Mike Pompeo Compares China to East Germany, Beijing Says He Should Stop 'Jabbering On'

Riled at the constant criticism of its political system by Mike Pompeo, China's foreign ministry has accused the U.S. Secretary of State of having "sinister intentions."

Last month, Pompeo said that China was bent on "international domination" and has embarked on a "global campaign" to bring other countries to their side, CNN reported. This week, he expressed the U.S. government's concern over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the hub of Uighur Muslims who face persecution.

In his latest salvo, during a speech in the German capital on Friday to discuss the fall of the Berlin Wall, he said that China's tactics in clamping down on freedoms would be "horrifyingly familiar" to the people of East Germany.

"In China, the Chinese Communist Party is shaping a new vision of authoritarianism," he said, according to Reuters, in a speech in which he also criticized Russia.

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the Koerber Foundation in Berlin, Germany November 8, China has taken exception to his criticism. HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/Getty Images

But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Pompeo's attacks "are extremely dangerous and seriously inconsistent with his position as U.S. Secretary of State."

"They fully expose his sinister intentions of fishing for political capital by being anti-China," adding that he should stop "jabbering on", according to Reuters.

"Attempts to separate the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party is a provocation against the entire Chinese people and is doomed to fail," Geng said.

The verbal tit-for-tat between Pompeo and Geng has happened before but it is not a promising curtain-raiser to an anticipated "phase one" deal between the U.S. and China which has been mooted this week.

The U.S. is trying to strike a deal with Beijing to roll back tariffs on around $156 billion worth of Chinese imports from December 15.

Analysts say that the U.S. will use the tariffs to get China to make further concessions to protect American companies from unfair competition and intellectual property theft, which could take months, and that the agreement both sides are touting so far is only a tentative one.

"The removal of any existing tariffs would of course be positive for those companies that have been unable to make changes to their business to mitigate their effects, even if it were to provide only a temporary respite," Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement to Newsweek.

"However, until there are guarantees that they will be removed permanently, it is highly unlikely that any companies that have already adjusted their supply chains to cope will revert back to their pre-tariff practices, as this would cause additional, unnecessary disruption," he added.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the value of the Chinese market to U.S. agriculture.

Statista graph on U.S. farm exports
The graphic provided by Statista, illustrates the size of the market in China for U.S. agriculture products in 2018. President Donald Trump has instigated subsidies for U.S. farmers affected by the trade spat with Beijing. Statista