U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to hold strong rhetoric against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and on Wednesday, Oct. 28, during a press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he referred to the CCP as a predator.

Pompeo also emphasized the good relations between the United States and Sri Lanka, saying that he will not tolerate that Sri Lanka becoming a victim of the pressure that the CCP exerts on the region, according to One America News (OAN).

Pompeo’s trip to Sri Lanka came after a meeting in India with government officials.

Pompeo’s visit with Defense Secretary Mark Esper to India was aimed at signing a new defense pact: “The United States will stand with the people of India as they confront threats to their sovereignty and freedom,” Pompeo said. 

His presence in Asia is part of U.S. efforts to balance the CCP’s growing influence in the region and advance the common goals of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Pompeo wrote on his Twitter account, “My meetings with President @GotabayaR and Foreign Minister Gunawardena reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s pivotal role as an #IndoPacific partner.”

“Together, we’re committed to advancing our shared interests in the region, including security, stability, and prosperity,” Pompeo said in his tweet.

Pomeo noted that an ally like Sri Lanka, strong and sovereign, is a strategic partner for the United States on the world stage. “It can be a beacon for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

“That is quite a contrast to what China [the CCP] seeks. We see from bad deals, violations of sovereignty, and lawlessness in the land and sea that the Chinese Communist Party is a predator. And the United States comes in a different way. We come as a friend and as a partner,” Pomeo added.

According to Reuters, through the mega infrastructure project known as the strip and route, China has invested billions in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, an initiative that for the United States represents an imminent debt.

Pompeo is expected to visit Vietnam as announced by the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense, as indicated by Reuters.