- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 2, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday warned nations against doing business with Chinese companies, laying out a series of concerns — from a lack of transparency to weak environmental protections — that come along with any deals with Beijing.

Speaking in Kazakhstan, the top U.S. diplomat made the case why countries in the region should be wary of China’s growing economic investments around the world. Instead, he argued, nations should ink deals with American firms that are far more reliable and responsible than their Chinese competitors.

“We fully support Kazakhstan’s freedom to choose to do business with whatever county, whichever country, it wants. But I am confident, I am confident that countries get the best outcomes when they partner with American companies,” Mr. Pompeo said. “You get fair deals, you get job creation, you get transparency in contracts, you get companies that care about the environment, and you get an unsurpassed commitment to quality work. American companies are naturally incentivized to behave this way. It’s just simply how the American system works.”

Mr. Pompeo’s comments underscore American concern over China’s efforts to dramatically ramp up its economic power and influence across the globe by investing heavily in foreign projects. Such moves form the cornerstone of Beijing’s 21st-century economic strategy.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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