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Mike Pompeo to meet top Chinese diplomat to ease tensions: Reports

Reuters Washington | Updated on June 13, 2020 Published on June 13, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo   -  REUTERS

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Hawaii, trying to ease tensions between the world's two largest economies over various issues, according to media reports.

Pompeo was planning the trip “quietly” and the arrangements were not yet finalized, Politico said. He has been vocal in criticizing China on a range of issues from the origins of the coronavirus pandemic to its Hong Kong policy to the treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities.

The US State Department and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unidentified source as saying that Yang, a state councilor and member of the Communist Party Politburo, will represent the Chinese side for the meeting.

Deteriorating relations

Relations between the countries have deteriorated in recent months, and US President Donald Trump has said he could even sever relations.

Pompeo said last month that China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world by being more transparent about the coronavirus and accused it of refusing to share information.

He also said Chinese plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong would be the “death knell” for the former British colony's autonomy.

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Published on June 13, 2020
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