WASHINGTON: The entire world is beginning to unite against China's unfair practices and countries like India, Australia, Japan and South Korea are going to partner with the US to push back Beijing on every front, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.
The US is intensifying pressure on China, piling on visa bans, sanctions and other restrictions that are battering the already unsettled ties between the world's two largest economies.
In an interview to Fox News on Tuesday, Pompeo said, "I think you're seeing the entire world begin to unite around the central understanding that the Chinese Communist Party simply is going to refuse to compete in a fair, reciprocal and transparent way."
"So, whether it's our friends in India, our friends in Australia, friends in Japan or South Korea, I think they have all come to see the risk to their own people, to their own countries, and you'll see them partner with the US to push back (China) on every front that we've talked about this evening," he said, responding to a question posed by the host, Lou Dobbs, on India reportedly sending a warship into the South China Sea.
Dobbs said India's act was in response against the clashes on the border with China, and also it appears with some affinity with the US Navy that is in the South China Sea.
Dobbs wanted to know the importance of the US relationship with India in meeting the threat from China.
"It's central that we have friends and allies in this battle. We've worked for two years now to build that out. We've made real progress. You've seen lots of countries turn away from Huawei. You've seen them acknowledge the threat. They slept on this threat the same way America did for two decades," Pompeo said.
Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
India has been maintaining that the South China Sea is a "part of global commons" and it firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and overflight in these international waterways.
The US had also categorically rejected the territorial claims made by Beijing in the South China Sea, asserting that the "Chinese predatory world view" has no place in the 21st century.
During the interview, Pompeo said America slept while China grew.
"You talked about their missile systems, their military, all the things that have grown the trade issues, all the economic issues that you've talked about on your show for months and months and months now.
"President (Donald) Trump is taking each of these on in a serious way, and I think you see the rhetoric from the Chinese Communist Party ratcheting up because they are feeling the pressure that's being put on them by this administration," he said.
Noting that the ruling Chinese Communist Party made some choices under its General Secretary Xi Jinping, Pompeo said he has made it clear whether it's his military buildup, the diplomatic efforts, the Belt and Road Initiative to try and create vassal states, a tyrannical regime all around the world for global hegemony -- the challenges are different.
President Trump will push back against China on every one of these fronts, he asserted.