Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told host Alex Marlow on Monday’s edition of Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily that the Chinese Communist Party is America’s primary foreign adversary and warned of China’s infiltration of the nation’s government businesses, and schools.
Marlow asked about reports of a data leak revealing Chinese state operatives infiltrating multinational corporations, including banks, defense contractors, and pharmaceutical companies.
Pompeo replied, “We’ve seen this everywhere, and President Trump’s been the first President of the United States, and, frankly, one of the first global leaders to identify this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party. I spoke about this in the context of our educational institutions at Georgia Tech last week, where they have infiltrated our schools and they spend money on research projects and so co-opt our institutions that are higher learning and research. They now infiltrate – we’ve seen this – into our government, into our businesses. President Trump called this out. We’ve begun to push back against it; there’s a lot more work to do. But make no mistake: the Chinese Communist Party presents the single greatest threat to the United States of America of our times.”
In September, Pompeo said he was “hopeful” that branches of the Confucius Institute — an organization run by the Chinese government — across America’s colleges and universities would be closed by the end of 2020. The Trump administration designated the Confucius Institute’s programs as foreign missions of the Chinese Communist Party.
China is a greater threat than Russia in the realm of hacking attempts targeting governmental and classified information, Pompeo held.
Reports last week alleged that a suspected Chinese spy developed extensive ties with local and national Democrat politicians, including House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), as part of a years’-long political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015.
China is “running influence operations against members of Congress [and] governors,” Pompeo remarked. “This is a determined, long term, committed effort from General Secretary Xi Jinping, and President Trump has been the first one to say “enough” and begun to push back against it by doing things like closing the Chinese consulate in Houston now a few months back.”
Marlow asked about economic integration between the U.S. and China as an impediment to a national security strategy towards the one-party state.
“I feel like we’re still even just addicted to Chinese products,” Marlow stated. “We can’t help ourselves from buying Chinese goods online. I mean, where do things start in terms of striving to push back on a national level to this infiltration?”
Pompeo praised President Donald Trump’s departure from his predecessors in terms of U.S. foreign policy towards China.
“For 50 years, Republicans and Democrats alike were asleep while the Chinese Communist Party began to move in,” Pompeo said. “They moved in through running state-owned enterprises and stealing our intellectual property, denying tens of millions of American jobs. They moved into our institutions of higher learning. … We’ve seen the kinds of things they do to break their promises around the world. … They told Barack Obama – President Obama – that they wouldn’t arm the islands in the South China Sea. They immediately did so.”
Pompeo continued, “This is something that President Trump has taken on in every one of these theaters. We’ve built our military. We’ve built our military strength. President Trump said “enough” and put tariffs on their products because they weren’t treating us in a way that was fair and reciprocal with respect to trade. This battle, this challenge, will have to be confronted in every domain, whether it’s an economic domain, diplomatic domain, or making sure that we have the military capabilities to do what America needs to do to defend and protect itself, and President Trump has put the resources against the problem in ways that no president before him has ever done.”
The State Department published a full transcript of Marlow’s interview with Pompeo.