After the State of the Union address by President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech on Feb. 8 to the attendees of the National Governors Association (NGA) 2020 winter meeting to discuss the influence of the Chinese regime in the United States.
Pompeo, mentioned the commitments that are part of his agenda as a diplomat, taking advantage of the space to talk about how the Chinese regime intends to reach bilateral agreements at the state level, compromising the foreign policy of the United States.
He mentioned that last year he received an invitation to participate in the US-China Governors’ Collaborative Summit, which was organized by the National Governors’ Association and the Association for Friendship and Foreign Countries.
“What the invitation did not say is that the group—the group I just mentioned—is the public face of the Chinese Communist Party’s official foreign influence agency, the United Front Work Department.”
“Now, I was lucky. I was familiar with that organization from my time as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” Pompeo said during the event.
He also mentioned that last year a group of Chinese government experts in Beijing released a report assessing the attitude of 50 U.S. governors toward China, revealing that many view the regime as “friendly,” “hard-line” or “ambiguous.”
“The lesson is that competition with China is not just a federal issue. It’s why I wanted to be here today,” the U.S. secretary of state said.
“It’s happening in your states with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens that reside in your states, and indeed, for each of you,” he told the bipartisan group and the president of the National Governors Association, Republican Larry Hogan.
Pompeo pointed out that contrary to the growth expectations of the Chinese communist regime, the Asian country is increasingly committed to “repression,” ‘unfair competition’ and ‘predatory economic practices’, as well as a more aggressive military posture.
But he also made it clear that this does not mean you cannot do business with China, citing the phase one trade agreement signed by President Donald Trump last month.
The secretary of state said: “While there are places we can cooperate, we can’t ignore China’s actions and strategic intentions. If we do, we risk the important components of our relationship that benefit both countries.”
“They’re important and good. They’re good for your state; they’re good for America,” Pompeo told the president of the National Governors Association, Republican Larry Hogan.
He also spoke about the medical aid that was sent from the United States to China to help treat cases of coronavirus infection, as well as the more than $100 million in medical assistance sent to the Asian country and other nations where the virus has spread.
The secretary of state then said, “While there are places where we can cooperate, we cannot ignore China’s strategic actions and intentions. If we do, we risk the important components of our relationship that benefit both countries.”
Pompeo spoke about the letter sent by China’s consul general in New York to the speaker of one of your state legislatures, urging him not to congratulate the winners of the recent elections in that country, which was won by Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen.
“Think about that. You had a diplomat from China assigned here to the United States, a representative of the Chinese Communist Party in New York City, sending an official letter urging that an American elected official shouldn’t exercise his right to freedom of speech,” Pompeo added.
He also mentioned some other cases, such as when the Chinese Consulate paid students at the University of California, San Diego, to protest the Dalai Lama.
Or when the former governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, received a letter from the Chinese Consulate in Houston, threatening to cancel an investment if the governor decided to travel to Taiwan; or when a high school in Chicago canceled the invitation of a Taiwanese representative to take part in a climate change panel.
“Chinese Communist Party officials, too, are cultivating relationships with county school board members and local politicians—often through what are known as sister cities programs,” Pompeo said.
The secretary of state reiterated during the meeting, “This Chinese competition is something everyone knows about. It’s in the back of your mind. But you have many obligations and you are very busy people. But this competition is on.”
” And while these might seem like local matters to some, the cumulative effect is of enormous national importance and international significance,” added Pompeo. He also said that the so-called Thousand Talents Plan is a plan to recruit scientists and professors to transfer the know-how we have here to China in exchange for enormous paydays.”
He also discussed the so-called Confucian Institutes, which apparently provide Mandarin language courses but serve as a tool to promote a positive image of the Chinese communist regime.
Pompeo ended his speech by urging the governors to be aware of the Chinese communist regime’s interference with the sole purpose to “protect our security, our economy; indeed, all that we hold dear, all of those freedoms.”