Trump presidency: Expert on future US domestic, foreign policies

CNC
Added On January 22, 2017

Trump presidency: Expert on future US domestic, foreign policies

 
ANCHOR:
 
Hello and welcome to CNC Washington Studio. I am Shi Yingshan. Donald Trump’s inauguration marks a dramatic new change in American politics, and very possibly in the world order.Many are concerned that his tumultuous election campaign will be matched by an equally volatile presidency.As he takes his place as President of the U.S., possibly the most powerful seat in the world, many are waiting to see how exactly his presidency will impact on domestic and international issues. What kind of policies will he want to implement to “make America great again?”Moreover, just how much of his predecessor’s legacy will he want to dismantle? Will the new president’s inauguration signal a complete break with policies under the old one? Joining us now is Bill Jones, Washington Bureau Chief for Executive Intelligence Review. Great to see you, Bill. Before we start the discussion, we’ll first bring you to the inauguration ceremony. 
 
 
With his hand on a Bible used by his family and the one used for the inauguration of the 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Trump took the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John Roberts at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
 
The inauguration culminated an extraordinary rise to the pinnacle of American political power for the billionaire businessman from New York.
 
Trump said in his inauguration address that they are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to the people. 
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DONALD TRUMP, U.S. President
"From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first."
 
He said the new administration will rebuild infrastructures of the country by two rules.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DONALD TRUMP, U.S. President
"We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American."
 
The new president also said the U.S. will strengthen old alliances and form new ties with countries, while vowing to eradicate "radical Islamic terrorism" from the face of the earth.
 
The outspoken New York billionaire and former TV entertainment celebrity, stunned the world by winning the presidential election in November, defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
 
Trump, an outsider that has no political experience, won strong support from many white working-class voters, by vowing to shake up a political system that many Americans blame for failing them. 
 
But the brash billionaire has widely been criticized for making divisive and controversial remarks during his campaign.
 
More than an hour after the inauguration, clashes broke out between anti-Trump protesters and police blocks away from the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. 
 
U.S. media reported police used pepper spray to quell the protesters and have made about a hundred arrests.
 
ANCHOR:
As we’ve seen, Trump mentioned many of the issues he wants to take forward in his first speech as President of the U.S. However, we can also see from the surrounding protests in Washington and around the country, just how divided public opinion is about the new presidency. After Obama’s leadership, many Americans are now anxious about what they see as very different -- and unpredictable -- kind of leadership in Trump. Many are concerned that the new president will bring instability to their lives. This is particularly the case with Obama care and the efforts by the Republican president and his party to repeal it.
 
1.Now let’s start with this issue. Democrats launched effort to preserve Obama care despite threats from Republicans to repeal this as soon as possible. To what extent do you think that they will succeed in establishing a viable alternative?
 
TRUMP FACES OBAMACARE DILEMMA
 
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
Well this is a big question, and although there is a lot of criticism that one can make about Obamacare, a lot of people has received insurances as a result of that. And if it is taken away, the question is what happens to them. They gonna come up solution and they gonna come up the solution right away. Donald Trump made a lot of promises with regard to the conditions of the American people that it will get better or not worse. So if the first thing that happens when he comes into office is that thousands of people lose their medical insurance. There is going to be a lot of trouble for him in realizing his promises, we see that his popularity has decreased considerably since the election, and he is got to make that good if he is going to have a successful presidency.
 
 
ANCHOR:
Now another issue related to continuity from Obama to Trump is foreign policy towards China.Part of Obama’s vision during his two terms as president was to try to address China’s new prominence through his “Pivot” to Asia, which many saw as a failure. We could see this continued to weigh on him: Obama referred to Chinese power in his farewell speech in Chicago, when he discussed U.S. superiority over China and Russia.To have a clearer picture of the U.S. – China relationship under Obama administration, let’s take a look back. 
 
US-CHINA TIES UNDER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
 
Under President Obama’s two terms in office, relations between the U.S. and China have been a mixed-bag. Obama sought to forge a new phase in Sino-American relations through his famed “pivot” to China. And although the two countries did become closer under Obama’s presidency, the relationship was not without its problems.
 
Under Obama, the U.S. made clear efforts to establish a new relationship with China and recognized China’s growing presence on the world stage. In 2013 Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Obama and reached a historic agreement on developing a new model of major-powers relationship. Both leaders agreed that their new model would be based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation. 
 
Moreover, both sought to avoid the conflict and confrontation typically found in the interactions between big powers. This diplomatic success in 2013 reflected the increased interaction between the two leaderships.The warming of US-China relations during the Obama administration was also reflected in the increase in economic, political and cultural cooperation. In 2015, China became the U.S. biggest trading partner, overtaking Canada, traditionally seen as the U.S. closest ally.Ties between the two countries also became stronger through their cooperation on international affairs. Both worked together in brokering nuclear deals for Korea and Iran, using their similar status as world players to secure stability in both regions. The U.S. and China also became closer through their joint pledges to implement environmental measures at the 2015 Climate Change conference in Paris. Cultural understanding between China and the U.S. was also increased during the Obama years. The two countries signed a historic agreement raising the visa-period for Americans visiting China from one to ten years. The resulting hike in tourism and business meant that millions of jobs were created on both sides. While the Americans are increasingly enjoying the benefits of a large Chinese market, the Chinese are enthused by the new opportunities to access American culture.Despite all the achievements, the China-U.S. relations were also marred by frictions and tensions. 
 
Notably, Obama’s famed ‘pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific has been widely interpreted as targeting China.As the U.S. planned to relocate diplomatic and military sources to the region, Beijing has sensed the aggressiveness.The U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, championed by Obama as the centerpiece of his pivot to Asia, included 12 Pacific Rim economies but excluded China. The deployment of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea are also deemed by China as a threat to its security interests and the strategic balance of the region. Besides, Beijing has criticized the U.S. deployment of warships in the South China Sea as a further provocation infringing on its territorial sovereignty. The road ahead will have obstacles, but since the China-U.S. relations serve the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, and certainly the world at large, any wrong decision could cause widespread impacts. 
 
China has said it looks forward to building a new type of relationship with Washington, featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.As the Obama administration comes to an end, it remains to be seen how the new President Donald Trump is going to push forwards the country’s relations with China -- to aggravate the underlying conflicts or to establish a more positive and cooperative Sino-American relationship?
 
We’ve seen some of the highs and lows of the Sino-U.S. relations under the now former President of the U.S. The question now is just how much of Obama’s policies towards China and the Asia Pacific will remain under the new president.
 
ANCHOR:
How much of a break do you think there will be from his predecessor’s policy in terms of U.S-China relations?
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
Well firstly I have to say that although president Obama kept things on something of a steady course. The pivot, I think, was a big mistake. I think that caused a lot of tensions and a lot of problems. We saw that in the course of presidency. However, President Obama also in the later days now, has reaffirmed the US-China relationship extremely important, and will be maintained. I think it will be maintained under Trump administration as well, it is too big to allow to falter in any way. We’re dependant on trade, there are so many agreements that we have with China that he cannot simply change that overnight. I know he said a lot of things that were very unnerving during the course of campaign. His twits, his acceptance of call from the side in Taiwan, everybody became very nervous about that. The US, in fact, cannot move forward in the direction that he has promised in term of developing the economy, developing infrastructure without a good relationship with China. If Trump would like to build high-speed rail, to develop the cities, to build the roads, China can be a very big help in doing that. I think Trump will be able to, and will be willing to cut a deal. If he goes in another direction, and imposes the punitive sanctions on Chinese goods, tries to launch a trade war, this is gonna to detrimental globally but also to the economy of the US, because everything is going to become much more expensive. And I think when that reality filters through to the presidential team; nobody is going to start the trade war.
 
ANCHOR:
Trump has recently put pressure on car manufacturers such as Ford to redirect their investments away from Mexico and back into the U.S. Do you think we’ll see a similarity in China?
 
U.S. INDUSTRIAL RESTRICTIONS ARE SELF-INFLICTED
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
It’s difficult to say. You have to understand the US economy. Economy has been by and large destroyed industrially, not by China, not by Mexico, not by these other countries, but by the decisions of Wall Street, which is decided to move their operations somewhere else to make larger profits. And this is the problem. The US can produce things. The US has tremendous labor force capability- our workers are very skilled, even in the other industry. But they don’t have to make cars. They could make other things. They could make nuclear power plans. They could make the pressure nuclear power plans. We could provide China, which is launching a major nuclear program with some of the technology they could be produced here if we were willing to sell it to them. And that will increase our trade with them. The restrictions, the problems we have here are all self-inflicted. If the United States changes its policy, and tries to build up it industry capabilities which I think could be a good thing. It doesn’t necessarily incur on what China is doing, because you can’t simply move into a different area. 
 
U.S. HAS TO REBUILD INDUSTRIAL CAPABILITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF CHINA
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
You have to understand the United States is no longer an industrial producer of any capability. We almost lost our machine to building industry. We have two of them. One in auto, one in aerospace. That's it, everything else is gone. And so somehow that has to be rebuilt in order to put people back to work, and can be rebuilt in a context of China. The head of the China investment cooperation, made a comment a couple of days ago that China has tremendous amount of treasury bills that they're holding and he suggested, well we can take portion of that and use it as infrastructure investment in the United States which would create a lot of jobs. That is, the capital will be used to help US industry get on its feet. So I think, you know maybe there will be certain tariffs put on certain products but I think the administration can cut a win-win deal. This is the hallmark of President Xi's policy is this win-win, Shuangying strategy, right? And he can find it in the United States because we're depending on each other – US economy should grow, the Chinese economy should grow. If they both grow, they are gonna be selling to each other. And the more they grow, the more they’re going to buy and the more they're going to sell. So you do have that capability and Trump is a smart businessman and takes that sense into his presidency. And I think he can come to a deal with China on the economic situation, which is not going to lead to conflict.
 
ANCHOR:
So I could assume that you are not too concerned about the rise of protectionism under his presidency?
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
I would be concerned of anything, any punitive measures being taken against China because that would be viewed and is indeed a hostile act. Any measures that would have to be taken also I think it would be important first of all, to talk with China about these issues to try and find some common ground.  I think they could find means of dealing with this problem in a way that is not confrontational.
 
ANCHOR:
How about the doomed fate of TPP?
 
TPP AS ECONOMIC SIDE OF ASIA PIVOT IS OVER
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
TPP is the economic side of pivot. TPP I think is over. I think it is dead on arrival. There is no support in the congress; there is no support in the executive branch. I think that’s a good thing. TPP was the economic side of the pivot and I think it was directly aimed against China, nobody would say that in fact, they would deny that’s the case. But the restrictions and the criteria for the TPP was worked out in  such a way that China in short-term can never be a part of it, and I think it’s good that it’s gone. I think we can have free trade agreements a number of free trade agreements. President Xi has talked about free trade in the Asia-Pacific. Maybe we can get to that point. But at any rate the TPP as a tool against China is no longer around. 
 
ANCHOR:
Besides trade issues, there is another issue we couldn’t ignore. That’s the relationship between the United States and Russia. We have seen the intelligence agencies have been claiming that Russian have been interfering the campaign. How do you see the trend? The future of the two countries’ relationship?  
 
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
I think that’s one of the positive aspects of the Trump administration has been to repair the situation with Russia. There is no reason why we have all these conflicts except for the fact that United States over the course of last 20 years has broken all its promises with Russia. They told them NATO was going to dissolve, NATO did not dissolve, it increased. They told them NATO was not going to expand, NATO expanded. They told them NATO was never going to be on the border of Russia, NATO is now on the border of Russia in the big way. So the activity of President Putin, I think is totally justified in self-defense against what he feels is a direct containment policy by the West against Russia, that is an existential threat. Trump has said and I hope he keeps his promise; he is going to try and create a new relationship with President Putin. I think that would be good for America, it would be good for the world as well. 
 
ANCHOR:
Trump has said the relationship between him and Putin is an asset not a liability. What kind of foreign policy do you think he is going to make to get warm relationship with Russia?
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BILL JONES, Washington Bureau Chief, Executive Intelligence Review
First, they can get rid of some the sanctions against Russia. The United Stated doesn’t have a lot of trade with Russia. But the Europeans do. So if the US could take away some of their sanctions, you have to congress on board this as well, although I think the President can do certain things in that regard. This would relieve the economic pressure on Russia. I think that would tend to bring down the tension. The other thing is that Trump is being very critical of NATO. And I think if he can make clear, especially to those within NATO who want a more aggressive line against Russia. US involvement in this alliance is contention upon not trying to create a war-like situation with Russia. And if he makes that clear, then a lot of attention on the military side, I think will diminish considerably.
 
ANCHOR:
Moving on from international questions to domestic issues. Let’s talk a little about what a Trump presidency might mean for the local Chinese community here in the U.S.
 
Many were surprised to find that first-generation Chinese immigrants were some of Trump’s most fervent supporters in the run-up to the election. Some say it was because of the U.S. education system has a varied and unfair treatment of different minorities. Do you think that the Chinese community in the U.S. will benefit from a Trump government? Is this an opportunity for Trump to build closer ties with East Asian citizens?
 
Well let’s hope that this new phase in American politics marked by President Trump’s inauguration will also mark a new, positive step for the U.S.’s relationship with not only China, but also with the world. Bill Jones. Thank you again for joining us. Thanks for watching. I am Shi Yingshan in Washington d.c.  Do stay tuned for more updates and headlines.