U.S.’s Pompeo plans to meet Chinese officials in Hawaii: Politico

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to travel to Hawaii to meet with Chinese government officials, Politico reported on Friday, citing two unnamed sources.

Pompeo, who has been vocal in criticizing China on a range of issues from the origins of the coronavirus pandemic to its Hong Kong policy to the treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities, was planning the trip “quietly” and the arrangements were not finalized, Politico said.

The U.S. State Department and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Relations between the world’s two biggest economies have deteriorated in recent months, and U.S. President Donald Trump has said he could even sever relations.

Pompeo said last month that China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world by being more transparent about the coronavirus and accused it of refusing to share information.

He said last month Chinese plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong would be the “death knell” for the former British colony’s autonomy.

(This story corrects to last month from last week in paragraph 5)

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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