Magazine November 25, 2019, Issue

Mike Pompeo’s View of China

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left), with Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias, signs a defense agreement in Athens, October 5. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images)
A conversation with the secretary of state, had while looking east from Greece

Signing a defense agreement between the United States and Greece during a brief ceremony at the Greek foreign ministry on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Athens, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo initiated a new American strategy of contesting China’s mercantilist commercial expansion. While the agreement did not mention China, in geopolitical terms it marks a fundamental challenge to China’s ambitions in Greece, the Mediterranean, and the European Union.

The signing took place just a few miles from the port of Piraeus, which abuts the Greek capital and is the major symbol of China’s mercantile ambitions in the West. Chinese premier

Christopher R. O'DeaMr. O’Dea is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is working on a book about China’s maritime commercial network.

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