[Lecture] Yo-Yo Diplomacy by Tom Plate

welcome to the Laconia School of Public Policy it is wonderful to see so many of you today this evening is a great privilege and honor for us to launch professor Tom plaits leaders book the title is yo-yo diplomacy an American Communist tackles the ups and downs between China and the US a Thomas a well-known figure to many of us he has written a series of books on giants of Asia's Asia which includes conversations with Lee Kuan Yew and conversations with Mahathir Mohamad which it informs me he also launched in the school right yeah well so Tom wears many hats he is a distinguished scholar of Asian and Pacific affairs and clinical professor at Loyola Marymount University here previously also taught at UCLA classes on media ethics and Asian politics he is a renowned journalist and editor having worked at the LA Times and is now a South China Morning Post columnist with fortnightly columns about China he is also vice president of the Pacific century Institute now tom has written 13 books and has received a number of journalism awards including from the American Society of newspaper editors now about his latest book our former foreign minister Giorgio himself a keen observer of China first used to say and I quote Tom played is an atypical commentator of Asian affairs he is less want to judge China and other Asian countries as if they were all falling short of Western standards he was politically incorrect before political incorrectness became fashionable and remained so it is neither a China watcher nor China scholar but he has a sense of China more importantly he has what is not in common supply common sense this is high praise indeed from torture now Tom's book comprises 50 of his columns in a ceremony post spending a two-year period from 2015 to 2017 he evaluates how best to move forward in the us-china relations in these columns now in one portion of his introduction he says the book is written more for the intelligent caring citizen than his specialists and that it is a book for peace not a book for war it respects China I will not demonize it the respects the United States but will not canonize it I think that this is a wonderful approach to the most important bilateral relationship in the world today without further ado I'll leave Tom to share with us the most interesting insights from his book but before I hand over the mic to Tom I would like to share with you a personal note about Tom Tom informs me that he became a grandfather about ten months ago his first very first grandson congratulations Tom first of all very honored to be here people will say that and maybe mean it maybe not but I do mean it a great respect for this school I'm a big fan of public policy education Selena went to sites which is one of the best I went to Woodrow Wilson School at princeton which is one of the best and I'm a huge admirer of the foundering Dean Keisha Abu Bonnie who I consider one of my best friends and someone who has encouraged me over the years I've dealt with the number of the professor's on the faculty the school in a very very short period of time has become the number one policy school in Asia which is no little achievement I'm not at all surprised when I when I come to Singapore I often feel that per capita it has the highest IQ of any country I've ever been in here are very very smart well-educated people and as always a great pleasure for me to come here because I like being around really smart people like I feel challenged and bigger rated and refreshed and and that's my my sense of Singapore the smartest place that I know really the second thing I want to say is I want to thank my publisher Marshall Cavendish and the editor in chief Mei Lin are you here Mei Lin or did you leave where are you dear hey lady my furniture and an Mindy Mindy pairing who was the marketing director there she is what are you doing over there in the corner indie write your marketing are you texting of course she's that generation Marshall Cavendish has published all of my books on Asia it's one of the best publishes in Asia if you want to write serious books and I they want to publish the books that I want to write and so it's been a great relationship and we have revived resuscitated one of the vaginas of Asia just as mohanty has resuscitated himself at the age of 92 I sent a note and I thanked him very much for helping sales and and I do recommend I do really like that that that book I have to say because he turned out to be such a he write was the second book I didn't the first one was unli Kuan Yew how do you follow Lee Kuan Yew well you can but so I went up to quit KL and I said to my auntie I run you know I'm just doing this book with Lee Kuan Yew you know this guy down you know is yes yeah I know yes and a Giants of Asia and so forth you know what I don't understand is here's this little place Singapore you know the Indonesian said little red dot five million people and so forth and why is Lee Kuan Yew a giant when the head of Malaysia was twenty five million is not a giant of Asia there's something wrong you know he says there is and I looked at him and then you want to do it he says yeah we'll do it and that's how we did my idea book so thank you for being here and for the sales staff and please buy the book we're start trying a little on a professor salary and it's you know it's pathetic and finally I'd like to introduce my University Loyola University which is in Los Angeles it's a mile from the Pacific it's one of the most beautiful campuses it's historically Jesuit but it's historically Jesuit in the very best way they it is a really liberal arts college that is tries to give you a very rounded education with the sense of ethics and it is not and have less than half the students are Catholic it's not a Catholic instructional University and the Jesuits in some ways are a secular as anybody in the world and we have with us tonight the senior vice president of Loyola Marymount who was in charge of External Relations his name is Dennis Sloane he also was a policy school graduate of us Kennedy schools Kennedy school is that in Boston Cambridge you can't Harvard Kennedy School Denis we just stand there for a minute and just think about Dennis Sloane raises Lebanon and then I just I don't want to embarrass anyone particular but I do have a few students here mr. Poe are you here yes would you stand up for a minute he recently graduated from LMU student in my classes and and it was a staffer on on Asian media which is run by students and we have an anthology of some of the best articles that we've had in the last five years have free copies just off the press and Selena if you don't mind I would ask you to decide who or the through who ask the three best questions and we'll give you a free copy right okay and you be the judge and and Elizabeth is here Elizabeth you want to stand up and take about Liz's Celestia she's she is a resident of Indonesia in the Borneo way and she came over here to be with us for a few of the events and then Dennis and I are going to Jakarta tomorrow morning we do a few alumni events there and and some and an Asian media event and we returned back to Los Angeles Saturday night and collapse that's what we're gonna do what I would like to do is talk 15 minutes and not more please break in and often as you want which is my wife does so I'm well trained and and seriously honor questions that's going to be the best part for me questions and comments and I mean that sincerely because actually I was trained I'm a journalist I've been a journalist all my professional life and now a professor so I do both but journalists you know learn most by listening not by talking I've never learn much by talking but I learned a lot by listening so for me payoff of the session in addition to the hundreds of books that you buy will be the questions you asking what insights I get out of that and you probably might find a little piece of yourself in one of my columns at the South China Morning Post but the topic is us-china relations all right I have very strong views on that the views are reflected in the book but I wanted to start with you in a slightly different way and work up to it because after all I am from America I am in Los Angeles and so it might be possibly that some of you heard of this president that we have I forget his name President Trump and and so I thought I'd start with that with you know in try and do it in a up marker way and and then we moved from there the US relations with China and then we move to the future and then we'll go to questions and we'll see where we are okay I had lunch with a very smart man which is true of the people all the people that I know as friends which include not only Giorgio quite sit on my best friends but Kishore and someone else I can name and I also had a about a 40 minute session with your Prime Minister yesterday afternoon it was a very good session we talked about a number of issues including the American president and and I think we need to understand two things one is that you probably could guess that I'm not a fantastic supporter of the President of the United States and his policies to the extent that he has any that a coherent but and but I do think he is still the president's and and the only place where that is not recognized that I know of is in my home and Beverly Hills by my wife all right and if I say anything we you know even arguably positive about Trump I sleep on the couch and then the other day I laughed at one of his jokes and the couch was moved to the curb so I sleepily done through so I have to I have to say that because I don't want to get into the feminist issue because it's so obviously a horrible aspect of the current presidency that it doesn't really need much much discussion and so what I do want to say though is that Trump is not a joke and we may laugh at him but he is not he represents a significant core constituency in the United States he may actually be supporting policies that are not in their economic interest but he has a way of connecting in their emotional interest people who feel that that the train of history has passed their station and then he would stop in their station and it's kind of a get even it's a little bit frankly a little bit parallel to the Chinese who feel that they were messed over for centuries by the Europeans and so forth and now it's sort of get even time there's a bit of a parallelism there but he and and and and so Trump is important I don't think he'll be reelected but he might be alright so don't have a heart attack if he is but he might be fortunately for a real policy and maybe not he has an inept majority party in Congress so you have internet president and an inept Congress and therefore it's not too surprising that not a lot is getting done now if if the things that were going to be gotten done were things that you don't agree with well then that's kind of a plus it's the best argument for incompetency but if it were things that you think he should be getting done that that's that not a lot is getting done I believe the Republicans are vulnerable in the fall I'm not a predictor I don't really I don't trust polls anymore after the last election I don't try not to look at them or believe them I don't think they know how to do it anymore and people don't want to say no I like it look you know and so on so the so but I do think that he's a vulnerable in the fall and I think American politics will become more of a circus but in the way also perhaps more interesting his instincts as far as I can tell a purely tactical there was no strategic thinking and he's dealing really with real estate partners that happen to be countries and so flipping a condo was kind of like you know I'm having a Korean unification treaty or a dnews nuclearization treaty and he is dealing with real estate partners who ever however have thought through their position some cases for decades and centuries and he is thought through the position for sometimes four seconds and and and it's very difficult dealing Mageau she ating when you know other partners go through all of the ramifications and the pluses and minuses and and so what happens is she's pulling back and going forward and pulling back and so if you if you work for him on his stamp it's a nightmare I don't know how many of you worked for a boss who tells you on Tuesday you know he/she wants the the wall in red and then on Thursday no he wants in or she wants in a different color and wants it twice that's okay but as a routine it it can drive you crazy speaking of crazy the defense secretary who's known I love this name Mad Dog Mathis I have really liked to be called Mad Dog plate no student would then ask for review of the grade no Dean would want to have a consultation with me I would not have to go to any departmental meetings because I was mad dog plate wouldn't that be cool well Mad Dog math is actually is very good and and but unfortunately Bolton who is smart is going to be a problem and sometimes the policies in the wireless apparently are formulated by the last person to get drunk a year and that problem that might be be Bolton more more often than anyone else he personalizes relations too much I mean is a plus to that obviously but China is you know despite all the brouhaha about the you know no more no more term limitations and you know she is gonna be there forever and so on and so forth these two smartest hit forever but China is not one person it's not one personality and not one entity it's a complex phenomenon with many many moving parts and in the department the parts many moving parts in the US on the US side and these are not coordinated so that what you have really is a possibility of a lot of friction some of which is unnecessary if things were a more coherent I am worried a lot I spoke with your Prime Minister as I said yesterday he said I said I said to my you worried he said yes I am but it said I'm worried because in part because of our disarray and also in part because China has started to believe its own self assurances that it's made it then it's at the top and it's not at the top it's getting there it's going fast but a lot of things can happen on the way to perfection and and in China as you know has been stopped as often by its own internal issues and problems as as almost as much as anything else or maybe more depending on how you how you what the metric is but China feels it's arrived it also feels that America is falling and falling fast and I don't really think that's true I think it just looks like we are because of the president that we have but I when I gave our talk at China daily in Beijing once and I said to if you're planning if you're strategizing on the basis that America is going down fast you're making a key bad assumption and then someone one was one editor of the China Daily said but how can that be America is going downhill and I said no America right now is on a flat toe and you're coming up but that doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to go past the plateau probably you will but I mean and it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to go down start going up again I mean just be careful about your pad assumptions things are more complicated and then we got in the old business of you know they're building a second aircraft carrier you know I said big thrill we got eleven you know let's have we have a battle of see you know and they're better shooters than we think it is eleven isn't eleven yeah and we have a big sea battle and you know you say your guys shoot better than our guys and so you shoot down through you know you kill three four carries we kill two you have zero you know and we got nine how do you win on that one you know think this thing through you know do we want to get into that with that as a backdrop I now want to get into the part that really reflects the book a little bit or at least the first see the beauty of this book is if you want to read all 50 columns you can read them but the the new part is the first 25 pages or so where I really talk about the agony of being an American journalist and trying to understand China is really hard and and it's really hard to be to be smart to be honest to be sensitive you know many people in the u.s. think I'm Pro Beijing and many people in Asia think like George oh that I'm modern and have common sense and but in America now it's getting very hard to say anything nice about China it is almost a sign of you know you're not sophisticated you don't know what's going on even Kissinger's views on China represented in his book on China which I regard as a modern classic and I mean in Kissinger everywhere it is he was sitting here I would say you know energy I'm sorry but you were wrong on Cambodia you were wrong on Chile you're all a bunch of things but you got one thing right your entire life you got one thing right and it was a big thing China and one China is going to be the the core book of money of my class in the fall on China looks at the US us let's say China but but this is the this is the key point that I want to make from the book then we'll we'll talk that and this is I get a little bit evangelical here but put up with me peace is not a geopolitical product or an outcome it's a moral requirement no one has the moral right to start a war on this globe at this time with the weapons options that are available who has a rupiah weapon and who does not well Kim Kim jong-un has made it clear he has a nuclear weapon goodie goodie for him Trump has said our red button is bigger than your red button it's sophisticated you know and then the Singapore how about nuclear weapon I don't know I asked the Prime Minister he didn't answer that one it's on Jurong Island all Sentosa well all I said to him was thank you for not lying to me Israel of course has no nuclear weapon we all know that right we're playing with serious stuff here this applies to us as as as well as to China we have no right to start a war no moral right people are worried your PM is worried and in Washington today no good word about China may be said and the atmosphere has changed rapidly in Beijing full steam ahead across the board full steam like a boat's full steam ahead across the board from the South China Sea to Technology Development don't get in our way made in China 2025 the American media is coalescing and seeing mouths a tongue under every Xi Jinping move especially worried about the American media I am because I've worked in it I know I works people here were mentioned a recent Tom Friedman column which was very negative about China why the sudden change I said a because Friedman doesn't know China or Asia but that's my own bias he knows the Middle East if I were present United States I with Tom Friedman in charge on the Middle East so here's the keys the money everything just get it done but I would he doesn't know Asia and he doesn't know China so he's negative on China which is the standard conventional thinking right now in America now how many conflicts should we think of that I've started up without the press whipping up the winds of war am I making this up what about the Iraq war how many American newspapers editorialize against the Iraq invasion how many major ones editorializing against the Iraq invasion zero and look back and we what the consensus view of that event was right not positive how did the American people coalesce American media coalesce around the idea that that would that was a wonderful thing what is the moral responsibility of the media and I don't mean just the media cuz it's although the media is fun to beat up on yes we we make so many mistakes but even the American academic world and I kind of feel a little strongly on this but there's a very famous professor from a school near Boston I think it's Harvard and it's someone actually greatly respect and he's does a very high quality of work but and he's also very famous for recycling thus acidities trap you know what that is right so way the group the Greeks and then right that way they behave you know that's the way we have to yeah we have to behave now and there's been no change over 2,000 years anyway so he wrote a book which is pretty good book but it has this title tell me if there's something wrong with me destined for war the us-china destined for war destined food for war you we're gonna we're destined for war with China that's what this famous Harvard so I called him up and I said famous Harvard professor I have a question for you isn't there some doubt in your mind don't you leave a little ten percent of optimism maybe it won't be what destined for peace I'll write destined for peace I'm gonna write that and he and I said why don't you put a question mark after a destined for question and he said well actually Tom tell you the truth that was the original title and I took it off why'd you take it off well the book publishes thought the it would sell more copies without the question mark I said what are they going to pay you at Harvard I don't think so in our r.v he this guy's overpaid I'll tell you that right now what well now yeah he's fun if all the China is and I asked the question isn't there a moral issue that don't you feel as a professor of moral obligation not to be doing playing that game and now I'm told when he goes around and and pushes his book like I'm pushing my book he starts off by saying that I really meant to leave a question mark on the book what my publisher dropped it off and he blames his publisher but this is binary thinking and is this really dangerous folks and it's happening in the US right now America is in bad political shape we have posers and amateurs that are at the top and and and they don't know what they're doing and when the US system is needed to be at its best it is not at its best and so what do we do where do we go well I feel very strongly on this that we need to consider China and is special in some very important sense you know the history of the suffering people it has what 21 percent of the world's population it has to be respected and when I write my columns which are viewed in America as pro-beijing one reason is is that I try and write about the people who run that country with respect and I say to myself if I got up in the morning and I had to feed 1.4 billion people would that be an easy job or would that be a hard job I think that'd be a hard job Trump gets up in the morning and only has to feed a quarter of those people look at that number so put that in a certain context do they make mistakes yes do we make mistakes so that we have to believe that that somehow there is a soul for peace if I can use that word a soul for peace and how do we nurture and see that soul for peace flower how to do that and I was at a breakfast meeting this morning Dennis was with me with some people from tamasic you know the big thing where the you know the not enough people in Singapore so everyone has to do two jobs so basically the tamasic is like where the Federal Reserve meets Morgan Stanley you know and and but they're brilliant and I'm trying to figure out a way that I can take my 401k and get them to you know I'd like to move it out of Citibank give it to them because I think get a much better return but we had a very good discussion about this issue with a lot of different suggestions and points of view and and so forth and there was a real feeling in the room about the urgency and the importance of this issue and I took quite a few notes on it and we had quite a good discussion and that's what I would like to do right now is to have a really good discussion I think you pick up some of the pieces that you put in here but really those that you have actually written an introduction one part which is said which says binary baloney variable I like that sorry no question mark that's right but there's a question of a Beijing consensus yeah yeah so before we go into Q&A I would like to ask you just just one question first which is that you said that you're worried about in your conversations with Singaporeans today and yesterday that you are worried about what's happening between China in the United States as a potential bouncer and the potential downside so I'm actually curious what are the potential downsides are you specifically referring to because if you think because in your book in the introduction you actually say that you don't think war can happen not a ridiculous idea right so what kind of in between we're not talking about you know peace is not quite you know true peace it's not quite likely war is also probably you know I agree with you you know so far apart you know you would require a lot of logistical moves for little I'm doing it one total kilometer yes so what what what are we looking at in between well my view on this is that we talk often about world order peace of security it's a you know it's only used 8 million times a day at the UN and so on but it has some meaning and and it seems to me that the world order that we have now with the rise of China and the shaking is from the US sides the way I would put it I mean we're drawing from the Iran treaty TPP and so forth all those things it seems to me that that the peace and stability is going to be hard it's going to be hard to maintain mm-hmm if the United States and China are at it all the time if there's the level of trust is very low so if the sense of competition is if win-lose is very high and if the sense that you know china wants to take over the world and us wants to contain China that's going to if the American default position is going to be go back to the Cold War and to relive 1989 and wait for the Great Wall of China to fall over like the Berlin Wall that's going to be the test of American diplomacy if that's what it's all about I think we're gonna have an unstable world now what does that mean I think is kind of negative economic consequences I think it's going to make planning very difficult it's going to make join approaches to things very difficult it's going to make very difficult countries like skilful countries like Singapore to Maine to play both sides of the street and you guys do brilliantly most of the time and that's exactly what you ought to be doing but so my view is and this is kind of far out but here we are and that is that what we need is a kind of condominium relationship between Washington and by which I mean and I think there needs to be a very high level of coordination enjoying consultation ons decisions and and it will disadvantage some of the smaller countries and there you know nope and the Japanese won't like it particularly but it's I think it's going to be only way to manage the world over the next 30 to 50 years and if it doesn't go that way I think we're going to go through a really rough period so why condominium you know what I mean a condominium board and I'm sorry maybe leak warn you when I interviewed and brought out the in authoritarianism in May but but i but i think i think that that you know that would be of all the possible worlds the best one I could think that's what I mean thank you I have more questions about I'm gonna need food you're too sharp let them ask everyone in to you professor someplace good to see you again in Singapore I have two short questions by the way my name's ace one question on okay well question okay I'll choose do you think that US and China will ever go to war as what you say and if that happened Patrick of course do you think you you will lead to World War three thank you I think I think that if they if they if they're serious conflict that will be World War three but I and I I think there could be some brushes you know a particularly the South China Sea I mean our Navy guys are just dying to you know have a little fun and the Chinese pilots the top guns you know they they really want to have a go at it and and you know you these are you some of these are very young people with a lot of testosterone and you know she may say world peace you know where they're in Beijing but you know you get down at the level of reality and and bad things can happen I mean every time we're at war we America's always created atrocities that weren't in the master plan and so forth it just it just adds to the uncertainty and the way the weaponry is done these days it's just so fast and things happen you know in a way that that lead almost automatically to escalation but but I says I say I'm an optimist but what um what I'm trying to say is that that I think China and the u.s. can achieve this level of cooperation but I want this level of cooperation I want to take it up up to up to there that's what I that's what I'm preaching yeah is that how realistic is that I don't know well I'd dammit if I'm gonna write a book called destined for a war I'm just not gonna do it okay how many copies may Lincoln so I'm just not gonna do it all right hope that answers your question my name is Minh I work in a venture capital firm which received money from Temasek my question is what we see today is very different from the Cold War right is what I'm very different from the Cold War that China the Chinese Communist Party is a successful economic actor so what is your sense therefore of the rest of the countries especially the ones that surround China or interact a lot with China are they are we in this state now where Chinese success threatens America's ideological advantage right people like let's say I saw that China's licensing its face facial recognition software to Zimbabwe right and so it's kind of exporting now it's Ciccone anism more authoritarianism right so how is that different right from the Cold War and what are we gonna witness in the decades to come well I said that's an awfully good question the I mean the best way that the answer that really is to is to understand that first of all to go to the starting point of your question China's one has on its board of 14 countries right some are friendly some are not the United States has on its board are two countries none of threats Canada Royal Mounted Police not a threat come across with the horses we haven't let them down by Buffalo you know they won't get past Buffalo and then from the South from Mexico you know we have invasion it's already occurred illegal immigrants and so forth that's all right that kind of work that's actually been working pretty well until Trump coming along so American isn't a very different geopolitical and I don't think understands China's geopolitical situation one doesn't understand what we like to have 14 countries on its border one of which for instance Vietnam which is a tough customer right Henry Kissinger famously said what do you think of Vietnam after the Vietnam War and he said well I think with Vietnam you can do almost anything in Vietnam except fight them they always think the win somehow so if you go from the effort that perspective to the export of values I don't think that America's ideological advantage is very huge right now I don't think people I mean I think we are aware in America and not we some of us in America are aware of our shortcomings in terms of ideological purity I mean let me explain you 20 years ago when I stride to say look don't think of the United States and it's like China or whatever is black and white okay think of everything as longer continue or the truth is relative or longer continue on it was a little hard to sell it was a little hard to sell because of in America because of our self-image people said what is this guys some sort of common but now with what has happened in the United States particularly the 2008-2009 financial crisis which was triggered by Wall Street right the wolf of Wall Street right that we've lost a lot of our moral edge and I don't think we look to as much as we used to be in that regard and I think a lot of people look at China and they say well it's not you know there's no consensus that the China way is the way we want to do it but you know you had a measure of what their attorneys authoritarianism here in this country and I would argue where it's worked out from a results analysis and in Quincy very well that there's more than one way to bake a cake as well more than one way to run a country and we've got I think start to go on the other side any question the United States has got to stop going around the world giving lectures to people on how to run their country and and I think you know let's get our own house in order let's get more of our black males employed not in you get them out of the prison let's worry about some of the justice issues in the United States now in terms of the facial recognition everyone wants to do facial recognition if Chinese want to sell facial recognition then your the FBI FBI loved to have it so you know I don't I'm not so sure that I think it's more of a product than an ideological expression but maybe maybe I'm wrong but it's a really really good question I live in Singapore but I'm originally from Taiwan okay so I understand diplomacy lobbies and this morality that you're talking about I mean back many years ago the whole chunk Ishak thing in the u.s. to support one way or the other so I wanted to ask since I've lived in Singapore I also understand what Oh be markers are which is markers so I wanted to ask you about China and the United States Oh be markers for each other there are some things that I think both countries will not tolerate the other country gets close to that for example in the u.s. we all know about energy and oil and all that once that starts to come into a problem you know that the the action items start to pop up for the US for China I would think something like Tibet Taiwan and all that if that starts to come about you know they would feel like they need to do something right so I think those those markers those drivers if you will you know what in your mind in today's world is is going to get the two of them to gear up and and as you said earlier you don't think that that this is going to happen that that there will be annoyances and all that but at what point do you think the two countries will really get at each other's go what what what kinds of conditions need to happen where it looks like whoa this is not quite what we've seen before right you better buy a few my books I'm telling you these these questions are good the or send your students to send your children to LMU take my course but I think let's just talk about Taiwan for a minute because obviously that we have some particular interest to you I was asked at lunch by a very smart man from Singapore or maybe at breakfast if China keeps pushing on Taiwan I think that I think the Chinese believe it wouldn't do anything but I I worry that they're wrong and I think that could be a trigger that's why I said when I was in China daily I said please you know please keep your tour you know self-delusion to a minimum with regard to that America is washed up I mean and the US Pacific Command out of Pearl Harbor you know there's serious people they got serious boats in the water there you know bad stuff can happen I'm told and I guess it was reported and I don't know the exact details but one time when Obama met XI or in my event who though who's in town he listed two or three things that China probably better not go there and I think Taiwan was on you know you can screw around the South China Sea up to a point but you know I think Taiwan was on that list it creates political problems in the political culture of America where we still as this gentleman was suggesting feel that we are the moral superior and therefore we have to defend the values that we you know that we believe in I mean you know if you go back historically the Kuomintang was this monstrous of a government is the you know as the Chinese Communists were when they took over they were just two versions of repression it took a while for Taiwan to evolve into what it is now I think the Chinese would be crazy to militarily try and acquire Taiwan but it's in their DNA they feel that they have to do it and it's part of their historical inevitability and and then so then the United States what's the population of Taiwan about 21 yeah that's what I thought that's about the population in Malaysia that you know we have to choose between 25 million and 1.4 billion well that's a tough call you know I mean so that would be one trigger I don't think the Chinese are one of acquired territory like the former Soviet Union did but they would like to acquire economic sectors and be dominant in certain economic sisters I mean I think what we what we have to understand is that they got 1.4 billion people and they have to manage that now if they don't manage that they're going to be out now if they're out john bolton will be very very happy but a lot of people won't be very happy because the country will come apart and there'll be a lot of suffering and you know i hate to say it but I think Lee Kuan Yew is right that the better off the Communist Party continued in a competent way to run the country then the country comes apart it's a lesser evil but that's the real world a lesser evil so so the so there's that that issue other issues that could arise between the United States and China I don't I don't see them as being so fundamental and existential to both which is why I think this can be managed and why I want to do in a condominium way in other words I think my list is really rather short as long as we understand a we have to compete China's going to try and get the best deal at Ken and might even cheat occasionally we of course the United States has never cheated on anything whatsoever you know so you know I mean so you know what is on their list that we can't be touched and what what can we can we work on the ran RAND Corporation which is the you know very well known think-tank did a secret project for a while with the the central party school and the idea was to do a list of priorities and and almost like a top hundred or something like that and they were working on it and I think somebody higher up I won't say who it was found out about it and stopped the project which was unfortunate because that was the kind of thing that I think they ought to be doing because it gave away the priorities of I mean if you're doing it honestly then you could almost it was almost an intelligence operation is the way they looked at it another thing by the way that but I think the thing you have to worry about most with regard to the u.s. is the media and public opinion you know I just gotta go back very quickly go back to that because they you know in the end of 1998-99 suddenly that there was this the Cox Commission and Chinese fine and Congress did this incredible recitation and they found out that Chinese were spying on the US that was a page one story I was shocked foreign countries spy Israel spies on us too those sneaky French spying on us you know and but they made a big political issue out of it because they wanted to get Clinton they couldn't get him on on Monica so they try to get him on you know often China and you know what the weight of the evidence wasn't enough but that's coming up again China is our enemy and so on and so forth I'm in favor of spying I think the more we know about the other country what they're doing the better you know in this I was telling them if they have you know China's been trying to teach these Confucius Institutes you know about them yeah where they and to teach charting the Chinese languages I think is great but now some campuses are reconsidering the deal because the Chinese instructors have Pro Chinese opinions now that's a shocker there's not a chakra I mean and and express them to the students now that is really that's a scandal and and of course when we go over there and we have our voice to America and so we don't do anything like that right nothing like that whatsoever and and also we're you know are we so insecure about our own values that we were afraid that the students mind it'll become you know Manchurian candidates and so on I mean just it's laughable but it's happening again and I can't believe it's happening and so you got to watch that really have to watch that first stuff I'm actually a mother curious to know what are your own personal views regarding about the upcoming and unprecedented Sami between the u.s. and North Korea particularly when it comes to you agreed your involvement with with a number of major countries particularly with the US and China once it's a meet I think I know I mean I think the problem with the negotiation dimension of the split Nick Graham Peninsula has been the level of involvement issue which is to say I don't think you get anything done with North Korea at a mid level the negotiators are too scared out of their minds to give an inch and go back and be chopped up and you can only happen at the top level so unless you get the top people together nothing's going to happen and whenever we when Carter went over there something could happen Clinton went over there something good happen so now I wish we our president were not drunk but he is our president so if you say to me would you like the idea of Trump getting together came down hon that seems sort of scary between the two of them and their buttons I don't know what the hell's gonna happen but on the other hand if you say to me are you against it I'm not against it I think it's very important I think it's the only way it could possibly be settled I'm slightly optimistic on this one but I have to tell you I have been overly optimistic on the Korean thing too long I admit that but I'm gonna stay with my losing hand and I'm going to say that I think that the North Koreans have really figured that there's no more room down the road they're on and that that finally it's sunk in and the Chinese you know we'll get break but it actually trumpet said some nice things about the Chinese involvement and and part of the reason for that is the Chinese have been very patient with North I mean you know our approach to everything is to go in the sledgehammer and change the regime and China says oh my god well you know 10 million crazy North Koreans coming at us and we got enough problems with the Uyghurs and everything else that's going on we don't need that right so so the Chinese are very patient and they were saying now you know communism is really great but economically it could be improved a little you know why don't you try this when I try that I once wrote a column and I said if North Korea doesn't know how to fix its economy just subscribe to China dailies weekly business section which explains everything they're doing in China and it's pretty much working and they've been doing that and they've been doing that and I think with this new generation this kid is running the thing I think that's what they want to do and and I think so far you know he's out I think under the tutelage of Xi Jinping I think he's outmaneuvered Trump at the moment and and I don't really I mean I hope he's that win over Trump because I want to see peace I don't really care whether chumps been that good but but when when when Trump if there is a deal and and it goes down and Singapore when Trump goes back to the US the media will be Trump does it you see and and in fact he didn't do it he just showed up and didn't make total fools so and went back to Washington and big pacemaker but the people who did it were basically the president of South Korea when she yeah who I think should get he did right Nobel Prize and and the Chinese who were nothing major is gonna happen there one less the Chinese are okay with it and and he I think they're okay they you know they they embedded wonderful trade relations with South Korea if you went to them if you were God and you went to them and you said okay China I think fun days are over you can have relations with North Korea South Korea which one do you want history keeps on moving if the history hasn't ended right I might tell you a graph has a story I love the story it's very quick it's about South North Korea and have you heard it but if you haven't heard you can use it all course okay so the God is very bored you know he's up there with the Angels and the harps and everything and it gets pretty routine after a while so he says to st. Peter would you bring up to me tomorrow the the true purest souls that die today and I feel that a lost contact with the real you know my rid of this real Souls and bring them up and I just want to know the person who has the best soul brigham oh so Saint Peter think cigars kind of losing it but what is he gonna say cuz God so he says yes sir and he is yes Lord and he comes back a few hours later on it I'm not fighting you on this but the problem is it's a tie we measured the souls and the whiteness of the souls of two women are exactly the same I don't know what to do so God said I've got eternity bring them up both up I'll talk to both of them right so well the other thing God is you won't believe this but one of the women's from North Korea and the other one is from South Korea God said so why bring them up I want to talk to them so they come up and they've been here in the presence of God and just shaking you know oh my god and God says now relax relax we're sever nice little chat and and you know I'm God so you know I I know everything I'll tell you what each of you can ask me one question and I will answer it and they confer and they say God actually we have the same question what's the question when will North and South Korea be reunited and God pauses and he said oh that's a tough one not in my lifetime [Laughter] [Applause] and that will make a South Korean very sad film and I run a very small consulting company yes I'm going to ask a very short question with thee with the rise of China and us still a very very strong power in the world where do you see global institutions like the United Nations and going forward let's say 10 10 years 15 20 years from now that's it I think actually if the next American administration takes the view that the global institutions are extremely valuable both an advancing national interest harmonizing conflicting national interests and in developing a more stable world order which had been somewhat hypocritically but still basically the basic American position I think with the rise of China I think the rise of China helps because the Chinese have been very and uninvolved in these institutions very low key and so forth and been very reluctant to put resources into them because they couldn't see how and work for them but they've changed and one reason they've changed is because the vacuum that the American withdrawal from the internationalism has created and into a vacuum and politics you know or politics that will cause a vacuum and the Chinese are going into it well going in going into it I think they're seeing there's some rewards there's a rewards in terms of the legitimacy their rewards in some other ways and and and so I think if the u.s. comes back to where it was philosophically on these issues I mean I think actually that could move it in a good position in a good way now you remember in the late 90s where China's premier was Zhu Rongji all right if I could do one guide interview of anybody in the world right now it might be the Ranji I think it was in this phenomenal and the spirit of you know that's our ping and he he was the guy who absolutely carried China on its back into WTO because he felt that was essential for the modernization of China and I'll tell you very quick story at that time that when he was moving it when they decided to cross the Rubicon into WTO that time the Clinton people were in power and I'm not particularly partisan but actually of all the administration's in terms of handling China I think the Clinton administration was actually the best because they didn't know what the hell they were doing and you know they didn't and they didn't and they had no idea and they all they said it was let's just try and make some money and and that's okay and that and the Chinese responded to that and that was fine and then they built it built up some good personal relationships one of the best was a woman named Charlene Bartowski who was Clinton's chief trade negotiator a brilliant brilliant woman and she developed a very good relationship with Zhu Rongji and and she told me the story once time she used to call it our office and the secretary says it's the premier of China can you take the call and so you know sure I said I get take the call so she picks it up and is Iran ji in Beijing and you go Charlene I need a favor what's that this WTO thing it's got so many rules and regulations and we've got what how many provinces in China 29 39 we had all these governors and all these provinces and they're coming to Beijing and they're trying to figure out how they fit into this and how it works and I don't know the answer all I know was I want us in it and so she says would you like me to come to Beijing and sit with them you know we'll talk it over and she talked words love it and she got in the next plane you know more or less and she went to Beijing and they sat for two days and discussed it and it really worked and and but it would took someone like I want you to say we need your help we don't understand this well enough to that I can explain to my people in a credible way how it's going to work you see and so I think that's a good thing and I think we needed to do much much more of that and also I think we need to look at not it we don't disagree we're on every issue with China some issues we agree on and they have things to say contributions to make let's look let's look at it in a positive way why does it always have to be negative and that's how I look at it but in your world as a consultant I see then in the near future next two three four years quite a bit of uncertainty I don't know I don't I mean I wouldn't want to have to plan right now because I wouldn't have a plan when as you know it works best for you when you have a political certainty and stability that was what the brilliant Lee Kuan Yew did right he made Singapore a place where people could invest and not get ripped off from the in the corrupt courts and bring in money and bring in training you know and so on and so forth as other keys to your success I'm Rachna Bernadette I'm a journalist and occasionally an adjunct professor at and us in communications in your media cool my question to you is on the United States China and faith its own fate and faith is that an all faith faith I thought was a new cafe or something hey good olfi yeah I got it it's not often we get a Jesuit prefer a professor from a Jesuit university or any religious University for that matter son right I'm taking full advantage of it so I'm a well-known saint I'm sure I almost made that Cutlass for the Lord the Lord I can see the halo right I doubt you're gonna go far unless I digress let me get back to my question no I like your digressions thank you so according to an article by the British newspaper The Telegraph and I quote the number of Christians in China is growing so steadily that by the year 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America there are similar numbers in Singapore by the way in terms of a Christian revival a faith revival but once again I digress I digress so I leave that question for another book and another day but my question to you too today is what are your thoughts on this Christian revival in China the causes for it and where we'll take the landscape of the country moving forward with us relations or without there's a new book that came out last year I and I I wish I could it's the name and the author has escaped me was a brilliant book on the religious revival in China you know the book I'm talking about okay any event and it is happening it's a real thing I mean one explanation is that it's filling the vacuum created by the decline and the religious value of communist ideology she understands that he is insisting the universities just go back to teaching socialism the and but I think he sees it as a force that has to be managed rather than tomahawked into the ground because it's too big the trick will be that it doesn't become something that threatens the sovereignty of the state that's the biggest issue with China the sovereignty and that and I think I in my columns not because I'm a Jesuit University not because the the the Pope is a Jesuit but because I think the Pope is a really great man that I have been supporting very much the efforts of the Pope and she Ron G to come to a deal there was a agreement on the appointments of bishops in in China which i think is a terribly important issue and the Pope appears to be willing to secularize that process to a certain extent and I totally support it naturally the old fogies in the Curia are fighting him like crazy and just like Zhu Rongji travels with a large security operation now because of his anti-corruption campaign the Pope I'm I'm sure there's some people in the Curia I think that wish he would go to heaven because he wants to do this deal and I think it's really important that Georgio who had been once a foreign minister here and was one of the smartest people I have ever met in my life it was on II was on the first civilian Weiser II Commission to the Pope as you know and and was able to brief me on some of these issues so I know know a little bit more about it than I ordinarily would I think all of those things are real and I think even in the United States I think I don't know what Dennis whether this is a factually correct statement but I think some people prefer say LMU to say UCLA because there's a religious dimension to it there's a chapel you can go to no one has to go to it and there are our masses you can go to no one has to go to them more than half of our students are not Catholic but for but particularly for parents they liked us to give their children the option the religious option which you can't get at a secular University and so I think it may be a global phenomenon I you know as long as these religions will just not kill one another and fight one another you know you know live and let live but I think if if the if the Jesuit Pope can pull off this deal with you she I think it would be really a really really good thing because we're the only way it's gonna work is going to have to compromise nobody's getting 100% we're gonna definitely have war if what if that's the goal you know I did a book with bunky mom called conversations bun came along and he says the best most stable international agreement is one that is close to 5050 if you've got 2080 you've got the seeds for the second world war sorry Treaty if it's close to 50/50 you got at least half or a little more whatever heat then you have something that is a stable molecule you see and so I think that's a terrific observation in question and in your side common sight we have an a to you well actually I think the the question of religion this is one area where the Chinese state actually gives a lot of room for the people recognizing that it is necessaries for you know venting and letting off some steam and there is an author that actually calls his blind eye on governance it's called what blind eye governance and you know religion is one of the area where the Chinese state actually gives some room I mean you know just like the American state mm-hmm I mean we're sometimes really stupid but sometimes were smart same with China isn't that odd okay good evening my name is anna-marie and I'm a retired German diplomat from religion back to politics the last seventy years have seen a very very close transatlantic partnership between the United States and Europe and the actions of the American government in the last year seem to have endangered that right we see a deterioration of that relationship we see what I would call a vacuum and that vacuum has been filled by China you can seed for example in the close relationship when it comes to the climate change agreement the Paris agreement or the renegotiations of the Iran agreement what are your comments on that well that's another good another great question and am I saying that to be patronizing it's just a great question I mean I mean two things if you look at what China is aggressively trying to do with climate I mean they know they have a problem and I know it's existential and and some of the clarity of Western climate groups recognize that whereas the human rights groups in the West won't give China the time of day mm-hmm so my night my ideal scenario is is a big fight between the human rights groups and environmental groups in the West and they lick what they one another and and of course of that a condominium relation comes up and in science yeah that's World War three all right and it takes place with seals in the Antarctic vasana but but go to back to the central point with Europe I think it's a very important to understand when Trump says that Germany doesn't pay enough for its military okay there's a lot of people in America that agree with that when when when Trump says that the Europeans have been living off of us for 30 40 50 years there's a lot of people there's a lot of support for that in the United States that view that Uncle Sam is Uncle Sam and that we've been taken advantage of and they don't look at the plot the pluses of that relationship which is basically we dominated the world to a large extent but but they look at it as as as we're chumps so and if you look at the facts the Germans contribution is not even clear hasn't even reached two percent of its budget under who is under the agreement so again I just want to get us off this black-white thing so we understand what's going on but Trump's not operating in a vacuum on that there's a lot of American feeling saying what Korea American feeling and wanting the Japanese to pay and now you go back to history more than you know 11 minutes and you know what the historical reasons are for that but but in terms of the politics of it you remember America has no historical memory whatsoever which on the whole is bad it's occasionally good on cases in certain situations because we don't have grudges for example the Vietnam War people who fought in that war will America will hate the Vietnamese for as long as they live but if you said in the American students the Vietnam War the 20 years I say oh yeah we had a war with you right oh I don't know what that was like was that severe you know and so we Quentin wants to go to Vietnam and as he did I think in 1999 it wasn't a used to mr. Colonel because it wasn't you know what's like the Armenians and the Turks they were you know every other day they have a protest about it America is not like that it's a very short memory and it's generally not good but sometimes it is good so all right but I think the European thing as long as Trump is in power is gonna be gonna be an issue and it does play into the China's hands that's what I mean it's not thought out even if the US is right on some of the substances if you push that what are the consequences what are the downsides let's think it through maybe the Germans are cheating on us but if we make too much of a problem Merkel who is obviously an outstanding leader and some sense of outstanding leadership then is there a net gain or a net loss see but pardon the expression if your bowl on the china shop I'm Henry Chen from these Asian Institute my question is a follow-up to the lady's question because if you look at your onion things the European Commission that was talking about setting up a separate banking facilities for the treviri onions and not going to use the US dollars now the question is that if America is going to withdraw from the middle is and you see the rise of these Saudi Turkey and Israel we tell you the work going into it kind of became the burger crops in which China is not going to fill up the shoes of United States but the u.s. is a prematurely getting out of the world I think what we would see what you say is that I think that the National the natural gravitational forces of world politics whatever that means I think we're gonna go back into the shoes of some of these places I think it's we're gonna go right Dennis I think it's you know it's good you're gonna whip back now maybe with the speed of a backlash of taffy but I just think the way the world is structured I think the things that that Trump wants to do because he's tapping into the anger in American constituencies and things things don't finish things those things are sustainable over the long run that's what I would say and and I think a lot of these things will be correcting and you know if he if he if he's impeached and you get pence in there you know I mean gotta be honest with you I'm not sure I'm happier about that because I feel pence actually might believe in what he's saying and that's really dangerous yes you know so I mean it's a nightmare right now and I I wish I could feel a little better about our country but but I do know that I I spent a half hour 45 minutes with your Prime Minister yesterday he is proud as a peacock the Singapore looks to be the likely site of the the of the summit but but his staff is scared to death yes that is going to take place because it'll be a Titanic amount of work we innocent from what senators are extremely happy we're here now and not three weeks from now and and and and I said to one of the members of the media staff of the prime minister's office how many journalists do you expect might come in and she said some might be as many as five to seven thousand and I said to her that is my definition of hell five to seven thousand Western journalists we're going back to LA man yeah we're gonna put them thank you all very very much for bein [Applause]

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