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tv   Inside Story 2017 Ep 290  Al Jazeera  October 18, 2017 8:32pm-9:01pm AST

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demonstrators who are trying to reach one of the blast sites witnesses say several people were injured more than three hundred were killed in two grass on saturday one of them a massive truck bomb somalia's president has blamed the on group for the attack. china's president appears to be consolidating his grip on power communist parties nineteenth congress in beijing and a sweeping three and a half hour speech being laid out his political and economic vision for his country over the next five years. u.s. backed forces fighting eisel in syria and clearing main roads in rocka a day after that command to supply the city under their control the kurdish led syrian democratic forces raised their flag and stadium off. from itself capital and amnesty international is accusing security forces in myanmar of killing hundreds of revenge of muslims all than five hundred eighty thousand have fled violence in the country since august amnesty calls
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a systematic campaign against the muslim minority and is calling for an arms embargo on myanmar and criminal prosecution although its forces and those the headlines inside story is next. promising economic openness while tightly consolidating political power what will the latest communist party congress reveal about china's global leadership aspirations as america turns inward this is inside story.
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hello there i'm james pays who is the most powerful person in the world many would say the u.s. president donald trump but the international news publication the economist makes a fair case for arguing it's actually china's president xi jinping unlike trump the leader of the world's second largest economy doesn't have to worry about congress the media or for that matter reelection and although china has had in recent years a collective leadership system president xi is feared because of his anti corruption campaign and as amassed more personal power than any of his recent predecessors this is a particularly good time to assess all of this china's ruling party has a major meeting every five years and it's happening right now before we start our discussion of a long term china watcher out as there is beijing correspondent adrian brown reports from the communist party congress. president xi jinping can control
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a lot of things but he can't influence the weather to the superstitious and many people here are the damp grey start to this congress was perhaps a warning sign. in spite of the weather this was a day of choreographed unity after what has been a tumultuous few years for the party. but there was a stirring welcome for the president. this is as close as the foreign media get to the opaque workings of china's communist party. she reported on his past five years in office saying the party had achieved miracles he also warned serious challenges ahead. our country is at a strategic point in is development the future is extremely bright but the challenges are also extremely serious all party congress must assert their size and
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the high and the think of the danger in times of safety his address lasted three and a half hours if nothing else it showed that she now sixty four is healthy healthy enough to rule for another ten to fifteen years insists his supporters at one stage former president jiang zemin appeared to nod off think he was china's top leader twenty five years ago when i reported on the fourteenth party congress as china began to experiment with capitalism the new catch phrase is socialism with chinese characteristics in a new openness and economic anything to go anything that is political reform twenty five years on the faces behind me have changed but the backdrop remains pretty much the same and the prospects of political reform as remote now as it was then. the congress will now meet in secret for the next seven days after
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which china's new leaders will be unveiled president xi is assured of a second term and this congress seems set to cement his position as china's top leader for a lot longer. adrian brown al-jazeera beijing. the changing faces of the chinese communist party and the ever so slightly aging face of our correspondent adrian brown well let's discuss the issues surrounding the congress with our panel in beijing that we have tangan he's a political and economic affairs analyst joining us on skype from new delhi job in jacob a fellow at the institute of chinese studies and in washington d.c. we have isaac stone fish a senior fellow at the asia society is center on u.s. china relations welcome to you wall i'm going to start with you because you are where things have been happening in beijing we heard the chinese leader say that
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china has entered a new era what will define this era well quite frankly a lot of the kind of things that he listed in is more than three hour intense discourse very solidly delivered quite a lot it's a difference from twitter tweeting other major leader but i mean seriously the things that will define china it's our push how it deals with the belt and road initiative they also have challenges in north korea south and east china seas and how to deal with just the sheer size of their growth internally they have issues that they have to address but i think you saw within the document that he read very clear signal as to why he wants his party his comrades to rally around this why sacrifice is needed and why they have to go along with this program. a far skewed job in what we mentioned earlier on the economist saying the president xi is
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now the most powerful man in the world would you agree with that number one number two explain to us how he has got more power perhaps in the last five years in the chinese political system and some of his predecessors well i think it's not quite as black and white. that calling him the most powerful leader on the planet he certainly has become quite powerful within china but i think. the events surrounding in the run up to the congress as well as. you know the fact that we do not have a very clear picture yet of who the top contenders are for the points below standing committee i think a lot of these things are still you know up in the air. he had certainly become more powerful over the last five years by his very strong anti-corruption campaign
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he has reigned in the party excesses he has maintained strong control over the military he has somehow gotten the military on his side much more so than any of his biggest afterwards and i think he's done it because he saw it aligned to the ordinary people at the last of the party card or that's the military that he is out to change china make china stronger and his vision of making china stronger has biota especially at a time when the rest of the united states especially does not seem to be stepping up to the plate as far as leadership is concerned so he they able to sell to the chinese people that this is an opportunity that i had and china must take it. isaac stone fish in washington d.c. there are some saying these are emerging as a transformational leader perhaps like chairman mao or done shopping as you know chairman mao established the communist state don't chopping introduced economic
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reforms that transform china what is he going to be known for i think it's good to insert a bit of hesitancy in skepticism so from what we can see she is becoming a more and more powerful leader but there's just so much we don't know we don't know what his relationship is with other members of the standing committee we think it's quite good but all we have are the tea leaves that we can see from the outside we think he has a good relationship with the men who run the military that's also something we don't know so if we stick with the assumption that we're making and that she is a very powerful leader and transformative in the way that. were some things we might be able to expect is a far more assertive push internationally the chinese leaders like to talk about other country is a developing one not
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a developed one we could actually see under she china going and potentially getting involved in conflicts or peace talks in the middle east we could see a more assertive chinese stance on north korea see more assertive chinese stance on the disputed islands in the south china sea and on border issues of india so a lot of different areas that she and china might decide to put a bigger question to. recent chinese leaders have done ten years they've had the party congress where they got given the job they had the hoff waymark five years and then the next congress and ten years that was when they stepped down do you think president xi is going to step down next time around in twenty twenty two. well that's one of the big questions that surround this lot will depend on whether he brings in the next two people from the sixth generation who would be capable of serving a five year prentiss ship on the standing committee and then be able to take over
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obviously the corruption charges against the former party secretary of chongqing has made that clear that he's out of the running question is can you bring up somebody quickly enough that people are going to be comfortable with in terms of himself i think he has a very ambitious agenda i think we all agree on that and he's trying he's trying to push it through will it take ten more years i am not certain but it will be it will be in the cards but one of the things that i think we we're concentrating too much on is we you know this china is a completely different entity this is not something where you start putting your political and economic norms from your own country in the west and trying to insert them in china the fact is china does not do new plans on the back of a napkin as part of a campaign to get power it is a very slow planning process that involves a lot of steps along the way and this is how they achieve
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a lot of what they've done so this idea that you can concentrate solely on what she is doing or who is on the top standing committee i think is misleading i think that the most important part will be the work a report which will indicate in detail what the government is trying to do and what emphasis it's placing on each part i know you're telling me we're focusing too much on the leader i am going to ask another question about that leader to jump in though which is president she's background in what in what way you think it shapes him because he was from an elite family sort of an elite official who van was pushed imprisoned in as you've sent to a rural area of china working as a farm laborer how do you think that shapes his political outlook. look everyone's background is important to how they think about politics and i'm sure this experience that she's father went to in the culture that lucian had also epic
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adventure. except that you know it might not be in quite the way that we think i think one appreciation that she might have developed is in the part of the state in the power of the communist party to keep things in order of the need for the communist party to keeping that order so i think that extend she does not seem to have any democrat voting tendencies he seems to think that the communist party that the new sensual or china is right and you know so from that point of view i think. that experience has taught him that what china needs is a strong hand. and clear direction and somebody has to give that direction and that is what i think is frankly cheap. you talk about anything you talk about his strong hand and one of the things he's done in his five years is
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a widespread crackdown on corruption but he still says in his speech today it's a big problem in the country. what you are trying to corruption is the biggest threat faced by our party we can only get out of the historical cycle until the long term stability of our party and our country if we persevere in the continuous fight against corruption to ensure that our government its officials and policies are clean are six stone fish in washington d.c. he says this continues this fight against corruption does this help him politically too because one assumes you cracking down on corruption people are somewhat fearful of you. i think it depending on how well he plays it on the one hand corruption is something that's very unpopular in china as a lot of frustration you have among a lot of people local leaders or even national leaders are corrupt and not steering the country in the right direction i think the question is how much anger xi
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jinping builds among members of the party state for you know turning off the spigot and because he's doing this in somewhat of a hypocritical way you know the problem leaders that he takes down are corrupt if we believe the evidence against them which mostly comes from the party just not entirely trustworthy organization and they also all have run afoul of xi jinping so it's not a sort of honest clean hands we're just going after corrupt officials it's going after corrupt officials who for the most part tend to be in some ways in opposition to xi jinping are now turning in beijing moving from corruption into the while you economy what are the biggest risks facing the chinese leadership over the next five years. well if you're talking internally a lot of it goes around how to manage the economy but once again this is not
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a cookie cutter western democracy the chinese government has direct control over almost everything so what you see is this kind of feeling the stones while crossing the river approach they try something if it works they continue if it doesn't they abandon it and find something new this is not something you can do you know if you look at the west trying to steer its economies through central banks which is kind of trying to you know cut a wheat field with a razor blade versus china who's able to literally say this is where it's going to stop we're going to close down these factories we're going to move them things now you might not like the system but it is a part of the d.n.a. of china that the people here expect the government to deliver some sort of decent living standards and so far china has done that and i think they're going to continue in terms of corruption i'm i'm not so certain that my american colleagues entirely correct if you start looking at the number of officials who have actually
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been taken down some of them received rises under she himself and he has shown that he is has a pretty even hand if he discovers that somebody has broken the rule he told people five years ago that you this is a new start everything that happened the past is the past anything that happens forward is a direct affront to not only the people but to the party and you will be taken down i don't know that i like this idea that we continually sing the song that china should do something about corruption and then when it does we say oh it's only for power reasons. job in i know keeps telling me not to look at china through westernize i am going to ask you to challenge an assumption though for me a westerner and that is that when you get greater wealth education the people will start asking for more freedoms freedom of speech democracy and the like do you see any sign of that and is that
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a challenge for president xi and the leadership well if there is a sign of it then it is very much under control that communist party of china has managed to keep it under the lid it's certainly not. a rule of significant enough to change the course or the direction that she sent for the governess party of china and i think we just have to accept facts that they are and i would agree with i know in saying that you know this is not a country that one can deal with the west western alliance or even from any indian and in fact if i might say it's the i think it be there for us to you need to understand what's going on in china because some of the problems that we see in china we also face some of the same issues of anti-corruption and also big issues here and we see that if they go to actually dealing with these problems in a country to say it's safe that india and china are so i think yes there is a case to be made for. understanding and accepting that there is
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a separate chinese are different chinese the only about how they will handle the the issues always are the one westerner who is probably graphically most with how to understand china and president xi is president trump they seem to have surprised people earlier on this year mar a lago and they met in april and got on a lot better than we might have predicted from president trump's election campaign how do you see the relationship continuing particularly as president trump in a matter of weeks will be going to beijing. just one point on what my colleague in beijing has said i think a lot of us make a mistake inside china and outside of conflating the communist party and china the country they are not the same thing the party wants to have this idea of inevitability that china can only be ruled by the communist party obviously that's
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not true thousands of years of history before the communist party and they'll be thousands of years of history after you also have taiwan democratically run which china says is part of china part of the d.n.a. but as a democratic polity so i think you just have to be. your rebuttal. to the question so that shrimp relationship going forward and particularly the important visit of the president to asia. so i think what trump has been trying to do is to use north korea as somewhat of an excuse to increase trade tensions with china trump has this very fanciful idea that. a trade deficit is very harmful to the u.s. economy and he wants to rebalance trade between the u.s. and china basically every credible economist doesn't think this is a problem trump does so i think even though he's going there in early november and
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the two leaders got along seemingly pretty well when they met in april i do think trump would like to have excuses to raise trade tensions between the two countries i know there was it seems a deal this very transonic u.s. president said i'll put all my concerns about trade on one side if you sought north korea it seems the u.s. administration doesn't feel that it's got its end of the book and. well quite frankly that was not the bargain this is i think a way that donald trump has been trying to train it so that anything that happens that is being pushed is of course the fault of china i think it's perhaps a clever p.r. move but it doesn't reflect reality this situation is that there is a trust deficit between the u.s. and north korea because of what happened in libya and other places where people
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were. despotic leaders quote were defanged and then actually killed so in that part of the things i don't know that north korea and the united states can sit down across a table and strike a deal so i don't know that that's necessarily china's fault in terms of the trade issue that is always hard on that china is concerned about a. regime change message leave that something bad happens. you start having china starts inheriting all the problems remember there won't be many refugees moving from north korea into alaska or anywhere else in the united states if things fall apart so this the these issues are pretty complicated but it's clear that you know you cannot sis say it's one side's fault if there is no talk no trust there will be no resolution ok i know something let me just not i don't just ask you this followup question how much influence do you believe beijing has of
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a north korea could they change north korea's behavior if they wanted to not really if you think back every time that she jingping has been near an international microphone for some reason this is the perfect time to fire off a missile or explode a nuclear bomb you can just check that and you'll see that that is the case she has is a very controlled person he does not react to donald trump he does not react to kim even though these are open provocations the chinese people are not happy about it chinese government is not happy about it face is an important issue here and young kim seems to delight in making sure he puts she's face in the mud every opportunity ken ok that isn't ok are you shaking your head a bit there very quickly you'll view on that. i think china as we we all agree is one of the world's most powerful countries and if china were to decide that it wanted to push regime change in north korea or if it wanted to
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get kim to stop with this missile tests it has the ability to do so again massive country north korea has always been in its sphere of interest of influence china just doesn't want to do that because it doesn't want the costs that would be associated with pushing north korea to change but i don't think we want to just blindly swallow the party line that china doesn't have any sway over north korea or that this is an issue just between the united states and north korea china is a very important partner in everything involving north korea job in quickly from you last thoughts on how much is the issue of north korea going to dominate now for the forseeable future us join the relations. well let me take the middle part and i think china is not without influence and an arc of the end and at the same time i think that not koreans also know just how much to do
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to stay under the red line as far as china stands and i think they're not good in communist party that we congratulate achieve on this particular congress so i think there is a limit to which not korea will go. under and i also don't see at the same time well all the reasons that it will mention in the beginning that because of the trust deficit between not korea and the united states . they're not going to see their provocations the chinese certainly don't want american troops on their borders they certainly don't want to not reduce the collapse so i think what myspace might be not good regime survival is just as important a national security consideration for the chinese out there and your brain just think jeffrey thank you very much thank you to all our guests are no tongue in job in jacob and isaac stone fish remember if you're not near a television set you can still watch this program any time on a computer tablet or phone at our website outers or dot com for further discussion
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of the issues around china go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story or you can make your thoughts known on twitter we're at a.j. inside story for me on the team until next time bye for now. hyperfocus it oh is it allison when they're on line we were in hurricane winds for
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