The US Secretary of State has warned of the “choking challenge” posed by China’s ambitions to “subordinate” the west in an address to a think tank in the UK. Mike Pompeo echoed the recent warnings of Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, when he claimed that Beijing was attempting to “reshape the world economy in its own image”.
“China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in the [South China Sea], to threaten neighbors, and tries to bully its way to becoming the dominant economic, diplomatic, and military power in the region,” Pompeo said. Pompeo was visiting the UK to discuss a new security agreement, and warned that although Britain was an “ally”, it had to take a “firm stand” towards China’s ambitions.
He urged Britain and its allies to take a “whole-of-government approach” to the “difficult economic, security and technology challenges” posed by Beijing. He characterized them as “national security issues”, and went on to urge the UK to work together with its partners to form a collective response.
“China is different from any other leader of a great power the world has seen,” he added. “The free world must unite against the Chinese Communist Party’s hostility toward the rules-based order which has allowed us to build and sustain our democracies.”