Hanoi, Vietnam (Associated Press)-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded a five-nation anti-China Asia tour in Vietnam on Friday, calling for regional unity in response to the fierce US presidential election race. Respond to Beijing’s growing self-confidence. Its last extension.
With only four days left in the China-centric campaign, Pompeo visited Hanoi on the surface to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of US-Vietnam relations. But, as he did in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia, Pompeo’s main purpose is to provide support for China’s return.
Pompeo said to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc: “We pay tribute to the Vietnamese people and the sovereignty of your country.”
In the brief comments the reporter heard, no one mentioned China, but Pompeo’s use of the term “sovereignty” has become a model for accusing the opposition of Chinese aggression, especially in Asia.
Pompeo said: “We look forward to continuing to work together to build our relationship and make the entire Southeast Asia, Asia and Indo-Pacific region safe, peaceful and prosperous.”
Fokker said he seeks “sincere cooperation” between the two parties to support a peaceful area.
The Trump administration has made confrontation with China, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, human rights record and aggressiveness towards small neighboring countries as one of its main foreign policy priorities. When President Donald Trump overwhelmed the severe re-election challenge of former Vice President Joe Biden in a poll on November 3, he emphasized these issues, especially the Chinese origin of the virus.
Trump tried to portray Biden as a weak man against China and took a fancy to it, repeatedly raising questions about the relationship between Biden’s son Hunter and Chinese companies.
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Vietnam is a late addition to Pompeo’s itinerary, and there are many concerns about China’s policies in the region. These activities range from Beijing’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea to its development activities along the Mekong River. The Mekong River flows through the entire Southeast Asian continent and is the regional lifeline.
In a statement issued by Pompeo before his arrival in Vietnam, the State Council criticized China for violating its commitment to cooperation with other Mekong countries and actively pursuing questionable claims in the South China Sea.
The report stated that China’s “destructive and destabilizing actions in the Mekong region, including the manipulation of the waters of the Mekong, have had a negative impact on the millions of people who depend on the river for their livelihoods.”
It said: “The United States, together with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners, safeguards its sovereign rights over the offshore resources of the South China Sea, in line with its rights and obligations under international law,” it noted that earlier this year, Pompeo had already Almost completely rejected all claims by Beijing in the South China Sea, including claims related to Vietnam.
China’s actions in the South China Sea are one-third of the global shipping industry. It has been condemned by the United States and has become a flashpoint in areas where Southeast Asian neighbors Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have commensurate claims. .
China ignored an arbitration award won by the Philippines that invalidated most of Beijing’s claims and established military posts on seven artificial islands.
Pompeo arrived in Vietnam from Indonesia. He praised Indonesia’s leadership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He avoided what he called China’s “illegal” South China Sea claims and condemned Beijing’s treatment of religious minorities, calling it “ The greatest threat” to the future of religious freedom. ”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin defended Beijing’s religious minority policy and accused Pompeo of acting out of “ideological prejudice and selfish political interests”.
Wang told reporters at a daily briefing on Friday: “We urge Pompeo to stop fabricating all kinds of lies about China and stop using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
Although China’s Constitution technically protects religious freedom, the official atheist Communist Party strictly restricts compliance, especially among young people and those who worship outside of religious groups recognized outside the party.
Pompeo traveled from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India to Indonesia, increasing pressure on Beijing on the way. Beijing rejected American concerns and accused him and others in the Trump administration of inciting a new cold war.
In the Maldives, Pompeo announced that the United States will open an embassy in the Indian Ocean Islands for the first time. This move reflects the United States’ concerns about China’s growing influence and what he calls “illegal and threatening behavior” in Indochina. Pacific region.
Just a few hours ago in Sri Lanka, Pompeo accused China of being a “predator” of small countries, exploiting China through loans and development projects, making China more beneficiaries than expected.
In the first leg of the trip to India, Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper increased the Indian government’s suspicion of China and increased India’s support for the Chinese to support the region’s presence in the Indo-Pacific. The battle line against Beijing.
A few hours before the meeting in New Delhi, the Trump administration informed Congress of its plans to sell the Harpoon missile system to Taiwan for US$2.37 billion. This is the second time in two weeks that the Democratic Island, which Beijing considers a rebel province Major arms sales. China angrily announced sanctions on US defense contractors.