HANOI, Vietnam: U,S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is wrapping up an anti-China tour of Asia in Vietnam because the fierce American presidential election race enters its remaining stretch.
With simply 4 days left within the marketing campaign by which China has been a central theme, Pompeo was visiting Hanoi on Friday ostensibly to have fun 25 years of U.S.-Vietnam relations. However as he has at his earlier stops in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia, Pompeo is predicted to spotlight the Trump administrations antipathy towards China, its dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, its human rights file and aggressiveness in direction of its smaller neighbors.
These points, notably the Chinese language origin of the virus, have been highlighted by President Donald Trump as he seeks to beat again a stiff reelection problem from former Vice President Joe Biden within the Nov. three polls. Trump has sought to color Biden as weak on China and beholden to it, repeatedly elevating questions on alleged connections between Biden’s son, Hunter, and Chinese language companies.
Vietnam was a late addition to Pompeos itinerary and has quite a few considerations about Chinese language insurance policies within the area. These vary from Beijing’s territorial and maritime claims within the South China Sea to its growth actions alongside the Mekong River, which runs by a lot of mainland Southeast Asia and is a regional lifeline.
In an announcement launched forward of Pompeo’s arrival in Vietnam, the State Division attacked China for reneging on cooperation pledges with different Mekong international locations and for aggressively pursuing suspect claims within the South China Sea.
China’s malign and destabilizing actions within the Mekong area, together with manipulation of Mekong river water flows, negatively have an effect on thousands and thousands of people that depend upon the river for his or her livelihoods,” it stated.
America stands with our Indo-Pacific allies and companions in defending their sovereign rights to offshore sources within the South China Sea, in step with their rights and obligations underneath worldwide regulation, it stated. It famous that earlier this yr, Pompeo had rejected outright almost all of Beijings maritime claims within the South China Sea.
America rejects (China’s) maritime claims to the waters surrounding Vanguard Financial institution off Vietnams coast,” the assertion stated, “We’ll oppose any efforts aimed toward undermining the rules-based maritime order within the South China Sea or elsewhere.
China has pressed forward with makes an attempt to implement its claims to a lot of the South China Sea and has ignored an arbitration ruling gained by the Philippines that invalidated China’s claims.
Pompeo arrived in Vietnam from Indonesia, the place he praised Indonesian management within the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations for pushing again on what he referred to as Chinas illegal South China Sea claims and denounced Beijing for its remedy of spiritual minorities, calling it the gravest menace to the way forward for non secular freedom.
Pompeo had traveled to Indonesia from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India on stops the place he steadily ratcheted up the stress on China, which has rejected U.S. considerations and accused him and others within the Trump administration of fanning the flames of a brand new Chilly Conflict.
Within the Maldives, Pompeo introduced the US would for the primary time open an embassy within the Indian Ocean archipelago, a transfer that displays rising U.S. concern about growing Chinese language affect and what he he referred to as its lawless and threatening habits within the Indo-Pacific area.
Simply hours earlier in Sri Lanka, Pompeo had accusing China of being a predator in smaller international locations by exploiting them with loans and growth tasks meant to profit the Chinese language greater than the meant recipients.
At his first cease of the tour in India, Pompeo and Protection Secretary Mark Esper had stepped up the administrations anti-China message by enjoying on Indian suspicions in regards to the Chinese language to shore up a regional entrance towards Beijing within the Indo-Pacific.
Simply hours earlier than the conferences in New Delhi started, the Trump administration notified Congress of plans for a $2.37 billion sale of Harpoon missile programs to Taiwan the second main arms sale in two weeks to the democratic island that Beijing regards as a renegade province. China angrily reacted by asserting sanctions on U.S. protection contractors.
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