Pompeo, in Indonesia, renews China attacks as US vote looms

Mike Pompeo and Retno Marsudi (right)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed the Trump administration’s rhetorical onslaught against China in Indonesia yesterday as the American presidential election looms.
With China a central theme in President Donald Trump’s campaign to win a second term in just five days time, Pompeo took aim at Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea, where it has advanced maritime and territorial claims over the objections of its smaller neighbors, over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its repression of religious minorities.
Speaking in Jakarta, Pompeo praised Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN for pushing back on what he called China’s “unlawful” claims and lauded Jakarta’s protection of its own territory. He also attacked Beijing for its treatment of religious minorities, calling China “the gravest threat to the future of religious freedom.”
Responding to Pompeo’s remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the secretary of state’s true intention was to “let China fall back to an era of poverty and un-development, and let the world fall into the abyss of confrontation and division.” MDT/AP

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