Hello! With you the program “Dialogue with world leaders” and its leading Fu Xiaotian.
We didn’t have time to blink as the beginning of April. This month the most important event for the world politics will undoubtedly become the first meeting between leaders of the two largest economies in the world — the USA and China. What will be the main topic of conversation trump and XI Jinping? What kind of tone they choose to set bilateral or even multilateral relations?
Today we will discuss this with the former U.S. defense Secretary William Cohen, who for the third time on our program as a guest. Our dialogue will begin with the theme of Chinese-American relations in the context of the beginning of the era of trump and the completion of the policy of the “return” of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.
Donald trump for more than two months officially holds the post of President of the United States, but the specifics of his foreign policy is just beginning to emerge. To accomplish this during the election campaign a promise to follow the principle of “America above all”, the administration trump takes an unprecedented resolve in matters of trade, migrants and other fields. This swinging release from the TPP, the intention to build a wall on the border with Mexico, as well as the publication “anti-Islamic” edict. At the same time, many analysts believe that in the era of trump America is shrouded in populism, which manifests itself in the fight with the elites and globalization. In fact, even during the election campaign the scandal with the post Hillary Clinton and her ultimate defeat showed that the trust Americans to the political elite have long since dried up.
Trump won a victory over Hillary? But this is not accurate
Moderator: Good evening, William. Thank You again for visiting our program. Last year the theme of our interviews was the election in the US, and today we are observing the activities of Donald trump in as the 45th President of the United States. Some believe that trump’s victory over Clinton means coming clean of nationalism. Do you agree with this view?
William Cohen: it’s too early to draw conclusions about the reasons for the success of trump or defeat Clinton. It is obvious that to win an election, trump took advantage of the discontent of the people against so-called intellectual elite or the Eastern, as usual the working class, the poor Democrats in power went unnoticed. He provoked the anger, and it became an important part of his election campaign. In addition, I think Russia also helped him by posting controversial information about the Democrats and in particular on electronic correspondence with Clinton. But the thing that trump won, and now we need to think about what will be his policy. I believe that is erroneous to deny completely the political course Obama, but this is the main reason why trump has won the election.
— Publication of the emails the Democrats is the work of only the American side? After all, Russia did not admit the charges of cyber-attacks.
— Security is obvious that the Russian hackers responsible for these break-ins, and, of course, this had a negative impact on the image of the democratic party and weakened its position in the elections. I’m not saying that this is the main reason for the victory of trump, but it played a role.
— Why Russia conducted a cyber attack on the Democrats or in other words helped Trump?
— I think Putin was unhappy with some of the statements Hillary Clinton as Secretary of state and so I thought that Russia would be better, if the President becomes trump. I think the main thing now is to understand the essence of relations between Russia and President of the trump in the coming years. Only then Russian-American relations will get a chance for more sustainable development.
What will the world order after the abandonment of the policy of moving the United States to the Asia-Pacific?
Now trump is already President of the United States, what changes it promises for the world order?
It depends on what the US position in the current global disorder. In our unstable world order although we cannot say that there is a complete collapse, however, and absolute tranquility either, so it is very important to have a clear position America. I think the uncertainty issue in America will change, and I hope this will happen very soon.
— Not so long ago the US announced the official abandonment of the strategy of “pivot to the Pacific”. What is you prediction?
And again a very good question! It is very difficult to say, did trump from this strategy because she wants to cancel everything to do with Obama, or he wants to put forward the same strategy under a different name. In other words, depends on whether we strengthen relations with Australia, will we keep our fleet of 2500 employees if we are going to station troops in Singapore, to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries. If anything it is not, then we should expect serious changes. It is important to understand the importance this decision will have for the Asia-Pacific countries, including China, and how to treat the other countries.
— How do you evaluate the strategy of “return” of the United States in the Asia-Pacific? If she was successful?
— I think it is not just success or failure, but it is important that such a strategy existed. It is important that the US continue to supply its allies signal that they are Pacific and Atlantic power. We are here to stabilize the situation, not to provoke conflicts. This is very beneficial and attractive for China.
The prospects of meeting trump and XI Jinping. Most importantly — get to know each other
— Can we say that in foreign policy and security strategy trump’s North-East Asia is more important than South-East?
— Of course, ASEAN countries should not be put along with such major powers as China, Japan or India. However, the ASEAN countries as a single force cannot be underestimated. This is the main trading partner of China, so they have similar interests. I think the relationship between China and America needs to be rethought. You need to understand in what areas there should be a reassessment in trade or other spheres. But the relationship definitely needs to move forward, cooperation should be strengthened. And I am very happy that XI Jinping will meet with trump, and the sooner the better. We have to wait until the administration of the tramp gets on his feet and will be able to fully Express themselves. But in any case, without this meeting between China and America will always be a misunderstanding, and I am very pleased that the meeting will be held.
— What do you think, what will they say?
— I think the most important thing is to get to know each other. I do not expect that after this meeting will be published some serious Declaration after the summit. Although it is possible. But I think in most cases the parties want to ensure that their experts from the Ministry of foreign Affairs and advisors on foreign policy issues carefully examined the details of the most important problems identified on what issues the necessary recommendations, and eventually came to a consensus on important issues. They have not so much time. To settle all this in just a few weeks, it is a very difficult task. Even if this time the leaders of the two largest economies in the world for the first time will sit, shake hands, exchange pleasantries and discuss the prospects of further cooperation, it will be a great achievement. If the parties will take the opportunity to sign an investment agreement and to narrow the range of disagreements to establish the scope and parameters of bilateral trade relations, it will be just fine. But I think to talk about this a bit premature, but I could be wrong.
The behavior of America in the future remains unclear
In the next four years, America’s influence on the world stage will intensify or weaken?
I don’t know. This is a serious challenge for America. We are a global economic power and has always been, and remain a global military power. Mostly it depends on the nature of the relationships that we will establish with other countries. The solution of many problems requires a lot of time. The President has not yet explained, which means the principle of “America above all” in foreign policy. It has been far too little time.