By | Been Written
Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed President Donald Trump’s tough line on China at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which he repeatedly clashed with lawmakers over administration policies, according to a report from Reuters.
Pompeo also expressed he was “surprised and dismayed” at the number of countries that backed Beijing’s crackdown on the autonomy of Hong Kong.
Fox News quoted Pompeo as saying “We see the Chinese Communist Party also for what it is: the central threat of our times. Our vigorous diplomacy has helped lead an international awakening to the threat of the CCP,”
But not everyone was in agreement with Pompeo’s statements. Senator Bob Menendez, the committee’s ranking Democrat. said “Under your watch, the United States has faced setback after setback on the world stage, ceding leverage and influence to our stated adversaries,”
Pompeo touched on a wide variety of international subjects, including the recent news of the decision to remove thousands of troops from Germany.
Why Is The White House Removing Troops From Germany?
“We spend a lot of money on Germany, they take advantage of us on trade and they take advantage on the military, so we’re reducing the force,”President Donald Trump
Perceived as a blow to NATO, the Pentagon will proceed with President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany.
At first, the troop removal was said to be strategic. In an ABC News report, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “The alliance will be all the better and stronger,” concerning the massive move of US troops from Germany to other parts of Europe, including Belgium and Italy.
But many news outlets, including USA Today, say that the move appeared to be fueled at least in part by Trump’s displeasure at Germany’s failure to spend more on defense.
Trump defended the decision Wednesday, saying the troop drawdown was taking place because Berlin was not spending the NATO target of 2% of its GDP on defense and because Germany was taking “advantage” of the US, according to the CNN article.
Of note: It’s been reported that Belgium and Italy, the two countries that will be receiving US troops from Germany, spend an even a smaller percentage on defense than Berlin does.
“Under your watch, the United States has faced setback after setback on the world stage, ceding leverage and influence to our stated adversaries,”Senator Bob Menendez, speaking to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing
Reuters says Pompeo insisted on Thursday the “tide is turning” in dealings with China, citing international support for Washington’s policies. That might be true, but Pompeo also admitted the difficulty of forming an international alliance, given China’s economic strength.
Tensions have escalated since the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston.
During a briefing with senior U.S. government officials on the closure of the chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, some of the reasons given for the closure included things like ‘a network of PLA associates who concealed their military affiliation when applying for student visas’.
The Houston consulate was also implicated in an investigation of grant fraud at a Texas research institution. Consulate officials directly involved – were directly involved in communications with researchers and guided them on what information to collect, according to a senior Justice Department Official,