German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the opening speech of the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, and February 14, 2020.
“We are witnessing today an increasingly destructive momentum in global politics,” Steinmeier said in a speech to kick off the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering on global security challenges.
Steinmeier also said Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine had brought the use of military violence for political gain back to the European continent, leading to geopolitical “insecurity” and a “loss of trust”.
Turning to an increasingly assertive China, Steinmeier criticised Beijing’s stance in the South China Sea, where it is accused of bullying rival claimants and building up military installations, and condemned its crackdown on Uighur Muslims.
“Its actions in the South China Sea are disturbing its neighbours in the region. Its actions against minorities in its own country are disturbing to all of us,” he said.
Among those attending this year’s Munich Security Conference, which runs until Sunday, are French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.