US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the US was continuing to evaluate how it would respond to Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
“We continue to evaluate how to apply sanctions in order to achieve our end objective,” Pompeo said under questioning from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Pompeo also said the “tide is turning” in US dealings with China, saying there is international support for American policies, including the step-up of maritime maneuvers in the South China Sea and opposition to the use of Chinese technology in international 5G networks.
Reflecting rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, Pompeo took a tough line on China.
“We see the Chinese Communist Party for what it is: the center threat of our times,” Pompeo said.
In recent days, Washington and Beijing have each closed one of the other country’s consulates – the US closing China’s office in Houston and China retaliating by shuttering the US facility in Chengdu – and Pompeo recently announced an end to Hong Kong’s special trading status.
“We closed the consulate in Houston because it was a den of spies,” Pompeo said.