[Newsphopick=Kingsley Lim] The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference on August 5, urging American citizens be cautious while traveling to and in China. He began the conference by extending his deepest condolences to the people of Lebanon – and those who were affected by the bomb blasts at the Port of Beirut. He pledged to render any aid and support to the government of Lebanon.
Almost immediately, Pompeo turned to the central topic at hand – the Chinese Communist Party. Pompeo said “Since I was last here, the world has witnessed more examples of CCP efforts to coerce and control its citizens. Other nations in the US have put out a number of statements.”
“We see it in Hong Kong where authorities have delayed legislative elections, arrested pro-democracy activists, issued warrants for freedom-loving foreigners, including an American,” said Pompeo who cautioned against any travel to and in China.
Pompeo also added that China continues to be a violator of human rights, with ambitions to control the Muslim population in the Xinjiang province.
“We see to the CCP is lawlessness elsewhere in the world. I issued a statement on Sunday about the Chinese flagged vessels’ predatory fishing practices around the Galápagos Islands, which has alarmed our friends in Ecuador,” said Pompeo, while suggesting that these incidents are not one-offs.
Pompeo also explained that the Trump administration is instituting several measures to protect Americans from these threats. He announced the “CLEAN Network” initiative as part of measures to confront these issues.
“We’re working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies don’t provide international telecommunication services between the United States and foreign destinations,” said Pompeo as he urged the FCC to terminate the authorisations of Chinese telecom companies.
“We want to see untrusted Chinese apps removed from US app stores. President Trump has mentioned impending action on TikTok, and for good reason. With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat, and others are significant threats to personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP content, censorship,” said Pompeo calling it the ‘clean store’ initiative.
Pompeo also called for ‘clean apps’ where the administration is working to prevent “Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular US apps.”
“We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus,” he explained.
The fourth initiative called ‘clean cloud’ concerns the protection of all American intellectual property and sensitive information from China.
Pompeo said “We’re protecting American’s most sensitive personal information and our business’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID vaccine research for being accessed on cloud-based systems run by companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.”
The last initiative, called ‘clean cable’ ensures that the Chinese Communist Party does not gain an entire control of all undersea cables – which connect all global internet activity. “While Huawei Marine significantly underbids other companies on multiple procurements to connect Asia, the Pacific, African, Europe using Chinese state-backed undersea technology,” said Pompeo.