tv Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo- Pacific Security Affairs Others... CSPAN November 4, 2019 11:35am-1:44pm EST
people were exposed to russian manipulation attempts in the 2016 election. 20 million people on instagram, 10 million tweets on twitter to 6 million followers. we know russia attacked voting systems in all 50 states. we know they targeted misinformation at specific people. we know 27% of voting age americans saw misleading information. what we don't know is what effect if any any of this had on the election, on the 2018 midterms, what effect it will have in 2020, and not just in the united states but liberal democracies around the world. tonight on the commune kairts on c-span 2. a pentagon official overseeing china policy says u.s. competition is them is a challenge. randal schieber explained why we're competing with china
during a speech at the brookings institution in washington, d.c. after he spoke, china policy experts talked about china's regional power. and president xi jing ping's leadership. good morning. my name is bruce jones. i'm the vice president and the director for foreign policy here at brookings. it is my pleasure to welcome you here. i see lots of old friends in the audience and several new ones. it's a pleasure to invite you to our event. i'm delighted to welcome randy
back to brookings. we've been fortunate to engage him on several aspects of our policy research. and while he's been serving in the administration since 2017, and randy, thank you for your service to our country and the important role you play in this administration. randal schreiber was appointed on jan 8th, 2018, prove lees having served for east asian and pacific affairs under which portfolio he covered china, taiwan, hong kong and aus tailia, all the easy stuff. earlier he held the role of -- also served as an active duty naval intelligence officer in desert shield and desert storm. beyond his government career, he's been a leading thinker on a range of issues that play into the u.s.-china relationship and he's been a robust voice on that
asking critical questions to help manage and shape american policy in the region. and with that background, we couldn't ask for anybody better to join us today as we continue to role out our project on global china. i think we all recognize now that china has emerged as a global actor impacting every region in the world on almost every issue. it's cast aside its strategy of hide and bide and is assertively seeking influence not only in asia but well beyond. the effort of this project is to capture a baseline assessment of that role. it draws on our deep bench of east asia and chain e perts and pulls on the expertise in the strategy, regional, technologies and economic skold scholars to try to capture the full scope. it will capture research, strategic competition, frontier technologies, critical regions,
and approach to global governance and norms. today we'll have two sessions. mike al arca cast will chair a discussion. then we'll have a panel that draws on three sets of the papers that are being launched or are still underway today. audrey wong who contributed to a paper looking at the future of chinese foreign policy, chung lee and -- looking at the domestic drivers. and rush doe shooe on the strategic competition. before i invite randy to the stage, two further notes from me. it is of course campaign season which means the think tankers are off trying to influence political campaigns as well as doing their day jobs. and at brookings we disclose all of that. you can find on our websites their affiliations. it is an important part of how they which about policy impact to put our research into the
lifeblood of the campaigns. as of now we have scholars add vooiszings the biden, warren, buttigieg, and those on leave working in the trump administration. all of this has seen scholars from the foreign policy program serve in the state department of every president since nixon, both republican and democrat. of course nixon tried to firebomb us. second i would like to thank the ford foundation for its support to this project which has not only allowed us to do this but to communicate broadly to the scholarly community and to policy makers that we hope will use the evidence and find and have a baseline approach, empircal approach to china policy which will be a defining feature of american policy in the coming generations. let me welcome randy schreiber to the stage to give some hoping
remarks. >> great. thanks, bruce. thank you for the invitation to return to brookings. and i really appreciate being part of this rollout of this impressive project. been following some of the papers that have already been released. but hearing your two-year plan to help us really both deep dive and really baseline this enormous challenge is really encouraging to know that you've got this project underway. and thanks for allowing me to speak as a part of that. what i thought i would do is talk about our approach to china, our competition. what i thought i would do is go into a little bit more detail on sort of the fundamentals of this policy. a lot of people sort of jump right into, we're in strategic competition or a competitive environment, without talking
about the fundamentals. what are we competing for? how is it different from confrontation or conflict? if i could take a few moments to do a deep dive and explain our perspective from the department of defense, i hope it would sit the stage for a discussion that would follow with you. respect to our strategic competition, we believe that it is a major element of our strategy. we feel as though we are in competition fundamentally because we have different visions, different aspirations, different views of what regional and global security architecture should look like. if you're familiar with our national security strategy, national defense strategy and our d.o.d. indo fa-pacific we t about a free and open
indo-pacific. it's founded upon what we regard as enduring principals and principles nearly universal and widely shared and believe that they're principles that benefit all countries if countries embrace them. these include respect for national sovereignty no matter a country's size, fair free and resip roecall trade, rule of laws and rules based order and peaceful dispute resolution. we fundamentally believe each nation must be free to determine its own course, and we believe all countries can both benefit and participate in preserving a rules based order. we observe that china under the leadership of the ccp has a different vision. as i said, different aspirations that is increasingly developing the tools to pursue its vision, and it seems willing to accept more and more friction in pursuit of that vision.
we are competing with china therefore because we see china's leaders have assessed that they're in competition with us, both our ideas and our capabilities. globally china seeks to shape a world consistent with its author tain model and national goals. we see that domestic governance in china as a result of ccp rule is increasingly author tain and less respectful for human rights and dignity. and that they are even beginning to export some of these tools such as facial recognition software and nation wood surveillance capabilities to other countries who are learning from china's gone nance model. we're concerned it's growing more willing to apply pressure against other countries and accept friction into pursuit of its vision. we observe china using influence operations to interfere in their domestic politics of others threatening internal stability
using economic coercion. we've seen that in mongolia, australia and canada, promoting theft of technologies, exporting the most effective tools from its tool kit to other nations for surveillance and potential use for internal repression. we see them exfendetending military presence overseas and expanding the one belt one road to include military ties with china. and we see deploying weapons, despite pledges at the senior most level that they would not do so. in d.o.d. we focus on the military component of the china's growing global activities and take china at their word. they seek to be a world class military by 2049 and they are making progress toward that goal. the department of military developments in china as seeking
to erode u.s. military add vangz. they're working to become a preeminent power while sim ul tainiusly under tagging plans to expand and develop capabilities to sustain operations farther from chinese shores. we see them widening the operational reach to match what its leaders consider to be the global nature of china's economic and national interests. press reporting indicates that china has sought to expand its military and access in the middle east, southeast asia and the western pacific. chairman xi jin pichk himself has called for the completion of a security system to strengthen it's overseas interest to secure the security of oversees projects and personnel. it's defense minister has decided it's a framework to increase its military cooperation with other countries. while our competition with china takes place on various levels,
at the most fundamental and basic level what we're really competing for is to sustain a position within the regional and international system which allows us to promote, spore a rules based order which has fostered peace for decades. all of this matters because if the ccp and china were to be successful in its approach, the world could look much different. states will finally have less control over their decisions. institutions could become less independent and effective such as ausin and others. freedom in the seas and over flight of the indo-pacific may be challenged, the freedom of those bodies of water. we could also see a normalization of the lack of respect for individual and human rights. all of this portends a less free and less open and more untable
indo-pacific region with these trends to manifest on a global scale. as i said, we view competition as being different than confrontation and conflict, a competitive strategy is not meant to lead us to conflict. for the united states, we seek to maintain competition as a stable deterntd that avoids conflict. while we compete vigorously with china, we're aimed at reducing risks. we'll cooperate with china where our interests align while competing within a rules based framework where our interests diverge. and we will continue to call out china's behaviors that are counter to that rules based order. briefly, d.o.d.'s response and as i said changing our mindset, we seek to refain the advantage and play to our strengths. we want to deter china and to improve our capacity to deter
and prevail at the outset of a crisis. meeting the china challenge requires this fundament of shift in mindset of our establishment. we are no longer in a period of overwhelming american dominance but rather one in which our armed forces are adapting to fight against near peer competitors who are fielding sophisticated capabilities. instead of expecting to dominate, we're learning to expect to be contested. our national defense strategy in our indo-pacific strategy within the department focuses on a couple of pillars that will be key enablers for us to succeed, namely the first two pillars of our national defense which include building a more lethal joint force and strengthening our partnerships. the first line, preparing a more resilient joint force takes into
account the scope and pace of our competitors -- prioritizes investment in modernizing key u.s. capabilities across a range of domains. our nuclear forces, space, missile defense, and looks at how our force can be resilient in having more access options, dispursal opportunities and adaptive basing. we're changing how we organize for long-term strategic approved the establishment of a new deputy secretary of defense for china. this position is both outward looking and inward looking. the inward part being to help us drive alignment on china across the department as we carry out our national defense strategy and its implementation. the second line of effort in our national defense strategy is strengthening alliances and attracting new partners.
america's alliances and partnerships are crucial and durable asymmetric advantage that no other country can match. for countries that value a rules-based order the strongest way we can demonstrate our support for these principles is the action we take, both individually and together, to uphold a free and open region. our alliances and partnerships are important for a myriad of reasons. for example, there is inherent trust and confidence building that comes with combined training and interoperability. militaries that train together and trust one another are more adaptive. in this vein, the department is expanding collaborative planning, and training for high-end combat missions in alliance, bilateral and multi-lateral exercises. we look to strengthen both traditional partners and relationships such as japan and we are working to integrate our national defense strategy with japan's national defense program guidelines. and we're also working very
intently and seriously on important emerging relationships, such as with india, singapore, indonesia and vietnam. the ten asean members and u.s. navy forces tested key maritime security tasks during our first ever annual what we hope now is annual, u.s./asean maritime exercise last month. we're also enhancing our engagement in areas such as the pacific islands to preserve a free and open order. and we have enhanced our engagement in the freely associated states and beyond in that regard. beyond the indo-pacific, the department is engaging partners across the globe and we have brought the china challenge into our discussions in europe and the middle east, for example. china and others recognize our advantages and are actively working to disrupt our alliances and partnerships in these key areas.
but we, nonetheless, see strong interest in greater alignment on these challenges from our partners. we are also exercising with our partners in real world operations to include enforcement of the sanctions against north korea. japan hosts the enforcement coordination cell, a command center of eight countries to include south korea, australia, canada, new zealand, the united kingdom, japan and france. we're all committed to enforcing the u.n. security council resolutions. we're also working with our partners in the maritime spaces to include the south china sea and are working with partners to build capacity through initiatives such as the maritime security initiative, which has boosted key partners' abilities and helped them conduct maritime
security and awareness operations. we're also part of a whole of government approach, which is allied and partner centric in response to china's expanding influence and coercion and their interest in acquiring and advantaging themselves in the high-tech area. we have ongoing deep conversations with our allies about protection of the innovation base and about the risks associated with new technology, such as 5g. to conclude, the unfolding i long-term strategic competition with china is the defining challenge of our generation and we embrace that at dod. our current trajectory is largely driven by the ambitions and choices of chairman xi and the ccp elite, the acquisition of capabilities to apply toward realizing those ambitions and the current policy choices and actions which demonstrate active pursuit of those ambitions. we remain open to changing this trajectory and our vision for
free and open indo-pacific is inclusive for any country, china included, who choose to support the enduring principles embedded in our vision. but we should be clear that we do understand these to be consequential times and consequential decisions must be taken. the costs associated with complacency could be extremely high. but the benefits of competing well and competing to prevail are equally high. with that, i look forward to the conversation with ryan and the questions and discussion that may follow. thank you. [ applause ]
first of all, assistant secretary, thank you for being here with us and providing a rich overview of the work that is being done in your area of responsibility at the pentagon. i want to give the audience a chance to jump in, because i know there are a lot of questions that they would like to pose to you. but before i turn it over to this distinguished group, i did want to ask you a few scene-setting questions building upon your comments today. first, you talked a bit about the u.s./china military-to-military relationship. i was wondering if you could take us into the engine room a little bit of that. how is it working and is it being insulated from ups and downs in the overall relationship, or is it a derivative of it? >> well, we continue to hear from our chinese interlockers they want the relationship to be stabilizing force in the overall relationship. we welcome that. so we have maintained a robust level of engagement to include high-level engagement. i think 2018 was the first year on record where there was both a
visit to china and a counterpart visit in the same calendar year. so by that metric, our engagement remains robust. our focus is on how we engage with china in this context of overall competition. so that places a premium on confidence-building measures, on safety of operations, so things like the military maritime consultative agreement, other measures that help us to ensure a safe operating environment, while we know we operate in close proximity to one another with greater frequency, how we make sure there's no unintended incident or accident. so that continues. i plan to go to china next week, so our policy talks continue, our emphasis on confidence-building measures and safety conditions. so, there are -- i see many old-timers in the audience. we're more insulated from the
political ups and downs than we used to be, and i think that's a good thing. >> i agree. that's great. strategic competition was a theme of your presentation. it's also one of the themes of this event today. can you talk to us a little bit about where that competition is felt most acutely in your day-to-day work, and also where you expect your successor ten years from now in 2029 to field the competition most acutely? >> so i would say there's an inside aspect to that and an external aspect. the inside aspect is we're doing a lot to drive the defense enterprise into alignment for this long-term competition. i mentioned the standing up of a new dazde. a lot of that is to help us with the joint staff and services as they make their respective decisions to make sure that it's appropriate for the competition and the environment that we see. the external piece is, again, working with allies and partners. we do think that that's an asymmetrical advantage that
just can't be matched. and, of course, also some contested areas, south china sea, some relationships that might be contested where china has ambitions where we want to invest more. so i mentioned the pacific islands and parts of southeast asia. so it's playing out, you know, we're sort of building the airplane as we're flying it, if you will, because we're in a competitive environment now. but to get to your second part of your question, i think the work inside the enterprise is the work that will continue for quite some time because the nature of our business. we buy things, you know, big programs that last decades and decisions now and in five, ten years from now will have lasting impact. so we want to be investing wisely. i mentioned some of the new domains and areas of focus in my remarks but it's a dynamic environment that could change
depending on the directions that china goes. i mean, they will largely be a pacing competitor for these decisions and we have to be dynamic and flexible and make those wise decisions along the way. >> you mentioned alliances. you've built a reputation as being a strong alliance manager, an advocate of strengthening our alliances. how are we doing? >> well, i think we have a very strong demand signal from our partners. they want largely -- well, to generalize, we see a lot of interest in stronger defense and security relations with the united states. i think we're being resourced for that. and resourced not only in budget terms, but how our senior most leaders are spending their time and attention. secretary esper just took his first trip to the indo-pacific region as confirmed secretary. he's the second secretary in a row to do that. secretary mattis did the same. so i think we're making the
investments, we've got the demand signal, as i said, and we're trying to meet countries where they are. we have more advanced and mature alliances. i mentioned japan and the work we're doing to align our national defense strategies and what the implementation will look like. we have emerging partners who are not allies, but a place like vietnam. we poll 92% favorable as a country in vietnam. i've been to vietnam five times, i'll be going next week and then i'll return with the secretary. so that will be seven trips to vietnam in two years, if that's any metric. so, i think we're doing okay. you know, we've got a region that china plays very prominently in. and they have the ability to use economic weight and their own diplomacy. so, it is a competitive environment. and then we have a different approach to issues like trade, which also i think some of our partners are trying to get their
hands around and understand the trajectory of that. so, you know, that's part of the environment we work in. but i won't give us a grade, but i would say overall we're doing pretty well on the partners and allies front. >> good. you mentioned polling. vietnam is a bright spot, 92% favorable rating for the united states. other allies have a slightly different picture. pew polling in our allies in the region has shown that support for -- or favorable ratings for china has gone down considerably, but for the united states it has gone down as well. this is evident in -- primarily in australia, but in other places as well. how does that affect your day-to-day job? >> well, some of it is understandable. when you talk about burden sharing, that's a stress in the partnerships that will sometimes be reflected in public sentiment. but it's something that's important to the president and i think previous administrations as well, but i think this administration has been more aggressive in trying to pursue equitable burden sharing.
some of the countries we're going -- australia, i don't know the exact numbers, but i would guess we're going from high 80s favorable to low 80s, high 70s favorable. you can fact-check me on that. some places like the philippines, we have a different kind of leader there who makes a lot of public commentary on the united states. yet we remain over 80% favorable in the philippines. maybe we're down historically, but still quite high. so it's an important metric but not the only metric. we need to pursue the president's goals on burden sharing and things of that nature, as we're doing what we think we need to do to compete with china. >> right. while we're on the topic of alliances, japan/korea is a relationship that appears to be in a downward spiral at the moment. you've spoken publicly about this recently. can you just give us a sense of where we are, where the bottom
is in this freefall, and what role the united states can or should play in seeking to bring our allies back together. >> i was meeting with a prominent chinese scholar. i won't say his name. but he remarked on the growing tensions between japan and south korea, and he said china's very pleased about this. and i said, well, why is china pleased about this? he said, isn't it obvious? so, i think what we need to continue to remind our allies is that the countries that are benefiting from their tension is china, russia, north korea, and that's not a good place to be. we at the defense department do maintain tri-lateral relations. i believe this morning, at least -- well, i won't comment on that because i'm not sure it actually came off. but we will soon have an
opportunity at asean meeting where we'll have a tri-lateral meeting. secretary esper will meet with japan. that happened at shangri-la with acting secretary shanahan. we have regular interactions at my level, including we last met on may 9th in seoul. it was one of the days where there was a missile launch, missile test, and the south korean defense minister called the delegation leaders up into his office, previously unplanned, and said this is why we need to strengthen our defense cooperation and tri-lateral work. and he said it in japanese, by the way. the south korean defense minister is a japanese speaking minister who studied at the war college. we're trying our best to secure the relationship from the political tensions that are obviously present. i think one of the reasons we spoke out is because that was
spilling into the security tri-lateral work in an unhelpful way, but overall i think we're you doing okay. it's a tough environment for the defense ministries respectively in tokyo and seoul because of where their political leadership is on these things. but i think we ultimately are going to be driven together because of the prevailing security interests and security environment. i don't know where rock bottom is or how much time it could take, but i do see so much that pull us together. if you give the list of things that the rok and japan themselves would acknowledge they agree on, rules-based order, respect for human rights and human dignity, work in southeast asia on health issues, development assistance. you know, the list is quite long. so we'll play a role if we can. i mean, there's some suggestion we haven't been engaged enough at a high level. i can tell you secretary esper
in both capitals spent considerable time on this, secretary pompeo has, former national security adviser bolton before he left office spent time on this. and we're open to other ways we could be a constructive party here. what typically happens is one country asks us to go straighten out the other country and tell them why they're wrong. so should we be a more active mediator? if both sides can agree on what that looks like and if it could be a constructive role. but we're open to finding ways to help bring the two sides closer together. >> if i could just ask one more question and then i will turn it over to our colleagues here. taiwan is an issue that you've spent considerable time on and thought about deeply and worked on it for many years. right now beijing is intensifying pressure on taiwan, particularly in the run-up to a presidential election in january. what should the u.s. response be
to that intensifying pressure? >> well, i think we've got the framework through the taiwan relations act that gives a lot of flexibility to enhance certain aspects of our approach. we've made some decisions recently on security assistance that was consistent with the law and the growing threat from china. i think this is a particularly tense period because of the election, so we're doing certain things to support a fellow democracy in carrying out a free, fair and non-coerced election, so i think there's very little doubt that the chinese will seek to meddle in that election. they tried it in each of taiwan's previous elections. in 1996 it was missile exercises and in 2006 a finger-wagging. this time i think it's a little more sophisticated with the use
of social media and cyber means. so, we're supporting taiwan as a fellow democracy, interested in seeing free, fair, uncoerced elections, particularly on the cyber piece. but over the longer stretch, certainly we'll need to continue to be that good security partner, good economic partner and preserve space for taiwan to keep its unique status until the two sides are in a better place to work things out between them. >> thank you. i would like to turn it open now to any questions. we'll take two or three at a time. we'll start out with this gentleman with the tie. >> dave lawler from axios. >> mr. assistant secretary, you said in your remarks that china recognizes the advantages that the u.s. has and its alliances and partnerships and is seeking
to undermine our counter that. i was wondering if you could expand on that idea. thanks. >> thank you. if we could go to the gentleman in the back. >> thank you, secretary. with the news agency of hong kong. assistant secretary, did you watch the web live of the military parade in beijing today? what's your take on that? thank you. >> let's take one more question from this lady with the red. >> from radio free asia and i have a question on north korea. the united states and north korea are going to resume negotiations this saturday and how would you assess the u.s./china cooperation on getting north korea to give up
the nuclear programs? and will actually the chinese foreign minister in his united nations speech mentioned about the sanctions relief to north korea, so how do you assess the u.s./china cooperation on north korea. >> just in order, on military alliances, it relates to the comment that i conveyed from the chinese scholar that china benefits when there's tension between our allies and tension between us and an ally, and as a result, will seek to drive wedges and find those opportunities. a lot of times it's through their economic weight. a lot of times it's about, in the information space, there's quite a bit about the united states being an unreliable partner, a sort of capricious power who will be drawn back into the middle east and this
interest in the region is fleeting. so they do it in a variety of ways. i think that's just part of the overall competitive environment and why it doesn't bother me as an assistant secretary that places a premium on our alliance relationships and providing that reassurance and explaining where the benefit is and continuing a strong alliance and keeping it moving forward. that's fine, that's a burden i carry with no hesitation. the military parade -- or the national day events, i went home and spent time with my four kids and family. i did not watch it. i'm seeing some reports on it and it seems likes there's an impressive display and it's meant to send a signal, i suppose, internally and externally. so, we'll do the postgame analysis on it, but i think it's
in line with expectations. and then the last question was about -- >> north korea. >> north korea and china's cooperation in particular. i think we believe china can do a little better on the sanctions enforcement and cooperating with us in an overall effort to get north korea to the negotiating table in a constructive way. we've seen some slippage on sanctions enforcement, and we are willing to work with china to strengthen that enforcement effort. i've said this, probably people have heard this story, but secretary shanahan, then acting secretary, went to shangri-la and he presented defense minister wa with a gift. he and said, i have a gift for you. he was very pleased with that.
he handed himd a picture book of north korean illegal illicit ship-to-ship transfers happening in chinese territorial waters. that was the gift. but the gift came with an offer. we would be haeb to work with you on cushing this. we can hand off targets at the 12 nautical mile territory and hand it over to you. we can do something more robust if that's of interest. we would like to work with china on this. but right now what we see is actually chinese vessels shadowing our forces that are trying to enforce the sanctions, rather than enforcing the sanctions themselves. and so we hope that they can change the course of that and do a little better on sanctions enforcement. >> thank you. we have time, i think, for two or so more questions. we'll start out with this gentleman here. >> david little with herding cats. is china trying to insert its
role into the conflict between pakistan and india over the kashmir, and how are they doing that? >> this woman over here. >> my name is liz kim. i'm a reporter with voice of america. assistant secretary, you said earlier that china was happy about frictions about south korea and japan and my question is more about bilateral relationship between u.s. and south korea. the two countries have been suspending the large-scale military exercise for long and recently south korea has requested the u.s. to expedite the handover of more than half of the bases of the united states military in the korea.
does that send wrong signal to china, that the weakening sign of u.s. and south korea relationship? >> so, we have a question on, i think, india, kashmir, and south korea. >> okay. well, china has a longstanding relationship with pakistan and they have growing competition with india. i think india seeks a stable relationship with china. we have an important visitor this week after prime minister modi's big event in texas and then his work at the u.n., foreign minister has stayed behind and we're having consultations with him. and we've talked about the relationship with china. they want a stable relationship with china. but there's no doubt there's growing concern and competition there as well. so, i think on a range of issues, to include kashmir, china has leaned toward pakistan.
they've supported pakistan in international. there's some discussion about whether or not kashmir would be taken up in the u.n. china would support that. but in terms of something beyond that or more active, i don't see it. i think many have concerns that pakistan keep a lid on militant groups that might conduct cross-border activities as a result of the kashmir decisions, and i don't sense that china wants that kind of conflict or would support that. so i think it's mostly diplomatic and political support. with respect to south korea and our relationship, you know, it is a long-standing and deep alliance, and we have issues from time to time. but it's a very strong alliance. when we look at something like op-con transfer, the remarkable thing is we are pursuing it and talking about it. i mean, we're talking about one
of the most dangerous areas in the world and we're actually involved in a process that will ultimately lead to south korea being in charge of combined forces that include u.s. forces. that's a pretty significant statement of confidence in the alliance. now, we think it has to be conditions-based because of the seriousness of the security environment there and the need to ensure that we're as capable and prepared as possible. and so when we look at things like command structure, when we look at things like certain key capabilities for that contingency, we're going to be pretty insistent that south korea acquires those capabilities before we agree to the transfer and not be tied to any political calendar. on the exercises, we made some adjustments. president trump felt that it was important to make an adjustment to give our diplomats space to work on this issue. i would just tell you that in a combined environment, what you
really want to stress and test is decision-making. how you in a crisis make decisions in a combined environment. and you can do that through simulation and through war gaming and command post type exercises. we can train on all the other mission essential tasks in ways that are lower profile, some off the peninsula, some just smaller elements, training on the mission essential tasks. so i think if general abrams were here -- in fact, i know if he were here because he's testified before congress, we have made these adjustments to give our diplomats space, but give them high readiness and still ready for the emerging challenges. if there are further adjustments, which i'm not aware there's any plan to do that. we would want to maintain the same kind of readiness. and again, it's really focused on the decision-making combined environment where we need to be excellent. and so i think we're able to do
that. >> well, mr. secretary, thank you for spending time with us this morning. i promised your staff i would allow you to return to your day job at 10:15. that time has come. on behalf of all my colleagues, thank you for giving us such a clear and valuable insight into what's happening in the region. >> thanks. >> great. appreciate it. [ applause ] >> we will have your next panel join us on stage momentarily.
with us today. my name is tarun chhabra, i'm a fellow with our project international order and strategy and also at the security and emerging technology. we have a stellar panel to reflect both on the remarks that you just heard from assistant secretary shriver and also to talk a little bit more about china's growing global influence. we're not going to have any prepared remarks. we're going to jump right in. before i do, it is brookings and i want to hawk the papers that we just published. so the papers that we published in this tranche of the project are focused on domains and strategic competition and then the domestic drivers behind some of china's foreign policy moves. so among those papers today that i hope you'll take a look at, we have dan writing about china's approach to counterterrorism policy, including what it's doing in shen zan today.
mike oe han lan writing about china in the gray zone. he has a paper focused particularly on what escalation could like like in the senkaku islands. caitlyn talmage has written a book about nuclear competition between the united states and china. david dollar has a paper about china china's. and we have written a paper with china's overseas ambitions, and then on the domestic drivers front we have with us today cheng li who has written about xi's transformation as a populist and what that means for china's foreign policy. jamie has written a great paper on the shift in china's legal development and the growing role of the party in that. and then rush has contributed to a prior tranche in this series, which was focused on continuity and change in china's foreign
policy and what role president xi has played in it. and so has audrey as well, where her focus has been on economic state craft. let's jump right in. rush, i want to start with you because i think a lot of current debate about the united states' policy towards china, and also how many other countries around the world are reacting to china's rise really turns on what you think china wants. what kinds often resources and risks china is willing to wager to achieve some of those ambitions, which is essentially a debate about what many would call china's grand strategy. and there's a lot of debate about what that grand strategy is. so, i want to pose to you a question that has three parts. so, the first is, tell us first what the contours of that debate about china's grand strategy look like. second, what are some sign posts that we should be looking for, particularly in the domains of strategic competition that we're focusing on today, whether
that's in economic and infrastructure development or security competition or the clash of values. and third, picking up on some remarks that the assistant secretary made this morning, you know, he said the current trajectory of u.s./china relations is really being driven by president xi. so, tell us a little bit about how xi has shifted china's grand strategy, if he has. >> thanks, tarun. the first question is basically about grand strategy. it's an abstract term. i think we all know what we mean when we use that term. many of us think of it as the coordination of multiple different instruments of state craft to achieve an overarching objective. that coordination is extremely hard to pull off. that coordination is taken off with a $12 trillion economy, rapid military force, robust operations. it has pretty significant implications. that's what we mean by grand
strategy. why is matters is because it's so hard to do when you pull it off you can reshape global politics. i think you can debate that into two categories. on one hand individuals would say it doesn't have a grand strategy. i call them the skeptics. on the other side you have people who say it does have a grand strategy, or the believers. i would say the believers, people who believe china has a grand strategy has not attempted true persuasion and the skeptics remain unpersuaded. why is that the case? we have a lot of work come out recently arguing china has a long-term plan. but a lot of those works don't get deep in the weeds. they're more commercial works, a little more glib. they're not getting into chinese sources or looking at chinese behaviors in a serious, rigorous way. on the other side people who don't think they have a grand strategy say it's too complicated. we don't think china even knows what it wants. they would say it doesn't have a clear decision-making process that makes it easy for them to
actually implement whatever it is they decide they do want. there are vested interests that corrupt the pursuit of national interests. that there's nationalism, which occasionally prevents china from pursuing a more focused strategic set of objectives. i don't agree with all of those objections. i think china has a grand strategy but that's the current debate. tarun asks for it is sign posts to look for. how do we know if china has a grand strat dwi? i think there are three things you look at. do they have a set of ideas about the ends, the ways and means to accomplish strategic objectives and how they should be combined. then you look at capability. can they pull it off? it's really hard to pull off a grand strategy. do they have the ability to override vested interests, parochial interests, et cetera. and then you look at conduct. are they taking actions consistent with what we think those concepts are. and i think the answer is yes and hopefully i can get into the weeds later but i want to answer the question at the top level
first. what would we expect to see if china really had a grand strategy. one question, one big debate is its focus region ol or global? does china reach regional dominance or displace the united states globally? that's a big question. it's very difficult to resolve. and in an empirical way. increasing the evidence that maybe they're thinking globally. you see that in the china/russia security cooperation that's gone global. not just asia but the arctic and additional cooperation that takes on allies like japan and south korea. you see that in some of their efforts to shape global institutions. you see that in the discourse of the party on global governance which is the number one funded topic within the think tank system within china. it used to be maritime affairs. now it's global governance. there's all this circumstantial evidence. we should look additional for what they do in the financial space. are they going to seek to build parallel financial systems and undermine the u.s. dollar, et cetera? how much is about president xi?
in our past batch of papers we answered this very question. all of us independently, all of us coming to the same conclusion. my personal view, it's a strong view if president -- i think a lot is rooted in the party and its own vision of how global order should be arranged, how the system should be arranged, what national rejuvenation looks like. i'm happy to talk more about why i think that as we go on. thanks. >> this is a great entree into your paper. you have said that in your paper there's -- put it this way, there is a debate, as rush just described about xi's impact on foreign policy but there's a broader debate about his standing within the chinese communist party. on the one hand he's clearly consolidated his power giving himself lifetime tenure, writing himself into the constitution, as you point out in your paper appointing supporters at the
national and provencal levels of leadership, building a new populist brand and then focusing on both poverty alleviation and the development of mega cities. but then on the other side of this debate you also have analysts like richard mcgregor who focus on the backlash to xi's rules. help us better understand this debate and -- including whether there are ways in which both elements of this debate could be correct. >> well, rich is a good friend of mine. and he is a very respected scholar on chinese politics. he wrote a fascinating book a while ago called "the party." his new book talks about the backlash. i haven't looked at the new bock but i read his article in foreign affairs. now, i think it's fair to say, i think richard probably agrees with me, no one could hold the whole truth. and the thing is not so much of black and white, you know, it's
a little bit of -- the complicated -- rush may not like the word complicated. and i think that we should avoid this kind of black and white. to a certain extent based on different perspective. the title of my article i borrow e.e. cummings, the term called the pro regress. it's a combination of progress and regress. actually, i got this word when i visited shanghai at exhibition called shanghai biannual, which was last year. i also was in that museum just a few weeks ago. they use the title that is pro-regress to describe the ever-changing world. and i'm also in just the equivalent of the chinese term, which was hardly used in chinese, you know, language.
it's the term called yuvu. it's based on the daoist mysterious dance that a dance that seems like moving forward but simultaneously moving backward and vice versa. now, i think this is very important from different people's perspective. we look at the different assessments about xi jinping. now, this is also related with a harvard professor, robert putnam. he wrote about two decades ago called two levels of chess games. you know, sometimes politicians, state leaders, playing the game simultaneously domestic chess and international chess. it does not make sense if you look at one chess board it makes perfect sense. you look at two chess boards. so, that's the dynamic we should look at that. i with agree with rush that xi
jinping is too much continuation with too much talk about chinese kind of trajectories, which is not true. i think it's a continuation. he's backed a certain extent by entire leadership, the top leadership. finally, i think it's very, very important to understand that xi jinping is constantly changing environment. it's the action/reactions process. in his first term he was quite kind of conservative towards market. talk about the market reform, but after that complete jump. recently he's shifted back, started from last november. six-point policy to promote, you know, the private sector. of course, he will continue to emphasize the state role and the so-called state capitalism, et cetera. now, all these things tell us
that it's not just a simple like true or false, right or wrong. there are facts but it's important to keep that we should also look at other perspective beyond ours and be also aware there are a lot of dynamic things going on. so, this is my take about richard's excellent argument. so, for intellectuals in china, it's a backlash. for some international, you know, communities, also backlash. but, i mean, not necessary for africa, latin america, middle east, some of the people see one belt, one road is really the opportunity to promote their development. so, again, different perspective with different assessment. so, it should be not a surprise for us. but i think very important for our policymakers to appreciate that kind of different layers
and simultaneously you see progress and regress in the case of xi engine peji jinping and i extent china. >> you do talk, though, about xi jinping's populist brand. if we could play out in concrete ways thinking about some of the tensions in the u.s./china relationship right now, the trade war, reaction to the protests in hong kong, the detention of uighurs and now reports that some of this treatment of muslims in china may extend to other populations in northwest china, for example, too. how does this new brand of populism play out? what are the implications? >> certainly, these are real challenges, real problems. i don't want to underestimate these challenges. trade wars first time hit chinese middle class. and as the country has a surplus
usually were hit more. and especially china's steel, put a lot of emphasis on exports. now, but the interesting thing is xi jinping made some adjustment. in addition to what i said about promote private sector development, but also he played the card of eu and the uk and japan. there are a lot of economic development going on in that region. and also that china probably was rumored or true that the u.s. power will stop their listing of chinese companies. but china is already prepared. you look at science and technology stock market list, you know, in shanghai quickly approve. these are all preparations to deal with the trade war so that gave xi jinping some leverage. certainly, i spend a lot of time in my article talking about the country move -- on one hand xi
jinping -- which is also continuation. xi jinping is lucky enough to announce that by next year china will eliminate. he also used more policy sand of fek sfichl sa does hement and he also used the more policy kind of mechanism to dpemt use the new term position poverty elimination to announce hopefully the next year he can announce -- this makes him popular among the poor people but now he reach the middle class in the major cities. shanghai, beijing and shing jing and gong guangdong. three or four years later none of the leaders top leaders party
secretary and governor or mayors xi jinping's protege. but now majority of them are xi jinping protege. they are well positioned to carry out the delivery. on this trade front. now what's going on in hong kong are a big challenge. nationalism is on the rise, for example, just to talk about hong kong. i think chinese leader may not be as anxious as many of us here believe because for chinese leadership, why they should be too nervous? yes, it is embarrassment. but now it sounds like they get used to that. because they certainly demonize the protesters, students and blame united states, uk, west behind this kind of protest. no, it's not my view, but that's the most people in china certainly feel that probably there's some evidence for that. and also if there is incompetence, it's not beijing's
incompetence, it's the leaders. and then they blame business tycoons. so, the pressure for beijing is very, very low if you look at these kind of things going on. of course, they don't want to see that happening. but it's already happened. think they have the leverage, whether right or wrong. at the moment i do not thing this kind of thing will spread to china because xi jinping is backed by populism, nationalism, and earlier mention about national parade. certainly you can see that a tremendous discussion in china talk about china this, china is coming of age, emerging as global power. united states wants to put china down. that interpretation more and more people believe. previously intellectuals, pro-u.s. intellectuals, some cynical, but you see the switch. some people persuaded that some people in the united states want to put china down. so at this time they want to back xi jinping, back the leadership. that's the situation we enter.
this is the way to answer your question about the concern. >> i think everyone will probably want to weigh in on hong kong and xi jinping as well. jamie, i want to turn to you on the work on the china legal development. most specialists are aware that the party sits atop the state in china. but the story you tell in your contribution to our series is that under president xi the party control is consolidated and institutionalized in a fairly unprecedented way through law. and you argue that in some dimension is a legitimizing project for the party but you also warn, on the other hand, that the party's heightened involvement in state governance without corresponding legal accountability and its continued resort to exceptional extra legal measures to deal with perceived enemies may undermine the stability of expectations of trust at home and abroad the party needs to succeed.
so, tell us, why are we seeing this move now and why are we seeing it under president xi? >> thank you for the question and restating my thesis for me. i guess to start off first is the continuity piece, which everyone has been talking about. there's a lot of continuity under xi jinping in the legal area. primarily when xi jinping came in one of his first priorities was to elevate what he calls rule of law with socialist rule of law with chinese characteristics and ruling the country in accordance with law or law-based governance. so, he sort of elevated the legal project to a higher position. it's one of his four comprehensives. he devoted a whole plan to it as well. in fact, what we've seen under xi is a continuation of dung xoa ping's to both promote xik development and maintain social
stability. on the other hand, what is new and what i see as sort of a shift under xi jinping is an effort to also legalize the status of the party. so, the party is not registered under law. some people argue it has always had constitutional basis because the party is mentioned in the preamble of the state constitution which discusses the history of the prc, et cetera. but for most of the prc history, the party has not been mentioned specifically in the main body of the constitution. and this was one of the constitutional amendments that happened in march 2018 when they removed the term limits and also set up a new branch of government, the supervision commission, to take on anti-corruption responsibilities. they wrote the party into the constitution. the party's role in leadership to constitutionalize it. in addition, there's been a push to write the party and leadership role into more law
and nationally applicable regulation. so, prior to xi's term, the party was mentioned in something called the legislation law from 2000. in 2005 actually they amended the company law to require all companies, private, foreign invested and state-owned, have to establish and support party organizations. so that was already written into the company law. but under xi, the party has begun to be written into, of course, the whole suite of national security related laws they've come out with if xi's first term, but also in state council regulations as well. so, it sort of raises the question, why is the party -- why do they feel they need to do this? the party's leadership, as you note and all of us know, has always been asserted over everything, but under xi he's made a big point of asserts and making very explicit the party leadership over everything, including law and legal institutions.
but again, as rush was talking about and cheng as well, you know, there's the words and then there's the reality and the practice. what i've also seen -- and so in my area i sort of began to watch this. i follow the state society interactions, et cetera, and i began to see the party writing itself into, for example, procedures for rule-making. we always knew the party controls legislation. they control the national people's congress, they control the state council. but again they felt it important now to write this actually into state law and make it very explicit. and beyond this they've been assorting or institutionalizing their role in state governance in a whole variety of ways that i go into exkroo ush ating detail in this paper but it has to deal with jointing issuing regulations with the state, the merger that happened just after the march 2018 national people's congress of several state entities into party entities.
the epitome of all of this is, of course, the establishment of the supervision commission which was given constitutional status, it's given its own organic law but, in fact, is just the state face of the party's discipline inspection commission. you have a lot of these more now merged parties, state bodies, dual-facing but increasingly taking on state governance activities. and why is this concerning, as you point out? it's because the party, even though they're trying to legalize their position, they're not accountable under law. so, for example, if the party jointly issues a regulation with the state council, it puts the state council regulation, they have to go through notice and comment procedures, the regulations are made public, people can go to court and sue to enforce them. if it's a party regulation, none of that applies. so, the party then removes the state functions outside the purview of the law, such as it
is. that's one shift i've seen, is this push. now, on a broader level, it sort of reflects, and the argument has been made, that xi does recognize and appreciate the legitimating power of the law. that's why the party is elevating law as a cornerstone of their new governance strategy. we understand the fourth plenum coming up is going to be devoted to discussing modernization of the party's capability and governance capacity. another thing that is still disserving, how do you square this law with the extra legal treatment we see the party dolling out to perceived enemies of the regime? so, in this it was interesting to me to sort of focus on the fact that there's been a persistence of an old maliced concept of two contradictions. you have nonantagonist, complex
society. these contradictions can and should be handled in accordance with law. but then you have contradictions between the people and the enemy. and those contradictions, which threaten the stability of the party state, those that are handled outside through extra judicial and often extra legal coercive methods as well. that's another concerning aspect of the party's move because this indicates a kind of conditional attitude toward law. if you're deemed to be among the people and it's a normal contradiction, then the normal legal system, which is increasingly professional, autonomous, rules-based, et cetera, that kicks in. but if you're perceived to be an enemy, then you're outside of that system. and all of this, of course, is implications for china's role in the world and dealing with actors both, you know, foreign companies operating in china,
but also china's activities overseas. it's not -- again, look at the words. they're concerning. and i was trying to identify why does this party legalization project make me feel uncomfortable? and i've tried to articulate. it's partly because it removes it from the area of state governance and kind of undermines, in fact, the whole legitimatization through legalization project that the party seems to be carrying on now. but, again, it's important to see how it plays out in practice as well. and i totally endorse what colleagues have said here today, that when you're looking at china making policy, yes, we must take the party at its word, but then go beyond it and see how is this actually playing out in practice and try and analyze how in each situation this may impact us and our interests. >> just to take one example of how this starts to play out in practice. huawei has been in the news quite a bit. one of the arguments that has been made is, well, china
actually does have some data protection laws, right, that may complicate efforts to secure data from huawei's service, for example. your argument would seem to suggest as the party essentially begins to eat state law, and to think about it in one way, those claims would seem to become more and more hollow. would you agree with that or would you think about it in a different way? >> well, again, it's a complicated situation. so, i think the huawei case is pretty special. it's got a military background, et cetera, et cetera. and it's everywhere in the world now. so, there's a great deal of interest and concern about it. but to back up, again, looking at facts on the ground, it's very interesting to me to see that the party is still doing a fairly light-handed approach to the private sector. you know, as cheng mentioned, again, they realized as economy slow, china really needs the private sector. they're the main source of gdp growth, of job creation, of innovation. and we've heard stories, for example, that, you know, the party state has to negotiate
with the big tech companies to get access to their data. you know, how much, how often, in what form, et cetera. which is very similar to, let's say, uber negotiating with new york city before it went in in terms of what data they would have to turn over to the state as well. if you look at the party regulations and policies, they do treat the private companies different from, say, a state-owned enterprise. so, for example, in the state-owned enterprises, there are a lot of news reports a couple years ago about this new requirement that the party have to write the party's committee' have to write the party's committee's role into the so corporate charter and they were applying this also to the joint ventures between soes and foreign companies as well so that was raise iing a lot of concerns about what exactly is the role of the party. traditionally, they've always had a requirement when ever there's three or more party members in an entity, whether
it's a law firm, company, entity, ngo, the party members must form a party organization but now they're trying to legalize it and make it a legal requirement either as a matter of law or in this case, the dorp rat charter. they haven't imposed that on private companies. and although we know there's a big push for all the companies to set up party organizations, a much smaller percentage of private companies do et cetera. so the party knows while they want to be able to control them and get access to data and other innovations, and they also don't want the private sector to be end up compete wg the party, they know they can't kill the golden goose so you see a very interesting dance going on here. when it comes to national security though, i think this sweet of national security laws i mentioned which include counterintelligence and national security and the data and
cybersecurity law et cetera where they've written the party into it. the national security card could trump it but even then they would be careful on how they deployment it. just like our government, although in their case, you couldn't go to court to prevent the access there, too, so it's a r very complicated answer to your question. it's a complicated situation. >> so you contributed a paper to the series this year and you're also write iing a book about china's economic state craft and you'ring the case that in some places, china's focused on subversion, which you find is going around established political processes and constitutions and in other cases, you see them gauged in stakeholder. tell us why you see different tactics in different places and how is this playing through china's belt and road initiative. >> sure, so i think in terms of
economic state craft, china has strategy in carrots, some of which projects tend to circumvent regulatory procedures and often involves the use of corruption. generated a significant amount of public and political backlash. we see political incumbents losing office and countries seeing a straenlgically important for china and vri. so malaysia, sri lan kai, sheth have less office. it means we're seeing resistance to china's belt and road initiative to developing countries perhaps imperfect processes and this backlash has produced a demonstrationing effect in which we see public in dimpblt countries.
and being weary about intentions. so this has created a bad reputation for the belt and road initiative in the couple of years and this means that the china has not been broadly success fful its reported intentions of having a very ambitious goal of trying to buy over bipolitical influence using economic tools. china's also learning. they have acknowledged the mistakes that china's made, the need for better public diplomacy, cooperation, adherence to standards and processes in respecting regulations and receiving countries. we see this rhetorically as well as in practice. so we see a e rebranding of the
belt and road initiative. china in recent years has tried to announce plans to incur corruption. implement better monitoring and projects. second reform in april this year, china went beyond the usual rhetoric of cooperation to really emphasize the importance of debt sustainability, cracking down corruption, working with other developed countries and letter institutions and investment for structured development. in practice in a context through relationships, we see chinese government also being pressured to adjust the strategy. and then a major project was suspended under the government after elections last year. china underwent a renegotiation process where the same project
is now movinging forward with improved terms from malaysia. review scale and, something that makes more r sense for the economy as well. the example as myanmar where again, the government renegotiate renegotiated a contract with the help of u.s. u state department and leaders have state d the importance of having vri and chinese investment to win over the support of local people and populations. one of the implications for how the u.s. should think about the belt and road initiative, i think firchina hasn't been as effective of buying political influence. identify seen a will the of skepticism about buying vri. if you're thinking about it as part of the strategy to increase prominence and popularity and gain google around the world, that hasn't really succeeded as of now. so for the u.s., i think it's
really important to think about economic state craft as a co component of brand strategy. not just in terms of how china's operating but how u the u.s. should respond and then international order, seeing who's in prominence of the tools on this efforts to gain and geo political competition and gaining political influence so we need a more comprehensive and strategic way of thinking about integrating security and thinking of this, about a security and economic activity. >> tell us more. what would that push look like and you've written a little bit about how the united states should respond to belt and road. perhaps you could join in as well. >> sure, i think u.s. by and large and thinking has had tended to favor think about military auctions. i think that's a very important
tool but i think there needs to be better coordination across the u.s. stpt state department is organized by regions but if you want to understand the region and state craft globally, need to overcome these styles and have a more integrated approach in looking at china's strategy in different regions of the world at the same time. >> sure, so let me say a few things about belt and road quickly. this is a great example of continuity in chinese strategy. i say that because although it was announced by president xi, there was a 2009 speech by president hu in which he just did the guidelines and in that speech, he proposed an interoperable network of infrastructure that would crisscross asia. that was in 2009, many years before belt and road was announced then it was proceeded
by china's going at it initiative to ensure they were able to make its soes more competitive, to invest infrastructure, et cetera. so there's a longer term history to tsome of these efforts that was elevated under president xi. so why do i mention that? because that means this is something that's not completely about branding. it's not random, about vested interest. there's a larger rationale that's been there for a long time that was describe d in political terms in key party documents. so when people say the belt and road is an example of failed strategy, but incoherence and backlash that china's facing challenges, i say two things. they don't see it that way, it's something they've been trying to do for a long time and second, i would argue there's a belief in china and the belt and road is quite resilient. so we've had a lot of backlash. take srilanka. the place where china had to
turn over a port. they had to turn over a port to china. in myanmar, renegotiated terms. in nepal, there was one group that was opposed, another group one. they went back. restart ed the projects and pushed for a new rail line. the reason i mention that for u.s. policy is because the belt and road is more resilient, not going to be enough to wait for it to collapse under its own wait. the u.s. has to providal terron ties. the build act helps lead that. other countries are also interested in cooperating with the united states. that's part one. r part two and this goes to what audrey was talking about, is making sure people are aware of the problems belt and road has with respect to governance so
there are extensive examples of some of these soes from china being involved in corruption at the local level. all the way from latin america and ecuador which might have implicated several senior le leaders to pakistan to africa where vice president's children in some countries were getting chaos, where they were paying off direct family and on it goes. when that information comes out, it can shape the politics of those countries. finally, we shouldn't, i shouldn't say combatting the belt and road. it's not a bad thing. lots can be good. but it should be done in ways that are consistent with standards for governance and strategic maneuverability for those countries where they don't feel indebted and those kinds of tweaks the program are going to require a u.s. alternative and better strategy. >> well just add few things based on what my colleague just said. we do need ask whether china as
a regional power and increase a global power, has its own legitimate national interest to develop the belt and road initiative. number one. number two, is that the predetermine leadership path in particular try to use the belt and road to undermine or challenge or kick a u.s. out of asia you know, asia region. is that the predetermining, evil plan? certainly cynical, but of course possible if our policy continues within china. it will be like this. but ultimately, it e depends on how we look at the system. and finally, whether china could improve belt and road because of the challenges. my answer's yes and that it can contin continue. i think these are the three things. >> right.
everybody's studying belt and road. one u, the problems they've run into initial ly, i don't think s because china had this had to plan to go out and subvert established procedures. it's a very messy noninstitutionalized project and a lot of what the pressure on china now is to try and pose more institutionalization on it and at the belt and road forum in political, there was an intent to start having a clean bri as well as a green bri. trans paparency is a huge issued from the point of view of american companies and engineering consultants and even our lawyers, they would like to see an open procurement system put in place. there's a lot of pressure. we could partner with the eu, which is putting pressure on china to open up the procurement
on all levels as well. so i think in addition to having counterstrategies, which we should, we ought the to find ways to support and cooperate sometimes with our other alleys, but also with china on making the belt and road really be a much better initiative. >> i'll just jump back in by aing the belt and road isn't always bad. there are ways in which it can be leveraged to do good things for the rest of the region and that's especially important o, but it's not just one thing. it's many different projects. the appropriate end of analysis is not the overall program. the it's the specific project. if you look at the speskt projects, many of them long proceed the announcement of the belt and road and if you look at those, some including the ones in sri lanka and myanmar and bangladesh and pakistan are about a particular kind strategy. that is a belief that certain ports have a lot of value. that belief is not uniquely
chinese. every one dating back to portuguese 500 years ago has recognized those same places matter. there are place as where you find extensive investment don't take my word for it. take the word of the head of the oes yannick administration that he thought those ports could be useful active opportunities for the people's army. that's an official source. president xi has talked about the skurtization of the belt and road so a discourse that sees this as a good thing for asia. it's a public good. we should take them at their word on a lot of those projects, but some of the project, not the roads in sri lanka, but ports in other places, have clear strategic rational there e. xi also talks about the belt and road in terms of brush strokes. he says in the first phase of the project, that didn't happen
in the first, the second was announced before the forum on the fifth anniversary in 2018 and in that speech, he says what was phase two going to be? in phase one, we focus on the big project, big things. phase two would be smaller and greener, leaner. cleaner. it would also be more likely to directly benefit individuals and easier to talk about in ways that was less controversial. so to jamie's point, a lot of problems with belt and road aren't about a nefarious plan. many are just indemic to the nature of doing financing abroad. some to the nature of china's political economy, which is different. so both things have to be taken into account. the point is that it's changing. it's adaptable an much is good, but we have to focus on the area where it poses a challenge. >> how much should we be concerned about the port of surveillance technology and belt and road? for example, when david dollar mentions this in his paper, there's a project in zimbabwe focused on facial recognition. how much of these are going to be intertwined? >> i think that there's a big
component of the belt and road talked about as digital. the sort of silicon component to it. i don't know that china's explicitly exporting its system. i don't buy that. i don't think it has a reason to do that. i don't think there's a lot of buyers for it. it's regard to puhard to pull y have. you've written about this as well so i should plug our moderator's paper on the subject, which suggests that some of the ways in which this kind of dissim nation of the system will take place will be through channels that are not always evangelical. huawei wants to sell, they're involved in helping one country sensor its internet. so that's something that's useful for country, but not because china wants to make the world more liberal. just because there's a commercial opportunity there. there are other ways which you know we've seen technology in zimbabwe but that's hard to pull off. but it's important to watch this
space because this is one of the key questions. whether l the rise of china to true global status mean that liberal values are going to be attenuated or persist. the question is not known right now. to my colleague's point, something we can shape with good cooperative policy. >> sure. i agree a messy project. it's involved in a broad range of actors. i think that has because i think for a lot of audiences outside of china, chinese firms acting as agents of a chinese state. whether that's true or not, i think this is feeding the way that china's offering often corrupt with has fed into a negative perceptions of opportunities and tensions and what china's trying to achieve and the potential effects that china could have on domestic and political processes in these countries and feeding on the
points about u.s. provideing alternatives, i think that's absolutely important working with alleys, partners and institutions to provide alternative sources of financing because not credible for the united states to criticize a lot of developing countries to say you can't take you know chinese money, but that's not credible if you're not providingal terron thetives and i think but at the same time, i think it's hard for you know peer competition in chinese financing because the ability of the state to martial resources and then there are cost effective ways of doing this. i think that would increase access to these sources of financing. and know how resources provide fwins so they on the ground as well as public opinion are more aware of what's going on with the kinds of investments that china's offering and i think
that's a cost effective strategy of you know, ensuring that pushing china to ensure that adheres to better transparency standards and government standards. >> let's open it up to questions with the audience. scarlet has the mike. let's start here with this gentlemen. >> i look at china's build up and marvel at it because nobody is is thinking about attacking china. and so the purpose of military build up is nothing more than supporting the communist party. when you look at china's grand strategy, is it really just making the world safe for autocracy because the r more autocrats there are, the better their chances that the party can survive against democratic
pressures. >> if you wouldn't mind standing when you ask your questions so we can anture you u. >> pbs, online news hour. in discussing grand stat ji, how much of this is driven by internal dynamics haves an assessment of the vulnerabilities ands of our countries? in other words, do the chinese look right now on what's going on in washington as a short-term gift or part of a longer narrative of decline and withdrawal and to what extent in the leadership is there a serious discussion debate about the long-term strengths and weaknesses of countries like the united states? >> two great questions about chinese grand strategy. >> i'll start off. so on the military question, i don't think that a the purpose of china's most remodernization
over the last 30 years has been about just the party itself. the first phase, 1980s, china was think iing about building t kinds of platforms that would be important in winning a conflict with its neighbors in the south china sea for example. they were thinking about aircraft carriers. in the mid '80s, the structure they were dreaming of having in the year 2000. the reason it didn't happen was because of three years. tiananmen scaquare, the gulf w and disillusion of the soviet union. those three led them b to believe that the united states was the primary adversary. that meant not buy iing vulnerae areas, but instead inning in asymmetrical capabilities. they wanted to deny the ability of the united states in the region and that gives rise to what we've called anti -- they
were useful for denying thing. that changes. we've seen a shift away about building and acquiring the platforms. the aircraft carriers. vessels. that's a change. a shift from defensive you could think of a more defensive strategy to a more offensive one. not because they want to conquer the world but because they have equities close to home. that's hopefully an answer useful on the military side. how much is internally driven? that's a key question. i happen b to believe that a lot of chinese strategy is externally driven. a lot of domestic politics might
be more dmesically driven, but key strategic projects i think are r more externally driven. i say that r for a few reasons. one is the party sits above the state. penetrates every level and together, that means it has the ability to override some interests. so prex for example when going back to the military case, the navy was very, very keen on aircraft carrier. he had lot of influence and clout. he was on the committee. but john shot him down time and again. that's an example of suppressing pe roke yal interests to pursue a larger grand strategy. the second reason, you talk about being nationalism as shaping the strategy or con training it. i'm partially skeptical because china maintains the ability. there's not the clear path. best interest may not work and public doesn't. the last question is about how much of it is is shaped by
external factors. i think the primary factor is this assessment of the united states because united states is the biggest challenge to its core interest and the most important relationship for its economic development. that's been true for a long time. the way strategy changes, it's tough to adjust. like an oil tanker. hard to do a u turn but the way it happens, for strategy, is when there's a sharp discontinuous shape. 1989. we went to adversaries. 2009, the financial crisis. china went from thinking the united states was extraordinarily powerful to recognizing it had weaknesses and now potentially 2016 to 2018 where we see the election of president trump, brexit and the crisis of the west and western democracies and liberalism suggests that again, the u.s. is
less threatening and maybe there's an opportunity for more ambitious global agenda. this can be debated. none of this is is bulletproof or airtight r but it's how i see it and i'm writing a book that makes the argument more clearly. thanks. >> i see these two questions are linked together for the military one, china now has money. and they want to spend money in the military. they look at china's map from that perspective, they can send a lot of fresh spots. not only the northern part, but the korean peninsula, east china sea and south china sea and particularly, the taiwan issue. it's very much an issue of mine. this goes to your question of which part is more important.
the result of which has become irrelevant because you need to consolidate power for your very survival or success. that's the dynamics that we got involved. so that's sometimes in certain issue areas a different picture. because china needs a foreign market and resources that the mill mil tear is a part of that. actually dynamic spiral. sometimes we ought to feel that
united states our interest so we can buy china's challenge. especially china's military budget will increase dramatically in the coming years. >> just to come back to the last part of the question. what does the debate look like on how to take advantage of this moment where in the united states, we have a lot of domestic turmoil. a crisis of confidence and democratic capitalism. but how would you describe that right now? >> it's an excellent question. as you might, i d not see the moment that this vicious power struggle going on. under the pressure, china had tendency.
at the moment, they were united together. so we enter this dynamic. so as america, we need to think about the challenge r for us. whether that can clash if our leadership issed like it remains. it will accelerate some of the programs so that can be to china's advantage. >> i'll jump in quickly. i agree with everything that he said and right and true the internal and external dimensions are linked and the key questions for whether or not china is able to accomplish objectives, the reason those relevant is for political reasons. p you fail on taiwan, the stakes
are extensional. i'll make it more concrete. we've heard the phrase high capabilities and buy time. this phrase. it's always tied to international balance of power. that linkage is basically about the united states. that doesn't mean that a leader isn't thinking about internal politics and if they lose taiwan, their rival will outmaneuver them. if been the case for 30 year, they've linked to to perceptions of the united states. i don't have a good answer. i don't have compelling evidence one way or the other because we don't have the document, but
what i've seen is a few things. one, the reference i mentioned on global governance in think tanks. that means greater funding. that's something people have talked a lot about within the chinese system and we're seeing more research along those lines. second, we're probably, we're seeing interesting phrases in certain party documents. so xi has used this one phrase a number of times. which is a once in a century opportunity include iing in his discussion of belt and road. i haven't been able to unpack what creates that opportunity, but there's some indication among secondary commentary it's really the united states. and finally, the assessment of the international system in the party congress report and in other domes is r more positive for china. there's a lot more instability in the balance of power and more opportunity as well. and on global governance especially, we see more ref wrenn reinces in those developments than we did under hu. so that's an interesting shift from president hu.
>> two more. this gentleman here. >> thank you. >> several advanced weapons were displayed in the military parade. such as -- so what kinds of message would you like to reach from this kind of display? for mr. rush and mr. chilling. >> thank you for coming here today. i'm jim rowshell from policy bot. my question for you guys today
is about how brookings is analyzing global or china's how china's using their global influence to on the digital platform to influence other countries. for example, the way in the liberal western democracy, how we use digital platform is is now increasingly to foreign. to disorder how we think about how do we vote. but in the authoritarian countries like china, they're using censorships on the digital platform to influence how people think. dr. phillip from oxford institute internet institute has published a article on how china's using means to influence the imaung of hong kong protests in the western orlando. so for the first time, you have
this propaganda computational propaganda. so my question for brookings institute researchers are how are you analyzing that at the moment? >> i thought you were going to ask me which is any favorite missile. i don't have a favorite. they're so hard to choose from. i understand. i remember the question very well. just small joke. on the message, i didn't think of it as a, maybe this is contrarian per spspective, but wasn't worried. didn't think there was a strong message being sent. lots of countries have military parades. granted, there were more missiles in this parade than the past. china also has more now than in the past so i didn't really think of the message. if there was a message being sent, i don't think it was particularly concerning and i didn't view the parade with any undue concern. i thought it was fine if that's
what they wanted to do and display the military technology, that's fine. i'm more kshed about what happens within region. we know they exist so the parade is irrelevant. the other question was about data. under china work under lee is take iing chinese documents and digitizing them then putting them in ad data set and yugz tht to do quantitative analysis. some of the stuff i've talked to you about today comes from dinlgtization of a mass quantity of documents b and that's a use ful approach to get traction of return questions. >> how many people watched that live broadcasting of the tv coverage of parade? i can see, not many. not symmetrical, the
information. in china, so many people watch. show china's muscle. coming of age of military modernization. in in country, we are not well informed. this is not my point. dr. kissinger said that if we united states and china engage in a war, this is a war that would be no winner. we should not be consider fight if there is no winner. so i think that assistant secretary did talk about u.s. china despite all these tensions, we still need to cooperate each other. we still need dialogue. in modern warfare, you have no idea how this would be fought and in what time frame. it's not like -- this is 2,000 years ago. in greece.
now we have a nuclear weapon. 5g. artificial intelligence. we have a lot of things unknown. so again, we should not, avoid basically look at the 21st century word like a 20th century method. someone says that, i just quote. but that's the fact. so again, it's not so much for military strengths. per se. we should find a way to prevent this to happen. i understand why china want to show it, but from this audience, really, very few people watch it. so that give us a perspective. we need to communicate much, much better through dialogue. this is with the issues we have much. about the trade negotiations and vice premier is coming to town
in a few days. o on the one hand, trade information isn't as important as security issues. at the same time, united states and china should continue to engage economically if we do not do that, there's not much left. so think about that. certainly we have a lot of tensions. your questions raise that about ideology and system. now sounds like protective china, but i'm quite critical about a loft things going on in china in the media sensorship and legal system in many ways is a lot of cynicism with china. probably even stronger from outside world and, leading psychological r lar, law professor, publish a book a few
years ago and now completely sensor forever. but at the same time, we also i did a research about chinese profess. look at the top ten private league firms. i found half of the partners western educated and they come from the schools, har r vard, columbia, stanford and duke law school, berkeley. but 75 those partners passed the new york bar exam. 75 for these western american. that should provide some hope. it's a paradox on one hand.
the league profession isn't for days, but you see the changes in society and even in the legal process. under his watch, he devoted one party plan. backlash in particularly the term limits. so again, which are a part of that perspective. >> i wanted to, i don't know if you have a view on this, but on the social media question, more broadly on political influence. how much do you see efforts to kind of shape public opinion on chinese engagement with china economically, this element of the state craft. is that something you think we should expect to see more of? >> sure, especially with backlash. china has ramped up its efforts to projects. malaysia, the summer and people r were telling me we see this videos of you know a woman, lady
and chinese lady singing nogt chinese and malay extorting the benefit of cooperation. how you know good relations can bring benefits to all parties and necessarily i think china's realizing that it needs to work more in improve its image. whether that's going to be successful is if china conducts. >> to the point about what brookings is doing, you'll see more about the forthcoming papers on east asia. two final questions. one here. >> i'm sure we've heard the phrase let a thousand flowers bloom. that comes to mind as i listen to you this afternoon. the question i have is to what extent is is chinese culture embed ed in the design and
implementation of economic state craft? and what would be those aspects of culture that we could identify in affecting how these policies emerge? sfwl one final question. in the back corner. >> thank you. you mentioned a lot about the grand strategy. i wanted to ask about the economic grand strategy. as we see china made in china 2025 and things like that are creating a lot of decoupling between the u.s. and china in economic terms. one of the main reasons why we say u.s. and china would not have a conflict is because of the economic benefits we both
gained. so as we see decoupling happen, what are some of the main things we can do to bring u.s. and china together especially when there's issues like south china sea and things that bring a lot of tensions. >> culture and decoupling. we have two minutes. start with china then move back down the road. >> as i observe chinese leadership at a national level no longer use the term made in china 2025. they realize it's a really kind of embarrassment if we want this, china by 70%, 80%, 90%. the rest of world to business. does not mean china will abandon the industrial policies and et cetera, but a little bit open the room for the broader strategic or accomplishing other areas. that will kind of spill over.
so with that going on, i think we will see some property, property wise, early on views about the legal profession. i say can publish a little bit. lawyers will play an important role. so this is, that's why i think the economic cooperation should continue in this critical moment. now the culture thing, yoi don' want to comment too much because for so long particularly in the first of 30 wreyears for prc, t chinese economy. really doing well. that tells you entrepreneurship and et cetera. all important. especially when china open up then you u really see the later r army. the economic miracle.
so it's not a, it's less as a culture so i will not emphasize too much on that regard. >> china still looks to the u.s. also as one of the primary grounds of experience and law when they're thinking about reforming the legal system. people don't realize because of the reporting what the judicial reforms that have gone on under xi for example. and the areas i work in, open government, they adopt rule make ing from basically us. xi speaks against western style constitution constitutionalism. judicial independence, but he wants everybody to continue to learn the beneficial experience from the west and it is still true they look primarily to the u.s. because we still have the
most dynamic economy and they look to our negative experience as well as the positive one and so i also have seen the normal legal system progress. sexual harassment has begun to be explored. a whole range of issue, mental health, et set rachlt they continue to look to us as well as europe and other countries, too, so i would hope not just the western trained lawyers, but many levels, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, we brought police from china, the public security people to meet with counterparts at seminars in florida for example, discuss how do you handle domestic violence issues, et cetera. all of this kind of exchange continues today and i would hope it doesn't cease. you know this talk of decoupling is very concerning on many, many levels.
even though there are contradicts this china and things we care about and are concerned about, there's still a lot of progress and development going on. not a finished story yet. >> i agree. it would be a real shame if we saw less people exchange, less student exchange and especially less exchange in legal areas. between the united states and china as competition inten intensifies. those should be protected. it's american interest and chinese interest. we have a colleague, jamie and i have a colleague, who works on some of the issues relating, we've had people from china who work on gender discrimination in law. there's a lot of interest in the party on getting that issue right and in the united states. there are areas where cooperate and advance values we have this china. on the made in china 2025 question, i always thought it got r more attention than it
deserved because again, so much of what was happening in the initiative happened before that. tech transfer through investment vehicles, through theft, cyber espionage, through students. that's long standing. a lot was state directed. in the past and continues to be the present. that was a poor branding choice because it gave a coherent target a. no longer visible. a think tank has done a quantitative analysis thoushowig it's disappeared in china. just gone. it's also inevitable. on the culture point, i very much agree with my colleagues. i focus more on institutions or aim. i think they matter more so i didn't want to get too far into it but others can give you more
information. there's a rich discourse on how to quantity certain aspects of culture. may be. >> on decoupling and promoting depend ens is actually going to sell the divergence between the united states and the two economies and two political systems. i think the way it conducts activities and the domestic economy and state business relations and chinese proclivity to use government to government relations as opposed to working
with private actors in civil society. >> great, one final plug is in the papers. please also look out for a podcast series mohosted by our , lind say ford, every day. she's putting out new u one with some the authors in this group of papers. i hope you'll stay tuned for more events, more papers. thank you for being here and see you again soon.
today president trump holds a campaign rally in lexington, kentucky. live coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. tonight on cspan starting at 9:00 eastern, ruth bader jins burg, president clinton and h s hillary clinton discuss the justice ice 1998 nomination, her experiences and legal work before becoming a judge. here's a preview. >> the reason i was interested before justice ginsburg came to see me as a judge is as much for her career before she became a judge as on the bench. because in her work for women's rights, she had occasions to the supreme court and won five of them. which i thought were including
one or two benefits male partners of women based on the substance of men and women, their earning capacities and all of that. and so we had the meeting on sunday night. and i sneaked her in and thank god nobody in the press felt like working sunday night so it never leaked. we talked and after she had been there like ten minutes, i knew i was going to ask her to do the job. >> you can watch the rest of this conversation with justice ginsburg, president clinton and hillary clinton starting at 9:00 eastern tonight on cspan. the george washington law review and national constitution center co-hosted a symposium on 100 years of supreme court clerkships. this portion of the event features former clerks who recounted their time at the court and what t f