tv Washington Journal Jacob Stokes CSPAN October 13, 2021 5:55pm-6:22pm EDT
c-span fan and every purchase will support our nonprofit operation. shop now or anytime at cspanshop.org. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] announcer: get c-span on the go. it today's biggest political events live or on-demand in our new mobile video app. access top highlights, listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts all for free. download c-span now today. host: joining us is the jacob stokes. we invited you this morning to talk about china's military power. it's the front page story of "the new yorktimes" and let me share the headline. china military, testing the united states. what's happening?
guest: good morning, greta, thanks for having me on the show. it's been a busy week in asia and the taiwan straits in particular. we saw china fly almost 150 aircraft into what's known as taiwan's air defense identification zone over the course of four days. it's important to note the air defense zone is not the same as territorial airspace which goes out 12 nautical miles from the territory of taiwan, the air defense identification zone is much further out so that -- these incursions were provocative and towards the government in taiwan but we have to sort of understand the overall context. but it was a record including 56 aircraft on monday. that's important to note and one question, why is it happening
now because china is trying to pressure and intimidate taiwan's government into negotiating for political unification on beijing's terms and at the same time it's trying to get its pilots better practice as they become more proficient doing these types of operations. and doing so when taiwan's military has for respond it wears out their military other than china's military. out an opportunity to boost china for its leadership. host: how did the u.s. respond? guest: by condemning the actions and noting the fact it will be destabilizing and provocative and ultimately it's not conducive to resolution of cross state issues and peace stability
in the region and they shared that message certainly with beijing and consulted with taipei and then also u.s. allies in the region about the situation. in addition, jake sullivan met with the top policy official who is a member of the ruling policy bureau and met in switzerland for six hours where they talked about taiwan but also a range of other issues. host: let's look at president bide one was asked about the tensions between china and taiwan and what he had to say. president biden: well abide by the taiwan agreement and he shouldn't be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement. host: abiding by the taiwan agreement, what is he talking
about. [. guest: he was using a shorthand to refer to policy against taiwan which is a bit cumbersome to say characterized by something known as the three joint china communique and taiwan relations act which is a law and the six assurances to the government in taipei. there are a number of aspects, probably too many to go into right now and there are three things viewers should really know about the u.s. policy framework towards taiwan. the first is that while the u.s. recognizes there's only one china, it's the people's republican of china in beijing. the u.s. does not take a position on taiwan status. the u.s. position is that taiwan status, i.e., whether it belongs to china or not is undetermineed. the u.s. policy shows they are to provide arms and equipment and services sufficient for
taiwan to defend itself and that's a legal requirement under the taiwan relations act. and third, really the most important principle that undergirds all of u.s. taiwan policy is any changes in the status quo between china and taiwan need to happen through peaceful means. in other words, it can't happen by military force and co-worse and needs to be acceptable by those in china and taiwan. so i suspect that is what president biden was trying to refer to briefly. host: what does taiwan want from the united states? guest: support so it can maintain its free prosperous lifestyle and resist temptation and political fresh influence beijing. host: jacob stokes, describe the military buildups by china. when did it begin and what does
it look like right now. guest: starting in the 1990's china had a small military budget and it started to grow from the small base and those double-digit growth numbers happened for more than two decades and continued to be in the high single digits now. and so the result in 2021 is that we have a peoples liberation army is the official name of china's military that is backed by the second largest amount of spending in the world behind the united states. china spends somewhere between $250 million a year on the military and we don't know the exact numbers and is about a 1/3 of what the u.s. spends and china's military is primarily focused right around its periphery, right around in east asia whereas the u.s. military is spread around the world. in addition, so the result is
china has the world's largest navy in terms of ship numbers though they're less sophisticated on average than the u.s. navy and china proses the world's largest so in addition china's military has been built and designed to do what defense experts call asmet rick operations so it's designed to exploit the weaknesses in u.s. and allied military capabilities so it's not a one for one defense dollars equation, it's more complicated than that. at the same time, despite this high levels of defense spending we know china's military is not an unstoppable juggernaut. they still have problems building certain types of military technologies such as jet engines, and in ide in addition they're still working hard to get to where the u.s. is on some of the sort of
software of military operations especially training and equiping effect comblive bat leaders. so we shouldn't overhype the threat but it's definitely there. host: our guest here to talk about u.s.-china tensions. we want to get your comments and questions. what is china's goal with their military buildup? guest: china's goal is to have more control over its region and that starts with fulfilling china's territorial ambitions. so in beijing's view taiwan belongs to china as does large parts of the south china sea and some parts on the border with india and a smaller
portion with the small mountain country of bhutan. so first and foremost it's about gaining territorial ambitions. in addition, it's important to note that the people liberation's army main goal is to protect the communist regime and government. so the military doesn't belong to the state it belongs to the party. those territoryle ambitions are destabilizing enough, especially if they were to be brought about by the use of military force. but increasingly china has a global military as well or it's increasingly operating globally and that's mostly to protect china's overseas interest where chinese citizens are working abroad or they have investments to try to protect those overseas. so we have to watch closely what the chinese military buildup is looking like. host: we'll go to gave in new york. welcome to the conversation.
caller: thanks. i'm curious, is this potential conflict, is this because of doing -- china first of all china has the belt and rope program. it's an industrial power tons of manufacturing and it's miving in a particular direction. as was the united states when we became a global power we are a manufacturing base. now we've transitioned to this financialization as opposed to china's manufacturing. the belts and rope may be you can talk about that. but how is, is this transition of china rising and the united states kind of -- what do we do we have $30 trillion in debt, we printed $8 trillion to underpin the debt. so who is moving? it seems china is moving forward and the united states is kind of going down. does this necessitate a
conflict and is that why china's kind of, i i've seen they've intervened in the market trying to reduce the credit stabilized the financial situations host: go ahead. guest: thank you. i appreciate the caller raises some really important issues. in terms of the belts and road initiatives there are multiple met vasions for this big industrial policy to build infrastructure and other types of trade policies around the world. the idea one is to export china's excess industrial capacity so steel and other things like that where china is building too much of it thet to sell it to the rest of the world. china is also looking to put itself at the center of global trading patterns. and so the types of infrastructure they're building would do just that put it at
the center of global trade. in terms of whether the u.s. and china are destined for conflict i don't think that that is -- i don't think that necessarily needs to be the case and there's a lot of focus certainly on the u.s. sides on avoiding that without making major concessions on u.s. interests or values. so in many ways the sort of ball's in china's court on that question. i would also, the picture of china's rise and the relative power between china and the united states is a bit complicated. china's rise has also been undergirded by a major expansion of debt mostly in the corporate sector and the state-owned enterprises sector and we're really seeing that come to pass in the real estate slowdown that's currently affecting china's markets. in addition, china has a demographic slowdown. it has challenges with
environmental challenges such as providing enough water for cities. so china's rate of growth can't continue at the pace that it has in e recent decades whereas the united states still has a lot of dynanism and i think some of the effort that said some of the effort needs to be put into domestic renewal as a way of renug the united states but also in doing so competing with china more effectively. and if we do that, that is more likely to bring about a perpuation of peaceful world that we've seen in a major power sense since the second world war. host: audrey in west virginia, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. my comment is that i believe the yilingtse has farmed out a lot of jobs to china.
there's nothing made in china that cannot be made in the united states and it's taken away jobs from people here in the united states, it needs to be brought back. we can do it obour own and be independent of china 100%. i think it's wrong of our government to take away from the americans to give the money to another country. host: all right. jacob. guest: the caller raises a longstanding concern and a really important one. we saw a peach from u.s. trade representative laying out u.s. policy on trade towards china. the focus of that is really about how can we protect american workers and ensure that the united states can maintain its competitiveness in global markets and hold china accountable for any unfair trade practices. and so this is, this has been described more as a worker
centric trade policy in trying to sustain exactly a's the caller said good jobs in the united states and enshuring that china is forced to play by global standards when it comes to trade. host: jerry in new jersey. caller: my question, i have a question and then i have a statement. the question is how equipped are we to help taiwan, in other words, what would be our -- how could the ability to help them if china tries to take them over, how far would we go? but the comment that i have before i hang up is twofold. c-span i noticed put this man on to try to cover up for biden's statements trying to help him out because i see that biden has to kind of help him out in every situation because he misses steps. but the main comment i have is that now that china has equipment that we left in
afghanistan, how prepared are they going to be to just overtake that we wouldn't have the ability to protect ourselves? i think china has something on biden that biden's working with china and it scares me to death. i think more has to be investigated with the that. there's something going on with china and biden. host: all right. jaken stokes. guest: in terms of what the united states would do in the context of contingency or conflict over taiwan, u.s. policy has for many decades been based on a concept known as strategic ambiguity. in other words, we haven't committed one way or another about whether the united states would intervene militarily to stop china from crossing the taiwan strait and invading taiwan. in and this is really meant to support the broader policy framework i talked about earlier which is to sustain or to drive political negotiations that are peaceful without
either side of the taiwan strait, in other words beijing or tie pay from making big moves unilaterally. and so i think this is an important policy to sustain. it's helped the region stay peaceful for many decades and that's critical going forward. what we can do in the meantime is help taiwan as i said defend itself. and so recent arms sales to taiwan, even training the to taiwan forces, and then helping taiwan maintain its connections to the broaderer globe. all of these things can be really useful in deterg china from attempting to invade taiwan and you'll louing taiwan to continue on as it has been. host: bill in michigan. caller: my question is, when is
the world as a whole going to come together and hold china accountable for this covid outbreak? guest: this is ra good question. we have seen from the trump administration and sustained in the bide b administration as well calls for greater transparency from china on this question of the origins of the covid-19 pandemic. and the purpose is really twofold. certainly to figure out the origins of this pandemic but then to use that information to help prevent future pandemics. and so it's absolutely critical and the lack of transparency from chinese officials in beijing really needs to change. host: how are other countries responding to china's military buildup? guest: other countries are also quite concerned. we've seen growing concerns from other especially democratic powers.
and so one of the major efforts has been to work more closely with allies and partners to balance china's military rise. so we've seen efforts such as more from the quad a lateral security dialogue or the quad made up of japan, australia, indya and the united states. and then we've seen efforts such as the recent agreement between australia, the united king dovepl and the united states to work more closely on military technology and intelligence sharing including one major aspect of that deal which is known by its acronym or office, to help australia get nuclear powered submarines which can sail further and stay out longer as they try to rebalance military balance in east asia. it will take a little bit. it will take more than a decade for those submarines to come on
line but that's an important indicator of the level of concern among other countries in the region. it's not just the united states. host: tom in illinois. caller: i just wanted to mention that so everybody knows the biden fountation, $70 million, 22 unaccounted money from china. and the amount of stuff that we make to make people millionaires and billionaires they're doing their business in china unched human rights violations is just incredible. and china paid our universities 250,000 universities to keep their mouth shut they pair our newspapers money. what is going on with our government? and that we are even doing business with the people and the rich completely rich. the democrats are no longer the people. they're rich corporations making money on our backs and sense rg us as they go about it.
guest: the caller raises an important concern that's been ongoing for decades about human rights abuses in china, whether that's in the western area in china where more than a million uighers have been detained. you know, against their will. in tibet. and also in hong kong as we saw the last couple of years where china has set aside the agreements it made with the international community and with the unenite kingdom to impose its own system in hong kong well before the timeline elapsed where it had agreed to previously. and so the question is, we have a broad spanning relationship with china but how do we get at these human rights abuses. there's been the biden administration has put in place sanctions on and blocks on products coming out of the area that have been made with forced labor and also put sanctions on senior chinese officials that were in charge of hongocong
policy. so i think there's been a relatively strong response. the caller also mentioned chinese investments in the yithesde united states. he's absolutely right that we need greater transparency on chinese investments in the united states. and there have been efforts in recent years to do that. so a couple years ago there was a change to the review process the u.s. government goes through to review major chinese investments in american companies that could have political influence but also to get key technologies that we want to prevent china from getting its hands on. and so there are steps being taken by the government to address these concerns. in addition, there have been efforts to require chinese media outlets to register under the foreign agents registration act. so that's been an effort again to bring transparency to
chinese investments in the united states. host: we're going to get patrick in, a democratic caller. good morning. caller: good morning to you. it's stunning when you look at these similarities and the developing distaupe yan states whether it's china or the united states. we have seen a linkage between the controlled corporate media now the social media systems massive disruption in our fundamental rights creation of the national security act the patriot act the national defense authorization act. so when you look at these two organisms whether it's the chinese reality or the american reality, the american people are not understanding what is developing. and all of this theater we're witnessing is nothing but a bunch of nonsense to rationalize more military more
control more foundations more military platforms to destroy the democracy of america. the american people truly need to wake up and demand repeal of the national security act. we're arbitrarily putting our own citizenry in jail based on lies. host: i'm going to jump in. what about the main argument there? guest: the question of how the united states and chinera or democracies and authoritarian societies are responding to the impact of technology on societies and government is a really critical one. so i'm glad the caller raised it. decades ago the presumption was that technology would be a force for forcing china to open up and to liberalize its governance. but what we have seen is an ability to harness technology tools in the service of authoritarian governance. so in other words they have a surveillance state that's more
sophisticated than anything we've seen to date and it is a real concern. i don't think -- some of those concerns do apply in the united states certainly but the fundamental difference in our governance system means that individuals can -- they have legal rights the that are different from what chinese citizens have, and also we can take action through democratic governance in a way that is not available to chinese citizens. and so it's really incumbent on us as americans to regulate these technologies in a way that supports our democratic society and enables it rather than the opposite. host: thank you for the conversation, >> c-span now, access top