U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany February 15, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
MUNICH (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the United States’ global role and launched a scathing attack on China and Russia, vowing that the West’s ideals and values would prevail.
“I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference.
Pompeo was responding to criticism by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who took an indirect swipe at President Donald Trump on Friday saying his administration rejected the idea of an international community. Steinmeier accused the United States, Russia and China of stoking global mistrust and insecurity.
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 destabilizing the rules-based international system.
“The West is winning,” Pompeo said. “But now, more than thirty years on since the fall of the (Berlin) wall, countries that don’t respect sovereignty still threaten us.”
Amid growing U.S concerns over Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei [HWT.UL], Pompeo said all three of those nations were using the cyber realm to yield influence.
“Huawei and other Chinese state-backed tech companies are Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence. Russia’s disinformation campaigns try to turn our citizens against one another. Iranian cyberattacks plague Middle East computer networks,” he said.
Reporting by Paul Carrel, John Irish, editing by Robin Emmott