Pompeo Reveals the Reason for Meeting With Chinese Top Diplomat During Radio Interviews

June 26, 2020 Updated: July 18, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed the reason for his recent meeting with Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, during a radio interview on June 23.

He also revealed that when the meeting, held on June 17, concluded, “I did not leave optimistic that the Chinese Communist Party was prepared to give us any notice that there were changes that were going to be made.”

What Happened at the Meeting

Radio show host Hugh Hewitt questioned: “Tom Rogan at the Washington Examiner today has a column saying that your meeting in Hawaii last week was actually a Chinese plot to split you from President Trump. Do you believe that’s what it was? And if so, did it work?”

Pompeo replied that he’d leave to others to speculate about the Communist regime’s motivation for meeting with him.  But he knew why he wanted to meet Yang, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s elite Politburo.

He said: “I wanted to meet because we have a Chinese Communist Party that is behaving in ways that fundamentally put the American people’s security at risk. I work for a president for the first time in decades who has taken this threat seriously.”

He added: “Today, the absolute clarity we have about the risk of the Chinese Communist Party in all of the vectors—we see what’s happening in Hong Kong, we see what’s happening in the Himalayas with India, we see what’s happening in the South China Sea, we watch as they steal intellectual property. I could go on.” Pompeo was referring to Beijing’s proposal to enact a national security law in Hong Kong, the recent border conflict with India, and the Chinese regime’s aggressive moves to claim areas of the South China Sea.

The state secretary noted that within a few days after the meeting, Beijing moved ahead with plans to enact the Hong Kong security law, “putting at risk the freedom that the people of Hong Kong have been promised,” he said.

He added the goal of the meeting was to share with Yang “how America was thinking about this, how America was going to act, and our expectations.”

He criticized the Chinese regime’s tendency to use “flowery language” but fail to enact real change. “What we need to see from them is a change in behavior,” he said.

The previous evening, Pompeo had mentioned the meeting with Yang in an interview on The Sean Hannity Show. “I spent a day with my counterpart’s boss in Hawaii last week trying to understand why on Earth the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in the activities that they are. And I think we understand it; it’s ideological for them,” he said.

European Conference

Pompeo was invited to the virtual Copenhagen Democracy Summit held on June 19 and hosted by Anders Rasmussen, former secretary-general of NATO.

Rasmussen asked if the United States and China are secretly preparing new initiatives to reduce tensions while publicly maintaining a tough stance.

Pompeo answered, “We’ve had Republican presidents, Democrat presidents who simply allowed China to have deeply nonreciprocal relationships…We responded to their use of diplomatic coercion via retreating.”

But “Donald Trump is not going to permit that, and we made that clear,” he said.

During the Sean Hannity Show, Pompeo also reiterated the administration’s stance: “This is a President who understands that the Chinese Communist Party and globalists here in the United States have worked together to put real harm and real risk here to the United States. President Trump is not going to permit that to continue to happen.”