Mike Pompeo Praises Antony Blinken for Building on Trump Admin's China Approach

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised his successor Antony Blinken this week, wishing him more success with his China policies than the Trump administration had.

Pompeo remains one of the Chinese Communist Party's most outspoken critics. He and 27 other former Trump officials wound up on Beijing's sanctions list just minutes after they left office on January 20.

Speaking to Taiwan's state-funded Central News Agency on Tuesday, Pompeo commended the new head of the State Department for continuing the previous administration's tougher stance on China.

"Secretary Blinken has spoken about the genocide that's taking place in western China. I applaud him for building on what I tried to do," he told the CNA. "I hope that he can do even better than we did."

Washington and Beijing reached a phrase-one trade agreement early last year, but the relationship soured as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

In his final weeks as President Donald Trump's chief diplomat, Pompeo angered China by making the United States the first country to declare Beijing's policies in Xinjiang genocide. He led sanctions against Chinese officials for the crushing of democracy in Hong Kong and voided four decades of long-established communication guidelines with democratic Taiwan.

The Biden administration has struck an equally firm tone and Blinken has promised to continue the Trump-era policy shift on Taiwan.

Pompeo, now a fellow at D.C. think tank the Hudson Institute, said he was confident that many of the previous administration's approaches to China were "truly bipartisan," citing decisions in support of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"I hope this administration can continue to get this right," he said.

President Xi Jinping had demonstrated that he presented "a real risk to the United States of America," said Pompeo, who urged Beijing to act more responsibly.

"They talk about win-win all the time. I never saw win-win. I saw win for China, lose for some other country," the CNA quoted him as saying.

Stronger trade alliances between regional partners would help vulnerable countries move away from economic reliance on China, he added.

Pompeo said Washington's future relationship with Beijing and Taipei would largely depend on how the Chinese leadership responded to the Biden administration, which has already predicted "extreme competition" with the Asian power.

Blinken is set for the new administration's first face-to-face talks with Chinese counterparts in Alaska next week.

Although Pompeo's policies put him at odds with China, they have won him friends in the Taiwanese government.

After he told the CNA it "would be wonderful" to one day visit the island nation, Taiwan's foreign ministry offered its "sincere thanks" for his contribution to bolstering U.S.-Taiwan ties.

Taipei said it would "deeply cherish" Pompeo's friendship and welcomed him to visit at a time of his choosing.

Asked by the news agency whether he was planning a 2024 presidential bid, Pompeo said he would "see what happens in a couple of years," promising to "stay in the fight."

Former Secretary Mike Pompeo Speaks At CPAC
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 27 in Orlando. Joe Raedle/Getty Images