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USA relations with China have been suffering from diplomatic troubles amid the increasing criticism of the Trump Administration towards Beijing. After confirming an end to Washington’s policy of neutrality in the South China Sea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the Chinese regime is the “central threat of our times.” Addressing Senators during a hearing on Thursday, Secretary Pompeo said: “We see the Chinese Communist Party also for what it is, the central threat of our times.

“Our vigorous diplomacy has helped lead an international awakening to the threat of the CCP. Senators, the tide is turning.

“Thirty plus countries and territories have become 5G-clean countries, banning untrusted vendors from their networks. When we talked about this a year ago that number was in the single digits.”

The US has been at the forefront of a campign urgin national telecommunication networks to make do without technology from Chinese brand Huawei over espionage concerns.

In addition to e-security concerns, Washington DC has also warned the US is ready to intervene against China should any skirmish arise over the sovereignty of the South China Sea.

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The region has long been at the centre of a dispute between Beijing and several other Southeast Asian nations. 

Mr Pompeo welcomed Australia’s commitment to defending the South China Sea from Chinese encroaching as he also noted the US has led efforts to condemns Beijing over human rights violations.

He continued: “In the Indo-Pacific, Australia declared China’s South China Sea claims unlawful and illegitimate as have we.

“And we’re proud to have stepped up maritime manoeuvres in that body of water alongside our friends from Australia and Japan and the United Kingdom.

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Beijing denounced the move as “political provocation” and retaliated by shutting down the US Consulate in Chengdu days later.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying branded the actions of the US officials “unbelievably ridiculous” and demanded an immediate retraction of the accusations.

Ms Hua said: “While Chinese diplomats are promoting mutual understanding and friendship, the US embassy in China publicly attacks China’s political system,” she said.

“As a result of smears and hatred fanned up by the US Government.”

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