“What’s happening now isn’t Cold War 2.0,” Pompeo said in an address to the Czech Senate Wednesday. “The challenge of resisting the CCP threat is in some ways much more difficult.”
“That’s because the CCP is already enmeshed in our economies, in our politics, in our societies in ways the Soviet Union never was.”
The comparison of the Cold War to the heightened tensions in the U.S.-China relationship started earlier this summer when U.K. officially reversed its agreement with China to allow Huawei to have a hand in developing the U.K.’s 5G capabilities.
China’s ambassador to the U.K., Liu Xiaoming blamed U.S. interference for “seriously poisoning” the U.K.-China relationship and warned London officials against “Cold War” actors – referring to Pompeo who has worked to stop European countries from allowing Huawei to develop their 5G technologies.
U.S. security officials have warned against China’s ability to demand access to the China-based telecom company’s database, effectively allowing China a hand in anywhere Huawei is used to develop the next generation of cellular networks, 5G.
“The real reason behind Pompeo's animosity towards Chinese companies has nothing to do with national security or democracy, freedoms, fairness or reciprocity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters late last month. “It's just because they are Chinese companies and also frontrunners in their lines of business.”
U.S.-China ties have increasingly deteriorated over the last six months, something Pompeo noted in his address to the Czech Senate as he pointed to China’s “cover up” during the coronavirus outbreak, the new security laws implemented in Hong Kong that have undermined the territory’s autonomy and the human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, a minority ethnic group in western China.
“The detention of 1 million Uyghur Muslims living in internment camps in Xijiang…is the human rights stain of the century, sustained by companies like Huawei using technologies the secret police could only have dreamed of in times gone by,” Pompeo said to the Czech Senate.
The Czech Republic, along with 32 other nations, joined together under the Prague Proposals in May 2019 to ban Huawei and commit to a “5G Clean Path,” which is a program that safeguards nations’ data from the CCP.
Pompeo said that it will take longer for other nations to recognize the threats from China.
“China’s world dominance is not inevitable, we’re the authors of our fate. Free societies have always been more attractive – your people know this,” Pompeo said, speaking to the Czech Senate, noting his time in the U.S. Army when he served in Germany as the Berlin Wall came down.
The CCP is “paranoid about free societies,” he added.
Pompeo’s remarks in the Czech Republic on security in Eastern Europe, mark the first of several stops he will make in the region to address energy and cyber security, and the threats coming largely from Russia and China.
His visit to Eastern Europe comes just weeks after the U.S. announced they would be pulling 12,000 troops from longtime ally Germany, some of which will be redistributed in the Black Sea region.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the abrupt withdrawal of troops was a strategic policy shift to “strengthen NATO, [and] enhance the deterrence of Russia.”
“The tide has turned, just as I see it turned here in Europe as well. The West is winning, don’t let anyone tell you about the decline of the West,” Pompeo said Wednesday.
“It will take all of us…here in Prague, in Poland, in Portugal. We have the obligation to speak clearly and plainly to our people, and without fear. We must confront complex questions... and we must do so together,” he added.