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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  August 8, 2022 9:00am-9:31am AST

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the poles, the country is brave for a closely contested general election will determine if to president i'm a growing political and economic pension. who will be announced the widow and can expect a free and fair election join us for special coverage on all 0. i'm russell bid in southern england, where 2 farmers turn safari park, pioneers of bits, the attractive nature in the driving seat. i was just absolutely astonishing the life, the poor back even that the very 1st and i miguel sophie, i, cynthia when one by your company just revolutionizing the system. you think blend and artificial intelligence here inside you have you have the rise phone just 0. ah
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. until mccray and dough hard top stories on al jazeera, fred jones sees far between israel and the armed group known as palestinian islamic jihad appears to be holding rockets were still being launched in the minutes before the truth began with mediated by egypt with help from the united nations and cutter, who is prison, to abide in his welcome to the spot and says he support an investigation into civilian casualties. israel began launching it strikes into garza on friday since then. $44.00 palestinians, including 15 children have been killed. palestinian officials say at least a 3rd of them with the villians. he israeli government said it's been targeting members of palestinian islamic jihad. the armed group has 5 hundreds of rockets and israel. most was shot down southward. l collude has more from garza,
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this cease fire is still holding now that even local governmental offices, or public offices also announced that they will re open their doors for public universities also announced that they will open a re open their doors that they closed ariel because because of the escalation for force, they will open their lords for students. also, the municipality of garza and other municipalities. i also the announced that they will deploy on send their equipment to remove the rabble on try to do the initial assessment for the destruction. natasha again i am is in wisc jerusalem with more on the israeli side of the ceasefire. as far as israel is concerned, this operation is over. it is saying that the military said a short time ago that it used helicopter's fighter jets and arm drones were among
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the tools that used to target is so much you had across the gaza strip. it has thanked egypt for its role in mediating the ceasefire. but says, if attacks continue into israel, it will not hesitate to quote, act forcefully and says it will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that the daily lives of israelis will not be disrupted. earlier this evening, the prime minister year le peed went to the central military base in tel aviv to assess the situation. he had said earlier that the objectives of the so called operation breaking dawn had been fulfilled and that there was no need for the operation to continue. what were these objectives from the israeli strategic mindset? the objective was to neutralize islam of jihad with most, if not all of the senior leadership being killed, as well as the feeling that
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a kind of divide had been created between is found that she had and hamas, which governs garza with hamas remaining on the sidelines. there was a concern that if this operation was protracted and the death toll continued to rise, that perhaps hamas might enter the fray. it appears for now that that has not happened . the us senate has passed. president jo biden's, $450000000000.00 package covering climate tax and health care. democrats say it's a major victory for the president. $370000000000.00 will go towards climate projects, making it the largest investment in the sector and us history. which one is military says it is continuing its drills in the air and sea around taiwan. on sunday, the defense ministry and ty pay confirmed $66.00 chinese aircraft and 14 warships have been detected in and around the taiwan straits. china began conducting the
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drills earlier this week after taiwan hosted us house beacon, nancy pelosi or columbia is 1st ever left us president has been sworn into office in front of thousands of the porters. in boca time, gustavo petro promised to reshape the deeply polarized country with a long list of social and economic reforms. pietro also says he will re open diplomatic relations with vince venezuela. well, those are the headlines. the news continues here on al jazeera after the bottom line. next i finance steve clements and i have a question. china threatened the u. s. with grave consequences if nancy pelosi visited taiwan. so now what, let's get to the bottom line,
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ah, or china and nothing matters more than restoring its place in the world is a great power. it was put on mute for centuries, but now it's rich, it's arm and it's back in a really big way. it's only peer rival is the u. s. one of the top obsessions of china's leaders is to reunify all of its territories and squash any rivals. and one of the biggest storms in it side has been taiwan, which many people believe should be a fully independent state base. the henry kissinger and an american policy called strategic ambiguity. taiwan exists in purgatory. it has self rule, but china always threatens to take it back while washington says it's committed to the status quo. now one of america's top politicians, the speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi, has visited the island to underscore its autonomy. so as the american can member to tie, want about to be tested and what are the repercussions of
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a showdown between the world's 2 biggest powers? today we're talking with steven wal, professor of international affairs at harvard university and author of most recently the hell of good intentions, america's foreign policy lead and the decline of us primacy. doctor wall. thank you so much for joining us today. i guess i should start out with the news of the day as speaker nancy pelosi has gone to taiwan. she has done what a lot of folks advised her not to do, including the joe biden whitehouse. i guess this was on her bucket list for or before she left the roll speaker perhaps. but i know that you see the international system in very deep nuance terms across way. but what is this pin prick to china mean to you? and what do you think comes of it? a couple of things. i mean, we don't know exactly how it's going to play out. what i think is bothered many people and bothered the executive branch here was it was a largely symbolic visit. it wasn't connected, any particular strategy we have for managing our relationship with china. we're
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dealing with china as a potential rival. and in the sense it was a symbolic step that was nonetheless, a real red flag, red flag to beijing. and an issue that they, you know, made it very clear they were going to be very unhappy about at a moment where the chinese are dealing with some leadership issues. so that can amik slow down. and i think the thing that i'm worried people most about this is it's happening at a, particularly in opportune time, where the united states is already deeply immersed as a supporter of ukraine. and it's. ready with russia and the last thing, the bite did ministration or indeed the world needs, is to raise the temperature in asia. if you are doing now with a clear strategic purpose, you really knew what the purpose of this was, how it was going to alter the relationship in some fundamentally positive way from an american perspective. that might be one thing. but this seem to be, you know, almost a vanity project on the part of the speaker. and it makes me wonder
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a little bit about the degree to which there's coordination between, you know, 2 parts of the democratic party, the people on the hill and the people in the executive branch. you would like to see on foreign policy issues them working together rather than working at odds with one another. well, there's also a piece to this which often gets neglected and perhaps it's wonky as part of it. but the making of foreign policy is, according to the constitution, as i said, typically a function of the president and the executive branch of government, the congress, the legislative branch, has advice and consent roles. it's supposed to leave the place that a war is declared by congress, but the making of foreign policy is a function of the chief executive of us government is nancy pelosi trying to outflank president biden and trying to make foreign policy in this case. and in a very unusual way, i don't think so. certainly that's what's happening. it's not the way our system of
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government is supposed to work. i'm. i'm all for the separation of powers. and i actually believe it would be a good thing if congress played a more active role within its constitutional boundary of the problem is that if this trip causes problems in the chinese decide to do something in response, it's not going to be nancy. pelosi is responsibility to deal with it. it's going to be secretary, boeing and then secretary of defense austin and the president and his national security team that are going to have to deal with the fallout from this particular issue. so again, i can't quite figure out what nancy pelosi but she was going to accomplish here and how it was going to help the fortunes of either the president or the democratic party going forward. that's what i say. it's not, doesn't appear to be connected to any particular strategy. that's what troubles me most about this. well, let me play a sound bite for you of a question posted present. you didn't want to get involved in the ukraine conflict
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militarily for obvious reasons. are you willing to get involved to militarily, to defend taiwan if it comes to that? yes, you are. that's a commitment we made as you can, we may, we are not, not. here's the situation. we agree with one china policy. we signed onto it and all the attendance agreements made from there. but the idea that can be taken by force just taken by force, is just not just not appropriate. when the president made that statement, it seemed to be really quite different from what our stated policy on taiwan is, which is one of strategic ambiguity, ambiguity that it, that, that we, either except that taiwan can be taken by force. nor do we give, i guess, current to the notion that taiwan can be independent from china. can you tell me what you think us policy is?
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with regard to what the president said, what henry kissinger crafted and what nancy pelosi is doing today? right, well, ever since henry kissinger crafted this shanghai communicate back in the early 1970 united states has had a rather, as you said, ambiguous policy, we wanted to that issue to be somewhat fuzzy. we recognize that there is one china . but we also say that we don't believe the status between china and taiwan should be resolved unilaterally by either party in practical terms. that means we don't want china to do anything to force taiwan to be controlled by beijing, particularly anything militarily. but we also don't want taiwan to unilaterally declare independence from china. and this forces be united states to engage and say a certain amount of you might call it double talk, you might call it ambiguity. so the president says, what appears to be a rather unequivocal commitment. if there is military action, we will fight. but of course,
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the rest of the administration then walks it back in the subsequent days, leaving it again. fuzzy. the united states clearly wants trying to think that it might come to china, taiwan assistance, because we don't want china to move unilaterally. on the other hand, we don't want to make such an unambiguous commitment to defend taiwan. that, that encourages taiwan to engage in provocative behavior that might impact, promote the kind of attack from china that we want to deter. so i think, you know, we're, we're inevitably going to be in this kind of gray area where people occasionally say things that signal a greater commitment. and then we say other things that suggests while they're still maybe a little bit of fuzzy and it's there as well. i do think it is a mistake as former secretary of state on peo and others. it started to argue that the united states should abandon strategic ambiguity and make claire unilateral statement that we're going to defend taiwan under any circumstances. first of all,
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that is a very provocative act from beijing point of view, and they're likely to respond to that. but 2nd of all, it could encourage taiwan to do things because it's so confident of american protection that actually the stabilize the situation. look, i want to be clear to my audience that while we're talking about china today, i don't participate often in discussions had tried a silo, the united states in china and their relationship away from everything else in the world. and so what else is going on in the world? well, there is a ongoing mess in ukraine and, and the united states has been working hard to try to keep china from weighing in on russia side. in that equation, we have big climate change challenges coming up that are talked about. there are global economic issues that are being discussed all the time. there is north korea and it's basically stated intent to launch a lot of new intercontinental ballistic missile tests. and trying to use chinese
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influences. i guess my question to you, steve is the complexity of dealing with other issues and china's points of leverage that it can use to put pressure on the united states and what the opportunity costs are of this policy trip. paulette potentially i think you've put it really nicely. i mean we ought to be recognized that as the 2 most powerful states in the international system, the united states and china are going to each other warily. not just this year, not just next year, but for a long time we're going to have to manage that relationship. and each side is going on occasion. look for ways to gain advantages. whether that's in high technology, whether it's in building diplomatic influence, whether it's influencing international in sit fusions, whatever it's going to be a fundamentally competitive relationship. but as you suggest, it is a complicated world. and those 2 powerful countries also have reasons to try and collaborate with each other. first of all, it's good for our economies. if we can continue to trade and invest with each other,
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that's good for chinese economy. it's also good for ours. we have climate change as a shared interest along with the rest of humanity. we have a whole series of other places. north korea would be one of possibly some issues involving the middle east, where china can be helpful. and as you suggested, we certainly don't want china going all in backing russia's war in ukraine. so even though it's a fundamentally competitive relationship, we also have big incentives to try and manage that relationship in a way that advances american interest. i believe, and i've written a forthcoming article with my colleague, danny roderick. what we really need is for china and the united states to start basically grouping their relationship into 4 different categories, actions. we agree, we're not going to undertake towards each other. we're not going to try to promote regime change. for example. we agree on certain things should be prohibited.
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another bucket where we deal with issues by mutual adjustment, we compromise in exchange for them compromising. you can think of arms control or trade negotiations in that category. a 3rd category where we act independently, to protect our interests, but we try to do that in a rather calibrated way. so if china is doing something that affects our interested versus when we respond to it, but we don't escalate and we expect the same behavior from them and response. and then finally those areas where we have to cooperate with others as well. you need multilateral solutions and climate change is the perfect example here, where lots of other parties have interest there as well. i think that would be a template or a roadmap for putting differ parts of the us. china relationship in different categories cooperating where we can and recognizing we're going to compete where we have to look the opening chapter of the by the administration's foreign policy with
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the so called pivot to asia. emmy's kind of tough encounters. i remember one in alaska and you know, these various meetings involve secretary of state anthony blank in and national security advisor, jim sullivan in defense factory, lloyd austin. and the, the real takeaway is they were sort of photo op showing how tough we were in the united states. and that we really meant business. and that the relationship was going to change. we saw kurt campbell, another leading figure in the national security council to by doing this. and then all of a sudden vladimir putin over and you're saying, hey, remember me over here. so i guess my question to you is how would you grade the bite and team thus far in managing the complexities of global affairs, but also keeping its eyes in the right place and waited in the right way when it comes to dealing with the complexities you just laid out with china yet, you know, maybe b, b minus that well you give them that good
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a grade. i'm and i'm considered a hard grader. i mean, i do think they have not lost sight of china is the major issue as well. and in a sense, they've got, they get a better grade this week than i would have given them 2 or 3 weeks ago in part because they were finally able to get jo mansion on board with some of this legislation. and they've been able to advance the idea of actually an industrial policy decided to does that will maintain american competitiveness in this, in the chip industry, which i think is really actually critical to maintaining parity with trying to you know, not immediately, but in the years ahead so that i think is good evidence that they are in fact, you know, keeping their, i focused on the kind of problem that said they certainly did manage to get themselves, you know, heavily distracted by a number of things. most notably the war in ukraine, which i don't think they did enough to try and head off in advance without
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realizing what the consequences were going to be if the war ultimately broke out. and i think biting recent trip to the middle east was also something of a distraction from the more critical relations you're trying to didn't really accomplish anything positive for the united states as well and burned up some more bandwidth some more presidential time. so again, i don't think it's been a disaster. what's missing, as i've said before, is the sense that the administration has a clear, well articulated, integrated strategy for dealing with china. which of course also involves an integrated strategy for dealing with all of our partners in asia. what they've done so far, an international economics and sort of bolstering those trade relationships is not very substantial. and not as ambitious or successful as the efforts that china has made to build economic relations in that part of the world. and you know, that's what i would like to see the administration start to develop going forward.
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i would rather see more low level pentagon officials flying with no publicity to taiwan, to talk about defense cooperation and bolstering time when needs defenses. and i would like to see the speaker of the house flying there, or as symbolic photo op. it gets a lot of attention, but it's not substantively important. well, one of the things that interests me, steve, is the vulnerability the united states now has as a super power to having moments of where it creates a defining moment about. it's what it considers to be values, it must defend around the world. and that ultimately, whether it's geography and when you read an article real it, you know, talking and commending taiwan on many, many fronts. but one of the things that had not changed was, it's geography, exclamation point. and then in this, we have the equivalence of something that i would call us who as crisis people can
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go back and look at how the shift in global perception of power between the united kingdom and the 1950s in the united states happened around a crisis in egypt, i'm just wondering whether we are at risk in some of these values. battles around the world be a taiwan or ukraine or elsewhere in the world that that other powers call our bluff . call the americas bluff. and it's very hard for us to actually deliver on some of these commitments that we have made. what's your view on that? yeah, well, i think it highlights the need for not just, you know, mechanics who know how to run the foreign policy machinery. and i think there is a bite administration you experienced group, they can turn the crank and make our foreign policy systems work. what they need though, are architects who see a larger picture and see the connection between these different different conflicts, different commit. once we've made different obligations or different goals we're
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trying to pursue, and let me give you a perfect illustration. it seems to me that the war in ukraine, although that has galvanized enormous attention and led the united states to move away from the pivot asian, once again, sort of re commit to europe sending more forces. they're putting a lot of time, attention, effort, and weaponry into that particular conflict. from a broader perspective, what's happening, you crane is actually a signal that over time the united states should be shifting towards asia and letting europe. ready deal more with its own security affairs because what are we learning from the ukrainian crisis? we're learning that 1st of all, you're really didn't neglect its own defenses and had to rely on the united states once again. in this case, we're also learning. well, russia might be aggressive, potentially dangerous. it's also not that powerful. it's not so strong that the europeans lack the wherewithal to deal with russia if they choose to. and this is
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not a shift that you could make overnight. but an architect looking at this situation would say, this is now the time for the united states to begin to really press it. european partners to take more responsibility for their own affairs because they really can do it not immediately but over time. and that will allow the united states to shift attention to asia, where the europeans really don't have much of a role to play. and the united states is absolutely essential. that's the kind of bigger strategic shift i would like to see. but i don't see any evidence that that's happening right now. instead, you're seeing just the usual reflexive invoking of all of the familiar tropes of transatlantic solidarity. and nato is all important. and the united states has to be the 1st responder in every corner of the world. i don't think that's necessary. i even, i don't think it's feasible any longer. you speak the groups all around the world, and i think one of the interesting questions out there,
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we talk about the revival of nato and you know, how we're all for one and one for all and stronger than ever and focused on, you know, it's like history is come back again, but after january 6, domestic instability, the rise of white supremacist violence in the united states. i'm just wondering how solvent our allies think our commitments bar, how solvent is our promise to be with them and their dark days when they see how internally divided the united states is right now. i think that many of our eyes around the world still want american protection know, and they work very hard at persuading us why that's important for us to provide it to them. i mean, i think that's a decision for us to make enough for them to make that they still are definitely, you know, strong instincts to try and get america on your side. that said, there's no question that countries around the world have some reservations now or concerns about the united states driven not so much by what we're doing in one part
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of the world or another. but by what's happening here at home. because the country is so polarized on foreign policy, because donald trump was so unpredictable and so willing to pick fights with friends for no good purpose. other countries have to worry that if the white house changes hands in 2024, you get the pendulum to swing back another 180 degrees brock obama consign good nuclear deal with iran. donald trump can tear it up. joe biden says he wants to get back into it, but hasn't yet. another president could then tear up any agreement he made. and other countries cannot adjust and couch their behavior with an expectation that the united states will fulfill its commitments. if our political system is causing us, going to go up and down like a see saw every 4 or 8 years. you know, i know that you're a big believer in american engagement in the asia pacific region. you believe it's a way to keep trying to focus their taiwan is
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a key part of that is you just described about having discussions about how to armed it. but how do you think the taiwanese people feel with regards to watching what happened in hong kong unfold? and is there an element there that we should be made, that we should be sensitive to, at least in terms of, of over promising that i want? well, i think that what happened at hong kong actually was very short sighted from beijing's point of view. i mean, i think that there was a possibility. 10 or 20 years ago, you could imagine taiwan and china gradually and voluntarily unifying over a period of decades. the chinese economy serving is a big magnet. there was lots of trade in investment going on between taiwan and the mainland, and you could of imagined if hong kong and other special areas in china had sort of maintain their, a time, a status that re uniting, would have looked pretty attractive to the taiwanese maybe by 2040 or 2030. and so
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this whole process would have happened peacefully and voluntarily on both sides. i think the crackdown in hong kong has now made it almost impossible. it's not impossible for beijing to offer taiwan any kind of special status, any kind of autonomy as role within a unifying china. that's the time when he's going to believe because those promises could always be rescinded at some point down the road. but i think it is actually reinforced the taiwanese desire to remain on their own for as long as possible. so if in fact reification was the goal of the chinese communist party and something that you've been paying and set his heart on. what has happened in hong kong is actually made that more difficult, rather than easier. well, as usual, i feel like i'm getting a snapshot of grim optimism from dr stephen walt. so thank you so much for joining us today and for your candor. great talking to you as all stated. so what's the
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bottom line? my guess is china in the us are going to be add it for a very long time, and i have to agree they're going to be times when these 2 great powers cooperate and things will look sunny only to suddenly give way to gloom and doom for one reason or another, that's because these 2 superpowers will never fully trust each other. by the way, it has nothing to do with ideology or that one is the democracy and the other in illiberal communist state. what really matters is that huge things that have to be tackled on the global scale, like nuclear, non proliferation or climate change, natural disasters, or transnational crime and more. none of these can be done without the active cooperation of both. pelosi strip to taiwan will put a dent in the relationship and there may be real harm to taiwan and to the interests of china and the u. s. after this trip. but these nations will survived to fight and co operate another day. and that's the bottom line. ah
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ah, it finds out we live here. we make the rule not now. people in power investigate exposed it and questions they used to be just of power around the globe. on al jazeera d. o.


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