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Jumat, 24 Juli 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on free world to unite against Chinese ‘tyranny’ - The Australian

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Picture: AFP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Picture: AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on all free nations to summon the courage to rise as one against Chinese ‘tyranny’ regardless of what economic punishment Beijing may wreak upon them.

In a strongly-worded landmark speech at a time of crisis between the world’s economic superpowers, Mr Pompeo also called on the Chinese people to be emboldened to change the behaviour of the ruling Communist Party.

Mr Pompeo did not mention countries by name but he said some US allies were still fearful of calling China out fully for its tyrannical behaviour because they feared economic retribution.

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“It’s time for free nations to act. Not every nation will approach the China challenge in the same way, nor should they. Every nation will have to come to its own understanding of how to protect its national security, its economic prosperity, and its ideals from the tentacles of the CCP,” Mr Pompeo said.

‘But I call on all nations to start by doing what America has done – to insist on reciprocity, transparency, and accountability from the Chinese Communist Party.’

Mr Pompeo’s speech delivered at the Nixon Library in California ahead of next year’s 50th anniversary of US engagement was a key part of the Trump Administration’s push to step up global pressure on Beijing over its increasingly belligerent behaviour.

It comes as the Trump Administration adopts a notably tougher stance against China including closing the Chinese consulate in Houston, declaring China’s maritime claims on the South China Sea to be unlawful and stepping up criticism over Beijing’s role in the coronavirus pandemic.

It also comes ahead of the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Washington next week between Mr Pompeo, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds where China will be a major item of discussion.

Mr Pompeo said: ‘We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party.’ Picture: AFP
Mr Pompeo said: ‘We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party.’ Picture: AFP

Mr Pompeo said former president Richard Nixon’s hopes of a new dawn with China were understandable in his era, but that China had let the US and the world down.

“We imagined engagement with China would produce a future bright with the promise of comity, and co-operation,” Mr Pompeo said.

“But today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) failed in its promises to the world … reading new headlines of repression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang … seeing staggering statistics of Chinese trade abuses that cost American jobs and strike blows to our companies … watching the Chinese military grow stronger and more menacing.’

[NFA] U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo encouraged other nations to follow the UK's lead and push back against the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. Speaking on an official visit to London on Tuesday, Pompeo also described China's leadership as a threat. Adam Reed reports.

Mr Pompeo cited Australia as an American ally that was awake to the true nature of the CCP.

“I have faith because of the awakening I see among other nations that know we cannot go back to the past. I’ve heard this from Brussels, to Sydney, to Hanoi.’

Mr Pompeo said the old paradigm of ‘blind engagement’ with China has failed. ‘We must not continue it. We must not return to it. The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.”

He chided an unnamed NATO ally for its ‘timidity’ in refusing to stand up for freedom in Hong Kong because it feared China would punish it economically.

“Let’s not repeat the same mistakes of the past,’ he said. ‘The challenge of China demands exertion from democracies … those in Europe, in Africa, in South America, and especially those in the Indo-Pacific region.’

“If we don’t act now, ultimately, the CCP will erode our freedoms and subvert the rules-based order free societies have built. If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the CCP, whose actions are the primary challenge to the free world.’

He described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a true believer in ‘bankrupt totalitarian ideology,’ which harbours a decades-long desire for global hegemony built on Chinese Communism.

Mr Pompeo at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Picture: AFP
Mr Pompeo at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Picture: AFP

‘We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party,’ he said.

Mr Pompeo suggested a group of like-minded democracies be formed to meet the challenges posed by a rising and aggressive China.

“We can’t face this challenge alone,’ he said. “The UN, NATO, the G7, the G20, our combined economic, diplomatic, and military power is surely enough to meet this challenge, if directed properly.’

He said the west must also do more to engage and empower the Chinese people who he described as ‘a dynamic, freedom-loving people who are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party.’

“Communists always lie, but the biggest lie is that the Chinese Communist Party speaks for 1.4 billion people who are surveilled, oppressed, and scared to speak out,” he said.

“Quite the contrary. The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foreign foe. And save for losing their own grip on power, they have no reason to.”

“We can’t ignore the Chinese people any longer. They know as well as anyone that we can never go back to the status quo of engagement on the CCP’s terms.’

Mr Pompeo told the audience, which included several Chinese dissidents and members of the Nixon family, that challenge of China was ‘the mission of our time.’

Cameron Stewart is also US Contributor for Sky News Australia

Washington Correspondent

Cameron Stewart has been The Australian’s Washington Correspondent covering North America since early 2017. This is his second US posting, having previously been The Australian’s New York correspondent the lat...

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2020-07-24 06:52:00Z
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