(C) Bloomberg. Michael Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, right, and Dominic Raab, U.K. foreign secretary, depart from number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Senior lawmakers will seek to use a visit to London by Pompeo to press U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take an even harder stance on China.
(Bloomberg) — U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo praised Britain’s tougher stance on China as the transatlantic allies signaled they are planning more coordinated action against Beijing.
Pompeo said he wants to build a “coalition” that understands the “threat” posed by China, after talks with U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on Tuesday. At a press conference following their meeting, Raab suggested further action at Group of Seven level may follow.
The discussion came after both London and Washington stepped up their criticism of Beijing’s introduction of a new security law in Hong Kong, against the backdrop of heightened tension between rhe U.S. and China.
Last week, the U.K. banned China’s Huawei Technologies Co from its fifth generation wireless networks, citing the impact of U.S. sanctions against the company. The Trump administration has also been vocal in its attacks on China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a theme Pompeo returned to.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the British government for its principled responses to these challenges,” Pompeo told a news conference in the ornate Green Room in Lancaster House, central London.
The top U.S. diplomat praised the U.K. for banning Huawei from 5G, for condemning “China’s broken promises” on Hong Kong and for suspending the extradition treaty with its former colony.
“We support those sovereign choices. We think, well done,” Pompeo said.
Raab insisted the U.K. had not been forced into its move against Huawei by U.S pressure, despite citing American sanctions against the company as a reason for acting.
“The reality is, as a result of U.S. sanctions, we’ve of course got to look with a clear-sighted perspective about what that means, and we’ve taken a decision based on that,” he said. “But I don’t think there’s any question of strong arming.”
Both men discussed their “serious concerns” about Hong Kong, adding that the U.K. and U.S. are discussing with allies “the next steps, including at G-7 level.”
Pompeo said he wants “every nation who understands freedom and democracy” to understand “this threat that the Chinese Communist Party is posing” and to work together to counter it.
“We hope we can build out a coalition that understands the threat and will work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party it’s not in their best interest to engage in this kind of behavior.”
(C)2020 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. and UK Discuss Plans for Coalition to Resist China