Pompeo displays US insolence to Europe

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/10 12:47:39

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech at a London conference, almost imperatively asked Britain to change its attitude toward China and Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei. He wanted Britain to treat China like the so-called Soviet threat to the West.

He also mocked Prime Minister Theresa May without naming her by mentioning former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. He said: "Would the Iron Lady be silent when China violates the sovereignty of nations through corruption or coercion? Would she allow China to control the internet of the future?"

Pompeo no longer considers the minimum respect for the special ally of the US. The British must have mixed feelings about Pompeo's display of arrogance. A commentary in The Guardian titled "Mike Pompeo: a bully boy calls at No 10" writes that Pompeo wants to discuss "shared global priorities" with Theresa May, but he himself is a problem. The attitude of the US toward European allies has never been as arrogant as it is now. Even during the Cold War, when Europe was most dependent on US security, Washington gave credit to its allies.

But look at how the US ambassador in Berlin urged Germany not to allow Huawei to provide 5G infrastructure to the country. The US ambassador also threatened German companies building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Germany and Russia by warning them about the risk of sanctions. And now look at what Pompeo said in Britain; Washington is increasingly not treating Europe as a partner that needs equal treatment and respect, but as a small follower who should listen to the elder brother.

China is fundamentally different from the Soviet Union. Even most Americans do not see China as "another Soviet Union," not to mention European countries which have no obvious geopolitical disputes with China. Although European countries, including Britain, worry that China's development may affect their interests, they are more willing to explore their development opportunities from the rise of China. They generally attach importance to expanding cooperation with China, and Britain has realistic thinking of the "golden era" in relations between China and Britain.

As China is indeed not the Soviet Union, it will be hard for the likes of Pompeo to peddle the same defense against China as against the Soviet Union. Washington wants to push the "China threat theory" to the extreme, but what it lacks most is reason. Getting European countries to align their China policies with those of the US to help it contain China is certainly not something Washington can do. Expanding cooperation is the main theme of China-EU relations, which cannot be changed by a selfish US.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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