Pompeo: US Foreign Policy Grounded in Unalienable Rights

By Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska is a reporter for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. and world politics.
July 20, 2020Updated: July 20, 2020

The Trump Administration’s foreign policy is focused on the national security of America, religious freedom, and is “100 percent pro-life,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a speech given at The Family Leader Summit held on Friday in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“Our founders built our country on a commitment to essential rights, unalienable rights … that come from these amazing documents, our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, and our nation’s foreign policy must be grounded in those central understandings,” Pompeo said.

National Security

National security is “the first duty of any government” as understood by the Founding Fathers and it is also “the highest priority of any Secretary of State, and certainly for President [Donald] Trump as well,” Pompeo said, adding, “I wish some mayors across America knew that too.”

The main threats to national security that the United States faces today are China “working to take down freedom all across the world,” Russia trying to “poison our democracy, our institutions” and using disinformation “to sow discord “ in America, and Iran with its “desire to spread the Islamic Revolution all over the Middle East,” Pompeo said.

Prior administrations underestimated the real threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Pompeo said, adding that for many years foreign policy thinkers have believed that “the more we traded with China, the more free that nation would become and the less risk they would be to the American people.”

However, the foreign policy based on this assumption failed, with the CCP’s continued threats toward Taiwan, its undermining of Hong Kong’s freedom, and ongoing severe violations of the human rights of its people, said Pompeo.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, hold up signed agreements of phase 1 of a trade deal between the United States and China, in the East Room at the White House in Washington on Jan. 15, 2020. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Trump administration recognized the fact that the CCP’s policies put Americans at risk, Pompeo said, and took action to counter its efforts to “crush the world’s freedom.”

Examples of such counteraction are the imposition of sanctions and travel restrictions on CCP officials, countering the regime’s propaganda about the coverup of the CCP virus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and revising agreements with Hong Kong, Pompeo said.

The administration is also working on putting an end to China’s theft of American intellectual property and making better trade deals with China, as stipulated in Phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade agreement.

The policy on Iran has also fundamentally changed, said Pompeo. The United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal signed by the previous administration that provided the Iranian regime with money to continue to fund terrorism, posing a risk to the United States and the Middle East region, he said.

The “brand new Iran policy” implemented by the Trump administration deprives the Iranian regime of “blood money,” “diplomatic sanctuary,” and “deters the regime from aggression,” he added.

Defending Religious Freedom

Falun Gong practitioner Yuhua Zhang thanks President Trump
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Yuhua Zhang, a Falun Gong practitioner who survived persecution in China, at the White House on July 17, 2019. (Screenshot/The White House)

Pompeo said that he was proud of the work the administration has done to defend religious freedom.

Today, “four out of five people around the world don’t enjoy full religious freedom,” Pompeo said.

The State Department instituted in 2018 the annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, where world political and religious leaders convene to discuss the challenges faced by religious believers, devise ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination, and to increase respect for freedom of religion or belief, according to a State Department statement.

The last year the Ministerial was “the largest human rights conference ever held at the State Department,” Pompeo said.

The State Department has also established training programs on religious freedom for foreign service officers, he added.

The administration especially criticized “China’s war on faith,” Pompeo said. Last year in August, Vice-President Mike Pence met with representatives of three religious groups persecuted in China—Christians, practitioners of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, and Uyghurs and Uyghur Muslims—along with other advocates for religious freedom.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback met with survivors of religious persecution of different faiths from 17 countries including China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Burma, Sudan, and Cuba.

Trump spent “almost half an hour asking them very personal questions, hearing stories of burned homes and of imprisoned family members, and reaffirming the American commitment to religious freedom,” Pompeo said.

“This administration appreciates and knows that our rights come from God, not government,” Pompeo added.

On July 20, the 21st anniversary of the start of the CCP’s campaign cruel campaign to eradicate Falun Gong, Pompeo called on “the PRC government to immediately end its depraved abuse and mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners, release those imprisoned due to their beliefs such as Ma Zhenyu, and address the whereabouts of missing practitioners,” according to a statement.

Ma Zhenyu is the husband of Dr. Yuhua Zhang, who joined the 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom and described how she was imprisoned and tortured for her belief, Pompeo recalled in the statement. Zhang advocated at the Ministerial for her husband who “has endured imprisonment and months of torture because he refuses to renounce his Falun Gong beliefs,” Pompeo said.

“Twenty-one years of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is far too long, and it must end,” Pompeo stated today.

Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that includes meditative exercises, and a set of moral teaching based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

Pro-life Support in Foreign Policy

America sets the tone for the rest of the world with respect to defending rights of the unborn, Pompeo said, adding, “abortion quite simply isn’t a human right. It takes a human life.”

The administration reinstated the Mexico City Policy so that no American taxpayer money is used to perform active abortions anywhere in the world, he added.

Pompeo said that he and Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, mobilized 20 countries to deliver a joint statement at the U.N. criticizing pro-abortion language in U.N. documents, adding that “in many parts of the world this kind of language is verboten.”

Family Leader Summit

Pompeo’s wife, Susan, when introducing her husband at the sold-out Family Leader Summit, emphasized the positive impact Pompeo’s faith has had on his life and his work. His faith especially resonated with those world leaders who themselves are of faith, regardless of what their religion was, she said.

They feel that they share a common bond with him because of faith, she said adding that it “is a pretty good place to start diplomacy at.”

The Family Leader is a Christian organization with a mission to strengthen families by inspiring “leadership in the home, the church, and the government” with Christian values, according to its website.