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Pompeo fires a final volley at China as he sinks into oblivion: Scholar

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington,DC on January 12, 2021. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has fired a final volley at China as he sinks into oblivion, says Professor Dennis Etler, after Pompeo slapped sanctions on China, Iran and Cuba.

With just a few days left before Pompeo turns in his keys at the State Department, the anti-China US diplomat slapped new sanctions on China, Iran and Cuba.

China has criticized the US sanctions over Hong Kong, calling on Pompeo to “wind up the show” and stop trying in vain, as his days in office are counted.

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said on Monday, “People like Pompeo are nothing but laughable praying mantises who are trying in vain to stop the rolling wheels of history." 

Likening the anti-China US diplomat to a mantis, the office was referring to a Chinese idiom that describes futility in which a mantis tries to stop a chariot with its legs.

The Hong Kong government has also denounced the sanctions as "insane, shameless and despicable.”

Following is the text of Professor Etler’s interview with Press TV:

In a fit of pique, outgoing US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has once again lashed out at China, both verbally and with a bevy of new economic sanctions. As the leader of the so-called 5 Eyes alliance of Anglo-Saxon settler states, Pompeo has led the charge in demonizing and stigmatizing China. He has also instigated the formation of the "Quad", an informal alliance of the US, Australia, Japan, and India, self-proclaimed "democracies," to counter Chinese influence in the "Indo-Pacific" theater.

The 5 Eyes, however, are better characterized as five blind mice. They are all dependent on the Chinese market to maintain and sustain their vulnerable economies, especially in the COVID-19 and post-pandemic era. The US is reeling from the effects of the uncontrolled pandemic, a worsening economy, racial tensions, and political instability. China, on the other hand, has been the only major nation that has contained and controlled COVID-19, returned to normalcy, and has seen a V-shaped economic recovery. Any rational new leader, such as Biden, should want to wipe the slate clean and reach a modus vivendi with China by rolling back the sanctions and other measures that have had a more negative impact on the US rather than the Chinese economy. The burgeoning tech war that Pompeo has escalated merely penalizes US chip manufacturers who are losing access to the profitable Chinese market and incentivizing China to develop its own manufacturing capabilities. Chinese IT firms such as Huawei are already leaders in chip design and it's only a matter of time before they get up to speed in their fabrication.

Pompeo is famous for his mantra that the US lies, cheats, and steals. This is manifest in his promotion of the "big lie" that the recent presidential election was stolen by the Democrats. This has resulted in the splintering of the US polity and the rise of white nationalist domestic terrorism. In response to the occupation and ransacking of the Capitol and Congressional offices by recalcitrant Trump supporters, the public/private US state apparatus has initiated censorship, enhanced surveillance, domestic military deployments, and the lockdown of the nation's capital, all practices that it has condemned elsewhere, such as in Hong Kong, Belarus and Iran when instability has been fomented by domestic opposition forces supported by US intelligence agencies. For Pompeo to lambast China for its actions to secure stability in Hong Kong after a full year of violent turmoil is the height of hypocrisy.

Pompeo has also harped on alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Given his propensity for lying and the track record of the Trump administration in spreading disinformation, it stretches the bounds of credulity to believe a word he has to say about China, be it Xinjiang, COVID-19, or what have you. As China has said, the latest sanctions are "a political trick when all other tricks are exhausted,” calling on Pompeo to "wind up the show" as President Donald Trump’s tenure has come to an end. Pompeo's false bravado is a desperate attempt to save face and salvage whatever remains of his tarnished reputation. But all he has done is further expose the vacuity of his baseless accusations and left himself open to ridicule as he sinks into oblivion.

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