Pompeo: The free world must triumph over China’s tyranny (July 27)

Michael R. Pompeo surrounded by U.S. flags while speaking (© David McNew/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, July 23. (© David McNew/Getty Images)

The free nations of the world must counter the Chinese Communist Party’s malign behavior, which threatens their people and prosperity.

In a July 23 speech in Yorba Linda, California, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said that the belief that doing business with China would lead the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to change its conduct has failed to product the desired results. Instead of blind engagement with China, Pompeo said, nations must stand firm against the CCP’s aggression.

“China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else,” Pompeo said in remarks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. “We must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways, because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity.”

He called on free nations to take a firm stance with China’s leaders and insist on reciprocity in trade, transparency and accountability from the CCP.

“Our policies — and those of other free nations — resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that were feeding it,” Pompeo said. “We opened our arms to Chinese citizens, only to see the Chinese Communist Party exploit our free and open society.”

The secretary outlined ways that the CCP violates international norms, from laws requiring Chinese companies, like telecommunications giant Huawei, to share data with the CCP, to using Chinese researchers abroad to steal trade secrets to advance its military.

The U.S. government is countering China’s conduct. The U.S. has sanctioned CCP leaders overseeing concentration camps detaining 1 million Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, rejected China’s unlawful claims in the South China Sea and called Huawei a national security threat.

Pompeo urged the world to engage with the Chinese people, who are “completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party.” And he called on world leaders to tell the truth about the party’s behavior.

“It’s time for free nations to act,” Pompeo said. “Every nation will have to come to its own understanding of how to protect its own sovereignty, how to protect its own economic prosperity and how to protect its ideals from the tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.”