- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is setting out an ambitious new U.S. foreign policy toward China, one that sees the ruling Communist Party as a national security threat and the force behind Beijing’s drive for global hegemony.

The new approach marks the first time in decades a senior U.S. government leader has attempted to distinguish between China’s 1.4 billion people and the authoritarian Communist Party of some 90 million members. Analysts say the secretary’s comments also directly challenge the legitimacy of the Communist Party that seized power in 1949 under Mao Zedong.

“The Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist party focused on struggle and international domination,” Mr. Pompeo said in a major foreign policy speech in New York on Wednesday evening. “We need only listen to the words of their leaders.”

“We have a long-cherished tradition of friendship with the Chinese people,” Mr. Pompeo said in a speech to the Hudson Institute, a think tank. “But I must say that the communist government in China today is not the same as the people of China.”

Mr. Pompeo said the Trump administration is rejecting policies of past administrations that ignored or played down China’s Marxist-Leninist system. He called for more directly confronting the challenge to American security posed by the Beijing regime.



Mr. Pompeo argued that the U.S. was slow to recognize the threat from China and for decades encouraged China’s rise “even when that rise was at the expense of American values, Western democracy, and security and good common sense.”

In a bid to curry favor with Beijing, the U.S. downgraded its friendship with democratic Taiwan, avoided directly discussing Chinese human rights abuses and played down ideological differences. Chinese threats to neighbors such as Vietnam and the Philippines in seeking control over the South China Sea also were not confronted vigorously enough.

China was also encouraged to join the World Trade Organization and other international organizations based on a promise from Beijing to adopt market reforms and abide by the rules of those organizations. “And all too often, China never followed through,” Mr. Pompeo said.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Mr. Pompeo’s wide-ranging critique “maliciously attacked” the Communist Party and government and was an attempt to “drive a wedge between the [Communist Party of China] and the Chinese people and deliberately distorted and slandered China’s domestic and foreign policy.”

“Such remarks are by no means an embodiment of confidence and power, but rather reveal fear and arrogance,” Mr. Geng added.

Retired Navy Capt. James E. Fanell, a former Pacific Fleet intelligence director, said the speech was a significant milestone in “the unraveling of Henry Kissinger’s ‘engagement school’ that has dominated U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the PRC.”

“Secretary Pompeo word’s correctly and forcefully declared the failure of engagement policy and will surely draw Beijing’s ire, as well as its many acolytes within U.S. academic and government foreign policy circles,” Capt. Fanell said.

Mr. Pompeo argued Wednesday that U.S. officials for decades misread the direction of China’s evolution.

Successive administrations, he said, for decades accommodated China’s development “in the hope that communist China would become more free, more market-driven, and ultimately, hopefully more democratic,” he added.

Mr. Pompeo credited President Trump with the shift in policies by sounding the alarm on unfair trade and economic practices.

Militarily, Mr. Pompeo contended, the Chinese danger is increasing.

“Now we know that China threatens America’s national security by developing asymmetric weapons that threaten our strategic assets too,” he said, adding that the problem is not limited to the United States but to all nations that share American values.

The secretary said he plans to give a series of speeches in the coming months further outlining the threat posed by China’s government. The speeches will cover China’s competing ideologies and values and their impact on the United States and world. The speeches will also address China’s large-scale military buildup of both nuclear and conventional forces, a buildup critics describe as far exceeding China defense needs.

Mr. Pompeo also plans to expose China’s interference in the United States through intelligence and influence operations, as well as Beijing’s bid to promote its communist system around the world.

China and the United States are close to signing a partial trade deal. “I’m optimistic we’ll get there. It’s a good thing, a place that we can work together. We want to make sure that we get that right and we want to make sure that the economic relationships are fair, reciprocal, and balanced as between us as well,” Mr. Pompeo said of the deal.

Mr. Pompeo said the United States does not seek a confrontation with China and wants a prosperous China that is at peace with its own people and neighbors.

“And we want to see a liberalized China that allows the genius of its people to flourish,” he said. “But above all, it’s critical that as Americans, we engage China as it is, not as we wish it were.”

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Mr. Pompeo “maliciously attacked” the Party and government and “tried to drive a wedge between the CPC and the Chinese people and deliberately distorted and slandered China’s domestic and foreign policy.”

“It fully exposes the deep-seated political prejudice and dark anti-communist mindset of a handful of American politicians,” Mr. Gen said. “Such remarks are by no means an embodiment of confidence and power, but rather reveal fear and arrogance.”

Mr. Geng said the China under communist rule made remarkable achievements

A group of French scholars published the “Black Book of Communism” in 1997 and estimated that under communism in China as estimated 65 million people died through the regime’s policies.

Retired Navy Capt. Jim Fanell, a former Pacific Fleet intelligence director, said the speech was a significant milestone in “the unraveling of Henry Kissinger’s ‘engagement school’ that has dominated U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the PRC.”

“Secretary Pompeo word’s correctly and forcefully declared the failure of engagement policy and will surely draw Beijing’s ire, as well as its many acolytes within U.S. academic and government foreign policy circles,” Capt. Fanell said.

Mr. Pompeo articulated the fundamental difference between the ideologies of the United States. “One stands for freedom, individual liberty and democracy and one which stands for totalitarian rule by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Capt. Fanell said.

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