Pompeo says China should respect Hong Kong protesters' rights

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo added that the protests, which have been ongoing for more than two months, should be conducted peacefully.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo added that the protests, which have been ongoing for more than two months, should be conducted peacefully.PHOTO: AP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called on China to respect Hong Kong demonstrators' rights and to fulfil its pledge to uphold one country with two systems of government.

"President Trump captured this, I think, perfectly across the weekend when he said we support democracy, we support liberty," Pompeo said in an interview on Tuesday (Aug 20) with CBS This Morning.

"We very much want to make sure that those folks that have the desire in their hearts to protest - to speak out on behalf of their own freedom, their own liberty, to do so."

Pompeo said the protests, which have been ongoing for more than two months, should be conducted peacefully. "And the Chinese government should respect their right to speak out in a way that they're speaking," he said.

The pro-democracy protesters came out in force on Sunday in a largely calm gathering that contrasted with violent clashes with police in previous weeks. Demonstrators oppose Beijing's attempts to tighten control over the city.

Pompeo echoed President Donald Trump, connecting the demonstrations to the trade dispute between the US and China.

"China needs to fulfil its promises," he said. "One of the challenges in the trade deal is you have to make sure that China actually lives up to the commitments that it would make. In Hong Kong, this Chinese government made a promise that it has a central understanding that there'd be one country, two systems and they need to live up to that promise."

Pompeo also said the US is concerned with North Korea's recent missile tests and wishes they would be halted. He still said he hopes negotiations will resume with Pyongyang.

 

"We haven't gotten back to the table as quickly as we would have hoped," he said.