China’s Foreign Ministry has criticised Mike Pompeo, the Director of the CIA for remarks he made during a recent interview, in which he called China the primary threat to the United States.
When asked about which country threatens the United States the most, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the following,
“I think China presents probably the most … well it’s hard to pick between China, Russia and Iran to be honest with you. I guess if I had to pick one with a nose above the others, I’d probably pick China. They have a real economy that they have built, unlike Russia that lives and dies on how many barrels of oil they can pluck out of the ground. And Iran that is similarly very single sector derivative and not to the scale of China population wise.
I think China has the capacity to present the greatest rivalry to American of any of those over the medium and long term”.
“It’s (China) very much focused on countering U.S. power projection. So you see that whether it’s going on in the South China Sea or East China Sea, the work they’re doing in other parts of the world. You talked about the technical piece. You’ve probably spent more time on it than me. But we could probably spend hours talking about their technical programs. If you look at them, they are probably trying either to steal our stuff or make sure they can defeat it. And most often both. And so yes. Look, we have other relationships, we have commercial relationships with the Chinese as well. But I think its very clear when they think about their place in the world, they measure their success in placing themselves in the world where they want to be vis-à-vis the United States and not as against anyone else”.
Today, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang offered a rebuke of the statement. He said,
“We noticed those statements. Following their reasoning, whoever has a stronger economy and military capability poses the greatest threat to the world.
China has always maintained an independent foreign policy aimed at peace. China’s development is peaceful. China will not infringe on the interests of other nations and will not interfere with other nations affairs, but neither will we allow other nations to threaten China and hurt our interests”.
These sentiments about Chinese geo-strategic power working with rather than against sovereign nations echoes a statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping made during May’s One Belt–One Road Forum where world leaders gathered to discuss cooperation along China’s new global commerice and trade infrastructure initiative. Notably missing were any high level representatives from the United States and much of Europe, particularly western Europe.
“We have no intentions to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries via bringing our social system and the development model, or by imposing our will (on other states)”.
This typically contrasts with the US model of so-called regime change wherein the American military is sent abroad (with mixed success) to overthrow governments who oppose the US model of global finance and commerce in order to install friendly regimes, all publicly in the name of US style democracy.
In this sense, China is being a great deal more transparent than the US. China does indeed have ambitions to connect its booming economy with other nations across the world, but China admits this plan openly and indeed promotes it heavily. China does not however, seek to impose its style of government on other nations with resoundingly different styles of governance.