In a scathing attack against China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged “the entire world” to stand up to Beijing and slammed the Chinese leadership over the “cover-up” of the COVID-19 crisis, saying Beijing’s “exploitation of this disaster to further its own interest has been disgraceful”.
In a reference to India-China border standoff, Pompeo accused Beijing of bullying its neighbors and accused it of instigating a deadly confrontation with New Delhi in eastern Ladakh.
“We think that the entire world needs to work together to ensure that every country, including China, behaves in the international system in ways that are appropriate and consistent with the international order. You cannot go make claims for maritime regions that you have no lawful claim to. You cannot threaten countries and bully them in the Himalayas. You cannot engage in cover-ups and co-opt international institutions like the World Health Organization,” the top US diplomat said at a news conference in London.
At the conference, Pompeo said China was one of the important parts of his discussions with his British counterpart Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“The CCP’s exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful. Rather than helping the world, General Secretary Xi Jinping has shown the world the party’s true face. We talked about how we have seen Hong Kong’s freedoms crushed. We have watched the CCP bully its neighbors, militarize features in the South China Sea, and instigate a deadly confrontation with India,” Pompeo said.
The Trump administration has been vocal about its criticism of China’s actions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and South China Sea. Recently, while referring to the Galwan valley clash, Pompeo had justified India’s actions saying that “the Chinese took incredibly aggressive action” and “the Indians have done their best to respond to that.”
China recently staked claim over the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council and opposed funding to the project.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The discussions between Mike Pompeo and Dominic Raab came hours after the UK suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to a controversial security law imposed by China in the former British territory.