(Americanpoliticaldaily.com) – During a speech at the National Governors Association held on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told governors to watch out for the real threat to the United States, China.
Amid continued discussion about Russian interference, Republicans like Pompeo are banging the drum for recognizing the very real threat of Chinese officials attempting to influence politics at both national and local levels.
Pompeo admitted that there is space for cooperation with the Chinese, but that measures must be put in place to ensure that the ruling Communist Party does not have undue influence.
“While there are places we can cooperate, we can’t ignore China’s actions and strategic intentions,” he said.
“If we do, we risk the important components of our relationship that benefit both countries.”
The message comes as President Donald Trump and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson disagree about the use of Huawei in the rollout of 5G networks. Prime Minister Johnson recently announced that the UK would allow Huawei to play a role in the introduction of new 5G networks.
President Trump was said to be “apoplectic” about the decision.
At the NGA event, Pompeo added, “The Chinese Government has been methodical in the way it’s analysed our system, our very open system, one that we’re deeply proud of. It’s assessed our vulnerabilities, and it’s decided to exploit our freedoms to gain advantage over us at the federal level, the state level, and the local level.”
Pompeo also explained how whatever China does in Topeka or Sacramento reverberates back in Washington and in Beijing. “Competition with China is happening. It’s happening in your state,” he added.
The Secretary of State even said that he wouldn’t be surprised if most of the people in the audience (governors) hadn’t already been lobbied by representatives of the Chinese Communist Party.
“Chinese Communist Party friendship organizations like the one that I referenced earlier are in Richmond, Minneapolis, Portland, Jupiter, Florida, and many other cities around the country,” he continued.
Pompeo’s message is important at a time when trade negotiations continue with China and the future of cooperation with the country is in question. China has long been accused of manipulating its currency to gain advantage over Western states, and while President Trump is thrashing out a new trade deal with them, it seems unlikely that the Chinese will stop attempting to meddle in US politics.