U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted in a recent interview that China and Russia represent challenges as well as opportunities for the United States. China “has wealth and resources, and [Russia] is a power that is struggling mightily,” he explained.
“We need to make sure we understand what China is doing,” warned Secretary Pompeo. President Donald Trump has been very clear about the risk to America associated with China’s willingness to acquire U.S. intellectual property both by licit and illicit means. Geopolitically, the U.S. has its eyes wide open with respect to China’s efforts to expand its influence in the South China Sea and around the world.
“There’s things we clearly need to do alongside [China] where we have shared interests,” said Secretary Pompeo, “but where we don’t we need to make sure America is properly positioned to speak to them about each of our two countries’ respective roles within the world.”
China has an important role to play when it comes to pursing the denuclearization of North Korea, stressed Secretary Pompeo. At this point, it is critical for China to maintain a tight sanctions regime against North Korea.
Regarding Russia, “President [Trump] has been unambiguous since he took office that there are places where Russia is working against the United States but many places where we work together,” said Secretary Pompeo. The United States has worked with Russia in Syria, on North Korea, and on strategic stability issues. We “are having conversations with our Russian counterparts trying to find places where we have overlapping interests but protecting American interests where we do not,” explained Secretary Pompeo.
There continue to be contentious issues regarding Russia’s behavior in many parts of the world. “Some of the behaviors that they’re undertaking in places like Syria and Ukraine are. . .not helpful,” said Secretary Pompeo. “They’re not constructive towards the values that the Americans hold dear. And those places we’ll continue to work to make sure they know our interests and our concerns.”
The United States will continue to seek to work with China and Russia “where we have overlapping interests,” said Secretary Pompeo, “but protecting American interests where we do not.”