U.S. Secretary of State: Everyone, Including Chinese Americans, Has a Responsibility to Push Back Against the CCP
(Minghui.org) In his interview with the Hoover Institution on January 12, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, summarized achievements of the Trump administration in the past four years, especially those in defending the free world against threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
When talking with Michael Auslin and John Yoo, co-hosts from Hoover Institution’s Pacific Century Podcast, Pompeo said the battle with the CCP is a long process. Despite their differences, both Republicans and Democrats are aware of the CCP's atrocities against people in Western China and Hong Kong. He said everyone has an obligation to push back against the CCP, including Chinese Americans.
Pompeo pointed out, “We all know the Chinese American community is noble, great. I mean, it’s, in fact, those very people that our obligation to push back against the Chinese Communist Party must continue to support. So I don’t know from what perch I’ll be doing that, John, but I do hope to continue to find a place because this matters an awful lot to my kids and your kids and all of our grandchildren.”
On the same day, Pompeo was also interviewed by Hugh Hewitt from The Hugh Hewitt Show. He clarified what the U.S. administration had done in the past four years to communist China was only working towards “fairness, reciprocity, an even-handed way of dealing with each other.” When the CCP broke its promises, however, it is necessary and appropriate for the Trump administration and future administrations to continue to demand fairness and reciprocity.
Interview with Hoover Institution
Pompeo started his talk by addressing one question from a listener who worried that treating China as an enemy would make China an enemy. “The idea somehow that American actions are driving General Secretary Xi Jinping’s model of behavior is simply ludicrous. If anything, what drove it was the appeasement that had taken place for, frankly, decades before, where no matter what action the Chinese Communist Party took, no matter how much it impacted adversely the security and prosperity of the American people, our response was we can go sell more stuff there, don’t upset the apple cart, and we bent a knee,” he remarked, “I think that may well have fueled the Chinese Communist Party’s vision that says we no longer need to bide our time and hide our strength.”
In fact, the CCP has begun to break promises all across the world and to “threaten the capacity for the West, this idea of the rule of law and the idea of sovereignty, these central understandings we have about human rights, to be violated in ways we’ve not seen in many, many decades in the world,” he explained.
Preserving Principles, Security and Prosperity of the Free World
Pompeo explained why what the US. administration had done in the past four years is critical. “President Trump came in and we flipped the script. We began to take seriously this challenge, and we both took action ourselves and built out coalitions throughout the world to assist us in preserving the ideas of democracy and human rights and the rule of law and sovereignty,” he said. This includes reciprocal and fair trade arrangements between the two countries, stopping intellectual property theft, and spying activities at the Chinese Consulates in Houston. The central idea is preserving the principles, security and prosperity of the American people.
When asked if those efforts would slow down communist China, Pompeo admitted it is a long process. “Reversing decades of American policy and convincing another 100-plus nations that they need to be alongside of us in standing up for democracy and freedom isn’t going to happen in just four years. And so there remains an awful lot of work to do,” he continued.
One example is the commercial space. “It’s still the case that America is exposed to tremendous risk from important items in the supply chain that Americans depend upon coming out of China. We need to take actions that preserve the capacity for us to function even if China should threaten,” he added, “Our military needs to continue to expand its capabilities. There are many, many more missile tests being conducted in China each year than the rest of the world combined. We need to make sure that we don’t surrender on issues that matter an awful lot.”
Another example is the Paris climate treaty because, rejoining that treaty would cost American tremendously while leaving the CCP essentially unaffected.
Every Individual Has a Responsibility
Looking forward, Pompeo hopes that the momentum would continue. “I pray that that’s so... We had support from Democrats on the actions that we took to impose costs on the horrific actions that are taking place in Western China, some of the worst human rights violations,” he said, “We’ve had consensus built around the failed promises from the Chinese Communist Party on Hong Kong, and there is consensus around how the United States needs to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s penchant for retrenching with respect to Taiwan.”
Nonetheless, there will be challenges as “there would be, there are costs when one does that.” That is why “we need steadfast leaders who are prepared to accept those costs and acknowledge that the long-term sustainable freedom and democracy project that has been the United States of America for now more than two centuries depends upon our commitment to preserving our freedom from the challenges that the CCP presents.”
There are lots of things that can be done. “The challenges here inside the United States on our campuses, in our research institutions, even in our high schools, in the commercial space – the Chinese Communist Party, as I have said, is inside the gates here, and there is a responsibility of every American citizen to be mindful of that, to be aware of it,” he said, “When you see something that looks like it might well be an effort by the Chinese Communist Party to engage in behavior that’s antagonistic to American interests, you ought to check it out. I wish Congressman Swalwell had done that.”
He said there are many things every American citizen can do. “We all know the Chinese American community is noble, great. I mean, it’s, in fact, those very people that our obligation to push back against the Chinese Communist Party must continue to support,” he added.
“I think every individual has a responsibility, especially those of us who have had the opportunity to lead,” Pompeo explained, “And I don’t just mean in government. I mean company CEOs, heads of school boards, those running pension funds in California and around the country. We all have to be eyes wide open.”
“And I’m convinced this next generation will get it. I began my service in the United States military during the Cold War. I served from 1986 to 1989 as an armor officer on the then East German border. I had an appreciation for what tyranny and authoritarianism do to the individual spirit and the flourishing of human life,” he continued, “I am confident the next generation will come to understand that as well. They will come to see that it is today’s Chinese Communist Party that really presents the greatest threat to those freedoms that each and every one of them gets to benefit from because they have the good fortune to be American.”
Interview with The Hugh Hewitt Show
In response to the wolf warrior-style of diplomacy from the communist China, Pompeo said the U.S. administration has been working on this in the past four years. “The President began by tackling the challenge of the economic disparity between the way the two nations interacted. We then worked hard with respect to the Wuhan virus to demand transparency, fairness, reciprocity, the central tenets of relationship with the United States and China. I don’t expect that will change,” he explained.
Upholding Core Principles
He said a lot can be learned from past U.S. policy towards communist China. “Chinese exercise a rhetorical flourish or they challenge us, and we walk away from the things that we promised that we would do. Indeed, we have legislative requirements, statutory requirements, things that are in law that the United States simply hasn’t done on its own. It’s bent its knee to China. We ought not do that,” he continued.
“These actions aren’t provocative. They aren’t intended in that way. They are intended to fulfill the commitments that we have made to all the parties in the region, to the Chinese Communist Party in particular,” he added, “We will live up to our commitments. We will do so in a way that is appropriate and we – all we ask is that the Chinese Communist Party fulfill the promises that it has made to not only the United States, but to the world for all these years.”
He emphasized these efforts should continue. “I think the world, and that includes the American people, will continue to demand that the United States secure freedoms for them, and that includes pushing back against the challenge of our time. That is the challenge of the Chinese Communist Party and its capacity and intention to expand its influence and ultimately deliver a world that is very different, one not governed by the rule of law, by respect for sovereignty, all the things that the world has come to know in the post-World War II environment,” he added, “And the Chinese Communist Party wants to upend with a very different theory of international relations, one dominated by the East, one controlled in a way that won’t create more security, freedom, more prosperity.”
He believed that is what the American people will demand regardless of who is leading their country, because it is important to “make sure that America remains the country it has for the last 240-plus years, and that the world continue to operate under a set of rules that are based in human rights, based in the law, based in respect for sovereignty. Those are core principles, the idea of reciprocity is important, and I think every American leader understands the necessity for that.”
Infiltration and influence from the CCP is enormous. “The capacity of the Chinese Communist Party to influence not just Hollywood, but the – our media more broadly, whether that’s through investment interests, whether that’s through threats that they won’t have access to the markets in China... It is the case that we have permitted the Chinese Communist Party to get inside of our schools, our research institutions... Those are things that fundamentally present risk to the sovereignty of the United States of America,” he added, “For decades we turned the other cheek, we allowed this to go on. I think, just as President Trump has said, we’ve had enough, that can’t continue to happen. And the United States needs to do everything it can. The government needs to do everything it can to prevent that from continuing to happen.”
What happens in Hollywood is not alone. “It is a bellwether. It’s an indicator. It is a signal for the depth, capacity, breadth, scope, the levels to which the Chinese Communist Party will reach, and in fact has reached, to influence how Americans think about their own country. These efforts, these influence operations are real, and the effort to undermine our institutions, our central, Western, democratic institutions, American republic, is real,” he explained.
It takes a series of efforts to address it. “And we have to make sure that we do everything we can to call it out, identify it,” Pompeo continued, “When the American people become aware of it, when they know, they’ll demand that not only government do the right thing, but they’ll remand that the – demand that the people who sell them products, the people who provide them services all behave in a way that is consistent with American national security. We have seen that throughout history before, Hugh. I’m confident we’ll see it again.”
Protecting Freedom for People
Many governments have joined the efforts including Australia, Japan, and South Korea. “We’re not trying to punish, we are not trying to contain China. We are simply demanding that they engage in the world in a way that big nations with large economies, powerful militaries – we haven’t even talked about their missile program and their nuclear program – with countries that have real capacity to destabilize and make the world insecure – there is a requirement, there is responsibility that comes with it. And the United States ought to lead – whoever is president of the United States ought to lead – the path forward in responding to the Chinese Communist Party in this way,” he continued.
He said people need freedom. “History will reflect on the good work that this President and our administration has done. Those books will be written about the changes that we have made in the world, the recognition that we have taken about reality, sovereignty, respect for basic dignity and human rights, a return to the founding principles in a way that previous administrations had not done,” he explained, “I’ll let others write it, but I think that those actions – the actual things that happened – will be reflected in a way that shows there was good work done on behalf of the American people.”
This goes to the founding principles of America. “It’s very difficult to conduct foreign policy around the world if you don’t understand the founding of your own nation, your own nation’s deep traditions. That’s certainly true in the space of human rights as well, religious freedom being foremost among them, along with the capacity to exercise your religious rights and rights to speak. You have to get that right,” he explained, “I wanted to make sure that my team at the State Department, my diplomats understood that founding, understood and appreciated how important and how noble the American tradition was.
“And while we are an imperfect nation, we are constantly headed towards respecting and increasing the rights for every American. If we get that right, if we do it well, then we can be a force for good in the world. And if we don’t, it becomes more difficult,” he concluded.