China says US treats Latin American like its 'backyard'

Beijing has fired back at the U.S. after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized China's role in Venezuela as prolonging the crisis there.

China's foreign ministry said Monday that Pompeo's accusations were "unfounded" and "deliberately drove a wedge" between China and Latin America.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang accused the U.S. of treating Latin America like "its own backyard to pressure, threaten and even subvert political power in other countries at every turn."

Pompeo said last Friday that China's financing of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government helped "precipitate and prolong" the country's crisis.

Hyperinflation, shortages of food and medicine and other hardships have forced more than 3 million Venezuelans — about one-tenth of the population — to flee the country in the last few years.