US official: China's retaliation against pro-Hong Kong companies 'inappropriate'

Mike Pompeo says US companies that support Hong Kong protestors have a right to do so and addresses NBA twitter furor

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (White House photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (White House photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview on Tuesday (Oct. 22) the Chinese government's retaliation against U.S. businesses for voicing their support for Hong Kong protesters is "completely inappropriate."

A controversy erupted earlier this month when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted the "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong" image on his personal twitter account, which provoked a retaliatory response from China. Several TV stations from one of NBA's largest markets decided to halt all preseason game broadcasts and canceled NBA star meet-and-greet events, reported CNA.

Pompeo said, "From a foreign policy perspective, it is completely inappropriate for China to attack U.S. businesses whose employees or customers exercise their fundamental freedoms here in the United States." He also encouraged American companies to examine if "the reciprocity President Donald Trump has demanded from China actually takes place," according to CNBC.

When asked if U.S. firms should be criticized for making profits in China, Pompeo said that every company needs to make its own decisions. He further pointed out that business owners need to be aware that Beijing has been stealing intellectual property from companies for a long time, reported UDN.