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Pompeo says US to fight China ‘empire’ of ‘bribes’

Updated October 27, 2018

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. — Photo/File
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. — Photo/File

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused China of seeking to build an “empire” by bribing leaders with investment and vowed to fight it “at every turn.” As tensions led by trade disputes soar between China and President Donald Trump’s administration, the United States has increasingly warned developing nations, especially in Latin America, to beware Beijing’s economic push.

Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Pompeo said that the United States welcomed “commercial competition with China on a fair and reciprocal basis".

“But when China shows up with bribes to senior leaders in countries in exchange for infrastructure projects that will harm the people of that nation, then this idea of a treasury-run empire build is something that I think would be bad for each of those countries,” Pompeo said.

China’s economic push “certainly presents risk to American interests, and we intend to oppose them at every turn,” he said. Pompeo cast the Chinese policy as part of a more assertive drive by President Xi Jinping, saying that Beijing’s willingness to splash money around the world has increased in the past two to three years.

Published in Dawn, October 27th , 2018

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