10/31/2018 12:38 PM EDT
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
October 31, 2018
QUESTION: Today is an important day in U.S.-Iranian relations. Tell us why.
SECRETARY POMPEO: So we are now just a handful of days from all of the sanctions that the previous administration had relieved against Iran snapping back, coming back into effect, and it’s having a real impact on the Iranian leadership. This is important. The Iranians are – just yesterday or the day before, Denmark announced that Iran had plotted an assassination attack in their country. Same has happened in France and Albania. They are the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and they are squandering the people’s money, the Iranian people’s money, on these silly malign activities. And our effort is to get them to change that behavior.
QUESTION: Now let’s switch, if we can. I know we have a couple more minutes. The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, with us. It’s hard to imagine, on more levels, America confronting China. The backlash is building around the world in China because they come in with a lot of money and they basically build up certain things, lend money to countries, and they become hostage to them. An example now: Pakistan’s beginning to push back on the debt trap, so to speak. Brazil, the same thing. Now we understand the – one of their ships got within 45 yards of one of ours, and China’s leader, President Xi, reportedly put his military advisors overseeing operations in the South China Sea on high alert last week. He says it’s necessary to strengthen the mission and concentrate preparations for fighting a war.
I mean, we have two superpowers staring each other down. Where is this heading, Mr. Secretary?
SECRETARY POMPEO: So I think President Trump and our National Security Strategy are spot on. I think we’ve got it just right. We are in a competition with China. You identified a handful of things. Just this week our Department of Justice indicted 10 folks from China for having stolen intellectual property related to the aviation industry. This is a behavior that is inappropriate, it’s not consistent with being a superpower or a leader in the world. Stealing another country’s intellectual property, something China’s been engaged in to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, is just something China has to figure out a way to stop. And President Trump is the first president in some time who was prepared to say we’re going to have fair and reciprocal trade, we’re going to continue to build our military so that there is no challenge that we can’t meet, and we’re not going to allow China to continue to steal our intellectual property.