Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using his department to put a spotlight on China and its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and its treatment of pro-democracy protesters and Uyghur Muslims, Fox News reports.
During recent speeches, Pompeo has taken aim at China. He has called out the Chinese Communist Party for its treatment of protesters in Hong Kong and its “war on faith” against the Chinese Muslims in Western China.
"China, in particular, is aggressively promoting a very different concept in which national priorities of various sorts prevail over the basic rights of speech, assembly, religious freedom, and free elections," Pompeo said Thursday at a speech about the State Department's efforts on "unalienable rights."
The following day, he ripped China during a Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.
"And inside China, just to give a single example, a few weeks back I read a report about the Chinese Communist Party forcing mass abortions and sterilization on Chinese Muslims in Western China," he said. "These are some of the most gross human rights violations we have seen and I’ve referred to it as the stain of the century."
On Sunday, the State Department’s official Twitter account stated “@SecPompeo: We are watching the world unite to come to understand the threat from the Chinese Communist Party.”
Overall, the Trump administration’s position on China has varied. President Donald Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping on some topics and then blasted the county on others.
Recently, the administration has stepped up its criticism on China when it comes to trade, coronavirus, human rights and global 5G networks, according to Fox News.
Pompeo and Trump have placed blame on China for the coronavirus pandemic. During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the president said China “should’ve never let it escape.”
China hasn’t remained quiet as the U.S. fires verbal attacks. China has claimed the U.S. has mishandled the virus outbreak.
"The #US politicizes #COVID19 response at home and uses 'attacking China' as a panacea for domestic problems. A real-life #HouseofCards is on in #Washington, with people's lives at stake," Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the country's foreign ministry, tweeted last week.
Beyond a verbal war, Trump approved some sanctions against China. Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which allows sanctions to be placed on Chinese entities that contributed to eliminating freedoms once enjoyed in Hong Kong and financial institutions that do business with them. The executive branch also announced sanctions in relation to the oppression of the Uyghur Muslims.
China hit back with sanctions against Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
"Unfortunately for CCP leaders, I don't have plans to travel to the authoritarian regime that covered up the coronavirus pandemic and endangered millions of lives worldwide," Cruz said in a statement that also condemned the "horrific forced abortions and sterilizations" of the Uyghur Muslims.
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