During Visit to Asia US Secretary Calls Xi CCP Regime by Name
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is wrapping up a tour of Asia in Vietnam calling South-Asian leaders to stand up to the illegal, and destructive regime of Chinese Communist Party.
With just four days left in the campaign in which Communist China has been a central theme, Secretary Pompeo was visiting Hanoi on Friday to celebrate 25 years of U.S.-Vietnam relations. But as he has at his previous stops in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia, Mr Pompeo highlighted the Trump administration’s policy of strong deterrence against the Beijing regime, its handling of the Wuhan virus pandemic, its human rights record and aggressiveness towards its smaller neighbors.
President Donald Trump has been consistent in calling his Democratic rival Mr. Biden as weak on Communist China and beholden to it, repeatedly raising questions about alleged connections between Biden’s son, Hunter, and Chinese businesses.
Vietnam was the last stop in Mr. Pompeo’s itinerary and has numerous concerns about the Bejing policies in the region. Those range from CCP's territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea to its development activities along the Mekong River, which runs through much of mainland Southeast Asia and is a regional lifeline.
In a statement released ahead of Mr Pompeo’s arrival in Vietnam, the State Department criticised the Chinese Communist Party for reneging on cooperation pledges with other Mekong countries and for aggressively pursuing suspect claims in the South China Sea.
Communist Bejing's “malign and destabilizing actions in the Mekong region, including manipulation of Mekong river water flows, negatively affect millions of people who depend on the river for their livelihoods,” it said.
“The United States stands with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources in the South China Sea, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law,” it said. It noted that earlier this year, Pompeo had rejected outright nearly all of Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.
“The United States rejects Beijing's maritime claims to the waters surrounding Vanguard Bank off Vietnam’s coast,” the statement said, “We will oppose any efforts aimed at undermining the rules-based maritime order in the South China Sea or elsewhere.”
US Secretary arrived in Vietnam from Indonesia, where he praised Indonesian leadership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for pushing back on what he called Beijing regime “unlawful” South China Sea claims and denounced CCP for its treatment of religious minorities, calling it “the gravest threat to the future of religious freedom.”
Mr. Pompeo called talks with Indonesia President Joko Widodo a successful. Indonesia's President wrote on his Twitter that the visit in the midst of the pandemic shows the importance of the strategic partnership between Indonesia and the United States.
Mr. Pompeo had traveled to Indonesia from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India on stops where he steadily ratcheted up the pressure on the Chinese Communist Party.