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US efforts to bully nations to pick up the anti-China gauntlet is bound to fail: Scholar

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen before his meeting with Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu (not pictured) at the State Department in Washington, DC, October 19, 2020. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's “continued efforts to bully other nations to pick up the anti-China gauntlet is bound to fail,” says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Pompeo will reportedly visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives this month, in an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pompeo will hold two-way talks in Colombo on Oct. 28, a spokesman for Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said, but gave no details.

Two people familiar with arrangements for the trip said Pompeo was likely to stop in the Maldives’ capital of Male for several hours on the same day.

In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said that “Pompeo has been frantically making the rounds, hopscotching from one country to the next like a failed itinerant peddler desperately seeking to hawk his wares. At each stop along the way his potential customers politely listen to his spiel and then slam the door behind him as he makes a hasty retreat without closing the deal or making a sale.”

“Pompeo has been rebuffed wherever he sets foot. In September ASEAN turned a deaf ear to his demand that they turn away from dealing with China. He's gotten the cold shoulder from New Zealand whose Prime Minister has said that it will not jeopardize economic relations with China to please the US, his pleas in Europe for it to follow an anti-China trade policy were ignored with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic calling the China-proposed global development initiative a "smart" move immediately after Pompeo condemned it. His anti-China rhetoric was also refuted by Greece and the Vatican refused to welcome him,” he added.

“Pompeo has also made forays into Africa and Latin America beating his anti-China drum, all to no avail. China is the world's leading trading nation and is the largest trading partner for scores of nations both large and small. The China trade has been a win-win proposition for all concerned, contributing to the development of both China and its partners. The benefits of having productive economic relations with China can be clearly seen in the provision of needed consumer goods at affordable prices, the sale of commodities that are the lifeblood of many developing economies, and the many infrastructure projects that enable recipients to increase their transportation and communication connectivity which can be a boon to local economies,” he said.

“The US on the other hand has very little to offer other than vague promises and the prospect of US military bases to buttress its drive for regional hegemony at the expense of the countries it seeks to control. China does not seek to interfere in other nations' internal affairs while the US wants to enlist its economic partners in a geopolitical struggle with China. Pompeo's continued efforts to bully other nations to pick up the anti-China gauntlet is a fool's errand that is bound to fail,” he concluded.

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