Pompeo said the United States was determined to combat China’s expansionist behavior through economic, diplomatic and military retaliation.

“We have conducted free navigation operations in the South China Sea and elsewhere in a way that no government has been able to do before,” he said.

“We will defend freedom, US interests by ensuring that we can trade our goods wherever we need them through international waterways. This is what President Trump asked for, and I hope the CCP sees them for what they are: a clear declaration of American fundamental rights and our willingness to build an alliance to protect the free Indo-Pacific and open “.

Pompeo said the sale of arms to Taiwan, which China has always considered part of its colony, is permitted under the Taiwan Relations Act.

“We act in a way that underscores the responsibilities and obligations of the two countries, China and the United States, the commitments we made, the promises we made. , will be done, ”he said.

Pompeo said one of the challenges in stopping China is that Beijing “has never been held responsible for its failures.”

“We are currently seeing these broken promises continue. They promised President Obama not to militarize the South China Sea. They still do. They promised Hong Kong to maintain an [autonomous] system different from the mainland for 50 years and now they have broken that promise. The list of [broken promises] is long, ”he said.

US policy towards China is to pressure the CCP to keep its promises and commitments.

“This also applies to Taiwan,” said the foreign minister.

Pompeo also mentioned President Trump’s recent ban on two popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat. The ban was issued over fears that Chinese intelligence services would use the software to collect Americans’ personal data. The problem is that China can steal American users’ data from the Internet while it is circulating on networks owned by Chinese companies.

All Chinese companies must pass all information to “the Chinese national security apparatus,” Pompeo said.

Besides WeChat, China’s financial transaction and messaging service, the US government is also considering imposing new bans on certain other Chinese apps.

“Our mission is not to deny China’s business activities, but to protect US national security and US personal information,” Pompeo said.

A California federal judge has issued an interim restraining order against the Trump administration’s decision to ban WeChat. TikTok, a popular video-sharing site for young internet users, is in talks to sell part of its business to U.S. companies under pressure from the Trump administration.

On WeChat, Mr Pompeo said, “We believe they [the California judges] have broken the law and we hope this major international security issue will not be resolved in the courts. This is something that the president has full control over, and we hope that eventually we get the upper hand. “

Americans must be sure that online communications and interactions will not cause their information to be stolen by Chinese intelligence agencies, he added.

Close the Confucius Institute

Numerous Confucius Institutes have been established around the world over the past decade to promote Chinese language and culture, through institute courses and manuals. The first facility was established in Seoul, Korea, in 2004. In 2018, China established 548 Confucius institutes and nearly 2,000 Confucius classrooms in 154 countries, most of which are located on campus. universities or foreign institutions, according to the SCMP.

Many countries consider the Confucius network of institutions as “an important tool for China to promote its image and its soft power”. A series of American universities have shut down the Confucius Institute in recent years over concerns about China’s influence on American education. Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Sweden have also closed Confucius institutes in these countries.

Pompeo said the Trump administration is working to shut down all these institutions in the United States, possibly as early as later this year.

“We started by correcting what the previous administration had done wrong by highlighting these organizations and informing their affiliated US schools and institutions. the risks they present to them, ”he said.

As a result of this effort, some of the more than 100 Confucius Institutes were closed.

“We are also looking at other options,” Pompeo said. “The president is exploring other options to ensure that no one is influenced by these Confucius Institutes.”

Pompeo said the Confucius Institutes claim to teach only Mandarin or Chinese culture. However, these institutions have been used for influencing activities and have been linked by the Justice Ministry to at least one case involving China’s illegal tech talent recruitment program, he said. talk.

“The Trump administration will not tolerate this,” Pompeo said.

The recent Trump administration decision to block visas for around 1,000 students was linked to China’s “combined military-civilian program” and the closure of the Chinese consulate, he said. in Houston are prime examples of Chinese tech spy activity.

Effects of election

Pompeo also warned that China’s influence in the upcoming presidential election is “a real challenge.”

US Attorney General William Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe have warned that China, along with Russia and Iran, is trying to influence the upcoming election.

“The Chinese Communist Party will act differently from other countries in trying to influence our election results,” Pompeo said, “but they are no less serious about their intentions to influence and influence our election results. influence, to achieve results consistent with China’s intentions, not those of voters here in the United States ”.

Vice President Mike Pence said in 2018 that China made an unprecedented attempt to interfere in the previous election and aimed to bring down President Trump this year. “China wants another US president,” he said.

Pompeo said he believes the US government will defend the elections and hold free, fair and secure elections next November.

“I think we’ll do it, but China’s intention is definitely to drastically interfere with our elections.”