America was late to the game—and is now paying the price because China, the world’s second largest and powerful economy behind the U.S., was able to take advantage by stealing secrets from some of the nation’s most critical businesses, including the U.S. government.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is worried that the communist-led country has stolen defense secrets and used them to technologically advance their own defense systems, in both capacity and intent.
“We’ve watched them engage in a very significant arms build-up, not only in the quantity of arms, but in their lethality, their capability and their capacity,” Pompeo told FOX Business in an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday.
Now China's military is growing very quickly. Its defense budget has nearly doubled in the past decade and in 2018, it spent $250 billion on the military. The rise has given way to an international turf war, specifically the Indo-Pacific area, where China’s authority is challenging the U.S. most.
However, the U.S. government laid out a very specific strategy, which is described by Pompeo as an operation below a level of conflict, while gaining dominance in the South China Sea.
“So your point about Chinese ships sailing in places that they haven’t sailed before, Chinese aircraft flying, with more frequently pushing boundaries up against places where they would normally fly, is a very real risk,” he told Bartiromo in response to Trump’s Gray Zone Operation.
“And it’s something that the United States Department of Defense has pushed back against, too. You’ve seen increased frequency of our activities in those very same places, to ensure that U.S. commercial traffic can continue to have access to those sea-lanes. They’re very important for our economy and for America’s economic growth,” he explained.
Adm. Davidson, who took over as the Indo-Pacific Combatant Commander, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said that the U.S. would not win in a war against China. Although Pompeo believes “America’s very capable” he doesn’t believe a war with China is on the table.