Return to Transcripts main page
FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
What's Behind Britain's Stunning Election Results?; U.S. and China Agree to Limited Trade Deal; U.S. National Security Adviser Blasts Chinese Concentration Camps. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 15, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
ZAKARIA: Today on the show, Boris, Brexit and the future of Britain.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This one nation conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate.
ZAKARIA: And what message does Johnson's victory send to Donald Trump?
Also, impeachment, a trade deal with China and more with an all-star panel. Then.
Communist China and democratic India. Two systems with the same problem. Persecuting religious minorities. We'll take a look at China's treatment of Uighurs, locking up large numbers of them in what some U.S. officials are calling concentration camps. And India's controversial new law and its handling of Kashmir.
Finally, forget who wants to be a millionaire. The question is who has the most millionaires in the world. China, the U.S., Japan, Germany? Find out later in the show.
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. On its face, the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump might seem to be a specifically and narrowly American matter. But if you look around the world, you will see this is taking place amidst a deeply worrying global trend. In country after country we're witnessing an astonishing wave of attacks on the Constitution, institutions, norms and values that have given democracy strength and meaning.
Consider what has been happening just this week around the world as Congress debated charges against the president. In India, the world's largest democracy, the ruling party passed an unprecedented citizenship bill that privileges certain religions over others. A move that one Indian intellectual described as a giant step to officially convert a constitutional democracy into an unconstitutional ethnocracy.
Israel, which boasts of being a stable democracy in a sea of dictatorship appears paralyzed and polarized as it heads into its third election in one year. More disturbing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an extraordinarily vicious attack on the Israeli judicial system which he claims has been plotting against him. In fact, Netanyahu faces indictment because the attorney general who is from Netanyahu's party and was chosen by Netanyahu was following existing laws and procedures.
In Hungary, Prime Minister Victor Orban, who has spoken openly about building an illiberal democracy, has pushed for laws to make it harder for opposition lawmakers to ban together and to protest legislation. He's also moved to curtail the power of local governments after his own party suffered a severe setback in municipal elections.
At the international court of justice, nearly 30 years after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as a pro-democracy dissident, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi staunchly defended her government against charges of genocide against a Muslim minority group, the Rohingya. U.N. investigators have found evidence of mass killings, gang rape and arson with genocidal intent.
And this is all just in this week. If you broaden the lens, we're living through what Stanford's Larry Diamond has called a democratic recession. International human rights watchdog group Freedom House registered global declines in political rights and civil liberties for 13 consecutive years now.
This is the context in which to consider America's impeachment crisis. The facts of the case are blindingly clear. President Trump pressured the new Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens as has been described in sworn testimony by 17 witnesses, many of them sitting senior government officials, with each person's account confirming the others, and e-mails, texts and the rough call transcript further documenting it all.
The Republicans' defense is that this elaborate campaign to help Trump's reelection was actually a big misunderstanding. Trump had never asked for it. All these officials working feverishly for months across continents were all simultaneously deluded. Call it the Walter Mitty defense. In fact, the real defense is offense. This week the president called members of the FBI scum and Attorney General William Barr dismissed the conclusions of his own Justice Department's inspector general.
The president and his followers now routinely attack the foreign service, the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department. The White House has refused to honor congressional subpoenas or request for documents to an extent unprecedented in American history.
Across the democratic world, the institutions of liberty and law are under attack. If they give way, the framed democratic fabric of our societies will ultimately tear apart. For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column
this week. And let's get started.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a resounding victory on Thursday, giving him what he called a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.
We'll start there with today's panel. David Miliband was the foreign secretary of the U.K. He's now the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Ian Bremmer is the president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk, research and consulting firm. And Anne-Marie Slaughter was the director of policy planning at the State Department. She's now the CEO of the think tank New America.
David, I have to start with you because you were out campaigning. You're a former Labour leader in your personal capacity. What do you think was going on? Why did Johnson get what is the largest majority since Margaret Thatcher in 1987?
DAVID MILIBAND, FORMER U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY AND LABOUR POLITICIAN: I think essentially it's quite simple. Labour, Corbyn, Corbynism were repellants to large numbers of voters. The unpalatable fixture of the election was to vote for Johnson who did not have a greater support but Corbyn and his policies, his incredible policy program, was simply unelectable, and I saw that on the doorstep.
Labour voters saying -- and Labour to my core, my dad will turn in his grave, but I can't vote for you and I can't even vote for you when you've got a good local Labour candidate.
ZAKARIA: Part of it, don't you think, Anne-Marie, is that my theory is when you present voters with clarity versus murkiness, they always go for Boris. If you wanted to vote for Brexit, it was absolutely clear what -- you voted for the Conservative Party. If you didn't want Brexit, what you meant to do, Labour -- Corbyn himself had been of two minds and, you know, it wasn't -- should you vote Liberal Democrats or -- everything was muddy on one side and very clear for Boris Johnson.
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF POLICY PLANNING, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Yes. I mean, essentially you can see it as a vote for certainty and sovereignty because Johnson got an awful lot of the people who had voted for Brexit. They've now flipped to Tories because, I agree with you, I think Corbyn was unpalatable but I really think it was, we voted for Brexit, we want to get Brexit done, sovereignty, certainty and change.
ZAKARIA: And markets seemed to react even positively, saying, at least it's now -- you know, that the uncertainty three years of being in limbo is over.
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: They want to get through this, and it's very clear that Boris Johnson gave them that. He said I'm going to get Brexit done by the end of the year. Corbyn certainly was not going to do that. If Corbyn had won, this would have been the most meaningful negative election in Europe for decades. Let's keep in mind, this also means the Scotts, Scottish National
Party, they really want out. Right? And that costs them an awful lot of money to do. It's not clear how easy it will be for them to get into the E.U. But they -- they're demanding a referendum. And when their parliamentary vote comes up in 2021, I suspect there's going to be a very strong mandate for that. So this could be the beginning of the long one -- long-term unwind of the United Kingdom.
MILIBAND: Well, people voted for the end of Brexit, but of course it's not going to be the end of Brexit. It's the easy bit of Brexit, which is --
ZAKARIA: What did you mean? Yes.
MILIBAND: Which is getting out of the European Union. The hard bit, what's the future economic, security, political, education, scientific, relationship with the European Union, they haven't even started on. And that's why there's trouble brewing on the European front as well as -- I agree with Ian -- on the domestic front.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, what do you think of the lessons for American politics because you've really now had -- the Tories have become the populist nationalist party. You know, the left is trying to figure out what it does. What did you hear that Democrats should know about?
MILIBAND: If you confuse your Twitter-sphere with the real world, you're in trouble. If your policy program is incredible, people won't vote for it even if the individual components are popular. The more radical change you want, the more detailed and credible you have to be about how you will make it happen.
And finally, and most importantly, you need a very clear vision of the future. The offer that Jeremy Corbyn made, a better yesterday, was not going to deliver for the United Kingdom. You've got to be able to unite the country to go forward, not to look back.
ZAKARIA: It struck me also that, again, immigration. You know, the left is incredible on immigration. The country feels what? We're not supposed to have borders? We're not supposed to control the flow? You know, anyone who wants to come in and -- that I find, it's a very common sensical level, voters say, yes, we need borders, we need to have much more -- you know, more of a control over our destiny.
SLAUGHTER: I think that's right, although, actually I think in the U.S. election, immigration is going to be less important this time. But I definitely think the U.S. electorate or the Republicans are going to say this is 2016 all over again. Britain voted for Brexit in June of 2016. Nobody thought that was going to happen. Nobody thought Trump was going to get elected. Those two things were tied and Trump will now say and again, you know, the elites are just -- as David puts it, a better yesterday. We are the future. We are change.
ZAKARIA: I would bet you that Trump will say if you vote for the Democratic Party, they're going to let anyone in across the southern border and they can all get free health care and education, and that frankly is what a lot of Democrats in the primary debates have been saying.
SLAUGHTER: Well, but the lesson for the Democrats is exactly unity and a very broad tent. And we don't see anybody right now in the -- among the Democratic candidates who can do that.
ZAKARIA: What do you think is the danger here that we're missing this larger replay that, you know, just as Brexit foreshadowed, Trump getting elected, Boris Johnson foreshadows Trump getting reelected?
BREMMER: I wouldn't go that far. I don't actually think there are big lessons for the U.S. election 2020 simply because Corbyn is such a uniquely bad candidate. He makes Bernie Sanders look like Tony Blair, but I do think that Boris Johnson is, as a governing figure, much more normal than Trump is internationally. You saw that he was one of those European leaders and Justin Trudeau that was mocking the American president. Didn't want to have the meeting with Trump during the NATO summit on climate, on immigration, on whole bunch of issues.
Boris Johnson is actually a lot closer to a lot of other leaders around the world than he is Trump. I think that will play out now the guy has a five-year term.
ZAKARIA: Quick final thought on British elections. The Labour Party leadership might be open. Would you consider running for leader of the Labour Party?
MILIBAND: Obviously this is here to set up the campaign team. No, the -- you've got to be a member of parliament. I've got my job. There needs to be a vacancy, it needs to be filled by someone who's in parliament. But there's a deep thing here. Corbynism without Corbyn is still unelectable. You have to take out the man, but you've got the change the approach as well.
BREMMER: You heard it here. He's running.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, we'll come back with all three and talk about what to make of the new trade agreement between the United States and China.
ZAKARIA: An amazing deal. That is of course how President Trump characterized the partial trade deal his negotiators reached with China. How amazing is it?
Let me bring the panel back in. David Miliband, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Ian Bremmer.
Ian, you had been predicting there would be a trade deal. It's pretty much what people thought, or is it bigger?
BREMMER: No. No. I mean, in terms of the Chinese are going to buy American ag again more than they were before we started escalating on tariffs. The Americans are not going to increase escalation because that would hurt American consumers, especially in the runup to Christmas season. Trump didn't want to do that and it's going to reduce some of the additional tariffs by a bit.
But if you've been watching Chinese Twitter feeds since we're talking about Twitter feed now, and they've gotten on in a big way in the last few weeks, they're coming after the Americans hard. On technology issues, on governance issues, on the Uyghurs, on Hong Kong. This government has a lot of confidence and some very big issues for them are coming up in the coming months.
Hong Kong is not going away, and the CFO of Huawei is facing extradition in Canada. I think that next year's U.S.-China relationship is going to be in a dramatically worse place than right now despite this phase one deal that Trump is trumpeting.
ZAKARIA: So I wrote this piece in "Foreign Affairs" in which I try to lay out what it seems to me is almost a bipartisan consensus now that we need something like a cold war with China. What strikes me, Anne- Marie, is there's so many Democrats signing on because they don't want to get outflanked by Trump.
So is the trade deal a side show to what has really become a pretty tough new cold war with China?
SLAUGHTER: I do think the trade deal is a side show. And I think your piece is exactly right in that this is very like the late 40s and the early 50s when a lot of groups had every incentive to widen the split between the Soviet Union and the United States. The military wanted the enemy. Various other groups were pushing their agendas. And I see that now also. We have lots of tensions with China.
But we're also deeply interconnected with China, and there's no reason we can't, in fact, continue engaging them and deterring them as you argue. But, you know, for political reasons and for each side has an incentive to play up the antagonism of the other. And it's like watching a train wreck.
ZAKARIA: You know, one of the big questions that people have if there is this, you know, a new cold war with China, where will Europe sit? And the Europeans have a very difficult time because in a way, my experience around the world is everybody would like to be with China economically, but the United States politically. But increasingly both countries are saying no, no, no, it's not a la carte. You can't choose.
MILIBAND: I think you're absolutely right. Europeans, if they're not careful, are going to be the meat in this sandwich in a very difficult position. I think the combination of engagement, trying to make the wins on climate policy is a big play for the European Union. I think that when it comes to the more geopolitical issues, there's real difficulty for Europeans. And I thought it was very significant that the NATO summit should have concluded with a such strong statement.
It didn't frame it simply as the Chinese threat but it said this is a whole new international geopolitical ball game. And I thought that was a significant signal that the Europeans are going to really cleave towards that traditional values alliance with the U.S. However, they're not going to be a pushover. And you say about the politics drawing Europeans to America, I think Europeans are thinking on a 20- year horizon, America's unpredictable, and that really sharpens the dilemma for them.
ZAKARIA: The technology piece is the much bigger piece here, right? Because that's where, with the Huawei ban, the U.S. is trying to decouple with China. But the Chinese must get this message and say, we are going to create our own technology universe, and that train has already left the station.
BREMMER: I would argue that the bigger decisions have been made by the Chinese, not the Americans, and certainly the Trump administration has pushed that along. But the speech, when President Xi says in October that we want to be dominant in all these areas in technology, ones that are critical to American national security, that tells me we need to act.
Now does that mean a new cold war? Does that mean containment? For me it means we need to compete. We need to actually ensure that we are continuing to be better and that our allies see that from us, that they want to align not just out of fear, because the Chinese are writing the big checks, but also because they see the United States is going to win, and right now when you talk to people who really know technology in the United States, they're not convinced. They think we're losing on 5g. They're not convinced we're going to win in technology in five or 10 years?
ZAKARIA: But isn't that -- the age-old problem, it's hard to reinvest in American science and technology, hard to rebuild your infrastructure. It's easy to have a -- you know, to have a cold war. It's much easier to blame the outsider than to go through the kind of national renewal at home and compete.
SLAUGHTER: Yes -- no, I think that's exactly right. And again, what we ought to be doing is continuing to engage, continuing to educate Chinese students, and in bringing them here, not sending them home, increasing those ties. There are big technological divides, but the way we should be approaching this is, China is a country that has to be engaged and deterred at the same time.
And our biggest strength should be that we have far more allies than China does and we should be building those alliances, and that's exactly where, from my point of view, the biggest danger is Trump is doing everything he can to alienate those allies at a time when China is all too happy to pick up ones.
ZAKARIA: Final point, you tweeted you don't usually tweet on domestic policy. You tweeted on impeachment, that you supported it? BREMMER: Yes.
BREMMER: Because I believe that the abuse of power by President Trump to move the elections in his favor personally and -- undermine national security is an impeachable defense.
ZAKARIA: All right. On that simple note, thank you all.
Next we will talk about a bit China issue we didn't talk about here. Its treatment of the Uyghurs. The president's National Security adviser says Beijing is putting them in concentration camps. We'll tell you what you need to know.
ZAKARIA: President Trump's new National Security adviser accuses China of locking people up in concentration camps. Yes, he uses that phrase that conjures up images of the Nazis and the holocaust. Specifically he was pointing his finger at Xinjiang, the province in China's northwest corner. The people being locked up there are Turkic Muslims living in the province, primarily the Uyghurs. A bill passed almost unanimously in the U.S. House earlier this month calling out China's gross human rights violations.
It's a story we all need to understand. To help us do so, I want to bring on James Palmer, a senior editor at "Foreign Policy" magazine, and an expert on China who knows the issue intimately.
James, who are the Uyghurs to begin with?
JAMES PALMER, SENIOR EDITOR, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE: About 10 million to 12 million of them. Most of them are Muslims. They're also Turkic so they look very different from what we think of as Chinese people as Han Chinese. The history goes back a long way to the Uyghur empire that was once a huge force in Central Asia and they still look towards Central Asia instead of China as their kind of cultural homeland, but they're controlled by China.
ZAKARIA: So people talk about concentration camps and they talk about the Uyghurs being put into concentration camps. Explain just from what best we can tell what is going on.
PALMER: So there's a mass crackdown across Xinjiang on Uyghur rights, on their ability to travel outside of the region, on their freedom of expression, on their culture and their language. A big part of that has been these so-called reeducation camps into which something like a million, maybe a million and a half Uyghurs have disappeared. Some of them have now reemerged.
ZAKARIA: About 10 percent of the Uyghurs.
PALMER: About 10 percent of the population as a whole. And these tend to be people who are either young and potentially in the eyes of Chinese state merchant, or often middle age and older people who have an intellectual life, who have traveled abroad, so a lot of business people, a lot of professors, and even for Uyghurs who are outside the camps, increasing the government is dictating what they can and can't do, where they can work. The government has installed Chinese in the homes of all Uyghurs people to spy on them to make sure that they conform to Chinese models of behavior.
ZAKARIA: The way the Chinese have generally dealt with these problems is to essentially send a lot of Han Chinese into these areas to kind of make them less distinct and separate. Why are they taking this much more draconian measure with the Uyghurs?
PALMER: So the history of this goes back to 2009 when there were mass riots in Urumqi, one of the major cities in the region. In those riots about 200 innocent Han Chinese people, mostly Han Chinese people, were killed by young Uyghur men.
There was violence by the state, by the people's armed police who were the piled military forces of China in which an unknown number of Uyghur were killed. And a cycle of violence began. This worsened considerably in 2014 when there was an attack in Kunming which is a very long way from Shim Chang by knife wielding Uyghur.
This killed about 31 people. There was a huge Chinese public outcry against this. One of the results from that was that Uyghur began to be pushed out of the rest of China. So suddenly you had this huge influx of people coming back into an already volatile region. This is also about the time that Xi Jinping the Chinese President is really consolidating his power.
As he consolidates his power, one of the things that he does is to set much harder ideological boundaries. The Uyghur began to be described and even Islam itself is described by an infection, as a cancer, a fundamental danger to the party.
ZAKARIA: You were based in Beijing for 15 years. You know a lot of - you've studied this issue. You have a lot of Uyghur friends. What are you hearing from the ground?
PALMER: Well, I had a lot of Uyghur friends. Now I have almost no contact with Uyghur who I knew in China because either they've disappeared or they've broken off contact. A couple of people have successfully made it to other countries.
And I think it's a source of distress for a lot of u who work on this issue that our friends or contacts have been forced to cut off contact with us, because even having a western reporter or western academic in your contact list in your phone has been something that has got people sent to their camps.
So on the ground among - So I can only really speak to the Uyghur diaspora at this point because in China the sources are so close off. But there's a huge amount of fear there. There is a huge amount of worry that there's a determination to destroy the Uyghur as a people whether through the breaking of the culture or through physical extermination.
Now, I don't think that second is really on the table, but of course, if your family is being disappeared into camps and people are dying, people are dying of abuse or neglect or beatings or whatever, then you can't rule it out altogether, and it's that natural people are terrified.
ZAKARIA: James, pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on.
PALMER: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, another major minority's controversy in the East India's new citizenship bill that offers a road to Indian citizenship for immigrants from neighboring countries, but not if they're Muslim.
ZAKARIA: I'm just back from India. My country of origin is the world's largest democracy. But it did something this week that my next guest describes as an assault on the foundational principles of Indian Democracy. At issue is the country's citizenship amendment bill passed into law on Thursday with an assent from the President.
The bill offers a road to Indian citizenship for Pakistanis, Afghans and Bangladeshis but not if they're Muslim. Angry protests have broken out over the new law. Indeed India has deployed thousands of troops to try to quell the violence. Joining me now is Shashi Tharoor of Former Diplomat now a member of parliament from the opposition Congress Party. Shashi, explain what you mean when you say that this bill is against the idea of India?
SHASHI THAROOR, INDIAN MP: Well, you see basically Fareed, when our nationalist movement against the British split it didn't split on ideological grounds that Marxists versus Capitalist or in geographical grounds of north, west or south. It just split on one principal, should religion be the determination of nation hood.
And those believe that religion determines a nation hood that was the idea of Pakistan and they created Pakistan out of the partition of India. But the rest lead by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Muslim leaders like Maulana Azad and Khan they said no, our freedom struggle is being for everybody of every religion and we'll create a free India for all.
And the Constitution of India reflects that sense of equality, of nondiscrimination, freedom of religion has been built into the constitution as a fundamental right. Including the freedom of worship and the freedom to proselytize so it's a completely liberal democratic constitution, and for 70 odd years India has been run on the basis of such a constitution.
What's happened, however, is for the first time in 2014 a movement has come to power and come to power with its own majority it was earlier in power in a larger coalition where it didn't come close to a majority.
Here it's come to power with a majority in parliament, and it believes profoundly that India was wrong to be a secular liberal pluralist society, that it should be a Hindu Rastra, and their logic is that because Pakistan was created for Muslims, what remained as India should be a country for Hindus, and this philosophy is fundamentally antithetical to everything that our republic was built on which was a country for everyone.
ZAKARIA: And this is all happening in an atmosphere over the last few years of this Hindu Nationalism, for example, there have been dozens if not hundreds of cities and towns with historically Muslim names dating back to the 16th century which have been renamed. There have been vigilantes, mobs who have killed Muslims and the police have done nothing. Is the situation getting worse?
THAROOR: Well, we've been through all this Fareed that you mentioned, and what bothers me about this as a Hindu myself is that Hinduism traditionally, the Hinduism which most of us have been brought up is a religion that respects and accepts difference that says to other, I will respect what you understand to be the truth, please respect what I understand to be the truth and we can live and let live. That's how India has flourished.
That's why we've had a country of 180 million Muslims and fewer than a dozen members of ISIS or Al-Qaeda. That's the strength of India that's being unfortunately attacked at the roots by the people entrusted with the safety and security of our country.
ZAKARIA: Shashi, finally, the reporting out of Kashmir there has been a long New York article, the other stuff by Rana Ayyub it is pretty frightening. It describes what can only be described as a police state. This is India's only Muslim majority state.
ZAKARIA: What are you hearing out of there?
THAROOR: Well, I'm hearing much the same sort of thing though the Indian media has been fairly shamefully quiet. I think the New Yorker piece by Dexter Fillkins whom I knew as a Correspondent during the U.S. Civil War, was sound but under cover reporting. He wasn't there openly going around speaking.
That's the sad thing that an Indian state even of the worst of the terrorist troubles, the sectarian violence, the militants being sent across the border from Pakistan to recover Kashmir, even at that time, the press was able to go and see and observe and report. And the Indian media as well whereas today, there is almost a silence of the graveyard coming out of the media and out of Kashmir it's deeply worrying.
Many of us who have said to the government why don't you allow an all party delegation of Indian MPs to go and see the situation for themselves. I've said it in parliament when the Kashmir debate first happened. It still has not been agreed to by the government. Other politicians attempting to go up have been turned back at the airport.
So we don't have firsthand insights. What we're hearing in bits and pieces from people who have gone in and out is dismaying and worrying and at some point they'll actually have to lift the lid. You cannot keep a state under this kind of de facto lockdown for so many months. When they left the lid, I think they'll have to face up to the consequences that they are totally unnecessary and arbitrary action and overnight changing this status of Kashmir.
ZAKARIA: Shashi Tharoor, always a pleasure to have you on. Up next, an interesting calls from an unusual source. Microsoft's President says we need more government regulation of the tech sector when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Technology can be a force for great good but as we've seen it can also be a force for ill. My next guest Brad Smith has a big job. He's the President of Microsoft but has time to think deeply about how technology intersects with humanity. He's written a very interesting new book about it. It's called "Tools and Weapons: The promise and the peril of the digital age". Welcome to the show.
BRAD SMITH, PRESIDENT, MICROSOFT: Thank you, nice to be here.
ZAKARIA: First, let me ask you just a bigger question about technology than the tools and weapons part which is I think Americans are having a kind of different relationship with technology today than they were 10 or 15 years ago. It used to be people said it's all fine because the consumer is getting a free product or is getting cheap products, but it does feel weird whether you have an industry and the digital economy is loudest, essentially the economy, where you have a number one player like Amazon, and essentially no number two.
I mean, it's a real winner take all system or a social network in Facebook, and there's no plausible number two. Shouldn't government have a role in figuring out these things? I mean, Microsoft had a famous anti-trust case 20 years ago, but it feels like the Europeans are more - ahead of the role in the issue saying maybe there's a role for government.
SMITH: The Europeans are ahead. In fact, I would say there are number of countries around the world that have moved faster than the United States government to really address the technology issues of our time. And having lived through, worked through the anti-trust issues that we experienced at Microsoft two decades ago, I do believe government has a role to play.
I think that if you look at the healthy markets that we all take for granted, whether it's the ability to pick up something in the grocery store and read the nutrition label, go to the pharmacy and not worry that the drug is safe, get on in the airplane and be confident in its safety, it's all because we have what I would call balanced and healthy regulation.
Digital technology has probably gone more decades largely unregulated than any technology in the history of technology. So whether its competition law or privacy or security, one of the fundamental points we make in our book is we need the tech sector to step up. We need governments to move faster.
ZAKARIA: What about on privacy? You know, the argument is made that we have become the products, the company - this is less Microsoft were obviously but companies selling our information where we browse, where we shop, and profiting off of it. We don't get anything in return. We get the free product, but we don't get royalties from it.
And we don't know how much of our privacy is invaded. Should there be changes on both lines? We should have more control and we should get reimbursed some kind of almost royalty payment?
SMITH: I certainly think there needs to be a real reform, and the strengthening of privacy laws. In this country, and I think over the next decade even around the world, even in places like Europe where there's strong private protection already. We call this a company for national privacy legislation, the United States in 2005.
And we did that because we believed that a healthy market is one in which consumers have confidence in the control of their data, the kind of confidence that only comes in part by protection under the law.
So as we look today, we would say it is time to finally bring to the United States many of the best elements of strong privacy laws from Europe. That's what we've done voluntarily, and applying across the United States not just the European principals, but California's new law.
I think we should also recognize in the decade ahead, there is a new generation of privacy issues already looming. We have data brokers in the country that are almost completely unregulated. We have--
ZAKARIA: Explain what a data broker is?
SMITH: A data broker is basically someone who buys data from someone else. You might have provided your data initially to a company that you were doing business with and perhaps because there was no restriction on that company's ability to sell your data, it turns out they have, and these data breakers are then aggregating this data.
They're using it to learn more about you, to market new things to you. They may be reselling it to someone else. And so we need to start thinking about how to frankly all of the businesses that is dealing in data?
SMITH: And we need to identify the kinds of abuses whether it's unfair marketing to children, deceptive practices or saying what is fundamentally potentially exploitation of disadvantaged people and have the kinds of laws that will prevent that if happening. ZAKARIA: Brad Smith, pleasure to have you on.
SMITH: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: And we'll be back.
ZAKARIA: The world's millionaires currently hold $158 trillion of wealth. Put another way, roughly 1 percent of the global population now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the world's wealth. That's one of the many illuminating findings from Credits Suisse's 2019 Global Wealth Report it brings me to my question this week.
ZAKARIA: According to the Credit Suisse's report, which of the following nations has the most millionaires Japan, China, the United Kingdom or the United States? My book of the week is the January issue of Foreign Affairs. It's got that essay of mine on America's relationship with China but it also has a series of first rate pieces on the future of capitalism, something that is being debated across the world as governments get more interventionist. You can buy the issue or you can subscribe to Foreign Affairs, which is a great deal for a great publication that will keep you informed about the world out there.
The answer to my challenge this week is D, of the world's 46.8 million millionaires, 40 percent reside in the United States. The U.S. holds its lead by a considerable margin and Credits Suisse found that to be true in other metrics of global wealth as well.
According to the report, the number of millionaires worldwide increased by 1.1 million from 2018, the U.S. alone accounted for more than half that increase, exceeding the number of new millionaires from the next nine countries combined. The U.S. has the most members of the top 1 percent and for the past decade, it's been a leading driver of wealth creation.
But for the first time China eclipsed the U.S. as the nation with the most members of the top 10 percent. And here's another statistic that may surprise you from the 2018 report. Chinese people account for nearly half of the world's middle class. What's more, the World Bank found that China has now lifted over 850 million people out of poverty in the 40 plus years since the end of the Cultural Revolution.
All in all, yet another reminder that we are moving into a world that will be marked by these two great countries the United States and China. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week and I'll see you next week.