Pompeo's speech sounds vicious, but lacks significance: Global Times editorial

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/24 12:44:41 Last Updated: 2020/7/24 13:27:41

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: VCG

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an address at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in California on Thursday. He said the world is in the midst of a war between the "free world" and "new tyranny." The secretary of state has denied China comprehensively and completely from domestic to external affairs. He put the Communist Party of China at odds with the Chinese people during the entirety of his speech and referred to the CPC as a domestic suppressor and dishonest global player. He said the approach to US engagement with China that former US President Richard Nixon started 50 years ago has failed, and called on the world to deal with China in a different way.  

It's quite ironic that Pompeo chose the Richard Nixon Presidential Library to give his speech, which many US media outlets previously predicted would be a "new cold war declaration." 

The improvements in China-US relations started global prosperity after the Cold War. The message Pompeo conveyed is that the US will put an end to the paradigm of globalization which takes China-US cooperation as one of its important cornerstones. He did not use the term "new cold war," but he further stressed this intention that has previously been conveyed by him and other US officials including US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

Also ironically, on the same day Pompeo delivered the address, the number of COVID-19 infections in the US surpassed 4 million. Like other US officials, the secretary of state refused to take any responsibility for the fact that the US has become the country worst hit by the pandemic. Instead, he shamelessly blamed China for not revealing information on the coronavirus sooner.

A large part of the China-US relationship history is unfamiliar to today's young people. But many Americans can detect Pompeo's lies about the pandemic. The cover-up and lies on the issue reflect the hypocrisy and viciousness of Pompeo's speech. 

Pompeo also listed China's "infiltration and expansion" into the West under the leadership of the CPC, but his examples were absurd. He raised eyebrows by saying "Communist China is already in our borders." He demanded all countries in the world act together to force China to make the changes that Nixon hoped to bring through engagement.

Frankly speaking, Pompeo said nothing new in his speech. His fierce and repeated accusations against China have been going on for quite a long time. There may be two reasons for his repetition. First, he has uttered all the harsh words he can and cannot find new words to scold China in English. Second, the anti-China campaign staged by Pompeo and his colleagues has crossed the bottom line in the confrontation between powers in the 21st century. They attempted to win support for Trump's reelection by undermining China-US relations, but they have gone too far, which has given rise to risks. Pompeo has to keep an eye on public opinion when he is pushing the bilateral relationship to a freezing point.  

In the US, important policy speeches are often made in the early days of a new government. There are only a few months left under current Trump administration, Pompeo has hastily delivered his China policy speech with the obvious opportunistic intention of aiding Trump's reelection bid. Therefore, even if his address is viewed from a US perspective, history will find that the speech served a small political circle but was detached from long-term US interests. This reduces its significance.  

An 8000-word telegram from George Kennan, the American charge d'affaires in Moscow, laid the intelligence and ideological foundations for the US to launch a Cold War against the Soviet Union. But now US officials can only shout unconvincing slogans. There is only one reason for this: This is not an era for a new cold war and China is not an enemy of the Western world, including the US. 

China is a global trade partner and has carried out cooperation with countries and regions all over the world. Washington is finding fault with China through a magnifying lens and making distorted interpretations about China's competitive advantages. The nature of free trade is that it is mutually beneficial. Washington is doomed to face constraints if it wants to portray free trade as economic aggression by one side.   

Former US President Ronald Reagan adopted a "trust, but verify" approach to dealing with the Soviet Union. Now Pompeo has changed that into a "distrust, and verify" approach against China. His purpose is to incite Western countries to treat China in a harsher way than they dealt with the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, all nations around the world are interacting with China. They know what China is. That is the ultimate reason why Washington cannot fool the world, and why it is hard to convince its allies to confront China.  

If the US' current China policy is a fortress of steel and concrete, the hostility and selfishness of the ruling US administration are the steel, and US societal prejudices against China are the cement and stones. History will find the fortress has been built in the wrong place and it aims at the wrong targets. It is doomed to be abandoned.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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