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Beijing slams Pompeo for aggressive anti-China posturing on Asia tour

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press briefing in the lawns of Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, India, on October 27, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

China has blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "Cold War mentality" for repeatedly referring to what he calls a China threat during an Asian tour.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin slammed Pompeo in a press briefing on Tuesday after the US official  who is on a five-day visit to India and other South Asian countries  repeatedly referred to what he called a Chinese threat to regional security.

"Pompeo's attacks and allegations against China are nothing new. They are merely old lies repeated time and again, only to expose his Cold War mentality and ideological bias,” Wang said.

“We urge him to discard the Cold War zero-sum mentality, stop hyping up the so-called 'China threat,' and stop the misguided efforts to sow discord between regional countries and undermine regional peace and stability,” he added.

Pompeo and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in New Delhi on Monday at a time when India is locked in the most significant standoff with China at the Himalayan border in decades.

Both sides have been trading accusations of violating the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto frontier between them.

Esper, too, speaks of Chinese 'aggression'

Following a meeting with top Indian officials early on Tuesday, Esper also repeated Washington's trademark anti-Beijing rhetoric and said the US and India were united against Chinese "aggression."

"We stand shoulder to shoulder, in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China," the US defense secretary said after the meeting.

Pompeo, for his part, said there had been "robust discussions about the Chinese Communist Party," which he accused of being "no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation."

On the sidelines of the meeting, Washington and New Delhi signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on Tuesday — an agreement that would allow the sharing of high-end military technology, classified satellite data, and critical information between the two countries.

Pompeo’s next stops would be Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia, where he also plans to dissuade governments from maintaining healthy relations with China.

Speaking at the news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, Wang also censured the US for more military sales to Taiwan, after the US State Department authorized the potential sale of up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems worth around $2.4 billion to Taipei.

Tensions between the US and China remain at their highest point in decades, with sharp divisions over a host of political and economic issues, including trade, Hong Kong, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Pompeo has openly called for regime change in China.

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