US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Chinese threat to India and Southeast Asian nations is one of the reasons America is reducing its troop presence in Europe and deploying them to other places.
Pompeo made the remarks in response to a question at the Brussels Forum that he had addressed virtually.
When asked why the US had reduced the number of troops in Germany, Pompeo said that if US troops were no longer there, it was because they were being moved to other places. He said the actions of the ruling Chinese Communist Party meant there were threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia and the South China Sea challenge.”
“We are going to make sure the US military is postured appropriately to meet the challenges,” he said.
Last week Pompeo criticised the Chinese Army for “escalating” the border tension with India and militarising the strategic South China Sea. He also described the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) as a “rogue actor.”
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In a scathing attack on the Chinese government, Pompeo said that the Communist Party of China wants to undo all the progress the free world has made through institutions like the NATO and adopt a new set of rules and norms that accommodate Beijing.
“The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has escalated border tensions with India, the world’s most populous democracy. It’s militarising the South China Sea and illegally claiming more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes,” Pompeo said, a day after he expressed deep condolences to India on the death of 20 soldiers in violent clashes with the PLA troops at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15.
An army convoy moves along the Srinagar-Leh highway on Wednesday, after Indian soldiers had a violent standoff with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh file photo:pti
Earlier, Pompeo said that the behaviour of CCP is fundamentally putting the American people’s security at risk and stressed that the Donald Trump administration is the first in decades to take this threat seriously.
The top US diplomat lashed out at China for making “empty promises” during last week’s China-Africa summit and said that Chinese President Xi Jinping “failed to promise real transparency and accountability” for Beijing’s role in “unleashing” the deadly coronavirus, which has infected over nine million people and claimed more than 400,000 lives globally.
He also said that Xi was not “putting lives front and centre” when the CCP “hid the truth” about Covid-19 from the world until it was too late.
A man belonging to a group called Sadbhavana Manch wears a mask imprinted with Chinese President’s photo during a demonstration in Bhopal calling for the boycott of Chinese products. Photo: PTI
The CCP has broken multiple international commitments, including those to the WHO, WTO, UN, and people of Hong Kong, he alleged. He also referred to the CCP’s predatory economic practices, such as trying to force nations to do business with Huawei, which he said was an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.
The Chinese Communist Party is also in violations of European sovereignty, including its browbeating of companies like HSBC.
The United States is not forcing Europe to choose between the free world or China’s authoritarian vision. China is making that choice between freedom and democracy, he said.
Acknowledging that the US was slow to recognise the reality of the rising authoritarian regime and the implications it had on the free society, he said Europe too was slow.