Pompeo Meeting With Top Chinese Diplomat in Hawaii

June 17, 2020 Updated: June 17, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii on Tuesday to meet a Chinese delegation at a U.S. military base in Hawaii this week to discuss the bilateral relationship, sources familiar with the matter said, according to Reuters.

The Chinese delegation will be led by Yang Jiechi, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, according to “a source familiar with the arrangements,” reported South China Morning Post.

Yang currently serves as Member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs of the CCP.

The sources said the likely agenda included CCP virus response, arms control, trade, Hong Kong, North Korea, and tit-for-tat moves against journalists.

Pompeo spoke with Yang by telephone on April 15 to discuss the spread of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Pompeo “stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian declined to confirm the reports at a regular briefing on Monday but said: “China and the U.S. have maintained communication through diplomatic channels. If there is any further information, it will be released in a timely manner.”

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who is also a U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, accompanied  Pompeo on his trip to Hawaii.

Arms Control

The United States would like to expand nuclear disarmament talks to other states that possess nuclear weapons and invited China to join trilateral arms control talks with Russia that will be held on June 22.

China, which rapidly develops its nuclear arsenal and plans to double it within the next decade, declined the invitation.

“China just said it has no intention to participate in trilateral negotiations,” U.S. Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea wrote on Twitter. He wanted China to reconsider its decision.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters march on a road during a pro-democracy rally against a proposed new security law in Hong Kong on May 24, 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

US-China Challenging Issues

In late May, the Chinese regime moved to impose a new national security law over Hong Kong, which critics say would mark the end of the city’s freedoms and autonomy. It prompted President Donald Trump to announce on May 29 that Washington would begin the process of eliminating Hong Kong’s preferential economic treatment and sanctioning officials involved in eroding the city’s autonomy.

On the same day, Trump also announced the United States’ formal withdrawal from the WHO, the barring of Chinese graduate students tied to the Chinese military, and a review into Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

Suppression of Free Press by China

In February, the Trump administration said it would begin to treat five major Chinese state-run media entities operating in the United States the same way as foreign embassies.

In March, The Chinese regime expelled two American Wall Street Journal correspondents and then banned all American nationals working in the country for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post as part of a media war with the United States.

Recently, the Chinese regime “has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Epoch Times staff Cathy He and Reuters contributed to this report.