US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. [Photo/Agencies]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone beyond the pale in describing China as "the central threat of our times" and calling on the United States and its allies to have the military and technological power to ensure that the century is governed by Western principles.
As the top diplomat of the world's sole superpower, Pompeo should know where to toe the line when talking in public. He should know that he was talking about the world's second-largest economy, which is also one of the major trade partners of his country despite the trade frictions in the past year.
He should know that he was slandering a country which has achieved tremendous economic progress in the past more than four decades and which has lifted more than 770 million of its residents out of poverty since 1978. The country he was referring to is on the threshold of realizing its goal of becoming a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.
He should know that he was launching a verbal attack against a country which is doing its best to extend a helping hand to as many countries as possible across many parts of the world via its Belt and Road Initiative.
He should know that this country, which is apparently in his bad books, has been doing whatever it can to maintain a multilateral world and leading a world campaign against trade protectionism and unilateralism.
This country that he is maligning is calling for the building of an international community with a shared future. Among all permanent members of the UN Security Council, this country is the one that provides the largest number of troops for United Nations' peacekeeping missions. This country has also sent its warships to protect the safe navigation of cargo ships in international waters.
True, China has a political system that is quite different from that of the United States and many Western countries. It is indeed a country ruled by one dominant party, but that party has established a political system that represents the interests of the people from all walks of life in the broadest manner.
True, China has been modernizing its military, but it is for its national defense, for the protection of its own sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for safeguarding its national interests in the international community.
This country has contributed about 30 percent to the growth of the world economy for several consecutive years. Its leaders have reiterated its peaceful rise on different occasions and called for talks for peaceful settlement of all its disputes with its neighbors. It has long been doing what it can to help maintain the multilateral global order and for world peace.
Pompeo is trying to pull the wool over people's eyes when he calls this country "the central threat of our times".