tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN November 21, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST
this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from new york. today on the program, after many months of tensions ratcheting higher and higher, presidents xi and biden finally meet. >> we have a responsibility to the world as well as our people. >> virtually. what got accomplished, what was left at the table, and are the
world's two biggest powers destined for conflict? i will talk with the man who opened up relations between the two nations 50 years ago, henry kissinger. then the rest of the world. the troubling situations at the borders of both poland and ukraine and at the climate summit, mr. blinken goes to africa, and much more. i'll talk to david miliband and zanny minton beddoes. also, waiting for the end of the covid pandemic. when will it happen? will it ever, and what will it mean when it does? but first, here's "my take." every two minutes a water main breaks in america. the total amount of treated water wasted every day is about 6 billion gallons or 9,000
swimming pools, every day. and it highlights the infrastructure bill that president biden just signed into law is so important. the need to fix america's crumbling infrastructure has become boringly obvious but that doesn't change the fact that it is indeed falling apart. and just as is the case with any kind of deferred maintenance, the longer we wait, the worse the problem becomes, and the more expensive it will be to fix. one way to make clear what a shift the biden administration's infrastructure legislation represents is to look at the amount of federal government has spent on infrastructure over the decades. in the '50s and '60s, infrastructure spending as a percentage of gdp was over 1%. in 2019 decades later and with an exponentially bigger economy, spending was just at 0.7% gdp. the new surge of spending from the bill will raise it to about 1.3% over the next five years. and the bill has many good ideas
to encourage private investments that will actually increase these numbers. now economists disagree on exactly how much growth is produced by infrastructure spending but if we take a longer and broader view, the payoff seems obvious. perhaps the banker who rescued the bank in new york city wrote "bold endeavors" how the federal investments created the federal economic system, from the eerie canal to the first continental railroad to rural electrification to the interstate highways. we tend to think of america's competitive advantages largely in terms of the capitalist system or hard-working and inventive people who come to this country over the centuries, while those things are certainly part of the equation, other countries can boast similar advantages. an almost unique feature of america is that it has the world's largest and easily
accessible consumer market in the world, a point made in peter day hawn's excellent book "the accidental superpower." as he points out, the united states has 17,600 miles of navigable waterways, the world's largest network by far. china and germany have 2,000 miles each, he said. those waterways feed into a series of massive deep water ports. some of the world's largest natural harbors are the puget sound, san francisco bay, chesapeake bay. the latter has longer stretches of prime worth property than the entire continental coast of asia from vlad lock stock to lahore. but this advantage has been eroding for decades as they face increased traffic and insufficient investment. almost 80% of the inlandlocks and dams that made america's waterways work should have been replaced by now. many of them being 60 or 70
years old. new lots would mean barges would move much faster through the system. similarly investments in ford infrastructure will ease up those points. better roads and faster railways would all make a difference. this is a once in a generation opportunity for democrats to show the people that public investment can work. that means this money should be spent well and fast. congregation that advocates for good, cost effective government put out and excellent report in 2014 about infrastructure approval that should be read by everyone administering funds at the state and local level. six-year delays starting construction projects, it notes, could cost america $3.7 trillion. that's more than double the amount of money needed to modernize key sectors of the country's infrastructure by the end of the decade. columnist philip howard writes in the report, as practiced
today, environmental review often harms the environment. america's antiquated power grid, for example, wastes the equivalent of 200 coal -burning power plants. infrastructure sounds like a bore but it's the obvious fact that it makes the economy run. spending on infrastructure is a sign of a healthy society that is willing to invest in its future. the yearly economist wayfair wrote a paper in september in which he analyzed america's infrastructure spending from 1929 to 2019. he found it was around the 1970s that spending is a percentage of gdp on infrastructure started to plunge, never to fully recover. it was also about that time that america began routine deficit spending. to him both are signs of a society that is more focused on spending on consuming in the present rather than investing for the future.
another example, the federal government spends $4 for every senior citizen compared to $1 for every person 18 or younger. he sees the infrastructure bill as a very small shift in that long-term trend but let's celebrate that small change and hope we can begin once again to embark on some very big bold endeavors for the country's future. go to wicnn.com/fareed for a li to my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. ♪ on monday night in washington and tuesday morning in beijing, president biden and president xi held their first summit virtually. biden opened the meeting by saying the two nations had a responsibilities to the world not to veer into conflict with each other. i can think of nobody i would
rather talk to about the relations between these two nations than my next guest, henry kissinger. 50 years ago in 1971, then-u.s. national security adviser henry kissinger made a secret trip to beijing that led to the opening of relations with washington. he, of course, went on to become secretary of state. he's now the chairman of kissinger associates, which helps american companies do business around the world, including in china. his new book is "the age of ai." henry, there are a lot of people who feel that the united states needs to be more tougher on china. this is a policy that trump began. this is a policy that biden has continued, talking about extreme competition with china. is that the right way to think about u.s./china relations? >> when i first went to china, it was a poor and weak and very
conservative country. now it is a fairly rich, quite strong and still fairly assertive country. but our challenge then and our challenge now is to find the relationship in which we can compete without driving the situation into a holocaust. and that is a big challenge for both leaders. >> explain what you mean when you say a holocaust. because you think the stakes are very high, that if we get this wrong and it spirals into real military competition, what is the scenario you see there? >> china and the united states are the two most technologically advanced countries at the
moment. they both have numerous capacities for destruction and some of these capacities are artificial intelligence so they do not fully know what the consequences are of using it. the challenge in any country is not how you begin it but whether you know how to end it. so there is a danger we will slide if it's a purely military kind of competition into a conflict that is difficult to terminate. >> what do you think of this virtual summit, how did biden do? >> i think biden had a tough problem in the way the domestic situation in america has
developed. >> meaning everyone wants to be a china hawk. >> everyone wants to be a china hawk. everyone assumed that china is determined to dominate the world and that is its primary objective. and, therefore, the limits of -- there is an opposition needed, then fundamental value of interests of america are attacked. but there should not necessarily be an automatic revelry competition. and i think biden began to move in a different direction. that does not mean it's yielding to china, it is to try to find a level in which we can talk about
those things that are known to be common. we should have a principal goal of avoiding confrontation. >> the biggest flashpoint that people talk about that could draw the united states and china into actual conflict is taiwan. and the argument made is that xi seems to have his eye on a unification between china and taiwan, by force if necessary, as part of the great national rejuvenation of china. do you believe that china, that mainland china, intends some kind of aggressive action on taiwan? >> i believe that the ultimate joining of taiwan and china, the ultimate creation of one china, is the objective of chinese
policy as it has been since the creation of the current regime and that it probably would be in any chinese government since taiwan has been considered an historic part of china that was taken away by japan by force. that was exactly the situation nixon and i faced when we first began contact with china. a poignant conversation with nixon, mao said we can wait maybe even 100 years, someday we will ask for it, but we do not
need to discuss it at this moment. that last sentence was not quite that but that was the implication. >> but the thing worry about is xi is trying to change the game because he wants to unify taiwan peacefully if possible but militarily if necessary. you don't see that? >> i don't expect an all-out attack on taiwan in say a ten-year period, which is as far as i can see. i think it is perfectly possible that if the confrontation keeps growing, that the chinese will take measures that will weaken the taiwanese's ability to appear substantially autonomous. i think this is foreseeable, and we will have to decide as it
evolves to what degree we consider that a military means or to what it is combustible with a political trademark. >> we have talked all about china and i want to tell viewers that they must pick up this book, henry kissinger's book with eric schmidt and daniel hutton locker about artificial intelligence. i read it. it's masterful, amazing subject of artificial intelligence, of the promise of the dangers. henry kissinger, pleasure to have you on. to understand more about china and president xi, don't miss my latest special which airs at 9:00 p.m. tonight. i'll give you a preview of it later in the show. but next on "gps" -- what is putin up to on russia's border with ukraine?
that is the question increasingly echoing through the corridors of the capital. i will talk to david mill band and zanny minton beddoes when we come back. (naj) at fisher investments, our clients know we have their backs. (other money manager) how do your clients know that? (naj) because as a fiduciary, it's our responsibility to always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to? (naj) no, we do it because it's the right thing to do. we help clients enjoy a comfortable retirement. (other money manager) sounds like a big responsibility. (naj) one that we don't take lightly. it's why our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better. fisher investments is clearly different.
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0. secretary of state blinken said yesterday he had real concerns about russia's military activity near the border of ukraine. kiev said this month nearly 100,000 russian troops have massed in the area. how should the u.s. and its allies in europe respond? zanny minton beddoes is the editor and chief of "the
economist" and david miliband is the president and ceo and formerly, of course, british foreign secretary. david, you have written about the age of impunity. it does seem to me vladimir putin's actions here almost define and illustrate exactly what you're saying because there's no kind of norm that has been more sacrosanct in the post military world you don't remove by force and yet putin has done it by premier and seems bent on making ukraine at the very least a failed state perpetually insecure about its future. what should the west do? >> yes, the idea of age of impunity were the laws of norm that were established after 1945 are somehow for suckers and real leaders, quote/unquote, are those who do what they like without consequence and without
accountability. it seems clear there's the usual mixture of hubris and paranoia in the kremlin at the moment. hub russ because the gas prices are high so russian coffers are fuller than usual. paranoia because the see the treatment of mr. navalny and any opposition leaders, and they have been writing a lot about this. i think there are real tests being posed to europe and to the wider western world. some of the aspects of the response are obvious. a divided response will be a weak response. a response that fails to mobilize all tools, economic and political, will be a weak response. a response that has no sense of deterrent will also be a weak response. i think it's important also to remember that europe and the west are being tested, but that doesn't mean we're about to have a russian investigation of
ukraine. the troops i believe in april of this year. but alongside what's happened in belarus with the attempt to funnel migrants in europe, we're seeing a real testing of european unity at a time when obviously there's significant leadership transition in germany and question about the french presidential election coming up next may. >> zanny, as david says, a key part of this does seem to be gas prices, oil prices soaring, russia is basically a petrol oil and gas state. greater confidence, greater arrogance. shouldn't -- one of the keys here is europe is so dependent on russian oil and natural gas, shouldn't there be a concerted effort to wean itself off that dependence? the united states is the saudi arabia of natural gas. it could easily find ways to liquefy and transport that. shouldn't energy policy here be a key component? >> yes, i mean, simple answer to
the question is absolutely. one of the biggest problems in this has been germany's unwillingness to go that way and the noerd stream 2 pipeline, the pipeline directly bipartisaning ukraine and other places is an extremely crazy decision by the germans to push it because it plays into putin's hands. and you're absolutely right, a conservative european approach to wean itself off of that, which would, of course, fit broadly with longtime private thoughts in europe is very sensible. but europe is divided, divided on russia policy and as david said, the only way the west can stand up to the menacing role that putin is taking is by being united. i think it's really important to understand why putin is doing this, this sort of spoiler menacing role is very much i think part of his domestic focus. his domestic oppression, which have been writing quite a lot about, is gaining and becoming i
much more oppressive, much more nasty sort of quasi shiftic state. the way he uses his antagonism with the west as a justification for this, as a cold war mentality, justification for the domestic repressive behavior. and having a ukraine that is a deep stabilized, ideally quasi failed state is exactly what he wants. a stable ukraine supported by the west is absolutely something that putin cannot count on. so like david i don't think we will see tanks rolling across the border any time soon but the presence at the border is menacing ukraine, the use of gauze as a leaver to do that to, to make sure ukraine is perpetually unable to stabilize and unable to function, is part of putin's geopolitical move and serving his own power base and ensuring he can obtain that.
>> i have to say, i look at these energies shortages and energy problems and it does feel like you're watching a world in which you could have an energy crisis, you could have even some kind of recessions in some countries as a result of it and most importantly when energy rise as much as they do, you often see countries like russia, like iran, like venezuela, the benefit. anyway, we have to get to the next subject, which we will after the break. covid cases are spiking in europe, anger is erupting over restrictions. tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the continent. david and zanny will tell us what to make of all of this in a moment. savor the world in a bite. famous amos. wonders from the world.
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austria announced this week it would institute a nationwide partial lockdown and mandate covid vaccinations essentially for all of its citizens. it's the first european nation to make such a mandate. this week vienna saw 40,000 people come out to protest. similar protests against other nation's covid restrictions was seen across the continent. we're back here with david miliband and zanny minton beddoes. zanny, explain to us how you read this -- these new protests and such? you're watching a spike of cases in many of these countries, including a dramatic spike in austria, but not so much one of deaths, more of cases. >> absolutely. you are seeing what's being called the fourth wave. you're seeing a spike of cases in these countries across europe, particularly german speaking countries, germany, austria, switzerland, and you
are as a result seeing increasing moves towards locking down again, and austria, as you say, has gone the furthest with the nationwide lockdown of at least ten days starting on monday and then a mandatory requirement for everybody to be vaccinated from february. and this is what has caused the protests. there are protests against the new lockdowns and certainly against the mandatory vaccinations. interestingly, these german speaking countries have relatively high shares of unvaccinated people, and those unvaccinated people tend to be disproportionately people who support far right parties. so there's sort of a nationalist anti-government interference set of protests. they turned violent in some cities. it's going to be really tough. as this comes forward, how europe handles it, how much country has pushed towards lockdowns again, there's a real fatigue of those lockdowns, yet icu beds in germany and austria are filling up very fast.
it's going to be a tough few months. interestingly, the uk is taking a very different approach. if you come to london, you will see the uk has a very relaxed approach. no mandates, no lockdown. and although cases have been moderate the last few months, what seems to be setting the uk apart is the much hiker rate of booster shots, much higher rate of third jabs, which means the hope here the fourth wave won't hit the uk. but you coupled it with the energy spike we talked about in the earlier segment, it's going to be a pretty grim winter in parts of europe. >> david, how should countries handle this? it does strike me if you have vaccinations and you could get a booster shot, doing another lockdown with the enormous economic costs that is involved. countries are having to pay so much in terms of subsidies. there has to be some way to balance the risk and reward? >> first of all, let's recognize it must still in the gullette for millions of people around
the world in countries where they have less than 5% vaccination rates. it's very hard to get a vaccine. you must look in the gullette where you see a third of countries not vaccinated, refuse the vaccine and protesting against it. secondly i think it's really important there's no false sense of security coming from the idea that the delta vaccine is the great end of the story. the great danger is the further mutation, further variation that breaks through some of the immunity that's been established by thus what we brought vaccine. in terms of doing this, the number of cases per million in germany are still lower than the cases of a million in the uk but higher number unvaccinated and greater proportion ending up in hospital. my own view of what president m macron has done in france, making it mandatory to enter
restaurants and other public buildings led to vaccinations and that led to a significant boost. obviously, there needs to be the drive for the booster shots as well. i have to add, that must be combined with a new distribution of vaccines that are excess because all of the western countries are sitting on tens of millions of excess vaccine, and also new production drive around the world because unless we v vaccine the world, the world won't be safe from this vaccination problem. >> david, before you go, i quickly want to ask you, tony blinken was in africa. he gave a speech about democratic reform in africa. struck me as very sensible. he also did not turn it into one that was all about the u.s. versus china kind of world war replay. just your thoughts for 30, 40 seconds on that speech and that trip. >> it was a good speech, and the critical thing is it's not the last speech. one secretary of state visit
doesn't a strategy make. and 21 countries in africa are now suffering from civil conflict, 120 million people in humanitarian needs, 6 million refugees across the continent. it's critical that secretary blinken build on the very important principles that he set out and muster action europeans as well and where if possible with chinese, for example, on covid to make sure the continent is able to overcome deep-seeded and acute problems that are now emerging in the conflict-ridden state. >> david miliband, zanny minton beddoes, huge pleasure as always. thank you. >> thank you. next on "gps" -- in contrast to the new restrictions in europe, you heard about here in the united states some of the shackles of the pandemic seem to be shaking off. washington, d.c. lists lifts mh of its mask mandate tomorrow and others seem to be similarly. the big question, is the
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on march 11th, 2020, the world health organization's director general declared the covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. more recently as more and more people get vaccinated, especially for now in the u.s., i have begun to wonder what does the end of the pandemic look like? joining me now is dr. saceline gounder, infectious disease specialist at nyu. celine, how should we think about this? we're at a situation where a lot of people have got vaccinated, not enough but a lot. a lot of people had the disease so they have some natural immunity. are we at the point where we can say the pandemic is over? >> fareed, i think we're getting close to that point. we're talking about a transition to endemic, which really means that the virus continues to circulate as some level in the community but you're not going to have these huge surges that
we had over the last year and a half or so. >> so is it like the flu then, something that just exists and we have to live with? >> so i have vaccinating for covid, we're turning covid into something more like the flu. so it is not nearly as deadly, as mortal, not nearly as many people will end up in the hospital with covid. if we vaccine enough people, we can turn it into something much more like the flu. >> and how should we think about it as people who are vaccinated? i'm double vaccinated. i tend to think the science is the science, the vaccine works. i don't really need to wear a mask even when i'm indoors because i'm vaccinated, is that fair? >> look, the vaccines are safe and highly effective, especially at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. they will not prevent all infections, no matter how many boosters we give. there will still be some number of infections that people will still experience and the question is really up to you as
the individual to manage that risk. are you willing to have a mild case of covid that does not lnd you in the hospital? maybe you're not. maybe you would prefer to wear a mask when you're out in public on the subway. for the elderly, i think we need to be more cautious because they will remain at real risk. >> that's an interesting way to put it and that's the way i have been thinking about it, we now have as individuals to manage our own risks just as we do when we drive a car on the american highway and you're probably engaging into something much more risky than going unmasked into a shopping mall or something like that. so is that part of -- do you think that there should be further authority telling us what to do? should there be masked mandates or should there be separate mandates for separate categories of people?
>> i think we need two different kind of plans. one is what i would call a public health strategy, so how do we minimize hospitalizations and death? how do we minimize disability from covid at the population level and more than that you have an individualized tailored, personal, clinical approach, which you could decide with your doctor, what are the things you want to do to protect yourself. >> when we had dr. fauci on, he said the fundamental reason the virus is mutating into more dangerous forms like delta is it's replicating, meaning it's spreading. the reason it's spreading is because not enough people have gotten the vaccine. should there still be a goal of really getting -- just ramping up vaccinations as much as you can so you narrow the ability of the virus to replicate, reproduce and mutate to change form into something more deadly? >> look, the fastest way to get from the pandemic phase, the money phase, with covid to the
endemic, long term lower level phase, is threw vaccination. >> give us a sense with your knowledge, with your judgment, with your wisdom, what do you do? you're vaccinated. do you wear a mask indoors? give us a sense how you manage your individual risk. >> so i am double vaccinated. when i am in public spaces indoors in new york city where i live, when i'm on the subway, i do wear a mask and i will be at least for next couple of months. we are at the beginning of a new winter surge and even if you are double vaccinated, even if you are boosted, as long as there's a high level of transmission of the virus around you in the community, you are still at risk. so i'm going to give it at least a few more months, couple more months and hopefully in that time more people in my community will be vaccinated and that will reduce my risk in the long run. >> that's terrific. really good advice. we're delighted to talk to you. thank you so much. >> my pleasure. next on "gps" -- president
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jinping's virtual talks with president biden this week, the communist party published a resolution, playing xi in the same pantheon as china's most revered leader mao azedong. but to many he remains a mystery. i will help you tonight with my own special at 9:00 pl called "china's iron fist: xi jinping and the stakes for america." you will learn about xi's life, he suffered deeply as a child, only to become its most powerful proponent. it begins in the 1960s, the chaos of the culture revolution.
chairman mao wanted to reassert his control over the communist party. he accused it of being too liberal. he called for the young people to rebel against the elite of their own party. >> basically turn chinese life upside down. all of the most powerful people found themselves suddenly attacked and criticized, often by some of the least powerful people. and xi jinping was right at the center of the storm. >> at the center of the storm because he was a son of privilege. >> his father was one of the leading revolutionaries of his generation, one of the people who created the people's republic of china. >> so his son had the best of everything. >> he literally grew up in a leadership compound at the
center of shenzhen. he had a very privileged existen and society. >> they used to call themselfed "the born red," which meant they have been brought into this world with the expectation they would eventually lead and eventually take over the country. and then it all came apart. >> first xi's father was arrested, supposedly for supporting a play and a book that criticized mao zedong. his mother was forced to denounce his father. one of his sisters reportedly committed suicide. >> because she was being hounded so much for the family's political problems, and that's a fact that you won't see in the official party histories. >> xi, still just a child, was forced to fight for his life in the streets of beijing. >> there was nobody at home. there were no parents at home for a very young teenager. >> and that teenager was trying to survive in the chaos of a
revolution. >> the cultural revolution was this implosion of chinese society right down to the family level, just this kind of inferno of all of the bonds of trust and hierarchy that organized society. >> in his late teens, the party sent xi out to work as a peasant in the countryside. >> he spent many, many years in a very poor county in northern china basically doing manual labor, being a farmer, feeding pigs. >> after years spent working as a farmhand, xi made a decision about his future. >> xi jinping did a very surprising thing, which that he applied to become a member of the party. and not just once, he was rejected over and over and over again. he was rejected because his family name was now poisoned in chinese politics for this period
of time. >> finally he gained admission to the party and began an almost 40-year climb up the ladder. but why? why would xi jinping, a victim of some of the worst cruelties of communism, devote his life to strengthening the party? find out tonight. don't miss "china's iron fist: xi jinping and the stakes to america" at 9:00 p.m. eastern. thank you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. (jackie) i've made progress with my mental health. so when i started having unintentional body movements called tardive dyskinesia... i ignored them. but when the twitching and jerking in my face and hands affected my day to day... i finally had to say, 'it's not ok.' it was time to talk to my doctor about austedo.
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hey, i'm brian stelter live from new york and this is "reliable sources," where we examine the story behind the story. we figure out what's reliable. this hour we have big interviews with two best-selling authors, including abc's jonathan carl. we're going to ask, is rupert murdoch's advice for donald trump falling on narcissistic ears? and what is hannah-jones' new mission for the 1619 project? we will speak with her. and what is the life of president biden governing in an age of media extreme, and what is it like for all of us as viewers? all of that and more ahead in the next few minutes. first, the verdict is in for the u.s. "the chicago tribune's" front page this morning saying we're unanimously divided after the acquittal of kyle rittenhouse. th