Vice President Pence will delay a speech detailing the administration’s policies toward China until after the Group of 20 (G-20) summit, an administration official confirmed Friday.
Pence was scheduled to deliver remarks on Monday elaborating on actions the U.S. would like to see China take. Instead, the vice president will hold off amid signs of progress before President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet at next weekend’s summit in Osaka, Japan.
The two sides have rekindled negotiations on trade ahead of the meeting between Trump and Xi. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he had a “very good telephone conversation” with Xi, and that representatives from each country would begin talks before the G-20 summit.
Trump has frequently cited his strong personal relationship with Xi in touting the prospect of a trade deal between the two nations, though there have been few signs in recent weeks that an official agreement is in the offing.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Pence would postpone the speech.
Pence delivered a speech last October warning of the threats posed by China and accusing Beijing of using its power “in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States.”
He further alleged that China had undertaken an effort to swing public opinion against Trump, asserting that the country “wants a different American president.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered remarks on Friday in which he was fiercely critical of China’s religious freedom laws and treatment of Uighur Muslims.
BY BRETT SAMUELS