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International relations

Distrust and verify: Pompeo refits Cold War slogan for China

Secretary of state rejects engagement with Beijing on Communist Party's terms

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likened the Chinese Communist Party to "Frankenstein" in a speech July 23 at the Nixon Library in former President Richard Nixon's birthplace of Yorba Linda, California.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Washington should adopt "distrust and verify" as a mantra when dealing with Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a hard-hitting speech Thursday, repurposing a Soviet-era strategy that helped end the Cold War.

"President [Ronald] Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of 'trust but verify,'" Pompeo said in a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Southern California. "When it comes to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], I say we must distrust and verify."

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