Munich Security Conference: The West is winning, Pompeo tells China, Russia
"I'm happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we're winning together," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has vowed that Western values would prevail over China's desire for "empire" as he defended on Saturday his nation's global role despite misgivings in Europe.
He made the comments at the Munich Security Conference, listing US steps to protect liberal democracies.
Pompeo was seeking to reassure Europeans troubled by US President Donald Trump's "America first" rhetoric, ambivalence over the transatlantic NATO military alliance and tariffs on European goods.
"I'm happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we're winning together," he said.
Pompeo was, in part, responding to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who on Friday accused the US, Russia and China of stoking global mistrust.
Wonderful meeting with @GermanyDiplo Minister @HeikoMaas at #MSC2020 in Munich. Thankful for Germany’s continued cooperation and support in advancing peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa. pic.twitter.com/LfrhRcrwxw— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 14, 2020
Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as the Paris climate accord, have undermined European priorities, while moves such as recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital have weakened European diplomacy, envoys say.
Pompeo defended the US strategy, saying Europe, Japan and other American allies were united on China, Iran and Russia, despite "tactical differences."
He reiterated Washington's opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under construction between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, a project backed by the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Reuters reported.
Citing Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, cyber threats in Iran and economic coercion by China, Pompeo said those countries were still "desiring empires" and destabilising the rules-based international system.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, speaking immediately after Pompeo, focused his remarks solely on China, accusing Beijing of a "nefarious strategy" through telecommunications firm Huawei.
"It is essential that we as an international community wake up to the challenges presented by Chinese manipulation of the long-standing international rules-based order," Esper said.
We stand united with our partners and Allies in the D-ISIS coalition. Today in Munich at the D-ISIS ministerial, I reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to advancing global peace and security, and to the lasting defeat of ISIS. #MSC2020 pic.twitter.com/63akFovZxE— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) February 14, 2020
He said it was not too late for Britain, which last month said it would allow Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, to take "two steps back," but added he still needed to asses London's decision.
"We could have a win-win strategy if we just abide by the international rules that have been set in place for decades ... that respect human rights, that respect sovereignty," he said.