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In a blistering attack on Beijing he said Boris Johnson was right to cool off its relationship with the Communist state over a string of human rights abuses. And he said he hopes a trade deal with the UK that reduces trade barriers can be done “as soon as possible”. Mr Pompeo met with both the Prime Minister Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday, a day after the Government announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
The decision came amid anger at China’s anti-democracy actions in the region and claims of genocide against its Uighur Muslim population.
The Government also announced last week that Huawei will be banned from the 5G network because of national security concerns with all of the Chinese tech giant’s equipment to be stripped out by the end of 2027.
In reply China has threatened to target UK firms including HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover which operate in the country.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the British government for its principled responses to these challenges; you have made a sovereign decision to ban Huawei from future 5G networks, you have joined other free nations to condemn China’s broken promises on the Sino-British treaty, you generously opened your doors to Hong Kongers who are fleeing for freedom,” Mr Pompeo said at a press briefing in London.
“And yesterday you suspended your extradition treaty and extended your arms embargo on China to Hong Kong itself. We support those sovereign choices, we think well done.”
Mr Pompeo heralded the “special relationship” between the US and UK and called Britain a “true ally”.
He continued: “The special relationship, you can see it on days like today where it translates into having candid, frank discussions on important matters which really cut to the heart of how we can work together to secure freedom for our peoples in each of our two countries and both of our countries be forces for good together around the world.”
The former US army officer confirmed there was “more work to do” before a trade deal could be signed off after almost two months of negotiations.
But he confirmed that he told Mr Johnson during a Downing Street summit how Washington wanted a deal “finalised before too long”.
Reports surfaced last month that the trade talks with the US, which started in May, were unlikely to produce an agreement before the presidential elections in November when US President Donald Trump is seeking re-election against Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Mr Pompeo added: “We’ve completed two rounds, we’ve got more work to do, with a third round scheduled for later this month.
“It is the primary focus of the United States to see if we can make progress on this and bring it to a close just as soon as possible.
“I spoke to the Prime Minister this morning about this and I hope we can get it finalised before too long.”
Mr Raab said: “We are each other’s biggest investors.
“Our annual trade relationship is worth over 300 billion US dollars, we think we can do even better than that.
“Every morning there are just under 1.5 million Americans who go to work for a British company, it is around the same amount of Brits going to work for American companies.
“I think that reiterates the kind of win-win free trade deal we are determined to achieve between our countries, good for jobs and good for consumers as well.”
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