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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS

World Watches Impeachment Spectacle In Washington; Wuhan Coronavirus Leaves Dozens Dead, 2,000 Sickened; Iraq's President Barham Salih On His Plans To Expel U.S. Troops; Carrie Lam, The Chief Executive Of Hong Kong, Was Elected By A Committee Of 1,194 Citizens, Most Of Them Pro-Beijing; Carrie Lam: We Need To Preserve The Rights Of Everybody, Not Just The Protesters. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 26, 2020 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:12]

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 coming to you live from Paris.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: Today on the show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hear ye. Hear ye. Hear ye.

ZAKARIA: The president on trial. The United States Senate is supposed to be the world's greatest deliberative body. As it lived up to that billing this week, I will get views from around the world.

Also some terrific interviews from Davos. I sat down there with the president of Iraq. When we talk, Barham Salih had just had what he called a candid conversation with Donald Trump. Did he tell Trump to get American troops out of Iraq?

And Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong. She's stuck in between Beijing and the protesters. Will China send in the army or will accede to the protesters' demands?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: We'll get to my take in a bit, but right now on Saturday, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the United States Senate went into its next phase, when the president's lawyers began their defense. At this point there is no expectation that Trump will actually be removed from office. In the end, this is an essentially party line vote which means the president will remain in the Oval Office.

But how is the world watching this whole spectacle.

Joining me now in London, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor of "The Economist." In Tel Aviv, Martin Indyk, a long-time top American diplomat including two stints as U.S. ambassador to Israel, now a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In Buenos Aires today is Kishore Mahbubani, the former foreign secretary of Singapore, now a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore.

Zanny, you were at Davos as I was and you saw lots of people from around the world, sort of a good cross-section of global elites, I suppose. What is your sense of what they are making of this impeachment?

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: You know, to be honest, I didn't think they're paying a huge amount of attention to it. I think because as you say the outcome is all but foregone, they are moving beyond that. And I was struck not only at how little attention was being paid to the impeachment trial but quite how many people seemed to be taking almost as given that there might be a second term for President Trump.

So the mood I think certainly amongst the business types in Davos was, you know, get ready for a second term. And literally no one spoke to me about impeachment.

ZAKARIA: Kishore, I remember the founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, once telling me that Singapore's survival and prosperity depended, above all, on American power and the strength of American power, to create a balance in Asia, to maintain a balance, and so in Asia, how are people viewing this? Is this something that is exercising them one way or the other?

KISHORE MAHBUBANI, FORMER SENIOR SINGAPOREAN DIPLOMAT: Well, I think they're not watching the ups and downs in the various process, but they are asking a much more fundamental question. I think it's a question that frankly Mr. Lee Kuan Yew would have asked if he were alive today, which is, is this just a temporary downturn in American politics like Watergate, like the impeachment of Bill Clinton, from which America will bounce back again?

Or does this reflect something new that perhaps the American political system has become structurally dysfunctional, so polarized that America will remain so domestically destructive and as a result of it, as Mr. Lee Kuan Yew would have anticipated, the U.S. will pay less attention to the rest of the world and then we have to adapt and adjust?

And I can assure that that's the lens through which most countries are watching this to see how much profound, long-term effect it would have on the United States behavior towards the rest of the world.

ZAKARIA: That's a great point, Kishore.

Martin, in a sense, leaders in the Middle East whom you know so well, the prime minister of Israel, the president of Egypt, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the crown prince of the UAE, all have personal and very strong ties with Trump.

[10:05:11]

Do they worry that they are living in a kind of post-American Middle East where they are going to have to freelance? Does this make them worry about that? Or do they view this as just a kind of a political circus and Trump will be stronger than ever and their relationship is fine?

MARTIN INDYK, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think you're right, Fareed, that the actors that you've mentioned all have a big stake in Donald Trump's survival and, indeed, his re- election. His policies are broadly -- in the Middle East are broadly welcomed by them. However what they worry about is much less about impeachment and more about the concern that the United States is, in fact, retrenching from the Middle East and that Trump's determination to end America's involvement in wars in the Middle East could lead to a withdrawal from this region by the very president that they much prefer over any Democratic alternative.

Here in Israel, the -- where Israelis regard Trump very positively and they've been the beneficiary of his largess, they are preoccupied with their own kind of impeachment trial. The Prime Minister Netanyahu facing indictment on bribery and breach of trust and fraud charges is about to come before the Knesset with a request for immunity that's going to be debated at the very time that the impeachment process is going on on the floor of the Senate.

And so I think in that regard they're not paying any attention to the impeachment. They're much more focused on their own process here.

ZAKARIA: Zanny, you mentioned that people are looking at Trump and say he's presiding over a good economy, he probably will get a second term. That sort of dealing with the policy issues in terms of economics, the state of the economy. Did you detect anyone concerned about the sort of longer term issue of the degradation of democracy or challenges to democracy?

We've heard about that a year or two ago, but my sense is for some reason that has kind of gone away and the issue of the American economy really outperforming everybody else has over ridden concerns that American democracy may be under performing in some sense.

MINTON BEDDOES: You know, I think it depends on who you talk to. Certainly if you're talking to the business crowd, you're absolutely right. The focus was very much the strength of the U.S. economy. But I think there is a disquiet and a concern about the big changes that are going on in America and one as Kishore rightly put it, the question of what is the sort of longer term role that America wants to play.

And I detected actually a sense that people were resigned to the fact that whoever wins in November, we are not going to go back to the status quo ex ante. I think there is a recognition that America has changed and what America wants to do in the world has changed.

And beyond that, I think people are concerned about the erosion of American democracy and there's actually quite a lot of rueful commentary about how many other, you know, sort of populist types around the world are looking at Donald Trump's playbook and are copying it.

And it's a fashion that is going well beyond the United States now. There are, you know -- the president loves strong men and strong men are taking, you know, tips from the president, whether it's the use of social media, whether it's the way he attacks the mainstream media.

So I think there's a sense in which, you know, people are looking at what's happening in the U.S., but they are seeing that it is hurting the U.S. but are also recognizing that this is something that is happening in other places around the world, too. The kind of Trumpfication of economic policy and politics if you will.

ZAKARIA: Very interesting point, Zanny. Now hold on, everyone. We're going to come back to you. Next on GPS, I'm going to ask you about two urgent issues in the news. The Chinese virus, coronavirus, that is worrying the whole world and Trump's Middle East plan. You might not have noticed but after years he says he will actually deliver it this week.

[10:10:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: Welcome back to GPS from Paris. I'm Fareed Zakaria back with my all-star panel from around the world. Zanny Minton Beddoes in London, Martin Indyk in Tel Aviv, and Kishore Mahbubani in Buenos Aires.

Let's turn now to the outbreak that has wide swaths of the world on edge. The trouble started in December when the Chinese city of Wuhan, the industrial city that some call the Detroit of China. Wuhan is now one of 15 cities in China currently under lockdown and the outbreak is spreading around the world with cases reported in North America, Europe, Australia and of course Asia.

China's President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that the outbreak is accelerating and his nation is facing a grave situation.

Zanny, I wanted to ask you what you make of this, particularly in light of the only real point of comparison we have which is the SARS epidemic many years ago?

MINTON BEDDOES: Well, I think it's changing very fast and as you say, it is enormously worrying right now and the numbers change all the time, but right now I think we have some 2,000 known cases of infection and some 60 people have died.

[10:15:01]

What is very clear is that the Chinese authorities have reacted very differently to the way they did to SARS in 2002. It may have taken a little while for the local authorities in Wuhan to deal with it seriously, but now the Chinese central government is dealing with it extremely seriously, they're being very transparent, they're sharing information in real-time. They've had, as you say, they put in place this draconian lockdown, but the problem is, if you will, that China is much, much more interconnected than it was in 2002.

Just to give you one example, there are now I think something like 200,000 people fly into and out of China every day, which is six times more than it was in 2002. So the ease with which -- the degree to which people are moving is very different. It's really too early to tell what the impact will be. As you say, it spread to several countries around the world. It's the mortality rate as of now and it could go up or down, is sort of broadly in the range of where the Spanish flu was in 1918, but it could go way up, it could get way down.

We simply don't know yet. So I think at the moment the most important message is that it's really too early to tell, but that the big changes that the Chinese authorities do seem to be being transparent, decisive and acting in a way that they were not with SARS where they covered it up for months.

ZAKARIA: That's a fascinating comparison to the Spanish flu because the acceleration rate is very dramatic. Of course the Spanish flu eventually I think ended up killing millions. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Kishore, I wanted to ask you what the political effect of this will be, because so much of the Chinese Communist Party's legitimacy has been based on the idea that it is very competent and a well-deserved legitimacy in that sense, they have been very competent at things like building roads, highways, planning special export zones, but this is a more complicated one, is it not? Because it's not only do they have to handle the kind of engineering of this, right, the technocratic health solution, but there's probably also a political dimension here where people are going to be scared, there's going to be panic, people are going to want information.

Do you think that they are going to be up to this task of managing it not just as a technical matter but as a political one?

MAHBUBANI: Well, as you know, when such outbreaks happen, in the phase one, you get complete bewilderment. It's something new. People do not know what it is. They don't understand why it's spreading so fast. And I'll give you one simple example. When we -- Singapore had the SARS outbreak, just five people became super spreaders and out of 206 cases, 121 were caused by five people.

So that's an example of how bigger can you get in phase one when such an epidemic happens. But in response to your question about how is this going to impact in terms of perceptions of the Chinese government, it's actually at moments of crisis like this that I think the Chinese people appreciate the fact that they have a strong and competent government because if you are going to take care of something like this, which is going to be very difficult, you need a combination of strong political will and a very strong, well- established public administration apparatus.

And that's what China has actually developed over the last 40 years after Deng Xiaoping. And so the capability of the Chinese government to handle such issues is much greater than it's ever been and in terms of what it will do in terms of affecting the legitimacy of the Chinese government, I think that the Chinese government will be able to overcome it and when it overcomes it, people will say thank god we have a strong government in place.

And as Zanny mentioned that they have done their best to be as open and transparent as possible in keeping the people informed.

ZAKARIA: We have to go, but before we do, I want to ask Martin Indyk, what do you make of this peace plan that Donald Trump is proposing? Is there much to it? We've got about a minute and a half, Martin. Tell us -- give us your take.

INDYK: Well, it may be a peace plan in great detail, but it won't make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It's been concocted without consultation with the Palestinians and it's tilted so clearly in Israel's direction that there's no chance that Palestinians will accept it. I think its basic purpose is to -- particularly because it's being launched now in the midst of Israeli election campaign, at a time when as I said the prime minister is under indictment for serious charges of fraud and bribery, that it's really designed, I think, to help him get re-elected.

[10:20:05]

It's a peace plan that's morphing into a political plan to get Netanyahu re-elected so he can help Trump get re-elected. And so it's tilted in a way that is designed to ensure that at least Trump's evangelical base will be supportive of him. In other words, it's so pro-Israel that there's no chance that the Palestinians will accept it and therefore I think it will be very hard for the Arabs, who would like to be helpful to Trump because he's been helpful to them, will be able to come out in support of it either.

ZAKARIA: Great insights from all of you. Thank you all. This was a great, great pleasure.

When we come back, I will be in Davos where I spent the better part of the week and I have some great interviews for you. The president of Iraq, the chief executive of Hong Kong, all of that in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:25:23]

ZAKARIA: Welcome back to GPS, coming to you now from Davos, the site this week of the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum.

And let's start with my take. Donald Trump's speech here went over relatively well. That's partly because Davos is a conclave of businessmen and they like Trump's pro-business message. But mostly, the president's reception was a testament to the fact that he and what he represents are no longer unusual or exceptional.

Look around the world and you will see, Trump and Trumpism have become normalized. Davos was once the place where countries clamored to demonstrate their commitment to opening up their economies and societies. After all, these forces were producing global growth and lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Today Davos feels very different. Despite the fact that across the world that growth remains solid, countries are moving ahead, the tenor of the times has changed. Where globalization was once the main topic, today it is the populist backlash to it.

This is not simply atmospherics and rhetoric. Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management points out that since 2008 we have entered a phase of deglobalization. Global trade, which rose almost uninterruptedly since the 1970s, has stagnated, while capital flows around the world have fallen. Net migration flows from poor countries to rich ones have also dropped.

The shift in approach can best be seen in the case of India. In 2018, Prime Minister Modi came to Davos to decry strongly the fact that many countries are becoming inward focused and globalization is shrinking. Since then, his government has increased tariffs on hundreds of items and taken steps to shield India's farmers, shop keepers, digital companies and many others from the supposed dangers of international competition.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently called out India for having the highest tariffs of any major economy in the world.

The "Economist" notes that Europe, once one of the chief motors for openness in economics and politics, is also rediscovering state intervention to prop up domestic industries.

And if you think the internet is exempt from these tendencies think again. The European Center for International Political Economy tracks the number of protectionist measures put in place to localize the digital economy in 64 countries. That number has been surging for years, especially since 2008.

It's important not to exaggerate the backlash to globalization. As a 2019 report by DHL demonstrates, globalization is so strong and by some measures continues to expand. People still do want to be connected to trade, travel, and transact across the world. But in government policy, where economic logic once trumped politics, today it's often the reverse. And the cumulative result of all these measures, protecting local industries, subsidizing national champions, restricting immigration, is always to zap economic growth.

This phase of deglobalization is being steered from the top. The world's leading nations, as always, are the agenda setters. The example of China, which has shielded some of its markets and still grown rapidly, has made a deep impression on much of the world. But probably deeper still is the example of the planet's greatest champion of liberty and openness, the United States, that now has a president who constantly calls for managed trade, more limited immigration, and protectionist measures.

At Davos, Donald Trump invited every nation to follow his example and more and more are complying.

For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week.

We'll get started with the rest of the show in just a moment. When we come back, the president of Iraq on his country's intention to expel American troops. How did that go over with President Trump? [10:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: When a U.S. drone took out Iran's top General Qasem Soleimani, America greatly upset not just Iran but also Iraq. You see, not only was Soleimani killed on Iraqi soil, but many in the west seem to forget that killed alongside the general was an Iraqi paramilitary commander.

Just days later Iraq's outgoing Prime Minister said U.S. troops had to leave Iraq and its parliament voted to expel American soldiers. President Trump threatened serious sanctions in response. This week, Trump met with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih here in Davos. Right after that meeting, I sat down with the Iraqi President to ask him how that conversation went.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: Mr. President, you said that had a candid conversation with President Trump? That sounds like diplomatic. So I want to ask you how candid was it? Did you explain to him that the Iraqi parliament has passed a resolution asking that U.S. troops leave? And what was his response?

[10:35:00]

BARHAM SALIH, IRAQI PRESIDENT: Well, have to be fair President Trump does not mince his words. He is always also very direct and very candid. And I these are very important times being diplomatic Camouflage. We had truly a candid conversation a very conversation. And it was good opportunity to basically explain the dynamics.

Yes, the Iraqi parliament has issued a decree calling for all foreign troops to leave. The United States and President Trump has always said it is up to Iraq what he decides, what it needs? So long as this is done with respect and in the proper ways. This is something that the United States and Iraq need to sit down together.

This is my conversation with him, that we have a decision and we have a new dynamic and we need to sit down and have a dialog, at the heart of which the sovereignty of Iraq, respect of the will of the Iraqi people, and protecting the hard stability of Iraq should be the main emphasis.

ZAKARIA: There are many people in the United States who worry that were U.S. forces to leave, both symbolically and actually, it would result in greater and greater Iranian influence in Iraq?

SALIH: Well, Iraq and Iran are neighbors and no Iraqi wants to go back to a state of conflict or war with Iran. We have had too many wars. Iraq and Iran must maintain good relations based on a state-to-state relation and recognizing this should be both good for Iran and for Iraq, that any effort, by the way, to undermine Iraqi sovereignty - and this is the message I want to say and many have tried to in the past - this is not working. Iraq is a proud nation and Iraqis don't accept anything less than full independence and full sovereignty. They want to have good relations with Iran as I said. They don't want to go back to a state of conflict with Iran or undue Iranian influence or for that matter influence from others is unacceptable. Iraqis won't accept it.

And we do see this affirmation of Iraqi sovereignty, Iraqi patriotism. Iraq has been toyed with for far too long and Iraqis want to reclaim their homeland and assert their sovereignty.

ZAKARIA: There are people who say Qasem Soleimani was a hero there are people who say he was a terrorist. Which was he?

SALIH: Qasem Soleimani was quite an icon for Iran and the Iranian National Security System. I want to be fair as we evaluate these matters and I have referred to this on many occasions, Qasem Soleimani was there during the war against ISIS. He was with the Iraqi forces, different Iraqi forces, in different regions of Iraq.

And ironically at the time, when you had American drones and American planes providing support missions for some of these military dynamics, so - during the war with ISIS, many competing elements in the Middle East, many conflicting parties in the Middle East came together in Iraq in order to defeat ISIS.

ZAKARIA: The U.S. strategy as far as one can tell toward Iran seems to be, squeeze it, more sanctions, more pressure, and the idea is, either they will agree to a much more substantial nuclear deal with much longer time horizon, perhaps including ballistic missiles and the like, or some people believe it's an attempt to actually overthrow the regime which do you think it is and will either strategy work?

SALIH: I think at the end of the day, Iran is a major geopolitical act in that part of the world. If you look back at where - why the Middle East and the mess it is in now, I can go back probably to the Iraq/Iran War, the collapse of regional order, one thing left to another, and we are moving from one conflict to the other.

At the end of the day, my urging this part of the world has been a headache for everybody, many people might have thought it is their battles and they can finance it by themselves and we have seen the scourge of extremism coming out of here and plaguing the entire world. This region needs to be fixed.

We need a new regional order. This cannot be done without the Iranians. This cannot be done without the Turks. This cannot be done without the Arab World coming together. Seriously, if you look at the geopolitics of it - and I hope you don't accuse me of being Iraq centric - it is Iraq it is Mesopotamia.

[10:40:00]

SALIH: This has always been the case.

ZAKARIA: So aren't we in a very dangerous moment, though, because the U.S. is tightening the pressure, the Iranians-- SALIH: It is a dangerous moment.

ZAKARIA: But the Iranians do not seem about to capitulate. Couldn't that then lead to another miscalculation and another military conflict?

SALIH: I think the environment is so unstable, so dangerous, we all need to be worried about concerned and certainly in the case of Iraq - and I go back to Iraq as well - Iraq is very fragile, very precarious. The stability that we've wired after years of conflict against ISIS was not easy. It could easily unravel.

We are already seeing signs of ISIS coming back. The implications of the conflict in Syria, the dynamics in Idlib are all very, very serious. We are now talking about the regional conflict at the same time the issue that has consumed us all over the past few years, namely ISIS and terrorism is beginning to come back and I'm sure if we are not careful, this is going to plague us and will make us face an ugly reality.

Yes, Fareed, this is a dangerous moment. The Middle East does not need another conflict.

ZAKARIA: Did you tell? Did you tell this to President Trump?

SALIH: We had a very good conversation with the President and we had a very candid conversation and the need for basically restraint, calm things down, this is not the time for another conflict.

ZAKARIA: President Salih, always a pleasure.

SALIH: Thank you, my friend.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS" Hong Kong's leader rarely gives interviews to western media. I asked her about the protests that have rocked her Island territory.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:45:00]

ZAKARIA: It's been a tough year for Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the elected head of the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has run of course very differently from the rest of China. Beijing calls its policy, one country, two systems and Hong Kong is much more liberal and democratic.

At last March protests broke out over a law that some Hong Kongers saw as a threat to their freedoms. Over a series of months the protests grew, organizers say almost 2 million people marched at the biggest protest on June 16th of last year. Then in the waning months of 2019, the protests grew increasingly violent.

In recent weeks Hong Kong's turmoil may have been off the front pages, but Chief Executive Carrie Lam's problems are not going away. The protesters say they will not stop until their five demands are met, her approval rating hovers around 20 percent. I sat down with Carrie Lam at the World Economic Forum for a rare opportunity to hear her side of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: I saw somewhere that you said you weren't sure what protesters were still protesting about in Hong Kong, given that you have withdrawn the extradition bill and made clear that it is a dead letter. From my reading of the situation, they're protesting for other things now.

Independent Police Commission, a kind of full democracy that they were protesting for during the umbrella protests. Of course your resignation, so at this point, it seems as though, you know, there is this irresistible force of the protesters with a lot of public support and there is the immovable object of Carrie Lam. What is going to happen?

CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Well, let me first put it in the Hong Kong context. We are very used to protests and demonstrations. We have absolutely no problem with peaceful demonstrations against anything under the sun, whether it's myself my government, a social livelihood issue, lack of affordable housing.

But on this particular occasion over the last few months, what we have seen in Hong Kong, which is totally unprecedented and unfamiliar to us and every one of you who knows and loves Hong Kong and loves Hong Kong, is that high degree of violence, that total disrespect for differences in opinion, that people were beaten when they hold a different opinion from some of these protesters or rioters.

So to simplify all these protests as just fighting for democracy and for continued freedoms, might have underestimated the situation. Similarly for the governments to provide a political response because the protesters or these rioters wanted to see a particular response, would not be a very prudent way of ensure Hong Kong's future and public interest.

So every political demand has to be fully assessed, against several important principles, one whether it goes against its very important principle of one country, two systems, that is important to ensure Hong Kong's continued stability and prosperity, and also whether it will continue to enable us to preserve the rights and freedoms enjoyed by everyone in Hong Kong, not just the protesters and rioters.

What about the bystanders? What about the families of policemen who have been intimidated and harassed throughout these months? Another principle is the rule of law. Demand the Chief Executive to ask the Secretary for justice, to grant an overall amnesty to everyone arrested, over the last few months, is totally inconceivable in the context of a rule of law, which we hold so dearly in Hong Kong.

[10:50:00] LAM: And finally, I could not agree to demands that simply will destroy Hong Kong's well-funded institutions, whether it is the judiciary, the law enforcement agencies, the mass transit railway cooperation, which is represented in my delegation, the airport authority, and even the freedom of the press.

ZAKARIA: But if one views it just from this very technical point of view, it seems to me it misses this larger up surge that seems to be happening in Hong Kong, than it is about the fundamental issue of will Hong Kong have what the protesters regard as genuine democracy, it seems that they have an enormous amount of public support, you know, if you look at the mass rallies, if you look at public opinion polls and if you look at the most recently elections, right?

Where 17 out of 18 of the constituencies flipped? Doesn't that tell you that this is something larger and that it has to be dealt with in a more funnel fundamental way? That people in Hong Kong are scared that what makes the city special is going to go away?

LAM: I would agree wet you that in a free society like Hong Kong there is something missing and that is in your terminology the genuine democracy in my terminology that is democracy that is within the constitutional framework, because Hong Kong is not a state. Hong Kong is a special administrative region within the People's Republic of China.

We have a basic law that on the one hand gives us the freedoms, the independence, the judiciary on the other hand it has certain safeguards to make sure that the constitutional development is something that is acceptable within that contest.

ZAKARIA: You mentioned that you think that these freedoms will be guaranteed by the central government in Beijing. Can you on the basis of your conversations with them, say that they have categorically ruled out a Tiananmen Square style crackdown in Hong Kong?

LAM: While people focus on what has happened in Hong Kong? I will tell you something that has not happened in Hong Kong in the last seven months. There's massive bloodshed on Hong Kong streets that some wanted to see has not happened in Hong Kong. The presence of the people's liberation army on these trips on Hong Kong streets has not happened in Hong Kong except on one occasion where they came out to do voluntary work to clear the blockades on the roads, that the media--

ZAKARIA: And will you say the PLA were-

LAM: --of the media where some were worrying has not happened in Hong Kong.

ZAKARIA: But that's past. Do you guarantee it won't happen in the future?

LAM: As I said if everybody is committed to one country two systems like what the central government has, then one country, two systems means all the freedoms and rights in China in a basic law.

ZAKARIA: If you could talk to the protesters, if they were listening to you right now, what is it you want to say to them?

LAM: Treasure Hong Kong. We can sit down and talk, but please treasure Hong Kong. Don't destroy Hong Kong.

ZAKARIA: Carrie Lam, pleasure to have you.

LAM: Yes. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:55:00]

ZAKARIA: A Japanese Minister made headlines recently when he announced he would be taking two weeks of paternity leave. Now Japan mandates that the public and the private sector both offer at least 52 weeks of paid leave to new parents both men and women.

But in 2018, only 21 percent of eligible male public employees applied for any amount of such leave, and the private sector that number was just 6 percent. Japan's generous 52-week paid leave policy for new fathers is actually the second highest in the OECD.

It brings me to my question, which OECD country offers the most paid leave to fathers Switzerland, South Korea, the United States, or Finland? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.

My book of the week is "An Escape Into Fiction". I read it on the plane. David Benioff "City of Thieves" set during the siege of Leningrad this is a gripping story of the adventures of two young men given an impossible task set in one of the worst moments of World War Ii. Benioff is the screenwriter for "Game of Thrones" and "Troy" and the book reads like a bit like screenplay, a very, very good screenplay.

The answer to my GPS challenge this week is B, South Korea, which offers 52 weeks and 10 days to Japan's 52 weeks. How did this happen in two notoriously workaholic countries? Because both South Korea and Japan face record loafer fertility rates, so the governments are betting that expanding paternal leave policies can help expand a shrinking demographic.

It's an approach that may bear fruit. Twice as many South Korean fathers took paternity leave in 2018 compared to 2016 now only time will tell whether the strategy also encourages parents to bear more children. If you guessed Switzerland, by the way you should know it is one of only six OECD nations to not the offer paid leave to fathers.

Another, it will come as no surprise, is the United States is the only developed country in the world not to mandate any maternity leave either.