Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cuts short East Asia visit amid Trump hospitalisation
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will limit his East Asia visit to Japan only which was earlier planned from 4th to 8th October and also included South Korea and Mongolia.
As per the State department, Pompeo would leave for Japan today but would not go to Mongolia and South Korea as originally planned. Following the hospitalisation of US President Donald Trump with Covid-19, he will be returning to Washington on 6th October after consultations with his Japanese counterpart and a wider meeting with foreign ministers of India and Australia.
The visit assumes importance as Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has very recently taken office and U.S. ties with Beijing are at their worst in decades in the face of the coronavirus which has now infected President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania.
The visit is important to strengthen ties with regional allies on issues in the Indo-Pacific region, from China’s dealings with the coronavirus to trade issues, new national security legislation in Hong Kong, tensions in the South China Sea, and the alleged repression of religious and ethnic minorities. Pompeo’s visits to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and Seoul,South Korea have been cancelled and rescheduled for later in October, the state department said in a statement.
By Anshuman Mishra