China uses BRI to achieve its national security objectives: Pompeo

WASHINGTON: China Uses Its Governmental Power To Achieve Its National Security Objective, The US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo Claimed Monday, Claiming That The Trump Government Is Leading Global Efforts To Inform Countries About The" Predatory Chinese Economy."

The Trump Administration Has Been Extremely Critical Towards President Xi Jinping ' S Billion-dollar Belt And Road Initiative (BRI) And Believes That China ' S Robbery Funding Leaves Smaller Provinces Under Huge Debts Threatening Their Sovereignty.

" The Chinese Efforts For Belt And Road Activities Are About Using Governmental Power To Achieve National Security Objectives," Pompeo Told Reporters Traveling With Him In Finland.

Noting That The US Has Always Said It Has A Huge Economic Interest In The Success Of China ' And Vice Versa, Pompeo Said That The BRI Should Be Transparent.

" It Must Be On A Free And Open Basis. It Cannot Be With The Idea That You Are Going To Borrow The Money From A Country And Then Foreclosure At That Facility, So That You Can Then Build A Port Or Buy That Land And Property. That ' S Not Appropriate. We've Discouraged. We've Informed Other Countries Around The World About That Set Of Problems," He Said.

Where There Are Elements Of The BRI That Really Hit A Bridge And It Is A Commercial Transaction, The US Welcomes China That Participates In It, He Said.

" But If We See That China Behaves In Ways That Are Really Non-commercial, But Were Previously Designed To Get Them Further, Or Have Access To National Security Purposes, We Don't Think Those Countries Are Really Buying," Pompeo Said.

The BRI Was Launched By President Xi When He Came To Power In 2013. It Aims To Connect Southeast Asia, Central Asia, The Gulf Region, Africa And Europe With A Network Of Land And Sea Routes.

China Is Investing Huge Sums Of Money For Infrastructure Projects In Countries From Asia To Africa And Europe, Thereby Reinforcing Global Influence. Concerns About BRI Financing Became Clear After China Acquired The Strategic Hambantota Port In Sri Lanka 'ona99-yearleaseasadebtexchangein2017

hepreviouslyfoundedtheopeningsessionofthearcticcouncilinfinland,butpompeohitchinaforhisbri,whichhesaidtendstoeatinthesovereigntyofthenations.

"chinahasobserverstatusinthearcticcouncil,butthatstatusdependsontherespectforthesovereignrightsofthearcticstates.theuswantschinatomeetthisconditionandcontributeinaresponsiblemannerintheregion.butchina#x27; S Words And Actions Invoke Doubts About His Intentions," He Said.

Referring To Sri Lanka And Malaysia, He Warned The Arctic Nations To Be Aware Of The True Chinese Intentions.

Let Us Ask Ourselves: Do We Want The Northern Countries In General Or Indigenous Communities Specifically, To Go Away From The Former Government In Sri Lanka Or Malaysia, Entangled In Debts And Corruption? Do We Want That Crucial Arctic Infrastructure Crumbles After Only A Few Years As Roads Built By China In Ethiopia?" He Asked.

" Do We Want The Arctic Ocean To Change Into A New South China Sea Loaded With Militarisation And Competitive Territorial Claims? Do We Want The Fragile Arctic Environment To Be Exposed To The Same Ecological Destruction Caused By China's Fleet And # X27 The Coast, Or Unregulated Industrial Activity At Home? I Think The Answers Are Pretty Clear," Said The US Top Diplomat.

Noting That Beijing Claims To Be A" Near-Arctic State" , He Said, The Shortest Distance Between China And The Arctic Is 900 Miles.

There Are Only Arctic States And Non-Arctic States. There Is No Third Category And If You Claim That This Otherwise Entitles China, There Is Nothing Wrong, He Claimed.

That ' S Not To Say Chinese Investment Is Unwelcome - Indeed Exactly The Opposite, He Said. The American And Arctic Countries Welcome Transparent Chinese Investments Reflecting Economic Interests And National Security Ambitions. Between 2012 And 2017, China Invested Nearly USD 90 Billion In The Arctic. It Plans To Build Infrastructure From Canada, To The Northwest Territories, To Siberia.

Last Month, Russia Announced Plans To Connect The North Sea Road With China ' S Maritime Silk Road, Which Would Develop A New Shipping Channel From Asia To Northern Europe. Meanwhile, China Is Already Developing Shipping Lanes In The Arctic Ocean, He Added.

" This Is Part Of A Very Trusted Pattern. Beijing Is Trying To Develop Critical Infrastructure Using Chinese Money, Chinese Companies, And Chinese Workers - In Some Cases To Establish A Permanent Chinese Presence On Security," Pompeo Claims.

A Pentagon Report Last Week, He Said, Warned That China Could Use Its Civilian Presence In The Arctic To Strengthen Its Military Presence, Including The Deployment Of Submarines - Including The Deployment Of Submarines In The Region As A Deterrent To Nuclear Attacks.

" We Need To Take A Close Look At These Activities, And We Need Them - And We Keep In Mind The Experience We Have Gained With Other Countries. The Pattern Of Aggressive Behavior In China Should Inform Us About What We Do And How It Is At The North Pole Can Treat," Said Pompeo.

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