Nearly 50 years after Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that U.S. engagement with China has failed.
As the Trump administration cracks down on Chinese aggression and abuses, Pompeo traveled to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, on Thursday.
Pompeo called for a new coalition of democratic nations to force the Chinese Communist Party to change direction or face isolation.
He said Western engagement with China cannot continue as it has.
“The free world must triumph over this new tyranny,” he said in a speech to an invited audience that included exiled Chinese dissidents.
“The old paradigm of blind engagement with China has failed. We must not continue it. We must not return to it.”
Pompeo’s speech was the latest in a series of Trump administration broadsides against China.
Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr have each delivered public addresses criticizing China in recent weeks, as has FBI director Christopher Wray.
In his speech, Pompeo said that Beijing’s actions “threaten our people and our prosperity.”
“The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change in China that President Nixon hoped to induce,” Pompeo said.
“The truth is that our policies — and those of other free nations — resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that fed it.”
Pompeo suggested the creation of what he termed “a new grouping of like-minded nations — a new alliance of democracies,” to oppose China, although he did not specify which countries should join.