U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on the United States and the European Union to cultivate a shared understanding of China in order to create an effective resistance strategy to Beijing’s increasing economic power.
The remarks, made Thursday at an event hosted by the German Marshall Fund, came as Pompeo announced his intent to join EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Europe this month for discussions concerning China.
Via video link, Pompeo emphasized the bilateral nature of the actions, stating that "this isn't the United States confronting China, this is the world confronting China.”
The EU has previously expressed concern over China’s alleged predatory trade practices and alleged intellectual property theft but has stopped shy of joining Washington in a trade war.
Instead, the bloc has attempted to forge a middle path, mitigating trade relations while hesitating to escalate tension.
The EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, held talks with the Chinese leadership on Monday, reportedly putting pressure on China to revamp its negotiation efforts for a trade deal and increased investment in the EU.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that while the talks were important symbolically, more needed to be done to ensure the continued partnership between China and the EU.
“We have the intentions, the words put on paper, but we need the deeds,’’ she said.
In his speech at the Brussels forum, Pompeo said that the EU-China dialogue was necessary not only to protect U.S. interests, but to protect the bloc’s economy from encroachment by China.
He also said that he hoped his upcoming conversations with EU leaders on the issue would provide a “catalyst for action.”