tv Michael Auslin Asias New Geopolitics CSPAN January 13, 2021 8:47am-9:57am EST
first african-american secretary of defense. watch live coverage next tuesday at 3 p.m. eastern on c-span, on-demand that c-span.org or listen on the c-span radio app. >> next, move institution fellow michael auslin talks about the geopolitical rivalry between countries in the indo-pacific region of the world. this is an hour and five minutes. ♪ ♪ >> welcome everybody. we have a really great session here. it's really a celebration come celebration of a brilliant, timely new book and a time for us to have a really important discussion about what's going on in the critical region of the world. of course the start of today's performance is the author of that great new book, michael auslin who is a tremendous historian, a scholar of contemporary asia and he's that
payson j. treat distinguished fellow here to pick is also a great friend. really it's one of for us to with you to celebrate this tremendous new book. the book is "asia's new geopolitics" and the book is an important book, an important time about the reshaping that's going on across the indo-pacific region. he is also the author of another tremendous book right behind me here called the end of the asian century. he is one of the most prolific and lucid analysts on what's going on in the region. if you haven't already done it do what i get and set up a google alert for whatever his essays are published come ,t the right way. he also is a host of wonderful podcast he does on the pacific century. and, of course, the asia-pacific region as we can see just today has some developments ongoing, whether it's from north korea or the latest aggressive actions of the chinese communist party.
so we couldn't have really a more timely discussion about widely important region. and joining us to facilitate this discussion is a a brillit scholar in her own right, nadia schadlow is a visiting fellow here at hoover and is a senior fellow at the hudson institute. as deputy announces goody advisor for strategy and the trump administration, not it was a smith and affecting what i think was probably the most significant shift in american foreign policy since the end of the cold war -- nadia -- that the recognition china is a a strategic rival and the policies of the chinese communist party hose a significant threat not just to the united states and her interest in the region and globally really but to all three in open society. nadia, it's great to have your to facilitate this discussion. to kick it off we have congressman mike gallagher who has just done a wonderful job serving his country from the
eighth the district. prior to being a congressman, which he began his duties their own capitol hill in 2016, he served his country with distinction as united states marine corps officer. mike has a distinct background as a scholar, a graduate of princeton and the masters and phd in international relations from georgetown university and mike, i will just say i have fond memories of when we first met when i recruited lieutenant gallagher to serve on important mission as you would just returned from iraq and, of course, like anything you did you exceeded all expectations. mike as you will soon learn if you don't know already, he is emerging as one of the most thoughtful, young leaders in the areas of foreign policy, national security, and intelligence. i would like to call on congressman gallagher could you please kick us off? >> thank you, h.r., for that kind introduction, and thank you to michael for asked me to join you this afternoon.
as feature mentioned in a previous life when i was in uniform i worked for him. if you see me break out in a cold sweat at any time during his remarks because i i stilll like a second lieutenant whenever i hang around h.r. and i get very nervous around him, and i can hear his voice booming in my head, micah, brother, you catch area. you also know h.r.-back in because i was a middle east specialist. in many ways i have been catching up on indopacom and this is been a critical part of that. there is much in his compelling and thought-provoking new book that we should, come from befoe to talk about today. as h.r. writes in his boat, michael has been one of the chinese communist party increasingly belligerent behavior but it's only for a long time that it's only been in the past few years that these warnings have become mainstream and i spent a great of time in congress wondering what exactly
that's the case, why does it take us so long to wake up, and what is it about the present moment that has awakened the western world to the threat posed by the chinese communist party? in search of answers, because we had been trapped in our various basements during the last few months, i've recently sat down and i watched the 2017 classic film wolf warrior two, the highest grossing chinese film of all time. for those of you who are fans of the silk of you will note at the films climax the antagonist was an american mercenary named big daddy is about to kill the hero was a former pla special ops soldier. as big daddy attempts to jam a knife into his throat, he gloats and said, people like you will always be inferior to people like me. so get used to it. spoiler alert, the tables get
turned rent and brutally stabbed big daddy to death with the boat is going as a necklace. sorry if you watch the movie i just ruined it for you. but for fans of the original 2015 wolf warrior, this was a satisfying if familiar ending because that first installment ended with another american mercenary come this time an ex-u.s. navy seal with a british accent named tomcat. after trading multiple stab wounds, he helps the holding of who we knife, rips the patch of the shoulder with the chinese flag and the words that say i fight for china and he mocks him for being willing to die for his country but, of course, the tables are turned yet again and our hero fang manages to stop and kill tomcat with his own knife. shortly thereafter the commanding general of the chinese unit subtly sums up the movies message by saying those who challenge china's resolve will have no place come safe
place to hide. i think there's a lot to digest in his movies that may seem like an even more cartoonish version of a a michael bay movie heren america. and in this chapter on the new chinese will come the hazard observation that could be ripped straight from the wolf warrior fighting turkey says quote with china's new strength has come a bareknuckle abusiveness, often combined with an unexpected since of insecurity. it seems increasingly clear that beijing expects the west to change how it thinks and acts, engage in self-censorship, and even punish our own workers for offending china. and, of course, we've seen this phenomenon play out in stages throughout the coronavirus crisis are responded to general secretary she desire for them to display more fighting spirit, and in practice what where
diplomacy has produced scenes often as ham-handed and unintentionally comical as those in the wolf warrior movies. while we're still in the middle of this plot, early returns in public opinion suggests that wolf warrior diplomacy may be backfiring in europe in particular and further turning public opinion against the party. but i would submit it might be popular domestically within china. what we are seeing today is a product of recent events colliding with a long-running current. that of course is a a ccp copr of the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent wolf warrior attitude that has one few fans abroad. the attitude is not brand-new. remember the first movie came out in 2015 and if the two american administration in a row across both political parties have released defense strategy that rightfully prioritize the indo-pacific. but none with the urgency and the actual strategic sense that
h.r. and nadia put together. i give them incredible credit for the phenomenal work that was done in a 20 safety national security strategy leading to the subsequent national defense strategy. i would tell you a son who works on these issues every single day in congress at a time when the country is very politically divided, i'm actually struck by the amount of consensus on the basic premise of those documents. i would submit even the president against detractors are not necessarily taking issue with the premise of his grand strategy as articulate by h.r. and nadia. luckily, we have the work of insightful and clear eyed scholars like michael auslin to thank for that for waking us up to the challenge that we face from the chinese communist party, and the fact that we have a new direction in u.s. foreign policy and is going to take a long time for us to figure out how to navigate this is that a geopolitical challenges and all
the different crosscurrents and the rocky shoals would have to navigate for decades to come. thank you for your work h.r., nadia, and you for your leadership. h.r., thank you for not firing the over a decade ago as i was a precocious second and first lieutenant, and i'm really excited for this discussion and i'm honored to be working on this with you in congress. >> thank you for those great introductory remarks. to our viewers this couldn't come at a more important time because i think what's happening is what he's laid out, , this wl for diplomacy, this approach, i think the pla and michael, were anxious to which her thoughts on this, my be bullied into a propaganda and this is one the reasons why we're facing such a dangerous time now across the indo-pacific. so to our viewers what will do now is go into a facilitated discussion so we can draw some of his insights from the superb
essays in the book. that facilitate discussion will go on to about 45 minutes past the hour. in the meantime please send me your questions. i'll be reading them is that discussions going to try to synthesize as best i can in the final 15 minutes i will pose to the doctor some of your questions from our viewers. without further delay thanks again, congressman gallagher, for this great introductory barks and i will turn over to nadia. >> thanks so much. there's a pleasure to be here this afternoon, and it's great to be back with old friends i thought i would start because i think congressman gallagher needs to depart a little bit earlier. michael if you don't mind i thought i might direct a couple questions two and then we will turn to michael. i do want to say, however, mike, you have proven my point. use ago i wrote an article about the importance of knowing how to fluidly recount movie lines and
plots to really make it in the national security and foreign policy field. you have done it again. that you go for it and you'll see how often that actually is important. usually it's the godfather. mike, , i'd like to ask you a couple of questions. in the past couple of months you've been busy at home writing them great, interesting updates. one essentially talked about the problem of reciprocity in the u.s.-china can relationship. you talked about how twitter as a platform, ccp was using twitter in the united states as a platform but there were rules and regulations that prevent its use in china itself. could you talk about that reciprocity? second, i'd like you to comment more about your more recent ads which talks about the possible cold war between the u.s. and china. a couple days later bob zoellick would a letter to the editor. he found the term not helpful
and i thought it might be interesting to start a little bit with both the cold war and the reciprocity. thanks. >> great. i don't want to consume time that could better be spent listening to michael is an actual regional specialist to take to the godfather, the middle is a very much like michael corleone and the godfather into a scapegoat and pulls back. first question, i recently did an hour-long interview until the bishop until everyone is tuning into this knows the publisher of cynicism which is become essential reading for people pay attention to these issues in d.c. he really said something that i think is true, that these platforms are absolutely essential to the ccp ideological warfare strategy. ..
not to be too incharitable. i wrote a letter to jack dorsey,@jack, suggested a simple, fair rule for countries that deny their own citizens access to this platform, ie china, they should not be allowed to propagate conspiracy. there is an area that's tricky. i know there's been a lot of conservative bashing of social media companies and suggestions that we should treat them like content publishers. i think it's more complicated than that. i don't think we can sit idly by while the disinformation into our democracy. we went through a bruising
debate for years about russia in an election. we're in the midst of an election. and as for a new cold war, i'm open to a better analogy. i think mischa you've been critical of that analogy. i welcome the pushback. my only point, there's something in between hot war, particularly nuclear war, and status quo, doing nothing. we can call it gray zone, warfare. we could call it luke warm warfare. i think the cold war analogy is useful. one because it clues us into certain similarities with the original cold war, the need to reinvent a lot of the national security ap rat tus-- apparatuses that we built. but clues us into the many, many differences, right. foremost among them the fact that we were never electrically
intertwined with the soviet union like we are with the chinese communist party. i also like cold war histories an i referenced in the piece. joseph mccarthy is buried in my district, he's in my district and it should warn us that we can go overboard, but as long as we retain that capacity for self-correction, that is something we can win and the final thing i'd say, i'm sorry to go on, i can't help, but think that the ccp goes on state tv every day and criticizes cold war thinking and cold war mentality and us for summoning the ghost of mccarthyism because they don't want the new cold war to end the way the old cold war with we win and they lose. i rest my thoughts. thanks, mike. that's a perfect opening history. i'd love to turn now to the featured guest of the day, so first, i loved your book. i would like to say that each of the essays is really
elegantly crafted and there's-- they're perfect for those who are new to this subject as well as experts. michael howard the famous historian that wrote about strategy would have been proud. you're an example of what he was talking about. let's start with the title of the book, geo politics. tell us what you mean by geo politics. it's important for the audience to understand a little bit of what you mean and tell us about nicklaus as well because he features in several of the essays, and i think it forms a nice framework for understanding the rest of the chapters. >> thank you. i'm happy to do that. i realize now that the title of the book probably should have been wolf warrior, geo politics. i don't know if we can change it, but the problem for not
asking representative gallagher for his thoughts on the title beforehand. a few seconds of thanks. thanks to the hoover institution for allowing me to go with a book of essays, which a lot of people don't like. tom gilligan, our director who was supportive of this. and chris dour this was the best experience publshing the book and it's a nice piece to hold. and our colleague, neil ferguson who kindly wrote an excellent forward put it into the context of where we are today and i appreciate him taking time. of course, all of you guys for coming on and i know how busy you are and representative gallagher not only helping around the country, worried about impending wonderful family news that's going to be coming. so everybody is busy and i'm glad you took time. but i think we have to take time because it's important and
it's important in a way for those of us who have been doing asia for decades have been waiting for and now that it's here it's kind of like the dog that catches the car. what do you do now? because everyone is focused on it in a way you were sort of a lonely voice in the wilderness. one of the ways that it's helpful for me to think about it is this older concept of geo politics. and representative gallagher talked about the water that the ccp swims in. we used to swim in the water of geopolitics and we use today think about it all the time in relation to our strategy, our goals, our desires for what the world should look like and at the end of the cold war, we dropped it, just like we folded up strategic air command and said okay, we don't need it anymore. i think part of it was the end of history, the idea that we were at the end of the history. the idea that we didn't really have to think anymore about a global challenger and therefore, different areas of the world. i think, also, some of it may have been related to things
that both hr and mike gallagher went through the revolution of military affairs, suddenly we thought, you know what? we can project power anymore around the world lethally with precision and don't have to think about geography. and there are confluences that made us forget about geography is important. from strategy, it's the influence of geography on political or international relations or conversely how foreign policy interacts in a geographic space. i think when you think about china there's no other way, but to understand that they are looking at the world geopolitically. we're used to talk about one belt, one road and the first and second island chain. those are geopolitical conceptions for the chinese, but the way they're approaching it is through a geo strategy. i know it's clunky, but
sometimes these days we talk about geo politics the way that foreign politics is. fijio-- geopolitics, when you think about access to resources, about lines of communication, about linking the world together for your own national power, you're trying to affect how to gu the geo political space. for these on this side think about it, one belt, one road is a geo strategy. i'll find-- and i'll wrap up on this. and it starts with the germans, gave it a bad name and a long history there. i found nicholas, a yale historian, political scientist, geopolitician who unfortunately during the war had died, incredible studies where
geopolitics made out and kinder, who came to spikeman's way of thinking, talked about that heartland, that gigantic step area in the central russia and parts of china. he talked about the rim lands and that's really where this plays out. it plays out in the inner seas. whether it's the mediterranean or the english channel or in the case of asia, the east china sea and the south china sea, it's where the people are and the productive facilities are. and so, that's where competition really happens. it doesn't happen out in the middle of the pacific ocean. except if you're trying to take a place that gives you like midway, that gives you access. instead, it's competing in the rim lands and spikeman, i think, really helps us understand what beijing has been trying to do for the past 20 years in terms of securing what, in the book i called the ais a --
asiatic, and it behooves us to know what china thinks about geopolitics to know about strategy. >> i was going to ask you about the concept of the ais a mediterranean, what's happening there the last few years in terms of some development and also if you could link that to the broader concepts of the indo how that fits in because that's another important theme. book. tell us what's happening in the asiatic mediterranean. >> this was a term used by spikeman in 1942 in his last book, i'm blanking on the name. it was unfinished at the time of his death and then finished by his colleagues. he said, look, let's think about asia's interconnected seas as we think of the
mediterranean. it's the lifeline into and out of the region. if you think of the east china sea and the south china sea and taiwan that sits at the neck between the two of those. it goes down, it flows seamlessly from what we used to call asiatic russia. you think of japan, south korea and northern part of china, these are the most productive part of the world economy in terms of production and from there, or into there, the raw materials flow and all of these finished goods flow. but we don't really think of it. we think because they have different geographic names. we think of them as a sea separated from another sea. certainly not how the asians think of it nor from the indian ocean. you get to the indian ocean different ways, through the strait of malaca and then the other strait and then into the indian ocean leads to part of the world we're more familiar thinking about. so to them it's an integrated
space, integrated strategic and battle space. it's why, for example, the chinese have a term i don't think we use anymore, we did a decade ago. they were building a string of pearls, and that was to flow-- just reminded me, thank you the geography of the piece of the last book. people should pick it up. it's lucidly written and helps you understand why you need to have a forward defense because you don't want to be contained in either your hemisphere or worse, your quartersphere. you need a global defense and integrate it, why the chinese are building bases in djibouti. why they're building in pakistan or burma, to allow them to have strategic space to flow from the productive neighborhood they're in to where the goods go and if you look at what is sometimes
called maritimes silk road, and the american silk road or the bases follow the road. it's flags following trade or the other way around. but they're creating access points. that's why the indians are so concerned. why the largest naval procurer is going to be the indian navy because they're concerned about maintaining access, why the japanese are building because no one wants to have their strategic space shrunk to where they're not able to enter the global commons. we've been so used to operating in the global commons as essentially an island nation, continental island nation that we've lost the sense that it can be cut off from us. for 70 years we haven't had to think about it, we have to think about it now. why you and hr were writing the national security strategy so many of us thought you had it exactly right, that the competition, which is a sort of, you know, theatrical, this
is how they're competing. they're competing in space and we have to understand that to maintain the free and open pacific a concept that goes back to the 19th century, a free and open pacific and indo-pacific just as we've maintained our ability to get from the continental u.s. into maritime asia. >> and i think it's a nice segway of the concept into the indo-pacific and that was in the national strategy and talked about for many years by others as well and i think also, like to comment a little on the hill's perspective on it because i think it's an area of concensus among, you know, in terms of the term and look it needs and also, hr, do you have any thoughts about the indo-pacific as well and how maybe also what's happening, you know, more recently in terms of the way the administration is thinking, whether, how implementation is going via the strategy. mike, do you want to briefly
comment on it and i'll turn to mike gallagher. >> very briefly. i'm just happy we're talking about the indo-pacific. when i was at yale, you would talk about east asian studies and the state department, you have the east asian pacific affairs, but the asians don't think about it in that way. indians look east, policy, or japan's quasi alliance with india, it's integrated so we need to catch up. dod gets it right with the asian, you know, the area of responsibility for indo-pacific command is right. it encompasses the entire region and i think we need the rest of the academia and work places to integrate, but that's come a long way since i started doing this 15, 20 years ago. >> at least from-- >> i don't think there's anyone
questioning the renaming of tacom, nor the overall prioritization, geographic prioritization that it represents. i do, however think, and this is not just true in congress or acutely true in congress, but i think more broadly in the think tank community. i certainly sense a lack of focus on india, and i don't think while we have a growing number of china focused scholars, i think that's an area where neither members of congress more the broader foreign policy community have chosen to focus on and write about with notable, notable exceptions, of course. ang i think more broadly as pertains to the work of the national security strategy and respect for the eurasia rim lands that mischa brilliantly lays out. i think while recent polling suggests that americans in the wake of coronavirus have an
unusually negative view of china in general, and even canadians, by the way. once you pissed off the canadians, you know you've really screwed up. i don't think it's a palpable sense of clear and present danger that would allow us to make the necessary military intelligence and economic investments, i think we need to make, in the pacific. in other words, i think people in my district, in northeast wisconsin felt the threat of the jihadist terrorists in 2015, 2016 in a way where they don't feel the threat of the chinese communist party because it's more insidious and it's different and i think that's true even after coronavirus. so i think we all have to do a better job why we don't want to live in a world where they're regional. and where it displaces the u.s. as a pacific power.
it's hard to make when there are people in both parties embracing an isolationist view and don't understand how hard it would be to get across the pacific that mischa brilliantly lays out. >> hr, do you want to make any comments? >> i'll pass and sort of synthesizing the questions and we have some great questions. >> all right, i'll ask a few more and then open up to viewers because i know that's what it's about. i'd like to highlight, i should have early on, the book is more than just about china. there's interesting two chapters on japan and mischa is a historian of the region, has written about japan for many years. one of the chapters had a very interesting description of how japan managed to balance the problems of globalization, both the opportunities afforded by it, as well as some of the
drawbacks. and i think you very -- you clearly explained how japan balanced between the two and asked whether or not those lessons had some relevance for us today. so, mischa, would you like to comment a little about that? i thought that was a great chapter. >> yeah, the chapter, that is coming from an ancient japanese poem and the god set up eight fences around japan to keep it safe from the world and it would always be a divine land. in many ways we have to exotic view of japan, but japan has maintained barriers to the world that most of us in the west would find questionable, if not problematic. but i wrote the book because honestly, you know, i lived in japan in the '90s and parts of the 2000's and you get very used to it, but then i was back there and i was actually there
during the terrible paris massacre in 2015, i think it was. and i was in tokyo and all the news is coming in. and so immediately, as a-- someone who lives in america, your body reacts physically. my body reacted physically, my god, here is another attack, what next, what should i do? and i realized i'm in tokyo, i'm perfectly safe. and that's-- japan obviously had incidents of terrorism in the mid '90s, but the type of terrorism we had been dealing with at that point for 15 years in the post 9/11 iteration, but for decades and japan didn't have to worry about. they live in a dangerous neighborhood, worry about north korea, worry about china, but a lot of things that consumed us and looking at europe in terms of immigration and assimilation and question of open borders and the like. japan mass a different set of answers so out of that flowed trying to understand in a very
broad sense, japan's choices and whether they might not be better than we gave them credit for. and a very simply after the popping of the japanese bubble in 1989, we didn't talk about japan, it wasn't going to make us rich. and what happens when china's bubble pops. it would be big, but wouldn't get rich. we thought we had the go-go 2000's and '90s and japan seemed stagnant, but by any metric japan does well extraordinarily well, whether it's a crime metric, a social stability med metric, education. it wasn't very modern and it won't opened up, completely opened borders or complete integration with the world and i questioned whether in 100 years we might look back and say they may have made choices
that certainly as legitimate and possibly better than ours. it was meant to be a controversial chapter, but i would end this by saying that when i traveled through asia, everyone knows money could be made in china, but everyone aspires to be in japan, clean skies, green parks, population that supports the government. they all wanted to be japanese, none of them wanted to be chinese. we at least need to be aware of that. >> thanks, mike. and one of the interesting chapters on north korea, it's interesting because it's not a line of discussion that we often hear. so essentially he'll summarize very quickly, you argue that we should be more realistic about the dangers north korea poses in terms of potential accidents involving nuclear materials and nuclear components and weapons, and that we should actually consider working with them on safety issues, and i think that that's interesting.
i don't think a lot of people talk about that. so why don't you comment a little about that and when you wrote that chapter, i forget the date when the original version came out. did you get pushback? what was the response to that? >> so now i'm breaking outs in a sweat because i'm nervous about hr coming down on me. because i know-- >> you were hoping we wouldn't notice the chapter. >> no, it was meant to be controversial and i got pushback and got weird invitations from people who never invited me before. here is where i went my cold war, and mike wrote strategic adaptation in the cold war and i've never gone that deep. i've always been interested in the nuclear question, going to college in d.c. in the '80s, it was a big topic. and seemed to me that the real issue with north korea, because i see them as rational actors that dance up to the line of craziness, but really never cross it, is not that they're
going to wake up one day, kim jong-un or his sister and decide i'm going to nuke san francisco. it's that there's going to be an accident. we've had dozens of accidents. we had a titan 2 miss feel blow up with a nuclear warhead and blow the warhead hundreds of meters away. we we had plane crash. we don't know where six of our nuclear weapons are, and off the carolina coast though there may be a sort of bermuda triangle thing going on. and an explosion to this day we don't know how damaging it was. my worry, and we spend billions and billions of dollars on nuclear assurety. i was able to interview people of strategic command, all the way down to the missileers and
ballistic missile subcaptains. they say the main job is keeping it safe. how do we know that nuclear is keeping it safe. we don't know the design of their weapons. we don't know who has authority to launch, if it's delegated in case of attack. what if the phone lines are cut and they say they must have struck, and let me launch. we don't know about early warning. and two chapters are how close we came to nuclear war with the russians, and-- not malfunctions, but misreadings from data from satellites led the russians to believe we were launching missiles and it's only that humans intervened and said.
and one who died in 1983 under boris yeltsin. and they don't have satellites in north korea what if they see a b-52 circling and they say that's it. my fear is having a safe nuclear arsenal is so difficult, and i say if, if we don't denuclearize them and it has been a core goal of all administrations, but if we don't denuclearize them, if we live in a world with north korean nuclear weapons, how do we keep them safe. that's the key thing. deterrents is part of it, i get it. they will go if they make us do it, i get that, but what about the accident where a missile can launch and blow up in a plane? crazily, do we try to help, if they have them, i don't think they'll let us help. i don't think that they'll let the chinese help. but if our kids are going to live under a shadow to some
degree, it's a provocative chapter, but the cold war history how it's hard to keep them safe and we've done a great job with incredible work at it, but none of us know in the north koreans would do the same. i'll go to mike gallagher for pa minute and then to hr. he's nodding, i can't tell if you agree or-- >> i agree with a lot of what he said. i think on the hill most people welcome the policy of maximum pressure with north korea and even those of us on the hawkish side of the spectrum are willing to test this diplomatic outreach, however, i think it's fair to say we've taken two steps forward one step back. and a lot ofs believe there's more to improve pressure, particular will i when it comes to chinese banks and businesses that give an economic lifeline
to north korea and relate it to mischa's broader work. a lot of times people that are advocating a return to the status quo and saying we're going overboard in terms of more confrontational approach to china will cite a variety of areas where we can cooperate and stability on the korean peninsula is one of them. however, people like peter mattis, the most influential mattis has done a good job of dismantling that argument and showing even on the terms of that argument, it's failed because the china communist party was not a cooperative partner. and north korea we've been content to praise maximum pressure and ignore bits much evidence we've gotten in recent months. >> okay, now to the audience. thanks everyone for hanging in with us and hr, the floor is yours. >> thanks. what a great discussion. so what i've done, mischa, to
give you a heads-up, i've group these into kind of seven questions and they're rapid fire, be ready. >> all right. >> so we have a great international audience here and you're asking just wonderful questions. thanks, everybody. so from greg, john, dylan, matthew and david, their questions were about what about these flash points now that we're seeing. in the south china sea, along the indian border with the extinguishment of freedom, all hume rights and individual rights and rights in hong kong, and what is happening and why? what is china trying to achieve? is this new aggressiveness connected to the covid crisis? how do you see what china's trying to do along these flash points and what do you think the prospects are going forward? >> you know, it's a huge question. at some points i sort of hesitate because i'm getting
back more into historian mode than pundit mode and trying to look forward. i think it's important to go backwards in a sense and say why did we get here when this was obviously the point we didn't think we would get to? and we are not conflating, but combining things that are domestic going on with china, with the party, with, again, its geo strategy on the outside and how it sees things like taiwan and hong kong. what's clear is that the stronger that beijing has become, the more assertive and aggressive it's become. now, the interpretation is, you know, why? why is that? is it going it out of confidence or out of insecurity? and i think it's a little bit of both. we can't forget that it is, you know, always the strongest country in asia and it always has to be just by nature of its own geography. but it also understands that it faces very strong neighbors and
it faces strong partners/adversaries such as the united states. and so i think it's an element where it can bully smaller nations and it's too easy to say it did it historically, but it's in the mindset and the dna of the chinese bureaucratic state that this is how international relations were ordered and yet, it's also a party and a leninist party state that it knows it doesn't have much legitimacy even at home particularly with the economic slowdown, that faces enormous pressures going forward, whether it's a slowing down macro economy. the fact that beijing is back under lockdown because of the coronavirus, that it did not handle that as well as it led the world to believe. that pollution is terrible. i can go to a little bit of what i tried to talk about in my last book. you know, where the risks and stresses within asia. and so does it feel that it needs to act now because it cannot act in 10 years the way
that it wants? we saw that in japan in the 1930's and felt it needed to act then as opposed to wait because time was not on its side and i think that there's an odd combination of beijing of feeling so much stronger than anyone else around it, you know, given where it's come in the past, now, the past two decades or so. but at the same time not knowing if in two decades hence it will act. some of these are historical, right? 20 indian soldiers being killed in a clash with the chinese just over the past couple of days. these are border disputes, back from the 19th century. so, they're played out in a modern, in a modern setting, but they certainly didn't develop just because suddenly china's strong. these go back for centuries t goes back to the ching dynasty over 50 years, nearly 60 was the border war between china and india. that's 60 years ago. think if japanese and the united states were still
fighting, skirmishing over world war ii, that's where they are with india and china. they haven't settled the borders. what's clear, no one settled the problem and that's the biggest reason we have the flash points. asia cannot figure out how get past these things, whether it's the south china sea, east china sea, borders on the land. it's not just china, it's japan and russia. it's cambodia and thailand. it's a whole bunch of different nations, but clearly it's the assertiveness of the party's desires to be seen again as a hedgeman in asian that's driven this and the concern is that eventually flash points can just multiply. you can lose control. situation. ultimately that's the scenario i talk about in the war chapter of future history of a war between china and the united states.
we should be very worried that after decades of economic growth and political integration that it has even more interstate conflicts than it did before. they have not solved it. that is a bad data point for us to be looking at. >> you already started with the questions from our other viewers. so, joshua, felix and ronna, said what's driving this from an emotional perspective, from aspirational perspective, what does china really want? what is this agenda of national rejuvenation? how do you see it? lawrence, who is listening in, watching from berlin said, is this a modern day version of labbens realm. what is china honing to-- what is china hoping to achieve. >> and i know that the eminent chinese historian from oxford
is on-line and asked one of his questions, i'm hesitant, i'd like to punt, but i don't think i can. and i don't want to make it too easy, but i do think it's important to listen to what the party state says. we spend a lot of time interpreting it from our own views, but the party state is fairly volumable, if not always transparent in the-- whether it's xi jinping's thoughts on foreign affairs and diplomacy or things like document number nine, the infamous now document number nine and talks basically about the ideological war between china and the west. i think it's fair to say that the party wants to survive. it wants to remain in power. and everything flows from that and that can either be from a sense of pressure or from a sense of advantage. but this is about maintaining the party and therefore, the
strength of china so that china supports the party. if i can put it that crudely. that it's legitimacy and that it's both-- it's fulfilling the part of the special contract that was, we will give economic growth again for no political reform, the reverse of what the soviets tried has been in many ways, although not fully fulfilled. but returning china to a position of greatest in asia and by extension in the world is where i think the party is working now. so, there is-- and it is what's the rising powers do. i think there's a really interesting debate now over the question of does china want to supplant the post world war ii order and get rid of it and put in its own. or does it want to co-op it.
you see analogous things to the west, the asian bank and the one belt one road. and you can look at the things that the party state has put together. but i think it's fair to say that it sees itself as a great power, it's hard not to. because of that it's acting in ways to maximize that power or express that power. it often does so peacefully. it does so through diplomatic and then those turn-- it's trying to get economic advantage and diplomatic advantage, but there's always the question of hierarchy. we talked about reciprocity between the united states and china, i think is the key u.s. policy and i think it's the right u.s. policy you guys called principled realism and how you see that played out in policy, but from china, it is actually hierarchy, returning
to a more, quote, unquote, natural state of hierarchy, what the professor daniel bell in a new book called just hierarchy. they talk about just hierarchy between states, big states and small states. and so the question from the chinese perspective, at least from the perspective, how do you act responsibly in that hierarchy so it's equal and is it-- not in taking over territory that it believes is rightfully its such as taiwan or main taping territory that's strategically crucial like shin shen or tibet. they've achieved most of their goals already of turning the inner seas into free operating
zones for what 30 years ago was basically a coastal fort. it's an extraordinary development in a short period of time. because of that it's forcing other states in the region to accept this unequal structure and then we're coming in, or with a different model. it's not the vertical model, it's the horizontal model that the states need to be treated equally and even if we have more capability and capacity than them. you have the clashing almost literally in a spacial sense two different models. >> i'm thinking about the term one belt, one road, which was kind of revealing when the chinese communist party rolled it out and backed off of it after president trump said there are many belts and many roads. >> they're just all chinese, that's it. >> sort of this idea of a modern day tributary system.
and the response to this. first, what took so long is what one wanted to ask. was it business, avarice, why didn't we see the threat from the chinese communist party earlier and adapt to it. tevi asked a question about chinese information warfare, hey, this gets to your part about reciprocity. how come it's diplomacy and we didn't have a chinese villain, and it's hollywood with chinese influence, and great report that hoover did about a year ago and i should make a plug right now for a wonderful hoover program that mischa is integral to, which is on china, sharp power that larry diamond and others are working on as well here at hoover and then zack had a question, he said, hey, back in the day we had the u.s. information agency. right? and so i guess the question is, why did it take us so long and
why are we not adapting to the information dimension of this and do you have any ideas about how to respond to the party's effort to influence us in such a way that we don't respond effectively to these various forms of aggression? >> i know we're getting down to the last minutes and this is such an important and wonderful question. i would say just in terms of the blowup, i call the chinese rules. and it should have been beijing rules, but china rules. a report that our colleague larry diamond did on chinese influence operation which is a touchstone. everybody needs to read it, you can get it on the hoover site. hr is central to it as well in terms of taiwan and the sharp power because we have woken up to it. now, i want to be an optimist, it's a great day in d.c., it's raining, in fact, but i want to
be optimistic and the optimism is that it took us so long to get it right because we really were hopeful that this was going to work out well. our hearts were in the right place, honestly, that as a nation we thought we were going to bring china into the post mau china into the world of community of nations that we get it involved in these international organizations. we've helped it develop and become wealthier and it would see the benefits of this and i think that beijing fully understands the benefits of this. it just is unhappy with a more subordinate position within that and, i believe, that the party is very serious about saying that it is not going to modernize. we certainly see that under xi jinping, modernize in terms of liberalize. it's not going to let in western influences, it's not going to let in concepts of democratic equality and the like because that is extensional for the party, but we were wedded to historical concept that all nations that become part of the world and
benefit from it will liberalize in some wayment they're not going to have elections like in peoria, but they will liberalize in some way and certainly, they will act in cooperative ways abroad. and that's being tested. there is a lot of self-interest. i do think we have to look at the role of corporate america more carefully, but this goes back to the very beginning of american relations with china, when the first american sailor was arrested by ching authorities by a crime that he did not commit and the merchant community, 1821, the terra nova case, the told us, take him you don't care. you told us you're going to cut trade relations, so they took him and executed him. this goes all the way back. and we learned that self-interest comes at enormous price. hundreds of billions every every stolen in intellectual
property. terra bytes of information that we will never get back. the self-interest now should shift to understand how to protect yourself. same thing with the information space. we let the-- we had 600 confucious institutes around the united states in one form or another and only 28 americans centers that were shut down. it was unequal and by the way, and confuciousism, they say treat others the way you want to be treated, many will word for word from the golden rule. so it not treating equal access, it's a confucious idea from hundreds of years ago. the party doesn't want to do that. it should be guiding us as we understand our hopes for the last 40 years, this is where i'll wind up with the
historical point. our hopes in the last 40 years are in some ways fulfilled by a china some ways wealthier and part of our economy, but the deeper hopes are not fulfilled. we have to understand we're not going into the first period of hoping that it will change. it has told us where it's going and what it wants to do and the time for us now is for us to become realistic and have a set of policies that works with our friends in asia and asia is much bigger than just china, in order to protect our interests and put us on a road where hopefully sot some point in time, beijing will understand that the course that it's chosen, may in the short run be successful, but in the long run, alienate, isolate and improverish it. >> i can't think of a better way to close the questioning part. and then over to nadia. but i think i want to talk about the questions you responded to some of them. nick, chris and shelly were
asking about, what are the weaknesses? you know, is the aggressiveness of the party, is it swinging back against them? and i think nadia, the point that you've made frequently is that competing with china doesn't foreclose on cooperation, which it the point you made as well, mischa. the rest of the questions i would say from nick about is our navy ready and then the questions from others about, what about our allies in the region, are they doing their part? the chapter on u.s., japan, china together, i would recommend that to peter and clarence and joshua, michael and jack asking to talk about alliances and then is the navy up to it, are allied navies up to it. chapter eight, i love it because you're a historian. you act as if you're a historian looking back on future events and so, i
recommend that chapter as well, as to how confrontation could play out and we're seeing some of these flash points really come to a higher level of prominence, but it's a wonderful book. congratulations on it, and i'll just tell everybody, order it now, we just scratched the surface, and what i'd like to do is turn it over nadia first, and any final comments on asia's geopolitics and then mischa the last word. we covered as much as we could in an hour. i wish we would have had more time and i would have brought up additional great parts of the book, the chapter on india, as well, an interesting chapter about the role of women in india. i enurge can-- i encourage the audience to pick it up and read it. if we would have had a longer time i would have touched on the information state craft we have to be thinking and allies
and partners, too, think about what we're facing. i think it's been an interesting shift the past few months, very publicly covid-driven shift, but a significant one i think as well. inge an idea for a future panel would actually be to get some more europeans and allies and partners from around the world, australian, japanese, on this type of program, to hear from this em. so, i'll leave it at that. thanks so much. >> mischa, the final word. >> again, there's so much that we could cover and i think we've talked about a lot. i think that the good news is we've-- we're paying attention and i know congressman gallagher had to run to a hearing, but the work that he's doing, the endless frontier bill to boost science and stem and tech, are indeed here. the new strategic that the white house put out the strategic approach to people's republic of china, i'd encourage people to readment
talked about the strategic and takes it to reciprocity and that's what's going to guide us. you know, i think the navy gets it. and as they understand it. they were warning about this years-- i mean, decade and more ago going out and visiting what was then pacific command and is now indo-pacific command and talk about we're losing blue space and water space and how do we react. so i think the pieces were there, they were in isolation, now they've sort of been drawn together and the point is to have a strategy. i don't think whichever administration comes into office next january, this is the new road and does not foreclose china. we should be looking at china from a position of strength, we have enormous strength it does not have, it does have these weaknesses and we have an alliance, unparalleled alliance network that china could only dream about. china's allies are north korea and pakistan. it doesn't have allies.
we have allies and so we need to work with these allies especially japan and australia and deepen that relationship with india. these are all easy things to say and we talk about a lot in the think tank world. for the essay, i wanted people to think differently. why, for example, the real competition in asia is between china and japan and not china and the united states because that's an eternal one, in a sense. what u.s. strategy has been since the 19th century, we should be very proud that we've had a strategy of a free and open indo-pacific since the mid 19th century, it's not something new. people say we don't have strategy and we don't think strategically. we do. we've thought for a very long time and proud that now that conditions change so that the goals are-- the goal of a free and open indo-pacific hasn't changed, and we need a strategic for it. there's a lot to worry about, a lot that can go wrong. i'm heartened that people care, if you guys made it a priority,
that mike gallagher is making it a priority and i think that as to paraphrase winston churchill, we'll always do the wrong thing until we do the right thing at the end. i think we'll do the right thing at the end and there's a lot to look forward from a bipartisan approach how we'll deal with china and the indo-pacific. thank you all, thanks for everyone who viewed and took time to watch and you for hr, and nadia, taking take out of our schedule for joining me. >> and thank you you and the viewers, congressman gallagher had to go to a vote and he says thanks. and nadia thank you for facilitating. and mischa. for all of our viewers, go to the hoover website for even more on challenges that we're face during this covid crisis and forward beyond that. best wishes to all of you. and best to you and your families and it's been a pleasure to have you here at the hoover institution.
have a great day everybody. thank you. ♪♪ >> during a recent program, u.s. court of appeals judge for the 6th circuit jeffrey sutton discussed life and career of justice antonin scalia. and he talked about his influence. i decided i wanted to work for justice scalia. if you'd known my past and my background and my family, that wouldn't have been your first guess. why is it in 1991 that i wanted to work for justice scalia. this is the thing that most law schools can understand. reading judicial opinions as a judge and author of them is usually not a lot of fun. i think a lot of lawyers acquire the habit of drinking more coffee than is good for them. it's not charles dickens novels, caffeine gets you
through. how refreshing to come across a justice scalia consent or-- they stood out. the liveliness of the writing and quest for truth. i could have cared less whether justice scalia was a purpose of this, a living constitutionalists or an originalists, all i wanted to do was one, get to know him, he seemed like a lot of fun, but then i really wanted to learn how to write like him. that's unrealistic, but so be it, try to write as close to him as you could. that's how i got to know him. that's why i are the sta-- that's why i started working with him and it was easy to fall under his influence because his passion for getting it right. his dedication to, you know, finding the right answer, making sure you're honest about what's going on in the case, not being afraid to second guess yourself and if need be even evolve on occasion and then of course his passion for
the writing. there was no way you could finish a year with him and not want to be a better writer. and so much of becoming a better writer is about wanting to be a better writer. you couldn't come out of that, since the clerkship 1992, almost 30 years, that time and many times since we'd talk about a case and i'd have this reaction, justice scalia that can't be right. and he'd say that forcefully and i suppose i'm a contrarian, having anyone say something forcefully and makes me want to push back. and can't tell you the number of times that would happen and i thought about it, a couple of years would go by, that's a really good point. a good point. now in writing the introduction to this book, it wasn't hard for me to embrace originalism. i think it's right. i think it's the only answer to
avoid destroying the federal courts and i think he's been right all along. but i think going back to the point, why this influence? i think it has something to do with the power of his ideas, and his remarkable capacity to express them so well. and, boy, that's not a bad thing to know that if you can have some good ideas and learn how to express them, well, you might have influence. >> to watch the rest this have program, visit our website, book tv.org, search for jeffrey sutton or the title of his book "the essential scalia" using the search box at the top of the page. ♪♪ >> you're watching book tv on c-span2. every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors. book tv on c-span2 created by america's cable television companies. today we're brought to you by these television companies who provide book tv to viewers as a public service.