60,000 PLA soldiers deployed: Mike Pompeo, amid Indo-China tensions
China has deployed over 60,000 soldiers on India's Northern border, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in interviews after returning from Tokyo where he met counterparts from Japan, Australia, and India. Pompeo gave interviews to Larry O'Connor, Fox News, and The Guy Benson Show, wherein he slammed China while underscoring that nations, facing threat from Beijing, need the US as a friend.
Pompeo called his Tuesday meeting with India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar "productive." They understood that a closer working equation was necessary to advance peace in the Indo-Pacific region. Turning toward China, Pompeo said the people of the Quad nations "slept on this (China's threat) for too long." "For decades, the West allowed the Chinese Communist Party to walk all over us," he added.
Pompeo said each of the four countries, whom he also referred to as "four big democracies and four powerful economies," faces some or the other threat from the Chinese Communist Party. "The previous administration bent a knee, too often allowed China to steal our intellectual properties and the millions of jobs that came along with it. They see that in their country too," he said.
And while speaking to Larry O'Connor, he detailed the problems. India is facing a physical confrontation with China in the Himalayas and the latter amassed forces, he said. He also said that when Australia slammed China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the former was bullied. Each of the four countries now understands the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses, he added.
The Secretary of State added that the tide has begun to turn and underlined that President Donald Trump will respond to the threat while maintaining law and order and "basic civic decency that comes from democracies controlling the world and not authoritarian regimes." He declared, "They (the countries) absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight (against China)."
In the third interview with Fox News, Pompeo said the conduct of the previous governments encouraged China's "bad behavior" but the Trump administration's push back changed the norm. "I am confident that this activity, over time, will change the nature of what the Chinese Communist Party tries to do to harm America," he said, adding that protecting American people is a top priority.
Notably, Pompeo's comment about thousands of PLA soldiers being stacked at LAC comes when India and Beijing are locked in an intense face-off. For the first time in decades, blood was spilled at the strategic Galwan Valley in June. India has maintained that by amassing troops, China violated the bilateral agreements and it should retract its soldiers to April's positions. Meanwhile, Beijing is relenting.