China's crying foul over Azar visit to Taiwan sign of 'weakness': Pompeo

Pompeo surprised that China would find Taiwan visit by US health minister 'so threatening'

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that China's protests over a visit by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan are a sign of "weakness."

During an interview with Sean Spicer on the conservative cable news channel Newsmax TV on Monday (Aug. 10), Pompeo was asked what his take was to China's anger over Azar's trip to Taiwan. He responded by saying, "I’m always surprised that when the United States sends its health minister to another country why anyone would find that so threatening."

Pompeo said that Azar's visit was for the humanitarian purpose of reducing health risks to all citizens of the world, "including Chinese citizens." He said that he felt that it "seems pretty weak" when the communist country finds the presence of a health minister working to fight the pandemic angering or a challenge to national security.

"I think that tells you a lot about the weakness of the Chinese Communist Party and the fact that it could feel threatened from such a visit," said Pompeo. In terms of threats, Spicer then asked Pompeo what the U.S. red line is in the event of provocative actions by China against Taiwan.

Pompeo responded by saying that the U.S. has made a series of commitments and understandings to both countries. He emphasized that the U.S. plans to uphold its obligations and commitments based on "historical understandings between the United States and China on Taiwan."

He emphasized that when the U.S. makes promises "we live up to them or we do our darn best to do so." In contrast, Pompeo says that when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) makes promises to other nations, "it's solely for their benefit; and when those promises are no longer of any value, they walk away from them."

Spicer then asked if China would try to meddle in the U.S. election to ensure a Biden victory. Pompeo responded by saying that the CCP has seen how Trump is "no longer tolerating their misbehavior and the risk they’re creating to the United States" and that it is no surprise that "they would prefer a president that didn’t take that approach."