tv Amanpour on PBS PBS December 21, 2017 12:00am-12:31am PST
welcome to this edition of "amanpour" on pbs. tonight as president trump calls out china for economic aggression, a rare interview with beijing's top man in washington. ambassador cui tiankai on what it all means for the rival powers and for the nuclear neighbor north korea. plus, is it back slash brewing against the me too moment? a historian and journalist who follow this culture shift. they join me to discuss. ♪ "amanpour on pbs" was made
possible by the generous support of rosalind p. walter. good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london with the world view. president donald trump is ending the year on a high, winning a legislative victory with his pledge to make massive tax cuts, and watching the stock market soar to record highs itself. but the year also ends with great disruption to america's relations around the world that could turn around and bite american workers where it really hurts. a potential trade war with china is looming as trump follows through on another campaign promise to paint that country as an economic threat that challenges america. ambassador cui tiankai is beijing's envoy to the united states, and he joins me now from washington. ambassador, welcome to the program. >> thank you.
good evening. >> good evening to you. so let me first start by asking you about your reaction to the national security review that president trump outlined. and if you wouldn't mind, ambassador, i'm just going to start with a sound bite so you can get a flavor of what he said. >> we also face rival powers, russia and china, that seek to challenge american influence, values, and wealth. we will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interests. >> so when you heard that, what did you think? and particularly as compared with what's actually written in the document, which goes a lot further? >> well, i think for any strategy to look truly like a strategy, it will need a couple
of things. first, a truly global outlook. and a forward-looking vision and a constructive and cooperative approach. and frankly, i think that the current strategy could be improved in all these aspects. >> well, that -- >> -- as far as china is concerned, we are not seeking -- >> yes, please. >> you're about to say you're not seeking to challenge america. i think that's what you're going say. so i want to ask you on what actually was written in the document. >> yes. >> basically, the document describes china in terms of economic aggressions as a threat to the united states. it says china presents its ambitions as mutually beneficial. but chinese dominance risks diminishing the sovereignty of many states in the indo pacific. as you know, the national security adviser said last week that russia is a -- sorry.
china is a revisionist power that is undermining the international order. that's pretty harsh. >> well, you have raised a number of questions. let me try to respond one by one. first of all, as i said earlier, china is not seeking global dominance. we believe in today's world, all countries are confronted with a lot of common challenges, and we do share a growing common interest. so what is important for us is to form a wide-based global partnership to respond to the coming challenges and to build a community of nations that will have a shad and better future. this is our goal. we don't think there is a zero sum game between any countries, especially between china and the united states. economically, the fact is china and u.s. economies have become increasingly connected and interdependent, and both
economies, both our peoples have benefitted from this effect. and china will continue to open its door wider to the rest of the world, including in particular the united states. and the huge and growing chinese market is providing tremendous opportunities to u.s. business. at the same time, chinese business is also coming to the u.s. to invest and create jobs. so i think a stronger tie, a stronger economic tie would benefit both countries and both people. of course we have to recognize the united states is the largest and strongest economy in the world. so very often, u.s. macroeconomic policies do have external impacts on others, including on china. >> okay. >> so we have to watch it very carefully. >> okay, ambassador. you're talking very much in terms of partnership, and
certainly in his verbal, you know, comments to president xi and about president xi, president trump talks about partnership. but this national security review paints a different picture. so were you surprised? did you have a heads up? did you know? did china know what was coming in this document? and i specifically ask you, because you've been very prominent in paving the way for meetings between your president and president trump, particularly the first meeting in mar-a-lago that everybody called a roaring success. >> well, there are always conflicting views about our relationship here in the united states. we are fully aware of this. so this is not something entirely new. it's been with us for maybe decades. and we have to stress and put our emphasis on the growing common interests and mutual
needs between our two countries. of course our two presidents have had very good meetings at mar-a-lago and in beijing more recently, and we are very encouraged by this positive development, especially at the top level. and we have also established high-level dialogue mechanisms. all of these mechanisms have worked well for both countries and we should continue. we should continue to build the positive momentum generated by a good communications between our two leaders. >> and do you fear -- >> and deal with specific issues, manage our possible differences. >> do you fear -- >> in a very constructive manner. >> do you fear a possible imposition of tariffs as the president and his people threatened, certainly during campaign, and potentially in the early years of this administration? do you think that's now a real possibility? >> i think for countries like
the united states and china, we have to follow a very positive cooperative and constructive approach. even when dealing with some possible differences with other countries. because a trade war, a currency war would hurt both countries. we have to coordinate our positions to have a fuller understanding of the concerns and needs of the other side and try to build a position that would take care of the interests of both countries. we have to proceed on the basis of mutual respect and much better mutual understanding. and that will bring a winning outcome for all of us. >> okay, well, here is a win-win question i need to ask you about, and that is about north korea. of course, president trump has really relied on president xi to rein in north korea. but the interesting development seems to be that there are reports that both your countries have had military conversations in washington last month,
according to "the new york times" to talk about contingencies if there is any kind of collapse or conflict in north korea. is that the case? can you confirm that those conversations are going on? >> i think china and the united states do have shared goals on the korean peninsula. we both stand for denuclearization of the entire korean peninsula. we both want to maintain peace and stability, and we both prefer a diplomatic solution to the issue. and cooperation and coordination between china and the united states have played a big part in stressing the international effort to address this particular issue. >> okay. >> and we should continue. of course we firmly believe, yeah, we firmly believe war is no option on the korean
peninsula. war or armed conflict is no option. we have to seek a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the issue. and china and the united states have to work together on this. >> right. and to that end, i want to play this sound bite from secretary of state rex tillerson who discussed what might happen in the case of a conflict or a collapse of the north korean regime. listen to what he just said this last week. >> the most important thing to us would be securing those nuclear weapons they've already developed and ensuring that nothing falls into the hands of people we would not want to have it. we've had conversations with the chinese about how might that be done. we have had conversations that if something happened and we had to go across the line, we have given the chinese assurances we would go back and retreat back to the south of the 38th parallel. >> ambassador, that's an extraordinary public description of very, very detailed conversations that they're having with you.
what conversations are you having with north korea about this? >> i think the real job for china and the united states is to do whatever we can to prevent any armed conflict from happening on the korean peninsula. and this will certainly serve the large interests of everybody concerned. china and the united states should remain committed to this goal. >> all right. ambassador cui tiankai, thanks very much for joining us from washington with beijing's perspective. thank you very much. from challenges abroad to how we face the threats that hide in plain sight in our own neighborhoods, homes, and even our churches. when "the boston globe" spotlight team uncovered the abuse of children by catholic priests in 2002, it shook the church to its very foundations, and it saw the church even beg for forgiveness.
but those horrible memories are awakening in some today with news of the death of boston's former archbishop cardinal bernard law at age 86. he had been accused of covering up for the priests who themselves were accused of child abuse, and moving them around from church to church. so how much has really changed? law had retired to the vatican and it's been announced that he will get a full cardinal's burial at st. peter's basilica with the pope giving the final blessing. today at an emotional press conference in boston, the victims of abuse allegedly enabled by bernard law spoke out again. >> you made us disappear. and you -- he wrote a letter to the archbishop in thailand where my priest originated from, my abuser. and he said you need to recall him so that we can avoid grave scandal for the church. where was i in that letter? nowhere.
nowhere. i didn't exist. the church existed. and that's wrong. that's just wrong. >> the horror is still so real for these people. and in 2016, as i said, the film spotlight won best pictures at the oscars. the true story of the "boston globe's" investigative team that exposed these church crimes. at the time i spoke to the movie's star marc ruffalo and its director tom mccarthy. >> the days of hiding these kinds of issues are gone now. i mean, the internet, people's ability to speak directly to one another, it's created this decentralize kind of information nexus that makes these kinds of stories finally have a powerful way of being told. we know the truth. and we know the truth culturally. it's no longer a story that's in a small segment of the
population. we all know about it now. so now we get to act on it. >> and just as it was the power of journalism that brought the world's attention to sexual abuse in the church, this year we saw the same power finally expose sexual abuse in the workplace, setting the ground for the me too movement. as 2017 comes to an end, though, we ask will the movement live on? with us to discuss are mary beard, author of women in power and presenter of a highly rated television on ancient history here in britain. and rebecca, writer and author of "big girls don't cry." ladies, thank you both for joining me. mary, let me ask you first. put this movement in context. >> how wide a context do you want, christiane? you can go back two and a half thousand years if you want. >> let's just go back 30 years. gail rubin, female activist has
observed that during certain times in history, humans tend to renegotiate the sexual order. she noted that they produce laws, institution, and most important norms that govern sexuality for decades after. that's written up in the new yorker. is that what we're seeing now? >> it might be. but i'm far from convinced that it is. that's why i think actually a much longer perspective helps you kind of understand what's going on better. because when i think that it may be in a few years we will look back at me too in just that way. i hope so. >> what gives you pause? >> what gives me pause is if you think the real underlying problem here is the power structure between men and women, then however important a catalyst people speaking out might be, how brave they're being, however important it is to out some of the stuff that's been going on, nevertheless, if
the power structure remains the same, ultimately -- and it's embedded in that, it's going to take much longer to change. now i hope that's not the case. but my kind of gloomy analytical perspective is that so long as the power relationship between men and women are as they are, then something like this is not quite ever going to go away. >> well, rebecca, i see there in new york nodding, i think. do you think from a much more in your face sort of modern perspective covering it right now that this is a changing point? that this is a tipping point about the power structure itself? >> well, on the one hand, i so agree with professor beard in that this is such a long-term readjustment of power. but i don't feel gloomy about it. i'm somebody who is looking at this particular step. and i think it is going to be catalyt catalytic. it's not going to take us to
fixing the problem, because as mary beard said, this is eons of human behavior and a power structure that was built around gendered and racial privilege and inequality. and taking it apart takes lifetimes, centuries. however, i see residences between a period you mentioned 30 years ago, in the united states 25 years ago when anita hill testified about her experiences of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of clarence thomas. that was a battle that you could feel gloomy about at the time because she lost. she was treated poorly by the senate judiciary committee and clarence thomas was confirmed to the supreme court where he's had l kinds of law.and in shaping and law that has been damaging to people with less power in the united states. however, her testimony kicked off a conversation, a reexamination of sexual harassment not just as a kind of behavioral quirk, but as a pattern of behavior that does damage to women as a class within the public and professional sphere. that was a hugely important conversation. it did not obviously fix the
behavior or alter the power structure in any kind of permanent way. but it -- but it was a part of a conversation that we're picking up in a very big and loud way right now. and i think that's part of how these revisions work. they don't happen all at once. >> okay. >> you don't get rid of just a couple of bad apples and fix it. >> right. >> but we're in this long process. and that is part of it. >> mary? >> i think rebecca is absolutely spot on there. we look here, we get very optimistic and we think things are now, it's really going to change. and of course it's going to take a long time. but what you need, is that you kind of need a catalyst to change what's going on in people's heads. this is not actually just about people putting their hands where they shouldn't or worse where they shouldn't. it's about how they think about other people, what their views of women are deep inside. and you need to help them to tell a different story about that. >> well, you know what? that's a really interesting
point to make because mary is bringing this up as something fundamental that needs to change in the psyche, while others are bringing it up now, with you just described different degrees of harassment and abuse, and all being treated the same. there are others who announcing, including women who are writing articles saying is this going too far? is there a back splash every minor transgression being lumped with major transgressions. how do you see that, mary, before i go to rebecca? >> i'm going to think whenever you get a useful storm like, this you also get ragged edges to it. and you also get people saying that bit is too far. and you get other people almost rejecting it entirely. that goes with the territory. if you want to change things, what you do is shake things up. and sometimes you shake things up in a way that is more uncomfortable than it need be. but this is never going to be a comfortable experience. but what you're looking for, and
i'm not worried really about the backlash. i'm worried about it never quite catalyzing what we hoped. the backlash people can go on talking about it forever, as far as i'm concerned. what i'm looking for people in general to see that this can start a process of telling new stories about how we should behave. >> do you have any further worries about the backlash? because you've also written than. you're worried about it. rebecca? >> i am. i'm worried about it. but it's inevitable. and i don't think there is one moment where suddenly it's going to be oh, the backlash is now. we're already swimming in it. as mary says, moments like this where the power structure is disruptive, right? the stories that are being told now are stories of people who have had a disproportionate share of power in public and political and professional life. the stories of how they have abused that power. the fact that the stories are being told by the people who historically have had less power, and that those powerful men are losing their jobs and
suffering harm, that makes us incredibly uncomfortable. it's power operating in a direction that's not how it usually operates. and so we're all made uncomfortable by that. we all worry that it's going too far. it's confusing. it's scary. we don't know what could come of it. that's all part of backlash. but it is inevitable in a moment like this. the thing i am hopeful about, mary mentioned changing people's minds and ideas and our practices. there is also some hope in political electoral participation post anita hill in 1992 following her testimony, an anger of women who recognized themselves and her experiences in her testimony and anger at the view of the senate in the united states and the judiciary committee that was all white and all male. women ran for office in 1992 in unprecedented numbers. and it resulted in the year of the woman. i think we could see something -- we already do see something brewing. >> i was going to say actually that according to emily's list,
this has really generated a huge interest, more than 25,000 women interested in running for office have contacted the group in 2017. that surely must make a difference when you get women in positions of power. >> it sure does. but i think the other side of that that at least in the uk, and it might be different in the u.s., what has captured the media attention has been the celebrity. it's been the celebrity culture, it's been the palace of westminster, it's been hollywood and the theater. now the key to whether this is really going to actually make a seismic difference is whether we actually start looking at what goes on in the ordinary office by the ordinary water cooler, by the ordinary photocopier. because this isn't just about women at the top of the power structure who have finding. >> more and more women are coming to us and saying as you say, right at the bottom of the
ladder who don't have as powerful a voice. >> if you're looking for a big really effective movement, it's got to have everybody in it, not just those at -- in those kind of bits of celebrity uculture which important as it, it's only a minority. >> so now i want to ask you, and you can chime in a second, rebecca, because i want to ask you both. and i'll go to you first. what happens when this still happens in countries such as sweden where they have spent decades leveling the playing field. let me just read you what a swedish journalist has written in the international "new york times." this reckoning in a country, she is talking about her own, that cease itself as best in class on gender equality has been particularly painful with a feminist government, a feminist foreign policy, a prime minister who calls himself a feminist, shouldn't we be better than this? oh my goodness.
rebecca, what hopes if it's not even okay in sweden? >> well, i think this speaks to what mary and i are talking about is the length of time and the number of angles from which we have to begin to dismantle this. so there is the political -- there are the political and policy fixes. and we're far behind sweden here in the united states when it comes to things like equal pay protections and paid family leave and subsidized child care, all those things that would better support women working in the public sphere. but it is also changing deeply ingrained, eons worth of attitu attitudes, about jentder, power, possibility and equal rights there is no one quick fix that is the bigger story is that this is a deep, complicated multilayered problem. we can't just throw up our hands and give up, though, because it's complicated you. have you to start digging from every angle. >> so i give you the last word, maybe, if you have a minute left. you have talked to hillary clinton. she put in perspective that even
somebody like her had a hard struggle actually trying to be heard. so what is -- give us the context as a way to show us how to protect this movement. >> none of us have got a quick fix here. i think we protect the movement by really doing what rebecca is saying, which is saying now let's put this in context. let's realize it's not just our fault, but for thousands of years women have been told to shut up. they have their tongues cut out to stop them talking about how they've been abused. and very occasionally they've learned to speak out. that is what we've got to face. we've got to remove that stint of female silence from deep in here. >> but we do need, ladies, both of you a final final word this time, men's help, right? it can't be women against men, men against women. we do need their help. >> everybody has got to learn that men and women, we've all got to learn different stories to tell. >> rebecca, how does this play
out with the men in the united states? i hear oh my goodness, we can't flirt. we can't do this. we can't do that. they're all feeling a little shellshocked. >> right. they're worried that their behavior might have repercussions or consequences, which is something women have worried about for as long as there have been men and women. >> on that note, rebecca, professor mary beard, thank you so much for joining me here to discuss that. and that's it for our program tonight. thanks for watching this edition of "amanpour on pbs." goodbye from london, and join us again tomorrow night. "amanpour on pbs" was made possible by the generous support of rosalind p. walter. you're watching pbs.
steves: salzburg's cathedral, constructed in the early 1600s, was one of the first grand baroque buildings north of the alps. it's sunday morning. the 10:00 mass is famous for its music, and today it's mozart. enter the cathedral, and you're immersed in pure baroque grandeur. ♪ dona nobis ♪ ♪ nobis pacem ♪ since it was built in only about 15 years, the church boasts particularly harmonious art and architecture. in good baroque style, the art is symbolic, cohesive, and theatrical, creating a kind of festival procession that leads to the resurrected christ triumphing high above the altar. ♪ nobis ♪ ♪ dona nobis ♪ ♪ nobis pacem ♪ ♪ pacem ♪ music and the visual art complement each other.
>> funding for "third rail with ozy" is provided in part by: the corporation for public broadcasting. the pew charitable trusts. driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> watson: hey, everyone. can you ever been sexually harassed on the job? i'm carlos watson, editor and