Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifying at a Senate hearing, said the “tide is turning” on China, citing international support for US policies, including the step-up of maritime maneuvers by the US.
SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): I want to correct the record on a couple things here that have been said this morning. First of all, I believe that Secretary Tillerson’s two predecessors oversaw probably one of the most major withdrawals in foreign policy from the global stage that America has oversee–ever seen. And it created a power vacuum that allowed Iran, North Korea, Russia, China to step into that vacuum, and actually, during that period of time, created a caliphate–a physical caliphate that allowed the rise of ISIS in Syria, such that in January 2017, Mr. Secretary, I believe that the world was more dangerous than any time in my lifetime. We faced five threats across five domains, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, and terrorism across air, land, and sea, and all of a sudden we woke up and realized that our–our would be adversaries have been developing capability in cyber and space that the prior administration had not really warned us about. So, we woke up, and we–I think we will now get out in the United States, I think there’s consensus on both sides, for the last 50 years with all good intentions we got China wrong. I think there’s a general awakening to that. You have had three other cabinet members, along with yourself, make tremendous policy speeches here just in the last month. And I’d like to–I’d like to quote some of that that you–that you wrote about, but you had Secretary O’Brien–or National Security Advisor O’Brien talk about ideology, FBI Director Wray talk about espionage, Attorney General Barr talk about economics, and you talked about the warning here. I’m going to quote. This is your quote. “We had a very clear purpose in those four speeches, a real mission. It was to explain the different facets of America’s relationship with China, the massive imbalances in that relationship that have built up over decades and the Chinese Communist Party’s design for hegemony.” It’s interesting you chose that word, because the Chinese love to quote Confucius. And they quote one of his famous sayings is just as there can’t be two–and they do this recently. Just as there can be two suns in the sky, there can’t be two emperors on the earth. And the word they used for Emperor is not benign dictator, which is the most common use of that translation. It’s hegemony. They want to be the hegemony that they feel like they were for 4,000 years. You said further, “Our goal was to make clear that the threats to Americans that President Trump’s China policy aims to address are clear and our strategy for securing those freedoms established.” You went on to say later in there, in closing this out, you said securing–and I think this is the most important sins in the speech, in my opinion. Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because of–our founding principles give us that opportunity; tremendous statement. That–that will go down in history. The fact that only 6 percent of Chinese popular–or China’s population belong to the Communist Party, Mr. Secretary, I would argue that our fight’s not with the Chinese people. It’s with the Communist Party. There’s a statement from the administration here dated May 26th, 2020. It says we do not seek to contain China’s development, nor do we wish to disengage from the Chinese people. Can you articulate what the threats the Chinese Communist Party threaten–or makes or represents to our democracy and our freedoms here? And what are we doing as a Chinese strategy as we tried to manage–during your administration here, as we try to manage this turn in our relationship with China to confront them, to stand up to them, but also to protect our freedoms here at home? SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO: So, Senator, there–there are–there are multiple fronts this. And these are created by the Department of State. They’re created by what the Chinese Communist Party says, to your–to your points. And President Trump recognized that. He talked about it in his campaign back–back as far as 2–2015. We–we’ve got to get this imbalance corrected. And when we do, there’ll–there’ll be costs associated with that. We’re–we’ve–we have got the largest increase in our military buildup that President Trump has led. We’re–we’re very focused on a–an arms control strategic dialogue that we’re having today. It would be–it was in Vienna on the 27th and 28th of this month, a few days back. We need–we know we need China to be part of that too. They’re now a significant nuclear power. We’ve seen what’s happened on the economic front. We see their Belt and Road initiative. So, there are–they’re competing. Senator Rubio talked about their efforts in–in four or five technology spheres. This is a multi-front campaign. It will take not only the United States government but the United States citizens to understand this challenge. And then we’ve got to build out the global alliance. And–and last thing I’ll say here is I’ve seen–I’ve seen it said that the United States is asking nations to pick sides between China and the United States. That’s fundamentally false. We’re asking every sovereign country to pick between freedom and tyranny. And that’s the choice every leader has got to make. And that’s–when I go around the world, that’s what I talk to them about, and they all know. They all know that the United States is the country that they want to be alongside. They all know that freedom and–and our value system and the rule of law and property rights and the protection of these unalienable rights is essential to their country. And it’s why I think the tide is turning around the world and the people are seeing the Chinese Communist Party for what it is, the threat to the security of their people.