CHINESE TOUGHER CHALLENGE THAN RUSSIA, POMPEO ADMITS
China’s global economic power makes the communist country in some ways a more difficult foe to counter than the Soviet Union during the Cold War, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on a visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Robert Muller wrote for Reuters on August 13, 2020.
Pompeo called on countries around Europe to rally against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which he said leverages its economic might to exert its influence around the world. “What’s happening now isn’t Cold War 2.0,” Pompeo said in a speech to the Czech Senate. “The challenge of resisting the CCP threat is in some ways much more difficult. The CCP is already enmeshed in our economies, in our politics, in our societies in ways the Soviet Union never was.”
The Cold War reference came after China’s ambassador to London last month warned that the US was picking a fight with Beijing ahead of the US presidential election in November. US-China ties have quickly deteriorated this year over a range of issues including Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus, telecoms-equipment maker Huawei, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea (SCS) and the clampdown on Hong Kong.
Pompeo’s visit to the Czech Republic, part of the Soviet bloc until the 1989 democratic Velvet Revolution, marked the first stop on a swing through the region to discuss cyber and energy security. He used the occasion to swipe at both Russian and Chinese influence and lauded officials in the central European nation of 10.7 million who took on Beijing over the past year.