Hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday asserted that the Communist Party of China is engaged in a “clear and intensive intensifying pattern of bullying” its neighbours from the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas.
That bullying is also evident in the South China Sea, he told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
“We are hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border. From the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas and beyond, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a clear and intensive intensifying pattern of bullying its neighbours,” Pompeo said.
“Last week, the US imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on Chinese individuals and entities responsible for the CPC’s imperialism and doing things such as unlawful energy surveillance activities in the economic zones of our ally the Philippines and other countries,” he said.
The US, he said, also remains concerned about the activities of more than 300 Chinese flag vessels near the Galapagos which are almost certainly engaged in illegal fishing.
The Galapagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It is a province of Ecuador.
“In light of this maritime lawlessness, it is no surprise that Beijing’s candidate in the international tribunal for the law of the sea election last week received more abstentions than any other candidate,” he said.
China is the most flagrant violator of the Law of the Sea convention and nations all across the world are registering their disapproval, the top US diplomat said.
“We are also concerned about the Chinese actions… in light of the General Secretary (President Xi Jinping’s) recent calls on Tibetan Buddhism and fight split. We continue to call upon Beijing to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions to reach a settlement…” Pompeo said.
Next week, Pompeo is scheduled to have a series of virtual meetings with his counterparts from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Indo-Pacific countries. In addition to bilateral and regional issues, Pompeo said that he will also raise how the Trump administration is restoring reciprocity to the US-China relationship.
“For years, the Chinese Communist Party has imposed significant barriers on American diplomats working inside the PRC (People’s Republic of China).
“Specifically the Chinese Communist Party has implemented a system of opaque approval process which is designed to prevent American diplomats from conducting regular business, attending events, securing meetings, and connecting with the Chinese people, especially on university campuses and via the press and social media,” he said.
The Secretary of State said that the State Department has established a mechanism requiring approval for senior Chinese diplomats in the US to visit university campuses and to meet with the local government officials.
“Cultural events with groups larger than 50 people hosted by the Chinese embassy and consular outside our missions will also require our approval. Additionally, we are taking further steps to ensure that all official PRC embassy and consular social media accounts are properly identified as the Chinese government accounts,” he added.