U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China was engaged in a pattern of bullying and that the U.S. hopes the situation between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will be resolved peacefully. The comments come days after the Indian Army said Chinese troops had carried out “provocative” moves to change the status quo and the Indian Army had moved to strengthen its position.
“We’re hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border. From the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas and beyond, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a clear and intensifying pattern of bullying its neighbors,” Mr. Pompeo said on Wednesday at a State Department briefing.
“We also remained concerned … about more than 300 Chinese vessels near the Galapagos which are almost certainly engaged in illegal fishing. In light of this maritime lawlessness it’s no surprise that Beijing’s candidate in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea election last week received more abstentions than any other candidate.” The Chinese candidate judge was elected to the tribunal last week despite American opposition.
Mr. Pompeo also said the U.S. continued to call upon Beijing to “enter dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions to reach a settlement that resolves their differences.”
Also at the briefing, Mr Pompeo announced that the U.S. would be putting in place restrictions on Chinese diplomats in response to restrictions American diplomats faced in China. Chinese diplomats in the U.S. will now require approval to visit American university campuses, meet with local government officials or host cultural events of more than 50 people outside their mission properties.
Following Mr Pompeo’s remarks, U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asia David Stillwell said the U.S. advised China to return to dialogue and resolve things peacefully without coercion and the use of force in the context of “ the many conflicts that are going on in China’s periphery right now.”