US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that the decision to reduce the troops in Europe and deploy them in several other places was in response to the Chinese threat to India and Southeast Asian nations.
Speaking at the Brussels Forum, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the increasing Chinese aggression in the region was one of the main reasons why they decided to move the troops close to India and Southeast Asia. Responding to the sudden reduction of US troops in Germany, Pompeo said troops were no longer there because they were being moved to be deployed in other places as per current challenges.
Citing threats from Chinese communist party to India & South East Asia, US will be "postured appropriately" & that is why reducing troops in Europe: US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo pic.twitter.com/HUE8PPqwSP— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) June 25, 2020
Secretary Pompeo added, “We are going to make sure the US military is postured appropriately to meet the challenges”.
The decision to move the troops from Europe comes at the backdrop of the recent cowardly attacks by the Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control near Ladakh, that killed 20 Indian soldiers.
US is carrying out strategic review: Secretary Pompeo
Pompeo also pointed out that the Trump administration had carried out a long-overdue strategic review of the US military two years ago and fundamentally relooked at the threats it faced and how it should allocate its resources, including intelligence and military and cyber.
“We are going to make sure we are postured appropriately to counter the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). We think that is the challenge of our time and we are going to make sure we have resources in place to do that,” added Mike Pompeo.
“There will be other places – I just talked about the threat from the Chinese Communist Party – threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia, South China Sea challenges, the Philippines. We are going to make sure we are postured appropriately to counter the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). We think that is the challenge of our time and we are going to make sure we have resources in place to do that,” he said.
Pompeo blames China for escalating tensions
Earlier, Pompeo had also criticised the Chinese Army for escalating the border tension with India and militarizing the strategic South China Sea. He had also described the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) as a “rogue actor”.
Launching a scathing attack on the Chinese government, Pompeo said that the Communist Party of China intends 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 has escalated border tensions with India, the world’s most populous democracy. It’s militarizing the South China Sea and illegally claiming more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes,” Pompeo had said last week while expressing his deep condolences to India on the death of 20 soldiers in a violent attack by the PLA troops.
US-EU dialogue on China and its threats
Highlighting the increasingly aggressive Chinese actions, Secretary Pompeo listed the “bloody border confrontation with India”, Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea and its predatory economic policies. He also announced that the US and the EU would start a dialogue on China and the challenges it poses.
It would help the trans-Atlantic alliance to build a ‘common understanding of the threat posed by China’ and added that the two sides needed ‘a collective data set’ on China’s actions so the two could take action together. It is notable here that the US moving its troops out of Germany had angered the EU.