Pompeo jabs at China’s ‘bad behavior’, says U.S. will enforce Iran sanctions
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech at Siam Society in Bangkok, Thailand, August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool
BANGKOK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday decried “decades of bad behavior” from China that have hampered free trade, laying out a case at a Southeast Asian forum for Washington’s escalating trade war with Beijing.
“We want free and fair trade, not trade that undermines competition,” Pompeo told a regional youth leadership program in Thai capital Bangkok, where he is attending a wider meeting of Southeast Asian nations with world powers.
U.S. criticism of China has been a running theme at the Bangkok forum. President Trump on Thursday announced from Washington an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods in an ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
“For decades, China has taken advantage of trade … It’s time for that to stop. President Trump said we’re gonna fix this. And to fix it requires determination, and that’s what you saw this morning, Pompeo said.
Asked about the global economic disruption resulting from the U.S.-China dispute, Pompeo responded: “There have been negative implications from decades of bad behavior from China.”
Pompeo also said the United States remains “fully committed” to restarting talks with North Korea on denuclearization and said Washington would continue to enforce sanctions on Iran.
“The (Iran) sanctions have been very effective and we will enforce them everywhere,” he said.
He urged China to “do the right thing” in Chinese territory Hong Kong, where anti-government protests have prompted fears of a military crackdown by Beijing.
“I hope that the way things will proceed in Hong Kong … will be nonviolent,” he said.
Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Sam Holmes and Tom Hogue