tv The Bottom Line Al Jazeera March 20, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm +03
the contest a renowned day trader has to beat a computer program trading on the stock market and on another network a well known news reader meets for the 1st time her computer generated double to show none of us is indispensable or beyond manipulation for south korea all this technology has very serious applications as our lives are transformed by the marvels of artificial intelligence. changes whether we like them or not but with bright houses there are some south korea. it is good to have you with us hello adrian filling in here in doha the headlines allows us era parts of france poland and ukraine are back under lockdown from saturday as they struggle with rising numbers of coronavirus cases the french government says that restrictions won't be as harsh as those imposed last year but
tasha butler reports now from paris. people in paris and 15 regions in the country back in lockdown down in just a 12 months and what that means is that people in these regions will now have to fill out the permits again every time they want to leave the house they are being encouraged to stay at home they're being encouraged to work from home shops are now shops and they joined of course the restaurants bars cultural center sports facilities that are being shot here since. organizers of the tokyo olympics have confirmed that overseas fans were be allowed to attend the games it's boss of an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the corona virus more than 600000 tickets are now expected to be refunded. a tsunami warning has been issued in northeastern japan after a $7.00 magnitude quake struck off the coast of the yagi prefecture has resulted in power outages across the region the quake was felt in the capital tokyo. pakistan's
prime minister has tested positive for covert 19 the health minister confirmed the infection and says that imran khan is self isolating at home it comes just 2 days after he was vaccinated like a star is experiencing a sharp rise in the number of new infections a place to protest a supreme killed in the city of mogul demonstrations continue across the country despite the military's violent crackdown on protests india's defense minister the us secretary of defense have agreed to enhanced security cooperation between the countries lloyd austin this trip to new delhi follows similar visits to south korea and japan seen as an effort to shore up ties and counter china's growing influence in the indo-pacific region those are the headlines more you see here and i'm just here after the bottom line thanks to.
hi i'm steve clemons and i have a question what is joe biden strategic play book against china and why does it look so much like trump's playbook let's get to the bottom line. one of president joe biden's big campaign promises was that he was going to reverse the hostility to china coming from former president donald trump but 2 months into his presidency biden hasn't reversed the single one of the former president's policies in fact he's doubled down u.s. officials still label the abuse of china's muslims and john province as genocide still condemn the crackdown in hong kong still reject china's claims in the south china sea while way is still on the u.s. communications chopping block last week biden met with leaders in the 1st quad
meeting with heads of government from india australia and japan but not china and this week he sent his 2 top officials the secretary of state and the secretary of defense or the carrot and the stick to visit several countries in asia but again not china there will be a meeting with chinese officials later in alaska but the message is clear biden is building a grand contain china coalition so how is china taking all this in and will this track be effective today we're talking to deborah layer who was involved in the accession of china to the world trade organization 20 years ago and was one of the founders of the us china strategic economic dialogue and today she's the c.e.o. of bass alina a consultancy on china in the middle east based here in washington she is also executive director of the paulson in situ and randy shriver who served in the trumpet ministration as assistant secretary of defense for indo-pacific security affairs he is the co-founder and chairman of the project 2049. institute which works to advance u.s.
interest in asia so much thank you to both of you for talking with us today let me just start out with you deborah as we sort of look at u.s. china relations and is china a foe is a friend do we collaborate how do we get that mix right in describing where a relationship should be today well that's obviously a huge question but i think it's very important to think of this not a military terms but maybe in more business like terms that we often think of it is that 0 plus 0 sum game and when you think in military terms there's always a winner and a loser but in the case of dealing with china in some cases they're a competitor and some cases we are aligning ourselves with our own money issues perhaps like climate change and other things and in some cases it's a little bit in between it's kind of like with investment banks where one day goldman sachs and j.p. morgan might be competing in another instance they might be cooperating on a project so we need to set up a framework that can accommodate those different kinds of relationships randy you know we've had 4 years of the trumpet ministration you served in the trumpet
ministration now we're in the inflection point politically but when it comes to these strategic questions is there continuity between trump and biden what what is going to continue what needs to be changed as you see it i do think we'll see a lot more continuity than people might otherwise expect and one of the reasons is because i i think the top administration actually was representing continuity in a lot of ways particularly my portfolio on the military and security side president trump was certainly different than orthodox on conventional whatever your term of art is but in many ways the free and open and opus of it policy at the department of finance was really set on its course and trajectory in the obama administration with the pivot rebalance to asia so i think our policies are being driven by by china's growth its behavior the pressure they're putting on allies and friends and we're responding to that to try. to preserve the free and open qualities of the region and so i do think there will be continuity as there was more so than i think
a lot of people realize even in the last administration meeting and i've looked at a lot of material that pioli analysts have written people's liberation army analysts have written about the united states that see particularly the last 4 years as one where the u.s. was very tough on its allies was very skeptical of international institutions on the trade front walked away from things like the t p p and in their eyes they saw america in strategic contraction that therefore in their eyes then justified a lot of what they've been doing to expand it how is that p l a analyst wrong well i think it's more complicated than that i think in many ways the u.s. was willing to stand up to china in the military sphere in ways that maybe previous administrations weren't we certainly saw a greater number of freedom of navigation operations we saw more activity in the taiwan strait we saw more arms sales to taiwan we saw more cooperation with japan on the military and security side as we sort of normalize that alliance but yes there were certain particular pet issues of the president himself like burden
sharing that probably sent the mixed signals that led some chinese analysts to think we were in decline or this america 1st met america only and i think it was just more complicated than that and they're going to see i think in the biden ministration real opportunities to to try to right the ship. but they're not going to be open welcomed with open arms in all instances because their behavior needs to change for that to take place deborah just mentioned that was always on the chopping block in the united states you know there's there's trade there's technology there are a lot of nonmilitary dimensions to the u.s. china relationship there are you know big challenges out there on on climate on a whole variety of fronts that kind of these large transnational questions how do you think the u.s. is situated today in terms of either competing or collaborating with china on trade on climate on terrorism right obviously those are all huge issues and let's
take technology just to begin with that is really at the core of a lot of the tensions that we have with china and part of the issue is that focus on how we ensure that our companies are the most innovative in the world and what's in our interests and in doing that part of it in this they need to be able to commercialize their technologies in the world's largest consumer market and that's china and so when it really where it's one sided so the world's largest consumer market today is china yesterday at something i just couldn't let drugs go so that's a punctuation point it is a punctuation point and it be very difficult for us to remain competitive in some of the areas that we do without an ability to commercialize these technologies in china so we need to think very carefully about what our national security policies are and are focused on the national security issues around supply chain and make sure that while we are very protective of those that are core to national security
that we're not making that the field so large that we're capturing technologies that in some instances can be provided by some of our competitors in other countries so how do you do that i mean i happen to be a fan of tick tock tick tock was one of these issues it was ways than the last administration being a technology that would create a vulnerability around communications and data to chinese. government sources and i think i understand part of that is that any chinese company is subject to their national security law their national intelligence law so every company that does business in the u.s. in the technology front is a potential threat how do you balance that with the fact that you need access to their economy i mean your thoughts on that i would like to get randi's as well well in those are 2 different issues right i mean one of it is how do we allow chinese companies to operate in the united states and some of the issues that the chinese tech companies face are similar to the issues that are large tech companies face how do we protect data how do we protect children's access to technology and these
kinds of things some are unique to china life tick-tock like we chat how do you protect doubted that is collected about the american consumer and not having used in china particularly if it's being collected in circles that perhaps whether it's young military who are using tech talk and show where they might be that's a vulnerability really it's a serious issue so it is a serious issue i thought you will laugh about it but it's a serious issue i think it is a serious issue but i think there are also ways to protect that and one of the ways is to also start looking at this i think goes to the larger issue one of biden strategies when it comes to dealing with china is how we start to deal with like minded democracies in creating rules around technology and this is one of the areas where the trade world really has fallen behind this is one of the areas where the world trade organization has not lived up to its mission which is to reflect what today's modern trading world looks like randy your thoughts well i think deborah is exactly right particularly working with like minded partners and fellow democracies
and i think kurt campbell in the biden ministration is use the term techno alliance among democracies and i think that's the right way to think about it but but overall you know we need to think about both the defense and the often its side the defense protecting technology getting friends and allies to do the same making sure that our supply chain. they're secure and there's integrity particularly in the critical supply chains but also the off often subside we have to out innovate and we have to maintain competitive edge and the problem is those bleed into one another's those that are part of our innovation economy are also benefiting from the china market so these sort of blend into one another so it requires a vigilance and requires a level of attention that is going to be challenging for any administration is there anything that america and its allies should be doing with response to hong kong not only because of hong kong but because of the inaction is being read by china as a green flag on doing more on taiwan well i think keeping pressure on c.c.p.
leadership because of their actions on taiwan hong kong and then jiang and pressure in a variety of ways including sanctions i think the use of global the individual sanctions is potentially helpful to magnitsky act yes but remember taiwan is fundamentally different in some important ways. china exerts sovereignty over hong kong and chin john they claim sovereignty over taiwan but they don't control it they don't run it and for the benefit of the people of taiwan there's 80 not a whole miles of water in between so they run their own affairs they have a thriving democracy a thriving economy they probably set the global standard on handling coronavirus and some some people that we could really learn from and benefit from their example so taiwan has different advantages to be able to deal with the p.r.c. pressure but that doesn't mean we step aside and are completely uninterested or
disinterested party we have obligations under the taiwan relations act that we try to implement faithfully in ensure that taiwan is able to continue to survive in its current status or better. dead this week i interviewed the new japan ambassador to the united states cody tomita and i ask him bastard to me to sort of to talk about the t.p. at the beginning of the tepee peace negotiation process he disagreed with me on this but i sort of thought japan as the laggard you know is the most reluctant to kind of come along now japan is sort of the leader of the t p p which is the america you know the united states walked away from china wants to be in the t p p and china's cutting trade deals over the world where is the united states you are are we playing our hand right when it comes to trade because that's also part of the question of how you conduct foreign policy and i'll just tag on you with regards to hong kong and said john should you know you look have any concern about all of the trade deals that china is cutting with other countries and why they're not making china pay
a price for some of its behavior yet you're absolutely right china has been very active when it has come to trade they have in the last 2 years completed the world's largest regional trade agreement which was with a number of our allies including to pan in korea they are negotiating a free trade agreement with the new zealand they have started a free trade agreement with japan and korea they concluded a major investment agreement last year with. the europeans and they just launched a customs union with eastern europe and they are claiming that they're going to start a free trade agreement with the gulf countries so is there anything and us not why the u.s. colony we're still waiting for the u.s. trade representative to get confirmed trade is not at the top of the agenda and that is the administration is looking at their assessment of china policy we have not heard that trade is going to play a major role and there is no discussion at the moment about the u.s. joining or rejoining as it may be. and it's really
a shame and if we're going to wait to do all of this through that we're going to be waiting a long time because the deputy oh i think all would agree needs a major reform so where do you how do you respond to that because part of playing a full deck if you will is the security dimension we seem to of siloed these off saying well we can play the security card in some levels but not play the economics of the trade one is that smart. it's a problem and i think the trumpet ministration one of my criticisms even though i served in it was coming out of the gates strong on the military were going to raise defense budgets and one of the 1st actions pulling out a t p p and even worse we did a repeal and replace we said we were going to do bilateral trade agreements and then at last for years on the positive side the previous administration worked with the congress on the build act and looked at creative ways to be an enabler for u.s. foreign investment into critical regions like southeast asia that's sort of coming
online and getting underway so really the lead of u.s. economic policy has been our private investment overseas and i'm more optimistic there than on the trade liberalization which the politics here of just just been decimated on both sides of the aisle vladimir putin has been out there saying that the nation that controls a will control the future and when you look at 5 g. and which has been such a contentious battle already between the united states and some parts of the world over wall way and its 5 g. role you look at and 5 g. in a way is really a holding place to talk about data talk about quantum computing talk about. artificial intelligence and whatnot that whole realm is just a strategic leap technologically in some ways and china plays a big role is the united states doing enough in that area to basic is that's partly industrial policy it's partly commercial innovation but are we doing enough to to
match if you will what the chinese are doing randi. my sense is we're a little bit slow out of the gate and i think that's a big statement i mean i guess seeing that as a former pentagon official you're worried yeah i'm also encouraged that we are focusing on the challenge and we're thinking about what we need to do to be more competitive in this space and we're understanding what the chinese are doing at a more sophisticated level as well in terms of building the emerging technologies out the chinese are doing quite well when it comes to application and building systems of systems on the military side it's a lot less clear so they may have a bit of a head start on the just the are indeed the emerging technologies when it comes to applications i'm still confident we can maintain a competitive edge but we've got to we've got to be on the game here never you know this world well i mean i'd be interested to know what you think about this me with the way randi just described it he really described this as piers not you know
maybe the u.s. we believe but he couldn't describe this is thinking about the chinese already deploying. well i totally agree with randy but i would out on the commercial front i do think they're starting to compete with us and where the chinese have been smart and where we need to be careful is let's take climate right climate as identified as a big area of potential cooperation whereas i think actually it's going to be the area of conflict because again at the core of what we are looking at on climate is technology and if you look at clean tech whether it's batteries that are used in the e.v.a.'s and other materials that lithium ion batteries whether it's new energy vehicles china leapfrog technologies focused on being and have done a great job commercializing them at home and now are exporting them abroad and we are going to be competing in these areas and so they are taking us on directly in industries where we have dominated not just now competing in china but also we're
competing in the middle east we're competing in latin america for these products and so i do think we need to have a very. good focus on how we support our innovative industries ai we are ahead and how we help them commercialize and how we find a way to make sure that for applications that are not a threat to national security that we can commercialize them in china. so you're confident you're optimistic. well i'm optimistic in that i believe that the us can outcompete china if our industries are given that opportunity i'm just interested in how biden sees easing peeing in his ability to influence that leaders decisions versus easing ping looking at joe biden and our toxic political situation today review you have thoughts on that all these are great questions the 2nd part 1st how does she and other c.c.p. leaders look at the united states i think they look at it with some confusion and
are about to have some expectations dashed i did a lot of sort of track want to have tracked to work even after i left the administration and the chinese were very hopeful for a reset or return to normal they were hopeful that the trump administration was an aberration and it may have been an aberration in rhetoric and tone but i think again the roots of u.s. china strategic competition are are more foundational now where the american public has very negative views of china that's reflected in all the polling the congress is very activist on on china so i think they're going to be dealing with a united states that's going to take a tougher stance as across the board even though they're dealing with a very different leader on our side who's obviously a very experienced hand having served as vice president and and in the senate foreign relations committee as chair how how biden in the u.s. now look at she i think he's revealed himself quite a bit over the last few years everything from his domestic moves and political
moves to make himself president for life but also has his ambitions in the region you know a few years ago we heard about asia for asians and that seems to be acted out now in a lot of their more assertive behavior and expansive illegal sovereignty claims so i think there's a pretty clear understanding of where she jumping wants to go he's very clear about the great rejuvenation and where he wants china to be by the midpoint of the century 2049 there are your thoughts and i completely agree. randi i think one of the areas where the democrats and the republicans do come together maybe the only area is on china and it looks like we're going to see a significant number of bills again in this administration which in some ways it's going to force the administration to determine if it's following foreign policy coming from the hell or if it's going to be ahead of them in guiding what foreign and trade policy are going to be and for the chinese i do think they were looking for a reset and randy's right they're not going to see that because everything that we're
seeing coming out of biden is very similar it least in the issues that they've identified as trop their remedy is i'm sure will be very different so let me just push you a little bit further on that because i agree that the puffery and the posture and the statements on top of concern about china reach across party aisles and there's a lot of continuity there were i don't see a consensus is on the strategy of what to do and part particularly when it comes to muscling up on america's science strategy you know doubling the national science foundation budget looking at what you kind of do on kind of returning the united states back to this innovation powerhouse that really drove you know what we saw in silicon valley but in so many other areas the biotech revolution etc etc you know china's now appear there and so part of the question is you see diminishing investment by the u.s. increasing investment by our rivals in the world so is that
a key point am i wrong or does that need to be a part of the response because i don't see the consensus behind that yet well i think that also the difference between the congress and the administration right every at the end of the last congress there were over $500.00 bills focused on china as there was every congressman has its issue care issue that they're focused on whether it's delisting whether it's stopping chinese students from studying in the united states whatever it might be the administration needs to in my view be ahead of where the congress is and. putting together a whole strategy across all of these issues whether it's what is the role of students studying in the u.s. if you look at artificial intelligence for example the majority of foreign workers who are in u.s. firms usa are and are chinese they are part of the reason we are so successful an artificial intelligence do we continue to keep this open as a market for studying and working right these are fundamental questions i think the administration is really going to be unfair to you and give you a minute to ask
a very tough question which is we haven't talked about north korea today we have talked a little bit about climate i've seen china essentially saying hey you want our help on north korea you want our help on china you want our help on myanmar here's what the costs were going to be leave us alone on these other areas what is your prognosis on whether we are going to get any credible support from china on these other big i mean north korea's not just north korea it's a transnational global nuclear threat so as you look at that are you cute do you have any optimism. unfortunately not much you know north korea is important enough to the chinese and the korean peninsula is important enough that we shouldn't have to be begging for their cooperation so i suspect it's really more interest driven and they're trying to see if they can exact a price from us for coming to the table but our experiences over the last several administrations have been pretty mixed willing to come to the table but think about outcomes differently think about priorities differently by the time the trumpet
ministration closed it was not only a lack of cooperation the chinese were basically enabling north korean illegally licit shipping in their territorial waters to evade the sanctions so it was it was enabling the north koreans making those challenges much harder so i think it's worth you know it's worth continuing to work with them on it any outcome that's that's achieved through diplomacy has to involve the chinese but it's going to be a slog i love that we're not finishing this show on a false positive note so i want to thank you both better and china experts deborah lehrer chief exec executive of vaseline a consulting and also executive director of the paulson institute and randy shriver former pentagon and state department official for asia thank you both for being with us today. so what's the bottom line remember dr strange he's that magical superhero from the comic books that can reverse time but with china policy maybe
president joe biden is trying to be dr strange 20 years ago america wanted to seduce china and change its core character by bringing it into the world trade organization and creating trillions of dollars of new wealth america consciously shifted jobs in manufacturing to china making a lot of chinese rich but also hollowing out america's middle class now china realizes that with great wealth comes great power and it can push countries around including the united states the only problem is now america's calling ring ring hello we want our jobs back it also wants china to stay within the lines it drew 4 decades ago and to respect america's dominance well good luck with that biden can try to reverse time and put the genie back in the bottle but that strategy hardly ever works what could actually work is that the united states would reinvest in itself investing in science in education infrastructure a smart industrial policy for the future when america used to do that it didn't have to worry about china or any other competition and that's the bottom line.
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al jazeera. every. you want you all jews there with me so robin in doha a reminder of our top news stories organizers of the tokyo olympics have confirmed that overseas fans will not be allowed to attend the games it's part of an effort to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus more than 600000 tickets are expected to be refunded the games have already been delayed by one year because of the pandemic parts of france poland and ukraine are back under lockdown on saturday as they struggle with rising numbers of coronavirus cases the french government says.