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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Longtime Engagement with China No Longer Working, Pompeo Says

By VOA News July 23, 2020

Nearly 50 years of U.S. engagement with China is no longer working and a different, tougher approach is needed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says.

Pompeo spoke Thursday at the Nixon Foundation in Yorba Linda, California, named for President Richard Nixon whose historic visit to Beijing in 1972 and meetings with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai helped bring China into the so-called family of nations.

"The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change inside of China that President Nixon hoped to induce," Pompeo said.

He added that Beijing has benefited far more from the engagement than the U.S. and that China has "bitten the international hands that were feeding it."

Pompeo noted that the "Frankenstein" Nixon once said he feared he had created in China is here, and called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology."

Pompeo said that China has exploited the free and open society of the U.S., by sending what he called propagandists to U.S. colleges, research centers, and press conferences.

He said China has responded to special economic treatment with silence over its human rights abuses and by stealing intellectual property, costing Americans their jobs.

"Whatever the reason, China today is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom abroad … President (Donald) Trump has said 'enough,'" Pompeo said.

A call to other nations

The secretary called on other nations to become more creative and assertive in inducing change in China, saying Beijing is a threat to the people and prosperity of those nations.

He said China cannot be treated like a "normal law-abiding nation" because he says it regards international agreements as a way to seek global dominance.

Pompeo said the West and others can no longer let China set the terms of engagement, stressing that China needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs China.

He suggested that it may be time for a new grouping of like-minded nations to deal with China.

"If the free world doesn't change Communist China, Communist China will change us," Pompeo said. "There can be no return to past practices just because they're comfortable or convenient."

Pompeo also called for engagement and ways to empower the Chinese people who Pompeo calls "a dynamic, freedom-loving people who are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party" and whose "honest opinions" Chinese leaders fear more than anything else.

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