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Politics & Law

A new US tactic: Pompeo suggests to change CCP’s behavior


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Thursday, July 23, 2020 (AP Photo Ashely Landis, Pool)

“…And if we don’t act now, ultimately the CCP will erode our freedoms and subvert the rules-based order that our societies have worked so hard to build.

“If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world. General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever, unless we allow it.

“Now, this isn’t about containment. Don’t buy that. It’s about a complex new challenge that we’ve never faced before.

“The USSR was closed off from the free world. Communist China is already within our borders …”

Being the incumbent Secretary of State of the USA, Michael R. Pompeo delivered a powerful speech titled ‘Communist China and the Free World’s Future’ at the Nixon Library on July 23, 2020 (a total of ten A4size sheets at font size 12, but it is a must read for an analyst).

While he recounted a large number of China threats, Pompeo dropped the ‘containment strategy’, and formulated a new direction on how to counteract or overcome the challenges. At least two key points must be noted.

First, Pompeo named the “Chinese Communist Party” or “CCP” for as many as 30 times in the speech. He tended to pick the CCP, the ruling party of China, as the foe, not ‘China’. Based on this new perception or re-focus, he proposed a new strategy: “…We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party. We have to tell the truth. We can’t treat this incarnation of China as a normal country, just like any other …”

Furthermore, he said, “… We must also engage and empower the Chinese people — a dynamic, freedom-loving people who are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party …”

To Pompeo, there are ‘two Chinas’. One is the ‘China’ of innocent freedom-loving ordinary people. Another ‘China’ is an aggressive aggregated entity, comprising the government, commercial institutions, tech firms and etc, under the leadership of the CCP.

Based on this logic, “… doing business with a CCP-backed company is not the same as doing business with, say, a Canadian company …” Therefore, Pompeo has urged the US corporations, as well as the politicians and businessmen of the allies, to differentiate CCP and its affiliates (the CCP’s ‘China’) from the innocent ‘China’ politically.

Second, instead of threatening the CCP’s China with military forces, Pompeo said, “… changing the CCP’s behavior cannot be the mission of the Chinese people alone. Free nations have to work to defend freedom …”

A new tactic of setting higher and tougher standards to interact with the CCP’s China was suggested here:

“ … I call on every leader of every nation to start by doing what America has done — to simply insist on reciprocity, to insist on transparency and accountability from the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a cadre of rulers that are far from homogeneous. And these simple and powerful standards will achieve a great deal. For too long we let the CCP set the terms of engagement, but no longer. Free nations must set the tone. We must operate on the same principles.

“We have to draw common lines in the sand that cannot be washed away by the CCP’s bargains or their blandishments. Indeed, this is what the United States did recently when we rejected China’s unlawful claims in the South China Sea once and for all, as we have urged countries to become Clean Countries so that their citizens’ private information doesn’t end up in the hand of the Chinese Communist Party. We did it by setting standards …”.

In other words, Pompeo, representing the Deep State, is calling on all the US corporations ranging from tech firms to Hollywood, and also all other nations to join the White House to change “the behavior of the CCP”. The so-called ‘hot war’ is obviously and definitely not on the agenda.

Who is leading all these efforts to change the CCP’s behavior? Pompeo is not humble here. “… Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because our founding principles give us that opportunity …”

Looking forward, between Washington and Beijing, we will see not just political, economical and cultural fights, but also psychological interplays for changing each other’s ‘behavior’. What a thriller!

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

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