The US is reviewing its global deployment of forces to ensure it is postured appropriately to counter the People's Liberation Army, given the increasing threat posed by China to Asian countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

Pompeo made those remarks in response to a question during the virtual Brussels Forum 2020 of the German Marshall Fund.

Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about airstrikes by the US military in Iraq and Syria.Reuters

"We're going to make sure we're postured appropriately to counter the PLA. We think that the challenge of our times, and we're going to make sure we have resources in place to do that," Pompeo said.

The force posture review is being done at the direction of President Donald Trump, as part of which the US is reducing the number of its troops in Germany from about 52,000 to 25,000, Mike Pompeo said.

Pompeo said that the force posture would be dictated by the ground realities. "In certain places there will be fewer American resources. There'll be other places - I just talked about the threat from the Chinese Communist Party, so now threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia, South China Sea challenges, the Philippines," he said.

US and EU must face down China together, Pompeo says

The United States and European Union need a shared understanding of China to resist it, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, calling Beijing a threat and accusing it of stealing European know-how to develop its economy.

Pompeo said he had accepted a proposal by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to create a formal U.S.-EU dialogue on China and would travel to Europe soon to host the first session.

"There is a transatlantic awakening to the truth of what's happening," Pompeo told a think-tank event via video link. "This isn't the United States confronting China, this is the world confronting China," he said.

Borrell raised the idea of a U.S.-EU dialogue earlier this month at the end of a video call between Pompeo and EU foreign ministers. While details are thin, Pompeo said it would be run by senior officials and would be open-ended.

Two EU diplomats said the dialogue could be a forum for tackling issues such as how to combat what the West says is Chinese disinformation, rather than forging a common trade policy.

However, while the EU shares many of Washington's concerns about what it says are predatory Chinese trade practices to dominate strategic industries, Brussels wants to tread a middle path between China and the United States.

The EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, held talks with Chinese leaders on Monday and sees Beijing as a partner in fighting climate change as well as an economic rival.

Pompeo said the EU needed to act against China, whom he accused of stealing intellectual property in Europe and abusing the rules-based trading system, to protect its economies, not as a favour for the United States.

(inputs from wires)