Dec 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo: Xi's visit to Saudi Arabia a result of "bad American policy"

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo speaks during a Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting in Las Vegas on Nov. 18. Photo: Wade Vandervort/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia this week was a result of "bad American policy," former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday."

Driving the news: Xi's four-day visit to Saudi Arabia included three summits with several Arab leaders and came at a time of heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration, primarily over oil production in recent months.

  • During the visit, Saudi Arabia and China released a joint statement outlining their alignment on a host of global issues, including Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear program, and the war in Yemen.
  • The two sides also expressed "determination to develop cooperation and coordination in defense fields."

What they're saying: "When you won't be partners with your friends and your allies, and you offend them, and you simply won't do anything to push back against your adversaries, like Xi Jinping, you see exactly this kind of hedging behavior," Pompeo said.

  • Pompeo said the Trump administration had recognized the Chinese Communist Party as the "singular greatest external threat" to the U.S. but that the Biden administration "went soft on China."
  • Pompeo also pointed to President Biden's vow to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" over its human rights abuses, particularly the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  • "When you do those things, you will hurt the American people all across this country. And what you saw happen in the Kingdom this week is a direct result of bad American policy," he said.
  • "You've got to stick with friends, you got to stay with your partners, and you must push back against your adversaries, or your friends will begin to hedge. Right, they'll go make friendships to protect themselves if they can't count on America to be a good partner and friend around the world."

The big picture: National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday that "it's certainly not a surprise that President Xi is traveling around," but that the trip would not alter U.S. policy in the Middle East, Reuters reported.

  • "We are mindful of the influence that China is trying to grow around the world," he added.

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