tv Deputy Secretary of State Senators Discuss Foreign Policy CSPAN November 24, 2021 11:39pm-12:13am EST
we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual and we powered a new reality because we are beat -- built to keep you ahead. giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> the u.s. global leadership coalition held a discussion focused on democracy, human rights and other challenges in the 21st century. nbc news's -- quick supporting u.s. leadership for democracy after a talk -- >> supporting u.s. leadership for democracy.
this was after a tough year. the taliban has overrun an elected government in afghanistan and corruption is making it harder to hold save and fair elections. we will look at the role that u.s. leadership can play in democracy and human rights to counter authoritarianism in latin america and africa, southeast asia. i like -- i would like to welcome our panel. joining us is wendy sherman. dan sullivan and chris coons from delaware are also here. the world is facing the decline of human rights. this has to be a top priority. the administration is pressing
forward. first, let's zune out -- zoom out. what is the administration doing to make this a priority? physically in this humanitarian crisis in if you pick, afghanistan and now, belarus. >> thank you, andrea. great to be with senators coons and sullivan. we are no longer afraid to say this is important to the future of our humanity and our world.
we were trying to say that people have a right to clean water and clean air. and that very planet's existence depends on what we all do. there is no doubt that in the countries you mentioned, we are facing a time where we are facing great challenges, even at home to our own democracy. that means we have to double down and show that democracy can deliver what your conference was talking about. how the private and public sector can do. it is also important that we understand that people are hurting around the world because of the pandemic, because of the changing economic circumstances and often, this is right for autocrats who say i can control
everything for you but we know from research that in the long run, autocrats do not deliver for their people and they don't deliver the most precious things. that is freedom. this government is trying very hard to deliver that freedom agenda to people all around the world and often this is a bipartisan effort. they have worked hard with us. whether that is in the russia ukraine situation we are facing, afghanistan, to make sure the afghan people continue to get humanitarian assistance, to working together to make progress in ethiopian sudan. the senator has traveled to that part of the world. we have great partners in congress. together, we can show that democracy delivers, human rights matters and we are all looking for freedom.
>> i want to ask you about democracy. the pandemic led to the postponement of elections in 79 different countries. it gives the power to control this righty with vaccines as well is to export their vaccines. >> thank you for monitoring this. you are a great role model of what it means to be a journalist. i am thrilled to be joined by my friend and colleague, dan sullivan of alaska.
we helped to deliver vaccines from the administration made available for donation to taiwan , a vibrant democracy that was in desperate need of support at a turning point in the covid-19 pandemic. i also joined another bipartisan delegation earlier this year in a visit to what mullah where at the same time, a donation of vaccines were being delivered in part through this administration, building upon the critical work of the previous administration in funding the developing of safe and effective vaccines. they have been critical for our transition here in the united states toward having a path forward toward reopening, toward hope in the face of this pandemic. as our first panel discussed today, continuing to be the world's leading donor in safe and effective vaccines. that is absolutely essential. it is great to be on this panel with you.
you have helped make the case for society around the world. -- open society around the world. they are the most reliable geopolitical allies and trading partners to the united states. they outperform autocratic societies in preventing instability and good governance. when the pandemic has ravage the world and when many of us gathered in glasgow for cop 26 to look at what we will be doing in the face of climate change, i think it is important that we reinforce our commitment, -- to democracy, toward freedom and toward linking arms with those other free and open societies that can be our critical partners in combating the pandemic and the other challenges facing us in the 21st century. >> senator sullivan, i want to bring you and and ask you about what opportunities there might be for the u.s. to exert its
influence. it is said that we cannot be neutral in the context of authoritarianism. how can we be effective? >> thank you. i am proud to be here. adam secretary, great to see you as well. it gives you a sense of how big a country we have. i was hoping to join you guys in the same time zone. chris coons goes home for dinner most nights. a plane from alaska to d.c. got canceled. i am still in the great state of alaska. i am glad we can do this by zoom. you are already seeing it with a different panelist. there is widespread agreement
that authoritarianism -- the deficit we are seen with regard to democracy -- i think there are a number of ways we can look at it. the biden administration, i have worked with a number of them. whether it is jake sullivan or secretary lincoln, kurt campbell is doing a great job on the asia-pacific portfolio. they can talk from day one about the foundation of negotiating from a position of strength. that is something that president biden talks about. tony blinken talks about it. it is actually a phrase one of our previous secretaries of state used when he was talking about the soviet union. in that regard, the report card of this administration is a bit
mixed. this is an area where they are doing a good job. that is working with our democracy, our allies. building and deepening our alliances. that is one of the huge comparative advantages we have as a country, america as an ally, origination. our adversaries, authoritarian countries we are competing with. i think i will just give example where president biden has built on the work being done and now he has taken that to the leader level that started under president george w. bush, president trump put a lot of emphasis into it and now it is at the leader level. i think that is really important initiative. let me give two areas were a thing there needs to be a lot more work. we are putting forward the debate on the defense authorization act.
that is the annual bill that funds our military. in my view, the biden administration came in and decided to cut defense spending and the armed services committee -- community rejected -- committee rejected that and said we need to decrease defense spending. i think that is a bipartisan area to keep our military strong. our allies went to see that, certainly authoritarian regimes waukesha -- watching that very closely. we want to see that increase in readiness. i raised this a lot, it is on energy. one of our great strengths has been a bipartisan goal -- it has been -- it has been to be energy
independent. >> ethic we have a great interruption from alaska from senator sullivan. i hope we can work it out. while we wait for this to be sorted through, why don't i bring you in and talk about the china summit? there is only so much you can say beforehand. the importance of this is this happened in alaska when jake sullivan and secretary blinken met with their chinese counterparts and bringing up human rights was such a trigger for such a very contentious meeting.
how does this issue get handled tonight in this all-important virtual meeting between the two presidents? secretary sherman: i think you can be assured that president biden will be very direct about our concerns about human rights. he always has been. he will be again tonight. as secretary lincoln has put out, our relationship with this is to both compete, to challenge when we must and to cooperate when we can. it is a very calm place relationship. tonight is not about being deliverable. tonight is about making sure we have guardrails so there are no miss cow collations or miss commute occasion. we are two very large,
significant and important powers. there is a responsibility that comes with that and we want to make sure we keep those lines of communication open while we work through these issues. as you pointed out, secretary blinken, sick -- senator sullivan brought this out. i was very forthright about our concerns around human rights. we do not shy away from this. this is very critical. the prc has a very different view about this. they consider these issues internal matters. this is something that the chinese are signed up to and they should live up to it and we will continue to make this very key to our discussion. wendy: -- andrea: senator cruz, what do
you want to see out of this summit? how concerned are you that we don't have an investor in china yet, in beijing? we have had hearings for some, not all. as you know, there is an unusual hold on so many disappointments. we had former senator blake in turkey, warmer senator salazar as well. in many parts of the country, there are countries with no american diplomat. no american top diplomat. >> that is right. that is a significant problem. i just returned from leading a bipartisan delegation that went to five different countries. in almost every country we went
to, the absence of a currently serving u.s. ambassador was noted by our counterparts as a significant challenge. we have tremendous career diplomats charging to represent us. we were in qatar and israel but we are still waiting for confirmation hearings for very qualified nominees to represent us in belgium, germany. qatar. nick burns is our nominee to the ambassador to china. i am continuing to work with colleagues to try and clear the holds that have been placed on many nominees for senator cruz. your core question, what am i hoping for? out of the virtual summit?
it would be some clearer guardrails. i am also hoping there will be some progress around climate partnership and around trade. there has been a great deal of tension and difficulty in our relationship. our bilateral relationship. there are ways that this can be addressed. senator sullivan mentioned in his previous comments, i am strengthening and elevating the quad. i think that has been a big step forward. and frankly, the agreement showing that we are willing to take both security steps in the indo pacific, that has also strengthened our hand and i am optimistic that both this virtual summit tonight with xi jinping and summit of democracies later this year will be an opportunity to show this path forward that we can take building on that strong record of leadership. >> i hope senator sullivan can
join us. if you can hear us, we would love to have you join in on what you would hope for the summit tonight, the virtual summit between president biden and president xi. and particularly since you and senator cruz were on a bipartisan visit to taiwan, what concerns you have about the ability of the u.s. to live up to its commitment to properly arm taiwan in self-defense if you believe there is the prospect of recession from beijing to taiwan. >> yes. can you hear me now? i think i was talking about energy. i should have been talking about broadband in alaska. we just lost everything here. i apologize to everybody watching.
let me go to your question. i think it is one of the most important questions facing us right now. as you mentioned, senator kunz and senator duckworth and i were all in taiwan recently and it was in reaction in a lot of ways to the chinese commonest party possibly very aggressive actions with regard to vaccinations where they were really trying to put the squeeze on taiwan to not enable them to get any western vaccines when they had their first real big covid outbreak. we worked together. republican democrat senators, the biden white house to be able to go there and deliver american vaccines and show that this is a commitment to a long-standing critical and important democracy in the world. from my own personal
perspective, taiwan has really book ended my military career. when i was a young infantry officer, i deployed there in what is now referred to as the third taiwan strait crisis. this was in 1995 and 1996 where the chinese come his party threatened to invade taiwan on the eve of their presidential elections. they moved the military to the straight and they were firing missiles very aggressively. president clinton sent to carrie barrett -- carrier battle groups. that was a part -- i was a part of that. it was a commitment of american resolve to a long-standing democracy. i currently serve in and there is a lot of bogus as
you can imagine. i think the key issue is to make sure that -- and the chinese constantly say how important taiwan is to them. we need to make it clear to the chinese communist party and xi jinping that taiwan is not some sideshow from our perspective. it is the frontline of issues relating to democracy and freedom for the world in the 21st century, kind of like west berlin was for the 20th century. i think the critical issue right now is we gotta make sure the chinese communist party does not take the wrong lessons from what happened in hong kong. unfortunately, they moved on hong kong, crushed democracy there. and there was almost no protest from any other countries,
including ours, and i think it's going to be really important that we don't let xi jinping and others think that was pretty easy on hong kong, nobody seemed to complain, including the united states, now we can move on taiwan. we need to make sure that message is very clear that out of the taiwan relations act we have obligations and we will keep those. >> and i'm so glad you mentioned what happened in 1995. i had a fascinating time -- >> we were in the same area. >> i know. and i asked the fishermen in the villages on both sides of the
strait, because there is a huge economic connection between taiwan and the mainland. that is often ignored when we talk about these aggressions and tensions. secretariat sherman, i want to ask you about belarus. when the eu president was here last week, and the pressure on lukashenko, how can the u.s. support the eu as it faces this horrendous migration crisis? secretary sherman. >> you think i would have learned by now. indeed. what lukashenko is doing with undoubtedly the support of
president putin is outrageous, which is bringing out migrants from the middle east and pushing them over the border into poland and to other countries trying to create a crisis for the european union. i was meeting this morning with my german counterpart here in washington, and interestingly enough this question came up when i was in peru, because it is emblematic of exactly where this conversation began, which is the struggle for freedom and democracy. the united states wants to support europe in every way we can. let them take the lead because this is their backyard, we are prepared to impose whatever sanctions are necessary in this regard and making it clear that this is not acceptable. i know there are discussions
with governments in the middle east to not let airplanes fly to minsk with migrants or refugees, and then allowing lukashenko to push them over the border. there is a lot of work going on to try to stem this crisis. this is part of the testing that i think we are seeing judges from lukashenko, but from putin that we are quite concerned about in the month ahead. and the world has to be coordinated, and together, and i think we are very much in a bipartisan way going to push back against any aggressive action that president putin might take. and we are going to support ukraine to be able to defend itself and to ensure russia cannot act with impunity. >> on tomorrow final five minutes, i want to ask all of you -- in our final five minutes, i want to ask about
president biden's two summits or democracy next month. what you see, what you think is achievable from the first summit? and from each of you, what do you hope five years from now can be accomplished in these issues of democracy around world? >> i'm supportive, and i think a lot of people are supportive of these initiatives focusing on democracies. it is one of our strength. s. what we want to achieve, and this is an area where there is a lot of agreement in the senate is to start reversing this deficit of democracies and the rise of authoritarianism that we are seeing over the world. it makes us a less safe mission. in the united states there is this deficit with regard to democracy. to me, that would be the key
issue. there is a lot of bipartisan support, as the chairman of the republican institute -- and with the democratic institute chaired by former secretary of state adeline albright. it is always important for us to remember what the biggest weakness of these of authoritarian regimes is, whether it is xi jinping or putin, that is that they fear their own people. and i think we need to remember that and have confidence in our own system, even when it is not perfect. that's for sure. but addressing the deficit in the next five years i think is going to be critical. >> senator cowan's? -- coons? >> my hope, andrea, five years from now is that we will have modernized we have available.
as the sullivan mentioned he is the leader of the iri, along with former secretary albright. it is time for us to refresh the tools we use to advance diplomacy, and engage with other open societies around the world. we have seen the rise of digital tools that have been used to undermine democracy, not just here in the united states but around world. we have got to take steps to look harder at social media and to help those who are human rights advocates or parliamentarians in countries around the world under increasing pressure to give them the ability to participate in the world, reach out to journalists and hold accountable those governors -- governments that are authoritarian or siding in that direction. my hope for the summit this year is that we will make a big step forward in showing the world
united states remains deeply committed to democracy, that we have started bipartisan support for it in the appropriations bill coming out of the committee i chair we will invest $2.6 billion in fighting for democracy around the world. i look forward to working with senator sullivan, secretary sherman, and with my other colleagues in the senate strengthen and sharpen our tools to fight for democracy on the world stage in the 21st century. >> and secretary sherman, and senators you know full well of the work of the iri and secretary albright at the ndi, she is indefatigable around the world. >> this is a summit for democracy, not a summit of democracies. some of the countries coming to the summit are on their ways to
becoming democracies. the idea is to look at issues of corruption, civic capability, and as senator cruz said, technology for democratic renewal, and so many other tools that are needed as senator sullivan said it to renew democracy. i would end by saying that in my first six months of deputy i have been around the world three times, and i just came back from uruguay and earlier. there is -- peru. there is a yearning for freedom. they look to us, to the united states, there is no russian. -- question. but they also wonder about us sometimes. as we are asking other countries to move to democracy, we need to strengthen and renew our own democracy. and i hope we do that and so we can continue to be that shining
city on the hill as president ronald reagan mentioned, and that so many countries around the world hope for. >> i want to thank you and the u.s. global leadership coalition for its wonderful work. i'm privileged to be part of this panel. senator sullivan, secretary sherman, senator kunz back to you. >> black friday. the sale you have been waiting for starts this friday at c-span shop.org. shop and save up to 30% on our latest collection of c-span sweatshirts, goodies, blankets, and more. there is something for every c-span fan for the holidays. every purchase helps support our non-profit operations. shop black friday deals friday through sunday. >> when congress returns next
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