China row explodes: Pompeo savages ‘disgraceful’ Beijing as he warns of ‘communist threat’

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Mr Pompeo hit out at China for “exploiting” the coronavirus pandemic to further its own interests as he branded Xi Jinping “disgraceful”. He encouraged other nations to push back against the Chinese Communist Party and described China’s leadership as a threat, speaking after a meeting with British ministers in London on Tuesday. He called on democratic nations to understand the threat that China posed.

Speaking at Downing Street, Mr Pompeo said: “We began with the challenge presented by the Chinese communist party in the COVID-19 virus which orginated in Wuhan, China.

“On behalf of the American people I want to extend my condolences to the British people for your losses from this preventable pandemic.

“This CPC exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful and rather than helping the world, General Secretary Xi has shown the world the party is true face.”

Earlier today, Mr Pompeo and Boris Johnson had “candid” talks as tensions mounted between China and the Western allies.

The meeting followed the Government’s U-turn on Chinese tech giant Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks, a move welcomed by Washington, and after Monday’s suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to Beijing’s national security law.

China has warned Britain will “bear the consequences” of its actions.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London said in a statement Beijing had expressed its concerns over the UK interfering in Hong Kong matters “which are internal affairs of China”.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson and Mr Pompeo, along with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, discussed “shared global security and foreign policy issues, including China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang” where there are concerns about the abuse of the Uighur Muslims.

They also discussed the importance of the Five Eyes alliance, the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, taking an “ambitious approach to working together on the technologies of the future”, something apparently aimed at ending the reliance on Chinese technology from firms such as Huawei.

Downing Street said they also discussed a possible US-UK trade deal.

Mr Pompeo said it was a “constructive” visit and “our two countries’ long-standing, strong bilateral relationship has laid the foundation for the candid discussion on issues ranging from 5G telecommunication to our negotiations for a US-UK free trade agreement”.

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