China urges US to drop Cold War mentality and bias

It accuses Pompeo of maliciously creating political confrontation and smearing Beijing

At Tuesday's Quad meeting in Tokyo were the foreign ministers of (from left) India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar; Japan, Mr Toshimitsu Motegi; Australia, Ms Marise Payne; and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING • China has said that the United States should stop its unprovoked attacks and accusations against China, accusing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of maliciously creating political confrontation and smearing Beijing.

Mr Pompeo on Tuesday visited Japan and called for deeper cooperation with Australia, India and Japan to counter China's growing regional influence.

"Pompeo has repeatedly fabricated lies about China and maliciously created political confrontation," the Chinese Embassy in Japan said in a statement yesterday.

"We once again urge the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, stop unprovoked accusations and attacks against China and treat relations with China in a constructive manner," the embassy said.

Mr Pompeo's East Asia visit, his first in more than a year, coincides with Washington's worsening tensions with Beijing.

The US and China, the world's top two economies, are at loggerheads over a wide range of issues - from Beijing's handling of the coronavirus to its imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong to its ambitions in the South China Sea.

Mr Pompeo's call for the Quad nations of the US, Japan, India and Australia to form a united front against China's growing influence is a sensitive subject for Washington's regional allies, which are reliant on China for trade.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Tuesday had a separate meeting with Mr Pompeo, and the two discussed their shared concerns regarding China's activities in the Indo-Pacific.

A statement about the meeting described their discussions of "China's malign activity in the region".

Ms Payne's comments on Facebook about the meeting did not call out China by name, but her implication was clear.

"Whether it is individual human rights, market-based economies, countering disinformation or building greater resilience into our supply chains," she wrote, "our common values and interests mean we share a vision for a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

Diplomats and analysts know well that variations on the catchphrase "free and open Indo-Pacific" - which was invoked in remarks by Ms Payne, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar - are all directed at China.

In Tokyo, at the start of the Quad meeting yesterday with Ms Payne, Mr Motegi said Japan and Australia have a special, strategic partnership and the cooperation possibilities are great.

Mr Motegi gave no further details.

The Japanese minister also told Dr Jaishankar yesterday that Japan will retain a strong emphasis on strategic ties with India under the new administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

In response to Mr Motegi's remarks, Dr Jaishankar welcomed the chance to review the two nations' "very special partnership", but did not elaborate.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2020, with the headline China urges US to drop Cold War mentality and bias. Subscribe