they can move the People’s Liberation Army Navy. We’ve seen their continued efforts to expand militarily,” Pompeo said.
For the past 20 years, the US has not responded to these things in a real way, he said.
“We’ve viewed the 1.5 billion people in the Chinese market as so important to the American economy, and the risk that the Chinese would respond by closing us out for the favour of some other nation I think people have just been too worried about that to actually take the responses that we take to every other country that behaves in the way that China has done,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has not done that, he asserted.
“Trump’s made it very clear whether it’s the signature issue on trade… reciprocal trade… and now beginning to move to all the other elements of power that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to expand,” he added.