Commentary: Pompeo’s China-bashing cliches in Europe

BRUSSELS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — During his recent European tour, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo once again launched a campaign replete with anti-China rhetoric.

China has “a predatory approach in trade and investment” and represents a “mutual threat” to the United States and Italy, Pompeo said at a joint news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

Like his previous attempts to smear China, his China-bashing tricks this time is not likely to work, as Italy has pledged to promote closer ties with China and is taking action in this direction.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the European country in March, Italy became the first country of the Group of Seven to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

During last month’s UN General Assembly in New York, Di Maio hailed Italy-China relations, saying that his country hopes to take next year’s 50th anniversary of Italy-China diplomatic ties as an opportunity to bolster bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, innovation, technology and infrastructure.

Pompeo’s China bashing this time in Europe, not limited to his time in Rome but several other destinations, failed to gain any traction with the international media, which were focused instead on the eye-catching impeachment saga back in the United States.

As usual, Pompeo’s bizarre claims against China hold no water.

In Greece, Pompeo said he was concerned about Chinese infrastructure investment. The fact is that the Chinese investment has turned the lagging Piraeus port into a vibrant hub in the Mediterranean.

The port now ranks 32nd among the top 100 ports worldwide on the Lloyd’s List, a major industry parameter, up from 93rd before Chinese investment arrived. Local employment and the wider economy have benefited as a result, highlighting how the Piraeus port is one of the success stories of China’s investment in European infrastructure.

The BRI is seeing rising popularity in Greece and many other parts of Europe as well. The overarching infrastructure network program, which has been solidly pushing forward by China and partners across the world, will benefit not only participating countries but the world as a whole.

With the Cold War buried in the dust of history, its signature zero-sum mentality in global politics should also be long discarded, as it increasingly misfits the unstoppable trend of globalization.

For those China hawks in Washington, they also need to be reminded that in a world of growing interdependence among nations, attempts to undercut China will only end to harm their own interests.

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