Mike Pompeo in major policy speech: 'We can't treat China as a normal country'

'Nixon feared he had created a Frankenstein by opening the world to China,' Pompeo says, 'but I have faith we can defend freedom.' Watch.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

On Thursday, July 23, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered a major policy statement at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, in which he outlined the motivations underlying the policy the Trump administration is pursuing with relation to China, the fourth such speech he has made recently.

“We had a very clear purpose, a real mission,” he continued. “It was to explain the different facets of America’s relationship with China, the massive imbalances in that relationship that have built up over decades, and the Chinese Communist Party’s designs for hegemony.”

“The world was much different then,” Pompeo said, harking back to the historic trip President Richard Nixon made to China in 1972. “We imagined engagement with China would produce a future with bright promise of comity and cooperation. But today – today we’re all still wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] failed in its promises to the world.”

“We’re seeing staggering statistics of Chinese trade abuses that cost American jobs and strike enormous blows to the economies all across America, including here in southern California. And we’re watching a Chinese military that grows stronger and stronger, and indeed more menacing.”

Then Pompeo posed a crucial question: “What do the American people have to show now 50 years on from engagement with China?”

He went on to explain Nixon’s rationale in engaging with the Communist state, quoting the former president from an article he wrote in Foreign Affairs:

“Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside of the family of nations … The world cannot be safe until China changes. Thus, our aim – to the extent we can, we must influence events. Our goal should be to induce change.”

“As time went on,” Pompeo continued, “American policymakers increasingly presumed that as China became more prosperous, it would open up, it would become freer at home, and indeed present less of a threat abroad, it’d be friendlier. It all seemed, I am sure, so inevitable.”

However, things didn’t turn out as planned; instead, “… our policies – and those of other free nations – resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that were feeding it.

“We opened our arms to Chinese citizens, only to see the Chinese Communist Party exploit our free and open society. China sent propagandists into our press conferences, our research centers, our high-schools, our colleges, and even into our PTA meetings.”

“We gave the Chinese Communist Party and the regime itself special economic treatment, only to see the CCP insist on silence over its human rights abuses as the price of admission for Western companies entering China … [companies such as] Marriott, American Airlines, Delta, United all removed references to Taiwan from their corporate websites, so as not to anger Beijing.”

Pompeo then outlined some of the devastating economic consequences of Chinese appeasement: “China ripped off our prized intellectual property and trade secrets, causing millions of jobs [to be lost] all across America.”

Finally, after years of disappointments, “American policy [responded] to this conclusion. President Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of ‘trust but verify.’ When it comes to the CCP, I say we must ‘distrust and verify.’

“We, the freedom-loving nations of the world, must induce China to change, just as President Nixon wanted … We have to tell the truth. We can’t treat this incarnation of China as a normal country, just like any other.”

“President Nixon once said he feared he had created a ‘Frankenstein’ by opening the world to the CCP, and here we are,” Pompeo said, but, “I have faith we can defend freedom because of the sweet appeal of freedom itself.”