US helped India decide on banning Chinese apps: PompeoUpdated: Jul 16, 2020 23:53 IST
Washington While India decided independently to ban over 50 apps linked to China as part of its campaign to punish Beijing for the Galwan Valley clashes, the United States indicated on Wednesday it played an enabling role with its ongoing effort to “assist” New Delhi with information it needed to make the right choice.
No details were forthcoming. But the United States has been considering a ban on some of these apps, such as video-sharing app TikTok, as has been said by both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as they ratchet up their attacks on China over a growing list of disagreements.
“We’ve been working closely with the Indians across a broad spectrum of the – the full range of international partnership with them to assist them in making sure they had all the information they needed to make good decisions,” Pompeo said in an interaction hosted by the Economic Club of New York, a non-profit.
Pompeo was responding to a question if America was alone in confronting China over its trade “thievery”, using his own words, “lies” in the South China Sea, and its attempt to leverage its outsized clout in the WHO to escape accountability for the Covid-19 pandemic that started in Wuhan last December.
“They made the decision that they were going to pull 50 or so Chinese applications off the systems that were operating inside of India,” the secretary of state said of the Indian decision on the Chinese apps, and added, “They didn’t do that because the United States told them to. They did it because they could see the threat to the Indian people from the Chinese Communist Party.”
Pompeo, who is spearheading the Trump administration’s growing hawkishness on China, went on to indicate the US may have played a similar enabling role in United Kingdom’s ban on Huawei from its 5G network Tuesday, reversing its long-held position that had caused frustration in the United States, which has declared the telecommunications giant with links to Beijing a national security risk.
Separately, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said TikTok pulling itself out of its Chinese holding company and operating as an independent American company is a much better solution than banning it.
When asked whether any American company would like to buy the Chinese firm, he said: “I don’t want to speculate on that...That’s really a market question, but I’m just saying that’s a much better solution than banning.”
The US, meanwhile, also indicated that it may take a decision on banning the Chinese mobile applications within weeks after a campaign to bar them gained momentum.
“I do not think there is any self-imposed deadline for action, but I think we are looking at weeks, not months,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Wednesday aboard Air Force One, flying with President Trump from Atlanta.
(with agency inputs)