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tv   BBC Newsnight  PBS  January 22, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PST

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>> this is "bbc news night." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, vermont, and honolulu. the john d. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a
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wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> now "bbc news night." >> a rival superpower but how does china affect the american psyche? >> the this week washington got a visit from hu jintao. we see how ordinary americans react to the rise occurred power. >> if we continue on the trajectory we are at a mayor could find itself in a position of global insignificance. >> we ask henry kissinger who paved the way for nixon to go to china about a fading superpower should deal with a budding one. >> whether we have to be afraid of it or not will depend on the
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policies we pursue. >> some speeches are great because of a moment. we ask you for your personal favorites and talked about george bush's speech. is this revolution fuelled by social media or something else? >> so many issues affecting the global economy are down to one factor, the rise of china. hu jintao rot in the u.s.. the obama white house put on a lavish display for their guests. the administration laid out a series of challenges to china. for ordinary americans their
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destiny is uncertain. they can no longer be sure the country's best days are ahead. ♪ >> this suburban elementary school in north carolina -- these kids are not just dabbling in mandarin, this is full immersion. the u.s.-china relationship is one of our rivals. china's latest leap forward is in education. students scored stunning results on international tests topping
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the world in math and reading. america was languishing more than 20 places below in each category. the education secretary said it was a wake-up call. do you like learning chinese? >> >> what do you work at the -- what do you speak at home? >> english and chinese. ♪ >> the path to excellence starts very early. they began their immersion at the age of five. his father is chinese but mother is american. >> the way their economy is going we think it is important her chinese is well and full academic chinese. >> you are preparing her for the
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future. this part of california -- north carolina has high expectations. america seems much less willing to embrace china outside. then in the 1980's there was the fear japan might double up corporate america. -- goggle up corporate america. the vexing factor is they have become a capitalist superstar. two hours west in the blue ridge mountains we come across this plate that was once the furniture capital of the country. now it is and industrial
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graveyard. this factory stands as a twisting monument to china's economic miracle. most companies have shifted operations east to asia. they took thousands of jobs with them. >> at one time this factory is to have 450 employees. >> this man bought the empty building five years ago. he recycles old mattresses here and last year had a haunted factory tour last year. they are angry at american politicians for selling out. >> it is these circumstance by -- created by our government with the free trade act. we cannot blame them. they are doing what we would do in these same issues. it is not about owning your own home. it is about putting food on the
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table and heating your home. things have shifted tremendously. >> he got his first job at the same factory 35 years ago. but in 2005 the factory moved to china. he now look -- works as a prison guard. his wife lost her job last year. their son is also unemployed. all their anger is aimed at the american government. >> i cannot fault the chinese people. they want to feed their families. >> america does not realize we need to get back to taking care of our own, i am afraid to see what will happen down the road. >> this village is where duke
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university students choose to camp out for weeks. the reward for this hardship is a ticket to the game against their rivals, univ. of north carolina. duke is a college basketball superpower. the reigning national champions and number 1 ranked team. winning is in the dna here. it is the same arrogance which sold -- for so long underpined america as the world's top dog. we put together a team of duke's best and brightest to discuss america's state of anxiety. the fear seized upon by an advertisement aired during the recent elections. >> [speaking chinese]
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[laughter] [speaking chinese] >> you can change the future. >> they make it seem within 30 years the u.s. will no robert b. a preeminent power. i don't believe that -- will no longer be a preeminent power. >> america soon find itself in the position of global insignificance. i think you could say it is a rather far out approach to take but with the chinese and indian economy is growing at 10% per year and the e american economy flat lining, it is a wake-up call. >> i still think the u.s. will be a superpower fared in the future. all throughout the u.s. we have
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people coming from all across the world to get their education. i think that is one thing that shows how dominant the u.s. is. >> but china is also regaining some of that power. people who come to this country are going back to china. they are they're inventing this stuff that needs to be invented in this country. >> we are giving u.s. information and sending it back to china. america is the first empire that has given away its strategic weapons. knowledge is a strategic weapon. >> you had to decide which side you came down on. what would you do? >> what worries me more is which side will call me a traitor. that is the world i don't want to live in. i hope we won't come to that.
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>> in 20 years which country will be dominant? >> i don't know if it can be defined that way. >>, united states. >> united states. >> back at this elementary school they are finishing of their song about friendship. this rivalry will increasingly have an impact on all of us. as china struggles with expansion, both are linked in an awkward dance banks to globalization. if only both could be enrolled in one giant the merchant class -- one giant immersion class. >> who better to turn to than the man who first tried to choreograph it. henry kissinger went to china
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in secret in 1971. as secretary of state he prepared the visit of his boss richard nixon. he spoke to us and began by asking him whether the recent transformation keeps them up at night. >> it does not keep me up at night. i did not expect it in 1971. but it is a reality with which we have to live. crux is that a reality america should be afraid of. >> america has to live with the china that exists. whether we have to be afraid of it or not will depend on the problems we both pursue. it should be our objective to
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have a country with which we cooperate creatively. >> the last years have been pretty tricky. issues of trade and human rights. if you were in the white house today what would you advise president obama? >> it seems to me china and the u.s. have really -- there is no conceivable victory in the cold war between them before either side. so i had the impression -- while a lot of the media deals with alleged [unintelligible] i believe some of these differences are real, but also there is a conscience this --
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consciousness they need to be overcome. >> china is the world's banker and has the largest population. would you rather be america or china? >> i don't think it is could the u.s. continues to decline. america is a vital country. it is in a position to address many of the problems like the balance of payment problems that have been neglected. >> thank you very much. this week saw martin luther king day when america honors a man who is famous words are etched in memory. it also marked 50 years since president kennedy gave his famous inaugural address. what makes a memorable speech?
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we asked these people for their opinions. first, here is a vintage sample. >> martin luther king's greatest speech delivered to an audience in 1963. it earned him a unique place in history. >> i have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves in the slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. >> the civil-rights movement, baycol bork produced an abundance of passion -- and cold war produced an abundance of passion. >> so my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for
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your country. >> it is the words in them or the moment at which they were spoken that makes speeches great? the film turning heads in hollywood shows how important it is for a monarch to face a nation on the brink of war. >> [inaudible] >> some of this has been [unintelligible] in america when the president was called upon to sooth a greedy nation -- soothe a grieving nation. >> let us remember a single lack of civility did not cause this country, but only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud. [applause]
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>> i have been talking to the former director of communications for tony blair. and a former speech writer for george w. bush. in new york, the director of theking speech. >> it is right to remember -- mentioned dr. martin luther king and president obama in the same speech about oratory? >> it will probably not resonate in the chambers of history. i think king is the benchmark, but where they are different from what most political professionals do is those are set piece features in an era where most political communication is more informal. i don't think we give a sound bite enough respect.
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any modern person would have to listen to take someone take five hours to present a budget, they would not go through it. it was a different era. >> this is the era of sound bites we should not underestimate? >> i think that is right but i still say in american politics really big speeches account for a lot. they get remembered for the sound bites but you know when somebody is making a significant speech. president obama has made three already. i also think bill clinton -- >> can you remember a single line from any of them? >> i can member his -- i cannot remember a line like i can from martin luther king's speech. it was phenomenal at the time
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and has become more overtime. >> congratulations on the film. you are dealing with the monarchs in an age where [unintelligible] what fascinated you about this journey of a stuttering monarch to the speech that was so important? >> what i found fascinating was the generation before king george vi as a leader you are a visual icon. if you looked good on a course or perform -- if you looked good on a horse, you could serve your function. but with the coming of mass media and radio, suddenly it became about can you as a leader connect emotionally with your people? can you project that connection successfully? that said about this unease we have inherited about whether the
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leaders are sufficiently projecting emotional connections. i was struck after the midterm elections when there was soul- searching about whether obama is coming across in the right way. is he projecting his correction -- projecting his connection correctly? it is really a performance critique. that issue of critiquing performance rather than the real emotional connection started with king george vi in its most profound web. >> we have had a ton of responses from the audience. martin luther king comes up famous speeches and ronald reagan about "tear down this wall." and tony blair comes down a few times. >> it is not a day for sound bites. we will read those at home.
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i feel the hand of history upon our shoulders. i really do. i think we need to acknowledge that. >> not a date for sound bites but he delivered one anyway. >> i look it up. this is the total entry. we were met off the plane by helicopter. when he came to eight he did his own thing. hell of a sound bite. the people remembered that as though it was a big speech. it was not a speech at all. that popped out of his mouth. >> the founders of facebook and twittered would never have dared to dream their websites with one day be hailed as engines of political upheaval in the middle
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east. princess scratching their heads about haven't -- how to put these social media genie back in the bottle. one blogger was promoted from political prisoner -- as the concept of a twitter revelation become dangerous? >> [gunshots] >> in the upheavals many see the internet finally fulfilling its potential, giving repressed people the means to fight back. >> if the internet was seen as such a threat to regimes what would they have been addressed bloggers? >> i don't see the internet coming along causing a revolution in bringing down
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iran. i see the internet as a way locally of holding people to account. not just regimes but companies. it is also a way for groups outside the mainstream to have a voice. >> it is true the number tweets about tunisia shot up as the president fled but does that mean one accelerated the other? >> we should be careful because revolutions are caused by many factors. the availability of these tools is one potential factor. we don't know whether it was important or not. >> we have been here before. in 2009 the uprising of the iranian elections was the last twitter revolution. social media fill the gap, but
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did it spread the protests? >> what we have learned from iran is that they spoke and twitter helped organize the iranian opposition. those who were already motivated to take action to go on to the streets and share information about their experiences. twitter is good in organizing those who are already energized. it is not good in creating a mass movement. >> in the case of iran, proclaiming a twitter revolution did alert the iranian authorities to social media. a senior u.s. state department adviser contacted twitter to ask them to a proposed -- postponed their planned maintenance. after that the i iranian regime became convinced the internet was an arm of the u.s.
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government. the man who made that request was jared cohen. >> i look at the 60% of that part of the world under age 30 and see the window that will not last forever. these kids will be the adults soon. i look at the digital age and think this is the first time ever won from education institutions and young kids -- everyone from education institutions can have a stake in this. >> the editor of one magazine says if we discount brokers selling the internet has become a reality. there was a very naive view from washington that the liberal approach to spreading the internet internationally would bring down the bad guys. it does not mean because politicians have misunderstood the politicians -- it does not mean open connection to the
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internet is a way for alternative viewpoints. often this is long term. to make the population of a place that is quite a crescive understand that they have some power. -- that is quite oppressive understand they have some power. >> i think this is [unintelligible] we are so desperate to not destroy our utopian idealistic vision of the internet that we sometimes buy into buying silicon snake oil. >> it might be worse than that. some analysts say oppressive regimes are finding ways to use internet technologies to further constraint dissidents. is the internet no more than
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just another means of communication with no more bias towards liberation than a blank sheet of paper? >> from all of us here at "bbc news night," goodbye. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, vermont and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a
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wide range of companies, from small businesses to large corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc news night" was presented by kcet,
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