Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Slams China’s ‘Coercive Bullying Techniques’ In opposition to the U.Okay.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the Chinese language authorities Tuesday for what he referred to as “coercive bullying techniques” in opposition to the UK.

Pompeo referred to Beijing’s reported threats to punish the London-based financial institution HSBC and to interrupt commitments to construct nuclear vegetation within the U.Okay. if Chinese language telecoms big Huawei is not allowed to construct the nation’s 5G networks.

“Free nations deal in true friendship and need mutual prosperity, not political and company kowtows,” he stated in an announcement.

He added that the Chinese language Communist Social gathering’s “browbeating” of HSBC “ought to function a cautionary story.” Final week, the financial institution’s Asia-Pacific CEO, Peter Wong, a member of China’s high political advisory physique, signed a petition supporting a controversial national security law that Beijing plans to enact in Hong Kong following a year of anti-government protests within the semiautonomous territory.

“That present of fealty appears to have earned HSBC little respect in Beijing, which continues to make use of the financial institution’s enterprise in China as political leverage in opposition to London,” Pompeo stated.

HSBC, which is headquartered in London however has deep roots in Hong Kong, didn’t instantly reply to a request for feedback.

Pompeo stated that the U.S. stands prepared to assist the U.Okay. with constructing nuclear vegetation and creating 5G options. “Beijing’s aggressive habits exhibits why nations ought to keep away from financial overreliance on China,” he stated.

Tensions have been ratcheting up between Washington and Beijing in latest months over the coronavirus outbreak and Beijng’s actions in Hong Kong. In late Could, Pompeo stated that Hong Kong not workouts the high degree of autonomy it was promised for 50 years after retroceding to China in 1997. His announcement got here after Beijing determined to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature to impose the sweeping new nationwide safety laws.

In Could, Washington launched a major China policy document that argues 40 years of U.S. engagement with China has failed to provide the “citizen-centric, free and open rules-based order” the U.S. had hoped it will. The doc introduced that the U.S. would take a “aggressive method” to China “based mostly on a clear-eyed evaluation of the CCP’s intentions and actions.”

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Write to Amy Gunia at amy.gunia@time.com.

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