US diplomat Mike Pompeo in London amid growing stand-off with China

Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo meets Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab amid growing stand-off with China

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo flew into London and the middle of a huge row with China today as he held talks with Boris Johnson and senior Beijing hawks.

Donald Trump’s top diplomat also met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab amid growing tensions over Hong Kong and persecution of more than one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities.

Mr Pompeo, himself a noted critic of China, arrived in a Stars and Stripes mask to meet backbenchers at a London members club before heading to 10 Downing Street.

He was meeting Mr Johnson in a bid to pull Britain ever closer in Washington’s own diplomatic tug-of-war with China.

‘Social distance does not imply diplomatic or political distance,’ Mr Johnson joked as he walked Mr Pompeo into his office in Downing Street.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo flew into London and the middle of a huge row with China today as he held talks with Boris Johnson

Donald Trump ‘s top diplomat also met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab amid growing tensions over Hong Kong

The range of steps taken by Johnson in the past month threaten to bring an early end to a ‘golden decade’ in cooperation that former British finance minister George Osborne promised on a visit to Beijing in 2015.

London has also outraged Beijing by offering nearly three million residents of Hong Kong a pathway to UK citizenship in response to a highly controversial security law that China imposed on the former British colony last month.

Britain followed that up on Monday by suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and extending an arms embargo of ‘potentially lethal weapons’ that had previously applied only to mainland China.

Arriving in London last night Mr Pompeo wrote on Twitter: ‘Great to be back in London to reaffirm the special relationship we share with our closest ally.

‘Looking forward to meeting with Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab as we tackle our most pressing global issues in combating Covid-19 and addressing our shared security challenges.’

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