tv Cross Talk RT April 22, 2013 8:29am-9:00am EDT
the americans say their pivot is a natural reallocation of resources and the chinese see it as a regional policy of containment. across the chinese defense concerns i'm joined by and you'll group in washington he is a professor of strategy and globalization at the university of maryland and in c. ard also in washington we have matthew venza he is an associate editor of the china channel at the atlantic and in boston we cross to john walsh he is a contributor to counterpunch and antiwar dot com as well as a founding member of come home america right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want john if i go to you first in boston do you think that the chinese feel like this is a policy of containment we had containment during the cold war of the soviet union we have containment of iran now so china's next well i think there's little doubt about that because the united states secretary john kerry's secretary of state says
and others say that we the united states is sending sixty percent of a vast military armada to to the to the east asia the western pacific now they say the excuse given is there's more economic activity there so the u.s. needs to send troops. well down the street here there's a sale that i'm a small that there's a lot of economic activity do we need to send troops it is it is just an absurdity it's a nonsense as far as keeping the seas open there are no want to start and to close the seas china needs open seas for its development so that doesn't make sense i think that this is yet another attempt by the united states to maintain its. status in the world and
i think there's a bit of panic going on here in the united states foreign policy establishment because if they cannot break china up then the united states is destined if china is to become a moderately prosperous country and bring wellbeing to its citizens then the united states will be set in place just for a few of the different population i think so i think it was it was a bit of good or bad at first it won't go ahead ok fine. well i mean i think there's a lot more to the pivot to asia than simply containment of china i think that that's a very simplistic rendering of the idea and i wouldn't be i also wouldn't be overly sanguine about the ceiling issue fact that there is never been a threat to the sea lanes doesn't mean that there never could be a threat and i think the united states has
a legitimate interest in protecting the sea lanes in global commerce and it isn't just washington's interest you also have to consider several of the other countries in the region that have very very advanced trade relations with the u.s. japan and south korea the philippines those countries are also. would prefer washington's activity in that in the east asia region particularly in relation to the ceiling. in what in washington which i can reply to what we've already heard yes exactly because i mean you know basically the last thing we should expect last thing the chinese would expect or any other government to expect is that for the u.s. to act irrationally and you know i mean given that asia has about fifty five percent of the world's population it's more than thirty percent of world g.d.p. by another ten years asia will be more than us and europe combined by g.d.p. and so and of course you know economic power and military power. you know highly
correlated in the medium to long term and so it's rational for the u.s. to be focusing in terms of quote unquote the paper economic political pay but towards asia that's number one number two is so we should not expect the u.s. to act irrationally and that's the invasion of iraq was a rational was and it wasn't that irrational and we of course it was that action of that was completely stupid on the us part but just because the us acted irrationally doesn't mean that it's good for the u.s. to keep acting irrationally for ever number one number two. is that we should not make the mistake of looking at this as a u.s. versus china because in this day and age what we're talking about coalitions and actually if the u.s. was you know kind of jumping into asia uninvited that would be one thing i could imagine you know kind of. a lot of concern about that but u.s. is being invited back you look at japan south korea look at in fact china ally for
long times singapore and of course vietnam philippines malaysia indonesia australia india and so when the u.s. is being invited back we have to look at the correlation that's concerned about the robustness on china's part john you want to jump in could i come to listen to go ahead please i please claim since i seem to be i seem to be in the minority here. i think that when one talks about japan and south korea one must remember that those are both occupied countries u.s. forces that is not trivial secondly i think that you have to look with the u.s. foreign policy establishment is saying richard armitage former undersecretary of state and joseph nye were recently and a trip to japan an unofficial mission but blessed by x.
secretary of state hillary clinton and before that they wrote an article. i believe it was in foreign affairs i can't recall i think it was in foreign affairs. and what they were trying to do in that article is essentially go to japan into confronting china you know absent. in the comments of of the other two can see here is any acknowledgement that the united states is running an empire with hundreds of military bases all around the globe second i mean what i have to say and i would say just one more thing that clearly i mean there are not necessarily a mistake because the policy in the united states in the middle east and i think in the world is either submit or be destroyed ok good point i mean watching iraq has replied lawry did not submit libya to destroy the rule in a little jealous to the proverbial pineal go ahead we have to face it. we have to wait a second john you know to say that the us is an occupier in japan and south korea
is fundamentally to misinterpret the reality u.s. yes a strong military ally of japan and south korea and clearly has defense treaty with both countries but you know i mean i come from india and i know about british rule and british occupation of india and essentially the industrial revolution in britain in the nineteenth century was fueled from india you know so occupiers in the past have always have had a history of actually emasculating the countries that occupied look at how japan and south korea have performed with the you know under the alliance with the us they have tried to call it an occupation is complete nonsense matt you want to jump in there because they were not going to match for instance going to match mat ok fine fine what i what i want to say is this i think both of you both of the fellow guests are interpreting that pivot is
a much too grandly the pivot to asia really isn't all that much i mean it's something it's just a simple term to describe something that's been happening over the last decades anyway and we also cannot forget the political component of the of the pivot to asia which is this president obama wanted to send signal a clear. you know that the u.s. was less interested than the previous administration in war in. war in the middle east and wants to be in focus on relations in east asia because in the long term that's far more important john you want to. well i would agree that in large part to the united states because it. sort of bogged down in the middle east because the largely because of the impact of the israeli lobby has not been able to counter china in the way it would like but i'd like to i'd like to go to henry kissinger here for
a second. henry kissinger in his book on china which is not a bad book actually talks about a fundamentally different culture in china from that of the west and i think we should listen to him on this point because for example if you look at the fifteenth century when china was the most powerful nation in the world it sent out ships bigger than anything columbus would dream of one hundred years later traded. it it traded it explored but unlike the west it did not conquer it did not in slaves that is the western tradition and if you think we've escaped that history. and i mean the way things look british empire is really i mean but the united states and hired i mean this was a neil going it's plain as the nose on your face. you know quite obvious wait a second. second you know you look at china look at china in the fifteenth century and say that somehow that's
a good indicator of china today is completely wrong it's like saying let's you know forget about anything that's really yours back you know but not about but but wait a second i mean the mobius look at the u.s. under george bush and you know from two thousand to two thousand eight and to say about you know the white house today is the same leadership it is cheney is the same what is it what is the biggest differences what is the biggest difference. what is the biggest difference or any difference is there any to if you know the previous president. but wait a second you talk about irrationality in iraq and afghanistan and that irrationality took place under the previous president it's not necessary yes certainly the president if he had to tell you those policies hello to him but he when he was sacked. i kneel makes a good point but let's go from the fifteenth century to today and let's look at two things about china today it's this world's second largest economy it has not one
single overseas base as compared to the united states with hundreds secondly in the white paper the chinese speak over and over again right gentlemen i'm going to have to jump in at this point we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on china state with party. leaders. ok going out. all.
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welcome back to cross out where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to mind who were discussing china's pivot. ok newfangled back to you in one china's china acting rationally i mean you brought up the issue of rationality go ahead. i think china is acting rationally rationally meaning what's good for china on. at least in the short to medium term that doesn't necessarily mean that china especially or the u.s. stash anality or the irrationality on the part of the us here and countries necessarily is aligned you know because it's like to combat and if you go and each may act rationally but it doesn't necessarily mean that bit of alignment you know clearly china energy needs a massive of and you know projecting out for the next twenty years china energy
dependence on the rest of the world is going to increase and if you look at what's happening in south china sea what's happening you know with the islands of you know there are. reports indications of estimates of four significant oil and gas reserves so i think that's a huge part of what you know china wants to be able to own that to control that and it's good for china now whether china can get away with that get away with it because players matt jump in when you think about that. well i mean yes i agree with the professor mean it's a case where the pivot to asia is both countries acting rationally in that you know you have china that is also growing and china has a sphere of influence that it wants to operate you know has laid expansive claims over the east china sea in the south china sea they claim these territories for a very long time but only recently have they really had the muscle to to act on
these claims and for the united states has an interest of course in maintaining its a gemini over the sea lanes in the east china sea as well as as a partnerships with countries like japan and korea malaysia so i don't think we should say that there is any this is a case where one country is is misbehaving or one country is acting irrationally because it simply isn't true this is something that was inevitable and that's something that is in the term pivot to asia i believe is simply branding it's simply a way to refer to something that was happening already and it's going to continue it isn't new ok john what do you think about that. i mean why do you need the military for why the military all the time well that was going to be one of the points i was going to make you why just as i said when i started out if we have a sale at macy's down the street with there's lots of economic activity we have to send the military down there i don't think so it is i think that. when i watch my
legs let me just point later the condition of the length of the turret there is a there is a washington centric view if you if you get inside the beltway the idea of washington and the and the united states is the savior of the world and in enforcer of human rights is solid but if you go out into the rest of the world you begin to encounter a challenge johnson's books you know empire of bases and blowback and that's the reality here and to turn our impact and this no id military empire the biggest the world has ever seen and attribute to it after what we've seen in libya syria iraq iran but nine motives i think that's the height of folly that's not the reality we're having with. all these a very no aggressive what larry all of us read in that china or here and we have to realize that you know neal go ahead in washington jump in i think i think i think i
think it's fundamentally wrong to look at it as a u.s. centric perspective in fact you have to look at it first and foremost as a centric issue and the players in this game that's being played out not just the u.s. and china it's not just the chinese view u.s. view you have to look at other players within asia you cannot just say that japan doesn't matter south korea doesn't matter doesn't matter philippines indonesia malaysia singapore india they don't matter the only thing that matters is china what kind of an argument is that you want to apply to that go ahead i'm not making they're going to let me john you want to reply to that and saying is this the argument you made the argument is that you know what is green and i had to bring in any. i agree i mentioned south korea i mentioned south korea i mentioned japan if you don't read well you don't get mine i call it a right scuse me if you bring in the third one if you want
a pretty good instance of aggressive imperial movement consider remember that the war in vietnam left two to four million people dead according to robert mcnamara that was not the act of a but now if so why is the dog inviting us back and one of the next to me is already in that job because i think you raise an excellent question you raise an excellent question about asian powers and asian countries being the determinant of what goes on in asia may i remind you the united states is not an ancient power it's half a world away it doesn't belong there you know i think we talk about how to get what experiences and lighted by asian countries don't be asian countries have a right to invite the united states you think the asian country said no to any but in both. in both south korea and japan there are large peace movements that want the us out of there so who's doing the inviting that one policy established by
linked in but then again and i get and just because it is a little bit lower i don't think that isn't i don't think that's a really big bite and just because that it's a movement doesn't mean that south korea as a country or the south korean government wants the u.s. to go away i mean there are movements of all types that the movements that are going to send us humans up the country ok matt jump in yes that jump in go ahead yeah i agree that matter sure the idea that. the idea that these countries don't you know that are not mindful of the fact that. u.s. power is they don't think that u.s. power is coercive in japan and korea as the professor is saying this is something that they they they want as a check against chinese power i'm not saying that china is any worse than the u.s. i'm not saying that they're any more belligerent that there is a moral issue here or a normative issue it's simply the case is this if the u.s. were to withdraw all of its military troops tomorrow or the next day from east asia
i can't i don't think that we're going to experience a period of complete peace and harmony you have to think about how deterrence works and in that china with the largest military in east asia would behave very differently if they didn't have the united states there i'm not saying that this is necessarily a great thing but i mean the idea that the united states is the principal aggressor and is the only country with imperial interests in east asia is wrong china has interests as well in a sphere of influence that it wants to to to preside over and that's simply the case of world politics going back for centuries countries have series of influence they want to exert influence over other countries and the idea that the united states is uniquely malevolent in this regard is completely false john jump in. well ok you know you can appeal to to to the future what would be and should be and will be i'm appealing to history united states started aggressive who are in
korea and i'm declared war by the way the first we had under progressive so-called progressive president harry truman also a mass murderer for dropping the atomic weapons on japan. started that war actually and that's another thing the firebombings of japan and the now you're dead and john deere although they were right in those even there he was robert mcnamara said that wait a second let me finish and then the united states started a war and vietnam laos cambodia come on now this is a ruthless empire and you can turn it over it i mean john but history just go oh yeah. let's not judge sir john wait a second i mean you look at china's history no no no wait a second you look at china's history you look at china as i want to say on the words and anybody who tries to you know shine and effort no. no no no wait a second i mean you know china is never the way let me let me let me a little in washington the second the last yes. yes the last thing i would say
is that the u.s. you know has been you know. meaning fellow throughout its history look at look at. the circumstance that's ok but it's not about let's go ahead and say this just because the u.s. is going to be like does not mean that about it human rights and that sort of thing has nothing to do with us foreign policy henry kissinger says that stephen walt says that john mearsheimer says that it's absurd to say only only dissociated academic this man would believe in this sort of things are just for you are you saying that saying here is that you know china is the best behaved country on earth . i did not say that i said the united states and that's sort of the power it is a ruthless imperial power and china is well while advise to be very careful matt jump in go ahead matt yeah well i mean you're ignoring the capacity i
mean china has never had the strength to wage a war across an ocean the united states did but the idea that the their behavior would be any different hundred. finally were slave ships from the west. it was a most powerful including john i don't understand how can you hounds culture counts what your ig it's not a coincidence that as china has grown stronger that its economy has grown that its military has grown that it has pursued a more interest interventionist foreign policy this is what happened to the united surveillance is one way or the before in the united way has it been interventionist have you not paid attention to anything in history over the last few years because i have. china china that the u.s. isn't mentioned while and we see nowhere. all right you're not letting me finish because you don't have any real point to make here what i'm saying is this
that you have as i do china has been more aggressive in pursuing its territorial claims in the east china sea in the south china sea it is not a coincidence china has has had these opinions it has had these claims for decades but in the past they were unable to act upon it because they lack the power now that china has more muscle it is going to pursue its interests like any country would i'm not saying china is worse i'm not saying it's better it's not a moral issue it's not a normative issue china is simply pursuing it saying it was more aggressively now because they have the ability to do so and these interest include claims that you're seeing through there's american exceptionalism the name and email is from henry kissinger there's. there's an american exceptionalism in that because it makes the point which i think it's we are second all right. here we have run out of time fascinating discussion many thanks to my guests in washington and in boston and thanks to our viewers for watching us here to see you next time and remember.
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