Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on the U.S. in Asia (Hong Kong Excerpts)

U.S. Department of State

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on the U.S. in Asia: Economic Engagement for Good


AUGUST 2, 2019



We also believe in human rights and freedom. The current unrest in Hong Kong clearly shows that the will and the voice of the governed will always be heard.

MS AMIN: You touched on Hong Kong earlier, and you talked about how the government needs to listen. There are murmurings out there suggesting that perhaps there is a congregation of troops just on the border waiting to make its way if things turn for the worse. Can you envision that happening?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I think President Trump has been pretty clear. We’ve asked China simply to do the right thing. America has a long tradition of making sure that every citizen has the right to express their conscience, their views. We hope that’s the case all around the world, and that is true in China as well.

And so I hope that the way things proceed in Hong Kong will proceed in a way that is not violent. That’s not constructive for any of the parties in the region. And we hope that everywhere citizens want to voice their views – whether those are in support of a particular government or in opposition to a particular government – they’ll be permitted to do so.

MS AMIN: But President Trump also made it clear that it is a Chinese issue, it’s a Hong Kong issue. Should the PLA make its way across the border into Hong Kong, into the streets of Hong Kong, would the U.S. exercise any military presence? Would it exercise its own judgment to make its way and defend Hong Kong?

SECRETARY POMPEO: One thing this administration has been really good about is not tipping our hand to what we will or won’t do, and I’m going to do that here this morning.