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Secretary Of State Pompeo: World Will Hold China Responsible For What Has Happened

By  Daily Wire News
   DailyWire.com
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to a question from a member of the media at the press briefing room of the State Department December 11, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the other member nations of the G7 fully understood that China was launching a categorically false propaganda campaign claiming that the U.S. Military was responsible for bringing the coronavirus to China.

“We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis – this crisis that began in Wuhan, China,” Pompeo said. “We tried – you’ll remember – from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen.”

“You’ll recall, too, at the beginning of this, when it was clear that this was an issue, China knew about it, they were the first country to know about the risk to the world from this virus, and they repeatedly delayed sharing that information with the globe,” Pompeo continued, later adding, “There was a lot of discussion today amongst the G7 about the intentional disinformation campaign that China has been and continues to be engaged in. You see it. You see it in the social media. You see it in remarks from senior people inside the Chinese Communist Party talking about whether this was a U.S. – U.S. brought to China. I mean, this is crazy talk. And every member of the G7 today saw that – this disinformation campaign. China now making small sales of product around the world and claiming that they are now the white hat in what has taken place here.”

A reporter later asked Pompeo about members of Congress who have started talking about launching an international investigation into China over what happened.

“With respect to the first, I’ll leave to Congress. I’m not doing that anymore,” Pompeo said. “I’ll leave to Congress to decide how they want to proceed. But as I said earlier, today is not the day for recriminations and accountability. We need to make clear that the information that is available to everyone in the world is available. That means full transparency by everyone, including by the Chinese Communist Party. This is a continuing challenge. We still need good information from the Chinese Communist Party about what has taken place there and the level of the virus that continues inside of that country. We need accurate, transparent information just like we’re demanding from every country around the world.”

“But there will be a right time,” Pompeo added. “After we’ve managed to address this crisis, after we’ve managed to get these economies back on their feet, there’ll be a time for the world to evaluate responsibility for what took place.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

SECRETARY POMPEO: So let me take the first question to begin with. We’ve wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis – this crisis that began in Wuhan, China. We tried – you’ll remember – from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen.

You’ll recall, too, at the beginning of this, when it was clear that this was an issue, China knew about it, they were the first country to know about the risk to the world from this virus, and they repeatedly delayed sharing that information with the globe.

So yes, we desperately want to work with every country around the world. This is a global pandemic; this is something the United States wants to work with every country, including China, to figure out how to resolve to keep as many people alive, as many people as healthy, and then to restore our economies that have been decimated by the Wuhan virus.

So we are – we are prepared to work with them, we’re prepared to assist them. We want good things for the Chinese people as well. This activity resulted in the deaths of lots of people in China as well. It’s not just been something that is extraterritorial to China. But it’s really important that we make sure we get this right. There was a lot of discussion today amongst the G7 about the intentional disinformation campaign that China has been and continues to be engaged in. You see it. You see it in the social media. You see it in remarks from senior people inside the Chinese Communist Party talking about whether this was a U.S. – U.S. brought to China. I mean, this is crazy talk. And every member of the G7 today saw that – this disinformation campaign. China now making small sales of product around the world and claiming that they are now the white hat in what has taken place here. This isn’t a time for blame; this is a time to solve this global problem. We are focused on that today. It’s where the G7 members spent all of their time. But every one of the nations that was at that meeting this morning was deeply aware of the disinformation campaign that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in to try and deflect from what has really taken place here.

And with respect to the statement, I always think about these meetings the right answer is to make sure we have the same message coming out of it. I am confident that when you hear the other six foreign ministers speak, they will have a common understanding of what we talked about today and we will talk about the things that we have agreement on, and I’m sure they’ll express a handful of places – like the JCPOA – where we have tactical differences about – to achieve our strategic outcomes. Make no mistake about it, everyone in that meeting this morning was very focused on making sure that we not only solve the health crisis associated with the Wuhan virus but also the economic challenges that face the globe as we confront it as well.

MR BROWN: Arshad.

QUESTION: On Afghanistan.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: On Monday, in your written statement, you said that the United States would immediately reduce assistance to Afghanistan by a billion dollars. One, what exactly are you cutting? Two, President Ghani this morning is reported to have issued instructions to his ministers of interior, defense, and finance to cut their security budgets by $1 billion total. It doesn’t seem like he’s too worried about losing U.S. assistance. What’s your response to that? And three, is the United States prepared to proceed with its planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as long as the Taliban honors its agreement not to target U.S. forces and to cut ties, and regardless whether the President Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah are able to resolve their disputes over the election?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I traveled to Afghanistan at a time when there’s not much travel taking place for a very specific purpose. I went there to make sure that Afghan leaders understood America’s interest there, the role that all of the Resolute Support Mission has played there over the years, and to urge them to execute on the commitments that they had made in the joint declaration – that is, the Afghan leadership had made a set of commitments, things that they would live up to, and so far they have not executed on that. I went there to talk to them about how we could assist them in delivering on that.

I’ll be honest, it was very frustrating. There – this political crisis that had existed that I went there to try and push forward – to your point and the statements that you just described, I haven’t seen those statements – we need all of the political leadership in Afghanistan to come together: President Ghani, Dr. Abdullah, all of those who have a shared interest in moving Afghanistan forward, in creating peace and reconciliation for the Afghan people, to better the lives for Afghan people, to come up with a team that can sit down and have conversations broadly with all Afghanis, intra-Afghan negotiations to resolve these set of outstanding issues. That is our expectation for the Afghan leadership. It’s why I went there. It’s what I talked about. It’s why we made the announcement when we were unable to achieve that during my meeting. It’s why we made the announcement that said the United States is prepared to reduce security assistance to them. And we will continue to try and convince all the parties, the Taliban included, that it’s time for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The U.S. force posture there, we’ve made clear to all our partners we are going to continue to evaluate that as we move forward. We have commitments. And as we execute this plan, we will watch the conditions. We’ve talked about this as a conditions-based plan. We will continue to live up to those to make all the parties live up to those conditions as we work our way forward. In the end, everyone understands, and everybody that I met with – I met not only with President Ghani and with Dr. Abdullah, but I met with the security leaders, I met with Mullah Baradar in Doha – every one of them understand that this isn’t going to be resolved on the ground with guns and mortars. This is going to be resolved through a political process, and it is time for that political process to begin with all the Afghans coming together around the table.

I’m still optimistic that we can get there. Time is of the essence.

QUESTION: What’s – and what are you cutting? What’s the (inaudible) that you’re —

SECRETARY POMPEO: Next question, please.

QUESTION: — that you said you were cutting immediately?

MR BROWN: Let’s go to the back to Michel.

QUESTION: Thank you. Thanks, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: There are talks in Congress to hold China responsible for the coronavirus outbreak because it hid information, and they called on China to pay damages to the U.S. and the world. Are you planning – is the administration planning to sue China or to ask China to compensate? And on Syria, the State Department has asked the regime to release prisoners, U.S. citizens among them. Are you planning to put any pressure on the regime in case they didn’t deliver?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Your second question, we have asked the Syrians to release all those that are wrongfully detained, not only Americans but others as well. We’ve called on the Islamic Republican of Iran to do the same. We think in this time where there is enormous health risk to these individuals that on a purely humanitarian basis – forget the other reasons that it would be – it is – that they are in the first instance wrongfully detained, we think this would be a good opportunity for them to make a humanitarian assistance and allow these Americans to return home to their families.

With respect to the first, I’ll leave to Congress. I’m not doing that anymore. I’ll leave to Congress to decide how they want to proceed. But as I said earlier, today is not the day for recriminations and accountability. We need to make clear that the information that is available to everyone in the world is available. That means full transparency by everyone, including by the Chinese Communist Party. This is a continuing challenge. We still need good information from the Chinese Communist Party about what has taken place there and the level of the virus that continues inside of that country. We need accurate, transparent information just like we’re demanding from every country around the world. But there will be a right time. After we’ve managed to address this crisis, after we’ve managed to get these economies back on their feet, there’ll be a time for the world to evaluate responsibility for what took place.

Thank you all very much. Have a great day.

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