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China slams Pompeo for ‘Cold War thinking’ in Berlin speech

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (Photo by AFP)

Beijing has slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent anti-China rhetoric, accusing him of "outdated Cold War thinking" after he warned against a Chinese threat to Western freedoms.

Speaking on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in the German capital, Berlin, on Saturday, Pompeo said the US and its allies need to "defend what was so hard-won... in 1989" and "recognize we are in a competition of values with unfree nations.”

He accused China of using “tactics and methods to suppress its own people that would be horrifyingly familiar to former East Germans.”

“Western, free nations have a responsibility to deter threats to our people" Pompeo said, adding, “We can never take ... things for granted.”

He then called on the NATO military alliance to grow and confront "the challenges of today.”

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang slammed Pompeo's "baseless malicious attacks" on Beijing on Monday, saying some figures in the US have "attempted to build an ideological wall between Chinese and foreign enterprises."

Geng urged Pompeo to "abandon his ideological bias and outdated Cold War thinking," accusing him of ignoring the interest of the American people to pursue personal political goals.

Pompeo’s Berlin speech was the latest in a string of hawkish remarks on China by the Secretary of State.

In October, Pompeo accused China of being "truly hostile" toward the United States and taking measures that challenge Washington’s interests and security, promising to "confront" Beijing on multiple fronts.

Pompeo said China had to be confronted rather than coddled on numerous fronts, including trade practices, human rights record and its claim on the South China Sea and toward Taiwan.

China shot back at Pompeo’s “vicious” speech against Beijing and said his words revealed "arrogance and fear" of American officials.

The US-Chinese relationship have been strained over an array of issues, including the trade war, US sanctions on China’s military, and US ties with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

The two countries are also at loggerheads primarily over Washington’s assertions that China uses predatory tactics, including technology theft, in a drive to become the global leader in robotics, self-driving cars and other advanced technology.

US President Donald Trump launched a trade war with China last year to restrain China’s growing economic power.

The world’s two largest economies are trying to resolve the dispute that is slowing global economic growth, disrupting supply chains and roiling financial markets.

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