Pompeo to press for action in EU talks on China

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WASHINGTON, June 25, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said Thursday he would open a dialogue with the European Union
on China and voiced hope it would lead to tougher action.

Pompeo said he had accepted a proposal for a dedicated channel on
China policy with the 27-nation bloc as recommended by EU foreign
policy chief Josep Borrell during virtual talks with Pompeo on June
15.

“I’m very hopeful that I’ll be able to travel to Europe here in just
a handful of weeks to go kick that off,” Pompeo, known for his hawkish
views on China, told a forum of the German Marshall Fund of the United
States.

Pompeo acknowledged divergent views on China within the EU, where
some nations have developed strong trading links with the Asian power,
but hoped the dialogue could serve as a “catalyst for action.”

“Once we’re confident that we have a shared understanding of the
threat that is posed by the Chinese Communist Party, then we can begin
to take action,” Pompeo told the think tank’s Brussels Forum, held
virtually due to the coronavirus.

“We will work to make sure we have a shared set of facts and then
create a set of proposals for things that we can do together.”

Pompeo has sought with limited success to press other nations to
shun Chinese telecom giant Huawei, warning that it poses risks to
national security and personal privacy.

President Donald Trump’s top diplomat has also been at the forefront
of promoting a theory, discounted by mainstream scientists, that the
virus behind COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory.

 

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