US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo started a series of speeches on “the challenge of China” on Wednesday by saying that Beijing’s policies were hostile to Western interests. His address at a dinner organised by the conservative Hudson Institute think tank in New York mixed praise for the Chinese people with harsh criticism of the ruling Communist Party of China. He said he was “optimistic” about the signing of the “first phase” of a US-China trade deal next month. Pompeo, who was given an award by the institute for leadership in US national security policy, focused on President Donald Trump’s administration’s commitment to confront China. He called the policy a departure from more than two decades of governments in Washington that had been “slow to see the risk” of China. “We accommodated and encouraged China’s rise for decades, even when that rise was at the expense of American values, Western democracy and security, and the common good,” he said. Pompeo said he planned to give a series of addresses and remarks in the months ahead, outlining the challenge of China on topics such as the “competing ideologies and values” that drew distinctions between it and the US. “The Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist party focused on a struggle, and world domination. We need only to listen to the words of their leaders,” Pompeo said. Points in his speech included Beijing’s intelligence gathering and its campaigns to shape public world opinion; China’s effect on the international order; its economy and how that distorted others, and its military strength. Trade war: China and US to hold phone talks on Friday after Apec setback Addressing the economy, Pompeo said he “wants China to be successful”, with a “transparent, competitive, market-driven system”. “You can see the first steps towards that in the phase one deal that we are close to signing,” he said. “I’m optimistic we’ll get there. It’s a good thing, a place that we can work together. We want to make sure we get that right. “I think this will show that there is common ground to be had, and the Trump administration will work tirelessly to find it wherever we can,” he said. Pompeo blamed the conflict with China on “distortions” of how the two sides see their relationship. He criticised “China lobbyists” in Washington for downplaying problems, and for Chinese state media and government spokesmen for “routinely maligning American intentions and policy objectives”. “They distorted how Americans view the People’s Republic, and how they view General Secretary Xi,” he said. “Today, we’re finally realising the degree to which the Communist Party is truly hostile to the United States and our values, and its worst deeds and words, and how they impact us. And we are able to do that because of the leadership of President Trump,” Pompeo said. He also criticised China for demanding that companies censor themselves, citing the recent National Basketball Association scandal where a tweet supporting Hong Kong by one team’s general manager this month led to a full-scale ban on NBA broadcasts in China. Mike Pompeo promises US will meet China’s strategies with ‘strong and vigorous response’ “Beijing ought to be able to run its own PR campaign – they are a sovereign nation, but if we disagree, our companies ought to be permitted to have that disagreement. Silencing dissent is simply not acceptable,” he said. “China’s regime is trampling the most basic human rights, of its own citizens, the great and noble Chinese people,” he said, citing pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong and the Muslims of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. He also blamed China for predatory lending and infrastructure investment in developing nations, theft of intellectual property, its restrictions on religious freedom and its build-up of military assets in the South and East China seas. Shortly after Pompeo’s speech ended, Chilean officials announced the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting next month in Santiago, citing unrest and huge protests against the government of President Sebastian Pinera. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump were expected to sign an interim trade agreement at the three-day meeting. The White House said it hoped a deal with China could be signed next month, but it did not suggest a location for officials to meet.