Speaker Pelosi Remarks at Munich Security Conference

February 14, 2020
Press Release

Munich – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks and participated in a moderated conversation at the 2020 Munich Security Conference, discussing the battle between democracy and autocracy that faces the West today as part of a Congressional delegation to the 2020 Munich Security Conference, to NATO Headquarters and to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.  Below is a full transcript:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much.  Thank you. 

It’s very wonderful to be with you, Ivan [Krastev], your reputation precedes you as a great thinker on democracy, and I’m honored to participate with you today, as I am with Mr. President of the Bundestag here.  You are a leader of the interparliamentary world that we share and I’m honored to be with you.

Where’s the Ambassador?  Mr. Ambassador, you are a force of nature!  Thank you so much.  Isn’t he wonderful, Ambassador Ischinger?

[Applause]

For such a long time, sustaining such a powerful meeting on the subject of what we all take an oath to do: protect and defend our people.  So, with great admiration, I thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

Mr. President, that’s the third speech I’ve heard of yours in the last six to eight weeks.  That was a tour de force.  How do you feel?  Do you feel okay?  Do you feel good?

[Laughter]

Presenting that challenge, taking inventory of our challenges, but also inventory of the opportunities that we have.  What an honor to be with you again.  Let’s again hear it for the President and his wonderful speech.

[Applause]

Perhaps – when we talk about anything to be optimistic about, we have one of the largest delegations ever to the Munich Security Council.  And I want all of our Members to stand up.  Our House delegation, led by Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

[Applause]

And, Senator, Chairman Lindsey Graham, leading the Senatorial [delegation], which has some House Members in it too.  Any of the Senators here too, please rise and be recognized.

But, it is – last year we had a big delegation, as well.

But, it is an honor to be here.  Now here, you asked those two questions, but first I wanted to say, as I was listening to you Mr. President, and to you, Mr. Ambassador, I was thinking of when I was a student some – a long time ago, and I was at the inauguration of President Kennedy.  And, in his address, the whole world knows, Ivan and Mr. President, that he said, ‘The citizens of America ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’  But the very next line in that speech — most people don’t know because there was so much applause for that—The citizens of the world, ask not what America can do for you, but what we can do working together for the freedom of mankind.’  And that was like a clarion call to so many of us at that time – John Kerry a little younger, but you’ve read about it in the history book at least. 

[Laughter]

And so – the working together for the freedom of mankind, no condescension, total respect, as the Constitution of Germany talks about, as equals, working together and we have been doing that. 

As I say, we have a very large delegation here, not because we aren’t busy back home, but to pronounce and reconfirm, obviously in case it is needed from some, our strong commitment to multilateralism, our strong commitment to the transatlantic relationship, which is in all of our interests. 

When we talk about U.S. and NATO and the rest, it is in our mutual security interest, it’s not the U.S. helping Europe, it is about all of us helping, working for global security.  And so my Members stood up, so I won’t go to that again.

So, this year, as was indicated by both the Ambassador and the President, we are observing so many commemorations.  Many of us in this room were together in June for the commemoration of Normandy, invasion of Normandy and the triumph that that was.  Many of us were together, as we were with you, Mr. President, for the celebration of the victory at the Battle of the Bulge.  I wish you could have heard the President’s, the President’s speech there.  You were so magnificent, spoke truth to us, accepted what happened, taking us into the future.  And then shortly thereafter we were again just recently, and well, some of us, in Poland, first at Auschwitz and Birkenau and then in Jerusalem, where we heard from you again, talking about how we go into the future from a dreadful past. 

But, all of those occasions were commemorating a triumph.  But when we spoke to the, when we spoke to the veterans who were there, in their 90s, mind you, they talked about the triumph and they talked about how important it was and the rest but their constant message to us was, ‘Pray for peace.’  ‘Pray for peace.’  Pope Paul VI said, ‘If you want peace, work for justice.’  And as we talk about global security, we have to talk about some of the issues, about justice, economic and all kinds of justice, as well. 

So when we talk about it, we talked about, as you talked about – what we are talking about our policies should be about the alleviation of poverty, the eradication of disease, investments into economic development to wipe away some of the furies of despair.  It is a fertile ground for terrorist recruitment and the rest, and we will talk more about that on the group on terrorism.

But right now, the subject of this that you have given me, Mr. Speaker, the state of democracy in the West is increasingly uncertain as cynical actors seek to destabilize with the force of authoritarianism.  

We have to face that that is an intentional decision as they work to undermine democratic values that our soldiers sacrificed for and that united our nations.  Some attack the sovereignty of others – just the physical sovereignty.  Others export digital autocracy, weaponize, economic leverage, fail to combat xenophobia, fail to combat the growing ani-Semitism that is there and has been acknowledged this morning, normalize – normalize corruption and kleptocracy. 

As leaders and lawmakers, we must be vigilant against those who seek to erode our freedom – our freedom, our justice and the rule of law around the world.  We must defend our democratic values and our commitment to multilateralism, which is essential to our success.  We must respect the international rule of law and seek peaceful resolution of conflict.  And we must be vigilant against the forces of autocracy that are out there to defeat democracy.  And that – your speech in some ways – your presentation and the realistic part of it is scary, but on the other hand, it’s a call to action and just recognizing what the challenges are.  We might have some different views on one or another thing.  But the fact is the recognition is a giant step forward to finding answers and solutions.

The House of Representatives – we are very much committed to the western alliance and to NATO.  The House of Representatives reaffirmed that since we were here last year – we were here – reaffirmed its support for NATO by passing H.R. 676, which states that NATO is – and this is what passed in the House of Representatives – ‘a pillar of international peace and stability, a critical component of the United States’ security and a deterrent against adversaries and external threats.’  

Our robust transatlantic partnership is critically needed as we face all of these challenges.  And I must say that I was very happy last year to host for a Joint Session of Congress the Secretary General of NATO for the 70th Anniversary.  Nothing like that had happened before a Joint Session of Congress, which was very well-received.

And all of this is so important as we fight terrorism.  All of the discussion as some of us were growing up about the Soviet Union, United States, etcetera, and now we have an asymmetrical threat in this terrorism.  Again, it is – when it comes to terrorism, NATO’s partnership has been critical to conquering terrorism from Afghanistan to Iraq to Africa.  The coalition to fight ISIS is a NATO commitment, and in addition to military force though, we must embrace the whole-of-government approach and use our soft power to ensure security.  And I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The U.S., and all of us, must continue our investments in people, recognizing the dignity and worth in all of them.  Again, the alleviation of poverty, eradication of disease: ending the fury of despair.

Another challenge facing our democracies is the threat to nonproliferation, as has been said.  Today there is a disturbing erosion of the arms control framework that has kept the world safe for decades.  Irresponsible governments are accelerating their pursuit of nuclear power and missile capability.   The world can ill-afford an arms race.  Nonproliferation has always been a pillar of American national security.  We must preserve our nonproliferation framework, working together as NATO allies.

The climate crisis, as has been mentioned, again – I’m so glad you did – and to recognize it as a national security threat.  National security experts testify to the Congress, and we – just regularly, to point out what a national security threat it is.  It’s the erosion of habitat and all the other things that are results of the climate crisis, enable competition for resources, competition for habitat and the rest to cause conflict.  Our distinguished former Secretary of State Mr. Kerry has been a champion on this issue, as have many of our Members who are here and you’ll be hearing from Lindsey Graham later on this subject – I don’t know what that will be, but you’ll be hearing about it later.

Many of us were together – we were together – in France for the Speaker’s meeting on the G-7 nations, led by President Ferrand, President of the National Assembly, who lifted the priority of climate crisis to the top subject.  It was wonderful – and when we do this – and then, some of us were in Spain together for COP25 and our message there was – our big delegation is:  ‘we’re still in.’  We’re still in. 

When I host the 2020 G7 – which I hope you’ll be coming to, and Mr. Schäuble as well – next year, this year in the U.S., the theme will be ‘Addressing the Climate Crisis: Economic and Environmental Justice For All.’  

We must commit to big thinking and bold action to combat the challenges of vulnerable nations, income disparity and the climate crisis are really connected.  Which, as they are fundamentally linked, must affect international security, and that’s, again, what our national security experts tell us.  Let us do everything, at every level of government, let us recognize the importance of interparliamentary interactions to that end. 

Now I’m going to say something that may not be agreeable to many of you here, because you invited candor – no lecture, but candor – and that is the subject of 5G and cybersecurity.  

China is seeking to export its digital autocracy through its telecommunication giant, Huawei, threatening economic retaliation against those who do not adopt their technologies.  The United States has recognized Huawei as a national security threat, by putting it on our entity list, restricting engagement with U.S. companies.  Nations cannot cede our telecommunication infrastructure to China for financial expediency.  Such an ill-conceived concession will only embolden Xi as he undermines democratic values, human rights, economic independence and national security. 

Allowing the signification of 5G would be to choose autocracy over democracy.  We must instead move to an internationalization – I know Europe is working hard on this, Europe is – an internationalization of digital infrastructure that does not enable an autocracy.  Not an American, or European model – if we can’t come together – but an international model.  And so we must invest in other viable options that will take us into the future, while preserving our values and securities. 

Again, I come back to President Kennedy: What we can do, working together for the freedom of mankind.  Together without condescension, but with respect and cooperation, let us defend our democratic values.  Let us do so, strengthening our interparliamentary relationships for the freedom of mankind. 

I thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you. 

***

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Dear colleagues, I am going to do something that you’re going to like.  I am going to ask just one question and then we are going to go from your questions that you can ask from the floor.

But, my question is the following: listening very well to you, Speaker, part of your message was that now the competition between systems is not going to be so much about ideology like in the Cold War, it’s going to be technology.  And, in comes the problem of 5G, infrastructure and so on.  So, I’m very much interested Mr. Schäuble, to what extent, basically, Germany also shares the idea that the competition between democratic system and authoritarian systems is going to be very much about technology, technology dependence.

But, then my question to you Madam Speaker is, if you believe that it’s very important to have democratic companies securing our digital, does democratic companies mean only American companies –

Speaker Pelosi.  No.

Chairman Krastev.  – but also European companies too?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, I said internationalize.  Internationalization of it, wherever that democratic approach may be.

But, I don’t think that it’s just the competition between ideology – I mean technology.  The whole point is to protect democracy, you must be able to have this highway.

I am a very religious person.  And, I always think about the Romans when they built those highways, they enabled the spread of Catholicism because the apostles and Saint Paul could then travel and take the message – and take the message, as has been known.  And my colleague Jane Harman was just here.  But, anyway, she has been coming here for 20 years.  This whole – she was in Congress when we passed the telecommunications bill, which was then, the information highway, and we believe that the information highway should be about privacy, about communication in a free way.  So, it’s not that the ‘let’s compete on technology,’ it’s about, ‘let’s promote democracy by having that information highway be one that is a democratic system, not an autocratic system,’ as I see the challenge we have now between autocracy and democracy. 

And, as I said in my comments, let’s internationalize all of this, but let it not be the personification of it – that might be to the detriment of democracy.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  Mr. President?   

President Schäuble.  I think that some – that of modern technology, especially the 5G and all these discussions, is a good example for what I tried to say in my introducing remarks.  Even in this week, very tough discussions in parliamentary groups and with the government on the horizon between security and technology.

And we have seen, we have to debate this and we will find the solutions, which are controversial, but it – and it will be decided by majority, modern parliament.  And, on the other hand, we all know the other point is we have to strengthen European coverage.  Not to be against every one, but aim to be relevant and therefore, we will – it is an incentive to increase European corporation that Europe will, even in the future, met us in security reason and technology innovation, because otherwise, we cannot be a reliable partner, neither for the United States, nor for stabilizing the global world.

Speaker Pelosi.  So we agree?  Okay.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Yeah.  Thank you very much.  Please, it’s time for your questions to commence.  You can basically ask from the floor.  You can basically decide to write – this is why I am keeping this in my hand.  And the idea is, really, to have a frank discussion.  I do truly believe that the only reason you choose a Bulgarian to moderate is that we are not going to speak long.

[Laughter]

Please, yeah.  Can we have a microphone here?  Yeah, please – just please introduce yourself.

Q: It’s working isn’t it?  I’m Hélène Conway, Vice President of the French Senate.  And, thank you very much for your speeches – the very sharp analysis and the honesty with which you all spoke.  I just have a simple question, but I fear that the answer may be a bit difficult.  We see the rise of nationalism, of the extreme right all through Europe.  We have examples in France,  where the Front National, the extreme right, has qualified twice for the Presidential election, the AfD is a the third political group now in the Bundestag, and throughout Europe, we see it and yet, there are elected through Democratic process.

So, I’m just wondering what are we getting wrong for people to be so angry, because I think it is anger, it is a whole lot of very bad feelings they are expressing through that vote that goes counter to the democratic values that we all cherish and which you, very well, spoke about.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  I suggest you get two more questions, so you can have – please.  There was a question there and then question in the back.  Do we have a microphone?  

President Schäuble.  The first question was to you, if I got it right?

Q:  Hello.  Latvian Vice Prime Minister and Defense Minister.  We are all speaking about democracy, but obviously democracy is in trouble, because we see the fragmentation of societies because of media, because politics, etcetera.  One of the proposals is to have more democracy, but isn’t that even more fragmentation?  Because what we are lacking, we are lacking: new idea of adaptation, daring and even more lack of efficiency, and if democracy is not enough efficient in competition with either other systems or what we call populist, we’re going to fail.  What do you think?

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  And one more question and then I’ll go back to the panel.

Q:  To Nancy Pelosi, I very much appreciated your comments on China and what our Huawei 5G.  Does it mean that you agree in substance with the China policy with President Trump?

Speaker Pelosi.  We’re not – we have agreement in that regard.  We put in our National Defense Authorization bill language that has Huawei on the entity list, yes.  Yes.  Because I do believe that it is a real danger, a real danger, to put all of that power in the personification of 5G, and we have to be very careful about how we go forward.  And again, let’s internationalize the solution, but let us not – this is so predictable, I don’t know why it’s not self-evident to everyone that you do not want to give that power to an entity created by the People’s Liberation Army.  Okay, so that’s where it came from if they had an idea, good.  But it is in furtherance of – and you know what, I’ll say this other thing: there are all kinds of aggression. 

There’s aggression into another country, as we saw with Ukraine.  There’s aggression – economic aggression and the rest.  This is the most insidious form of aggression.  To have that line of communication, 5G, dominated by an autocratic government that does not share our values.

And an answer to your question, I think what we talk about the challenge between democracy and autocracy, but there’s another challenge here, which is a nationalism versus globalism.  And the President talked about this, as did the Ambassador: nationalism versus globalism.  And we have to recognize, that while we all take pride, there’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism.

And, again, some of the things that I hear from young people, while I am glad that the ambassador is looking to the future and I have, maybe, four of the members of the delegation are Members of the Freshman class, so I’m – we have the future coming from our Congress right in this room.  We have to address some of the issues – what are we doing having a debate as to whether there is a climate crisis.  There is.  Now, what are we going to work together on to do something about.  Young people care a lot about that. 

Income disparity is really almost sinful in terms of the exploitation that is there that creates this income disparity, and young people see that.  They want us to do something about it.  Years ago, I was traveling with a delegation into the Middle East – I always ask about what the young people have to say.  In one country after another they said, ‘We’re so tired of our leaders who are so consumed with war.  We just think they use it as an excuse not to address climate or fairness in terms of our economy and respect for what we have to contribute.’  So, it behooves all of us to have a message that gives people hope, rather then saying you should probably assume this, and I think that’s part of it.

But this insecurity that springs from their concern about their economic future is there.  But the fuel is fed by inviting those who feed the flame with xenophobia, anti-immigrant fervor and the rest of that.  So, again, the President very adeptly finds what some of the challenges are.  It behooves us to do something about it, not to just wonder how it happened.  It’s unfortunate – xenophobia, LGBTQ discrimination in 60-some countries in the world; issues that relate to women and their dominance in the society, in the economy and the rest – we’ll talk about that tomorrow – all these are not right, but in order to give people hope we have to show them a better path.  And I think members of parliament have a good way of doing that.  I’m forgetting the second question, which I am sure its for the –

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  The question was, ‘Is more democracy the answer to the crisis? 

Speaker Pelosi.  Oh yes.  Yes.

President Schäuble.  Let me take it.  I think in regard to the second question – I think referenda are not more democracy, with all due respect.  I am totally convinced that, especially in our modern world – the world of communication – we behave on the basis of technology of digitalization and so on – the principle of representation is key for democracy.  And it doesn’t work without representation, with all due respect, even Brexit decision in referendum in the U.K. is enough for me to prove against, with all due respect, and it was a little bit – ironically the country with the most proud history of parliamentarism left the most important decision to a referendum, and it was not very well done, with all due respect.

Having said this, the role of representation needs parliaments and parliaments only work if you have parties, which works sufficiently efficient.  Otherwise, we leave it to demagogues.  And that’s our problem today, therefore we have to think about – looking to, with all due respect to the United States, I fear some weakening in the role of parties in the United States.  And maybe that is not the problem of one administration as our President has just mentioned.  And therefore, I am always saying to my Members of Parliament, which I don’t ask to rise up, because there are others present, I would say parliaments have a huge responsibility and they must – because they must find a way in between to find compromises in negotiations.  That is needed.  And on the other hand, we must save discussions and sometimes we need even discussions with decisions by majority.  If you work for, in any case, for compromise which is sufficient for everyone, you lose any link to the people.  Therefore – that is what we call leadership.  That’s what we call charisma.  And what we have to work for is to find the right balance between looking for compromises and leadership and decision making, if we do it in the right way, with strong parties.  

And I’ll give another example as well.  Always with all due respect to France, which is our, as our President mentioned, and with all due respect to President Macron.  You can see if you follow – and I am neighbor of France.  My constituency is in the city of Strasbourg.  If you look carefully at what’s happened in France, even a president like President Emmanuel Macron without strong political parties, you get yellow vests on the streets, and I prefer to have discussions in the parliaments and competition between the parties.  Therefore, we as members of political parties have to know that we have huge responsibility for the stability of democracy. 

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  Before going to question, I also want to add one thing on this, because big political scientists these days we are going from conference to conference on populism and rise of nationalism.  And there is one thing that is important.  I do believe in democratic politics.  We are in the same moment economics had been in 2008 and 2009 about economic system.  And the illusion that we are beyond boost and bomb, beyond the crisis, but in a certain way people are never going to know why nationalism is a problem if they don’t have experience with it.  And from this point of view, even in Central and Eastern Europe, now you have a new generation of governments and liberals coming, whose liberalism is very much the response to what they are seeing in their countries in the last years.

So, from this point of view, populism can be destructive, but this is also like of a scene – provocation.  If you basically are not going to create the immunity of the system.  If you basically believe that this type of consensual politics is forever, we are going to be much better.  And I do believe that if they’re going to be resilient enough in our political system, all the things that you are talking about in five years are going to be much more stable than they were five years ago.  Because we have slightly forgotten all the things that democracy – that are a part of democracy – there was a popular American historian who said that the best way to defend democracy is to argue about democracy –

[Laughter]

Moderator Ivan Krastev.   – to disagree what democracy is.  And I do believe from this point of view in the last five years, we talk much more seriously about democracy then in the period that nobody was contesting it.  But please it’s –

Speaker Pelosi.  On that note – in that vein, I might just say, in America we have many people who have fled autocratic systems and nationalism, so they have experienced it.  And many – we have so many newcomers in our country, which we consider to be a blessing and reinvigoration of our society, but they bring a different kind of wisdom to making judgements about falling prey to some kind of populist argument or some kind of nationalist argument because they have experienced it.  

But, it also goes back to 5G because if you are talking about more or less democracy, while the internet has democratized communications, in some ways for better, in some ways not so. 

But, if you are expanding that communications and you are doing so in a way that is slanted to autocracy, then you are standing in the way of more democracy.  These things are not unrelated. 

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Yeah, Mr. President, please, the floor is yours.  Yeah, please.  Ms. Chairman.  Yeah, please. 

Q:  I am from the National People’s Congress of China and I have a very good memory of your successful visit, the constructive dialogue we had about the relationship a few years ago.  My question is about Huawei, we – I think my knowledge of the, how the world works, is that technology is a tool.  And, China thinks it’s reform started forty years ago, have introduced all kinds of Western technologies: Microsoft, IBM, Amazon.  They are all active in China.

And, since we, since we started with 1st G, 2nd G, 3rd G, 4th G, all the technologies came from Western countries, from the developed world, and China has maintained its political system, the system lead by the Communist party has become successful, it’s not threatened by the technologies. 

How come if Huawei’s technology, with a 5G is introduced into Western countries, then it will threaten the political system?  Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile that it could be threatened by this single high tech company of Huawei?

Speaker Pelosi.  Let me just say that – let me just say to you that are applauding back there, that Huawei was created by reverse technology of American initiatives, that was one of the main ways that they got started.  So, yes, we take – we know the capabilities that Huawei has.  

We don’t want to emulate the Chinese system.  We do not want to be arresting millions of Uighurs, threatening Tibet, in terms of its culture, religion and faith, undermining democracy in Hong Kong, etc.  So, it isn’t a question of, ‘We have Huawei and we are a model, so why are you afraid of Huawei?’ 

We understand the power of technology, and I say – and I have been tracking China for thirty years on trade, and the rest of it, in terms of intellectual property and the rest, and I tell you, unequivocally, without any hesitations, be very careful when we go down this path, unless you want to end with a society like China, or an economy like China, which is not in the free enterprise mode. 

And I say this in friendship to China.  I – we – I, when I visited you it was about climate issues, and China is on the forefront of doing many great things on climate issues and in so many ways that I could enumerate.  So we work together in that regard.  But that does not dismiss the idea of repression that is ongoing and intensifying in China, and again, if you want a free flow of information, if you want to build a collective conscious of values and respect for human rights and the rest, don’t go near Huawei.  

And instead, let’s internationalize, build something together that will be about freedom of information.  And I say that as a bipartisan initiative that we have had in our conversation with –

President Schäuble.  I agree with all of what Nancy said but I would like to add two short remarks.  One is, with always the respect, my understanding from the out of control of central government about all the society and economy in China, it is a little bit different to that what I want to have in Europe, number one.

[Applause]

Number two, number two, if we want in this world of globalization leads to bigger units, but if we want to make, to secure freedom, we need diversity.  And we have to fight against monopolies, and even a duopoly is not what I like.  Therefore, the best for us Europeans is not only be linked to decide between the California model of Silicon Valley or the state-controlled model of China.  And therefore we have to follow, the recommendation to follow, Federal Parliament: strengthened European, is only a part of for diversity, to secure freedom in the future.

Speaker Pelosi.  If I just may say, in line with what the President said, in keeping with what you just said, it is about imagination.  The poet Shelley once said, ‘The greatest force for moral good is imagination.’  Imagination to be creative, of course, but also imagination to put yourself in other people’s shoes.  Understand, communication is so important, dialogue is so important, that’s why we always salute the Ambassador for bringing us together to, in candor, but also committed, in most cases, to shared values, about the dignity and worth of every person about the spark of divinity that exists in them.

And that’s why I always say, at this security conference it might not sound as security-oriented, but I do think that the arts, issues that bring us together, whether we laugh together, cry together, inspire together, have common ground together, can help us and walk away from some of our differences, can be a path to better understanding and better understanding of how we respect the dignity and worth of every person, which is what the United Nations was about and what we protect and defend with NATO.  

That’s it?

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Yes, absolutely.  Thank you very much. 

And, I do believe we touched something which is really critical turning point, and this is, for years, particularly in Europe, we bet that economic interdependency is increasing security.  Full stop.  And now we know that it can increase security.  It can decrease security.  And from this point, if you are finding the border – probably the border between the commercial and the security – is the least guarded border in the world today.  And this is what we are discussing, but please we have time for one more round of questions.

Please.

Q:  Peter Limbourg from Deutsche Welle.  Excuse me, I just want to make a short remark to the guest from China.  I like the argument concerning why and the approach of technology, but it would be much more credible if the Communist Party of China would allow, for instance Deutsche Welle’s program to be received in China or the BBC, or to be open to Twitter or Facebook.  This would be much more credible.  Excuse me.  I had to make this remark.  Thank you very much.

[Applause]

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you.  Please.

Q:  My name is Lia Quartapelle, and I’m from the Italian Parliament.  I have a question.  To what extent do you think that Trump is a parenthesis in how the U.S. thinks about transatlantic relationship?

I mean, we all know that there is a big difference between what Trump thinks about the multilateral system and what Obama thought.  But some of the remarks are similar to what Obama was saying.  The push for an increase of military spending, for example, came from President Obama and I think both were right.  The shift to Asia was something that came from the Obama times.  So, I mean, this is a place where we have to be very frank and open about the quality of our relationship.  And I think the answer to this question defines very clearly what the quality of our relationship will be in the future.  Thank you.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  This is a great question.  We know that –

Speaker Pelosi.  I hope it’s for me since it’s about Trump – President Trump.  Well I would only just say again that we have one of the largest bipartisan, bicameral House and Senate delegations visiting the Munich Security Conference here, and it is, again, our salute to multilateralism, to our respect for the transatlantic relationship. 

Yes, the Wales Agreement, that called for an increase in two percent, is something that happened under President Obama – and now President Trump takes credit for all the money that has come in – but, it is an initiative that they both share. 

And it’s interesting to me, as a Californian, to hear people talk about the shift to Asia.  There wasn’t a shift to Asia to the, at the expense of Europe.  And that I think is really important for everyone to be assured.  It was not at the expense of our transatlantic relationship, which is the heart of the matter of our security.  Europeans have been involved in Asia for a long time.  We have proximity from the West Coast, so now we are as well. 

But, again, in terms of some of these issues, like Huawei, we have bipartisan agreement on that.  We never – I always say to the Members, don’t be against something because President Trump might be for it.  If there’s, if there happens to be what we call, collateral benefit, so be it.  Then let’s all share in the responsibility to do something and the credit when we get it done, including – I saw Prime Minister Trudeau here earlier – the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.  So, where ever we can find agreement, whoever gets credit for it.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Mr. President.

President Schäuble.  I think I can’t better answer than our President has done in his speech, therefore I will only say please.  He has said, we need, of course, a transatlantic partnership.  It’s the basis for our security for the time being.

But, to strengthen transatlantic partnership, the Europeans have to contribute more.  And, not only in parts of the fund, but also in taking, as your colleague — as well.  And having said this, my short remark is we Europeans have to prove – even in our daily life – that we will not allow that there will be a new division in Europe between East and West. 

It’s very important that we Europeans prove ourselves able, first of all, to stabilize Europe, and European neighborship, with all due respect as well.  We can do better in partnership with United States.  It is what we have to do.

Moderator Ivan Krastev.  Thank you very much.  And I want to give the floor to the Ambassador Ischinger, but if I can summarize, Huawei in Europe, welcome when Deustch Welle is welcome in China.  So, thank you very much.

Speaker Pelosi.  If I just may say, all of us here from the U.S. take an oath to protect and defend.  That’s the oath of office we take and security is so central to that and this discussion, so important.  So, thank you again, Mr. Ambassador, for bringing us together to help us protect and defend all of our people.