Xi can be force for global good, says CIA chief

The US is hoping it will do more given the "great relationship" that has developed between Mr Xi and President Donald Trump.
The US is hoping it will do more given the "great relationship" that has developed between Mr Xi and President Donald Trump. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING • President Xi Jinping is consolidating his power in the Chinese Communist Party's national congress now under way in Beijing and could use his commanding position as a positive force globally, according to America's chief spy.

"We think that President Xi will come out of this in a dominant position with incredible capacity to do good around the world," Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo said on Thursday in Washington.

In a nearly 3½-hour speech on Wednesday, Mr Xi laid out a sweeping vision to transform China into a strong global power while guaranteeing the primacy of Communist Party rule - and his own leadership.

"I hope they'll take this opportunity to demonstrate that they truly are going to be globally important players in reducing a global threat like Kim Jong Un presents with his nuclear weapons system, and the behaviours we've seen have been good," Mr Pompeo said at a conference of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies.

SO FAR, SO GOOD

We think that President Xi will come out of this in a dominant position with incredible capacity to do good around the world.

CIA DIRECTOR MIKE POMPEO

China has made progress in helping curb the nuclear threats from North Korea, Mr Pompeo said, but the US is hoping it will do more given the "great relationship" that has developed between Mr Xi and President Donald Trump. "There's been real progress there," Mr Pompeo said.

On North Korea's ability to field an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead, he said: "They are closer now than they were five years ago."

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Xi can be force for global good, says CIA chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe