US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Chinese leaders as tyrants who were determined to impose their hegemony on the world, in a grim picture of Beijing’s approach.
Pompeo’s comments come at a time of heightened tension between the two largest economies in the world.
Pompeo said in a speech Thursday at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in the city of Europe Linda, California, that Chinese President Xi Jinping “is not destined to practice tyranny inside and outside China forever, unless we allow it.”
“Protecting our liberties from the Communist Party of China is the task of our time,” he added.
Pompeo also described competition with China as an existential struggle between truth and falsehood, in a tone reminiscent of those used by Washington during its confrontation with the Soviet Union during the Cold War period.
According to Bloomberg News, Pompeo’s comments are the culmination of statements by senior administration officials regarding the threat posed by China.
“If we bow now, our children may be at the mercy of the Communist Party of China, whose actions represent the primary challenge we face today in the free world …. The free world must prevail over this new tyranny,” Pompeo added.
Although Pompeo did not call for a change of the ruling regime in China, he indicated that the United States should “intervene and empower the Chinese people.”
In his speech, Pompeo made it clear that Washington must “suspect, verify” its agreements with Beijing.
Pompeo’s speech comes a day after the United States unexpectedly asked China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, within 72 hours, on the back of Washington accusing the consulate of spying for years against US commercial and national security assets.
China has rejected the accusations and vowed to reciprocate.
Soon the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced today, Friday, that Beijing had asked Washington to close the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
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