Pompeo takes aim at China after Trump tariff hit

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Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech at Siam Society in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meetings. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

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BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is hitting out at China for predatory trade practices and human rights abuses that harm economic development.

A day after President Donald Trump intensified pressure on China by announcing the imposition of new U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, Pompeo told an audience in Bangkok on Friday that Asian nations are best served by private American rather than “state-led” investment. Pompeo told the Siam Society that “trade and freedom” are the keys to development and urged countries in the region to shun China until it reforms its practices.

Pompeo said the current unrest in Hong Kong is indicative of problems caused by authoritarian rule. And, he noted that China’s economy had entered a “new normal of slower growth.”

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