Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that China is orchestrating a “fear in Europe” that Europeans should choose between the United States and China by “pushing disinformation and malicious cyber campaigns … to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Europe.”
“It’s the Chinese Communist Party that’s forcing the choice,” Pompeo said during an online conference on democracy held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Pompeo, who earlier this week met with a senior Chinese official in Hawaii as relations between the two nations plummet, said “Europe faces a China challenge,” as does the rest of the world.
Washington and Beijing are at odds over trade, China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, human rights, the status of Hong Kong and increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.
China has become a key issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, with President Donald Trump seeking to make the administration’s tough stance with Beijing a main foreign policy selling point.
Last month, Trump and Pompeo announced that the U.S. would be rescinding special trade and economic privileges it had extended to Hong Kong after the former British territory reverted to Chinese control in 1997.
The move was in response to Beijing’s decision to impose strict new national security laws limiting the right to free speech and assembly similar to those on the mainland.
Pompeo also noted that the Chinese Communist Party “wants you to throw away the progress we in the free world have made, through NATO and other institutions — formal and informal — and adopt a new set of rules and norms that accommodate Beijing.”
However, if the party “wants to rise, they need to do so on a Western set of rules … then the world will be a better place,” suggesting that the solution is democracy and giving Chinese people liberties.
Also speaking at the online event was Pompeo’s predecessor, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who said “every country in the world” should care about access to Chinese markets, which are hampered by U.S. restrictions.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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