tv Charlie Rose PBS January 22, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PST
>> rose: welcome our program. tonight, we take a look at the extraordinary week in washington where the president of china has been visiting the president of the yut in an official state visit. we talk this evening to the former ambassador from china to the united states, zhou wenzhong. >> of course, what we hope is that we'll have relationship in which we will treat each other as equals. so in that sense, i think in the world, every country is equal. i know this is a very diverse world and diversity that makes the world so colorful. and countries, no matter the size of it, big or small, are all equal. >> rose: we continue our coverage of china in the united states with american businessman john mack who has made frequent
trips to china to understand the chinese and look at mutual business opportunities. >> it wasn't until the early-- late 80s, early 90s they started making this huge conversion and changing their economy, so you can understand why they don't want to see outside companies come in and take control of some of their major businesses. they have to be cautious. but, at the same time i think if you build the sense of trust, communications, over time, some of the complaint that we have will go away. >> rose: we conclude our look at china and the united states with kenneth roth a guest at the state dinner and talked to the chinese about human rights. >> change is going to come through local activities in china. and the u.s. government needs, in my view, to be seen as on the side of these local efforts. it can't do that by having quiet conversations in the foreign ministry. >> rose: finally, this evening,
an appreciation of my great friend, reynolds price, the brilliant writer, who died this week at his beloved duke university. on this evening, we take a look at chinese-u.s. relations, and remember reynolds price. when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following: maybe you want school kids to have more exposure to the arts. maybe you want to provide meals for the needy. or maybe you want to help when the unexpected happens. whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer, or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference.
additional funding provided by these funders: captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: the president of chinatowna hu jinto, ended his visit to the united states this week. the economy, business, political remember were all part of the conversation. over the course of the week me met with president obama, cabinet leaders business pleerds and others. today he visited a high school in chicago that teaches chinese culture and language. joining me to look at this week
meetings between china and the americans, zhou wenzhong. i'm very pleased to have him back on th program. mr. ambassador, welcome back. >> thank you, thank you, charlie. >> rose: what are you doing now? >> i now work for a regional forum focusing on regional integration and incorporation. >> how would you sum up this week in terms of u.s.-china rerelations and what it meant to china? >> i think it was a very fruitful week, a very productive week. it goes a long way in promoting relations between china and the united states, particularly for the second decade of this century because the two sides agreed to develop a partnership based on mutual benefits and, also, a mutual respect. and i think this is very important for the world, for our
two countries. >> rose: the chinese got what they hoped to gain from this-- from the meetings? >> i thinkoth sides are pleased with the results of the visit. because we are very sensitive to your concerns, and i think the u.s. has tried its best to be sensitive to our concerns. now i think the challenge is to implement what has been agreed upon. >> rose: would you agree with this statement that someone said it put a floor under the chinese-american relationship after a difficult year? >> actually, when the administration came into this office, we had a good transition, and the relations for most of the time since the administration came into office were quite stable. yes, it is true last year we had
some problems and-- but our problems have been-- they are not new problems. some of them have been with us for quite a while. >> rose: what are those problems? >> for instance, the question of the sale of weapons to taiwan, and meeting with the dalai lama, and of course, south china sea, yellow sea, something which have risen the last year. >> rose: some say that the message of this summit is that china is an equal of the united states on the world stage. >> it depends how you look at it. because the partnership is based on mutual respect, and mutual benefit, and of course what we hope is that we'll have relationships in which we will
treat each others as equals. so in that sense, i think in the world, every country is equal. i know this is a very diverse world and diversity is-- it's diversity that makes the world so colorful. and countries, no matter the size of it, big or small, are all equal. >> rose: how would you characterize the difference in terms of the attitudes turns iran and north korea? is it strategy? is it tactics? is it-- what? >> they are not quite the same. in the case of of north korea, i think we have set up a mechanism of talks and it has proved to be a useful mechanism, so now the question is how to have the six-party talks to resume. and with regard to the question of iran, the nuclear issue, it's
a bit different. they agreed to resume the talks, so i think the parties' concerns are ready for another round of talks. and here, you know, we don't have an agreement yet, so we need to get every party to the six-party talks to agree to the resumption, and that's the difference. >> rose: your president has said a number of times, you know, that the relationship is not a zero-sum gain, and he's emphasized that and other members of the delegation have emphasized that. he has also said that china neither seeks hegemony or expansionism. what does china seek? >> you know, actually, secretary of state hillary clinton also emphasized that from your point of view, relations between china and the united states are not a zero-sum game so i think this is
a view held by both sides, and this is rightly so because we share many common interests, and we're confronted with many global challenges, and no country alone can resolve these global challenges alone. so i think we need to work together. and it is no longer a situation where one country's success means the failure of another country. so i think we need to-- we are in the same boat and we need to work together to resolve all these problems and take on all the challenges. >> rose: do you think the united states, both its policymakers, and its citizens understand china? >> i would not claim that we understand the united states just as well, but i think, you know, we need to try hard to understand the other party, as much as we can. so that's why we stand for very close contacts between leaders.
we stand for still closer exchanges, a level of people-to-people exchanges. all this has been covered in the joint statement. so i think that's what happened. i think in the joint statement, you can see that the two leaders have agreed upon a very crowded schedule for high-level exchanges between china and the united states and also for the mechanisms we already have set up to resume their meetings. >> rose: what are the tensions within china that are important for you, important for your leaders to address? >> china's reform program has been with us for the last 30 years, which started in 1978. and it has been very successful. and china has seen a lot of growth in the economy, and the
size of its g.b.p. has become quite sizable. so we have managed to reduce a number of poverty, the people in poverty by 200 million and the level of income in the countryside and in the cities has risen considerably. the whole country has taken on a new look. on the other hand, china has a long way to go, and we-- different areas, regions vary in terms of levels of development. so, you know, china is a country where you see very advanced, very modern cities along the coast and where you will also see rather backwards countrysides and also in the cities, in the provinces, cities
in the provinces. so it's a country of both very high growth and also relatively still very backward interior places. so that's why we think it's very important for us to have a good coordination between the coast and the interior provinces and economic development, between the environmental protection and economic growth. so that's what we mean by scientific outlook for development. so, you know, in terms of energy you know, in terms of population in terms of jobs, i think we have lots of challenges. we need to really work very hard on. and this year is the first year of the five-year plan, and i hope during these 12 five-year plan, there will be continued
progress in terms the narrowing the gap between cities and countrysides so that we'll have some better-quality nations between economic growth and social progress. >> rose: what do you worry most about in terms of the domestic circumstances in china? >> you know, the goal, of course is to-- for china to reach the level of medium-sized developed country in the middle of this country. and we also hope that by 2020 we'll be able to reach the goal of high level of comfortable life for the people in the country. and to reach the two goals, i think we have a lot of work to do. >> rose: the last growth period measured in 2010 was at 9.8%.
so you're saying that you see it leveling off at 8% rather than marching-- increasing to, say, 10%? >> i think we can't really foretell the forecasted growth between now and 2010. i think we are only saying that we hope during the 12 five-year plan we'll be able to maintain the growth at 8%. but beyond the, you know, the 20 sfaerng or 2018 and what kind of growth we'll be able to achieve, that's something i don't know. because it depends on so many things. but i think the hope is in the next five years, we'll be able to have an annual growth of 8% every year. >> rose: what is the attitude in china today about u.s. securities and holding as much treasuries and other securities as your government holds?
>> that's why we say we're in the same boat. i think the joint statement on the u.s. side has also expressed its readiness to watch the exchange rate of dollars. so we hope the dollar will remain stable because this is in your interest and also in our interest. so as i said, you know, this is entirely interdependent world, and china and the united states have become the second largest trade partners together. and i think the volume of trade will continue, will continue to increase, and the development-- your investment in china and our investment in the united states will continue to increase. so we actually depend on one another for more prosperity.
so that's why we hope the dollar will be stable, and i think you also hope that the chinese economy will continue to be prosperous. so in that sense, i think we should be representative to each other's concerns. >> rose: so you think that we're sort of locked in a kind of interdependence? in other words-- >> yeah, i think, you know, there is no other option. because the world has changed. and globalization has been with us, and no country can do without it. actually, everyone. i think the united states included has benefitted a great deal from globalization. but, of course, globalization has also brought about many problems when we need to work to resolve them. >> rose: what problems are you talking about? >> for instance, the financial crisis. that's a problem because it's, of course, it's-- it came into being because of a lack of sort
of regulation, regulating, the lack of regulating. proper regulating is not in place. but on the other hand, it has become a very serious, and it has become so contentious because of globalization, so no one country can be immune from that financial crisis. so that's the reality. >> rose: it is said-- what impact did the american-- the fact that the united states was so directly tied to the economic collapse have on china's impression of u.s. markets and china's impression of the way the united states handled its economy and its financial system? >> you know, this is, of course, a subject for the g-20. now, we have had i think all
together five g-20s. so at all these g-20 summits, the leaders of the countries which were there all agree that they have a special responsibility to make sure is that the world economy will continue to develop, and they all agree that they should work out a package to help everyone to be out of the financial crisis. so what i'm trying to say is what happened, happened, but we need to work together to sort of put it right, so that we'll be able to get rid of the financial crisis and be out of this as soon as possible. >> rose: how is china going to handle this dilemma that it has as other industrialized nations do, especially emerging nations,
you're building up your manufacturing capacity. you have a lot of coal-burning factories all over china. yet, at the same time you have an environmental problem and you have a heavy commitment to finding alternative sources of energy. but for right now, what fuels your economy is the ability to export extraordinary number of products to the united states and other countries. >> yeah. for one thing, you know, we have this sort of protocol and also the u.n. framework agreement which we need to abide by. and so that is to say we have a commitment to the reduction of emissions, and i hope other countries will abide by their commitments to the reduction of emissions. on the other hand, i think we need to work more closely to try
to reduce-- to be more energy efficient, so to speak, and also to develop new technologies. so that's why energy has become an area of great potential for more cooperation between china and the united states and understand when president hu jinto was here, about 18-- some 18 agreements were signed between china and the united states with a total dollar value of $18 billion. they are all agreements concerning corporations in the area of energy. so i think this is pretty good. >> rose: speaking of investments it is said one of the things that nur president announced was some $45 billion available to invest. >> it's not just investment. it's also procurement. china has signed many contracts
for procurement. for instance, 200 boeing airplanes, and i understand there has been a large contract for foreign products. so the total dollar value, i think, is $48 billion. >> rose: in terms of buying american products. >> yeah, buying american products, and also investing in the united states, everything included. >> rose: your president got a lot of attention at a press conference when he said china knows a lot needs to be done in china in terms of human rights. what did he mean? first of all, i think in terms of human rights, there are certain international understandings, and we accept these international standards in terms of human rights.
but there are 194 countries which are all different. so, in other words, the international-- universally international understanding of human rights needs to be implemented in the specific condition of any given country. so in that sense, no one country can claim to have the model for everyone. so that's why we say we hope-- that both countries have expressed their readiness to respect the developed model chosen by a given country, and values of a given country. >> rose: what specific things might be done in china in terms of human rights? >> for instance, the-- china is a developing country, and in our view, the right to subsistence is the number one human right for our people. so the government will make sure
that everyone in china will have a better life and they will be equal in terms of education, in terms of health care, so that is very important. and we also realize that, you know, they want to participate in the political process, but the participation will be encouraged in an orderly way, and then the international people's congress and the chinese people. will all have a role to play in the political process so that people will be able to express their views, so on and so forth. so i think this is, all in all, a socialist democracy in our political terms, and we will advance the socialist democracy so that there will be-- the people will be able to participate in the political process, and people will be able
to participate in the decision-making process, and there will be more supervision. and we are sort of-- elections will be carried out, direct elections will be carried out at the village level, and experimented at the country level. so i think that's what he means. >> rose: i didn't understand-- and i haven't quite understood-- why china would not allow a nobel laureate to go to oslo and accept his nobel prize. >> because he is-- he is sort of an inmate. and he committed if crimes, violated laws in china so we think it is totally inappropriate for the so-called
for him. >> rose: henry kissinger on this program expressed the idea that he might have said the international uproar meant china was paying a price for that attitude. >> actually, you know, many countries, more than 100 countries, support our position. >> rose: my impression is on on the vital question of currency and appreciation, what china is saying, as it has said, is we understand the relevance of this issue. but the appreciation, because of what it means to us, will have to take place slowly. am i stating the position correctry? >> i think, you know, in the joint statement, we have reafirmed that the reform of the exchange rate reform will
continue. but-- and the u.s. has reafirmed its readiness to watch the if exchange rate of the dollar. so i think this is-- there is something we will continue to do and we hope the u.s. will do what you need to do. >> rose: i thank you for your time. it's great to have ow this program again. and i hope that we can continue the conversation in beijing. >> thank you. >> rose: on wednesday hu jinto met with c.e.o.s at the white house. disagreement over china's restrictive exchange policy,
president obama and president hu spoke about the economic relationship between china and the united states. >> it is important, i think, to note that even with china's enormous population, the united states still does more trade with europe than it does with china. that i think gives an indication of the amount of progress that can be made if we are consulting with each other, if we are hearing specifically from business in terms of how we can ease some of the frictions that exist in our trading relationship, and so my hope is that today in the brief time that we have we'll be able to hear some concrete ideas about how we make sure that trade is fair, that there is a level playing field, how can we protect intellectual property? how can we promote innovation? how can both of our governments remove barriers to trade and
barriers to job creation? if. >> our two-way trade has brought about $6 billion of benefit. if we look ahead to the future, our trade cooperation enjoys a promising future. here i have a message to all of you. that is, china is speeding up its transformation of economic growth and economic restructuring. we are focusing our efforts to boosting... consumer spending. >> rose: naming jeffrey him elt to head an economic committee.
>> that's where the customers are, and we want to sell them products made here in america. that's why i met with chinese meetings and jeff joined me at the state dinner. they're selling here, and that's fine, but we want to sell there. ( applause ) we want to open up their markets so that we've got two-way trade, not just one-way trade. >> rose: joining me is john mack c.e.o. of morgan stanley until his retirement in 2009. hue is now the chairman of the board and on the advisory aboard of the chinese investment organization. i'm pleased to have him here back on this program to talk about this relationship, this business relationship, between china and the united states, because he is a frequent visitor to china and recently returned, so welcome. >> thank you, charlie. good to be here again. >> rose: were the american business leaders satisfied with the conversations that took place? and do they believe there's going to be a change?
>> charlie, clearly, any time there can be a direct dialogue as a past c.e.o. or present c.e.o.s there, they found that helpful to discuss the issues. what the chinese want, i think, is a better understanding having the u.s. really understand what they're trying to do. i was there in december, and i'm going to be there in two weeks, and i had a discussion with one of the vice premieres, and he talked about our congressmen and senators coming to visit them and talking you should be doing this, and you should be doing that. after a while i said excuse me-- this was a senator-- excuse me, senator, how many books have you read about my country? and he said none. of course i start saying how many have i read? at least i have five. he said, "i've read over 100 books about your country. i know something about your culture, but i'm not an expert.
to come and preach to me what our country should do when you really don't have an understanding i find very resentful." i think what they're looking for clearly, is a better understanding, and you cannot take, you know, that society, that culture and make one or two visits. we need to spend time. one of the things as a businessperson i found, our elected politicians do not travel enough. i'm sure there are political issues and junkets and free rides and things like that. it's a global economy. it's not just a u.s. economy. and to understand the chinese and to get along with the chinese, and a lot of other countries-- this is not just about china-- we need to spend more time in these countries. we need more meetings like what took place with the c.e.o.s and hu jinto, and to really make sure that we really understand these countries. and then kind cajole and pub and
say why certain things should work and why certain things shouldn't work. that's the dialogue i think they're looking for. >> rose: are you trying to encourage that dialogue before this summit? >> absolutely. >> rose: the goal simply being to what? >> build relationships. the chinese, like many countries around the world, they want a relationship. they want to trust the people they're doing business with. you can't just fly in and fly out and not get into their personalities, spend time with them. and, you know, the first-- i'm going to guess-- 25 times i went to china, i didn't do any business. and the first piece of business that we got at morgan stanley was a power transaction. we raised debt money. and i finally said to the minister, "why did you give me this business?" and i laugh the at his worry. he said, you're the only bank that has come without a lawyer.
you trust us." >> rose: do they recognize there's a feeling among some businesspeople that you want to learn what you've got and then say good-bye. you've heard all of this before. >> charlie, i have, and, look, we can't forget, this is an emerging market. if you go back to the end of the cultural revolution-- what was that, the late 70s-- that's n a lot of years to go from what they went through in the cultural revolution-- and you can argue the pros and cons of that. and really it wasn't until the late 80s, early 90s they started making this huge conversion and change in their economy. so you can understand why they don't want to see outside companies come in and take control of some of their major businesses. they have to be cautious. but at the same time, i think if you build the sense of trust, communications over time, some of the complaints that we have will go away. look at general motors. general motors sells a lot of
cars. >> rose: a lot of buicks. >> well, i don't care if it's a buick or chevrolet. they sell a lot of cars in china. it's been one of their best businesses. all right. do you own 100% of it? no. but i would argue, in china you want to have a local partner, and you want to make sure it's fair. and i'm not saying everything is fair. i'd argue-- we do business around the world. there are a lot of places in other delays are not fair. so it takes time and i think our time frame is very short. their time frame is very long, and they have issues they have to address and one of the big ones is employment. i think they have to create over 25 million jobs a year. you have this whole movement from, you know, the agricultural sector into these urban centers and you need to create jobs to do that. you can understand why they have to be somewhat cautious. at the same time, i've never dealt with any groups around the world who are open to ideas, who
are commercial, and who make sure you get the right return on your investment. are there places where people have copied things and reproduced? yes, but it's not just in china. do they do some things that upsets people? absolutely, they do. the other side is everyone does. to me it's enterative that we continue to have a dialogue. >> rose:-- >> i was asked the other way to write a letter of recommendation to one of the top business schools, and one of my friends is a professor, and i called him up, and i said, "tom, tell me what's going on and what you're looking for. ?" he said, "before i do that, we have 2,000 applications from some of the brightest students we've ever seen coming out of china." this was at harvard. "it wasn't just harvard. so there's a real export of personnel, of young students who want to learn. >> rose: there are a lot more
chinese students studying in the united states than there are americans studying in china. >> that's right. and i think that's changing. they're going to go back to china-- but these students are going to go back to china. they're going to have a different view of things. i think things will change in china. my only concern, it makes you very defensive when people are coming in who really don't understand your culture and really haven't been to china often, preaching to them. and i really theep these dialogues-- this dialogue between c.e.o.s of companies and c.e.o.s to china builds a bridge that we can get a lot more done dna. >> rose: are you saying to me, the trips you took to china, many of them were not about making a deal. most of them were about building a relationship so there could be a possibility? >> well, charlie, you've known me for a long time. i can multitask.
>> rose: i just want to get this on the table. you weren't there to borrow money or lend money. >> i'm on the mayor's council in beijing. there's no business there. but it's a chance to share ideas and talk about what are some of the things they can do, either to educate their people or build certain businesses. years ago i went and they had a speech on technology. they had a whole sector out of shanghai, i think it was. so there was no business there in the short term, but in the long term, those trips, those meetings, it helps us do business. there's no question about that. >> rose: do you, that these meetings that took place in washington made a difference? >> in the long run it will make a difference because the focus-- listen, i'm sure this is all shown on television back in bag, shanghai, all of china. >> rose: it was actually seen by many people, a lot of the ceremony was shown, in order to suggest as somebody once said, the view the chinese are getting
is much more abouticism blim than it is about context. symbol here is the president of china standing next to the president of the united states and these are the two strongest countries in the world, and both, you know, understand that and respect each other. that's the symbolism. >> but, charlie, that's in washington. that's dealing with c.e.o.s from american companies and chinese companies. i think that's very public. in. china-- the head of the business council there-- i'm going with five or six c.e.o.s in six weeks to meet with c.e.o.s of chinese companies. this has become a government program. this is not john mack and zhou wenzhong calling up and saying let's get c.e.o.s together. this is coming from the government of china. >> rose: saying that to their c.e.o.s. >> exactly. >> rose: do they understand us, those that you know. >> they spend more time trying
to understand us than we've tried to understand them. i believe that. now, you mentioned that there are a lot more chinese students here than american students there. i think that is changing. but that shows you that they do want to understand us, and even though we have some political differences, and some of them are huge, and i don't want to get into the politics of north korea and things like, that i really believe they work at getting to understand and know us. >> rose: so did the human right question come up in all the conversations the businesspeople had? >> they really don't. i think people understand that's a real issue, and people want change. the way i-- and you can say, jeopardy well, john, you're just rationalizing it-- i just think it tamz takes time to make these changes. he is a country, after world war ii, the cultural revolution, and the late 70s, early eightesis,
they begin to open up, and a history of kind of a more democratic, open society-- and i'm not saying it's democratic in the sense we look at it, but it's a more open society. >> rose: and a more diverse society. >> absolutely. it takes time to change. and my view is let's continue to talk about human rights but let's do it in a way that's less accusatory and pushy of what really comes from it and how it opens up society to be more creative and honest. >> rose: one of the interesting questions in the united states and around the world is whether america is in decline. it can be phrased another way-- what does the united states have to do to be competitive in a new world order. when you're asked that, what do you say? >> one thing we have to change-- we owe so much money. we have such a large deficit.
that, i think, zapz a lot of our powers to be creative as we should be. but i do not hold the view that americaing is in decline. i believe we have ups and downs. >> rose: george stults said what america has to do without criticizing is get its house in order in terms of how it deals with the huge deficit and debt, and get house in order of education process, in terms of health care, and the things, i said. if what does the world worry about? they worry about whether the united states can control their debt. it's not just the united states. in terms of sovereign debt and places that are doing much worse than we are, and you, as the financial leader, care about that around the world. >> there's no argument there. >> rose: do you worry and do the
chinese worry-- mainly, do they worry and they reflect this to you, that their economy may be too fast and that they've got to be careful about that. >> charlie, they do, and when i was there in december, bank rates were ticked up. that is the world. they've had kind of the dream run here. they've had growth and low inflation. >> rose: right. >> so they're very concerned about the inflation and what it can do to their economy. again, after having said that, i think they're very focused on it. their central baek bang is very focused on it. >> rose: you urge people to go to china. >> i do urge people to go to china. the most exciting place in which change has taken place at a velocity you have never seen before. >> charlie, that's true. but it's not just china. go to brazil.
go to india. >> rose: go to turkey. >> go to russia. everything is a little different. i'm shocked and very supportive of a member of the politicians but when i talk to the senator who comes to see me, one of my first questions, "have you been to china, brazil, india or russia?" is. >> rose: and then you ask them about the books they've read. >> thank you for coming. >> rose: john mack, president of morgan stanley. as we continue looking at the visit of the chinese president to washington, we turn now to the question of human rights in china. the government has a history of cracking down on dissidents and ethnic minority. the winner of the nobel prize was not allowed to attend the ceremony in oslo. president obama and president hu acknowledged the differences on human rights during their news
conference on wednesday. >> china is at a different stage of development than we are. we come from very different cultures and with very different histories. but as i've said before and i repeat it to president hu, we have some core views as americans about the universeality of certain rights-- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of abemly-- that we think are very important and that transcend cultures. i have been very candid with president hu about these issues. >> ( translated ): china recognizes and also respects the universality of human rights and at the same time, we do believe that we also need to take into account the different national circumstances when it comes to the universal value of human
rights. china is a developing country with a huge population, and also a developing country in a crucial stage of reform. and in this context, china, too, faces many challenges in economic and social development. and a lot still needs to be done in china in terms of human rights. >> rose: joining me is kenneth roth, the executive director of human rights watch. he attended the state dinner at the white house on wednesday night. i am pleased to have him back on this program. welcome. >> thanks for having me again charlie. >> rose: you were there at the state dinner? >> i was. >> rose: tell me the conversations you want the to have and the conversations you had. >> obviously, i spoke with president hu. that was not the most satisfactory conversation. it was in the receiving line. i said i'm from human rights watch. we'd like to have the same kind of exchanges with your government that we have with other governments around the world, including the united
states. and he, you know, smiled and shook my hand and didn't say anything and that was the end of that. that was sdppting. what was much more encouraging is i was seated-- very well, i must say. they put me right in the main state dining room and at the table with the u.s. ambassador to china, the chief white house china director, and the ambassador to the u.s. so i spent the whole time speaking with the chinese ambassador. actually, he brought up the nobel peace prize winner and he wanted to defend their prosecution of him and we had a long back-and-forth. i kept saying, "why are you prosecuting this guy? all he is doing is peacefully promoting democracy?" and he said, this is dangerous." and i said, "what's dangerous? he's not advocating violence?" >> rose: he's not vacating
overthrowing the government. >> he said, "he's propagating his views." or "he's encouraging the split of china. he wants to divide china into a lot of different parts." i thought it was useful there just to really, with the u.s. government's backing-- i obviously had been placed there by the obama administration-- to challenge him in a way i suspect he doesn't get challenged that often. we got into a conversation about the various challenges facing china. and the chinese government does concede they have human rights challenges in vague terms. >> rose: is this simply based on what prlt hu said or is it something else that makes you see the acknowledgement that there are human rights issues that they know they have to address? >> what president hu said is at this stage official policy. if for example, you look at the human rights action plan that was adopted a year and a half ago. they say right away that we have various human rights goals, we
have various shortcomings. this is the progress we're going to try to make over the next couple of years, that's the official line. not to speak concretely-- it was very vague-- but to acknowledge you can talk about human rights so there is the resilliance to the argument you should not interfere in our internal affairs. >> rose: how bad is the human rights record in china, relative to whatever? >> it's getting worse. >> rose: really? >> what you saw really in the run-up to the beijing olympics is the security forces were empowered to really keep the lid on, and that greater empowerment has not been withdrawn. and so, you know, somebody like zhobow, the fact that he was given an 11-year prison sentence for subversion, that reflects a growing dominance of the security forces. >> rose: and what is the fear? >> well, i think they are terrified of another
tiananmen-style uprising. they would define it in terms of they're worried about instability and security. clearly, if you look at china's history, there have been big moments of insecurity. but what i think really makes them fearful now is by their own official reckoning, there are 90,000 incidents of public unrest every single year in china. low-level demonstration, usually challenging some corrupt local official who is polluting the environment or seizing land or extorting money. what they're terrified of is that these little, local rebel yonz will somehow catch and become a national rebellion, the way we saw with the tiananmen uprising. >> rose: what do you think is necessary for that to change? >> well, in my view, they are going about this all wrong. that it is impossible to control this kind of local corruption simply by giving orders from
above. china is too big a country to make that work. i think their best solution would be to empower local actors to let local lawyers bring corrupt fors to court, to let organizations deal with these problems. they're again terrified the local, political effort might become a national effort directality no only the national officials but the leadership of beijing. they seem as if they've identified with these local, corrupt officials. >> rose: and where do you come down on the argument the best way to do this, to achieve results is private pressure, not public pressure? >> i have to say that there was a big improvement in the way president obama went about this summit compared to the one in now 2009. >> rose: before you answer my question, tell me why that was. what happened to make him change? >> i think because he was so widely seen to have flubbed the last summit. that was when hillary clinton went into it saying human rights
can't interfere in the u.s.-china relationship and other interests. that's where president obama refused to meet with the dalai lama until after the summit. the u.s. looked weak, inprincipled. it was a disaster. this time secretary clinton gave an excellent speech. president obama spoke about human rights right there with president hu at his side. this was seen as a much more successful effort. now, the reason i think that this kind of public discussion is important is because we can't count on change taking place in china simply because a handful of senior fors decide what had happened. in fact, they're unlikely to make that decision. change is going to come through local activities in china. and the u.s. government needs, in my view, to be seen as on the side of these local efforts. you can't do that by having quiet conversations in the foreign ministry. the only way to do it is to make clear to the chinese people as a whole that the u.s. government stands with them and their desire for greater freedom.
>> rose: is there a price to pay at all in insisting publicly that a country change its human rights policy before something else can happen? well, that's what people always fear, if you speak out, china will retaliate against you. but in fact the lesson of this last week, the lesson of this summit is that that's not true, that president hu was very content by his reception. there were lots of warm feelings in the room at the state dinner at the white house even though president obama was clear about his discontent. >> rose: my impression is they view this as a very successful summit because of a larger feeling of symbolism of their arrival, not as a great nation-- they've always believed they were a great nation-- but being seen on the world stage as an
equal player with the united states. >> that's absolutely true but i think it's important as president obama did to make clear that that embrace, that legitimacy, doesn't come by flouting global standards. it comes from embracing global standards. i mean, china clearly aspires to be a great nation-- it almost inherently is, given its size. but there is the open question on what basis is china going to accept and promote the international rules on which really global civilization is built or is it going to flount the rules, it include the human right treaties. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> good to see you again. >> rose: reynolds price, the great writer,s was a friend of mine and he was a friend of this program. sadly, he died thursday in durham, north carolina, from complicationsave heart attack. reynolds was 77 years old. for more than 50 years he was an iconic presence at duke university where he taught writing and the poetry the
milton. he was born in 1933 in macon, north carolina, and aside from a few years at oxford as a rhodes scholar he spent his entire life at north carolina and doing dukakis. we will do a longer appreciation of reynolds price in the near future, but for now, here's one conversation as an appreciation of the life of a remarkable friend. >> the next year i won the william faulkner award for the novel and i had never met the man i never had the gutss to walk over and introduce myself. i-- but i had-- mr. price, heir to faulkner. i'm not an heir to anything. >> rose: they did say that. if you googled today, no matter how far back they go, if you google reynolds price and
faulkner, you will hear what you just said repeated over and over and over again. >> as the years have gone on, the decades have gone on, and i've now published 38 books, i hear it less, this reynolds price southern writer -- >> also because you've ranged far, too. >> yeah, and people can now be sort of praiseful about it, "distinguished author blood pressure" all right. but i still very much prefer to be just thought of as a good or bad writer and an american writer. >> rose: reynolds price, a great friend, dead at age 77. we shall miss him.