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US Sec of State Pompeo: Trump shaping new democratic world order

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 Mr Trump's America First policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Mr Trump was not abandoning its global leadership but instead reshaping the post-World War II 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," Mr Pompeo said in a speech to diplomats and officials in Brussels.

Mr Pompeo added that China's ability to benefit from the current US-led system of trade and agreements was an example of"the poisoned fruit of American retreat."

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Mr Pompeo's statements "did not accord with the spirit"of the meeting just days earlier between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Mr 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.

Mr Pompeo's address rejected concerns among US allies that Mr Trump is undermining the West by withdrawing from climate, free-trade and arms control accords.

Mr Pompeo said such criticism was "plain wrong", adding that Mr Trump was reforming the liberal order, not destroying it.

European leaders say that Mr Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal undermine European priorities.

Mr Pompeo said: "Our administration is ... lawfully exiting or renegotiating outdated or harmful treaties, trade agreements, and other international arrangements that don't serve our sovereign interests, or the interest of our allies". - REUTERS

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