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    Pompeo cries against China in Asia at the final stretch of campaigns. Will it help Trump?

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped his diplomatic travel of Asian countries in Vietnam. His efforts are aimed to contain the Chinese assertiveness in Asia. Pompeo’s visit came on the eve of completion of 25 years of US and Vietnam relations.

    Pompeo’s visit to Vietnam is hardly a week ahead of United States presidential elections. China has been one of the central issues all through the election campaign. Trump’s campaign is particularly backed by his foreign policy achievement claims. The visit of Mike Pompeo will provide a great boost to his campaign in the final stretch.

    Vietnam is last in the string of many countries that the Secretary of State has paid a visit recently. He went to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia before Vietnam. The main motive has been to oppose Beijing’s increasing dominance and intervention over the sovereign rights of smaller countries in Asia.

    China’s growing assertiveness

    Beijing has made terrestrial and maritime claims in South East Asia. Its dominance in the South China Sea has particularly drawn the ire of countries like the United States, India and some other small countries.

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    Mike Pompeo has regularly flagged Chinese assertiveness as an attempt to undermine the sovereignty of other nations. China uses its diplomatic credentials in Sri Lanka against India, which is its closest competitor in Asia. China is also undertaking a range of other military interventions in neighbouring countries to circumvent rival nations.

    China has downplayed the ruling of an international arbitrator in favour of Philippines that thwarted Chinese maritime claims. It went on constructing several military outposts on man-made islands. Countries like Brunei, Malaysia, Maldives, Taiwan, Philippines and Vietnam have become a hotbed of controversy over Chinese expansion policy.

    Before arriving in Vietnam, Pompeo said that the United States rejects Chinese maritime claim on the water of Vanguard Bank on Vietnam coasts. He has emphasised on a rule-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region. Pompeo claimed that Chinese development activities along the Mekong River have affected the lives of many people. Beijing has tinkered with the water flow of the river which is essential for the livelihood of a large population.

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    Pompeo’s visit to the string of nations

    Mike Pompeo has shown America’s resolve to team up with Indo-Pacific partners to confront Chinese assertiveness and its tinkering with the sovereignty of other players in the region.

    Mike Pompeo’s visit to Asia started with India. He was accompanied by defence secretary Mark Esper. India is facing military skirmishes from China for over months. The escalation along the border took the lives of several Indian soldiers. China has also maintained long term tactical economic and military advantage over the country. India looks at China with an eye of suspicion. Pompeo’s visit banked upon their rivalry to make a slurry of anti-Chinese remarks.

    Pompeo next visited Sri Lanka, where he accused China to exploit the nation by providing loans to take undue advantage in return. In the Maldives, Pompeo announced the opening the maiden embassy to counter the threat of China.

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    Before going to Vietnam, Mike Pompeo visited Indonesia. He lauded its effort to counter Chinese unruly claims at the Association of South-East Asian Nations. He also denounced Chinese attacks on its religious minorities, who constitute a majority in Indonesia.

    China in American politics

    China is a central issue in the United States presidential election campaign. Republican incumbent candidate, Donald Trump frequently castigated his Democratic rival, Joe Biden for having a soft corner for China. President blames China for the purported spread of coronavirus pandemic. The communist country also shares long-held stark ideological differences with the United States.

    Donald Trump has also attacked Biden’s son, Hunter for his business interests in China, based primarily on improper evidence. Last week, the bullet turned against Trump himself as his Chinese business investments and bank account were exposed by a New York Times investigative report.

    Mike Pompeo’s visits and his cry about China could reflect nicely upon Trump administration’s foreign policy. It could help him cement some votes in his favour in the final stretch.

    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson is Journalist and Political Analysis of Awutar. You can get him via: [email protected]


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