Mike Pompeo praises UK for standing up to China over Hong Kong and Huawei and calls for ‘alliance of the free world’ against the Communist superpower
- Mr Pompeo urges alliance to ‘push back against the Chinese Communist Party’
- He also accused China of allowing a ‘preventable pandemic’ to take hold
- He said: ‘The Chinese Communist Party’s exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful’
Mike Pompeo has urged Boris Johnson to join an ‘alliance of the free world’ against China as it accused Beijing of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to ‘further its own interests’.
Speaking in London, the US Secretary of State appealed to the UK to help build a global pact to ‘push back against the Chinese Communist Party’.
Mr Pompeo welcomed steps taken by the UK – including a ban on Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks and the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong – but he said countries needed to work together to increase pressure on Beijing.
In a combative address, he accused China of allowing a ‘preventable pandemic’ to take hold, adding: ‘The Chinese Communist Party’s exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful.’
He said Beijing had been attempting to ‘bully’ its neighbours, claim territory which did not belong to it, and ‘steal intellectual property’ from the West. In a further escalation of tensions last night, the US Department of Justice charged two Chinese nationals with hacking secrets worth hundreds of millions of pounds from western countries.
Mike Pompeo has urged Boris Johnson to join an ‘alliance of the free world’ against China as the US Secretary of State took aim at Beijing on his trip to Britain
Mr Pompeo, pictured with Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo leaving No 10 this week, wants the UK to help build a global pact to ‘push back against the Chinese Communist Party’
UK and US close loophole that allowed Harry Dunn’s ‘killer’ Anne Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year
Harry Dunn’s parents said the closing of a loophole which allowed their son’s suspected killer to claim diplomatic immunity is a ‘huge step forward’.
Officials today announced plans to fix the ‘anomaly’ which gave relatives of staff at RAF Croughton immunity.
Harry died near the US base in Northamptonshire after his motorbike crashed into a Volvo being driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas – an American diplomat’s wife – who fled across the Atlantic and has not returned.
Following the announcement, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles said it was a ‘huge step forward’ – adding that one of the family’s aims was for this to ‘never happen to another family again’.
Victims are alleged to have included a UK firm specialising in artificial intelligence and cancer research.
The moves came as Beijing warned Britain would face ‘consequences’ for recent actions, including the suspension of its extradition law with Hong Kong.
The Global Times newspaper, widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Beijing regime, warned that British firms could face reprisals.
It said trade talks could be ‘slowed or suspended’, adding that if the UK ‘upholds such a hostile attitude toward China, Beijing may have no other choice but to strike at British companies like HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover’.
Mr Pompeo’s comments followed talks with Boris Johnson in the Downing Street garden. No10 said the two had agreed to work together on developing alternatives to Huawei in the West’s 5G communications network.
A spokesman said they had also discussed ‘shared global security and foreign policy issues, including China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang’ where Beijing is accused of violations against the Uighur Muslim minority.
Mr Pompeo is thought to have urged the PM to follow the US in imposing sanctions on senior Chinese officials, including executives at Huawei. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who also held talks with Mr Pompeo, denied that the UK had been ‘strong-armed’ but acknowledged that tough US sanctions on Huawei had sparked a review of its status in the UK.
At a joint Press conference, Mr Pompeo urged the UK to back Donald Trump’s strategy to contain the Beijing regime.
‘We want every nation to work together to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts in every dimension,’ he said. ‘That certainly includes the United Kingdom. It includes every country. We hope we can build a coalition that understands this threat, will work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party it’s not in their best interest to engage in this kind of behaviour.’
Earlier, Mr Pompeo held private talks with a group of MPs who want to see tougher action against China. A source said the US Secretary of State wanted the PM to help lead ‘an alliance of the free world against China’.
Mike Pompeo, pictured with Boris Johnson in the Downing Street garden yesterday, is said to have told MPs that the boss of the World Health Organisation had been ‘bought’ by China
Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith backed the call, saying: ‘The more countries that step up and stand together, the less chance there is that China can retaliate and pick them off. I’d like the Government to get ahead of the game on this.’
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy said: ‘Now the UK side has gone even further down the wrong road in disregard of China’s solemn position and repeated representations.’ Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming last night accused the UK of distorting the situation in Xinjiang province.
He was left squirming at the weekend after being confronted on The Andrew Marr Show with footage of blindfolded Uighurs being loaded on to trains.
But yesterday he hit back, saying: ‘Some Western politicians, including those from UK, turned a blind eye to the economic and social progress in Xinjiang and improvement of law and order thanks to counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation measures. We urge them to stop spreading the ‘lie of a century’ about Xinjiang.’
Downing Street distances itself from ‘Mike Pompeo’s claim that the boss of the World Health Organisation was ‘bought’ by China’
Downing Street said WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu is ‘playing an important role’ in the coronavirus fight
Downing Street today appeared to try to distance itself from Mike Pompeo’s alleged claim that the boss of the World Health Organisation had been ‘bought’ by China.
The US Secretary of State allegedly told a private meeting of MPs yesterday that Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had struck a bargain with the communist regime to secure his election to the post of WHO director-general.
A WHO spokesman said it ‘strongly rejects any ad hominem attacks and unfounded allegations’ against its leadership.
Number 10 this afternoon insisted Dr Tedros, and the WHO more broadly, have an ‘important role to play’ in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
Mr Pompeo is also said to have told the meeting of MPs that the UK had been provided with US intelligence on which Chinese officials to target with sanctions for human rights abuses.
He apparently said that American intelligence had been handed to the UK relating to violations committed against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. Boris Johnson has faced repeated calls from Tory backbenchers and Labour to impose sanctions.
Mr Pompeo’s remarks will heap further pressure on the PM to take action, with China having already warned that imposing sanctions would prompt a ‘resolute response’.