tv 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress CSPAN November 6, 2017 10:34am-12:03pm EST
today before sending to full house and votes. watch live coverage starting noon eastern on c-span 2 and c-span.org, live and radio app. this week president trump is in asia. he will be visiting several countries including china. ahead of his trip a former u.s. ambassador to china talked about u.s.-china relations and the significance of the chinese communist party conference and an event hosted by the williams center in washington, d.c. >> all right. we're at 2:30 so we'll start now. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to woodrow wilson center for scholars. welcome to those joining us live on webcast and c-span for this discussion on china's 19th party
congress. my name is sandy, i'll be chairing this discussion. as many of you know, china's 19th party congress wrapped up last week in beijing. for those who follow china, a party congress year is like "game of thrones" and awards season rolled into one. this is how i describe to non-china friends, detailed profile, who's who and how they are connected top up everywhere. everyone makes predictions how they will make it on the committee, the pinnacle of power in china. this year's congress was really all about one man. that man was general secretary xi jinping. prior to the congress, questions surrounding xi's strength dominated debates among china watchers. for some analysts, any doubt about xi's strength was put to
rest when they amend, xi jinping chinese characteristics for a new era. xi is the first chinese leader to have his name enshrined in the constitution while still it alive since mao. i've been reading headlines xi is now the strongest chinese leader in his since mao, perhaps even stronger. what you'll hear in a minute from our speakers, this is debatable. in his report to party congress a few weeks ago xi used new era, compared to using it once in the speech in 2012. although there's still questions surrounding the nature of xi's power and what he intends to do with it going forward, what we do know is that according to xi china is embarking on a new era and xi is in control.
he's definitely steering the ship. china will do things their way as xi described it in the work report several times. china's unique culture compels china to seek a place on the world stage. the kissinger institute focused on this aspect of xi's thinking for quite sometime in our work, which is why i'm plugging it. we've rooted our analysis on a better understanding how china sees itself, xi sees it and history and how it translate to policy. under editorial stewardship of my colleague, who is somewhere around here, i don't know where she is, kissinger institute a web a platform, a curated, soft power under leadership of xi. the purpose is to help measures understand the connections between xi's interpretation of
history and culture and the policies he's pursuing. we believe this platform is important important than ever because of the overwhelming emphasis on culture and civilization in the work report he mentioned 121 times. that's why we took time today. we'll introduce you later. first our speakers what this new xi era means, we have ambassador roy, founding development of emerit emeritus, kissinger, all over asia, ambassador posts, singapore, indonesia and china. robert is senior director of institute, began as a diplomat in late '80s, early '90s. he's a fluent world leader and has interpreted for world ledders such as henry kissinger. i've asked both speakers to speak for 20 minutes, then we'll leave it open for discussion.
if you guys want to -- we'll let you sit first before we start, so it's not so like -- >> robert wants me to clarify it's college language materials english language analysis? >> mapping china's cultural genome web platform is bilingual. we give you chinese and english language translation. if you don't speak chinese, you're still welcome to take a look at what we've done. >> stape, you're on. >> good afternoon, the 19th party congress has come and gone. let's consider three propositions, xi jinping emerged as most powerful leader in china? yes. did he enhance his position at party congress? yes. is he all powerful? no. let's look at some of the assumptions before the party
congress. those who argue xi acquired unlimited power to the extent negating concept of collective leadership thought it possible or even likely xi jinping would wave the age limits, replace the premier, politboro standing committee with cronies, adding thought to party constitution and other ways depart from the precedent set during the last few decades. let's examine these propositions in terms of the results of 19th party congress. were age tlimts expected? yes. any exceptions no? was premier also put aside? no. was xi jinping thought added to party constitution? yes. did xi jinping keep the standing committee the same size? yes. did xi jinping pack the committee with his proteges?
no were those promoted based on seniority? by and large, yes. were potential successors elevated to standing committee? no. does this mean xi jinping intends to keep the top position after 2022? not necessarily. a lot of people in the meddey say this means because the successors weren't put on the standing committee that he intends to stay on after 2022. but let's remember, the precedent for putting two successors, one for general secretary and one for the premier onto the standing committee only took place ten years ago. the 17th party congress. at the time the standing committee was nine members, not seven members. so the standing committee is smaller now. if you put the successors onto the standing committee, you'd have far fewer positions for current power holders who want to move up. the second point is the raonall
of the existing people stepped down was because of the age limits, not because there was successors in waiting. those age limits were not changed. so when we do into 2022, the age limits are still in place, and we will have to wait and see whether xi jinping has the power five years from now to wave the age limits if he wants to stay on beyond 2022. one final point, was there any change in the number of military officers on the politboro and standing committee. the answer was no, there was no change. no. now, what are the changes for u.s.-china relations. first of all dealing with familiar cast of characters.
same general secretary, same premier. the top u.s. expert in the chinese government, who many americans going back 30, 40 years know very well because he played a major role in u.s.-china for decades. he was here as an ambassador a few years ago, he went on to become foreign minister. he left to be promoted to be state counselor for for affairs and now he's preempted to politboro. vice premier who handled the china side and strategic dialogue between the two countries was also elevated to politboro standing committee. he's not a specific u.s. hand but he has lots of experience in dealing with the united states in his role as our principle interlocutor in the dialogue
channels we have set up. so there's an element of continuity in those had will be influential on u.s.-china relations in the top chinese leadership. let's look at the global aspects. the work report delivered by xi jinping to the party congress makes it clear that china is willing and, indeed, eager to step into the global leadership role that the united states is moving away from in his speech xi jinping endorsed economic globalization and called for china to keep an open economy. he also noted that the chinese people have turned away from being passive to being active. he defined the new stage in china's development as the era in which china approaches the world's center stage day by day and continues to make a greater contribution for mankind. he summed it up by saying china will continue to play the role of a responsible major country,
actively participate in the reform of global governance system and constantly contribute china's wisdom and strength. so we should not look for a passive china on the world stage. this is a leader who wants to push china to the forefront of world affairs. we can assume we'll be dealing with a strong leader with a clear sense of the ambitious goals that he wants china to achieve by 2020, by 2035, and by mid century. the trap is alive and well. xi jinping is projecting by 2035 china's economic and s and t will grow by leaps and bounds. i'm using his language. china will remain among top innovation oriented among the world. his goal complete modernization of china's defense and military by 2035.
by mid century, he projects china will become a country whose comprehensive national power and international influence will be at the forefront. the chinese people's army will rank among the top militaries in the world. the chinese nation then will stand tall among the nations of the world with an even more high-spirited attitude. it makes china sound like a frisky, great power. >> you heard that first here, frisky world power. >> frisky world power, that's right. we will have to see exactly what high-spirited means. i think it means it won't be passive. it's far from clear that the united states will have the will, the resources and the leadership to deal with this type of challenge unless we do a better job of managing our domestic affairs. against this background, i'm google to put forward the proposition that the 19th party
congress represents a giant step forward in demonstrating that china has the will, the resources, the leadership, and the timetable for playing a much more significant role on the world stage. but i'm also going to argue it represents a giant step backwards in terms of the ideology underpinning that larger role on the global stage. in essence, the party congress marks a basic shift in the direction of china's development away from what i would call modern concepts toward premodern concepts that held back the development of the modern world for many centuries. this shift is designed to reduce the influence of western values and western models, which xi jinping, in my judgment, is confusing with modern values and modern models, xi jinping made clear in the work report that china will not become more
western as it modernizes. instead it will become something distinctively chinese with the party firmly in control. in a sense, this is the culmination of the campaign against western values and concepts that is intensified in china over the past two years. there were, as sandy mentioned, either 78 -- i counted 77 references to the term with chinese characteristics in xi jinping's work report to the congress. now, for several decades, china has been using the term "socialism with chinese characteristics" to cy it's move away from essentially planned economy to one driven largely by market forces. in xi jinping's work report, the term "with chinese characteristics" is now applied to virtually every aspect of chinese society, including its military forces, its major power
diploma diplomacy, its legal system, it's political development, it's institutional arrangements, its medical and health services, its culture, its philosophy and social sciences and even its new types of think tanks. all of those terms used with chinese characteristics in the work represent xi jinping presented. those of you who are students of chinese history will immediately recognize this takes us back 2300 years to the famous white horse dialogue discussed by a philosopher back in the third century b.c. he raised the philosophical question of whether a white horse is a horse. since the quality of horseness does not necessarily include the attribute of color. in this sense a white horse is not a horse. because a horse may just as well
be black or yellow. in other words, when you limit a prod category with a specific characteristic, you are negating the china has made great contributions to science and philosophy over the centuries. but one could argue that to insist that philosophy or science should have chinese characteristics is the denial of the universal attributes of philosophy and science. galileo encounters this several centuries ago when the ruling power at the time insisted that science needed to have religious characteristics. during the stalin period -- we are struggling with this problem in the united states where we have the concept of science with republican characteristics that
rejects global warming. leaving these philosophical reflections aside, the message is clear. china intends to do things its own way. but paradoxically, xi jinping also claimed that china's example can serve as a model for other countries that want to speed development and maintain their own independence. in xi jinping's words, china is on a development path that is contributing chinese wisdom and chinese solutions for resolving the problem of mankind.
the government, the military, the people, academia and all circles, the party leads. in a separate passage, it said the party had to provide guidance to every aspect of thinking and behavior in china. the party is supposed to provide guidance on these questions. now this is an implicit rejection of modern values because the heavy emphasis on doing everything in the chinese way has a heavy dose of cultural
chauvinism. in essence, the party congress is saddling china with an anan knack chronistic -- there are four central requirements that the party must meet as specified in earlier party constitutions and they have now added a fifth one, which is uphold ruling the party by the party and practicing strict self-governance in every respect. even the romans 2000 years ago were smart enough to ask the question who guards the guards themselves. by ignoring this question xi is
putting klein on a collision course with modernity. we shouldn't be comparing xi jinping to m-- strong leaders i would divide into three classes. stalin is an example in a tightly controlled system of a leader who, through the purges of 1936-1938 gained absolute control own the party and the country and in his last 15 years of life he was unchallenged in his control of politics and the party in the soviet union.
in a more relaxed approach to authoritarianism because while he strongly believed in one party rule, he believed this rule did not need to encompass every aspect of human thought and behavior. and he believed in letting 100 flowers bloom which is ironic because he helped suppress the movement in the middle of the 1950s. but in his role as the most powerful leader in china, he permitted many ideas to bloom in china and he was able to maintain continuity in policy direction with some bumps but essentially a smooth path toward rapid development. the leader in singapore represented a similar approach of being able to maintain stability and policy direction. these are examples of strong
leaders because they were able to manage both policy direction and maintain stability under conditions over an extended period of time. chairman mao was not a strong leader in this sense. his last 15 years were marked by massive convulsions in china because of challenges to his leadership. >> you may find that we're saying some of the same things. could i ask you to raise your hand if there's an empty chair to your left. please feel free sitting on the sides to fill in and grab yourself a real seat. >> we won't judge you. >> nice and high. well, one of the things that we always try to do at the ki
kissinger institute is give a feel for chinese reads. if you look not only at the xi jinping work report and the official developments, but you look also at the layer of officially sanctioned interpretations and actions during and afterward, you'll find that what is being hailed in the party run media with reference to xi but also to china is confidence. this is also one of the keynotes of the 19th party congress, that we now have a confident leader and a confident china, including a culturally confident china. while american analysts and other foreign analysts have tended to focus on some of the contradictions in xi's administration and thought, some of the blind spots and some of
the fragilitfragility, within c itself the focus has been mostly on the first part of his work report which focused on china's successes, china's many achievements and the list that she gives is impressive and i think for the most part very accurate. from a strategic point of view from the united states and other nations when we look at china, while we need to be aware of the kinds of inconsistencies and these limiting conceptual factors, it may be that the biggest challenge to the united states and china's regional neighbors comes not from these weaknesses but from the very success of china that xi and many others are paying attention to. china's primary task was now to satisfy the people's increasing demands for what he called a wonderful life in the face of
incomplete and unbalanced development. i see no reason to question xi's sincerity. if you look at the work report, you will see it begins with this very important list of china's successes over the past five years in xi's first term and also over the previous 35 years. as important as the 19th party congress has been, it hasn't changed fundamental political question that i believe china faces. you' the fundamental question is can a party born in the 20th century which adapted secretive and paranoid leninist practices in a desperately poor agrarian party, can such a party now satisfy the needs of a wealthy, globally integrated, increasingly modernized population.
xi has doubled down on communist party leadership so his clear answer is yes. whether that is going to be satisfactory, we will see. xi thought has now been written into the party constitution. one of the major components of xi jinping thought -- and we need to know this not only to understand china but to understand our own interests, because china is now a peer competitor of the united states and is vying with the united states to shape its external environment, to shape global norms, practices and institutions. and it will be shaping them in accordance with xi jinping thought, so it's something that we have to grapple with. first, the party is firmly in control.
over these five years, the first five years of xi's rule, quote, xi's various keynote speeches all narrow down to one main theme. it is upholding the party's role. this is after the 19th party congress. one of the things the chinese are very good at is summarizing usually in four characters very complex phenomenon. my own summation of xi during his first five years, four characters. the first is the domestic policy. this means do as you're told. the second is foreign policy. that means make way, we have arrived. i would say that's as fair a summation as any of the policies
of the first four years. so the party is in control. and xi also has put forward a more chinese china. it was striking to me that in the work report he mentioned culture or civilization 121 times and the word reform only 64. thank for control find when reading chinese documents. if you combine this interest in culture with confidence, you will not be surprised to hear xi decliaring repeatedly that the chinese people must be confident in chinese culture. it is a statement of a final rejection of the west, of universal values and of america in particular. after a long period of quasi a
apprenticesh apprenticeship. it begins with the opium war and then begins again in a very new form under ping in 1978. since the opium war, the only period we find in which there isn't a really quite overt desire to learn from some aspect of the west is the maoist split. to understand xi's assertions about chinese culture and chinese civilization and the way that they compel policy now, you really do have to recall the wrenching search for a new identity and a new way that china went through, in some ways continues to go through since the opium war in 1840 debunked
chinese culture. i'd like to read you two quotes just to give you a feel for how difficult this was for china. one comes from a chinese diplomat shortly after the opium war. think about this. his call for a new china in light of xi's declaration of independence from the west. he said, western nations rely on intelligence and energy to compete with each other. to come abreast of them, china should plan to promote commerce and open mind. unless we change, the westerners will be rich and we poor. we should excel in technology. steam ships, trains and the telegraph should be adopted. unless we change, the westerners will be quick and we slow. the advantages and disadvantages of treaties, the competence and incorp tenkor incompetence of envoys should be
discussed. unless we change, the westerners will cooperate with each other and we will stand isolated. a shorter take on this, our much vaunted chinese civilization is nothing but a pbanquet of human flesh prepared for the rich and powerful. china is nemerely a kitchen whe the meal is cooked up. that's a strong statement but these were not unusual as china looked for a model to save the nation. at the 19th party congress xi was saying essentially good-bye to all that. that is done. it's a deck lar ratilaration of independence. and we here in xi i think echoes of mao saying in 1949 that china
has stood up. now under xi china is standing very, very tall without the need of advice from other nations and offering a model for countries that wish to develop independently, as xi put it. so xi is positing not only a confident and purely chinese china, but we also see under his leadership increasingly china for the chinese. remember that ping in 1978 when he opened china up and let the foreigners in, he was very clear about why he was doing this. he wanted capital, technology and managerial expertise. china under xi now sees itself razz largely self-sufficient on all three fronts. so the justification for opening the window and letting in flies is now gone. and we do see that american corporations are feeling much less welcome in china. we all know about the new law
governing foreign ngos limiting international civil society within china and new laws about workers classifying them as a, b, c, new laws about the ability of foreign students who study in china to stay in china have made china less hospitable to young foreigners and students in some cases as well. so perhaps this will deepen. that all sounds pretty bad. xi's rhetoric in his work report and since is not threatening. this is not overt in his rhetoric which is really big spirited and benevolent and presents china's civilization and a more active spirits china as a gift to the world. in fact, china is providing more international public goods. so there's something behind this. still, his cultural civilizational narrative seems to be central now to his mission
of policy. we say cultural genome. we're borrowing one of xi's favorite analogies to genetics. his most famous formulation of it was that the chinese nation simply does not have in its bloodstream any genes for invading other countries or becoming the hedge -- this was echoed throughout his first five years. it's echoed in the work report where he says things like without a high degree of cultural self-confidence and a flori i flourishing and thriving
culture, there is no rejuvenation of the chinese nation. he says here that it cannot happen without cultural self-confidence and a flourishing and thriving culture. he also said, we must carry forward the ability of chinese to tell china's story. this cultural confidence is also a tool of diplomacy. when xi speaks this way, this sound very very strange i think to a lot of american ears, although think of the way in our leaders like to invoke the founders for example to harken back to history. but it's not as strong a tradition as it is in china where the leader as a protector and promoter of the culture, this is part of how leaders gain
legitimacy in china. there was a famous emperor who heard that a three legged chinese ceremonial vessel had been unearthed and was being brought into the capital. he went out from the city gate personally to welcome the vessel to show his reverence for the culture to help build the mandate of heaven. it's an old story within china. you probably know about the emperors and how they used their cultural connoisseurship to demonstrate the legitimacy of their chain. we saw this of course in mao. it wasn't enough that political power came out of the barrel of a gun. it was also essential that he be hailed as a great poet and
calligrapher. even though the british translator said that mao's poetry was not as bad as hitler's painting but not as good as churchill's. he too was revealed to be a great calligrapher and his calligraphy went up on stone. even he was never hailed as a great cultural practitioner. but this goes deep in the chinese culture. i was there in about 2004-2005, maybe a little bit later. but at a high-tech software development company talking with one of their young engineers. they took me outside very proudly to say that xi had been there one month before. and on the day she came, magpies
had come and sat and hadn't left. and this is sort of a cultural blessing. you're supposed to be as a chinese leader this promoter, definer, protector and connoisseur in chief. this is what xi jinping is doing. he's working within an established tradition and he's offering to the chinese people chinese civilization, it's technology, material culture, s asthetic tradition. chinese power has always been founded in claims of the virtue of the leader. in fact, the concept of virtue and power in traditional china
are very often melded and confused. chinese moral and political philosophy are indistinguishable in the classic text. it is translated in a number of ways including the classic of the way of power and the classic of the tao of virtue. we see in the great learning, this is made very explicit when he describes how somebody becomes a perfect human being, which then qualifies you to rule the country. it says that this ideal person first gains knowledge, there mathereby making his thoughts sincere can rectify his heart, then cultivate his person, regulate his family, rightly govern his state, and through this right governance of the state the whole kingdom is made tranquil
china still has not solved this problem of particularism and universalism. how can a government be attractive internationally when that government, as andrew brown put it in the wall street journal last week, power is exercised in a way that is ruthless, preemptory and cloaked. this is where the chinese model begins to break down when it gets outside of its own boundaries. so how can xi then maintain this narrative? there are weaknesses in his approach, but it's still -- so far it has been widely well received within china. clearly his telling of china's history and his approach to chinese culture is selective and it omits foreign influence despite the fact that china has always been subject to foreign ideals and chinese have been inundated with foreign ideals
for the past 30 years. these have not been forced upon them by a cultural imperialist. china's tremendous growth over the past 40 years has depended on foreign inputs including foreign knowledge and people in china are, generally speaking, aware of this. xi's world view i think is really a china view. it seems to be limited by a fairly narrow, very chinese and ccp driven version of chinese history. it does not appear to accommodate globalism, nor does xi jinping distinguish between modernization as it was understood of increasing technological and material well-being. he doesn't distinguish between that and modernity. can a party born in the 20th
century that ada -- satisfy the needs of a wealthy, globally integrated population with high and varied expectations. i don't think the 19th party congress, as important as it is, has answered that question. thank you. >> very brief comments on some of the points that robert raised. he made the very important point that in putting forward a view of a china playing a much larger role in the global stage, this was not a warmongering speech. this was not that china will use it power to control the world. quite the opposite. in the speech xi jinping affirmed that realizing the china dream is inseparable from a peaceful international environment and a stable international order. the second point i want to just
clarify. there's nothing wrong with chinese characteristics. it's a question of what you apply the term to. for example, socialism with chinese characteristics, that's fine, because there are no two identical democratic systems in the world. they all reflect the national characteristics, because democracy deserved as just powers of the governance. in those times of arias you can apply national characteristics. culture has national characteristics, but china's problem with culture is the party controls the culture. and universally in the world, party controlled culture is not viewed as culture. it's viewed as propaganda. so there you have a problem. if you apply national
characteristics to general propositions is where you get into trouble. i cited examples of science with particular characteristics. think of is there such a thing as truth with american characteristics, truth with chinese characteristics? no. truth is independent of national characteristics. science is independent of national characteristics. when you talk about science with chinese characteristics, you're talking about party controlled science. i just want to clarify that point because the problem i had with the xi speech was he was applying chinese characteristics to everything, including things that there was no point in applying characteristics to. you get into a contradiction in terms if you do so.
i think the very interesting question that robert raised is can this party born in the 20th century adapt to deal with a modernized chinese society. and the answer is, if you look at how china has behaved over the last few decades, it's certainly not impossible, because the party has been very adaptable. if you look at 1982, while the members had educations, they didn't have formal university degrees. in fact, it was almost entirely without people who had formal university degrees. but nowadays it by and large is people who have the equivalent of university degrees or advanced degrees. you can't cite another country in the world where the quality of the top leaders has changed from basically people without
university level educations to people who have university level educations. it was a massive change in the the chinese ideology. the age limits that they have in place mean that every time you change your top leader, you get somebody ten years younger. we don't have that in the united states and it hurts our political system because we can have 43-year-old leaders replaced by 71-year-old leaders. in china under the age limits, that's not possible. well, when you have younger people stepping into the roles of the older people, you get a generational change. i raised my children to be
carbon copies of myself and totally failed. they have a different outlook on life reflecting their different age and experience. so as long as china keeps age limits in place, they have a chance to adapt. but the question is, when you ignore the corrupting aspects of concentrated power, you don't end up with what you would call uncorrupted governance. robert heilbrener wrote some very persuasive books back in the 1960s explaining how socialism was going to triumph over capitalism because socialism controlled investment and it could therefore make wise investment decisions and put it where it could increase the national power most effectively. and what did he not allow for? the socialist systems all were corrupted by power, because they didn't have the concept of
balancing and checking power. as a result, where did the investment funds go? into the pockets of the leaders. why have you had a massive anti-corruption campaign in china? because china's growing wealth has been diverted into the pockets of your top party leaders. it's ironic that a leader who has carried out the most sustained anti-corruption campaign in china's modern history says that that very party that was corrupted from top to bottom is supposed to be governing itself. >> you mentioned the adaptability that the party has demonstrated over the past few decades. the past five years have been something of an exception to that has xi has clamped down on culture and universities and think tanks and wants to put the party at the center of everything. there are three explanations. one is that he is power hungry, the second is that he's a true
believer in the communist system. and the third is that he may now be aware of systemic fragilities which he believes require this is move for stability's sake. what is your read on why xi thinks there's a necessity -- anti-corruption we understand, economic reform we understand. but the idealogical component of this, how do you read that change under xi? >> i think it's a very important point. here's the way i put it. in the work report xi defined the principle contradiction of china now is the contradiction between the desire for better living standards and the uneven and inadequate economic development. i don't think that's the primary contradiction in china. the primary contradiction is between the fact that chinese society as a whole has been largely modernized by the success of the reform policies
over the last three or four decades. but the party will not modernize the political system. it wants to keep a monopoly on power. and the more modern chinese society becomes, the more acute that contradiction becomes. and the reason why xi over the last few years has been clamping down on domestic attitudes is because modern ideas have come into china. and the party's ideas are premodern. because there's no difference between the party having a monopoly in power and the king having a monopoly on power. i call monoer archies as premod forms of governance. all modern forms of governance are based on two concepts. one is that the just powers of governance arerived from the consent of the government. the second is that power
corrupts and therefore it has to be checked and balanced. in the work report, they repeated some of the language from the third language talking about political reform in which they referred to the fact that power should be exercised in the sunlight or that power should be exercised within a cage. so they're beginning to recognize that unchecked power leads to corruption or abuse of power. and that's one of the reasons why xi has put such emphasis on rule by law. it's not rule of law, because the communist party insists that the justice system is under the party, not above the party. and you don't get rule of law until the justice system is above the ruling strata. that's the historic chinese tradition. but the problem is when you don't have a justice system above the party and the party says it has to engage in self-governance, it cannot deal
with the problem of corruption. and that's why hoeilbrener turnd out to be dead wrong because the socialist systems did n-- the most productive investment went into their pockets. >> i want to take this back to the ideas of chinese characteristics and values and freedom of speech issues. it's clear that xi is rejecting the west's concept of universal values and championing this set of chinese values. i see it as a way of ultimately being able to legitimatize censorship. it's obvious that china is trying to tell its own story but this also means you have to tell
a positive story of china and it will sensor everything else. i'm trying to get to the nitty-gritty here of policy. what's the u.s.'s role in this when they see that china's going down this path of control on thought, control on the society and freedom of speech? do you just take part in the conversation as most have already been doing, or do you seek markets elsewhere? >> this is changing fast and it's a very profound problem, because american corporations' job is to maximize their shareholder's return on investment. that is their prime directive. now that china is wealthy and they're chasing the chinese market, they have to comply with china's law. we just had this week a major academic publisher announce it was going to sensor its data
databases in china. we have at the same time film makers not green lighting scripts. one of the questions, how does this hurt us. xi's china like putin's russia has been asserting cyber sovereignty as an aspect of the sovereign right to control information within one's own borders. we understand that. in my view when american corporations then change their products, their publication lists, their movies to meet china's law to get the chinese
market, you're actually reinforcing this sense of a self-sufficient, unchallenged, welcome culture within china. that narrative is never challenged. that will then inform foreign policy as well as domestic policy because these ideas are simply not challenged. you can say you're innocently according with chinese law to make profits, but you are actually contributing to a system in which none of the narratives of the communist party are challenged and the kind of confidence that gives have real world implications in china and beyond increasingly. >> should they push back? >> my comment on this -- >> they need to make money. >> we have to understand the fundamental difference between china and the soviet union. when i lived in the soviet union, russians believed they had a better standard of living
than the americans because they had no access to the outside world, only a few controlled russians were able to study abroad, travel abroad. so you could impose a thought system on the entire population that did not reflect reality. china's totally different. russia was not dependent on foreign markets, it was not dependent on natural resources from the rest of the world. china is quite different. it has a globalized economy. its economic growth is heavily dependent on foreign markets which include the united states and europe. it is heavily dependent on imports of raw materials in order to fuel the rapid growth that has legitimatized the system in china in the eyes of many chinese. the question is how do you impose the types of thought controls that china is trying to impose domestically when the
country is too open to the outside world for such thought controls to work effectively. that's the struggle that's taking place in china right now. it was not addressed in the work report except in what i consider negative ways. by saying everything has to have chinese characteristics and with the party defining what chinese characteristics are and with it being applied specifically to education, that means they're trying to force the universities to only teach ideas that are approved by the party. how can they do that if they're going to continue to send hundreds of thousands of scholars to the rest of the world and china still has over 100 million people every year going abroad. this is not the soviet union and that's to china's credit. but at the same time trying to maintain a premodern form of governance under conditions of modernization of the country is going to be a contra dhadictiont
they have to find a different way of dealing with. >> there's a sense in which china's very openness can help to perpetuate the communist party's approach to power. but this very openness and the ability -- i think it's up to about 130 million chinese a year leave as tourists, to study. it served as something of a pressure reliease valve. i know of a lot of chinese who are doing quite well. if you look at how they actually live -- and they understand all of these tensions we've been talking about today and they would probably rather that china was more open or free. but they have houses in north america, australia or new zealand. they send their kids overseas to work. they can go to international sporting events or to the caribbean or thailand and live there as they want to live and return to china when they must to make their money in ways they
can only make money in china where they are beneficiaries of the system because they have the relationship networks. so there's not a problem here they're trying to solve. they're not locked in place as a middle class because they can travel. i think this diffuses for many of them the energies they might have if they were pent up that would make them potential agents of change. this seems so far, at least in beijing and shanghai, to be working for the party. >> i wanted to ask about foreign policy because the actual report was domestic driven. like you said, you can get some lines out of there that show that china's arrived, out of our way, move over. my question is how much of this is really about china wanting to take this leadership role as opposed to just looking like being a capable strong leader
for the domestic audience. and what can we expect foreign policy-wise from them, business as usual? >> military power always involves the capability to use force. it poses two issues for china. mao said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun. and china's no exception to this. you can easily read into the 19th party congress work report and into the changes in the constitution the fact that they have a problem in civil military control. xi has carried out a military reform that is disruptive in terms of any military. he changed around the military districts. he changed the priority assigned to different services. he reorganized the central
military commission so that none of the army, navy, air force commanders are now on the central military commission. they've always been on before. militaries don't like this sort of thing. xi is the only civilian on the central military commission. so this is not to say he's not in control of it, but when you revise the constitution to say the communist party of china shall uphold its absolute leadership over the people's liberation army, implement xi's thinking on strengthening the military and obey the party's command. this would be like president trump going down to congress and delivering a state of the union address and saying the u.s. military had damn well better pay attention to my facts that i am the leader of the army.
we would all say, we have some problem in civil military relations. >> it's unthinkable that he would say that. >> not at all. i would never think that, ever. >> my basic point is i think the party is in control of the military in china, but it's having difficulties. and the second problem is made clear from the 19th party congress but beginning at the 18th party congress. at the 18th party congress the military section began with the statement that china needs a powerful military commensurate with the country's international standing and appropriate for its defense and development needs. most countries need defense forces appropriate for their defense needs and to protect their development process. but what is this business of saying you need strong military commensurate with the country's international standing. well, that language was dropped from the 19th party work report,
but he talks about having a military force -- he's going to modernize the military force by 2035 and he's going to be -- >> first rate military. >> not number one. >> not the number one in the world, but among the top militaries. for what purpose? we have a great big military, bigger than others, but we also have an alliance system that is globally wide and we have defense responsibilities for japan, for south korea, for europe, for places in latin america, et cetera, et cetera. so our military is because and our military budget reflects the fact that we actually have defense responsibilities globally and china doesn't have any alliances globally. so, yes, he's going to have to protect chinese workers but do you have to have the first class
military in the world under those circumstances? china is creating a defense d dilemma. it's saying it will have a military so powerful that none of its neighbors can have security. that's the international aspect of it. but the domestic aspect is how do you maintain civilian control over the military when political power comes from the barrel of a gun? and they're having difficulties with that in china paced based language that comes out of the work report and the constant emphasis that the party is in control of the military. the additional problem is, as china is more successful, china nationalism gets stronger. chinese are proud of the fact that their country is doing well. but they are proud of their country. and the military swears allegiance to the party, not to the country.
it's the only major country in the world whose military serves the party, not the country. the more the chinese become nationalistic, the more it undermines party's control of the military. and china hasn't solved that problem except by constantly emphasizing that the party has to control the military. i see this as getting into the question of how china behaves internationally. it's asking to have a military capability which will not be checked and balanced properly. therefore we don't know whether china is going to abuse its use of power. what we do know is that when the united states became a super power we abused that power to fight wars we didn't have to fight. >> regarding china's interest in leadership, i think it's quite constrained in a way which you referred to in your opening remarks, which is they have declared interest in economic
globalization. xi in his speech a few days before the inauguration, which was seen as his announcement that china was going to step in to avoid if the united states pulled back, was very careful to only speak of economic globalization. i think it's safe to interpret that as meaning that china is quite happy with the global economic arrangements that have allowed it to get rich. but he did not declier interear in leadership beyond that scope. >> except in the model area where he talked about chinese wisdom and chinese solutions for the world's problems. >> which he said could be a model for countries that wanted to develop independently. it means it's a model for economic development independent of what, of the american led
western system. >> we have a few minutes to open for questions. wait for the mike because we are recording and identify yourself. that woman right there behind in the white. if you could just wait for the mike. >> yes. i have a question -- >> is the mike on? just because we' eewe're record. >> i had a question. what is -- if the party is all about control, what is left of ideology in the party these days? you can't argue there's a marxist economy or culture. is it just an instrument for a kind of nationalistic control, or is there some marxist
remnant? >> that's an unresolved contradiction in the way they talk about things. the way they have justified socialism with chinese characteristics is, according to communist ideology, humans develop through hunter gatherer societies into feudalism, capitalism, socialism and eventually into communist. capitalism is legitimate in the early stages of socialism. it's again in the work report that china is in the early stages of socialism and will be there for a long time. that's language straight from the work report. they -- get rid of two characteristics of marxism which is the class basis for the
communist party as the leader of the proletariat and the concept of class struggle. the three represented a substantial move away from classic marxism but in the work report china says we have to uphold marxism. contradiction. okay. we don't teach contradictions in the united states. we believe in principles and rights. marxist societies teach contradictions and that's a big contradiction. so that's the answer to your question. they say they're being marxist while they're throwing out key marxist concepts. >> another key piece of this because the way the political culture works in china following the 19th party congress and this announcement of the new era, think tanks and universities are going to spill endless amounts of ink and write new books to
talk about all these things to approach and define precisely what your question is. they have not resolved the contradiction, but i'm quite sure an official xi led communist party gloss on the meaning of chinese civilization, including some of its idealogical and philosophic components is going to be a part of the answer. >> you can always check out xi jinping's book. they have a book of all of his speeches compiled. let's go in the front row, the woman right there. >> my question -- barbara stallings of brown university. my question started to be answered by the very last words you said before you opened up. that is about china as model. up until now china has been somewhat ambivalent about offering itself as a model for developing countries. since i have been unable as of yet to find an english
translation of the famous speech -- >> it's out now. >> terrific. i will look again. in the meantime, elaborate a bit more on is this an economic model they are suggesting, is it a political model, is it both? what do you see as the components of this model they are suggesting that developing countries who want to develop independently might follow? >> he didn't spell out the details, but essentially it was china's path of development that he was offering as a model to other countries. the problem, which i touched on is china's path in development has chinese characteristics and they're offering it as a model to people that don't have chinese characteristics. so the question is does the model work? singapore, for example, which has one of the model societies. many people see it as a
well-ordered society that's delivered prosperity to its people. singaporeans never offered themselves as a model. we were able to do this because we're singaporeans and they have different ideologies and they're not as diligent in working, they don't have the same discipline, et cetera. so this is a problem. how do you sell a model with chinese characteristics to countries that don't have chinese characteristics? >> is it your impression it's chinese political characteris c characteristics or economic characteristics. >> there is a political component to that. dung's philosophy was that china needs development. it can only have development under conditions of stability. and it can only have stability under conditions of one party rule by the chinese communist party. i was at a small lunch with him where i heard him lay this out. is there any marxist component
in that justification for communist party rule? zero. >> this has been called for a while the beijing consensus, that its stability under relatively authori relatively authoritarian government -- >> the final point is this. what was demonstrated during the 1980s was china could not have conditions of stability under one party rule when it opened its doors to the outside world. two general secretaries of the communist party were purged and you had the instability surrounding the events in 1989. that was an example of how they couldn't deliver stability because of the impact of these outside ideas coming into china. china still has its doors open to the outside world but it's trying to close off the thought processes inside china and that's a contradiction i don't
think they can win. >> we'll just take one last question, the gentleman next to her. >> thank you. i have a question about taiwan. i would agree with robert. xi jinping has a sense of the mission, so i believe the national unity would -- because i think most men in chinese also have the same perspective. the problem is that he also amplifies all the stability. and also on the other hand, the general telling people really want to keep the status quo, and there's no strong desire for a one china, so how do you see the place and also how it will affect the u.s. american relationship? thanks. >> his comments on taiwan in general were moderate. he reaffirmed the policy of peaceful unification. he repeated beijing's willingness to deal with anyone and any party on the basis of
one china and/or the '92 consensus. that's been the traditional chinese position. he didn't change it. he reiterated it, but previously, xi jinping has said this is not a problem that can be left for future generations. so that -- >> left for future generations or that it can wait forever? >> no, cannot be left -- it was using the dong statement that they should be criticized and left for future generations to solve. so xi used dong's language but reversed it and said the taiwan issue cannot be left for future generations to solve, which amounts to implying there was some sort of deadline out there. well, the deadline is now more specific because what he said in the work report realizing complete national unification is an inevitable requirement for realizing the great rejuvenation
of the chinese people. well, the great rejuvenation of the chinese people is supposed to be accomplished by the 100th anniversary of the people's republic of china in 2049. so he's implying he has 32 years from now, we need complete national unification. the inevitable requirement, so it's to have national unification completed by the time that you have this. that's a problem. because we have more than 32 years already since the united states established diplomatic relations with china. and taiwan has been in this anomls international position during that period. during that period, there's been enormous development of cross state relations, and there's overwhelming support in taiwan for maintaining the status quo. but there's been no progress, in
fact, a retrogression of people in taiwan who favor a peaceful unification with the mainland. so how are we going to reverse that over the next 32 years? but there's no urgency to it. now, the difference is 32 years for chinese doesn't seem that long. but for americans, it's forever. because if you say something is going to happen in three or four years from now, we pay no attention to it. that's out of the realm of our political system. >> and on that positive note of the u.s. governance system, thank you for coming. please join me in thanking robert and steve. have a good weekend, everybody. [ applause ]
we are live now on capitol hill, as the house ways and means committee in just a few minutes will begin its line by line review of the republican tax bill, which was unveiled last week. the mark-up is expected to last several days, with committee chair kevin brady saying he wants to finish scomity work by this thursday. republicans are aiming to pass the measure in the full house by thanksgiving. and by the way, if you would like to read the republican tax plan, we have posted it in our congressional chronicle page, which you can link to right from our home page at c-span.org. you can read the entire bill. we expect the chairman brady will gavel the meeting in shortly, give his opening statement. the democrats on their committee are led by richard neal of massachusetts. he's in the room along with a number of other democrats. so it should get started shortly here on c-span3.
this is the ways and means committee meeting room in the longworth house building on capitol hill. the committee beginning what's expected to be four days of mark-ups on the republican tax plan. many of the democrats are in the room. some republicans too, including peter roskam of illinois, the center of the screen. the chair of the committee is kevin brady of texas. and phil mattingly of cnn writes that don't be surprised if the only republican amendments throughout the week are offered by chairman brady, with rank and file gop committee members angling behind closed doors to get their preferred provisions included in whatever chairman brady proposes. he writes the democrats are under no such restrictions, however, and the floor is wide open for representative richard neal of massachusetts, the panel's top democrat, and his colleagues to try to create as many political problems as possible. again, day number one of the mark-up of the republican tax plan here on the house.
coming into the room, the texas congressman and chair of the ways and means committee kevin brady. the mark-up is the time when members can go through line by line, provision by provision, of the proposed tax bill. that's a bill that came out last week, we have a link to it on our website in the congressional chronicle at c-span.org.
plenty of changes possible to the tax cuts and job acts, republicans are calling it. democrats on the committee tweeting out a video of a copier printing out pages and pages of potentially proposed amendments, saying democrats have a few ideas about how to make the gop tax bill actually work for middle-class families, so the first day of the hearing, the mark-up session, i should say, expected to run through thursday. the senate, meanwhile, will see its provision, its bill introduced in just a couple days, we expect, from the finance committee. the chair of that committee is orrin hatch. we should see that by the middle of the week.