tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 26, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EST
released from the prison house of nations which was the u.s. as our, not by some plot from the west but by reformist leaders driven by public opinion inside the ussr, that would end of my vacation of the world between the free world and the communist world, and there could be institutions that would, among other things, provide security, including in partnership with former republics of the ussr and former members of the warsaw pact. ..
hi would guess that we were the tweet baltic states that were not member states you wouldn't have little green men. creating mischief in those countries. you also have russian boot on the ground. let me stop on that one point that you raised. >> i would network to get aaron says, when we took seven to countries in november of 2002, the russians were very unhappy but we had lots of conversations with president putin and his staff and we created the russia council's subsequent to that and we began to work with russia, the ambassador at brussels and we tried to work with him on big
security issues. we did not try to exclude russia. we tried to bring them in. i want to ask another question. you mentioned it. do you think president putin may intend to confront nato in the baltic states? you mentioned the theoretical possibility. would he try to -- would he try any initiative that would weaken nato's article 5 commitment in the next year or two? is it possible? >> it would depend on his calculation, risk/reward tradeoff. it is one of the reasons i always thought we needed to have him failing ukraine so he would not be tempted to do anything in the baltics. who would have thought we would talk about war in europe? our policy needs to be strengthened.
we have focused too much on sanctions. diane costanza, there are unfortunate effects. a week and the russian economy, you can decide whether that is good between russian sense of itself and foreign policy, it encourages it to be integrated economy into europe and the rest of the world. i don't think that is good for russia. and thirdly the russians made it clear they are prepared to accept economic historically economic hardship in the interest of the dream of russian greatness. i think we are underplaying a other elements of insolence we need to get in place. nato troops and u.s. troops on the ground now in the baltic
states in the balkans. vladimir putin understands that he goes into those areas there's a risk of direct military confrontation in the united states we need to strengthen the capacity of states to defend themselves and, not to defeat the russian army but because they will raise the cost to russia. we know from the reactions in ukraine there is sensitivity to casualties, casualties are problem for vladimir putin politically. if he tries this people are going to fight, then we need to reduce leverage over the long term. we have got to get a new energy policy that reduces europe's reliance on russian energy, and thereby reduces these leverageds. we have to get the trade and investment pact in place to tie europe into a prosperity sphere
with the united states and these are a number of things which in the short run raise the cost to russia and vladimir putin to think about this kind of adventurism and in the long run reduce its leverage. that said comment at the same time i am sounding very hawkish on russia. we need to recognize ukraine is the historical and economic problem for russia and we need to leave the door open for an arrangement. and they will get together and talk about how to stabilize the economy and get in a positive direction. that will be a better neighbor for russia but vladimir putin has to be willing to engage in that conversation, did we miss an opportunity? when the initial discussions about ukraine joining of the
e.u. and russians said could we be in on this conversation, you said no. was that a missed opportunity? don't know. we should leave that door opened but ford to work vladimir putin has to walk through it he doesn't seem inclined to do it. >> steve is leading us into the proper way to respond. i want to turn to you and bring you in here too. angela merkel has been a very important figure in the western response. president obama made a decision early on we were not going to fight for ukraine. there was no legal or ethical obligation for nato to fight for ukraine but instead we try to isolate the russians politically, try to build up as steve just described the nato position in the baltic states in poland as an deterrent device and the we would drive up the
cost through economic sanctions. and slur the development issue down a malaysian airlines in mid july and a significant sanction the e.u. and nato put forward second week of september. and is it time for the urine paeons to say they need to raise the strength of those sanctions? >> the challenges. and they defined it as such. and detrimental to the security. and european union and the united states so with this asymmetry from the beginning of the question is, is this
asymmetry and since they carol lot more about this than we do how do we deter them from going further in what they are doing? several rounds of sanctions, clearly affected russia economically. and the economic situation is deteriorating, and $28 billion in capital flight in october. we could go on and on so economically it has been very detrimental but instead of leading russia to step back in this hybrid world it redoubled its efforts even recently. the cease-fire agreement on september 5th, i won't say it is in tatters but it is not working well, hundreds of casualties and it is really questionable whether more sanctions, the sanctions would be tougher sanctions on energy on the banking system. whether that is going to alter
russian policy there. steve is quite right, the other way to deal with this, you have to build up incredible military posture for those nato countries who are our allies and make sure russia doesn't think it can go any further in their. and whether to isolate russia more than we have now. and vladimir putin in this situation now, feels very beleaguered, and that is going to achieve the goal that we want. obviously we would like russia to stepped down. and to get its separatists allies to step down as well but doesn't even seem to do that at
the moment. i am not sure tougher sanctions will achieve that goal. no matter how difficult it is, opening some kind of back channels if possible to have someone talk to people, not that is easy, in discussions recently, who would that person be? it is more difficult, wasn't even in that, in the gorbachev era and then of course there is the question of whether we step up military assistance in the ukraine so we need to a mixture of policies going forward, we have to be careful with the function that if we isolate vladimir putin this achieves what we want in the long run. >> have a sanction been affective should president obama, the prime minister, harper, push the european union
to a new round of tougher sanctions can do you think president obama should offer before military assistance so they can defend their territory? >> thank you. had the sanctions been effective in taking a worsening economic performance in russia and forcing it to a worse state so without a doubt, and feeling a way to the sanctions. hasn't changed behavior, it has not. depends on your measure of effectiveness. on the question of lethal military assistance it is a sovereign democratically elected government in europe. they have a right to arm themselves and defend themselves. i would discourage the
ukrainians for restarting hostilities. they have to defend themselves but to initiate hostilities i don't think they are in position to achieve many successes on the ground. vladimir putin will escalate them and we will engage in that way so they should have access to all material necessary to defend themselves but i don't think hostilities are helpful. let me also touch on a couple other things that we discussed as a group to complete the picture. one is i emphatically agree with steve's point on the essentials nature of deterrence with nato members. if anything were to happen to a nato member one of two consequences result. either we collectively defend the nato member and then we do have a worsening crisis, potentially a war in europe or we don't and we see the end of nato. there is no good choice for
there to be an iota of doubt about what happens if the nato member is in any way destabilized. there is an article 5 guarantee, i am confident. that doesn't answer the question which is the states that are not in natal. we need much more effective policies to engage these countries because this is where the highest likelihood to stabilization occurs. we haven't talked about it on the panel yet but ukraine has to be at the center of our policy in europe. we have to redouble our efforts with the european union to strengthen the economy and stability of ukraine. without economically and politically stable ukraine and of this is a result. as long as there's a question about ukraine at survival as a sovereign state there will be a temptation to affected that
future. we have to get in more closely, we have to resources those policies. third and finally, one that i don't want to leave unspoken we have to engage russia. we have to deter more problematic behavior, and any reward, and every possible level and remain engaged with the russian economy, to strengthen the into dependence between russia and the outside world and above all people to people contact, we have to do everything to promote exchanges and continue contact. isolating russia is not an option for us. it is too big a country in too important country. isolating behavior from the russian government may be a foreign policy priority but we have to stay engaged with russia. >> this conversation has taken a
good turn. all four of you talked about how we can construct the sensually a containment regime against vladimir putin and his expansion. we are struggling to put all the pieces together but is it fair to say on the question of legal assistance to the ukrainian government, greater economic assistance steve deegan has talked about and reenforcing nato and nato's position particularly in estonia, latvia, lithuania, poland, does president obama need to go into a new phase and do a lot more to build up american policy? i ask you all that as a concluding question and we open up to everyone else. >> let me pick up on something very important that angeles ad. ukraine is an existential view.
ukrainians. steve pfeiffer. it is almost an imperative, and the ukrainians say to us, the ukrainian government says to us we need help in defending ourselves, our state, our forces, or population from russian forces that are on our territory and are firing mortars at us and killing us, according to press reports, the means to identify where those mortars are but you are not giving us the means to knock out those more installations. that should be a no-brainer. is under debate and i completely agree with steve bigham that the debate should be resolved in favor of giving the assistance. the argument against it is if we give the so-called legal defense
of assistance to the ukrainians that will provoke the russians. the russians are already rolling. the argument should be just the opposite. if we don't give them the assistance it will confirm vladimir putin's theory that the west and the united states are weekend will let him do whatever you wants. >> i would portion i agree with most of that but if we do give them -- not that we give them legal defensive weapons but it could also be an excuse for the russians to redouble their efforts and increase their presence. you heard hints of that. we have to think about what kind of equipment it is that you are giving. i would say one more thing. going forward you have to remember if we don't have our european allies with us our own policy will be less effective
and it is amazing to see the change in germany particularly from angela merkel and her party. she has already taken the lead in all of this and getting the europeans behind but as someone already said if you look at hungry and some of this, east central european countries they are softening up some of this. if these facts on the ground continue, the ones in eastern ukraine and if you have -- it is not a successful ceasefire but you don't have a large-scale hostilities it will increasingly be used as an excuse. things of stabilized not the way we wanted it but let's go back and we need to engage russia and our businesses are suffering, people suffering from these sanctions and europeans are. let's get rid of the sanctions because they do in fact have an expiration date so europeans will leave next july so going forward we need to deal with
this hybrid warfare and this is the final thing, one thing that is clear from this conflict is there is an information war between russia and the west. no agreement on any of the fact. you will hear from some russian media barons saying there is no such thing as facts really. it is very post-modern. you have your facts and we have our facts, we are added disadvantage because russia, the television channels are controlled by the state and people get one message. i did a two our joint video class with my georgetown students, the moscow state institute of international elections and wheat were polite but had totally different understandings of what was happening. we in the west stevens of we are democracy is and change tv channels, we need to do a better job countering the steady stream of facts coming out of russia.
>> your thoughts on the way forward? >> europe today and the u.s. administration had so many challenges they wish this one would go away. there is a tendency to think we have got to do something so let's do sanctions. is easy to do, everything is more sanctions. the problem is we are not taking the integrated, ambitious strategy we need to solve the problem and prevent it from getting much much worse. that is the problem. that requires us to do a lot more than just sanctions and we put a lot of the pieces on the table or here and what we haven't done is integrated into a strategy that will be effective over it the long term
because we will be with this for the next ten years. it will be a long-term challenge and we need to have an integrated strategy that will be robust overtime. most of the elements, let me say three things, angela is right. there is an informational war going on. we lose it every day. vladimir putin has great propaganda operation, he has almost exclusive media control within russia and it is doing very well. you have seen it spreading around the globe. we have to counter it with truth the systematic way. we are not even in the game at the moment. second, if i were in my old job i would be thinking about lethal assistance, yes. but this is why you have a cia, covert action, i would be thinking do we want to do explicitly and send a message to vladimir putin? or do we want to do it covertly?
we talk too much and act too little. sometimes it is good if weapons start showing up on the battlefield. vladimir putin is doing this, stuff happens, he denies it. i am all in favor of truth but sometimes doing things without talking about it is a more effective way to achieve your objectives. lastly i think we have to find a way that we defeat vladimir putin's strategy to a defeat frozen conflicts in georgia and ukraine that freess these states in the netherworld between the west and europe and russia. we got to state that that is not going to stop us and we are willing to continue to bring these states in to -- towards the west even though they have these unresolved conflicts. that is important. we have to do that in the right way. we have to shows a week and bring country's west
economically and diplomatically without severing economic ties to the east. we have not thought about it in those terms. if we can step this crisis down it might be a way over the long term to find a way out if vladimir putin at some point decides he wants one. >> final thoughts before we move to the audience? >> two last things. one is we should inventory what our strengths are. you heard some of them here. we have a strong alliance. it could be stronger but we have a strong alliance, it faced its own challenges but we have the wherewithal to be a significant economic effort to stabilize ukraine. we have the attraction of a rules based democratic societies that uses the market to deliver economic opportunity to its citizens. these are our strengths and we need to fall back on our
strengths. that is the first thing. second, and by the way patience. we need to act, we need to be thoughtful and patient. the other thing is we can't delay. we can't delay. we can't wait. i suspect having served in an administration that had more than its share of national security challenges around the world that there's a certain fatigue in the obama administration that is likely taking over and with two years left the thought of spending any significant time or political capital on the brief of russia is probably pretty unappetizing to people. they are well cuddy even a view that this could be left for the next president but these two years are critically important. we cannot be asleep on this set of issues because only worse can
come from it. my other word is concerned or advice. the current administration make the highest possible priority. >> i want to open this conversation to wall of you. if you speak, just put your name tent up, call on as many people as we can. we have 37 minutes left. i want to bring in jim collins and steve pfeiffer. what they did -- let's start with you. the question i have for you is can ukraine be helped? if there is a major european union in north america and canada will be a big part of the effort to sustain them economically here's a country with massive corruption almost a failed state, poor governance most of us on this side of the table dealing since december of 1991 and hard to help the based
on personal experience, if steve gets his way we have a major expansion of aid, will it do any good? >> thank you for good panel. a lot of pieces of the problem and parts of the solution and policy response. let me take a crack at that question on vladimir putin and russia. there is a solution to this crisis, ultimately you have to find a way to get ukraine economically stable. they have to get into a different situation than they are today and that is going to require additional credits and resources from the west in large amounts but before the united states and european union consider that they need to make sure the ukrainians do the necessary steps in terms of adopting necessary reforms in the energy sector, the economic sector, anti-corruption. ukrainians have to take the steps they have not taken for the last 20 years to get their
economy right. if they don't weaken throw lots of money at it and it won't fix the situation. come back, ukraine is in this weekend global situation. the single biggest reason ukraine is in the situation is for the past 23 years ukrainian leaders have made that decision. they avoided reform is because they had been fearful of the political consequences understandably, you can raise the price of energy for everybody in the country, that negative consequences and have it completely crazy energy system now which creates a huge opportunities for corruption. in some cases you have leaders who put personal interests, the previous coverage was a prime example, more interested in personal wealth and corruption than what was good for the country but ukrainian leaders have to take decisions now kind if they don't is going to be a country that will be beyond the ability of the west to help.
the second question on vladimir putin, the panel made good comments on the ideas that now that he has resources he can push back i wonder about his understanding of things outside russia. what triggered this was the comment about this idea that vladimir putin thinks he could get ukraine back in two four years and vladimir putin at one level may believe that. it was two months ago and the most stunning thing, the biggest thing unchanged since the 1990s was the sense of ukrainian national identity. ukraine is awash in yellow, fights everywhere, national, is everywhere. an unfortunate part of this national identity is there's a strong anti russian element. vladimir putin lost a generation
of ukrainians and it is not just anti vladimir putin bod entire russian. we have seen the last seven months what the russians have done, what vladimir putin has done and russians haven't spoken against it. in the long term i don't think that is healthy because russia and ukraine are neighbors. that won't genes. this question, everything vladimir putin has done has pushed the ukrainian people away but this idea that somehow he thinks he can get them back in three four years raises the question does he understand what is going on in ukraine and outside the borders of russia? >> i want to turn to ambassador jim collins, the american ambassador in russia reserved as a long time russia expert. angela's suggestions that at a time of crisis the united states it had an effective channel so we can talk and we can listen. i ask this because if you read
the book called all of us agree we had to oppose vladimir putin but keep the channel open to him non iran, afghanistan, north korea, counterterrorism and the middle east. do you agree with angela's suggesting? how do you review sustaining a relationship on all those global issues where it is an important actor? >> let me underscore might agreement with steve. if we look at what is at stake with ukraine at the moment it is going to be economic. you can speak to this better than i can but it is my impression there is a massive requirement for funding them to get them through the coming year or two and that will be effective if they get their act together politically frankly. the second point steve made is a good one.
the great thing vladimir putin has done for ukraine in the last year is essentials et unite ukraine at least in not accepting what russia is doing. and a better result this time than we have every time we had this problem for the last 20 some years. it is going to mean a serious money from the european union and the united states. if they do the right finger and have the wherewithal to make something of themselves. a couple points. i find it very unfortunate though we have personalized all of this. i have been back and forth to moscow quite a bit and one of the things i have to say is is not just vladimir putin who is thinking in these terms and therefore we can't do.
a ourselves the talking to vladimir putin will solve the problem? the problem basically, forget about who is guilty and what we didn't to or did do right. the euro atlantic security system isn't working to resolve this issue at this point. whatever we think is right, wrong, in different or whenever, the question is how do we get out of this mess? i happen to agree with steve had leaked in this. there are things that i within our control, the alliance or the united states that we can do without really having much recourse to thinking through how we deal with the other side of this. we can strengthen the forces in places like the baltics or poland. wheat can do other things within the alliance.
we can take measures that in some sense give confidence that we are not going to be pushed by the russians and there is a line he better not cross. vladimir putin gets that, he is no fool and he knows he is playing all week hand. the second thing it seems to me is we do need to find a way to engage him. the real problem here is we largely are not asking the right question in my view because we need to go to vladimir putin and say we have a mess on our hands. what is your idea about how we get out of this? i don't think vladimir putin has the answer either of how he is not going to lose or how he is going to win at the moment. i sense he has a tar baby on his hands in eastern ukraine at the
moment. does he go all the way to kiev? i don't think that is a viable idea, i don't think he has the capability first of all so there is a lot of bluffing in this. it doesn't seem east ukraine has ended up producing the groundswell of support for his idea that he thought was going to come just as it did in crimea. now he has a problem and time to talk to him is when he has a problem. he understands he does. my suggestion would be to find a way and it has to be from president obama, to put on the table the question of how to get ourselves out of this mess. it is not in your interest or in hours. neither of us can afford to see ukraine go belly up economically or in other ways.
what do we do? the policy that is really troubling is in many ways, the sort of mood that has taken hold in the united states and much of europe about isolating russia is precisely plain vladimir putin's game. vladimir putin's narrative is we are under siege. forces in washington orchestrated by president obama are trying to destroy russia. weaken it, isolate it, undercut it. would you created is a sense that we are validating his line of argument. there are tremendous numbers of russian institutions, individuals, groups in society and surprise that sector who wants none of this idea of
isolating russia and vladimir putin's idea that self isolation is the answer. i am very concerned when we are the ones who cut exchange programs or don't encourage all those people who have a stake in the relationship with the united states and europe and by cutting off their own capacity to conduct that relationship and we have done too much of that. some of that is budgetary. some is political. some is just because people smell the way the wind is blowing as well as they do in moscow. we need to find a way to encourage as much as we can abuilding of the ties among those who see the relationship with the united states and europe as the central part of russia's future. >> i would like a few more people to offer thoughts or ask questions and ask the panel to
respond to it. i know you would like to speak. if any country understands russia, it is finland and the finished perspective would be welcome and after you speak, please offer your thoughts as well. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for very informative and thank you for including us. one of the issues, i have a feeling that vladimir putin is listening in a sense. you were mentioning the president is listening. the discussion was actually this
government is at the moment emphatic on the issue. how do you make it, your president is sort of having a dialogue with president vladimir putin and what would be agenda? i think that if you are really close and read the agenda, you know much better than i do. has been repeatedly saying his agenda or so, that includes very much the interests, dominance in some of the area. and very much lost. i would imagine when you have a dialogue there's always one way to have compromised on some of
the issues. the other one is the article 5, article 5 issue for challenging the nato at the moments and especially article 5, something which needs close attention. we have seen several activities that novel in nato members but also acting partners with nato i challenged. >> one of the questions we worked on in the bush administration was to draw closer to sweden and finland, not maters the initial members of nato but partners that have
an interest in stability in that part of europe. since i read your book i know you have been watching the russians for at least 50 years. how do you see this? what is your toughest question for this panel? >> i want to pick up a thought that angela supported and that is for russia, ukraine is an existential problem. for the united states it does not appear to be an existential problem. when you talk about sending as senator mccain has begun to talk about as the new chair of the senate armed services committee about sending lethal weapons to ukraine, the question then comes up over many decades now that the united states has been involved in one war after another without a clear definition to its self and for itself about in what way does
and american military involvement satisfy the direct national security interest of this country? when ukraine and the support of ukraine can somehow address that central issue, how is it in the direct security interests of this country that we go to the extent of providing military assistance. >> how do we respond to the ambassador and the market? >> the question is if vladimir putin and president obama achieve a consistent dialogue, what would be the agenda and what is the purpose of that? >> it is very difficult. one of the problems is vladimir putin's information's force. angela merkel said he is living
in a different world and some people think he lost his mind. this is a very shrewd -- i worry about his information sources which is very much in the hand of the information services and i am not convinced they give an accurate and true picture of what is happening in the world, and feed a lot of instincts and biases. when you serve oppressing you have to be careful about feeding his biases. one problem is how to get through them. it is a problem every time i talk to vladimir putin i'm talking to a different one. i scanned two or three hours, i can get him to begin to understand and maybe get some movement out of him but when i don't talk to him for a week he is back to be leaving his own propaganda. this is a very difficult guy to manage at this time.
second, why do we focus on vladimir putin? he is so far as we can tell the only decisionmaker. he is not talking to anybody, not listening to anybody. he is reflecting opinions but he is also manufacturing opinions through propaganda and all the rest so that is why we keep talking about vladimir putin because he is the key to doing this. third what is the agenda? got to be careful about this one. one of the problem is vladimir putin would sit with american presidents and explain things and an american president would say great, we are americans, we fixing this, and vladimir putin says to this person i didn't want the president to fix it. i wanted him to understand. that is of very interesting,.
i think what we need is if there is an offer is not to talk about how to retain cooperation. it is the special -- sit down with him and say i am prepared to sit here and hear everything you say because i want to understand where we are because this is a problem that needs to be fixed and we need to have a way to fix it. it would be at very unfocused agenda. it would be spending a lot of time and doing a lot of listening. i went to ariel jerome in 2005-2003 and said the president sent me to hear everything you have to say about settlement and i am supposed to stay here until you tell me everything he needs to understand and know your view about settlements. and he said interesting.
no one has ever asked me before. we spend four days and 13 hours with him and at the end of the day i know a lot about what he thought about settlement but it began to build the basis of trust. late in the day with vladimir putin i don't see another way to do it and that is where you start. >> a briefing on the agenda. we all know ultimately what has been said. the euro atlantic security architecture created in 1990s was created in such a way that russia does not have a stake in it and never did have a stake in it and that is something we have to address. that is the fundamental issue and therefore if you take away everything about new world order it is not a word new world order but it is a question of how to regulate that better so we don't have russian deciding it can evaluate -- violate the sovereignty of ukraine but to get there you have to take a number of smaller and larger
steps because the last time this came up in 2008 with the plan for european security, everyone said we don't want another helsinki type conference. now we probably need something else so i think that is not the end, that is the big agenda item but in order to get there, other steps have to be taken including restoring what is left of ukraine's territorial integrity. >> i will take the prerogative, with great respect disagree with whether we gave russia a stake in the security architecture, we created the nato/russia council in spring of 2002 to bring russia into the heart of nato and brussels and president bush was serious and colin powell at the time was serious about giving them a stake. let's plan strategically for how to safeguard security in europe
and let's bring you, russia, into our peacekeeping missions. it was sent debating society, he wasn't serious. i think we gave them their chance. at a critical moment post 911. >> i agree with you and they never took it very seriously but we need to give them another chance. it doesn't mean to take it but we are at the point and now where the system is broken. >> i want to come back to a couple of comments jim collins made. jim collins has been not just one of the best colleagues and friends i have had but also a mentor her on my own interest in russia over the years and the most important thing he said was to underscore the stupidity of isolation being the overall goal
of u.s. policy. it has to be a nuanced combination of, guess what, containment. containment is the right word, and engage and. including a diplomatic engagement. i am a little skeptical, on your perspective against the personalization of this around vladimir putin it deserves to be personalized. it is a defensible proposition that vladimir putin is the most powerful kremlin leader since josef stalin. he is not as powerful as joseph stalin. joseph stalin had administrative techniques on his hands that put him in a different league. every criminal leader since then has either had to report to a politburo as kind of a board of directors that could fire him as they did with khrushchev or yeltsin who had political weaknesses of his own and my guess is if we could find the
perfect envoy like maybe you to talk to vladimir putin, what he would say in one word is let's do it minsk. what we would do in one word is let's do that -- he is playing a double game and getting away with it and he will continue to play the double game as long as he gets away with it and we got to keep him from getting away with it. >> if there are two front line states in this conflict, they are latvia and estonia. two nato allies who deserve and have the protection of article 5 and two ambassadors here and they both want to speak. let me start with you. the estonian perspective and then the latvian perspective. >> thank you. i want to thank all panelists.
you have contributed a lot personally to the achievements of these hundred million people in the region. we start with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and appreciation to all of you and i know what you have done and i appreciate your thoughts today, i have few comments and one question. i think where we are today is not just bad weather. it is climate change. it is really difficult to reverse the climate change as we all know.
we have bad news for but also good news i would say. the bad news everybody knows. i won't repeat those. the question is really, what are the important issues that we have to tackle right now? few points are important to our perspective, first and foremost, trans-atlantic link. the synchronous city of the united states and europe, not only european allies, nato allies but also european union. the way we see this is the effect of a transatlantic unity, this is one area where we all
disagree with the sense i got from the panel that sanctions are working, they are working, the whole atmosphere inside russia, inside the leadership. it could be a long time but we should be ready and we should continue with sanctions. what came as a shock to the russian leadership was the united front in august and september when putting forward the sanctions. long-term readiness to continue. one issue that was brought up, energy security and getting the
region, actually all of europe out of the oppression energy influence. i think we see lots of things happening in this regard that that takes time as well, 5 to 10 years to see real results but this is very important issue. in ten years time we can diversify from russian gas and oil and say you can use this as political control anymore. third point or force point, the presence of allies in the territories and you said the front line countries like us is very important. we have good news here too. united states send troops to the
regent three days after crimea was invaded. what has happened in the past six months in that sense, the american engagement, the nato engagement, european allies in the region is more and we have been waiting for for the past six years since the door georgia crisis. now it is happening. we have the first calendar division, we have fought very -- we see the administration working on the european reassurance initiative, we want to see that become sustainable and long term, not just one or two issues but we see nato is thinking deeply on what to do in the region. the way it results we all know.
now we have to implement those and i see clear political willingness from the european allies to implement the decisions set forward but my question really is -- i think this is crucial, latvia's strategic vision, what we talk about here. the question is how to achieve that strategic vision and what that strategic vision should contain because what we talk about here is a lack in our debate, what do we really defend? it is not the specific countries or people love mayor is depending but the western values that we defend because we have to be very straightforward in defending these values and i
feel that sometimes that debate is missing when we talk about what the western strategic vision should be. >> thank you. we don't have a lot of time left. i think we will go into extra innings if you are a baseball fan or extra time if you are a global football fan. let me ask a couple people to weigh in starting with you under oath mike and if there are brief questions i ask each of the four panelists to answer whatever aspect they would like to answer, whatever final points they would like to make. i know that nato put on a great airshow yesterday when the secretary general visited, there was a display of nato air panel, they covered in the wall street journal. that symbolic show of support. >> thanks so much, organizers,
for this terrific discussion. we miss these kinds of discussions in washington. especially when we try to put somehow together a good agenda for indexed partnership, eastern partnership in may. and strategically reason how to act in the region. -lisa porche -- what we have is symbolism but besides symbolism there is direct stuff going on right now, serious stuff we haven't seen since perhaps peter the great opened a window to europe. in the region. is happening right now and that keeps us i think more or less calm when it comes to
wait until ukraine goes through the reform process and then provide assistance. i think those two parts should go some hand in hand, something which we've seen during '90s when we approached the eu membership. the third point is one very important piece which ukraine is missing in current situation. its new perspective. when we went to the process of joining eu, these reforms really are very painful, very costly. politicians are afraid to of them, public very often didn't understand, didn't have a clue what they have been doing for ukraine and government to prove that these reforms would really make a difference without strategic clarity. it's the problem. for that i hope we'll be able to do something at the summit. perhaps for russia, ukraine is
an essential question but development and ukraine are unfolding, evolving so we can see in europe. nationally, growing nationalism. it's not only problem of russia today. we can see things are happening as well in other parts of europe, and at some point might be, well existential for one or another european. not necessarily both, just a few days ago angela merkel, stated that ukraine, that's a problem for europe in general, not on the region problem. my question goes to the point angela said on information warfare. apparently we are losing here. what we can do.
>> if i could ask very brief questions so the panels can sum up. >> thank you, nick. i would like to get straight to the information warfare and stress with other people have said that the historical revisionism that putin first enunciated at the meeting in munich in 2007, just a because of holed up for most of the 1990s. here i would like to underscore what strobe setup from a congressional perspective in this case. after the first war in chechnya, the russians asked for a revision, so-called flank document to this as esoteric. the russians and withdrawn but the fact is this was after the war and we wanted to strengthen the incipient democracy can let's say of yeltsin. the vote in the u.s. senate, because as a treaty ratification of amendment, was 100 to
nothing. it was very, very significant to second, very quick point. in march of 97 and senator biden and i went to moscow on a fact-finding trip having to do with nato enlargement public to russia first which tells you something. yeltsin had been at the summit in helsinki just a day or two before he was described as indisposed, but what methods or anybody else who who wanted to complete the most important meeting was with his national security staff in the kremlin late at night but we talked about details of possible enlargement, poland, czech republic and hungary. with a happy? no. they felt wounded. whether the slightest bit worried? not in the slightest. was there talk there's been a promised that we would never do this? no. by the end of the discussion we were talking about if russia continuecontinues on its current trajectory could someday join nato. so that's it.
one last final point. having to do with the lethal defensive weapons to ukraine. the decision is going to happen sooner rather than later. there are at least two bipartisan bills in congress right now. unless i speed read incorrectly, at tony blinken's confirmation hearing yesterday for your old job, strobe, he said the administration felt that it was about time we furnish them. i guess my question is what are the implications for our relations with russia and with our european allies if that does go through? >> thanks, mike. anders come if you can ask your question in 60 seconds or less we will get to exit copies of this book. [laughter] thank you very much. i will be quick. both ukraine and, of course, his impotence i want to add a sense of urgency. the ukrainian economy will meltdown within four months.
if nothing seriously is done very fast. what ukraine needs to do on its site is to unify the energy prices and cut 10% of gdp. what the baltic countries did in 2000. it's a series reform. and with the west needs to put up is the package in the order of a billion dollars on top of the $17 billion of imf money. it makes this five or six years. >> well done. we will deliver the extra copies to your institute. [laughter] let me ask each of the panelists to wrap up whatever they would like to say on all the issues. steve, we will start with you. anders comment about a $30 billion western assistance package to speak directly to which are major point is. >> i completely agree. anders has written two pieces unless he weeks which let with a western sponsored by the
ukrainians have responsibility for. i commend him for these excellent pieces. they are available on the peterson institute website so let me say i agree with every word that is written. i do want to answer marvin and mike's point about lethal military system. with the caveat the lesson -- the less it is talked about the better but here we are. second, there are the how, the what, that means steve hadley suggested something spirit are we talking about the grant ability assistance? are we talking about licensing and sales? there's a whole variety of policy questions. let's take it at its most basic level, helping ukraine to strengthen its military capabilities. if the training is engaged in the process we will have more influence with the ukrainian government on what exactly they do with those capabilities. let me take the counterfactual, which is to leave the korean government week, whether
economically or defensively, does that seem to me to suggest an outcome that's going to be better. to marvelous question that we have to think long and hard about whether that ukraine is something we want to go to war over i can answer that question. we do not. absolutely do not. the question is what makes it more or less likely that we could drop into the circumstances, that the sovereign democratically elected government in europe would be denied the means of self-defense to me is an extremely suspicious presumption, and it's one the united states should certainly not support. >> thank you. steve hadley. >> i'll make some quick points. there's what i call the vietnam conceit. that if only the united states had the right policies all would be right with the world. we don't have that kind of power
and influence. the truth is, rush is different today because of its own internal domestic realities, largely indie band or in some cases inspite of policies that we have pursued. rush is a different place today than it was 10, 15 years ago. it is true there is no military solution to these kinds of problems but there's also a solution that does not have a military element. that needs to be nato and u.s. forces, not air forces but ground forces, people on the ground. that's what gets attention and it needs to be assistance to these countries to help defend themselves. i would do it covertly rather than overtly but it needs to be done. on the economic peace, the problem that came out in our after strategy group is for every move we make economically
put the two counters. or russia has to count as. they have much more influence. this is what is tricky. how can we make ukraine and economic success is, if actually is working to make a basket case. assistant. steve pifer may be right. i hope he is right but i sometimes wonder how far rate runs in the country at some point whether it might break up under the kind of pressure he is under. i love this, it's not bad was about climate change and it's hard to reverse climate change. i think we need to find a way to get some people talking about this, what stepping back and look at how russia has changed and how europe has changed, and what is a vision going forward. because we are in new territory and i worry we are doing too much tactically about stepping back and trying to we look strategically at where we are and where want to be and how to
get there. thank you. >> thank you, steve. angela. >> i will address a to point. on the question of information warfare. we are always going to be added is a fish in any democratic country because we don't have to speak with one voice. i think we should do a better job in europe and u.s. of just putting the facts out there. there's too many news outlets that say people use the word incursion of what the russians are doing or its alleged that our russian troops, or its alleged russian tanks and equipment is going -- we know this stuff. we have the proof and we should be more -- i know there's something we don't want to do that because then you get into the question of how do you know that. we have to i think be more up front about undeniable incontrovertible evidence of which there are some. i would include the image 17 crashed because if you have the misfortune as i do sometimes to read the russian blogs and feel the stuff they put out about that including just very
recently. we understand what happened and i think that has to be to the extent it is possible to out there with no its and's or but's. i think that's where you start. my second point goes to the longer-term question of some of my russian colleagues have said what you're seeing now in russia is part of his reaction to what's happening in the things that putin is saying but it's not only russia's put itself forward as a model new concerned international appeal to traditional states with traditional family ties but it's almost it's a revolt against modernity. steve, you said we all understand what russia needs to do is to build the institutions of the modern 21st century state. what putin is doing is appealing to the people who are afraid of that or who fear it. don't want to be in the 21st century. so good in his power for another 10 years as is quite likely we have to think about who are the
people who are going to be coming in to power at some point when it's no longer in the kremlin. we don't really know those people and it's hard to see but we have to do everything that we can while we are still dealing with this particular crisis to build up longer-term and continue contacts with hopefully the next generation of people who don't -- who do not fear modernity. >> thank you very much. strobl, you get the last word. >> i think actually the ambassador will get the last word, because his climate change wisecracks which was terrific is going to be out their trendy but i bet it is already trending in twitterverse. i can't wait until i can get at my iphone and help the. i just want to pick up on something that angela just said, which i think goes to the meta- point here. we are sitting together almost every day it seems on this subject.
she made a very good point that the russian word for security means absence of danger. so if we want to emphasize, we want to be putin understand yours we need to understand where he sees the danger coming from. he sees that page coming from the west because it only points of the compass from which the danger is not coming to russia. what russia needs and what we want russia to see that it needs is basically the following. a modern economy, a modern globalized economy. and not being the poster child for the resource curse. a healthy population which it doesn't have. and an open society which it doesn't have. and since it's got 14 contiguous neighbors, it should have 14 friendly neighbors. in fact, what putin is doing is
inspiring or engendering fear and loathing in 13 of those 14, and as for the 14th come and we know who that is, loathing but aspirations for russian territory. that's what these future leaders we have to hope will recognize, and he doesn't and probably never will. >> thank you very much. i want to thank everyone who is here, and i hope that for all of you in the room and certainty for those watching on c-span, people believe they have seen an objective, serious, nonpartisan discussion of important issues. that's what the aspen strategy group is about, nonpartisan discussion but if you like to do more, i would say to the c-span audience, the crisis with russia, a book available on amazon.com. thanks very much to all the panelists. thanks to the ambassadors of finland and denmark and estonia
and latvia. thanks very much for being here. [applause] >> weekend to volunteer when we know we need to. we tend to do that kind of thing. we tend to step forward and take responsibility when times are hard. i would say right now i'd think this is that moment in america. we just look around and we instinctively know we have to change the concept of citizenship. if we go to many people in america they think if they vote and they pay their taxes they did their job as a citizen but that's not what citizenship is. a country is no more than a covenant between people who decide to be a nation and its relationship between people that
has the responsibility to end for each other. that's what citizens are. they are jointly bound to take care of each other. so the concept of citizenship instead of being small and being a set of entitlements and limited responsibresponsib ility really exist then said what you are a much or about and why you do or don't do what you do. i think citizenship in america has eroded for lots of reasons, but it has eroded to the point where we need to stop and look at the real problem. we can look at partisanship and politics. we can look at economic inequality. we can look at the polarization a different parts of our society. if we really look at the problem and want to fix it instead of going after each individual thing, and if we want to take a big step it will take a big idea. >> general stanley mcchrystal and more from the conference of
citizenship tonight at eight eastern here on c-span2. >> c-span to provide five coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy events. every weekend booktv now for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors the c-span2 created by the cable tv in which brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> the recent congress of china's ruling commerce party focus on constitutional changes with the aim of reducing corruption. china analyst discuss these changes and what it might mean for u.s.-china relations. it was hosted by the wilson center in washington, d.c. this is an hour and a half. >> good afternoon and welcome to the wilson center, all of you who are with us in the auditorium and those who are
watching on c-span or subsequent on a webcast. the wilso wilson center for thoo have not been here before is the living memorial to the 28th president of the trendy. my name is robert hickam heidrick the kissinger institute on china and the united states here at the wilson center. we are glad to give you this program on corruption, constitutionalism and control, implications of the fourth plan for china and u.s.-china relations. this afternoon's talk brings together two topics which are very often between separate although they belong in the same program which are corruption and china's attempts to carry out further round of legal reforms. no doubt you have been following corruption stories from china over the past few years. you've heard about xi jinping's willingness to take on both tiger's and flies. you probably follow the sordid tales of -- xi jinping's attempt to combat corruption is often an
american media characterized as a campaign but it seems to be a state of affairs. it's part of ongoing governance rather than a campaign in the usual sense. combating corruption has been one of the major factors leading to xi jinping's great popularity in china. as evidence of his popularity you need look no further than the second line of the new viral song in china called xi die die loved mama. it is covered in today's new your times. if you haven't seen and i urge you to give it a close listen to the first two lines china has produced an uncle xi. he dares to fight the tigers. noticed a new song, which it's very catchy. it's like a lot of chinese songs. it has elements of march and folk tune. it's hard to get out of your head. that line, china has produced uncle xi, harkens directly back
to the east is red which begins -- the sun has come up. china has produced. so there's a link to mao in this popular song about how ardently xi and his wife loved each other. so xi has been very close associate with anticorruption, the china dream, continued economic and social reforms. this all seems to be of a piece for his governance and, indeed, for china. it is sometimes difficult for the united states to discern how these different pieces fit together and, therefore, it can be tough to figure out how we need to respond to a rapidly changing china. the difficulty comes even as the logistic level if you try to wrestle is a chinese or english with recent documents about legal reform in china. they are full of socialism with chinese characteristics and continued reform.
different uses of phrases that seem to have something to do witwith the law that is clearlya legal concept not like our own. even the phrase corrupt, who is corrupting and it is not, one of the questions we'll be asking today is one of the anticorruption efforts of xi's government are primarily principal or primary political. what does corruption mean? the documents that were released after the plenum, a big meeting of the communist party in october, where xi intends to take these games, take these efforts to improve governance. this was the first plenum to focus on law or on governing in accordance with law. i was struck in reading american breakdowns of this plenum, in this case the third plenum, many right is focused on what wasn't in the stock you in the stockings but usually from an american point of view they were criticized for things americans which would be in these
documents that were not there. often you didn't focus on the many proposals for change that were in these documents. i think we need to begin from a chinese point of view, the wilson center was committed to beginning -- without china sees itself. we may not end there but that has to be part of our analysis. the documents coming out of this plenum were very frank about the depth and breadth of problems china faces in its legal system. it had almost a confessional quality to. it raised expectations extremely high. so to understand the values, the primaries, policies of xi jinping we want to start were china started with corruption and legal questions. to do that i think we can have no better pair of scholars in andrew wedeman and donald clark. andrew wedeman is in the department of political science at georgia state university and
is the leading expert on chinese corruption questions within the context of political economy but he's been working on this since long before xi jinping began his anticorruption efforts, about 15 years. >> pushing 18. >> eighteen. before he came to georgia state he was at university of nebraska in lincoln where he directed the asian studies program and international studies program and he has been a visiting research professor at beijing university. i have the pleasure of working with him when he's a visiting professor of political science at the johns hopkins university for chinese and american studies request from 2006-2008 and the like to welcome his daughter maggie was also the hopkins center and is now studying china with david at george washington. andy is working on a new project that examines social unrest in china and is the author of previously from mild to market,
seeking protectionism and marketization in china which is published by cambridge university press in 2003, and the double paradox of rapid growth and rising corruption in china brought out by the cornell university press in 2012. i should mention when we were at the center together, andy once caught me singing loudly the rolling stones wild horses, and what i thought was the abandoned underground garage with the acoustics were excellent but i was not alone but in that small community you gave me the courtesy to the best of my nose for never telling anyone. so it meant a discretion as well. i want to thank you for that. donald clark is the david weaver research professor of law at george washington university where he has been since 2005 and a leading specialist in chinese law. he was greatest a university of washington school of law in seattle and school oriental and african studies at university of london. before that he practiced law for three is a major international firm that had a large chinese
practice and he is fluent in mandarin chinese. he's published in the china quickly to the american journal of comparative law, on subjects ranging from china's criminal law to corporate governance. his recent research is focused on chinese legal institutions anand legal issues as they relae to china's economic reforms, which is a topic of the third and fourth put a big he also founded and maintained china law which is the leading list or on chinese law on the internet and he writes a chinese law professor blog which i bookmarked it is when the first places i go whenever there's a major legal issue to get a good exploration of what's going on in china. he's a member of the new york bar and council on foreign relations. we will start for 15 minutes each, and the winning time for them to ask each other questions and then we look forward to hearing from all of you. we will open it up so thank you once again. >> thank you very much, robert.
i did not ever share your singing in the basement but now that the cat is out of the bag, i no longer feel obligated to be discreet. welcome to all of you. let me begin with the poet robert raised in his opening remarks. it's one i think we get, i get frequently about xi jinping's now two year old anticorruption campaign. is it principled or is it a political? i think if you look at the way, the most visible part of the campaign has unfolded, it's easy to say this is nothing but pure power politics. the campaign predates xi jinping. it began in november 2011 when an english businessman turns up dead in a hotel, is swiftly cremated and it looks like he
will simply be forgotten. invited in 2012, the former head of public security attempts to defect to the united states in the wake of which we discover that the life of the party secretary is allegedly behind the murder. they have been collecting money from a variety of sources. the english businessman may well have been laundering money for them. we moved to former politburo standing committee member, former head of the internal security apparatus. from there we move on to a series of what i would think of as kind of clusters of corruption cases. we have the former head of the chinese national petroleum company. we get a whole mess of corruption in the oil sector.
we didn't have a series of corruption scandals involving the former secretary, people who worked, particularly linked into home networks of corrupt businessmen. we get evidence then that some of his former underlings in the ministry of public security have been involved in among other things money laundering, but also arranging dates for senior members of the leadership with the staff of the chinese central tv. finally, we get come his son is implicated in a series of schemes, most of which involve looking at state assets. the sun would get a hold of them on behalf of other businessman and then resell them. among those he was connected to a man named leo hong who is a major figure, according to the
government in chinese organized crime. if you look at that series, excuse become we get several more interesting scandals but we get what's known as the earthquake in which a whole host of people in the province, most of them in some way involved in the coal sector are implicated in a series of nefarious deals which in part linked to a man whose brother happened to be hu jintao's right hand man and his nephew about a $300,000 porsche into a beijing branch of government at 4 a.m. with two scantily clad coeds. so if you look at that cover the most recently of course we have the military scandal. a series of generals are caught trading basically promotions through jobs. most recently a general, his
house was searched. they found literally time, and metric ton of cash. it took between 10 and 15 military trucks to take all the evidence/loot out of his apartment. out of his 20,000 square foot house. you look at these candles, and the easy conclusion is that this is about politics. xi jinping comes in and basically what you look at it is for various random reasons, he sets himself up, becomes an entryway, always something of a rival, a xi jinping. it's an opening that allows xi jinping to go after a wide swath of people at a fairly senior level and to clear them out and,
obviously, replace them with his own people. at the same time you could look at it as a very clear effort by xi jinping to consolidate his own power. by going after the big tigers of and showing that he is willing to take on anybody, regardless of how high up they might be, how sensitive the case may be, he is trying to demonstrate his power. when you look at this on that level, you do say is it principled or political? i think the easy conclusion is to say looking at that level its political. but i think you have to broaden out and look at the bigger picture. the number of big tigers his taken out is a little bit days, what constitutes a big tiger in terms of her i come in terms of importance i think is partly in the eyes of the beholder.
so the numbers vary depending on who you are listening to. between about five dozen, maybe 120, 130. whether it's 50 or 130, i don't think it's important as it might appear on the surface. when you broaden out and look at the bigger picture, his campaign formally began two years ago in november of 2012. the numbers are incomplete and, unfortunately, the chinese only give numbers in year increments, not in months but we don't know how many people got taken out during the first few months of 2012. we don't know how many people will be taken out issued because the year isn't over and you get part years statistics which have a look at these four i think i told robert, 18 years, i know that partners are often meaningless, that you have to
have the method. the best figures we have is for 2013. the judicial branch which has the power to invite an individual and to bring that individual to court for trial common in the chinese terminology they filed the case. it's basically an handing out an indictment. they indicted 37,551 people. so if the number was 61 and 30, it's a tiny fraction of the total number of people indicted. that number, 37,551, was up almost 9% over the previous year. 9% may not sound like a tidal wave of anticorruption but if you go back and look at the number of people indicted, the
number has gradually declined from over 40,000 down to a trough of 320002011. it was up a little bit in 2012 but up 9% in 2013. the number may well be up on something this important issue. it's hard to tell because you don't really have any partial statistics. they also give numbers for people higher up the food chain. for people who are holding leadership positions at the county and the departmental level, they indicted 2871 but that was up 12% from 2012. more significantly at the bureau level, the numbers jumped from 188, to 261. a 39% increase. so when you look at, when you look at the top and if you follow the campaign in the
media, the media campaign or focus is totally on the big tigers. the big tigers are important but the bulk of the campaign is at the next level down. it's not so much against the flies come against the people who are at a very low level officials, et cetera. it did the leadership, opera leadership level we get this huge, almost 40% increase. to me what that suggests is that the answer to robert question is is it principled or is it political is quite frankly yes. it's both. xi jinping is trying to do two things at once. he has tried to consolidate his powers. he's trying to go out and take out the tigers at the same time he is as best i can interpret it, he answers about wanting to fight corruption. i think there's a realization
and this comes out and i will talk about in a minute when we look at what this campaign has the old, corruption has gotten considerably worse over the past decade. when i wrote the book, the double paradox book, that i was working on in 2008-2009. i look at all the david and i couldn't see any evidence of a worsening, deepening or intensification of corruption. when i look at this campaign and look at what has come out, corruption is worse than i had thought. you could look at people like the general who was in charge of logistics, base construction and other things in the pla. the man was apparently flipping real estate and collecting 2%. one deal of veggie chili involved billions in fees for
high real estate. when they raided his house he literally had a tamil full of expensive liquor and a three-foot tall golden statue of mao. plus considerable cash but as i said earlier when they raided the other home, they found a mexican town of cash. -- metric time of cash. in some ways we are quite interesting. why would you sit on a metric ton of cash? the answer is probably interesting. he didn't have anything to do with it. he couldn't get it out of the country. he apparently couldn't get it out of the country and couldn't spend it. so it sits there and a commitment this cash. you look at the scale of the corruption that's been revealed in this campaign, and it's not millions. it's tens of millions and given
hundreds of millions, which these are some and not let them come in the past. but what also struck me is this. those two cases are real tigers. these are senior generals. there was a man who was arrested in the province recently. the man ran a local water company. not exactly what i would consider a high-powered position. when they raided his home they found 18 million renminbi in cash -- 80. $425,000 u.s., plus 37 kilos of gold certificates for 68 properties. so not only do we have evidence of this kind of huge sums of
money on the part of the tigers, but we have some extraordinarily fat flies down at the bottom. if a man whose basic job is to provide you with water and sewage to collect what i would have to quickly do my math and multiply by six, 100 million renminbi but if you can expect 100 renminbi for tap water, that's quite a fly. early on we had all these cases. we had a sister -- 35 property, brother, low-level officials. so when you look at what the campaign has revealed, it's not just a problem of big tigers origin themselves on the economy. the flies are also sucking a great deal of blood out of the economy. what are the prospects looking
at all this? xi jinping has racked up a pretty good hunting record. he has some pretty impressive helps. i think as robert said his campaign is popular. do i expect to see change in corruption? do i expect to have to be looking for a new topic after nearly two decades of slogging through endless stories on corruption? absolutely not. what xi jinping at best is going to do is he's going to lay down some suppressing fire. he's going to get people talking. he's going to get people to be careful. they will take that 50 million they have stashed in the basement and they're going to hide it really good. everything i've heard out of china recently, people are picked a fight. they are worried. there's a lot of fear and anxiety. how long that lasts is hard to
tell. this campaign is a two years old. for two years i keep expecting it to begin to wind down. and for two years i've been wrong one time after another. some have suggested this campaign is now the new normal and that, in fact, this campaign will just keep going on and on and on. if it does, that may be have positive effects because the pressure we kept up, officials will have to be careful and, therefore, they will avoid accepting bribes or do it with a great deal of -- the other danger is after a while when the inspectors don't arrive and when you get away with it, you become emboldened. so i don't expect to see dramatic inroads into corruption.
if you go back and read american history around the air of civil war, it may shock some of my american comrades but we had a problem with corruption. we had tammany hall, the fact you look at the municipal history of the u.s., the political machine was the norm, whether it was in new york or omaha, nebraska, over chicago, et cetera. the u.s. seriously began fighting corruption in about 1870. guess what. we are still fighting it. just a few months ago the governor of virginia, robert mcdowell, mcdonald, and his wife were convicted and will face prison time for corruption. so if we turn around and we say, gee, is xi jinping really
serious in fighting it? and we say, are we going to see victory in the war on corruption? i think not. the current war on corruption in china began in 1982. it has continued for over three decades at this point. i would expect it will continue for quite some time. it will add inflow. sometimes it will be more advert politically and sometimes it will be more principled. but i will give credit that he has responded and i believe he's made some progress, although i don't thin think you can make ah as most people would like. i will end there. >> thanks very much, and good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for coming out this afternoon. those of you who are going away for thanksgiving tomorrow will regret not having done away today. but i hope not.
so robert has asked me to talk about the fourth plenum legal reforms, and also their implications for u.s.-china relations. i'm going to start off with a broad brush picture of the fourth plenum reforms and then talk to the end of out their possible implications for u.s.-china relations, although don't hold your breath because i don't think the are a lot of implications. the big picture summary of the fourth plenum reform, decision come is i think that it contemplates no fundamental reform in the basic relationship between the legal system on the one hand and the party/government on the other hand. it seems pretty clear to me that institutionally speaking the party is going to remain above the law. at the same time though i think the decision does contemplate some genuinely meaningful and in my opinion positive reform and so i don't think that it would
be correct to look at the decision and say it is not advancing toward some ideal we have under the law and, therefore, it is all meaningless. there's a lot of meaningful stuff going on there and much of it is positive. i guess first of all i just want to emphasize the decision still puts the party first, the law second. it does this literally every time the party and a lot of innocent the same sentence. the party always comes first. so, for example, section one of the decision starts off by saying several important principles that must be upheld in order to achieve the goal of what the state according to law, the first when his leadership of the party. so that is doesn't have any substantive content to it. is purely an institutional goal which is the party must be in charge. later on the decision talks
about what judges should be loyal to and that list for things. the party, the state, the people and the law. you will notice which comes first in which comes last. grammatically speaking, there is no particular reason why things at the front of the list gets privileged over things at the end of the list in chinese or english that nevertheless we all know that in a document like this nothing, not even a comment is accidental. so when we see the same pattern repeated over and over i think we have to conclude it is therefore a reason. some of you may have heard about the three supremes, and i'm not referring to the music group. i'm referring to the three supremes things, a slogan along associate with the former president of the supreme people's court. and these have been, we can do about these for a while and now they've been kind of resurrected in the fourth plenum decision.
three supremes are the three things that again of course should be put at the forefront of the work. and again the first priority is loyalty to the cause of the party. second, interest of the people. and the third, the constitution and the law. again the party comes first and the law comes last. in general what we are presented with is an admonition to officials to obey the law. certainly officials are told they should obey the law. they are not told they are above the law. nevertheless one gets the feeling that this is kind of an internal goal of the parties talking to itself, saying officials, you should have a mentality of special privilege, that you should not hold yourself above the law. you should obey the law but nevertheless it's not proposing the institutional changes that would take that choice away from officials.
officials in a sense to have a choice about whether they want to obey the law or not. one of the key symptoms of that might be this system of this double designation system which is the informal system, i guess extralegal we can call it system of detention for officials who are being put under investigation even though everybody in china, the entire legal community, not everybody but most people who look at this institution in china would agree that it has no basis in law and legally speaking it has to be considered unlawful detention or kidnapping. what about meaningful reform? there are some major reforms and i think the main one i think is quite welcome is the system calls for some significant reforms for managing judges.
so there were some words about protecting judicial tenure but it's not clear what they will amount to into we see what goes on in practice. much more concrete and more meaningful i think is a proposal to establish what is essentially a career civil service model for the judiciary. so junior judges would be selected by provincial level courts and then would start their career at the basic level courts. you will have at the provincial level a essentially a kind of judicial bureaucracy that will be looking at junior judges, assessing them, monitoring them, trying to pick out promising ones, scoble points and gradually promoting them up higher and higher. the decision doesn't exactly say who will do the coding but i think it's clear it's supposed to be in the hands of the provincial court. this is a significant reform because the models does not exist at the moment.
the way things work now is the courts are so basically slowly working their way out of the kind of model, the work unit model. the main or an important way to become a senior judge at a high level court is to start out as a junior judge at the same high level court. the same way the classic story of business success, you start off in the mailroom and then through hard work and gumption and appropriate scheming you work your way up to the ceos office. so chinese court kind of work on that model. you start off well and you work your way up. the way to become a senior judge at a high level court, how do you get there? you go to a fancy law school and judy will. if you start off at a low level court then you're probably going to stay there.
there is not now a good system for identifying promising judges at lower levels and promoting them to different courts at higher levels which isn't necessarily a disaster. into united states there was no systematic way of identifying promising judges at lower levels and promoting them to higher levels. countries like japan and germany do have civil servant judiciaries like that. so at the same time there is a bit of a problem because the decision endorses another good thing which is to say we should have a system whereby more seeing and experience people from outside the judiciary committee latter into it and they're looking at the american model where you have seen it experienced lawyers, for example, to at the peak of their career will then get a federal appointment and move sideways into the federal judiciary. there's a lot to be said for this idea but the problem is it
contradicts the idea of having the kind of career civil service model where you start off as a junior person at the lowest court and work your way up because the whole point of having the experience dignified people is they will start off at about the high level, they will not want to start off at a low level court making 5000 a month. there some contradiction that needs to be worked out. the decision calls for a significant reforms in the court system. both of these are designed to address the problem in the local protectionism. courts at a given administrative level tend to be answerable to political authority at the same level because personnel -- they are not subject to any meaningful control from superior court. that's different from say the system in japan where the supreme court operates not only
as a court of final appeal but also as it general body. so naturally because of his system of local authority, courts tend to protect any party that local political authority wants to protect. for example, promise local business. the chinese legal community has thought of this as a big problem and propose barry's ways of addressing it. one proposal that came out of the fourth plenum decision is for the supreme court to establish what they call circuit tribunals with jurisdiction over several provinces. at the moment the top court is the supreme people's court and below that our provincial level courts. there's a proposal to establish some courts that will cover several provinces. there is a misconception about this which is these are similar to a american circuit courts, that is the to be a level of course below the supreme court and above the existing courts. that's not what is contemplated.
they don't even use the word court. they use the word tribunal which tells you that is really going to be a branch of the supreme people's court and, therefore, any decision of those courts is going to be a decision of the supreme court and not of sort of a lower level court. then there is another slightly different proposal which is to establish another layer of course. a fifth layer that would across jurisdictional boundaries and then try cases that across jurisdictional. it's important to keep the different reformed street. one thing that's interesting about the communiqué is again, and osaka city, one of the things he doesn't say, this thing in particular is very interesting that it doesn't talk about and that is a proposal that was rooted at the third plenum to centralize court appointments and financing up to the provincial level.
not beyond penalties of up to the provincial level so that within any given province would be at the provincial level about appointments, personal and finances were made. and again this is very explicitly with the idea of reducing the problem of local protectionism. if it happened at the provincial level it's not going to get rid of it but i think a lot of the local protectionism takes place at the local apple, not at the provincial level. it was his proposal for to happen. there was expectation about putting this into practice, and not a peep about this proposal in the fourth plenum decision. it's hard to know why. the reform is popular among legal academics that until not so popular among judges. one reason apparently that judges fear that a more hierarchical system of authority in general will increase the power of the court leaders over them and maybe now they feel
their individual power is enhanced by being able to move sideways when have some sideways connections and, therefore, they can sometimes talk back to the leadership of the court. i'm not sure about that. the other thing which brings much more, seems much more plausible is that judges in prosperous areas fear that putting a quart finances under a higher administrative authority would mean a leveling out. a unified a salary scale for all judges within a given province is going to mean either raising the salaries of judges in poor areas or lowering the salaries of judges in which areas that they are afraid it will be lowering. certainly odd this reform seems to have stalled and that's on and unfortunate. finally, the decision announces to interfere with court cases is again a big problem and calls for the establishment of a system for keeping track of such attempts. i think this is a meaningful
reform in ambition with as much in implementation because they haven't changed the system of incentives for judges. the same system of incentives for judges that makes them responsive to these attempts by officials to interfere is going to make them reluctant to report on these attempts to interfere, to record them in a big book of interference attempts and pass them on. without a change in the system of incentives facing a judges it will see how it would be achieved on this reform. the same decision elsewhere stresses the importance of the legal, the political legal committee, and that is a party body that exists at all levels of the party. and that supervise all the organs of the people democratic dictatorship. so the court, police, and i guess the justice bureaus, they regulate lawyers as well.
it calls for party organization in all political legal bodies. to report important local marty -- mashed on one hand they're saying let's and his party control over courts. let's enhance the control of the political legal committee over courts. on the other hand, you're saying let's minimize interference by officials in the operations of course. there's a kind of contradiction and it's not clear how that is going to be resolve. certainly one would have to be incredibly naïve to think that the case was decided solely by the judges who would decide at trial. ..
show an effort even and effort even if it is perfectly realized to reduce the influence of local power holders in their operation. i should say another thing that does not appear in the report is a lot of populist language that has appeared recently in the legal system. criticisms of judges being too professional for a playing the law to things like that and again that language is not in the document and so i