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US Pompeo urges U.S. state governors to be cautious in business with China

02:35  09 february  2020
02:35  09 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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WASHINGTON — U . S . Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged governors of U . S . states and territories on Saturday to adopt a " cautious mindset" when engaging in business with China , saying Beijing was seeking to use U . S . openness to undermine the United States .

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned America’ s governors on Saturday to be wary of China , which he said was targeting individual U . S . states in a strategic effort to expand its economic and political influence.

By David Brunnstrom

Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Uzbekistan© Reuters/KEVIN LAMARQUE U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Uzbekistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged governors of U.S. states and territories on Saturday to adopt a "cautious mindset" when engaging in business with China, saying Beijing was seeking to use U.S. openness to undermine the United States.

In a speech to the National Governors Association in Washington Pompeo said China was pursuing a policy of exploiting U.S. freedoms to "gain advantage over us at the federal level, the state level and the local level."

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on the US State governors to "adopt a cautious mindset" when it comes to doing business with China . On 15 January, the US and China signed the Phase One Trade deal, considered a much-hoped-for first step to put an end to the trade war between

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered a tough warning about China in a speech to U . S . governors , urging caution in business dealings there as He added that those trends don’t mean the countries can’t do business , citing the recent trade deal between China and the U . S . Be Cautious .

"When it comes to doing business, I'm asking you to adopt a cautious mindset. In the words of President Reagan, when you are approached for introduction or a connection to a deal, 'trust but verify,'" he told the governors representing the 55 U.S. states and territories.

Pompeo, in his latest warning of what he sees as Beijing's intentions, emphasized that competition with China was not just a federal issue.

"It's happening in your states, with consequences for our foreign policy and for citizens that reside in your states ... and affects our capacity to perform America's vital national security functions," he said.

Pompeo said the Chinese approach was organized and methodical, adding, "I’d be surprised if most of you in the audience have not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party directly."

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a stark message for the governors gathered in Washington this weekend: The Chinese government is watching them, and other state government And he warned governors to be cautious on everything from business deals to pension funds to D.C. Metro cards.

SECRETARY POMPEO : Thank you, Governor Hogan, Governor Cuomo. I was being invited to the U . S .- China Governors ’ Collaboration Summit. It was an event co-hosted by the National Competition with China is happening inside of your state , and it affects our capacity to perform America’ s vital

Beijing has denounced Pompeo's comments targeting the ruling Communist Party as vicious attacks and said any attempts to smear China or obstruct its growth were doomed to fail.

Pompeo on Saturday said Chinese Communist Party friendship organizations had been established to expand Chinese influence in "Richmond; Minneapolis; Portland; Jupiter, Florida; and many other cities." Chinese diplomats, he added, had sought to sway local elected officials on issues such as Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a renegade province.

He also referred to Chinese efforts to recruit scientists and professors at universities around the country to obtain technological know-how.

He spoke after U.S. prosecutors last month charged Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying about participating in China's Thousand Talents Plan, which aims to attract research specialists working overseas.

Even as the world's two largest economies have taken steps to cool a bitter trade war, they remain far apart in many areas and Pompeo has been a particularly vocal critic of China on issues ranging from human rights to its push for dominance in next-generation telecommunications technology.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Brad Heath in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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