Trump shaping new ‘liberal’ order to block Russia, China, Iran — Pompeo

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo talks during a press conference after a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting on December 4, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 05 December 2018
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Trump shaping new ‘liberal’ order to block Russia, China, Iran — Pompeo

  • Pompeo said Trump was not abandoning its global leadership but instead reshaping the post-World War Two system on the basis of sovereign states
  • He said Trump was also pushing both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to stop funding countries such as China

BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump’s top diplomat promised on Tuesday a new democratic world order in which Washington will strengthen or jettison international agreements as it sees fit to stop “bad actors” such as Russia, China and Iran from gaining.
In a twist on Trump’s “America First” policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump was not abandoning its global leadership but instead reshaping the post-World War Two system on the basis of sovereign states, not multilateral institutions.
“In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” Pompeo told diplomats and officials in a foreign policy speech.
“We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent and free world of sovereign states,” Pompeo said, adding that China’s ability to benefit from the current US-led system of trade and other agreements was an example of “the poisoned fruit of American retreat.”
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Pompeo’s statements “did not accord with the spirit” of the meeting just days earlier between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.
“I don’t know for what purpose someone would applaud then and now say something like this,” Geng said, referring to media reports that applause broke out after Xi and Trump agreed to a trade war cease-fire at their meeting in Argentina.
Geng said that while the United States “flies the flag of America First, and wields the baton of protectionism and unilateralism,” China was an important contributor to multilateralism, the international rules-based order and global economic development.
Pompeo, a former Army officer who is regarded as a Trump loyalist with hawkish world views, said Trump was also pushing both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to stop funding countries such as China, saying they already had access to financial markets to raise capital.
Pompeo’s address, which was met with polite applause, rejected concerns among many traditional US allies that Trump is undermining the West by withdrawing from climate, free-trade and arms control accords.
Pompeo said such criticism was “plain wrong.”
Pompeo said Trump was reforming the liberal order, not destroying it. He cited Britain’s decision to quit the European Union as a sign supranational organizations were not working.
He also took aim at “bureaucrats” responsible for upholding multilateralism “as an end in itself” and cast doubt on the EU’s commitment to its citizens.
That drew a rare rebuke from the European Commission, the bloc’s executive.
Asked to reply to the Secretary of State’s remarks, its chief spokesman offered an explanation of how the EU executive is subject to control by citizens via the directly elected European Parliament and by the governments of the member states.
“So for those people who come to Brussels and coin an opinion without knowing how our system works, that’s how our system works. And that’s our reply,” Margaritis Schinas said.


Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

Updated 43 min 20 sec ago
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Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

  • The city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists
  • Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: A series of explosions was heard in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, shortly before the opening of polls in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Multiple blasts were heard at about 6A.M. (0500 GMT), locals said. There was no immediate indication of the cause.

But the city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists and has been repeatedly attacked during their nearly 10-year insurgency that has devastated the remote region.

Polls open at 0700 GMT, with President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general who has vowed to defeat the jihadists, seeking a second term.

Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections.

One resident in the Gomari neighborhood of Maiduguri said: “I heard several explosions coming from the Bulumkutu area this morning but it’s unclear what is happening.

“There have been suspicions that it was an attack by Boko Haram but we don’t know yet.”

He added: “Late yesterday (Friday), some gunmen went into the house of a man in Gomari and shot him dead. We still don’t know the motive.”

Two other residents gave a similar account.

The early morning explosions in Maiduguri come after a Boko Haram attack late on Friday on Zabarmari village, some 10 kilometers outside Maiduguri.

The attack forced residents to flee into the city.