Pompeo wraps up the anti-China tour from Asia in Vietnam

With only four days left in the campaign where China was a central motif, Pompeo saw Hanoi apparently to celebrate 25 decades of U.S.-Vietnam relations. However, as he’s at his previous stops in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia, Pompeo’s most important goal was to shore up support for shoving back China.

In short, remarks heard by terrorists, neither guy cited China by name, but Pompeo’s usage of the phrase”sovereignty” has become code for talking to resistance to Chinese encroachment, especially in Asia.

“We anticipate continuing to work together to build on our relationship and also to create the area — throughout Southeast Asia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific — peaceful and safe and prosperous,” Pompeo explained.

The Trump government has made facing China, its managing of this coronavirus pandemic, individual rights document, and aggressiveness toward its smaller neighbors among its primary foreign policy priorities. These problems, especially the Chinese source of this virus, have been emphasized by President Donald Trump because he attempts to conquer back a rigid reelection challenge from former Vice President Joe Biden from the Nov. 3 surveys.

Trump has sought to paint Biden too feeble on China and beholden to it, repeatedly raising concerns about alleged connections involving Biden’s son, Hunter, and Chinese companies.

Amid worries regarding the spread of COVID-19, Vietnam was a late addition to Pompeo’s itinerary and contains numerous worries about Chinese policies in the area.

In a statement released before Pompeo’s coming in Vietnam, the State Department assaulted China for reneging on collaboration pledges along with other Mekong countries and also for aggressively pursuing suspect claims in the South China Sea.

China’s”malign and destabilizing activities in the Mekong area, such as manipulation of Mekong River water leaks, negatively impact millions of folks that rely on the river for their livelihoods,” it stated.

“The United States stands with all our Indo-Pacific allies and partners in protecting their rights to overseas funds in the South China Sea, consistent with their rights and duties under international law,” it stated. It noted that before this season, Pompeo had refused blatantly most of Beijing’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea, such as those between Vietnam.

China’s activities in the South China Sea, where a third of international shipping moves, has drawn a rebuke from the USA and eventually become a flashpoint for a region where Southeast Asian allies Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have equal claims.

China has dismissed an arbitration ruling won from the Philippines that invalidated all Beijing’s claims, also assembled military outposts on seven manmade islands.

Pompeo came to Vietnam from Indonesia, in which he commended Spartan leadership at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for pushing back what he called China’s”criminal” South China Sea maintains and denounced Beijing because of the treatment of religious minorities, calling it”the gravest danger to the future of spiritual liberty”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin defended Beijing’s policies toward religious minorities and accused Pompeo of acting from”ideological bias and selfish political interests.”

“We advocate Pompeo to quit making all sorts of lies in China and quit employing the spiritual issue to interfere with China’s internal affairs,” Wang told reporters at a daily briefing on Friday.

Even though China’s constitution protects freedom of faith, the officially atheist Communist Party strictly restricts observance, particularly among young people and people worshiping outside party-sanctioned spiritual bodies.

Pompeo had traveled to Indonesia in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India on ceases in which he steadily ratcheted up the pressure on Beijing, which has resisted U.S. worries and accused him and many others at the Trump government of fanning the fires of a new Cold War.

From the Maldives, Pompeo declared the United States would for the first time open an embassy in the Indian Ocean archipelago, a movement that reflects growing U.S. concern about increasing Chinese influence and exactly what he called”its lawless and threatening behavior” from the Indo-Pacific area.

Only hours before in Sri Lanka, Pompeo had accusing China of becoming a”predator” in smaller nations by exploiting them together with loans and development projects meant to benefit the Chinese over the intended receivers.

In his first stop of this tour from India, Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had awakened the government’s anti-China message by playing Indian suspicions regarding the Chinese to shore up a regional entrance from Beijing from the Indo-Pacific.

Only hours before the meetings in New Delhi started, the Trump administration advised Congress of plans to get a $2.37 billion purchase of Harpoon missile approaches to Taiwan — the 2nd significant arms sale in 2 weeks into the democratic island which Beijing regards as a renegade province.