tv White House Chronicles PBS May 27, 2012 9:00am-9:30am EDT
captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪ >> hello. i am llewellyn king. first, a bit of an introduction. you know the game that people play -- who would you like to have dinner with? they say winston churchill, napoleon, or pick a name. the president, his wife, whatever. i watched a man giving a speech
many years ago at columbia university, one of the sessions up the river, the hudson river. the speaker was a professor amitai etzioni, at that time of columbia university. it was the height of the energy crisis and it was a marvelous discussion about how we could live within the available resources we had, not history sources of energy, but all resources. i am lucky. this man that i wanted to meet, and i read his articles in the wall street journal -- in "the wall street journal call ends up in washington as a professor at the george washington university and i have gone to nell amitai etzioni. -in the very fortunate position
to be able to introduce you to him. i will be back with the extraordinary amitai etzioni in a few moments. >> many have spoken out on the need to transitioned into a clean energy future. at exelon, we are acting, by 2020 we are committed to replacing more than 1500 million metric tons of gas emissions annually through greening operations, helping committees reduce emissions, and offering more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace. at exelon, we are taking action, and we are seeing results. >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut, howard university television. now, your program host, nationally syndicated columnist llewellyn king, and co-host linda gasparello.
♪ >> hello again. thank you for coming along. i promised you the exceptional amitai etzioni, and here he is tell me about 10 unitarianism. did you -- this is your own philosophy. i know it is a global, but i have a friend in england that is passionate about it, and did not believe that i had met you, that someone like me would know someone like you. >> thank you. i appreciate the opportunity see you again into share ideas with people who follow you on television, in print, and on radio. so, the idea comes from the world community, which is really
what it is about. the notion is there are not just individual steps have rights and liberties that are sacred, but we are members of immediate and extended families. we have a network of friends. we have neighbors and even larger committees like nations, religious groups, jewish community, gay community, and today, we are concerned about the international community, which brings us to what i consider the subject of today, but concerns -- the concerns of a global community. >> china is a and your mind, or more especially american attitudes to china, which are very confused. we by an enormous amount of goods. i could hardly close myself without some kind of chinese government is not the entire
ensemble, and we borrow all of our money from china, yet it seems to be an enemy, and there will be a confrontation one day, east and west will meet in the personages of the united states and china. >> i hope some people that listen to wes will join us. -- that listen to us will join us. as young people say, let's cool it. >> i say cool it. does that make me young? >> offensively. i guarantee it in writing. all natives, to be fair, have a tendency to divide us against them. it is easy to blame the outsider for problems rather than admitting difficulties and failures. from the get-go it is tempting
to make and the series -- adversaries. it is quick to get on the escalator, and we have been there, declaring nations as a threat. japan for a while was greatly feared, and i am not talking about just world war ii, but in recent years with economic success that is similar to the economic success of china today. what we need to do is read examine the question of how we are going to deal with china, which is clearly on going. first of all, we should remember that the economics growth of china has been exaggerated. the growth rate is rapidly slowing down, and more importantly, china has four times more people to feed and house than we do.
>> were to fight. is that not part of the fear? >> yes, but the question is, why would the people of china want to go to war with anyone? they show every indication that what they want is of fluids. thereafter we are after. they want to have a good left pretty good life. -- good life. they are more gaga about consumerism than we are. half of the population does not have much of anything. >> i do agree with you in large measure but i have to question that china is only interested in prosperity. there are territorial claims in the south china sea, then somebody once said the problem with asia is the naming of
oceans, straights, seized after countries. anyway, the south china sea is claimed territory of china, which is preposterous, and as cause problems for the philippines, the vietnam. any hint there is oil offshore, they claim that part of the ocean and there are few -- are a few islands that are unclaimed. why is china so belligerent toward immediate neighbors on those issues? >> i think that is a fair challenge. china has conducted itself in a fair test cases. it shows to me something different. so far, we have seen china is anxious to secure oil because
they have very little of it and an enormous economy which means to sucking in these resources. there is oil there, and they would like to harvest it. what they did is what any american lawyer would do in a court, staking a claim, claiming it is theirs, and that is what the canadians and the russians are doing. china is basically going into a negotiation process. it is exactly what you want a peaceful nation to do. paestum very minor skirmishes with the -- they have had some minor skirmishes with the philippines. you could spend the whole show talking about who started that, but it is a very minor thing. it is a question henry kissinger raise.
the united states has to decide what is the best -- basic position to china? we can try to engage china, treat them respectfully as a growing power. there are many benefits -- there is terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, and, of course, economic interests. so, number one, engage china. the other is to go on a path of positioning military force, and china, selling more arms to taiwan, sending airplanes to go spy on them, as we do daily. i'm not saying that in the longer run we might not have to face up to them, but there is no
time to hedge for peace. >> there are things china doing that do not seem as benign as you suggest. they made a grab for global resources that has never been seen in all of history. the british empire, the scramble for africa, it was nothing like this screen. they have gone across the globe, building in the caribbean, all sorts of facilities in africa, warding off the bad governments of africa by saying we do not want to criticize you, we just want your copper and your oil, and the africans wake up and find out they are not getting value added, but they're not getting the work of extracting these minerals none of this is on the table.
none of this is public. it is a closed society. one could be excused about having some alarm on where it is going in the future. they have not been able to give this a picture of their own ambitions. >> you raise four excellent issues, but my short answer would be that you claim they behave like exxon oil and our companies. >>-not seen the scramble historically -- i am not saying the scramble historically has been pure. >> there are four issues. first, the purchase things. you could argue if it was fair pay, but did in -- but they did not send troops to grant these things.
second, to a large extent, these moves are self-correcting. they did initially paid poorly and cause environmental damage. the africans and latin americans learned their lessons and they're pushing back, insisting on better terms and such. it is very normal part >> let's hold these thoughts while we do a little identification. for the benefits primarily of our listeners on sirius xm radio, channel 124, where am glad to sit audio from this program is broadcast every saturday and 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and again at 9:30 p.m. eastern time. you could also see the program worldwide on the english- language stations of the voice
of america and the 200 american television stations, public television, and the so-called peg stations, public, education and government channels, including midland mich., who -- midland, mich., and the newspaper there publishes my column. i am llewellyn king. this is "white house chronicle" and my guest is the amitai etzioni of the george washington university, formerly of columbia and harvard. we're talking about china. i see this as maybe a power in the future, and you say why does not be predisposed to saying this is a problem, which because of your specialty in sociology
causes me to test this question -- historically, when have countries built up this probability of war when there are no causes? >> it is very common. >> world war i, world war ii. >> world war i is the classic example. world war ii is more complicated part >> i would agree with you. -- complicated. >> i would agree with you. right now why not give peaceful co-existence, or s -- or as henry kissinger calls it, co- evolution a chance? >> co--evolution? >> extreme hawks argue that we will have to face a chinese warships -- worships in 30 years
from now because the chinese military is so weak. they have one aircraft that took off from the ukraine that could not operate. their submarines are very noisy. in many, many ways their budget, which is one sixth of the defense budget -- they have nobody claiming danger in the near future. i'm not claiming i could predict history, or we will never face an aggressive china. volume saying is there is enough time to give co-evolution a chance. toe's another concert introduce. both the bullish and the obama administration's keep -- de bullish and obama administration keep challenging china to become
irresponsible stakeholder to the new world order, -- become a responsible stakeholders to the new world order, and sending peacekeepers in humanitarian aid, a list of things demand in china to do that is very much american. i do not think it is fair or wise to hold china to american good. >> to this point in our discussion and this is the second point where -- >> -- show where we have discussed these things. it seems there are 800 pound gorillas, america and china, but there are three, america, china, and india, and indeed it is closer to china, and there is long-term friction. how does that change the equation? >> it is a very important point. i would call them 80-pound gorillas.
>> i, myself, have never weighed a gorilla. i like them, but i do not wish to be that close to one. >> do not worry. it is ok. you do not have to fear the guerrillas. the notion, which is part of this rush to building adversaries, is the idea is winning new power authorizes you have to take the other powers and the coalition to balance it. it is kind of an old, a diplomatic mission. in this day and age where does it mean for india to balance china? india has similar problems. they need resources. they have huge populations that command a good life, which means effluents.
>> sometimes, dead might include just simple electricity -- the good life might include just simple electricity. >> indeed. for them to spend more money on a military, keep in mind and number one goal is legitimacy. in an arms race between india and china, we will help india, and in the end we would have another war in asia to what purpose? china has no ambition. what would it do occupying india? and, the other way around, why would and did dream of occupying china? there have been minor skirmishes, and has to be worked out, but to go from that to a global chess game where we move it india to relative center -- i do not see the basis in other
diplomacy or reality. >> the historian now ferguson has been doing a fascinating series on the history of the world, almost, the history of civilizations, and western china, at the beginning of the ming dynasty. it was a power. nothing like that was ever built in the west. suddenly, it stopped. the next emperor in line said we're going to stay within our borders, build our walls, and we will not build these ships. what does that tell us about china, and have we ever seen anything like that historic plea where consciously many empires have felt in deteriorated, but we're consciously and empire decided to dismantle itself?
>> i do not know if there are other precedents, but the important issue is there has been a lot of discussion about the unique model of capitalism in china, state capitalism. for a while it was argued the washington consensus was that it should become democratic capitalism, and it had been replaced by the beijing consensus where many countries in the developing world were imitating the chinese model. what happened is when you had this system rather than an open and democratic system, they decided 30 years ago on a one- child policy, which at that time seemed to make sense to them and they in forced it brutally. -- in forested brutally.
the result is a severe, rapid aging of the chinese population, one of the most rapidly aging society is, where ours is still quite young. >> we have imported population. they are not friendly to people flooding in. >> exactly. the point want to connect to the issue you raised, is if you look back at this decision making, where the emperor could make all rule and 1 billion people had to follow, it was not difficult 30 years ago -- a math teacher could have figured out if you're going to have one child per family you have what -- your people supporting the nation in -- -- you would have fewer people supporting the nation. now, they're beginning to reverse it. >> i was interested when i was in china about how many young
people ask me about social security in america, assuming that i was on it, which i was not at that point. they are very concerned with the cut -- retirement, which in a frontier capitalism, you did not expect people to be preoccupied with retirement, and ordinary people there are preoccupied with retirement to extent i have never found in any other country. it is a sampling, but i found it interesting. >> you are absolutely right. they do not have social security. they have a spreading of alzheimer's, many of the dementia issues with people that do not have a network of nursing homes. the young take care of the old, but there are not enough to go wrong. now, and to that the environmental challenge. what they did for the last 30
years is try to quickly get a lot of income, a lot of products to a lot of people, pay no mind to the effect on the environment. a fellow just came out with a book on china that points out the life span in beijing, their major city is five years shorter because of the pollution. so, aside from the demographic changes, the rapidly-aging society, they have enormous environmental challenges because so much relies on the burning of coal. you put all of this together, and the pressure of the population, which demands a good life in modern cities, and more than half the people are on the countryside, is the environmental challenge. >> it does seem that it is not a
threat now. maybe there are people with a vested interest in making it a threat, the friends of the military industrial complex -- somebody is coming, we must build weapons -- however, it is a fascinating thing, china. it seems to me and i'm no expert on its history by any means at all, the things it seem extraordinary to me is how quickly it went off the rails when it decided it did not need big ships and allowed the west to become the dominant force in the world, and the other going off the rails was the cultural revolution. here you had 1 billion people persuaded by an absolute nonsense of cultural purity, and previously i do not know what the population was, 1 million or
two million at a time, when they decided they would no longer be a sea-faring nation. this is a tremendous going off the rails, and you can only have that if you have a centralized government. you could not do this here. the form of government has everything to do with whether there will be a peaceful neighbor on planet earth or not. >> hi seriously believe read the -- i seriously believe that we best we exaggerate their successes. -- vastly exaggerate their successes. if we meet in 20 years, we will change our tune about china just like we did about japan. they will slow down they will have tremendous -- that have lots of riots as it is. they have a lot of strikes. they have a lot of dissent.
>> many have spoken out on the need to transitioned into a clean energy future. at exelon, we are acting, committed to replacing more than 1500 million metric tons of gas emissions annually through green operations, helping committees reduce emissions, and offering more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace. at exelon, we are taking action, and we are seeing results. >> "white house chronicle" produced in collaboration with whut, howard university television. from washington, d.c., this has been "white house chronicle," a weekly analysis of the news with insight and a sense of humor featuring llewellyn king, linda gasparello, and guests. this program may be seen on pbs stations and cable access channel.