Mike Pompeo

Opening Statement to the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party

delivered 30 January 2024, Cannon House Office Building Room 107, Washington, D.C.

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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Great. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you Ranking Member  Krishnamoorthi. It's great to be here. I started my career Canon 107 so feels like home very much.

It's a real privilege to be in front of this particular committee. You all are doing important, remarkable, bipartisan work. And I want to personally, on behalf of the Pompeo family, thank you, each of you, for doing that. It matters to my family. It matters to each American and bless you for that.

You all have in front of you, much like I did in my time in Congress, important decisions. We have wars raging in Europe, in the Middle East. There's risk of one in South America, much closer to home even. And of course the topic we're here today to talk about, the challenges in the Pacific and Asia, are in front of us as well. I...know that you will endeavor to get these decisions right.

You know, to start I always get to the facts. I'm going to try to do this in just three minutes. You know, we've...got deterrence lost in Europe. We have deterrence lost in the Middle East.

We're on the cusp of losing that very deterrent model in Asia as well. One could argue that elements of that have already been lost. Chairman Kim -- who I spent way too much time with -- Chairman Kim has now talked about the absence of any desire for peaceful reunification with the Republic of Korea. That is a change that is important.

I was in Guyana two weeks ago. They are frightened by Maduro and his efforts to "retake," in his words -- much as Xi Jinping talks about reunifying -- retake what is rightfully theirs. This is a challenge that is linked. It's not just about one of these theaters, one of these zones, one of these regions,1 but these are all deeply linked to whether America will have the resolve, determination, and capacity to deter and maintain the order that we have benefitted, that Americans have benefitted from since the post-Cold War order was established.

We -- We know that this conflict largely begins with economics. The Chinese Communist Party has been at war with the United States economy for at least 20 years. One could argue 40. It might well have made sense for the esteemed Dr. Kissinger to go and travel and open up relationships with the Chinese Communist Party back in 1972 [1971]. It might have made sense in 1982. It made no sense by 2002, 2012, and certainly today makes no sense.

It's dangerous for the United States to allow the Chinese Communist Party to who have engaged here at home in ways that undermine the very foundations of our republic. And I know I'll get asked about this today, but I think that it's important that when we think of the challenge of the Chinese Communist Party we think not only about Taiwan, not only about the South Pacific and about the first island chain, but about Los Angeles, and Denver, and Washington D.C., and Chicago, and my home state of Kansas.

The Chinese Chinese Communist Party is working diligently inside the gates to undermine everything it is that we stand for. When he [President Jinping] talks about American decline, he is not doing so passively. He is an advocate. He is working to achieve that very American decline here at home.

And the last thought. Secretary Panetta, it is great to be with you here today, and I think it's important for America to see that this challenge is not remotely about politics. It is not remotely partisan. It is so much more fundamental than that.

I -- I have been critical of many of President Biden's foreign policy actions, but I must say the work that they continue to do to confront the challenge of China I have approved and appreciated. I always knew that we could do more. They could do more as well. And I'm counting on this committee to help us to get to that place. When we put sanctions in place, we can't immediately turn around and create loopholes. When we put in place economic orders that suggest how America ought to proceed, we cannot let our adversaries, whether they be from Russia, escape those sanctions regime[s]. And we have to make sure that our friends comply with them as well.

This will require temerity from each of us.

The Chinese Communist Party is not to about to give in because of some great speech that someone gives, some set of wonderful remarks or meetings -- set of meetings held in San Francisco or Beijing or Washington, D.C. They --  They are determined. They will push back against our actions, and we need to make sure that we hold the Chinese Communist Party at risk in the same way that they seek to put America at risk each day.

If we get that piece right, the tactics, the operational pieces, we'll -- we'll get those. A...strong United States military, capable diplomatic corps, and a robust American economy can deliver those outcomes in a way that will give us the change that 250 years from now, the 76th or 79th Secretary of State can sit here with his democrat counterpart from a previous Administration and still have the opportunity to defend what we hold most sacred.

Thanks for giving me the chance to be with you all today.

I look forward to your questions.

1 Scesis onomaton. These terms of course may refer to different elements but their use here seems relatively synonymous given the discursive context

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