US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has called for “every nation” to form a coalition to “push back” against China at a press conference today in London.
Pompeo took aim at Chinese leader Xi Jinping, saying that his government’s “exploitation of [the coronavirus] disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful”, while also calling China a “bully”.
The secretary of state admonished Beijing for its imposition of draconian security laws in Hong Kong, for building military bases in the contested South China Sea and for its recent skirmish with India on the Kashmiri border.
Pompeo fronted the press conference alongside foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who he thanked for the UK’s recent moves to ban Huawei from its 5G network and place new sanctions on Hong Kong.
America’s top diplomat called for global cooperation, including from the UK, in censuring China for its recent actions.
“You can’t go make claims for maritime regions that you’ve got no lawful claim to, you can’t threaten and bully countries in the Himalayas, you can’t engage in cover-ups and co-opt world institutions like the World Health Organisation,” he said.
“We want every nation to work together to push back against the Chinese Communist Party in every dimension I described here today and that certainly includes the UK, it includes every country.
“We hope we can build out a coalition that understands this and will work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party it’s not in there best interests to engage in this kind of behaviour.”
Pompeo’s trip to London comes just a week after the UK banned Huawei from having any further part in building local 5G infrastructure from the end of this year, while also vowing to remove all existing components by 2027.
The government has said the decision was made after new US sanctions on the Chinese telecoms giant meant that the UK’s security agencies could no longer guarantee safety.
The US claims that Huawei is used by the Chinese state to conduct cyber-espionage, a claim the company denies.
Raab was asked today if the real reason behind the ban was because of US strongarm tactics over the past several months.
“There’s no question of strong arming,” Raab said.
“Mike [Pompeo] and I always have constructive discussions.”