U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn't hold back in his criticism of China and Russia on Friday (November 8) in a speech in Berlin.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) US SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "Today Russia, led by a former KGB officer stationed in Dresden, invades its neighbours and slays political opponents." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "In China the Chinese Communist Party is shaping a new vision of authoritarianism - one that the world has not seen for an awfully long time.
The Chinese Communist Party uses tactics, methods to suppress its own people that would be horrifyingly familiar to former East Germans." Pompeo was speaking in Germany to mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall - the Cold War's most potent symbol.
But he said the West has lost its way in the quote "afterglow of that proud moment", and that authoritarianism is rising.
His comments came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said the western NATO alliance was dying due to America's unpredictability - something rebuffed by Pompeo and the German chancellor.
But the secretary of state on Friday did say that the alliance is in need of change.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "NATO runs always the risk that it will become obsolete, not because the partnership, not because the political commitments will ever become, I don't think in the transatlantic those commitments between our countries will ever become obsolete but it does run that risk if it doesn't do the things it needs to do to confront the challenges of today in a way that is effective."