Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued his crusade against Beijing on Tuesday in a meeting with representatives from Japan, India, and Australia in Tokyo. Trump administration officials are openly considering formalizing an alliance with the four nations, known as the Quad, to counter China in the Pacific.
Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo delivered a speech directly calling out Beijing, something the representatives of the other countries avoided in their remarks.
“As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s [Beijing’s] exploitation, corruption and coercion,” Pompeo said. “We see it in the South and East China Seas, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait.”
Pompeo spoke with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper about formalizing the Quad. “Once we’ve institutionalized what we’re doing — the four of us together — we can begin to build out a true security framework.” Pompeo also said other countries could eventually be added to that “fabric.”
Pompeo’s number two, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, has also voiced his support for turning the Quad into a NATO-type alliance in Asia.