With Joe Biden the apparent winner of the US presidential election, and time running out on the Trump administration, hawks in the White House seem determined to keep up the pressure on countries in Washington’s crosshairs. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is “not finished yet” when it comes to being tough on China.
Pompeo has been on a crusade against Beijing this year, delivering countless speeches railing against the country’s government. Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Institute, Pompeo called the Chinese Communist Party a “Marxist-Leninist monster” whose rule is “authoritarian, brutish and antithetical to human freedom.”
The rhetoric against China coming out of the Trump administration has been reminiscent of the Cold War, and Pompeo continued the theme in his remarks on Tuesday. “In the end the people of China, just like the people of the Soviet Union, will ultimately be determinative of the course of history of that country,” he said.
Pompeo’s comments came a day after the US slapped more sanctions on officials in China and Hong Kong over the city’s national security law. Throughout the year, the administration has sanctioned Chinese officials over issues in the South China Sea, Xinjiang, trade, and other areas.
US-China relations are at their lowest point in decades, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. The increase in tensions has come with an uptick in US military activity in the region, and US officials are looking to build stronger alliances in Asia to counter China’s influence.
Biden is not expected to soften Washington’s stance on China, although the rhetoric will likely cool down. Analysts believe Biden would maintain the tough position on the South China Sea and continue sailing warships through the disputed waters to contest China’s claims since it was a policy started under the Obama administration.