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tv   Wilson Center Discussion on U.S.- China Relations in 2018  CSPAN  December 18, 2018 10:29am-12:11pm EST

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host: what are two ways you would change the laws? caller: you have to look at how asylum is processed. everybody gets due process. the credible fear interviews that we conduct, you really have to look at where they're coming from. is our failed nations. el salvador, guatemala, the information we get back is piecemeal at best. hard to adjudicate anything they say because they don't have the systems we have in place. do you trust the information you are getting? you have to change the way we conduct asylum. we also have to look at these applications and how we give them out. >> we are going to leave this discussion here but you can find it online at relations -- relationship with
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china over the past year and whether a comedic described as a new cold war. you are watching live coverage here on c-span.
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>> live coverage this morning from c-span at the wellness center in washington, d.c., ,aking a look at the past year the relationship between china and the u.s. and should it be described as a new cold war. coverage should begin shortly. >> good morning everybody and welcome to the wilson center. those of you watching the webcast live and in the future, which i believe includes my parents watching this in scotland and to our c-span viewers joining us today. we are delighted to have the wilson center ceo with us.
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i am thrilled to be a current fellow here at the will of -- at the wilson center. until earlier this year, i was based in beijing as the asia correspondent to sky news. i have been fortunate enough to look at this from both sides of the relationship. before that i was based in russia where my coverage was dominated by the ukraine crisis and the crew -- and the annexation of crimea. none of which as was as daunting as my knock on the door of the ambassador. the wilsonent to center, this is a caliber of theon you find yourself -- ambassador could not have been kinder and more generous with his time and expertise. they serve on the diplomatic front lines of the actual cold
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andwith postings to beijing moscow along with a long and storied career before becoming director of the kissinger institute on china where he is now is -- where he is now a distinguished fellow. at the far end of the desk, the director of the china program and codirector of the east asia program. she is an expert on chinese foreign-policy and u.s.-china relations. i believe this is your third today. review today. robert's director of the kissinger institute and a leader -- leading authority on china-u.s. relations. i want to thank him for welcoming me so warmly here. i discovered that he was once a producer for the chinese language version of sesame street.
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-- the associate professor of history and director of the asia studies program at the university of maryland baltimore county where she specializes in the history of china and american relations. her current research is focused on the issues of chinese students, and exchanges between the two countries. i would like to take a moment to set up some context for our discussion. so much has happened in the last 12 months, frankly the last 12 days that it can be easy to lose track. our conversation is to go over the noise, where we are now with u.s.-china relations and where this is heading. you back toke february 25 of this year because this was one of those moments. it was a sunday and i was working at the asia bureau of
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sky news with the closing ceremony of the winter olympics when we got a wire drop. it was a brief couple of lines that said the communist party central committee is proposing to remove the two-term limit on the presidency and vice presidency. onto ther getting phone -- getting on the phone to the news desk and telling the editors this was the story we needed to be covering. this was the news event that would matter in the long run because there have been signs this might happen. the possible future leader had been arrested, no clear successor, but here it was in black and white, this proposal to change the constitution to remove the only formal barrier to president xi jingping staying in power indefinitely. i want tea in every other delegate in that hold to do, do just that in the people's congress. i bring this up because what happens in chinese domestic policies matters to u.s.-china relations. againste background
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which these discussions are taking place and we need to understand the point of view in beijing if we want to understand this relationship. i wonder whether the since i had that day, that feeling that this is actually happening, how are we going to come back to it on this year in general as the year of the start of the clear eyed -- clear eye tracking where we understand where china under xi jingping was going and with it, u.s.-china relations. china was not just zigzagging. it was on its own course. in the years since, we have seen the start of the trade war with the united states. a near miss in the u.s. china sea. and questions about whether or not we are in or this could become a new cold war. russell mead called if the cold war two. the treasury secretary warned of a new economic iron curtain.
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minister of china warning the u.s. has a cold war mentality and the defense minister warning against repeating the cold war. have seen me that we arguably more serious tensions over the past decade, the belgrade embassy bombing, the surveillance plane and -- incident, but we were not talking about a new cold war then. i wonder what your historical perspective is and if you can help us understand what is different now and what we are talking about when we talk about a new cold war. >> thank you. i think i would preface this by saying i am not sure i accept that we are talking about a new cold war except in the case of the headline making rhetoric. i don't necessarily accept the premise that this is a new cold , whatut i would say that they are trying to point to, what is different is there
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trying to highlight an idea that there is something longer-term, that we are looking at a status an of competition or of ongoing rivalry that they see lasting for decades and not necessarily just for the next short. of time -- the next short period of time. there is a sense that there is something longer-term and more fundamental happening and i think that is what they are trying to point to in this talk of a cold war and that is what they are harkening back to, this areoric from earlier, they pointing to the soviet-american-style cold war, not the previous cold war between the u.s. and china. host: how would you describe
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what is happening at the moment? do you feel new cold war is proper terminology to be using? >> i think using the term new cold war is totally inappropriate. the spirit of u.s.-china relations, even when we are in sharp disagreement on issues does not approximate the spirit of the types of negotiations that i was either participating in or on the sidelines of during the actual cold war. there is a second reason why i fundamentally disagree with the term. i thought it was wrong to refer to the war on terror. crime is a part of the human condition, so is terrorism will stop the bible is full of examples of terrorism. he did not win or lose when you are combating terrorism. it is like crime. you try to manage it to keep it
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at a level so that civilized societies can function properly and our relationship with china is marked by strategic rivalry, but strategic rivalry is part of the historical experience of all major countries dealing with other major countries. managing this rivalry is the essence of managing u.s.-china relations under conditions where china now has an economy approximating hours in size and where it's military is rapidly monetizing -- modernizing in ways that affect -- the roads our traditional military dominance of the western pacific. war, it is misleading on a variety of factors. with the soviet union, because of mutually assured destruction, we were deterred from getting into direct conflict. there is too much cavalier talking about war with china. the same mutually assured
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destruction considerations apply in the u.s.-china relationship. we cannot get into it all out war with china because neither party would be able to come out of such a war in a way that would justify the cost of being in the war. we are both too powerful. that is not the right way to in thebout the issue words used to describe relationships affect your behavior. therefore it seems to me that talking about a cold war mentality between china and united states of skiers the many areas where we have to cooperate with each other. host: you have traveled five times to china this year, most recently in october. whatou give us a sense of situation the chinese believe themselves to be in? >> i remember going in 2015 for
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thereerence and back then was cooperation between the u.s. and china and back then there chinese scholars talking about a new cold war emerging in the focal point back then was the south china sea and the obama administration. chinese scholars talking about a new cold warthis rhetors existed. there is always been problems. however in china today, i would course everyone recognizes that the trouble administration's china policies have put china in a difficult situation, especially the trade war and the impossibility to negotiate what the chinese see there was able deal lot of recognition of that, but i think on the issue of a new cold war, i think the chinese would like to remind people that it takes two sides to fight war
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and yes indeed the xi jingping administration has a strategic personality but coming to the practicality of putting china on a collision course, they would still draw conclusions that this is not a war that china can win, addsven that precondition a lot of nuances to interpretation on whether or not a new cold war has begun. if the result of this interaction really depends on how china reacts to the united states and how xi jingping reacts to the trump administration, there is a good chance china will take a more conciliatory posture to de-escalate the tension because that would be conducive to domestic stability and economic growth for china and is also a pragmatic and's -- reject think you also
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the term cold war, but what should we call it? and is there a danger that we could stumble into it? >> i do reject the cold war framework for reasons were already -- that were already articulated. you have to ask what does it clarify as opposed to does it just grabbed headlines and in the course -- in the case of cold war, i don't think it helps us clarify u.s.-china relations at all. it misses the rapidly evolving nature. , i wasot a cold warrior a cold squire at most. i served briefly under presidents reagan and bush the first, but certainly ilya nation of the soviet union from the united states was one of the major features of the cold war and americans and chinese are not alienated from each other,
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even remotely. you can tell by looking at the value of students and scholars going back and forth in the cooperative relationships not only between beijing and washington but sub nationally with states and counties throughout the united states and china. one of the interesting data points of the past year was that positive views of china among highests top 50%, the since before tiananmen. we are not alienated from each other, nor are there blocks that the united states and china are setting up. there are worries that each nation would like to set up sears of influence that there have been a good amount of pushback. neither china nor the united states has done well with soft power development. there has been blowback
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internationally to both trumpism and xiism. we saw the tpp proceed without the united states. we saw pakistan pushback on long-term china's strategy of developing influence through investment. this was not done at the united states' instigation. other nations are constraining us a we don't have blocs. what do i suggest instead of a new cold war? i say u.s.-china relations. balanced, it seems to me that it is still a very useful phrase and it does not tie us into any framework. the last part of your question was are we heading there. could we get there? comingre worrisome signs from both capitals, one of which we saw just last week when the
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american administration announced a new africa policy and sit of framing it in terms of american interests vis-a-vis african nations or the needs of africa, it was phrased in terms of countering china in africa. i think that this was bad africa policy and it implies a desire to set up blocks. we also do see in chinese diplomacy a tendency to want to spread chinese influence which is counter to international best practices, a desire to have nations that received chinese investment be less critical of nationsd this requires to silence their own media and their own civil society so while it is true that china is not trying to spread an ideology and even to look away, the terms of of receivingina,
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chinese investment often involve a degree of silence which over time has the effect of an ideology. ande are worrisome trends we have not seen the bottom of this newly contentious relationship yet. neither side has defined it, so we might have a different discussion a year from now. as for now, let's stick with get-china relations and away from cold war's. i know you were doing a lot of research on the people to people side of this relationship. the headlines are top level but what this means in terms of chinese students coming to the united states and vice versa. meredith: it is interesting that one of the foundations and reasons why we have this sort of workable long-term relationship is this movement back and forth and this profound number of chinese students coming to the united states. there are a lot of developments
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this year that are troubling. alongside the trade war, you have the talk of stopping student visas wholesale which stephen miller made a comment to that effect that that is even a proposal is concerning. that is problematic in a lot of a source ofes away resources and intellectual capacity in international exchange between american universities and chinese universities. with is the review of h1bv the context of china. tois usually shoved off india policy but china is the second largest recipient and the trouble administration is bvisas and what1
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they stay long-term or in the coming short-term, instead of choosing tuesday and becoming part of the intellectual community. then there is this other whole subcategory within the university setting, back less -- backlash against institutions and concerned about chinese scholar associations which come under increased scrutiny as sources of chinese influence in the united states. there are important questions that could be raised about the use of chinese dollars to support these claims of activity . i think you see some examples -- thei think you see some wilson s
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year, chinese influence from the -- ambassador roy: you are talking about two different things. meredith: there is a section of this report on chinese influence that talks about education but there is a section that talks about chinese-americans which i think is incredibly closely linked to the problems with visas and exchanges. the language in the report is problematic in terms of how it chinese-americans. ambassador roy: we did do a report. meredith: you did a panel and they did a report. ambassador roy: we actually did a report on issues of chinese students and scholars association's. then there was a joint task force sponsored primarily by the asia society and the hoover institute which was much broader
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would you were also referring to. meredith: which you were on. robert: i was a member of that task force. meredith: i was referring to the hoover institution report. youoncern with this is that see ricocheting out from these kinds of problems with these visas and concerns about chinese influence, you see ways in which ofre could be new kinds in theon of chinese united states, regardless of their background and that is not going to do anything to bolster this strong foundation in the u.s.-china relationship. robert: to add something on that, this report came out in november 29 and many of your characterizations of it are fair . it has to be mentioned that it was really jingping -- xi jingping and the chinese
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government that repeated statements that say once you are chinese, you're always chinese, all over the world combined with an increase in funding for the organizations within china including but not limited to the united front that have raised some of these concerns, as have the playing out of those methods in smaller less powerful countries, including within the five eyes. this is, if we look back at 2018, it has become a feature of china's relationship with a number of nations, this new concern about chinese communist party influence and i see these reports as being mostly about promoting constructive vigilance which is a major concern of american universities.
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the danger of it being overblown is clear. something that has long historical roots and was overblown in the 1950's when there was a great deal of concern about chinese influence and chinese american communities. my concern with some of the language in the report is that it conflates three groups of people. it conflates chinese living in the united states, with ethnic chinese american nationality who have close personal ties to china or are recent immigrants. the language would also include everybody who has any ethnic chinese heritage who lives in the united states and that becomes too arduous. robert: the report also goes to great pains to note this danger, the biz -- that is there are a number of statements that say this is a problem. if you don't take the disclaimer
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seriously, you only take the other side seriously, there could be an issue. katie: let me ask yun sun what you think. is there a sense that the united states is becoming a less welcoming place for a chinese student to come and live and work? yun: especially for the families of chinese students who want to come here for study. becausecreate a concern rumors about chinese students' visas being put on a more stringent review process and whether they can actually have the visa long enough to finish their study. all those questions, it does create the impression in china about concerns coming to the united states as a student. overall, if you compare the openness of the american or comparevironment
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how the u.s. government has treated the chinese in this country. i am originally from china. i studied in beijing. you compare how for example foreign scholars are being treated in china. i would say that the difference is pretty distinct. have -- i am from china, i work in washington, d.c., and i am able to be in this community, to be a member of this community . white blue-eyed american in beijing. robert: hazel. yun: a blue-eyed american being the head of american studies academye at the china of social sciences is
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unthinkable. i feel the distinction in terms of the openness is still there. in terms of the competition between the two political ideals or this influence, the chinese will say that american attempts to influence chinese politics have always been there. look at the state department or the national endowment for democracy. their accusations against the united states for meddling has been persistent. what has changed now is that china's model or as china's power rises, china is gathering the confidence and also the inspiration for other countries to replicate the china model. that is the difference compared to maybe five years ago. the chinese are more confident about their model and more about the applicability of their model
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in other countries. i am afraid that this process reveals a lot of hypocrisy on both sides because we do believe then if the u.s. is genuinely confident in the superiority of the political ideals, then they should recall that the u.s. repeal of political ideas might chinese truly believes its government and development system model represent not only a viable but desirable path for the world, they should be at the minimum comfortable competing with the united states on a level playing field. so the contest of ideals between the u.s. and china and political ideas on influencing over each a lack ofws confidence and sense of vulnerability and the hypocrisy of both great powers. fair comment or not that
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america is meddling even a soft power way in china's internal affairs? on how youends define meddling? the short answer is i would recall secretary of state albright and i think hillary clinton herself may also have referred to the u.s. desire that there be a more liberal representative form of governance in china. i don't think you can suppress americans from expressing that type of an attitude. because we believe that representative governance, which requires an electoral process of some sort and which requires the powers of governments are desired -- derived from the center of -- consent of the government. these are the characteristics of all modern systems of governance.
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system falls into the same category as kings and others who claim an absolute right to control all power in their own hands. ways, china is a big contradiction. giant middleed classes, heavily exposed through studying abroad in the influence of people who have studied in china. they have altered the economic base of the country. but they want to the political system. so americans are going to speak it and say we think desirable that china have this. ,ut in terms of promoting it let's look at the examples. do we have good democratic governments in haiti? why do we have so many refugees in el salvador?
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if we can simply wave a magic wand and bring in representative governance why don't we do it in areas where we are so close and have so much influence? the answer is we are highly limited in terms of what we can do in terms of direct influence in changing the name destination of -- notion of governance. when we set a standard in our own country that other countries see as better than their own, then you have an enormous impact and i think we ought to pay more attention to what's been going on in europe with some backward movement now. we saw there was an ability to influence political development in other countries because eastern european's who were eager to get into the european they couldn't do so unless met certain standards of governance. beganen they on their own to change the domestic institutions in order to qualify for entry into the european union. that is the most effective way
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of influencing how other countries handle their own affairs. you read the details to the countries themselves, but you set examples of how good governance can function and then others choose to try to emulate it. and quite frankly we see that process underway in china right now. all we are seeing here in terms of reporting as there is a movement towards repression and china to try and suppress western ideas. but how come they are trying to suppress western ideas? when i was in china back in the 70's and 80's, western ideas had no purpose in china. -- no presence and now they have enormous influence on the way the chinese think about their own domestic political affairs. but do they want to the emulate the u.s. political system. see the rowleyy free press an independent judiciary can play and you don't have these in china. these are part of having what i would call modern governance.
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seee forces in china and we a desire to hold down those sources because of the governance system that would not want to introduce modern -- of government. that can bedeas viewed in china as interference because we believe in the modern concepts of government. to in fact we do very little actually try to promote these ideas inside china because we cannot do it on our own doorstep , why do we think we can do it in china? >> also because the chinese won't allow it. >> that is an additional factor. they have allowed the penetration of western ideas for decades and now the problem is they found those ideas have hisme what president and congress referred to as china
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has an ideological problem, he didn't develop that idea, but he acknowledged the china has a problem a. cache of -- problem of ideology. the problem is these subversive western ideas are subverting the ideology of china and this pressure back against it and we see that as repression. of thet as an upwelling influence of western ideas. , you've got tods look at both sides of the question. >> let me say there is a danger of perhaps all agreeing with each other on the stage. palmer, says it's only takes one site to start a war and they believed to be in a ideological and geopolitical contest with u.s. power worldwide. fundamentally it affects the way ccp leaders think much less than our decisions -- discussions
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consider. the long-term china observer wrote about his sense of wistful sadness about being forced by reality to recognize our dream of systematic convergence with china has been largely torpedoed by the newfound authoritarianism , hegemonic leninism, call it what you will. and i feel we are at a watershed moment. i wonder does anyone on the panel want to admit to having change their views over the last years about where china is headed? >> this has become a major part of the media narrative about u.s. china relations. you see it in washington. the paragraph two or three notion that the goal of engagement is to make china more like us, china is not more like us therefore engagement failed. i reject that. i think all of us are thinking about china and the united states as well as u.s. china
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relations continues to change because the relationship change. but the notion that it just naïveté and delist -- disillusionment. i like your phrase clear eyed reckoning. i think my own views have changed but that's because facts have also changed. the direction that china has taken under xi jinping certainly different -- this was not in the cards through the decades of engagement. this was in no way written or foreseeable beginning in 1979. and up through 2010. in retrospect of course you can find antecedents and you can see a gradual build but it was in no way clear this is what was coming. there have been real changes. so yes my views have changed but i wouldn't say it is because scales have fallen on my eyes, it's because the world turns and changes. i think we need to reject this notion of engagement as having
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been naïve and disillusioned. we still need to engage with china closely albeit in a different way and different circumstances. i'm a little wary of the changed views narrative as its express popularly, that set of course our views change. >> do you want to come back on that? >> sure. i know there are a lot of attribution or blame being placed on xi jinping and the administration. this is his campaign and he is turning china into a new direction. i also want to remind people there were also brewing nationalism and demand in china for elevated or higher status of chinese nationally. the complaint i remember i was living in beijing at the time and the complaint was that china was becoming rich but it wasn't
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becoming more respected. so i would say that xi jinping also represents this sentiment china's poweras rises, they deserve more. you can say he leads that campaign or was pushed by that in the chinese society, i would say this both in the fund mental reason is china's power is increased. we assume china will be like us but i think china has selectively identified with certain ones we promote and also certain norms they rejected. so the assumption that china would embrace everything that represents our norms may be erroneous and china is different. woodward 1970 stapleton roy make of the situation now? yun has made some
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very good points. stunned to see china today based on the china i lived in in the 1970's. in rate of progress modernizing the country in everything except the institutional nature of its political system has been breathtaking. even in terms of the political system, there was enormous political change in china over the last 40 years and now we are seeing some movement back. 1970's, especially during the cultural revolution, there was a total absence of personal freedom. you could only show certain revolutionary object or you had no access to anything except the
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redbook of his quotations. you couldn't travel from one city to another. when you went to the great wall it was completely empty of chinese because they didn't have the rations for food that necessitated travel to north china and visit the great wall. implemented,orms the communist party got off the backs of the chinese people and a whole wide range of areas so that they began to have better access to outside ideas, they were free, they could talk about issues more clearly and travel freely around the country. over 100 million chinese leave the country every year and then come back. all of this did not exist during the 70's and a great part of the 80's. so another words china was changing an important way. when weake a mistake tried to assume there is a quick jump from here to there. it is what i call proving the
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grass will grow. -- doesn't grow. you can simply take the skeptic in your yard and sit for a couple hours. the timeframe for the change were trying to measure is wrong. and that is the mistake a lot of us make in looking at china. we do not see change because we are trying to measure change months andriod of years where the process we are looking for change requires decades. that is a mistake we are now making about china. you see that is why tend to look at where others see repression, i see the repression, but i see his struggle. in terms of what their future will be like and that process hasn't played itself out. so i do not know whether china -- from now, but there will be a struggle over that issue and the question is
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can we relate to china in a way that is conducive to the changes in china we would like to see happen. the of -- this failure to understand the many common interests we share with china and can work together on cooperatively is in many ways undermining our ability to promote our values which has to be done by setting a good example rather than by preaching. >> if the u.s. is promoting that example and speaking up for individual rights, does not have a responsibility to call out and draw attention to what is happening in china at the moment? >> let's apply that in personal relationships. do you like when people come around and say that is not a pretty dress you ought to wear green? there are people like that, i know some of them. but i don't particularly like those characteristics.
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the reason why americans are outspoken on many of these issues is because from the very accounting of our republic we have had to struggle with issues of slavery and the inferior position of women in other things like that. we didn't give votes to women in 1919 because we suddenly realize that women were human beings like men, it took 40 years of suffragette struggle in the united states. same thing with slavery. we tried to deal with it over what 70 years through the political process and failed and then we had to fight a bloody civil war and have 100 years of jim crow rules before we got the civil rights legislation in the 60's. that is how you advance. i think there are a lot of possibilities for china to as it becomes more prosperous and as is a lot better educated now.
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this is an enormous change. the number of college-educated people, people who have completed high school is much greater. and china faces a fundamental contradiction and this is related to the cold war issue because the soviet union was a closed system, it was not dependent on imports outside the country. and it did not depend on foreign markets for its economic prosperity. china has to stay open enough to make it difficult to manage these intrusions from outside ideas that is causing such a problem in trying to maintain the legitimacy of comet's party rule in china. and china cannot afford to close its doors because of it does it slows down its economic development. so should we be beating up on china under the circumstances and saying we should affect a cold war with china? to me that is exactly the wrong way. but i come from a missionary background. missionaries try to get heathens
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into the church but there are other christians who think heathens should be kept out of the church. so it depends on whether you believe that good influences can influence how other people behave. me the united states in this country can do better in that respect. green.ver wear [laughter] >> my second point relating to some of the american understanding and critique of china i think is currently undermined by our lack of -- it is a more open society but it feels like a lack of access for academic work. the 14 years i've been making research trips to china, the availability of archives and academic resources and lot.ctions, they varied a
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the archives have been increasingly closed and inaccessible. at the same time during the last few years since 2013 there's been a steep drop off in americans learning mandarin. we have a danger going forward of the lack of americans who are sort of developing the kinds of understandings we need. engagementat kind of i think you cited is very important. you if that does go interesting discussions about moralism in american china policy. one is we do have the city on a hill desire to see all nations try to get the people to flourish in accordance with our prescriptions which are also cautioning us against hypocrisy and a lack of self-awareness and
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preaching to china which i agree with in general. at the same time, china as it gets more powerful it gets richer. as xi jinping has evolved more assertive foreign policy which in many ways is exactly what you expect, china is trying to do with any nation wants to do which is to create international atmosphere that is more conducive to its ends. in this case, the ends of the ccp. which does raise real questions that often have a moral character for us. in the case of the reeducation camps or china's development of surveillance state or its now worsening human rights record, china's preference should be raise not at all. raise this,ld should they not? do we need this entirely. my experience has been by raising these debates you do over time have an impact on debates with china. when i first got there there was
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very little discussion of this phrase human rights at all except in reports about how the americans were arrogantly criticizing her so-called human rights record and this ends up introducing concepts. so what is the right balance given the difficulty you phrase and i would say the same thing with reference to what is broadly called the influence question in the united states. there is a real danger of framing it wrong, of disproportionality. but is it not also a danger of not -- at all avenue we know full well can demonstrate. so what is the proper role? >> we are americans, we cannot be -- we cannot remain silence of these questions. should advocate that we ignore what we consider to be bad behavior elsewhere.
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, i wasthe same time impassive in china when i had to go in when we were going to attach seven different types of conditions to get your most favored nations treaty. impaction had enormous on china trade. and i had to persuade them this is a good idea. it wasn't easy. say anything particular good came out of that but it was instructive to me that after 9/11, everyone of those that i was telling them was so good for china, we violate in the united states. we hid prisoners on the international committee of the red cross we denied habeas corpus, we wouldn't tell people we were holding prisoners. scared, we behave in ways that are not consistent chinaheir own values and
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is scared. they have upwelling nationalism on the part of a local population. we don't have these large concentrations of ethnic --ulations in their this sounds a lot i used to hear in russia which we called what about-ism well you criticize this, but this aspect of your own country is not perfect i think can we not speak out while still acknowledging that there are areas? are allnk we intelligent people appear hopefully in some fashion. we can switch from moralistic mode to analytical mode. when i look at that i can strike both positions. when i moralistic i criticize the way they are handling the question. i do the same thing looking at our border right now.
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what should other countries be saying about that? actually it is helpful if some of our european friends for example were to speak out and say hey guys, there must be a wetter way -- better way to handle this. the problem is are european countries of the same problem in their own areas because illegal immigration has become a major issue now. syrian refugees flooding in new york create real political problems and i think that's a problem we have here. we have an analytical and moralistic question. what bothers me is when the moralism denies you the ability to understand what's going on. i think when we look at chin jong we need to look at both chineseis the way the dealing with her the right way, the clear answer is no. but on the other hand, why are they doing that? what is the problem?
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why is it the china can't find a better way of dealing with ethnic groups who exist within china. that is an important problem for us to understand also. china is struggling with a real issue. robert you look like you want to come back on that. >> no. let's move on. >> two weeks ago we had the arresting canada of the cfo. we have since had the detention of canadian citizens on allegations of endangering national security. you've described this as hostagetaking. how concerned are you about how this could escalate? >> i think there are a couple of different issues. in the case of the canadians it is clearly tit-for-tat hostagetaking and i think there are cases where we don't necessarily need to be able to prove that in court to say we know what we know and this is
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one of these. we have some people who say there is no smoking gun on jamal khashoggi. sometimes you have to make a call and this i think is clearly the case here. they've been taken hostage. on the other hand, the president has now declared that he might be willing to intervene in the case if we get a better deal on trade with china. this looks to me like ex post facto hostagetaking of a different sort. initially what we had what was a judicial process, a decision was made to keep separate, but now we can be accused by folks in china who have regarded this is some kind from the beginning as also a form of hostagetaking. i don't know where this goes. if we look at the previous case which was the arrest of the canadian couple, evangelical
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christians with a coffee shop right on the river where they could see the bridge which carries chinese goods into north korea and kevin garrett was detained for about two years, apparently in response to a case in which the united states had requested that canada extradite a chinese businessman who had beijing support to the united states. he was there for two years and in this case we've got the canadians under we know not what circumstances or for how long. and is out on bail. furthermore we have a debate in the chinese in --couver are free to i'm not suggesting there's a parallel between the two but i think we do see different kinds of hostagetaking in both nations
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and it is a very bad sign on a number of fronts. to me there is a way to make a point and to let her go to try and walk this back. >> do you have concerns about how this could escalate and how seen in thease is general population of china? >> again there is a lot of nationalism related to this because although the discussion or what is the intervention. so this is not about the wall way being a technological rivalry to american companies, it's not about the technology and the potential popularity of the technology. i think in china the narrative is very much on wall way being targeted because it is better than american companies.
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i think that is the very different narrative here and a very different rhetoric over there. the focus is completely different. they focused on whether this is a part of the campaign to confront china. governments ifh you look at the statements, the progress for the ongoing trade negotiations, i would posit that the priority of both beijing and washington is to have a successful negotiation of the trade dispute. and hopefully have a de-escalation of tensions and have a deal somewhere early next year so that the dose co. economies will have some sense of civility. so to what extent that either government is willing to allow to interfere with the trade negotiation, i just don't see that happening.
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i think both governments will have trade talks. >> is there potential at this time next year to see a deal on trade but its underlying strategic rivalry and competition is still ongoing. do you think they are essentially two separate issues to deal with? we were talking about this transaction, mentality. we talk about the trade dispute, that anyone is expect your predicting the trade war would escalate to where it is today. the production of where we will be on this trade war is very difficult to make. one thing is relatively clear.
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whether the chinese debate if there is a bipartisan consensus about this new cold war or about this hostile relationship that has been formed or has been forming, is being formed between the u.s. and china. in the the chinese policy community is gradually coming to the conclusion that this american attitude towards china is not just a trump problem. it has broader consensus and support from the american society based on the kimye litter grievances about lobbing china to change and china goes its own way. that i think a lot of people fail to see what the deal would look like especially coming to the need for restructure in the chinese economy. and whether china can really abandon not only rhetoric --
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, itorically but also making think those are very difficult or impossible questions to answer. even if we have a temporary deal for the trade issue. a few things will go on. we want to get to questions from our audience. just need to get some best case and worst-case scenarios from our panelists because we had this morning the piece speech -- .he xi jinping speech of seen on social media to that is this is not going to get easier. that the next year in u.s. china relations could be much bumpier. optimistic,r some pessimistic scenarios in your head. >> i've been through good times
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and bad times in u.s. china relations. senses that the strategic rivalry between china and the , that weates is real need to pursue a continued engagement strategy with china. we reject the concept that engagement has failed. it's a totally phony concept based on the fact that we justify many of our actions in terms of our values but we forally do the things national interest reasons. to drive the point home. the difference between the first gulf war and the iraq war, the first gulf war was justified in terms of getting saddam hussein out of kuwait, it was carried
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out for that purpose and when we had accomplished the purpose, the war ended. war, i thinkaq most of us would agree, was designed to complete what had not happened after the first gulf war was to get rid of her don hussein saddam hussein. but we needed a justification so we came up with weapons of mass destruction, turned out they didn't exist. we came up they were colluding with al qaeda. our intelligence treating never agreed that was taking place and we came up with the idea of bringing democracy to the middle east. ok well in fact we did bring democracy to iraq and we put the she is in charge where is the sunnis had run iraq for hundreds we destabilized becauselped create isis the sunnis were disenfranchised. did we go into iraq because of
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the justification of bringing democracy? no. that was not the reason we went in. people are -- i'm reading articles how people say clinton was justifying a policy towards china in terms of bringing democracy to china. well how come i sat as president clinton the bass are china and i sat for three summit meetings between him and he never mentioned it to me that i should be bringing democracy to china? think of what might it happened if he had mentioned it to me. i would've had a mandate to do it. so essentially i do not see problems with china that are anymore different than the problems we have with china in the past. capabilities full of the united states in order to try to engage with china in ways that defend our interests where they have to be defended and i think many of the trade issues we are dealing with, there is
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broad support in the united states. dealtronger tactics to with the issues but we don't want them to drag the areas where we need to cooperate with china. if we look at what's happened over the last year. dose co. big things have happened. one is the trade war and the other is the north korea issue. the north korea issue we cannot handle effectively if we are not affecting the fact that china has major interest in north korea and we need to cooperate with china and take their interests into account. pessimistic about the way we are handling china but i am optimistic about the ability to handle china if we are intelligent and understanding the pros and cons of different approaches. >> who wants to offer a worse scenario? how could this go wrong? where are the tripwires? i definitely see one in the
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form of visas and access. this idea of cutting off all access of exchanges of cutting off all of our ways of understanding each other. the stephen miller proposal hopefully doesn't get any ground than it did when he first floated it. but there is some dangers brewing that are sort of under our visa andn exchange policy here that could undermine relationship. >> we had a russian delegation in about a month ago and one of the russians told her what old russian joke that some of you may know. he said the pessimist says things can't possibly get worse. the optimist says yes they can. so i guess i'm an optimist. see these hard to issues are precede and will go beyond these two. it's a historical struggle.
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80's hard to see a fundamental change over coming here for a number of reasons and it's not really the 90 day trade war. we have the 2017 national security strategy which names china as the united states grain turn -- greatest long-term security challenge. china sees the u.s. the same way as well. there are corresponding attitudes on the chinese side. the trump administration is called for defense supply chain resilience, they're taking this very seriously and that would mean a restructuring of the american economy if they are serious. we already have the reform bill which is scared away a lot of chinese investment and we look with greater skepticism at subsequent investment. we will see new rules on export control. we may be seeing rules limiting chinese student visas which would --
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>> the issue framing that in terms of china. it seems we are on the verge of making another -- about chinese cyber intrusions. all these continue even if the chinese start buying the number of soybeans they were buying before. i don't see any deal the roles that back. i think we are looking at deeper mutual suspicion over the coming year but i do share the long-term optimism that it is two manage this that we avoid conflict and its and within china's as well. i think it is very difficult to say what will be worse.
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how many of us really believe it's going to happen between the u.s. and china? we are looking at even the communications between the countries, the level of exchanges. be keyword today seems to decoupled. but it's really unrealistic on how it can be done. u.s. what they might want to consider is proportionality of its reaction to china's problematic behaviors. chinese policies have a lot of problems and i think the chinese know that. there are also debates in china about what is the fast best strategy moving forward. in the u.s. society there is been an accumulated grievance about china failing to fulfill -- failing to meet the
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international norms. but does that warrant a cold war? is that really the best answer we can come up with? believe where china has problematic behaviors, apart with fringe and reaction is warranted but does that mean we will change how we can define this relationship and throw the baby out with the bathwater? that seems to be the question the u.s. needs to answer. and a question for china to answer his what is the best strategy. what kind of power china aspires to be. i was thinking of this when you were talking about the missionary mission and i'm thinking maybe be a more comparable analogy is that china sees itself or believes it has been this isolated, this week kid, this pariah in school that was never a part of the main school popular kids. and china feels that throughout
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the years it was bullied by everybody and there is some truth to it if you look at their narrative. , sochina has become strong what is really the proper or normal mentality for china to be a normal member of this community. is it a victim mentality that it's either i win or you win? this dichotomy, this almost a sense based on the revenge the china was victimized so therefore we need to get back at you. if we're going to ride to the top of the world than everybody else must be secondary. everybody else must be subject to the terms we dictate. i don't think that's a normal mentality and i don't think china will be able to join the international community as long as they hold onto that. there is auntries lot of soul-searching.
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>> i want to make sure we get a chance for as many questions as possible. you can wait for the microphone to get to you, introduce yourself with your name and affiliation and if you could keep your questions short and in the form of a question to get to as many as possible. >> michael davis, a fellow at the wilson center. one of the things we've been talking immediately how china and the u.s. are dealing with each other and i just read a piece in foreign affairs which reflects the view that's widely shared that there is a kind of competition between them more broadly in the world where china trade relations with each other countries, financial support, and then in that context there is an argument that the trump administration, while i agree
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both sides of the aisle in washington are sorted into getting tougher on china at the moment, yet the trump administration's way of doing it is heading in the wrong direction, that the u.s. strength is in the multilateral institutions and so on the u.s. has its fingerprints all over. are we heading in the wrong direction in this broader global order? and are we -- and in so doing are we neglecting our partners around china in asia in general by making them nervous and do they finally just have to say and wait until the trumpet ministration is gone? is that the only solution if they are nervous about the u.s. direction? i will be happy to weigh in quickly. there is competition in the world, all over the world. john bolton has talked about in
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africa, but china unlike the soviet union is having a big impact globally because their economic relationships are global. and while weigh is an important part of it and we are concerned about it. context. an unfair because we are funding our military and we are totally not funding all of the other components of our comprehensive national strength. they get virtually no money. so china can pour billions into an asian infrastructure investment bank and we can't buy our way in because we can't come up with a few hundred million dollars to pay our share of the way. we don't have the money. china is funding both their military modernization program and they are pouring money into the other components of their comprehensive national power and
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they are exercising this on a global basis. becausere getting upset we have to use our military for every purpose. and we are discovering that there are not military solutions to a lot of issues. we had the ebola outbreak, we sent the army corps. the u.s. health service doesn't have the funding. in other words, we have essentially kept our military budget up and cut everything else and this is not a satisfactory approach to the type of comprehensive national competition, international competition we have to engage in with china. and we have to think about that. economy capable of generating the resources necessary to engage in a vigorous competition with china globally? my answer is no we don't and it's something we ought to be
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thinking about. >> brendan mulvaney. i want to tie in that point to the point that robert daly made in the beginning and see if there is a link there. i agree the cold war construct is not helpful, i think it is harmful. but it sells well. it sells here and in china rhetorically. toyour pointed sells here just do defense contractor selling weapons and helps fund the pla. the question is how do we frame it and how do we look at this competition, you mentioned ideology at the beginning and you said it's not really ideological as it was with the soviet union but some of these trade components might have that flare to it. and so there is a debate at least in the pentagon or in some national security circles of how do we best frame this. do we see it as a cold war. his china is planning to topple
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or supplant the u.s. or is it simply a rivalry a great powers and a realistic approach that doesn't have ideology? i think when people in the national security realm look at it ideologically, it is easier for them to sell the cold war more weapons, more military use narrative and so is that constructive or is there another way or evidence to say this is great power relationship and not ideological. >> there are indices of power in which china is gaining greatly and some in which it leads and overall china likes the trendlines. the ones in which we lead our soft power, big impact of ideas and our alliance system and the link between those dose things is diplomacy and so we need to be looking not only to have an economic answer, but we need to
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reinvigorate our low see which i took to be a major indication of what you said to emphasize the strengths in the realm of ideas and build up alliances. to be one ofi take our major ongoing missteps is neglecting diplomacy which could emphasize those strengths. i feel all this discussion about china exporting ideology. while looking at what the government is doing especially , i think there is a pretty big component of the chinese exchange of experience in government and development. there is a conscience -- conscious push from the government about promoting the china model.
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the more country that aspires to china model, the more secure they can feel about his legitimacy. i think that is the logic to it. i think the key question is not whether china is promoting its ideology but why the ideology is appealing. i think that's a question we don't really look or hear. what viable opportunity are we offering to them? attentiveing that the find and source that will satisfy their need for infrastructure development in our country. i think the beauty of the soft power is inspiration not even position.
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i think that is the bigger question. what is appealing and inspiring in certain countries. our effort to promote our model has not gotten those countries where they want to be. i think that's more the essential question here. just to clarify this issue. corrupt countries need infrastructure just as much is on corrupt countries. but our model doesn't enable us to deal with the problem of infrastructure in corrupt countries and china is putting corruption aside and provided the infrastructure. which approach is better? i will leave it to the audience to answer the question. >> thank you. the lady in the front in the second row here. i have a question related to xi jinping's speech in which he
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promised china will press ahead with economic reform and opening up but he also said china will maintain a one party system. i'm wondering whether you guys think he can succeed in doing that because it seems to me against conventional wisdom. >> meredith would you like to take that on? >> i really wouldn't. aughter] is under theanswer one party system, the chinese reform and open policy has provided results in terms of rapid development. i don't think anything inherently -- i don't see anything inherently contradictory with jean having one party rule and successful reform and openness. is why ism i have
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reform and openness and particularly reform, which was set out so dramatically in the third of 2013 after the 18th party congress and here we are six years later and nothing has happened on the reform front. in fact it has moved in the opposite direction into state owned enterprises. so it takes more than xi jinping saying we will move ahead with the reform and openness. what is changing in china that will enable the reform and openness to move forward where in fact it has not moved forward over six years even though you have reform and openness identified by high officials close to xi jinping, in positions of responsibility, and still reform and openness has not been implemented. we need to understand whether those factors will be changed. this -- does the speech indicate
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he will give more support to reformers in ways he hasn't over the last five years and we cannot answer that. we have to watch and see what happens. >> it's really a different discussion than sought to have. i think xi jinping has correctly identified a new era. there were no new ideas in yesterday's speech. >> now the mic is on. quick observation. all things. --
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china an invitation to the conference in 1955. speaking personally if i have to he has a strategist again g asian paying as a strategist -- xi jinping as a strategist. you asked for a pessimistic or worst-case he has a strategist again g asian scenarios. i heard almost nothing about the south china sea and i and i suspect everyone on this panel could very easily to a scenario in which a true naval war emerges even inadvertently in the south china sea within the next three hours. if you're sitting at pacific command in honolulu you have multiple scenarios you are working through for precisely that development. so i simply know, i guess the question i would pose is can we
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imagine a real military conflict in the south china sea somehow being managed and contained within a broader trajectory of u.s. chinese engagement. a couple of years ago the militaries reached a preliminary agreement over the encounters and terms of air and naval. ift that agreement does is there is going to be military conflict, the decision was made much higher up that it would be a political issue and not just a skirmish in the south china sea that escalates into a full-scale confrontation between the united states and china. so if that is what were to happen, i would say a decision will have been made that a military conflict is inevitable
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and either u.s. or china is willing to take on that path. more questions? >> i want to come in on that question. no impediments to freedom of navigation in the south china sea. occurs in the south china sea, it is a collapse of adequate command-and-control at the very top in both countries. -- i am veryssed some -- on that issue. all parties on the conflict have signed the declaration on the conduct of the south china sea which allows for their freedom of c maneuver. maneuver. sure we crowd them and they crowd us, but those are not war issues. if those are permitted to turn into a conflict there should be
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high level court marshals in both armies. >> i want to collect another three questions and then we will try to have brief responses. three brief questions. gentlemen at the side there. >> richard coleman. taiwan, one of the kids can realize the parents aren't really legally wed? the united states and taiwan have this illicit relationship and how inevitable since china has made it there intentions very clear talking about the buzzing and military flexing, how long do you think this pretense will survive? >> just one published last week
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saying that actually china's ambition for the following years are way much nearer than the the west estimated. there is always a misunderstanding between the sides. what is the biggest misunderstanding that you worry the most? >> i think under the current circumstances is more important thinkp communication i one good example is illustrated whenbassador stapleton roy you critique them you link to the whiteness.
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so you drive home the dish there's generations shipped in the state department when the older generation are retiring it onto the stage comes a new generation. what are your suggestions for the new generation of diplomats and are you considering writing a book? i am personally looking forward to reading it. >> i am also campaigning for him to write his memoirs. any quick thoughts on these issues? taiwan, biggest misunderstanding and suggestions for new china hands? >> with respect to taiwan i think the midterm elections bought us a little bit of time because the success in that the headhas undermined
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of the dpp and so that returns us to a little bit more of a previous status where it is still an issue in flux. there is an easing of tensions as a result of that. i don't think she is a revisionist in terms of looking at the relationship. we can be hopeful that status quo will remain. to the chinaion hands question, related to what i said earlier about diplomacy thewhat is going on with academy with china studies. i'm concerned because area studies have been out of vogue in the academy for so long, most studies are conducted narrowly within disciplines which don't -- don't always speak well to each other. broadly speaking, i think a lot of young americans with real
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interest in china and talent in the language are not getting a broad education and don't bring of china andy diplomacy the kind of synthesis .hat we really need you saw this in the older generation that had retired. they had a broad background in china studies. quantitatively very good specialist. they don't have the background i think is needed for diplomacy. >> a misunderstanding, the that china or the chinese believe americans believe everything china says. muchhina's's ambition is less significant. we hear xi jinping saying while at building an
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investment that covers all of mankind, at most, what it says are different up paintings in china and it least could be, at minimum, one way to what chinar moderate passes over a surgeon of its ambition, so i remember a couple of years ago, coming -- the chinese to say, the former , that china --t they will listen and observe his actions. i think it is the same thing today. it is not just about what china says. in shading negotiation's, china says a lot that things. it is also what china delivers in the end. >> i want to make a brief comment. taiwan is an acutely sensitive issue in china relations. americans have the propensity to forget that every few years and
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then rediscover the hard way. we have done relatively well and have a policy framework that removes it as an area of conflict. is to agree with policy framework that could cause the problem. that is where a big could the chinese like to think that because chinese interests and chinese views are so much more important with respect to taiwan, that there are four -- therefore they can bluff the americans down in a conversation over taiwan because our interests are less compelling than theirs. i think that is a very dangerous way of thinking about the issue. finally, i think the new crop of china hands emerging are very capable and i look forward to reading their memoirs at some point. [laughter]
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>> in the interest of balance, the question about the misunderstanding, i'm afraid we in the past year had a new up -- misunderstanding on the american side we are speaking increasingly as if every rough aspect of china's rise is and always has been nefariously aimed at the united states interests. is not true. the china rise in the main is about chinese flourishing and we seem to increasingly have the idea that we can and should stop china's continuing flourishing. i think that is probably our big misunderstanding. >> thank you for your time. i want to thank the kissinger in -- institute, very hard-working. the fact -- to the panelists spirit we look forward to seeing you back here in the new year. thank you.
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>> if you missed any of this discussion here at the wilson center, you can find it online at more live coverage from the wilson center later today with a look at yemen and possible peace talks to end its civil war. saudi arabia and others in the region and famine and disease in yemen over the recent years, live it to: 30 eastern time. house press- white secretary sarah sanders will brief reporters today starting at 1:30 is turned up every could hear an update on white house plans to fund a border wall, one of the sticking points in negotiations to fund the federal government by the midnight deadline. we will take you live for the
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briefing when it begins. and, hosting a discussion about the role of international organizations like nato and their impact on peace p we will hear from the french ambassador live at 6:00 here on c-span. you can watch online at or listen live with the free c-span radio app. funding runs out for several -- runs out for several on midnight -- still no agreement from the house, the senate, and the white house. one of the issues was president trump's request for $500 million .or the border wall the senate is in section today working on criminal justice reform. watch the house live on c-span and the senate on c-span two. arizona governor -- disappointing a congresswoman to the u.s. senate to complete john mccain's term after senator john
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, initially appointed, resigned. the congresswoman has put service first with 26 years in the military and being the first woman to fly in combat. closengresswoman lost a senate race in the midterm elections. when the new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new congress, new leaders. watch it live on c-span starting january 3. >> a very government under which we live was created with compromise and mutual concession. >> questioned a need for a senate. >> the framers established the senate to protect people from
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their rulers and as a check on the house. >> the fate of the country and maybe even the world lies in the hands of congress and the united states senate. senate, conflict and compromise, a c-span original production exploring the history , traditions, and roles of this uniquely american institution. hand.ase raise your right >> wednesday, january 2, it :00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> former federal reserve chair janet yellen spoke recently in new york saying she fears there could be another financial crisis because of limited tools to address panics and because of current deregulation efforts are she spoke with paul krugman -- krugman in new york for about an hour and 10 minutes. likelihood of


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