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tv   CSIS Discussion on China  CSPAN  March 21, 2019 11:55am-12:57pm EDT

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j. palmer high school in colorado springs, colorado, for what it means to be american, voting. >> in this age we often lose sight of what america was founded upon. one of the most important ideals is that every man was represented. this is what makes us american. voting, the concept that everyone who is affected by government gets a say in their government. >> and the grand prize winners of $5,000 are mason doherty and eli scott from imagine international academy of north texas and mckinney, texas, for their video, what it means to be american. >> our american institution is one of the most unique in the world where citizens have the powers vested in them to hold the government accountable rather than sit around and complain. the greatest thing about the issue of corruption in the united states is that the citizens are vocal in sub doing it. in most cases people are able to recognize the nation's flaws even when politicians don't. >> over the past 15 years c-span has given away a million dollars in total prizes to the winners
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of the student cam video documentary competition. the top 21 winning entries will air on c-span in april and you can watch every winning student cam documentary online at student cam.org. >> up next a discussion on china, security and technology for the center of strategic and international studies. this is part of the schaefer series hosted by former cbs face the nation moderator, bob schaefer. [ applause ] >> well, this is a big one, and i think we have one of the strongest groups of experts that anybody has put together on this. the title, as you saw on your program is the rise of china.
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in the west, as it is in many country, we have our creation story. we have some people call it a myth. when i was -- back when i was in the air force during the vietnam era in laos is that they believe they came out of a giant pumpkin. everybody has their own myth, but the the creation story of china as kissinger pointed out, is unlike any other. unlike any other creation story, basically china was already here when the world was created. how china got here is still unknown. we should not be surprised when we talk about the rise of china that the chinese do not see it exactly the way we do. to them, what is happening today
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is china's return to the center stage. however we see it, most of the foreign policy community, i think, would tell you how we manage this relationship and how they manage this relationship is perhaps the greatest challenge facing the leadership of both countries. we also know that in the long history of the world that when the country rises to challenge the existing sole super power, in most cases it has resulted in war and the so-called validities trap. graham ellison of harvard says there have been 16 such junctures in the history of the world starting with the rise of athens which rose up to challenge sparta, and in 12 of those 16 junctures the result was more. so that is where we're heading today. we find ourselves in a great competition with china, but is it leading us closer to war or
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is it leading us toward a more stable world. that's what we want to talk about and may i say as i have already said this panel is one of the many we assembled and i encourage you to read your full biographies in your program, but let me introduce each of them briefly. michael collings is the deputy assistant director of the cia's east asia and pacific mission center. he has served in the cia since 1996 as an analyst and various times on east asia and the middle east as well as north africa and the arabian peninsula. he is joined by our own chris johnson who is senior adviser at csis, holder of the freeman chair of china studies and he's a longtime cia analyst and china watcher. victor cha down on the end holds the career at csis and he came
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here after leaving the national security council in 2007. i think he's acknowledged by most people as one of the most knowledgeable korea scholars in america today and finally margaret brennan who has best job in journalism. she's chief foreign affairs correspondent and she was a fulbright scholar and graduated with distinction where she majored in middle east studies and minored in arabic and she's a new mom. congratulations, margaret. >> thanks. >> let's set the stage here by getting a brief thought from each of you, where are we at this juncture? how would each of you describe the relationship between china and the united states? what is the correct threat being posed by china or is it a threat? so, michael, you're the active.
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you're not a former. you're the active here today, part of the government. how would you compare this juncture right now? >> well, thanks, bob. thanks for the question. thanks for your interest in the topic more generally and let me say thanks to csis and we don't do this very often and when we do, that affirms how important the issue is being discussed. so the rise of china. let me say two things about it and one thing that concerns us and one thing that does not concern us as to what the threat is and what it isn't. so the challenge we see stemming from china's rise is i would say no longer of a traditional military security or intelligence nature. it is and increasingly so and more seriously so, but even more broadly, it represent, i would argue the most serious challenge to the liberal international order, our government and our like-minded partners have stood behind for the last several
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decades. why do i say this? i see this in the open aspirations that the communist party of china under xi jinping enunciates in terms of defining aspirations with essentially a zero sum struggle for influence, leadership around the world at the expensive the norms and institutions and the liberal international order as we currently know it holds dear. the increasing understanding of how the communist party of china is defining how they want their country certainly govern the and the norms and institutions around the world that enable that with the like-minded countries actually stand behind. >> i say this as well because china is increasingly proactively using its power to establish greater influence around the world with governments and within countries with academia and media in ways that are intended to advance
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that objective. i say this as well because when you look at the standards that the communist party of china requires in its international ingaugement and the terms for arrangements, they are in direct conflict with many of the standards we have required in the international financial institutions that have advocated transparency and corruption-free assistance requiring, but the last point i want to say as well is what this threat is not. so broadly, it is an honest and i'm saying this as passionately as possible, we see a difference of view on how governments should be governed or countries should be governed. what the threat is not. the threat is not, the challenge is not necessarily coming from china's rise alone, china's economy alone, and our relationship with china, chinese people and the chinese diaspora around the world and those are
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positive forces for cooperation and change. the challenge is increasingly coming from the state, the communist party of china under xi jinping that increasingly defines its aspirations by how it desires to define its own society and home and there i think is the greatest challenge for what the united states and our partners around the world have to wrestle with as it pertains. >> victor, you're the korea expert. you know a lot about japan also. how is this situation where we find ourselves now, how is it being used in asia? >> first, i would say it's viewed as the most important question out there when we think about the future. across any metric by which we define great power status, there's only one actor out there aside from the united states that equates and that is china, and i think countries in the region, korea, japan, vietnam,
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australia, all of them understand that that this is the next big challenge for the post-war liberal international order that michael was describing. and so i think this is the big, unanswered question in international relations today going forward is how is china either going to accommodate this post-war liberal order or to what extent they're going to try to revise it, and if they seek neither to accommodate it or to revise it, but actually seek simply to destroy it with no other model to follow, many would argue that's even a worse situation. so i think many allies in asia, they are transitioning now because in the past many of them said i don't want to choose. don't make me choose between the united states and china. i would like to have my cake and eat it, too. i would like the security benefits from the united states and the economic benefits from china, but increasingly because of the things that michael described.
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many countries in the region are realizing that it's going to be harder and harder in the future to have your cake and eat it, too, because whether it's china or the united states, they are compelling choices that countries did not want to make before, whether it's things like joining the aiib or not joining it or whether it's joining the u.s. missile defense system in asia or not joining it. there are now choices that are -- that are being compelled to make, that they're having a very difficult time with. >> chris, what's your take? >> i agree with most of what's been said. i try to maybe just sharpen the point a little bit by saying that in my mind, really, china's resurgence on the world stage and the emerging blueprint that might refer to as to how they want to execute the ambitions they have, and therefore the challenge that then presents with the global international
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order is the dominant strategic narrative for the 21st century and that's as tight a bumper sticker that i would put on it and the change, the challenge is one like we've never seen before and that's why i don't like the lucidities model because a, i think it's bad history, and i won't bore people with that, but the technology has fundamentally changed the game and it has turned out, for example, to mike's point and technology has been a tremendous enabler for authoritarian regimes and much to the dismay of the fukuyamas of the world and it's not the end of history and it turns out if you have a market that's big enough and enough determination, you can use the internet in a coercive way. i also just highlight that i think it's important that we understand and we'll get into this, i'm sure. these policies did not start with xi jinping's arrival.
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my sense has always been if you understand the communist party of china's organization and its history, and much of what they're doing now should not surprise. i think what we're seeing is the underlying strategic tensions certainly between the u.s. and china have been building for a while and i believe we're in a situation now where xi jinping is an accelerate for those challenges and so is donald trump so that's making things a lot, sort of, more robust. i think the main thing to underscore here is what worked for us in the cold war with the soviet union was soviet ice lags isolation, and china is not isolated and to engage in unrestricted do mains. that is non-existent with china or seriously challenged and a lot of do mains given the close int intertwining between the two environments. >> i know for everyday viewers
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and consumers, how does this all affect me? and two things i would point out. president trump was just at a rally in ohio and talking again about china in terms of this trade deal that he expects to strike. he keeps talking about it as if it's about to happen, going to happen. we've seen the date for potential meeting with xi jinping push for the end of march, possibly out until april. nothing is on the calendar, the white house says in part because they don't want to pinned down to something because the chinese assume that if a meeting happens that means there is actually a deal and they don't want to walk in and have happen to them what happened to kim jong-un in hanoi. the two workers in ohio about the money china stealing from the u.s. and the 500 billion that he stole from the country is how he's rephrasing it and he referred to the $100, and someone who covered wall street for a long time and people
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referred to china as the world's walmart for a reason. china had cheap labor. it made things cheaper. americans like cheap deals, right? these are the things that as consumers we like how china has changed markets and there are a lot of workers in states of ohio don't like about some of these levels of competition and things and so i think you are going to hear about china on the campaign trail in 2020 in ways that people haven't quite figured out how they want to articulate policy changes and they will have some kind of trade agreement with china to complain about or praise in a few months' time because the president seems committed to a deal. what that deal looks like is really hard to describe at this point, you know. you often hear the president talk about goods and agricultural products. that is something that politically will resonate for him. you don't necessarily hear the particulars of what the trade dispute is supposed to be about which is about technology transfer and all of these kind
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of esoteric things that may not resonate on the campaign trail and mean a heck of a lot of people investing there in terms of trying to set up businesses and that's something that i'm constantly tracking. the other thing i would point out that i haven't quite figured out how to digest yet is i thought it was very notable that secretary of state pompeo in the past week and a half or so has used much stronger language in terms of china's human rights abuses in the way that as a, the united states you would expect the u.s. to talk about. pointing out that close to a million people are believed to be rounded up in parts of china, muslim minorities and the language used by the state department twice was saying we haven't seen something like this since the 1930s. that's pretty stark language to compare it to. it didn't get a lot of attention because you haven't heard it from the white house yet. secondly, one thing that stood out to me about that, a that he's talking about it at all because this administration is
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often accused of pulling punches on human rights. so it's a little bit off pressure, i think, interestingly starting to happen on this front that if the trade deal gets done that we hear more about or maybe we'll hear from higher levels than the secretary of state and perhaps carrying some consequence with it largely has had zero consequences thus far. >> so i guess our people are going back to china next week, right? >> mnuchin and houser. >> to start negotiations. what -- does anybody have any thoughts? do you think they'll get a great deal? >> i'll take a stab at it. i think we will get one eventually. as margaret was saying the devil is in the details and one of the levels that we've face side we've gotten into the process and for those who have to watch it it's very painful and there is a cycle that happens in these negotiations which is the sort of hawkish elements which are really defined by lighthouser
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and the administration saying we have to have a deal that is not just transactional. it has to be meaningful and it has to address the very valid, u.s. and community concerns about industrial policy in china and subsidies of state-owned enterprises and the regime's use of a coercive regulatory tool kit and these sort of issues, structural issues, let's call them versus buying more stuff versus soybeans and other things that are on the table and what we tend to see is the cycle where the hawks are ascendant for a while and markets begin to become skittish that nothing is actually going to get done. trump starts to panic because he sees the markets going down and he gets on his people to just get this across the finish line. i've seen at least ten cycles of this and take this off next year and i think we're in another one of those cycles and for example, the most recent trip that we're seeing emerge is very interesting and my understanding is the treasury department that leaked the upcoming trip to the
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press because yesterday markets were going down based on stories over the weekend that they wanted to, arrest that. the trip was already planned and they wanted to dive in. we keep seeing this over and over again. my sense is let's see what comes out of this next round. i don't think expectations are high on either side. mainly, let's keep up appearances and as margaret was saying we keep the date being pushed and it turns out this is hard to do. this negotiation if it's serious is far more complex than china's obsession to the wto and that took a decade to negotiate. >> we have seen the chinese government evolve. as i was reading to get ready for this today, i read where someone remarked that xiaoping, as power was passed for mao, but the political system was not open and this observer said perhaps because they saw what happened to gorbachev and the
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collapse of the soviet union, but how does that affect our dealing with china. michael? >> stepping back from the day to day on the bilateral negotiations and what's happening is the great reflection of fundamental differences into how we see economies and how they want economies being governed. i think more recently on xi jinping's ascendance, in particular and the authoritarian control in that society and the elimination and moving past the collective leadership structure to be sure and the political opening was not necessarily the thing to have, but at the same time we have the collective leadership structure and the consolidation of greater communist party control over all things china.
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>> all things within china and all things chinese outside of china as they themselves enunciate. the idea that political reform will follow as international relations theory might suggest international engagement assumes that the economic openness and the economic reform is an end to be achieved itself. i would submit that the fundamental end of the communist party of china under xi jinping will control the society politically and economically. so that the economy is being viewed and affected and controlled to achieve a political end, thinking about opening up the politics to help enable what we would think are the reforms needed to achieve an economic end and therein, i think is the greatest challenge right here in this particular issue we're discussing. how this plays out, i like the way victor framed this more
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broadly stepping back. how this actually plays out and in particular not just what happens in our relationship, our bilateral relationship and how others actually react to this. how the other partners who are wrestling with china on these same issues and how the international trading and financial institutions respond to that, i think this is going to be a key moment to how this plays. >> and what -- and what michael is describing is a domestic issue for china, but it's a domestic issue that has all sort of international ramifications precisely because china is a great power or it is or will be the great power. i mean, the sort of domestic makeup and choices that great powers make historically has all sorts of ripple effects for other countries in the system. there is a reason why the united states in its leadership role after world war ii also saw the third wave of democratization in the world and we are seeing democratic backsliding in the
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world in no small part because you have countries like russia and china, and russia back in the game and the united states sort of receding from the scene. so what might describe china has repercussions for the way that we think about regime-type democracy and domestic choices around the world. >> it does, because the two dilemmas the chinese communist party faces are they have a requirement to break through the middle income trap to keep themselves in power. they are in a performance-based legitimacy system and they have no choice, but to succeed on that. secondly, as they rise in power and prestige, they have a desire to gain international legitimacy. they need to do both of these things, but they don't want to do the political system and yet they know most of the successful cases especially in asia who have conquered those various things have done so in part through democratization. this is the challenge.
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they are determined not to follow the democratization path so it leads them in certain tracks and industrial policy on the economy and making the world safe for china's unique government system on the international space. you know, margaret, one of the things we haven't talked about in connection with the economy and trade is security, national security. there's no question that the administration clearly wants to rein in china's economical and technological ambitions and to stop china from playing a role in the next iteration of the technological revolution and the so-called 5gs that we talk about that i had to go look that up. >> i think a lot of people, though, even in the government will say yes, 5g is important and you ask them what they mean and then you have to talk to somebody else.
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>> it's the fifth generation of this technology. >> right. exactly. >> which just proves what john connolly said which said all government are the same once you find out the jargon and then you're set. maybe you have common sense, but there was a very interesting story in "the new york times," i guess, was it day before yesterday. the headline was allies are spurning campaign by the united states to block whhuawei, the chinese telecom giant and clearly, there is a concern about security there. what's that all about, margaret? >> there is, and i think a lot of that was based around some verbal sparring with the german government in particular. huawei, there are so many levels to this story, but in this country, you have heard, you know, it's one of the interesting things that few
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bipartisan issues agreement is that china is a threat, right? but it's exactly what you do about that and how you counter it, you can run the gamut. marco rubio of florida has been championing for some time this effort in the united states to specifically block huawei and zte to companies from being able to sell products here. there's been pressure, politically to ban certain products with the idea that they can be used to be a national security threat to the united states if they're sold to consumers. >> they have a back door into it. >> essentially, yes. yet pentagon has already implemented some of these bands, but in terms of everyday consumers, that's what people like marco rubio are talking about trying to block them out of the market and it led to this, and if you remember the twitter messages that the president had posted about a personal call from xi jinping a year ago about cte and that company and how important it was. all of this is -- all of this is
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a long, complicated story, but it gets to this bigger question of are chinese companies actually, you know, capitalist entities within a communist system or are they arms of the chinese government? that's the fundamental question this comes down to and how they view it and most republican senators, particularly marco rubio would argue the pla and these companies are the same thing and therefore they shouldn't be having access to our market. we're trying to tell our allies, this is also a risk, as well, but i don't find and i'm sure michael probably can't comment on this. i'd love to know what he thinks about it. >> we'll ask, don't worry. >> but you find a difference of opinion because i had asked lighthouser, the trade representative, when he was on my program a while ago when he thought about band it is like that and he said when i pressed him on it that he wasn't in favor, but it doesn't seem like that's where the administration is right now. i can't articulate what the
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administration's policy is on this. i don't know what it is. >> so, michael, is this something we ought to be worried about? >> i would say there are three aspects to the challenge behind the stepping back and let me say one thing up front. i think the irony of what we're talking about in terms of economic engagement. i do find it ironic when you step back and you think in the free and liberal economic order that we stood behind, no country has actually benefited more in their economic ascendance than china from that international economic order that we have maintained and the free and liberal principles that have allowed china to actually engage in our country to acquire the technology they're acquiring to achieve what they're trying to do with things like 5g and at the same time no country has historically more threatened in that order than china currently does. i find that irony noteworthy, but the threat that comes from this, one is on the national security standpoint and not just for us, but the countries around the world. that vital technology and that innovative expertise and capability that gives our
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country and other countries strength is at risk. by all of the means by which the chinese go about acquiring that and there is one aspect of the threat. the second is how they use that capability. saying nothing specifically about 5g, per se, but from a military security dimension. whatever are the greatest concerns are increasingly in those areas that require high-end technology and areas in cyber and space and electronic warfare where the norms of the road have not been established and in our national security process we adhere to norms when we utilize such technology. first point. second point, look at how china usees that technology domestically. look at what is happening in xinjiang. look at what is happening to repress free and oppression and the laws that are in the books
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requiring chinese entities to have that technology to have called upon to have called support to the security services of china, not just in china, but overseas. that's why this is a risk and that's why this is a challenge. >> i think before we leave this one, bob, it's important to underscore the issue because it's such a microcosm for the china challenge that we started with in terms of trying to get allies and partners to work with us and the reason you're seeing some of the pushback you highlighted is because the allies are saying to our government, you're asking us to rip all of this stuff out of our systems and our governments are with you, but our business communities may not necessarily be with you, so how about some evidence. that's one issue, and it's very difficult because no one questions that huawei rips off technology and they admitted there is a long standing issue there, and it's an issue of how do you prove a negative in terms of back doors and those sort of
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things and the allies are saying we're doing this at your request and there's the skin for you. your semiconductor companies are making a profit selling to huawei, and banning huawei from sales to huawei, but you don't do it so it creates strains in the alliance in an era where our credibility is arguably less than what it once was. >> victor, i'll ask you this next question. to me, the most interesting thing that i learned reading that article, it was deep in the article about our allies rebelling against us telling them not to do business with huawei. deep in the story i found an interesting paragraph saying the president has repeatedly undercut his own justice department which laid out a sweeping criminal indictment against huawei and its chief financial officer and previously
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he had eased penalties on another chinese telecom firm zte. it also said in that article that some in the government and michael collins, i won't ask you to comment on this, but some in the government are concerned that he might try to put some of this into a trade deal. >> yeah. yeah. >> well, i mean, it's a great point. i think what this comes down to, my colleagues were describing and it's questions lick huawei and zte that raises the three choices that we have with china with regard to this. one of them is -- and perhaps some of our allies would prefer we do this which is just to muddle through, and basically say as chris said, let's just get them to buy more stuff. reduce the trip merchandise trade and just buy more stuff and let's just muddle through, right?
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what lighthouser and what michael was talking about, the second way is to really try to negotiate meaningful agreements with china that protect technology and prevent theft, that essentially regulate the behavior so that the united states and china can work together in the future which is probably the hardest path forward and then the third path is the one that allies are rebelling against which is just this idea that we just disconnect. let's just disconnect. let's rip out all of the hardware and let's just disconnect and that is the most dramatic path and that is the choice we're pushing on to allies according to the article and in many ways, that's the hardest one for the allies to do for the reasons that chris just mentioned. >> the other challenge is we don't make this stuff in the usa anymore. we allow an industry to disappear here. we didn't let that happen in the aerospace areas so there are a
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few alternatives. there's erickson and huawei and without coalition and there are a lot of thoughts on how to do that and a lot of people don't have choices and huawei is chief which is attractive toward the developing one? i would like to ask you all, we just had the summit in hanoi with kim jong-un. margaret was there. victor knows a lot about it. what did china want to happen there? what does china want? how do they want this situation to be resolved? >> so margaret can comment. she was there -- i was covering for nbc, not cbs -- [ laughter ] so i would say a couple of things. the first thing is the absence of an agreement out of hanoi was not something that chinaa wanted. china wanted to see some sort of agreement. i think as we all know, their bottom line is stability on the
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korean peninsula and they do not want to see crises as we saw in 2017 and they would like to see some sort of agreement out of hanoi. many of us are surprised that there wasn't one and i was quite surprised that there wasn't an agreement, and i'm kind of worried about the path forward, but i think the bottom line for china is they would like to see some sort of agreement that ensures there's not more testing by north korea that compels political crises for the united states. of course, they would like to see some practical things done with regard to the north korea nuclear test site which sits on the chinese border. i don't feel that they are deeply vested in denuclearization of the korean peninsula like the united states and its allies are, but i think that they're probably as concerned as the south koreans are about the absence of an agreement and hanoi and where we
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go from here. >> south korea has had a tremendous impact on the government there. am i not correct? >> by far the biggest losers out of hanoi were the south koreans because they had so much invested in this engagement with north korea. they're the ones that will have to try to pick up the diplomatic pieces. there's clearly a gap between the united states and north korea on what is a potential deal of sanctions for denuclearization, and you know, it's going to be -- the ball is effectively in north korea's court and anybody who has negotiated with north korea, when we say the ball is in north korea's court, it's not going anywhere. >> and it is -- so the south koreans, i think, will now try to work very hard to try to find some sort of diplomatic half way point. >> i don't think the chinese would mind if the troops went south any time soon which is something that the president said when we sat for an interview with him that it was something he'd never even thought about, but in the future
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he would like to bring those troops home and it is quite costly, but we're not talking about it right now leaning into the idea that maybe it's not so crazy to float the concept. so i'm sure china was hoping for a different conclusion on that particular issue of a peace arrangement, as well. i thought it was interesting we had it in vietnam in the first place, as the summit and there was a lot of talk about that, look, a country america was at war with and now a friend. when i go to vietnam with past secretaries, this is a country so stuck between china and the u.s. all of the time. that's what i was thinking that that was more of a sitting parallel for the summit, but i mean, i think china muddling through is always what they kind of want. they don't want conflict. what's interesting to me when i talk to administration officials now about how this played out and i think it's very clear that john bolton was happy withes this position sort of winning out and in terms of taking a harder line that they, as i
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believe you said publicly now in a few interviews, floating this idea that further sanctions are possible. i think that presumes that china will be onboard for those sanctions. i don't know that they are, but there's this idea that you could see china and the rest of the international community tighten this on ship to ship transfers like cheating the sanctions andmore pressure north korea. so that's really where i'm not clear where china's going to end up on that question, if they're going to continue to help us play hard ball. >> they probably will. >> i think that's the interesting piece in all of this. china itself has been on a huge roller coaster ride during this process. the scariest thing that happened to them is the u.s. president willing to engage with the north koreans and i think their game was a stabilizing long game. initially, i think probably to their detriment or that's how they describe it now they believed when president trump said to them work hard on north korea with me and i'll get this trade stuff off your back, you
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know? >> which he said explicitly to john dickerson. they help us here and they'll get a better deal. >> they gummed up the border pretty well and did more than i think most people acknowledge, but they now believe that they overdid it. nose, they worked hard and they in fact they got another $200 million in tariffs. so now i think that's stratd gee is so micromanage the north koreans and five summits whereas in previous rule they had none. the chinese have him reasonably under control and the rest let it play. >> michael, did you want to add anything? >> three points. i think it's in the context of what broadly we see china trying to achieve in northeast asia as well as what they're trying to avoid in that process. so clearly trying to achieve a weakening of the u.s. security influence and presidents in all of our lines in particular with
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south korea, and clearly trying to be influential on issues that matter in the region for issues not necessarily specific to the united states and to the region itself. and clearly trying to avoid instability on their borders and in particular right on the border in the form of north korea and it's noteworthy comments to sharpen it in addition to what they didn't want to see happen in the process being certainly a return to a major increase in the temperature that could get into a situation where things can unfold markedly and they would have the crisis on the border. second is an accelerated resolution of the issue whereby, the importance of that issue, that is important to the united states or therefore it gives them leverage with us on various issues. a rapid resolution on the issue especially one within which the
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united states certainly remains a solid provider of security on the peninsula, thereby undermining broadly what the chinese strategically are trying to achieve is something that china is not eager to see and last, but on the troop presence, yes, i think it's noteworthy the narrative on china in talking about the removal of troops from the peninsula is certainly on their radar. it's on their radar screen in terms of things they want to avoid, but i don't know if that's necessarily the case and the rest of the region is certainly on the peninsula. >> we haven't talked about the artificial islands that china has been building out there in the pacific. are they no longer artificial and are they going to be there forever? >> think they're still artificial.
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they're getting more artificial by the day and that's the challenge. you know, the u.s., in my sense, missed the boat on this one. we had an opportunity in the incident in 2012 and this was a territory that was controlled by the philippines, the chinese were making an effort there. there was an agreement that was brokered diplomatically, that they would use an approaching typhoon as an excuse for everybody to just go home, the filipinos did, the chinese didn't and the important part is there were no consequences for that decision by the chinese. and that set the stage for the ambitious program we saw after ward. china would have done so over a much longer time horizon than one to two years and so we face a situation where the administration is doing this and they deserve credit for this and even more aggressive operations between the 12-mile zone, but the only way to undo it is
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something we might term rollback with the nuclear power. so that's a very challenging situation and in effect, do those islands mean to us and so far we're not seeming to suggest that it does. >> i have some questions from the audience, but while you're thinking of a question, i want to ask margaret, what's the latest news on mike pompeo. is he going to run for the senate? >> asking that question will get you a heck of an answer, a sharp one. the secretary of state does not like being asked about that, but as we know, he did talk to mitch mcconnell about it. he's saying for the moment, he's staying in the administration. i would not rule it out in the future to see him run for office there, but do you want to go from being fourth in line to the presidency and the junior senator from kansas? >> i don't know. perhaps within the next few years, but he keeps saying on the record that he's staying for
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the moment. i asked the president about this during our interview. first he told me it was fake news and then when i said no, the secretary has actually said he talked to mitch mcconnell about it and he said well, i asked him and he said no. he's not leaving. >> one reporter who asked him this question said he told him that he would let the lord decide over the weekend. so i don't have any sources there. >> no. >> i don't know how to check that out. >> are any of the rest of you hearing anything along that line? >> michael, you're excused from this. >> he has spent a heck of a lot of time in the american heartland for a secretary of state. i will say that, very recently doing a lot of speeches in ways that typically secretaries of state speak to local media overseas and the secretary and the state department explained that to say this is part of the china policy, talking to farmers in iowa. this is part of recruiting, he has said, to bring in more people from the heartland instead of all of the elites who
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are running our government, he has said and that is the official explanation for why he's spending so much time in iowa recently. >> he's waiting for the weekend. who has a question? right here. here it comes. >> please identify yourself, as well. >> hi, my name is angelita. my question is so russia and china are actually after global supremacy and they have learned their economic lessons from the past administrations, but i think the silent problem is the partnership actually between russia and china, which the united states still has to accept to learn and how to make a long-term strategy and how to deal with both, and then my other question which i want your opinion, please. it's really the domestic
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bickering in the united states which takes time from shaping up global foreign policies and economically, politically and militarily. i mean, it seems to be, the leverage of xi jinping, and putin, is that they have -- they have centralized positions, and their administration is quite long term. unlike the united states where we are quite dependent on who is the political party in line, and then the lawmakers are bickering about the political situation and investigation and all of that. so what do you think is the best global security or how to deal long term with russia and china given your expertise? thank you. >> go ahead. >> thanks for the question. >> i have to say, this is, as i said i don't do a lot of these things a lot, but the ones i have done the majority of the time is on russia. we haven't mentioned russia yet, but thank you for bringing it up. for the rightful concerns that
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we have about russia's attempt to undermine u.s. standing around the world continuing, for all that they're trying to achieve and china as a source of concern we also have to think about china as a source of concern. russia is more able to get away with being assertive and coercive and meddling because it can sort of count on if not legally, officially count on the backing of china who has shared sort of mutual interests in underlining the u.s. standing around the world. vice versa, china doesn't have to get their hans dirty as much and they are doing things arne the world meddling in the affairs of other countries and not worrying about getting caught doing so and that also undermine, to the extent it undermines u.s. standing and credibility, it all supports in the end that the influence the chinese are trying to acquire that's noteworthy.
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>> solidarity, stepping back and stop sol dare the with the partners and friends and like minded countries around the globe is the answer to a lot of these issues and the extent to which the partners stand behind us on the issues we stand for and our adversaries see that, as well and chris' point about the south china sea, we talk about an adversary's threat to us, three things matter, capability and the third thing i call resolve and the ability to calculate over time what did i learn to get away with, right? it's in the reading with the arena if we're successful of moderating the behavior of not just china, but russia and what we do to achieve the perception of resolve and pushback as chris says was not there in the case of the south china sea, and i think we're more effective and to that point, russia and china, they're not allies. i think it's noteworthy, when we talk about alliances what the
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united states stands for and the principles how that underpins mutual interest, the russia-china relationship is more of one of strategic solidarity and convenience over mutual interests, but i wouldn't go so far to say that the values that underpin what we know to underpin the alliances and necessarily there. >> i think there is an important distinction to be made between russia and china's efforts to achieve it, versus china's efforts to undermine the u.s. order. >> a lot of the activities focused on undermining the u.s. order, but in terms of achieving hegemony, after they achieve their power and influence actually provide goods to the international system because they want to maintain their new order. the concern is that russia and china, whether allies or not are seeking to undermine u.s. hegemony and really still take from the system without giving anything back. the united states at the end of world war ii going forward.
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we took from the international system and we also took back from the international system. there's always this comparison of china's one road with the marshall plan. i mean, one belt, one road and all of these other activities by the chinese are bakley, these are loans they're giving out. they tracked diplomacy. the marshall plan wants grants. that was money we gave to europe to help reconstruct europe. so it's a very different thing that we're talking about when we talk about efforts to undermine american hegemony and china and russia's efforts to achieve their own agenda. they're interested in undermining u.s. influence and they're not interested in replacing the united states which leaves us overall with a much worse order than we could possibly have today. >> okay. another question? how about toward the back? >> warren cohen, wilson center. what about taiwan?
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[ laughter ] >> i didn't hear the question. >> what about taiwan? >> oh, yes, good question. >> that's a big topic. can you be a little more specific? >> sure. i heard roy the other day arguing that we should be very careful to protect the one china policy and stop screwing around with taiwan. then i heard corey gardner and others on the hill who had been arguing for stronger ties with taiwan to push further for taiwan's independence. where do you see the pressure that xi jinping and others are putting on taiwan now and the american response? >> sure. thank you. that's much clearer. >> i'll give it a shot. >> you know, i think a lot has been made, xi jinping made a major speech on taiwan recently and a lot has been made of it especially its content which seemed to suggest let's have reunification sooner rather than later which is some theme of it. there was a sense of urgency in
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that -- in that speech, but a lot of the language and content was actually sort of in the new bottles very similar to previous speeches that had been done. two things i would just point out. one, it's very striking that the u.s. government through the defense intelligence agency this year decided that they uponed to publish something in an unclassified state that said basically the chinese military now believes it can do that mission and win. so that is something that should give a lot of us pause. the second, i think, and perhaps more fundamental is we see china using a lot of the tactics of russia to influence taiwan's democracy, and i think that really is the bigger threat as opposed to a d-day-style invasion because it's cheap, it's relatively successful and taiwan's domestic politics can be quite polarized and we see the ruling party is about to have a factional split between the premier and the president over running for president and
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so on and china will be deeply involved in all of that. i happened to be in taiwan during the run-up municipal elections and it is a deep concern and in a lot of ways that is the larger threat and as to the role of the u.s. taiwan is learning a lot of lessons in this process and certainly the phone call with then president-elect trump was a huge win for taiwan, but they got a lot of backlash from the mainland which i suppose they should have seen coming and it's not necessarily clear they did, and there is a risk, i think, for taiwan in some cases on this of being in a position of sort of don't love us too much to the americans because they are always the ones that are sort of caught in the middle. to come back to several comments mike made, it is maybing it easier for voices to emerge to say we ought to be supporting the democracy and that's taiwan and not the ccp and
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ideology-driven socialist state so you can argue that new forces are being unleashed in that relationship which would then test those that say the one china policy was decided at the time of the reforming of relations and it has to be managed strictly. it's very messy, i think, for all three parties. >> okay. >> anybody over on this side? right here. this right here. >> good evening. i'm jen runnion, currently a student at georgetown. given the fact that chinaa has recently issued a polar strategy, i was wondering your thoughts on china's aspirations as a polar power. >> who would like to talk about that? we're all looking at mike. >> i'll give a quick answer and everyone else can jump in. they clearly have one and want
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to be involved in the issue, and i think there's a sense -- this is another area, actually where the points that have been made by all of us today about alliances and the importance of alliances, the nordic countries are very worried about this. they're seeking u.s. assistance. i think it will be important for us to show some leadership. i think there's certainly a question as to whether some of the fear of china's ambition in this area is slightly overrot. so for they're talking a lot and not doing much. but we have situations where they have the largest fleet i believe of ice breakers in the world. they have serious and trade and economic reasons for wanting to be involved out there. and i think in that aspect they do seem to share the russian philosophy of look at all these minim minerals and economic
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opportunity. so, again, this is an area where it's kind of on low boil but it's getting stronger and it's an opportunity for the u.s. to perhaps show leadership in managing the process. >> one more question. let's see, have we gotten anybody from over in this area. how about right there? >> hi, julian barns from the "new york times." i was wondering if mr. collins would engage on the question of whether as the panel brought up a possible ban on u.s. exports to not just huawei but other chinese companies, would that have any affect on china's ability to surveil, control their own societies. some of the things you pointed out that are concerning about china's rise. is there any raise for the united states to hamper that sort of ability to exercise
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social control over their own people and furthermore could that slow the rise of huawei until a western competitor can catch up? >> i think it's a great question. the -- one of the realities out there that is not openly widely enough discussed is just how dependent technology still is on its access to the international arena. not just the united states but elsewhere. despite the idea that huawei has -- owns the five g system from start to finish, there's parts -- there's dependencies they still have on capabilities and access they need from others around the globe. and that doesn't apply just to 5-g technology. it's the priority shithe presid
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is putting on these major technologies around the world as much as they aspire to achieve that, that depends on access they still have to the technology, the expertise, the data, the intellectual property they know they can get elsewhere. i would say there is a vulnerability in terms of china's ability to be dominant in those spaces by the fact they still have to have access to innovative capability. >> i think i would add to that, because of that dependency, look at things like the budding relationship between china and israel rather closely. >> all right. on that. i know how to get off on time. thank you all for coming. [ applause ] tonight on american history
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tv, a discussion on statues and plaques in the west that morning u.s. military leaders who had a hand and killing and forcing the removal of native american tribes. the western history association is the host of this event and you can see it tonight starting at 8:00 eastern starting on c-span3. when congress returns next week from their recess, the house plans to vote on overriding president trump's veto. the house approved that resolution 245-182 short of the two-thirds needed. you can watch the debate in the house live on c-span. and in the senate next week, lawmakers will work on a judicial nomination for the appeals court district covering the western u.s. and later in the week federal disaster aid and a vote to begin debate on a resolution concerning the green new deal. follow live senate coverage on
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c-span2. >> sunday night, historian victor davis hanson talking about his book called "the case of president trump" which looks at the presidency of donald trump. he's interviewed by former virginia republican congressman dave brad. >> the left is in a conundrum and they don't know -- they anticipated their da -- they're not sure how to make people vote according to their skin color rather than the content of their character. i think they're in a delimb ma. and donald trump is going around the black and say you in detroit and newark, i'm going to get you better jobs in a way that they never did. you don't have to tell anybody
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you're voting for me, just go and vote. they're so leveraged to having -- they can't afford any hemorrhaging. >> watch sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. >> once tv was simply three giant networks and a government-supported service called pbs. then a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers decide all on their own what wastant to them. c-span opened the doors to washington policy making for all to sebringie. in the 40 years since the landscape has changed. there's no monolithic mediaing. c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports

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