U.S. allies are beginning to feel more comfortable standing up to China “so long as America is prepared to do it alongside them,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.
During a virtual discussion sponsored by the Atlantic Council, Pompeo was asked about critics of the Trump administration who say it should do more to enlist allies in combating China.
“My view is that the tide has turned,” he says, suggesting other countries were affected by what he called “the coverup that took place with respect to the Chinese virus” and “predatory activity.”
He cited conversations with representatives of countries in Africa and with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as evidence that “the world has awakened” to “attacks on their economic activities inside their own resource zones.”
“I think these are powerful shifts in the world’s view of the threat from the Chinese Communist Party,” he says. “I’ve seen it.”
Democrats have long accused the Trump administration of crafting China policy without sufficient consultation with and the support of U.S. allies. The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden has placed Trump’s tendency to act alone on China at the core of its criticism of the administration’s policy approach to Beijing.
Pompeo also said the “shift” has been noticed by U.S. business leaders, saying “they understand now much more clearly the political risk associated with operating inside a country dominated and controlled by a single party, the Chinese Communist Party.”