tv How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise CSPAN February 5, 2023 5:00am-6:10am EST
correspond and former beijing bureau chief for the new york times. i'm joining today seoul. it's my to introduce susan shirk professor and head of the 21st century china center at the university of california, san diego. we're here to celebrate and discuss her new book, overreach how. china derailed its peaceful rise, i have to say, if you want to understand the complexities of what's going on in china today and what's going on between beijing and washington, overreach is the place to start. susan has been a student of china, a professor teaches about china and a government official who made policy about china as deputy assistant secretary of at the state department. i can personally attest to her role in government in 1999. we were both passengers on the government plane to china. i was a lawyer in the back of the plane.
she was up front advising albright, the secretary of state, on what to do and what to say. when we landed in beijing. she has written over at a particularly important moment and the book is on the money. it lays out the story of the political and economic circumstances in china that enabled jinping to him the most, make himself most powerful leader since eyes at dawn. over the next susan will walk through the machinations of china's rise to power and its complex politics. we'll have about 40 to 45 minutes of conversation between the two of us and then. 15 to 20 minutes of q&a from you. if you are watching along with us, please put your and questions in the texture on youtube and we'll be to them later in the. so, susan, let's get started.
as they say. we have just seen the most extraordinary congress of the communist party of china. these are every five year events. it was the coronation of jinping who can now reign over china as long as he works no constitutional or term. he is basically emperor of everything, the economy the military, foreign policy through the lens of overreach. can you tell us why it was relatively easy for sesion ping to establish himself in such a powerful position. well thank you, jane. and it's really a great privilege to have this conversation with you today. as someone who has yourself studying china and asia a very long time. you know that it was
surprisingly easy for xi jinping to consolidate power establish this system of highly centralized personal estate rule. and because don champion had sort to institutionalize the chinese political system to make it more predictable all based more on collect tive leadership than strongmen rule. and he, deng xiaoping, of course, was mao successor, who came into power after mao died. and i was. and institutionalize myself. i thought this was really something that was going to forever and that the central committee, the politburo, the standing, they would be adequate at checking the overconcentration of power in the hands of the leader because
of course that was done. champagne's objective to prevent the emergence of another mao zedong who in dozens. carried out overconcentration of power in a way that led to arbitrary decision making and like the great leap forward and the cultural revolution. but in fact those collective institutions of the party pretty much just rolled over. when xi jinping came into power the first of all, he made the case for the need for more constant trade and leadership, because collective leadership under his hu jintao had become so corrupt and it was really the distaste for a corrupt head that
gave him the mandate among. the party elite and the public too. and so he carried out this massive anti-corruption campaign which was also a purge of his potential rivals. also the fact that darvish peng really had and de mao managed enough so to rely on the collective institutions of the party to check the leader. but without establishing a more authoritative legislature a parliament or a legal system to check the party politicians just proved to be inadequate. so it's a combination of don shown limitations. and then xi jinping's ability make the case that it would take a more concentrated to get rid
of corruption and restore the of party rule but also the campaign was quite popular among among the people. so xi jinping had something to to to go with. oh, for i mean, it has very popular among the people right up to this day. and in fact, even though the elite, the political elite, the intellectual elite, private business people, xi jinping is popular with them by any means but with lao, by sheng or the masses in china, they've he was just fine because he was cleaning up corruption and also his nationalist foreign appealed
to them because they thought, yes, it's for china to stand up in the world. so i think we should maybe you are back to the beginning. and when you first went to china, i have to tell everybody that susan beat richard nixon to china. that's really quite a feat. us when you went and why it was that the prime minister then jo ann lin you met said well i wish susan shirk was president. the united states. well, that was a pretty exciting for someone 22 years old. i was a graduate student doing my dissertation research in hong kong because. of course, no americans could go to china. so in order to study what was happening, china, you either read the propaganda in daily and other official media or you
interviewed refugees who had left china and come to hong kong. so i was there. i along other phd students studying china and we were invited to visit soon after the ping chain. and traveled all over for a month and. as you know, i had the very special express end of four hour meeting with zhou and lyon and the great hall of the people with two of the four gang of four i on either side him. yeah. yeah. when you act in china change how checking on him to make sure that he didn't do anything wrong so it was quite an experience. yes. my luck and the really good. i mean, when i started china, i might never able to go, but
things opened up just at the right. but he did say, i wish susan shirk was president of the united states. that's and that's because his interpreter spent the afternoon with our group and she and i nancy tong had headed off and i'm from new york she grew up in new york. her father was a u.n. diplomat. and so she must've briefed him and happened to mention my name. and that's how it happened. yeah. so let's fast forward to 1998. and you were on president clinton's trip to beijing and. there was a press conference. what happened? well it was really a rumor cabal visit, all in all, because it was one of those times in chinese political history when things were really loosening up
and there was a lot more open political discussion about all sorts topics and we our side president clinton, the first lady, had really pushed hard to. have the for us to speak to the chinese public. and so we wanted press conference to televised to the public and also for the press clinton's speech to the students at beijing university to be televised live to the public and the chinese side. both of those things and at the press corps and which is from today's view when nothing like that could occur today, it just makes you realize how things go up and, down.
and right now they've gone down. but in the press conference, president clinton said things in way were urging dialog the dalai lama on the issue. president clinton's said you know to president jiang, you know you really should meet with the dalai lama. you would really like him. he's a remarkable human being. and and and president jiang accepted this, you know, and he had the savoir to kind of joust with president clinton and a very friendly manner. extraordinary. i mean, one of the extraordinary things about xi jinping is that he's never met with a western journalist. even putin meets with western journalists. i think on occasion once a year, makes available from time to time. no chance, man had i interviewed the person who, helped, prepared
a man for a television interview and things like that. so he recognized, just as we wanted to, directly to the chinese. he as china's slater, should speak directly to american people. so he wanted to learn how to do that. and of course, zemin had been educated in the pre 49 period in at a webster oriented school so he knew some and had more cosmopolitan perspective than successors did. so maybe you could contrast that with what happened to president obama when he went to china in 2008 and wanted to do a press conference and that sort of fits in with your narrative of how
things changed in china. yes, truth hasn't six, seven, eight, nine. this was the period it was collective leadership a along the lines that deng xiaoping had prescribed and yet chinese policy see and foreign policy as well as policy really changed during that period and that's what motivated to write the book that puzzle of why did that and. one of the most dramatic events was when president obama, as you say, went to paid a state visit china and the obama administration, every intention of to pursue an engagement policy with china.
but it was a very cold visit they did not allow the televised press conference or in televised speech by president obama, in large part according to the people who were involved in negotiate or attempting to. they were afraid that obama with such a figure they'd seen it in egypt when he went and spoke there and in their view had kind of aroused what they would view as color revolution against the authoritarian government there so they were kind of afraid then the power of his rhetoric would arouse the chinese in the same way. so they were quite suspicious of him and didn't allow much public
view of president. he didn't. he did speak to he spoke students but in a closed circuit, right? that's right. it was not nationally televised and where the student did the students show. any signs of wanting to overthrow the government? i mean, without it, without anybody is going to be. no, they were not right to be scared. and, you know, this is, of course, a theme of all of my research on china is the deep of insecurity of chinese leaders, because they're not elected by the people. they're chosen by an internal process and in the communist party. and so their sense of their own legitimate say is shaky. and of course, the fall of the
soviet union brought home this important and fearsome lesson to them that no matter how large the party is, no matter how popular it may appear to be it could collapse any moment either because bottom up rebellion or because a public split in the leadership or i want to come back to that but i'd like to keep a little going little bit if i can on the chronology of you were a government official, you went madeleine albright to beijing in 1999 and at the time there was a big debate on how to get china into the wto and world trade organization. i should now there's lot of there are a lot of recriminations in d.c. about
letting china into the wto. looking back, do you it was the right thing to do. absolutely because it did stimulate at the time. more marketization of the chinese economy and the united states really everything to gain and nothing to lose our market was already open. and, you know, it's true that there was a lot of people have written about the china shop after china joined wto in the sense that barring firms investment china more after china the wto and this could lead to a surge in chinese which certainly did have some impact
on american workers. but by and large the chinese market opened created all sorts of opportunities. international business and and the industry grew that we oversold china's accession to the wto because. we needed to get congressional support for permanent normal trade relations. so and you know all trade are very, very difficult to gain the approval of congress. so we oversold the political consequences of that it was going to lead to grad school democratization china which i mean we actually we didn't exactly say that but that was the implication. and that certainly has been true. so that is the a disappointment,
not the economic results. i think they were, you know, still a very beneficial deal for the united states. but there is a lot of grumbling about china has able to, quote unquote, steal our secrets because we've given them too much access to market, i suppose you could ask the question. and as a mean and not enforcement of wto rules has time to be able to get away away quote unquote away with what people in washington allege. well, i think issue is really that world trade organization doesn't have rules about foreign investor and about agreements on technology transfer all all the
issues that we're now most concerned about are really not dealt with. wto rules, you know, the old fashioned trade agreement really. so what you need to do, update the wto to deal with these new issues, maybe there needs to be a new body. it's it's antiquated and out of step. i just want to remind the audience, if you're watching along with us, please, your questions and comments in the texture on youtube. we'd love to have your questions china's big topic and you can susan knows a lot and you can ask anything you would like so let's get to hu jintao who you was a leader before jinping and who we saw in a rather sad scene the last recent congress being assisted from the stage, the end. he's basically your main the guy
who you leader who you describe as having set the stage for this achievement of power by seeing ping what was it that he and what is meaning what were the specific aspects of his of his role. well i believe that child was a well-meaning girl who who rural but he was first among equals. he wasn't very forceful leader and the standing in a was expanded to nine members including the the security czar who was the head of what i call the control panel meaning internet. we got a sound chair in the background. yeah okay. the internal security police and
the propaganda department, the military. so the control coalition hijacked powers they as one of the members of the collective leadership and. and so hu jintao as first term was actually quite impressed it was peak freedom of information in china as you will recall the we had investigative journalism we had quite a lot of public on the internet and social media wave law was very popular then and they tried it of course this is after the fall of the soviet union they tried create a form of an authoritarian in governance that was more
responsive to the people. but then it was also it by the time of the second term, a time we saw these sharp changes in foreign policy in south china sea, where china started asserting its claims by the other claimants and the united states surveillance that were sailing through the south sea and. that really changed, changed the narrative of the world about was china going to be able to peacefully or it a more assertive, even aggressive rising power and internally as i mentioned earlier, we also saw this tightening up over social
life, over the media as well as the state role in the economy got stronger. so it's like hu jintao kind of lost control of things he lost control of the military. but, you know, and there were as when the secretary of defense came to visit, there was a test of a new stealth air that the chinese did at that very when the secretary defense was there, the delegation came are leaving before meeting president hu because it seemed of a slap in the face to test your new plane at the time the secretary of defense from the united states was there. he decided not to, but he did raise the issue with president harry. and he said, you know the the
press is going to me in the press conference when i leave here was this the chinese trying to send you a message by testing this plane a military jet at this time. and so president who was surprised to learn that the test had occurred and he said he turned his left and said is that true? and it went down the line, up the general and so that was very embarrassing tells a very revealing very revealing that had not just told him but not him because for sure. there was going to be a question about it. so they were basic, clearly undercutting their civilian leadership. and there were a number of similar examples of the of hu
jintao control over the military. so it's a very messy, decentralized. kind of administration. and as a result, each one of the bureaucratic interest groups went its own way in trying to build up its own budget. so power and nobody questioned they didn't question one another. in fact, they had a kind of log rolling in which they just went along one another. and hu jintao didn't discipline them at all. and that is why you started to see overreach during that period. you mentioned the south china sea and under the military military started to assert its claims and later on they started to build artificial islands
which then put military installations on these artificial islands in one of the most important waterways in the world. and now i just recent pictures taken last week by a photographer who was given a filipino photographer who flew over the islands and they are now just chockablock full of buildings. you can see weapons. you can see. so back then in 2000 and what a nine you're talking about, what could it it seems to me that the united states could have started negotiating patience with the chinese military, which was much weaker at the time and said and started a set of negotiate actions that these are international order islands in international waters and not they're not china's sole prerogative. let's work out here. i never understood why they were not in negotiations to try and
get the chinese to be more responsible in international waters. yes, of course, the islands were not built until xi jinping. so in the plans for the these big reclaimed land or really artificial islands because they're on top tiny little rocks. the plans for them had been made for a long time. but under hu jintao they didn't. they actually didn't do it. but when xi jinping into power, he took the plan off the shelf and carried them out and he did commit to president obama. xi jinping did then he would not so. but he went back on that pledge very quickly.
and so that actually is a topic that should be brought up today. sure. and i think and maybe it will be brought up when two presidents made in a few weeks and by the time it's almost finished, i mean, china now and then it builds and builds all this military equipment and they're a danger to not only the united states, but allies. well, yes, but, you know, there are possibilities for a phrase or, ultimately some kind of demilitarization of the region in the future. so there are still plenty of things to talk about. and to try to prevent things from continue to get worse. i think one problem back then in the mid first decade of 2000 and of of the 21st century is that
the united states in a way doesn't standing you know because as it really is an issue china and the other claimants and and asean itself every time tried to discuss an initiative and the united states was for sure in. 2010 secretary of state hillary clinton was there and raised this issue and the chinese foreign minister, you know, lost his temper and because we had been with the other claimants to try to put pressure on to stop the bullying and and but asean could not get agreement on what to do i think was it's a
collective problem among. asean was one of absence. so let's turn to jinping, who's really the man of the moment, we might say. he's got full power, 1.4 billion people are his constituents. he's incredibly for his own longevity. and to the longevity of china. and he looks to be really powerful. but is he really what is the nature of his power, susan? how do you describe it? in overreach? well, i think xi jinping has taken overreach to a greater than we saw in under jintao. and when i you know, the notion of overreach which is to take things too far to do them in an exaggerated way, in a manner that then comes back to harm
yourself, to be costly, to use itself. so you know overreach is a problem for china, not just a problem for the united states. and, of course, countries as well. so xi jinping has a establish the kind of system in which this top down pressure on other officials because of anti-corruption campaign that he has been waging from the very first days he was power and continue right up to the eve the 20th party congress a week ago and now has become a permanent purge which is what brzezinski called it and talking the soviet union so big they have our former national security adviser
and soviet politics expert because. what we see is they internal police and, disciplinary bureaucracies that actually carried out the in the first two rounds have now themselves become the target of the third round. i mean, these are people who are so trusted by xi jinping that he had them investigated. the head of the control cola and he sent to wuhan in first phases of the covid epidemic. but now no matter how loyal you to be to xi jinping always suspects you because the pressure here is so intense to prove your loyalty by bandwagon
they non xi's policies taking them to a greater extreme than he might even originally have intended. but then he suspects and he talks about faced officials who are only mouthing the and pretending to be loyal. so there's this intimidation and pressure the officials are competing with one another to move up and to do so they have to overreach in the way they carry out his wishes. so is it stable? is it strong. looking at the way it looks after the 20th party congress when he surrounded himself with loyalists, he got rid of all the
retired. any roles as well as the term limits in order to keep the people trusts the most at least for the being right around him and get rid of the who might question his choices. i don't think it's particularly stable because there's such an absence of power sharing. the other politicians in the party must be tremendously frustrated and they could figure out a way to do it. i think they would much prefer to have a system which is more collective. listen, who making them we have today does he trust else he appears to trust only those
people who worked with him before had such tremendous power. in other words people who worked with before he was general secretary of the party and china's preeminent leader so mostly people he worked with as a provincial all leader as he was moving up the system and you can see from his point of view that he basically believes the people who apply after he has become powerful are just really opportunists who are trying to cover their own skin. know now himself was aware of the phenomenon of when you have this cult to personality, you have a fetish for loyalty that means that you're not sure
whether or not people are genuinely. so i have this wonderful quote that i mentioned in the book in which mao speaking to vietnamese leader ho chen in in 1966, said the more your subjects praise you, the less you can trust. that's very true. and i'm sure that xi jinping has the same perspective. that's really incredible. so what do you think the nature of the underground resistance? i think the nature is. first of all, a criticism of the self defeating result of xi jinping's policies that he has made bad choices. how do you think do you think do covid shortly, zero covid?
i mean, and zero covid and lockdown in shanghai are probably first time that we see the is starting to get frustrated with xi jinping previously i think that was more an elite phenomenon but now i'd say i mean actually we need to bring surveys in that we have at our china data lab. we have some surveys to try to see if the public is starting to lose confidence in xi jinping where. we don't know really for sure, but so his decision is not just zero covid though. it's also the fact that his foreign policy and law warrior diploma a and economic coercion and against korea and australia
norway. they you know all the countries that haven't on board with what are essentially chinese communist party domestic positions on issues related to on climate change taiwan and have alienated other countries so that there is this global backlash and then the crack down on private business the crackdown on private which has meant unemployment especially the unemployment college recent college graduates is for first time in years a big problem in china and growth has slowed and instead of having dramatically
adjusting economic policy to sustain growth, improve living standards, we see a and the system that is putting loyal anti national security ahead of economic development. so me could see in peng's rule in the next couple of years do you think. i think i. i mean is not likely but it could in other words i can tell you what will happen but when it happens. i won't be surprised. and i believe that it the problem is most certainly the dissatisfaction of other politicians in the party it's not the are you know.
organizing some kind of revolution against the party it's it's although the i can't believe the middle class is really very enthusiastic enthusiastic these are people who have been traveling abroad their children abroad. they've become consumers and quite. and now because of xi jinping's policies they're learning what state english in school and more political ideology marxist ideology in school so they can't yes and can't travel they can't get a passport to so but i do think that splits the leadership
are a more like. well actually most regimes fall top down at bottom up so some of the weaknesses the fragility is really the top. so which one of the six new standing members is going to make the break? wonder does many. yeah. i mean, i you know xi jinping constituted the new standing committee to insulate himself from risk of a coup as best he could. so you where the resistance comes from can't say maybe it's retired officials or who were forced to retire maybe it's the of all those people who were put in jail.
you know thousands almost 5 million officials have been investigated and and i i'd be very scared of those people. that's why think right. yeah. well, there and so there are a lot of people in political elite elite who are extremely dissatisfied with xi jinping. i would say. and my own interviews come through in the book over i report it and these you know are senior party people from the party school you know who themselves are really very unhappy. and they see deng xiaoping's being ignored and that it's very candid. the book is really of some of your friends from party
historians are really dismayed at what's what's unfolding right? yes, we a few minutes before we go to the question, and i just wanted to ask you to put yourself into a familiar role as a government official, maybe slightly more elevated than you were before. imagine that you are president biden's national security and you're about to go off to meet jinping in indonesia at the g20 next week. what's top of the agenda to biden. you, susan, his national security adviser. what do you telling him? well, i think the most important thing is to explore whether not diplomacy can influence xi jinping anymore. and i don't i don't know the to that question myself. i'm kind of agnostic about it
but we haven't had any serious diplomacy with the chinese government for six years the trump administration really the biden administration. so i think we need to test that and and and you know the side is now convinced xi jinping has convinced has a narrative that the united states it doesn't matter what china does the u.s. aims simply to degrade china its capabilities to contain it and to keep it down. so i think we have communicate very clearly that there's still some goodwill in the relationship and, that it's really china's own policy and its own behavior and therefore,
we should tested talking about, for example, market access. let's go back to some of the core trade and investment that the compliance we've had about tech knowledge in other dimensions of that. let's also try to restore the visas that we used to give one another's journals as a student. you know, as people, the people level. we've davos stated those people to people ties and it's not just covid that's done it it's also government action. so think that's another area that we should try to negotiate we also need to about global health you know colvin became a
kind of third rail in politics but we need to restore some ability to work together on these issues because just as is the case with climate if the united states and china can't work together on these issues, there's no way to get global cooperation on them. so and then before the meeting in indonesia, i think it's really important for the national adviser or secretary of state or conceivably the president himself to speak publicly to american -- about and to what are the goals of our china policy. and to make clear that we're not
we don't ourselves as already at war with one another and we want to try to restore some ability to work together on these global issues. it really will depend on whether xi jinping and his. which has led to overreach in chad moderate itself and exercised self-restraint i think do a much more optimistic than i am about what can be covered at this coming summit. but let's see. so we have a couple of questions here in the chat box, both quiet provocative in a way. the first question is, is gradual democratization of china still a goal that the us wants to push? and if so, what can the us do and? would it get worse before it
gets. well. i think know we oversold wto entry as the key to political reform and democratization, but democratization has actually never been a goal of u.s. china policy. i people have been much more more practical really and think about this and really expect democracy transition to occur time soon. i think. human rights issues are a genuine concern. american people and people in other parts of the world and so they're always going to be the agenda of the relationship.
but i my in government gave me lead me to draw the conclusion that the only way human rights treatment is going to improve in china when it's the comes from chinese people and that international community never be able to do this through their actions even you know we can sanction people who use xinjiang cotton but frankly most of the chinese public stands with government and should jail exactly for elite or liberal members of the chinese public small element rule. yeah. so it just leads them buy chinese running shoes rather
than western ones to sportswear. so it's not really going to change anything unfortunately. yeah. we should get to this next question, which is interesting. what are some reliable, accurate data to analyze chinese politics since it mainly functions as a black box to outsiders. the nature of politics there a lot of rumors. the person is asking how accurately analyze politics, what data to what do you use? yeah, well, what i do is spend it or at least i used be covid. i spend a lot of time in china doing interviews. people from agencies of officials, political, military people, all you know, i asked like a journalist does, you might say, and i rely a lot on
the interviews that i've done really ever since. i first started studying china by interviewing refugees. in 1971. also so we do surveys, but those surveys are useful mostly for public not to analyze what's going on inside the black box. but you know it's it's i think my book does reveal a lot of information to readers about how things function inside the black box. but even so, there are things i don't know because this the emphasis on secrecy is so intense that it is really very and of that makes china also less well trusted by its own
citizens or by people outside china because it insists secrecy. whereas, look, america, our politics an open book. so well talking about politics someone here asks what is at stake in the us midterms for relations china. well that's a really good question. you know right now there is a bi consensus that china is a greater threat and so the partizan differences between the two parties are not that clear. and of course this is true in other parts of the world, too. if you look at the europeans now, which is i think a very good evidence that the problem is really the way china has been
acting, has provoked this backlash. you know, not that a problem only of our own domestic making, but the backlash, i'd say, if if the republic hague both houses and we have divided government it's going to be i think it's going to be a tougher u.s. policy toward china and it'll be a big challenge to xi jinping. i mean, in my view, china itself could turn this around through its own choices. i mean, one of the main themes of my book is none of this is inevitable. it's really about human agency. and the choice is politicians.
so obviously, as both sides have to do that, but it's going to be much tougher if we get yeah we'll that's a good question. well, one thing that's coming down the road right, i predict even though it seems so radical is restrict asians on american an investment in firms operate chinese firms and foreign firms operating in china capital controls as you know when is the united done that in the past whatever that is never never we've never we have the export right but capital controls mean it's unprecedented and it has nothing to invest in in the soviet union. but there is to invest in in china. so it's which i i don't you
know, i certainly don't support those actions. i believe that we may threaten sanctions to give leverage a negotiation to try to get china to moderate its policies in one way or another, but to simply wakeham with extreme sanctions without a clear link to some policy or behavior i think is not very productive and what it leads to what we see in china that you as a growth of anti-americanism where they believe that we are just completely hostile we've effective lee declared war on china a cold war and nothing they do is going to make a difference. well, you know, that's a danger
as kind of situation talk about danger. you know, we haven't talked about taiwan and one of our audience members asks. what are your thoughts regarding? china's plans in taiwan or for taiwan now that jinping has consolidated power power? well, you know, previous leaders have actually quite prudent in not using military force against and in the case of hu jintao, have really extended kind of olive branch to the people of taiwan by promoting economic and social integration across the strait. jinping you know, i'm i'm concerned because i don't have the same confidence when i look
at xi jinping other policies that he will have the same prudence. on the other hand every chinese leader. has got to think that he makes a military play against taiwan and loses. that will be the of him and possibly the end of communist party rule in china because the people would rise up. and i mean, this is in probably a myth, probably not even true. but people, china certainly believe it. so that is i mean, that's strategic myth. i want them to believe because that causes them be cautious. so i feel strongly that we need to. taiwan's military deterrence and
united states as it's doing that and what's striking that the japanese really for the first time now are viewing this security of taiwan as part of their own security. so the japanese are contributing to that deterrence posture. but a lot of the things our politicians do visit the taiwan are purely symbolic to show how much we love taiwan. and that actually is highly provocative to the chinese government in beijing. the chinese public. and, you know, by showing these acts of love toward taiwan may actually provoke exactly the
kind of military attack. we really want to avoid. we have time for just one last question. so i'm going to ask it if it's okay and it's no, i i would love it to be from your book, but i'd your book is background it. i have to emphasize you must go out and buy because if you want to understand more about what we've been talking about susan really lays it out thorough research and understanding of history very quickly talking about politics in the united states is the republic to sweep the house and the senate. do you think there's a danger there will be more provocative statements about taiwan calling for taiwan's independence? if there is, what will that do? yeah, i mean, the problem ability of a mainland attack on
taiwan go way up if there is a declaration of independence or any kind of position from united states of supporting taiwan, independence, it will be very, very difficult it would be difficult for any leader in beijing not to try to prevent that, you know, as long as they there's a possibility ultimately of some form of peaceful reunification, you know, some of loose confederation that they can declare success or, you know, stabilize the situation across the strait, then they can be patient. but if we really put a thumb in their directly with the support
of taiwan independence, then they'll think, well no point in waiting any. it'll be highly, very dangerous. well, on that gloomy, i have to say that we we our time is up but it's been a very upbeat conversation and the book is really amazing and so our thanks to susan shirk, author of the new book, a rich. if i can just add the best you can buy on china very, very topical. and we'd like to thank the commonwealth clubs asia pacific affairs forum for supporting the event and. thank you to our audience for and participating and for putting forward your questions and if you'd like to watch more or support the commonwealth club, please visit commonwealth support or dash online. thank you and thank you, susan. well, thank you, jane. and thanks the commonwealth club and to our audience for the to