tv Washington Journal Jacob Stokes CSPAN October 12, 2021 12:50pm-1:10pm EDT
the international monetary fund. live coverage at 1 p.m. eastern on c-span2, online at c-span.org or our new video app c-span now. >> tonight at eight eastern on c-span2 we will compare today's supreme court oral argument concerning kentucky's abortion law. the states attorney general is seeking to uphold a state law banning certain abortion procedures that were struck down by a federal court. that is tonight at eight eastern on c-span2. >> joining us is jacob stokes, program fellow for indo-pacific security at the center for a new american security and we invited youob this morning to talk about china's military power. it's the front page story of the near times. let me shed headlines. china military taunts taiwan testing the united states. what's happening? >> good morning greta and thank me on the show.
it's been a busy week in east asia and in the taiwan straits in particular. we saw china fly more than 100, almost 150 aircraft into what's known as taiwan's air defense identification zone over the course of four days. it's important to note the air defense identification zone is not the same as territorial airspace which was at about 12 nautical miles from the territory of taiwan. the air defense identification zone is much further out. so these incursions were definitely provocative and intimidating toward the government in taiwan, but we have to understand the overall context. but it was a record and including 56 aircraft on monday. that's the important thing to note. the one question that folks have had is kind of why is this happening now? china is trying to pressure and intimidate taiwan's government into negotiating for political
unification on asians terms. at the same time it's trying to get its pilots better practice as they become more proficient in doing these types of operations. in doing so when taiwan's military has to respond it helps wear out taiwan's military which is smaller and over then china's military now. it was also a meaningful week in the sense that china's national day was october 1, sort of similar to our fourth of july. it's an opportunity to boost nationalism and china towards leadership. >> how did the u.s. response? >> by condemning the actions and noting the fact that he will be destabilizing and provocative and that ultimately it's not conducive to resolution of cross-strait issues and peace and stability in the region. a shared that message with beijing and consulted with
taipei and then also use allies in the region about the situation. in addition, national security adviser jake sullivan met with china's top foreign policy official who is a member of the ruling politburo. they met in zurich, switzerland, this week for about six hours where they talked about taiwan and also a range of other issues to try to cool down the situation. >> let's listen to president biden who was asked this week about the tensions between china and taiwan. here's what he had to say. >> china has i spoken to president xi about taiwan. we agree we will provide -- abide by the toman agreement. that's where we are and we made it clear that i don't think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement. >> jacob stokes, abiding by the taiwan agreement. what is he talking about? >> i suspect president biden was trying to use a shorthand to refer to long-standing this
policy towards taiwan which is admittedly a bit cumbersome to say. it'srs characterized by somethig known as the three joint u.s.-china communiqués, the taiwan relations act which is law and also something known as the sixths assurances to the government in taipei.e there are a number of aspects, probably too many to go into right now but there are three things viewers should really know about the was policy framework towards taiwan. the first is that while the u.s. recognizes there is only one china, it's the people's republic of china in beijing, the u.s. does not take a position on taiwan's status. the u.s. position is that taiwan status i.e. whether blogs w to china or not, is undetermined. second, the u.s. policy under the taiwan relations act is the united states is obligated to provide arms, military equipment and services sufficient for taiwan to be able to defend itself, and that's a legal
requirement under the taiwan relations act. and third really the most important principle that undergirds all of u.s.-taiwan policy is that any changes in the status quo between china and taiwan need to happen through peaceful means. in other words, it can happen by military force or coercion and it needs to be acceptable to people on both sides of the taiwan strait. in other words, in china and in taiwan. and so i suspect that is what president biden was trying to refer to briefly. >> what does taiwan want from the united states? >> taiwan wants u.s. support so that they can maintain its free, prosperous, democratic lifestyle and resist intimidation and political pressure from beijing. >> jacob stokes, describe the military buildup: by china. when did it begin and what does it look like right now? >> sure.
this is a decades-long story. we saw really starting in the 1990s china had a much smaller military budget but it began to grow by double-digit percentages from that small base, and those double-digit growth numbers happen for more than two decades and they continue to be in the high single digits now. the result in 2021 is that we have a people's liberation army, that's the official name of china's military, that is backed by the second largest amount of spending in the world behind the united states. china spin somewhere between 200-$250 billion hundred-$250 billion a year on itss military although we don't knowow the exact numbers. that's about one-third of what the u.s. spends. although china, china's military is primarily focused right around its periphery, write about in east asia where as the u.s. military is spread around the world. in addition, so the result of that military spending has been that china has the world's
largest navy in terms of ship numbers although its ships are less sophisticated on t average than the u.s. navy. china also possesses the world's largest arsenal of ballistic missiles which is an important capability. in addition china's military has been built and designed to do what defense experts call asymmetric operations. so it's really designed to exploit the weaknesses in u.s. and allied military capabilities.. and so it's not a one-for-one defense of dollars equation. it's complicated thanmp that. at the same time despite this high levels of defense spending, we know china's military is not an unstoppable juggernaut. they still have problems building certain types off military technologies such as jet engines. and in addition they are still working hard towh get to where e u.s. is on some of the sort of software of military operations,
especially training and equipping effective combat leaders.e so we shouldn't overhyped the threat but it is definitely there. >> jacob stokes as a guest here to.s talk but just china tensios and want to get your comments, your questions this morning. republican style in at 202-748-8001. democrats 202-748-8000 and independence 202-748-8002. text us. jacob stokes what is china's goal with a military buildup? >> china's goal is to have more control over its region and that starts with fulfilling china's territorial ambitions. so in beijing's view taiwan belong to china as does large parts of the south china sea and some parts of territory on the border with india and some of the smaller portion with a small mountain country of bhutan.
first and foremost it's really about gaining those territorial ambitions. in addition, it's important to note that the people's liberation army man goes to protect the communist regime and the communist government. so the military doesn't actually belong to the state. it belongs to the party. those territorial ambitions are destabilizing enough, especially if they were to be brought about by the use of military force. but increasingly china has a global military as well, or increasinglyly operating globaly and that's mostly to protect china's overseas interests where chinese citizens working abroad or have investments to try to protect those overseas. and so we have tove watch closey what the china's military buildup is looking like. >> we will go today then northport new york. welcome to the conversation. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. thanks. i'm curious.
is this potential conflict, is this because -- let me say, first of all china has the belt and road program. it's like an industrial power. it has tons of manufacturing in the world. andtu it's moving in a particulr direction as was the united states when we became a global superpower. .. manufacturing. the belts and rope may be you can talk about that. but how is, is this transition of china rising and the united states kind of -- what do we do we have $30 trillion in china is moving forward and the united states is going
back. does this necessitate a conflict and is that why china is kind of intervened in their market and tried to reduce the credit, destabilize the financial situation ? >> dave, go ahead. >> i appreciate it and the caller raises important issues. in terms of developing initiatives there are multiple motivations for this big industrial policy to build infrastructure and other types of trade policies around the world. the idea is one is to export china's access industrial capacities tso steel and other things like that where china is building too much of it and they want to sell it to the rest of the world and is also looking to put itself at the center of global trading patterns. so the types of infrastructure their building would do just that.
put it at the center of global trade. in terms of whether the us and china are destined for conflict i don't think that is, i don't think that needs to be the case. there's a lot of focus certainly on the us side on avoiding that without making major concessions on us interests or values so in many ways the ball is in china's court on that question. i would also, the picture of china's rise and the relative power between china and the unitedstates is a bit complicated .china's rise has also been undergirded by a major extension of debt. mostly in the corporate sector and state owned enterprises sector y and we're seeing that come to pass in the real estate slowdown that's currently affecting china's markets. and in addition china as a demographic slowdown. it has challenges with
environmental challenges such as providingenough water for cities . china's rate of growth can't continue at the pace that it has in recent decades whereas the united states still has a lot of dynamism and i think some of the effort that said, some of the effort needs to be put into domestic renewal as a way of renewing states but also in doing so competing with china more effectively and if we do that , that is more likely to bring about a perpetuation of a peaceful world that we've seen in a major power sense since the second world war. >> audrey and welch west virginia, republican, good morning. >> good morning. my comment is i believe the united states has farmed out a lot of jobs to china.
there's nothing made in china that cannot be dmade in the united states and it's taking away jobs from people in the united states. it needs to be brought back. we can do it on our own and to be independent of china 100 percent. i think it's wrong of our government to take away from the americans to give the money to anothercountry . >> host: jacob stokes. >> guest: the caller raises a long-standing concern and an important one. we saw speech from us trade representative catherine tie laying out us foreign policy on trade towards china and is really about how can we protect american workers and ensure that the united states can maintain its competitiveness in global markets and hold china accountable to its trade practices. so this is, this has been described more as a worker centric trade policy in trying to sustain as the
caller said good jobs in the united states and ensuring that china's forced to play by global standards when it comes totrade . >> host: jerry in new jersey, democratic caller. >> caller: i have a question and then a statement. the question is how are we to help taiwan? in other words how do we have the ability to help them if china tries to take them over, how far would we go but the comment i havebefore i hang up is twofold .c-span put this man on to cover up the biden statement trying to help them out because i see that biden, they have to help him out in every situation because he missteps but the main comment i have is now that china has our equipment that we left in afghanistan, how prepared are they going to be to overtake that we
wouldn't have the ability to protect themselves? i think china has something on biden that biden is working with china and it scares me to death . more has to be investigated with that. there's something going on with china and biden. >> guest: in terms of what the united states would do in terms of the contingency or conflict over taiwan, us policy as for many decades been based on the concept known as strategic ambiguity. we haven't committed one way or another about whether the united states would intervene militarily to stop china from crossing the taiwan strait and invading taiwan. this is really meant to support the broader policy framework i talked about earlier which is to sustain or to drive political negotiations that are peaceful without either side of the taiwan strait and
either beijing or taipei from making big moves unilaterally . so i think this is an important policy to sustain. it helps the region stay peaceful for many decades and that's incritical going forward. what we can do in the meantime ntis help taiwan as i said defend itself. so recent arms sales to taiwan, even training to taiwan forces and then helping taiwan maintain its connections tothe broader globe. all of these things can be really useful in deterring chinafrom attempting to invade taiwan and allowing taiwan to continue on as it has been . >> host: bill in nashville, democratic line . hi bill. >> caller: my question is when is the world as a whole
going to come together and hold china accountable for this tacovid outbreak? >> guest: this is a good question. we've seen from the trump administration and sustained in the biden administration as well calls for greater transparency from china on this question of the origins of the covid-19 pandemic and the purpose is really twofold . certainly to figure out the origins of this pandemic but to use that information to help prevent future pandemics. so it's absolutely critical and the lack of transparency from chinese officials in g beijing needs to change. >> host: how are other countries responding to china's military buildup ? >> guest: other countries are quite concerned. we see growing concerns from other especially democratic powers. one of the major efforts has been to work more closely
with allies and partners to balance china's military rise. we've seen efforts such as more from the quadrilateral security dialogue which is made up of japan, australia. >> you can finish watching this program at our website we will take you live now to a virtual discussion with global financial leaders on economic recovery from covid-19 posted by the international monetary fund . >> where the pandemic will have an flow and never reach. and here's the deal. 40 percent of poor people in all countries are vaccinated by the end of this year. that is the message for the leaders i have joining me to say they