Pompeo to meet China's top diplomat: Reports

Mr Pompeo was planning the trip "quietly" and the arrangements were not yet finalised, Politico said.
Mr Pompeo was planning the trip "quietly" and the arrangements were not yet finalised, Politico said.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Hawaii, in a bid to ease tensions between the world's two largest economies over various issues, say media reports.

Mr Pompeo was planning the trip "quietly" and the arrangements were not yet finalised, Politico said.

He has been vocal in criticising China on a range of issues - from the origins of the coronavirus pandemic to its Hong Kong policy and the treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities.

The US State Department and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unidentified source as saying that Mr Yang, a state councillor and member of the Communist Party Politburo, will be representing the Chinese side at the meeting.

Ties between the countries have deteriorated in recent months, and United States President Donald Trump has said he could even sever relations.

Mr Pompeo said last month that China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world by being more transparent about the coronavirus, and also accused it of refusing to share information.

He added that Chinese plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong would be the "death knell" for the former British colony's autonomy.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 14, 2020, with the headline 'Pompeo to meet China's top diplomat: Reports'. Print Edition | Subscribe