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Pompeo blasts 'wildly soft' Obama-Biden coddling of Beijing: 'Allowed China to walk all over us'

Secretary of State says presumptive Democrat presidential nominee ignores U.S. efforts to get health experts into China to investigate coronavirus.

April 24, 2020 11:13am

Updated: May 26, 2020 5:32pm

When it comes to China policy and the U.S. presidential election, a battle is brewing about toughness. More precisely, who is tougher when it comes to dealing with the Chinese Communist Party? Trump or Biden? 

For Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the answer is obvious, and it lies in plain view in the Obama-Biden administration’s record of dealing with China.

“Relative to this administration, they were wildly soft,” the secretary of state bluntly told Just the News Thursday.

A new campaign ad by the presumptive Democrat nominee for president lambastes the president for not calling out China earlier and for failing to send American health experts to China to investigate the coronavirus. 

Biden is ignoring the facts, says Pompeo. 

“This president and this administration worked diligently to work to get Americans on the ground there in China,” the secretary of state said in a one-on-one interview. “We were rebuffed. The Chinese government wouldn't let it happen.”

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The China issue is a sensitive one for the Biden campaign. Trump and his surrogates have been hammering the former vice president as being soft on China, with Trump recently tweeting, “China wants Sleepy Joe sooo badly ... Joe is an easy mark, their DREAM CANDIDATE!” 

Past campaign ads have also highlighted how Biden’s son Hunter had lucrative business relationships with China. 

Pompeo opted to zero in on Biden’s last time in federal office. 

“The previous administration allowed China to walk all over us,” Pompeo says. “This president has taken a fundamentally 180-degrees different approach with respect to how we respond to the challenges that China presents to American Security."

Specifically, Pompeo points out how the Obama-Biden administration showered the Chinese government with trade benefits, while meekly acquiescing to Chinese regional military ambitions.

“It was during the previous administration that the Chinese government began to arm the South China Sea,” said Pompeo. “The previous administration didn't respond. It allowed them to continue to develop their capacity to move their People's Liberation Navy out and around in the South China Sea. That was the kind of thing that the previous administration permitted.” 

Starting in January, after the worldwide coronavirus outbreak began, the Trump Administration tried numerous times to get CDC doctors into China — but to no avail. In March, the president said he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping “whether or not we could send some people, and they didn’t want that.” 

Biden’s campaign contends that the administration didn’t push China hard enough. Back in February, Biden told reporters, “I would insist that China allow our scientists in to make a hard determination of how it started.” 

Biden’s current campaign ad doesn’t mention that two American health officials were included as part of a World Health Organization medical team that visited China back in February.

Just the News Spotlight