tv Sen. James Risch Remarks on Chinas Economy Political Influence CSPAN November 13, 2019 7:46am-8:55am EST
did president trump ask a foreign government to investigate a potential opponent. did president trump seek to have that government advance the political interest. or an invitation to the white house. into the third question did president trump or his administration try to withhold information from congress. to read the full impeachment inquiry document go to our website. the chair of the senate foreign relations committee spoke about the economy and the political influences globally. >> we are delighted to have you here today.
i just might need to know where ever louis as he is responsible for your safety i'm not worried about the chairman. we will take care of him. for everybody else these doors right behind me they will take us down to the first floor. delighted to have you here but i'm even more pleased that we can welcome the chairman to be with us today. he went to the undergraduate as a forrester. and entered into politics and became a lawyer. i was talking with his wife vicky.
thirty-four elections they had been through together. some questions today are off the table when i can attack about impeachment or any of that stuff. where here to talk about foreign-policy today into talk about america's role in leading in a country. we've a major challenge. nets can be the focus for the chairman's presentation. i would ask you all to honor that he is under a short time. without taking any more time
please welcome him. [applause]. thank you for the kind introduction. i really appreciate that. please welcome idaho's first lady. vicki. >> you forgot to tell me who was in charge of my safety. what about me. >> think you so much for having me here today. this is a speech i have wanted to make for sometimes. i got them prepared so that they won't be misinterpreted as time goes on. i wanted to wanted to talk to us briefly about the relationship between the united states and europe.
the united states in europe's relationship. i get lots of visitors every day from your it's always an interesting experience. on the irish side it was a great grandmother that immigrated. i always asked my german friends where they are from. i guess i'm getting used to but i'm concerned it when they talk about the relationship and i don't view us as having any kind of a difficult
all done they said to me are we okay? we do a lot of friends i've been married for a lot of years. the relationship between these countries as a whole lot better than a lot of these people's relationship is. yes, we are okay. i'm always a little bit surprised. should we have differences and strong differences. doesn't remain the relationship should go away.
the president said this and that. there were three branches of government. the fact that the branches are coequal. we can all agree in this room and for that matter that we have a president that is different than the presidents that we had have in recent times. to a greater or lesser degree we knew the hw best. we traveled with them because i was chairman of the campaign. this president is very different than anyone we've have in the past. he is less stiff in one regard. and he tells you what's on his mind.
with this president have a much different relationship with this president and i head with others. i was in the primary. in any event we get along well. this is a person that you don't know because all you see is him on tv shouting back and forth with the tv. he is a person that is fun to be around. you can engage with. that you can argue with. we have disagreements all the time and we exchange on them.
even though we disagreed. in the reverse of that is he speaks what's on his mind. and that rubs people the wrong way. he will upset people. i doubt there are many people in this room. it is the strongest most successful in just the world. we in the united states congress are deeply committed to nato. the president of the united states was bothered by the
just take a deep breath. we are americans. we are still standing. we have leaders that are different. we will get through this. it doesn't rely with any other single person here. enough of that. we talk about the relationship between us and europe. and the combined europe in the united states in china. let me say for our european
friends. there is nothing wrong with our relationship. we need to do this together and he was talking to his european brother and we need to get together and europe in the united states. when it comes to our relationship with china. i couldn't agree more with him in the regard. as i travel around the united states. many if not most people in the united states have no idea had the challenges that we face. they really have nothing
nato. the greatest alliance in the history. today the united states as a troubled world. for the first time in generations it have seen the reemergence of the competitors i ran iran and the middle east. and of course china everywhere in the world. if you don't believe me travel anywhere and the world and you will see china's footprints everywhere. of these china is the true global rival. with the european interest. the vital interests. we both recognize that it is not the global company. as a global power.
.. .. if china embraces these principles and truly wants to be a a global leader in the 21st century, china will find a united states ready and willing to cooperate. but until china pursues that path, the united states and your must compete with china. and must do so with bigger. the united states, the european union have both improved our screening of foreign direct investment and we combine forces to expose chinese governments
repression in shin shenzhen. these actions are important start but the challenges of china which are many and widespread will require a sustained commitment. this is and will be the principal struggle of the rest of our lifetimes. the united states and your have always like most friends have some differences but that cannot distract, cannot distract us from what is most important. above all, we must ensure the free international system we built together, we and europe built together, can withstand external pressures, acknowledging the many opportunities for the united states and european cooperation against china will help us to work through our differences. china is a communist authoritarian party state and, unfortunately, the parties values and interests dictate how china operates in the
international system. will the chinese communist party directs china's economy. chinese leaders assert the primacy of state-owned enterprises and party officials are increasingly involved in the commercial decisions. governments, businesses, civil societies have been slow to recognize how connected chinese companies are to the chinese communist party and government. china hides the true role of its companies. china's intellectual property theft and cyber espionage give washington a wake-up call and revealed the resources the chinese government uses to advance economic goals. in my home state of idaho, micron technologies, the world's second largest memory chip maker had its chip technology stolen
by a chinese state-owned company. this happened after government officials -- chinese government officials made acquiring that chip technology a national priority. that chinese company patented the stolen technology and suit micron technology patent infringement and chinese courts. such thefts are a common chinese practice. european comp trees have suffered similar experiences. china's overreaching foreign policy goal is to take what it believes is its rightful place as a global leader at the center of the international system by 2050, and to ensure the international system functions according to china's values, principles and objectives. to accomplish that, china's trying to displace the united states as the preeminent power in the indo-pacific. china also wants to insert deep influence in every of the region
of the world to chip international perceptions and steer decision-making in its favor. china always demands demands. beating china's demand opera cries of the nation's to cede their sovereignty to accommodate china's interest. the effect of chinese influence are evident. one powerful example is the chinese, and his party pressure on the nba. in retribution for a single tweet by a u.s. team executive supporting protesters in hong kong. what could be wrong with that,, you ask. many in the west to the threat of chinese political influence in 2010 when china punished norway. china will need military power to protect those interest. we all receive in europe with increased chinese commercial and military presence in the
mediterranean. although china may seem to selectively cooperate in today's international system, it is fundamentally opposed to u.s. and european norms. values and institutions. chinese leaders preach that socialism with chinese characteristics is superior to the ideas advanced by western nations. chinese leaders believe the alternative philosophy is what makes china a truly global leader. china uses international organizations to shape favorable narratives and gained international recognition of its views. china has successfully pressured eastern european nations to vote against u.n. efforts to hold china accountable for china's own deplorable human rights violations. china advances language on human rights and u.n. governance to justify their horrific treatment of its own people. going forward, china will not be
satisfied to just shape narratives. china appears determined to set the standards by defining the meaning of human rights or how emerging technologies are used. our fundamental competition with china is between two systems, with different vision of how the world should look. this competition touches on our political and cultural values, our economic prosperity and our defense and security. led by the united states and europe, much of the world has created an open system of rules, norms, and institutions that upholds individual rights and freedoms. that advances market-based economic prosperity and that safeguards shared security interest. despite some differences we have enjoyed enormous success in fostering and advancing that system.
china's vision is vastly different. the rights of the individual are subordinate to the interest of the state. economic coercion for political ends is a legitimate form of statecraft, and might makes right on the high seas and in contract negotiations according to china. this is our shared challenge. in facing it we should be guided by three things. first, we must not put economic interests ahead of our political and security concerns. that's why the united states strongly opposes european nations allowing huawei to compete for building 5g networks. fortunately, denmark and czech republic have chosen a better path and i'm encouraged that the security community in germany especially is raising the alarm. but if enough allies allow huawei in, i fear intelligence sharing within nato could be
negatively compromised and impacted. we do not gain by putting economic engagement with china ahead of our political principles and values. if we don't prioritize our core values, we cannot expect our own companies and citizens to stand up when confronted with chinese government coercion. second, the united states and europe must regain a robust commitment to defend our interests. in 2014 nato was not equipped to deal with renewed russian aggression. clearly we cannot repeat that mistake. i agree with the nato secretary-general that nader needs to be fair for tiny, closer to europe, addressing the china challenge will require strong consent and collaboration within nato. next month nato is expected release new report on china. this will demonstrate how strong this consensus really is on china. third, we must acknowledge this is an international competition.
past u.s. your cooperation on china has focused on better treatment of our companies in the chinese market. however, -- u.s. and europe cooperation -- they face unfair chinese economic practices in markets around the world. economic competition with china is not just about the u.s. and european markets, and our policies must reflect that. u.s. and european companies must be set up for success by advancing the rules and norms that allow them to compete fairly, addressing these challenges together will require balancing our long-term shared interests with our current irritants. there are some frustrations between the u.s., everything from tariffs to iran, to defense spending, and those are not fully in think right now but we have succeeded in overcoming our differences in the past,
committing to each other to a system based their economic practices and political openness, and to our collective security always has and always should override other issues. as china challenges us today, that same commitment must be paramount. china is a long-term problem so we must focus on the future. here are a few areas where we can work better together. we must work together to fend off china's political influence and coercion. our issue is not with the chinese people. china is much more than the communist party, and not all engagement is a bad thing, but a healthy awareness of the controlled exerted by the commons party and their widespread access to vast amounts of information which are held by the chinese people, and just as importantly, chinese
companies, must be recognized. most americans are not aware of a communist parties top-down control. private companies, universities and others are vulnerable. we must establish best practices and consider legislation to address this. these are very tough issues facing our free societies. we will come up with best ideas if we put our heads together. we need better coordination to shape the future of technology. we must ensure a level playing field in industry groups that set standards and norms for emerging technologies. chinese companies are playing a much more active role in these groups, but not always according to our values. protect human rights, the united states and europe must be actively engaged and how new technologies will be used. we already know china is exporting the tools and techniques of its mass surveillance, and we cannot allow this practice is to become the norm.
despite current friction, there is ample room for us to cooperate on trade issues. a major priority to the u.s. and for european partners is wto reform which we should all support. i'm encouraged the trend, european union and japan are cooperating to fight policies that undermine free markets. i support the administration focus on reforming developing country status within wto. the wto remains crucial to a functioning international trading system but to compete with china we can put all our eggs in that basket. we must consider other forms of economic harding such as more cooperation on investment screening and better alignment on export controls to safeguard critical technologies. we should also work to secure and strengthen critical infrastructure, particularly ports. china's present is growing from rotterdam. the u.s. department of defense
assesses china's greater access to foreign ports that allows china's military to pre-position necessary logistics, support to regularize existing deployments in the far seas, according to the defense department. these ports are used heavily by the u.s. military to support our commitment to european security. we must also focus on cybersecurity are ports which increasingly rely on mechanized process and digital industrial infrastructure. understanding how china's access to european ports could threaten transatlantic security should be a top priority of nato. finally, there is a vast potential for greater collaboration between the united states and europe in both africa and the indo-pacific. both regions have growing economies and exploding populations as we know. china has already capitalize on africa's opportunities. it's working to feel partnerships with the content,
with the continents 54 nations. china is making long-term debt deals through its one belt, one road initiative. china builds and controls key infrastructure, acquires valuable resources and commodities and china ten expos cultures through no-cost media, global devices, and educational initiatives. in the process china often also exports corruption at the united states and europe should reinvigorate our relationship with african nations, relationships we build over decades, active trade assistance, and security partnerships. similar opportunities exist in the indo-pacific, especially the nation's recognize the downside of chinese engagement. china police it is a global leader, but for that to be true it must act like one. china acted like one very well when it recently took steps to combat fentanyl, a real problem in the world.
next month time left to expel more than 10,000 north korean workers from its borders to comply with the u.n. security council resolution it voted for, china voted for. china must demonstrate what role it want to play. the united states and europe must ask themselves how do we ensure the international system maintains its commitment to its values, even in the face of china's unfair trading, murky and corrupt investments in political interference to advance its own authoritarian ends. this question affects the entire free world and the world that wants to become free. bipartisan consensus on capitol hill sought the need for new approach to china is strong. the united states will work to identify the right policies to answer this question on a bipartisan basis. the united states and europe will have to have stronger answers to this question if we
stand together. the united states cannot respond to the chinese challenge alone, nor do we want to. china has already amassed in the economic and political might to course countries that do stand alone. the only way they we can defene system we built, we built, is by working together. the only way we can help to challenge beijing's caicos is by acting in concert. transatlantic security and prosperity requires that we renew our commitment to each other and pledge to use all of our combined tools to succeed. i am confident that the united states and europe can overcome some of our current differences and find a shared vision to defend the system that we built. thank you again for your kind invitation to come here and share my thoughts. and with that i guess we will take some questions. thank you very much.
[applause] >> well, good afternoon, everyone. my name is heather conley. i direct that your appropriate csis, and i'm delighted to be joined by my colleague michael green, senior vice president for our asia team here, send it, thank you so much both for your -- oh, my goodness. that didn't sound good. >> if we had to have casually, it could've been worse. >> they say it's not -- i think we should just -- why don't we just leave that? i think we'll just leave that aside, thank you. i really appreciated your personal reflections as well as your remarks, what i thought we would do is come mike and i we joe course of mike and i are wary east and west meet and right in the with the senator. >> i've never been called a
middle senator. [laughing] >> welcome to the center, center. and then what we have placed our notecards on the chair. what you to jot down some questions as were having our conversation and then please passed into sort of the sides of the room. colleagues would pick them up and at the very end we will try to get as many of those questions as we can while the senator -- >> remember, no impeachment questions. >> exactly, thank you. thank you for that reminder. if i may i'm going to jump right in and if i may just offer a comet. it was on your personal reflection on the transatlantic, are we okay. and i think i know our european colleagues spend a lot of time meeting with members of congress to get that reassurance -- >> a lot of times. >> a lot. that's important time spent but they also here when the
president speaks his mind and when the president says the european union is worse than china. it is a foe to the united states. i think that does not help put them in a frame of mind of working together to meet this growing challenge, and i think that's sort of in some ways the perception is the u.s. feels like it's intervening as much as china is sometimes. i know you are working hard to prevent that, but it makes it challenging to meet that. i just want to offer that as a reflection. >> let me respond to that briefly. look, as i said, this president is unique and he does speak his mind. i've been in politics all my adult life in the media used to get after all the time, you politician, you never tell us what you're thinking. boy, they got a kind of who tells them what you're thinking, all day long, all night long and bitter like the anybody. he has unique way of speaking
and we here in america watched this as we got along and i tell my european friends, look, you've got to take the whole thing together, don't take a sentence, don't take your word, don't take a thought. we all have thoughts that we don't express. he expresses all his thoughts. >> i think is encouraging french president macron to also speak his thoughts as well. in fact, president macron at the paris peace forum said perhaps europe could serve as a powerbroker between the united states and china. do you foresee that as a role for your? >> i think will be much better off working together rather than -- >> i know macron, we all know macron has a vision that he would like france to be the world leader on these various things. less him for that thought. he's got to take that whatever he wants to take that, but i think we would all be best off
working together because, look, china is going to do what it's going to do and it's going to take everybody working together. >> mic, all turn to you. >> let me ask about impeachment. [laughing] >> another screen is going to fall and crashed. >> according to the constitution -- >> i bet your audience is thrilled to be the only audience in washington not talking about -- >> exactly. >> i think our friends in europe are awake need some -- to some of same problems we have that with respect intellectual property rights, political infringement. but the problem as you said it's too big for just the usni would say it's too big for the transatlantic relationship alone. if are going to get on the problem, we have to get back to the trilateralism that won the cold war. in other words, u.s., , europe d asia allies, japan in particular, australia and so
forth. the mechanisms we've had available to harness that trilateral cooperation among democracies in europe, north america and asia is a little bit broken. a few years ago senator rubio and others would have supported tpp. they would of moved towards ttip and debbie to reforms absolute appropriate but those trade agreements across pacific and atlantic would've given us real purchase, real leverage to manage change in china. we also have g7, the u.s. will host the g7 summit and the united states in the coming year. canada, japan and europe speak i know where it's not going to be. >> so my question is how do we build on your speech and ideas and really trilateral lies this strategy again to get japan, australia asia and europe and asia, with loss some of those. >> that's a good observation. first of all a lot of us supported tpp and we thought
that was the way to go but i let you in a little secret on the president which is a much of a secret, and that is he really likes bilateral agreements as opposed to multilateral agreements. he and i've had some robust discussions on that and had to say this, he has some very legitimate reasons why he would much rather have bilateral and multilateral agreement. i think his argument is a good argument. i think you over weights it, but nonetheless he is the president and according to the constitution he is the one who negotiates and then we come on board. in any event keep that in mind that is much more attuned to that. having said that, let's talk about asia for a minute. again, i meet with the asian countries just as much as any with the european countries, and in many ways they are just as anxious, if not more anxious, then the europeans to join with
us, to join with the united states of america to push back along the lines i described in a speech i just gave. they are anxious. they want to be partners to do this. i suppose it makes sense because they're right there on the doorstep and they see these things even closer than we see them. so look, i don't think the opportunity is lost. i think it's up there. i the president is going to view those probably much more in a bilateral and multilateral way, but again he has had some real -- heat that some successes that you can't disagree with. look, we start out we said he's going to redo nafta, a lot of us just because nafta has been very good to america in a lot of ways he said we can do better. it better. okay, show us. by golly he did. we helped encourage as we went down the road but he's got as big.
i hope the house does the right thing and votes for that before the first of the year. the uscma is a great agreement, that is the nafta. it will serve as well with the two largest trading partners we have in the world. we are encouraging that. but your point of bringing others on board other than europe and the united states is well taken. i spoke about europe today because, number one, that's what we're talking about, but secondly they are the most obvious part of your their cousins. most americans view europe as cousin so they're the most obvious one. >> i think in tokyo, getting the transatlantic piece of the relationship right is critical for them so it's right topic. >> senator, is any part of europe that concerns you the most related to chinese sort of economic penetration? i want to read you a headline from yesterday. greece and china hail strategic
partnership as u.s. and eu look on. this is a quote from greek prime minister, greece recognizes china that only as a great power but also as a country that has one for itself not without difficulty the leading geostrategic economic and political role and both president xi and the prime minister signed 16 memo rants and a cooperation yesterday. when a particular was on chinese energy investments in greece. are you worried about greece, the western balkans, central europe, the uk? >> fourth of all i read that same, i read several stories along those lines. i think was this morning i read them but let me tell you what went through my mind when i read them. whenever that particular story. it didn't raise in my mind cosh, are we more vulnerable in one country that another. what went through my mind is how vulnerable economically challenged countries are to the
siren of china's money. money as we all know dictates lots and lots of stuff, and what it harkens in my mind, but before i go off on a tangent here, there are countries in europe that are more challenged than others financially here and certainly greece as we know has been very, very difficult times. i use greece an example all the time. i tell people we've got to america that because you can take a look, if you go back years, look at egypt, rome, greece. these were fantastic cultures and all three of them now have a tin cup. cannot happen in america? don't tell me it can't happen here. it's happened before and it can happen again. greece is one of those challenges and money is something that people are tempted, greatly tempted when you hold out cash. and what went through my mind
when i read that story was also, gosh, you think it's that in europe, you ought to go to africa. i'll tell you, their handful of little bit of money goes a long way for them in africa. >> quick follow-up before to affect over to mike. when we ask a european nation that all repurchased a lot of huawei equipment and were saying we move it, does the u.s. have an imperative to offer an alternative? i feel like that's what's missing. where is the u.s., or credible alternative to a huawei in your? >> as a general proposition whenever you tell someone you want -- they have to be doing something different you want to give them an alternative. those of us who are dialed in on intelligence staff have been worried about huawei long, long time ago as they were putting their stuff out into the various countries. what look to us as a very cheap
deal, low cost. so you wonder why is china doing that? it's not because they feel good about another country, so we've always been worried about it. we warned everybody as 5g started that china was going to do what america really doesn't do. china took all of its resources, all of its technologies to put into one basket to develop 5g. we have competing companies and it's not easy for us to do those kinds of things, which are right. there should be alternatives put on the table. but what i would say is, i've got to be careful how i say this, from an intelligence standpoint but for those of us who work in this, the possible downsides from an intelligence standpoint of using huawei type technology or equipment outweighs about everything. >> that would be the view, articulate view within u.s.
which you mention in australia and japan and vietnam and mongolia. you at all markets are countries with huawei huawei and it's soe between 45 and 60%. that's a basis for somebody to come together. >> the question about it but again 5g has a real draw. >> let me ask you, the european views of china are converging largely with what you here in washington or in some of the allied capitals in asia, but the european statement you referenced in march which had that striking phrase, europe is a systemic competition with china, also at language about the need to cooperate more with china. my sense is we have a chance to converge our strategies but part of european ask to us is okay, what is you is prepared with china? you mention fentanyl and north korea. do you see areas where soon or
maybe somewhere down the road we could make the case to our european friends we are also prepared to cooperate with china? >> first of all, look, as i said in my speech at all engagement with china is bad. china has got along cultural history that people are interested in, and those kinds of things are important but they also got 1.3 billion people and those people are consumers. so as a result of that we have in the past that our best to try to cooperate on trade at a think that will happen going forward. what's holding up trade now in my judgment is not so much the numbers and the tariffs that are put on, but china has got to develop a rule of law when it comes to handling intellectual property. it must do that. not only must it develop a rule
of law, it must commit to the enforcement of the rule of law, and they've got to do it by embracing international norms in that regard. if they do not and if we don't insist that they do this, this is going to be a very long 21st century. not only for america, not only for europe, but for the entire world. you can't have a rogue nation that just takes what it wants without using fairness as a foundation for compensating people for intellectual property took intellectual property when it comes to value is no different than hard property, hard assets. it has the same value and, indeed, many cases more value than hard property does. people wouldn't stand still if there went out took something that they went out and try to take the mona lisa out of france, people would be up in arms. but when they come in and take microchip technology, it doesn't
have the same appeal. but it needs to have the same appeal because modern business, modern industry, modern going forward really relies on technology. so ip is extremely important. >> quick question. turning towards nato, nato leaders will gather in early december in london as you mentioned in your speech. there will be issuing a report on china. do you believe it is safe for nato forces to go through chinese majority owned ports? is that okay? >> i guess when you say safe, i don't know whether you're talking about kinetic safety of whether you're talking about theft of intellectual property safety. >> surveillance. >> surveys and safety? look, militaries so fail other militaries. i don't think anybody is naïve on that. having said that, i think worried about espionage that is
not of the kind that is ordinarily practiced. one would want to be cautious of that. believe me, we've got 17 intelligence agencies that are very tuned in to those including all the defense intelligence agencies. they are really good at taking care of themselves in that regard so i don't have that worry. but having said that, i think everyone needs to be aware of what they're running into. >> you mention shin jong in your speech and i was just in southeast asia. you go into indonesia, pakistan, muslim majority country. yet the idea china is doing anything wrong in shin jong which is remarkable which makes it all the more important free societies, , u.s., europe in particular are speaking out as you did about human rights and democracy. are there ways we can do more, do you think of its particular, european parliament the spoken,
is a legislative dimension to this across the atlantic are other ways we can -- shined a spotlight on china with a? >> i don't know about legislation but what that tells us is as much as anything is the cultural divide between communism and our democracy. the chinese don't really believe they're doing anything wrong. they believe their acting the best interest of all society. that's not right. they don't have culturally on an individual basis having been brought up like we have through u.s. culture that individual has rights, that the individual has rights in many instances quickly overcome the rights of a society. we charge a person with a crime
than ever in town knows commit the crime but unless they can prove it, the person goes free. that doesn't happen in china to capably knows a guy commits a he can go to prison. the same is true whether it is practiced of religion or whether it's coming together to have meetings. it's a different thought process, it really is. happily what's going on there is probably underscores the size of the challenge that we face just because the cultures are so different. >> we both served in the bush administration and id point on asia policy in the white house at the nsc. i can tell you at that point i think it's still true when our chinese friends on the u.s., canada, europe, the eu were wie together about human rights issues, boy, did that get their attention. it's just us, just japan urges
britain for something they can isolate. when we speak on this in one voice is pretty powerful. maybe less than it was in xi jinping's day, but pretty powerful. >> you absolutely right. as we lead the way, we the united states, europe lead the way on this, and the rest of the world is coming along, slower sometimes than what we want, but we are leading the way and not so much governments but as populations see what we're doing and they come to buy under this culture, that will make it tougher and tougher and tougher on china to try to do that. we need to stay the course in that regard. >> we discuss some great questions from audience 11 -- >> in on impeachment? >> none. one specifically on the comments on human rights and looking at this information. when will the hong kong human rights and democracy act reached the senate floor? and have been discussions on signals from the administration
about whether the president will sign this into law, and is it depend on developments in the u.s.-china economic talks, , tre talks? >> the last, in my mind, the last question i'm going to say absolutely not. when is the bill going to get to the senate floor? we're having a a difficult timn the senate floor as you know. our rules are not really modern rules, things move slowly there. we got a real tough time because of the confirmation primarily, so we have to pick and choose add to what we actually can run. as you know i'm a cosponsor of that, strong proponent of that legislation. i got a lot of staff here that actively involved in that and we want it moved. tomorrow with actually having a needing on trying to get some scheduling done on that. the world needs to see the united states will stand up and
say look, this is wrong. we stand with the people of hong kong. i don't care if we lose a few nba games over the as a bother me in the least. we need to stand up on this one. >> thank you so much for your comments. another question pulls back on the larger picture. this is the collective we, about american leadership engaging with our closest allies and partners to meet a growing challenge. the question is, what is the impact of american international leadership withdrawal, including from the paris climate of course, a military withdrawal in syria? does that broader american leadership picture impact and hinder what you been arguing this afternoon, which is when you do show to show leadershipr it's human rights and work against this common challenge? >> that's a really good question. of course it were i do i do it different than a lot of people do. i i take these transactionally n an individual basis.
look, we are the 800-pound gorilla on this planet right now. and can do things that other people can't do and maintain the power and the view of us that we can't -- let me give you a good example. i was in the room when the president made the decision on the drone that i ranted down. he president, i've never been about a person who is more comfortable in their own skin when it comes to decision-making. decision-making. when it came to that decision he was a somber as i've ever seen. he gathered a small group of us there and wanted to get all of our thoughts on it, eczematous closely, played devil's advocate. he asked the question, we give a recommendation. as you know he did not take a specific kinetic reaction to that. i think most of the countries if
that would've happened, i think the iranians what it said, aha, here's a guy whose week, a country he it was weak. i think our status in the world still maintain just in deposition that boy, if you're going to push the envelope, be really careful how far you push it here if you push it just a scotian too far, it's going to be a problem. i really don't think on the paris climate accord i'm opposed to it. i encourage the president to get out of it. i would like to see such an accord, but as i i told the oba administration to don't do this by yourself. we have three branches of government here are contagious. it going to have an agreement the united states, it's got to be the first and the second branch of government that agrees to it. i have this discussion with my friends in europe all the time. they say you guys reached your
agreement with iran. said, no, we didn't. what are you talking about? we had no agreement with iran. president obama had an agreement with iran. they said -- no, it's not. our constitution is black and white. the president can negotiate all these things he wants. you don't bind the united states until two-thirds. what it does is it gives america the full power, the full buy-in of an agreement. that's i do agreement. when he came to the gc poa, no agreement between iran and the united states. sometimes i convinced europeans sometimes that you should. and say i don't get it. look, you don't get let me ask you this. i have no idea how your country finds itself to another country. i know how our country does. the jcpoa didn't do it. it takes the two-thirds vote on the floor of the city. some of them bought off with and
some don't. look, the situation in syria was another situation that the president did what he did. i think the thing was somewhat misunderstood. i think the fact that we are maintaining troops where we are maintaining troops on eastern side of syria maintains what we need in order to respond to a terrorist activity within syria. and i'm not comfortable -- uncomfortable with where we finally landed. i think again the way it was done, i can see people were a little bit nervous about it. i'm happy what we are. >> we will let the senator close up and then we will thank everyone. mica, the last question. >> a question from someone in the audience who asked, china sets thirty-year goals while we
think and four your presidential and six year senator will terms which actually seems generous. the argument goes short terms. how do we articulate a vision that will get americans who are age 15-35 invested in a long-term competition with china? how you express that vision awaits what people are geared up for the long haul? >> no way i know of, where american americans. we do think in short term. it amazes me when kerry was negotiated with uranus. they were talking about this deal was going to be ten or 15 years. these people are crazy. the iranians are persians, remnants of the persian population. they think in terms of 5000 years. you're going to let them have a bomb in 15 years? happy to wait 15 years to get a nuclear weapon. that happens in cultures that are different than america. we are different. we do think in short term. i don't have an answer for that. it's just not our culture.
our entertainment industry in california thinks in terms of months, let alone years or decades or centuries. i don't have an answer for that. a good example of that is the president, the whiplash we had of going from president obama to president trump. two very, very different ways of doing business and what have you. but gosh, we've done really, really well thinking chortle over the last 242 years or whatever it's been. >> i was going to rephrase the question and say without worrying too much about our attention span, setting that aside for the moment and forgetting about it -- >> announced that taught me really worried about my attention span cited that. >> so you 134 elections? >> thirty-two of 34. she did pretty well on 32 of them. >> i think in a sense over the course of some decades of what the american people are up for.
let me rephrase the question. you think the american people are ready to compete with china? that's what our allies are wondering. do have a short attention span or long-term attention span? >> that's a better way of phrasing the question and i think the answer to the question is yes, but patients is not one of our strong suits in america. they are going to want much more short-term gratification and looking out like china did what, china 2025, anybody in the room not read that? you need to read that. america .25, holy mackerel, people are not thinking 2025. they are having trouble focusing on 2021 have another presidential election. but look, were americans. we live in the greatest country in the world. for all the complaints we have and all the flaws that we have, we as a people are living better
and for your bank any human beings in the history of our humanity, which is only about 225,000 years. no one has come anywhere close to the way we are living. god bless america and god bless the system we have and the founding fathers put in place. thank you all for having me here today. >> thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]