U.S. Department of State
MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
AUGUST 10, 2020
HONG KONG EXCERPTS
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, China is clearly on a rampage these days. Jimmy Lai, the pro-democracy voice and media tycoon in Hong Kong, was arrested under orders from Beijing. Now China is putting sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens, including Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley. How is the U.S. going to respond to this?
SECRETARY POMPEO: So, Sean, I think everybody needs to recognize that the Chinese Communist Party for decades now has taken advantage of America. That’s the starting point: 50 years of failed policy where we thought if we just engage, if we’re nice to them, if we do business with them, then somehow they’ll leave us be. Well, we know that’s not been the case. It didn’t work. I gave some remarks about that a couple weeks back at the Nixon Library.
And President Trump knew it. He campaigned on this very issue. He said we’re going to just – we just want this to be fair. We don’t mean anything ill-willed towards the Chinese people, but the Chinese Communist Party has been walking on the United States for decades and we’re not going to let that happen, enough.
And so we’ve begun to push back in ways that are real, that protect the American people. You see it with what we’re doing on Chinese software. You see it with what we’re doing in terms of diplomats here who were conducting spying out of our consulate in Houston. The President has permitted us to seriously respond in ways that simply say be fair, be reciprocal, whether it’s trade or whether it’s diplomats or whether it’s information campaigns, misinformation campaigns, the United States is no longer going to simply turn the other cheek and let Americans suffer for it.
We’re going to respond in real ways so that the actions they’ve taken with respect to Jimmy Lai and the sanctions that they have nebulously imposed on some senior American officials in Congress, you can be sure the United States will measure them, respond to them, and help the Chinese Communist Party understand you’re not going to take action against America or Americans without President Trump responding.