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Connect the World
Two Killed in Latest Russian Attacks on Kherson; Bob Menendez Reportedly to Address Bribery Charges; Netanyahu: Deal with Riyadh would be "Quantum Leap"; Check on the Global Markets; Chinese Tech Giant Unveils its Fall Product Line; Verstappen Just 1 Victory from Title after Japan Win. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired September 25, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi. Welcome to "Connect the World". We'll be kicking off an hour
earlier from here on out and that means its 5 pm in the UAE, 9 am in New York. And we are so glad to have you on board with us.
Here's what we've got in store for you this hour. Ukraine says it has killed the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez
is expected to address bribery charges today is a growing chorus of Democrats call for him to resign. Writers in Hollywood could be back to
work as early as this week after a tentative deal was reached with major film studios.
Whilst a Huawei holds a high profile product launch but stays silent on its latest smartphone. And we'll be keeping a close eye on all of your business
news during this hour of the show Markets in New York, will open in about 30 minutes time here is how the futures are looking right now.
We got them lower 30 minutes out from the start of the trading day in New York. Investors somewhat spooked by the Federal Reserve signaling that our
rates could be higher for longer or push higher on oil prices and a stronger dollar also impacting sentiment. More on that as we move through
We begin though in Ukraine, 90 months into its war Ukraine, claiming a major blow against Russia. Ukrainian Special Forces say the commander of
Russia's Black Sea Fleet was killed in last week's attack on Sevastopol in Crimea. Let's get you straight to CNN, Frederik Pleitgen, who is in Eastern
Ukraine and we are just getting word of this what do we know at this point?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This comes from Ukrainian military intelligence, Becky, and they're saying that in that
strike in the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, which of course happened in the early morning hours of this past Friday, and that really hit that
headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet there.
The Ukrainians are saying that 34 senior officers, as they put it, of the Black Sea Fleet were killed, including the commander of the Black Sea
Fleet, who's an admiral called Viktor Sokolov, the Ukrainians that are saying that he was killed in that strike. Of course, you'll recall that
after that strike took place, there was some video that emerged on social media.
The Black Sea Fleet headquarters very close actually, to the town of Sevastopol to the center of the town of Sevastopol. Many people of course,
had their phones out may have been filming, it certainly seemed as though they were cruise missiles that hit that Black Sea Fleet headquarters.
The Russians, at that point in time only acknowledged that one Russian soldier was missing as was presumably killed. They did acknowledge, as they
put it, that the historic headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet had been hit but had not said that officers had been killed.
Now we do have to say, Becky that at this point in time, the Ukrainians have not put forward any evidence to firm up the fact that Admiral Sokolov
may have been killed. It's very difficult, obviously, to confirm that we ourselves have not been able to independently confirm that.
We have been trying to get in touch with the Russian Defense Ministry about this. And earlier today, there was a call with journalists by the spokesman
for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov where this was also not talked about. So right now, we don't have any sort of confirmation or indications about this
from the Russians, nevertheless.
Of course, a big claim by the Ukrainians and it came as there were a range of strikes on Sevastopol in the area around Sevastopol in this past week by
the Ukrainians then of course, hitting a submarine that was in the dry dock there in Sevastopol, also hitting a landing ship called the Minsk, which
was outside of the port of Sevastopol.
The Ukrainians also saying that a lot of sailors were killed on that ship as they claimed that it was about to set sail for a mission so certainly
Ukrainians this past week, putting pressure on the Russian Black Sea Fleet putting pressure on the Russians in occupied Crimea, now coming up with
this big claim, but again, at this point in time, all of this not confirmed, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred, overnight, Russia hit Odessa with a barrage of drone strikes. Is it clear what the extent of the damage is at this point?
PLEITGEN: Well, it seems to be pretty extensive damage, but it's unclear how big of a hit this was against the Ukrainians course of Odessa, much
like Sevastopol, also a port town so the Ukrainians are saying they believe that this was retaliation for the Ukrainians hitting the port of Sevastopol
this past Friday and attack.
The Ukrainians calling this pathetic retaliation in their words, they say that in total the Russians use 14 cruise missiles and 19 drones for this
attack. The Ukrainians say they were able to shoot down those 19 drones.
But they said the cruise missiles part of the attack in itself was very complex. Two of those cruise missiles were caliber cruise missiles. Those
are cruise missiles that can maneuver but travel at a subsonic speed. The Ukrainians say they were able to shoot down 11 of those 12 cruise missiles,
some of them in the vicinity of Odessa.
But they said that two of the cruise missiles that were used were only excludes missiles, those travel supersonic, and those appear to have hit
some of the targets there. The Ukrainians are saying that grain facilities were hit in the port of Odessa. And they also say that a large hotel was
hit, which is very close to the sea front.
The Ukrainians were there parts saying that that hotel hasn't been used for years and so therefore was empty. The Russians have been saying that they
believe there might have been military inside that hotel. But again, the Ukrainians are saying that they believe that what the Russians are doing is
a symbolic strike as retaliation for the fact that the Ukrainians hit the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol.
Nevertheless, the damage extensive variants in Odessa, two people have so far been confirmed killed by the Ukrainians, Becky.
ANDERSON: Good to have you on board. Thank you, sir, Fred Pleitgen in Ukraine for you. Well, a significant turning point now in one of
Hollywood's longest labor strikes. CNN is hearing that striking writers could be getting back to work as soon as this week after reaching a
tentative agreement with major film and television studios.
Now the Writers Guild of America is calling the deal exceptional. But there's no word on what is in the deal. WGA is nearly five month walk out
throws almost all studio production, not just in Hollywood, but in other parts of the world as well. CNN's Camila Bernal is live in Washington in
Los Angeles, sorry for us.
And look, the impact of this strike has been huge. As far as these studios are concerned the financial impact, they've really taken a hit. So what do
we understand at this stage is on the table and what happens next?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So here's what I'm hearing, the deal has not been made public. But the issues that were really important to the
writers were artificial intelligence, which CNN has also learned. That was actually that final sticking point in these negotiations, and then the
wages in terms of residuals and streaming.
So these are two issues that a lot of the writers that I talked to told me look, we're confident that they met us where we wanted to meet, because
they're saying they trust the WGA negotiators. But the reality is we still have not seen that contract. And what the WGA is saying is that they're
dotting every, i.
So they're working through the legal language of the contract, as we speak. And then tomorrow, we're told you're going to see some leadership votes.
After those leadership votes, what's going to happen is that the contract will be made public that way, a lot of the writers will be able to see it
and will be able to ask questions.
Once that happens, then it's going to go to a vote and the writers will be able to ratify this contract that they've been waiting for about five
months now. The only problem here is that while you're going to be able to see some shows starting back up again, say the late night shows or the talk
A lot of the other shows are going to be on hold and movies as well. And that's because actors are also on strike. So until the actors find their
negotiation, or start negotiating and find a solution, a lot of people here are not going to be able to go back to work even if they want to.
And that's where these, the economic impact comes from. It's estimated to be about $5 billion. It's been very difficult for people in this industry.
And they've been struggling for months now. But this is a glimmer of hope, in what has been just a difficult five months, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. And as I said, the studios have taken a massive hit. Those who have been striking themselves of course, I've taken a real economic
hit. I know it's not clear as of yet what this deal looks like. But the Unions of calling this an exceptional deal, which gives the impression they
feel my writing saying this, they've got a win out of this.
BERNAL: Yes, absolutely. And you're not just hearing it from the studios, because initially, we're just hearing everything from the studios. Now it's
the union as well saying they got a good deal. So a lot of people are just excited to see what's in this deal.
And a lot of people in the industry also saying this could actually motivate and really encourage or maybe speed up the process for the actors
as well because they also had questions and concerns when it came to artificial intelligence. And so there are some things that may align and
may make it easier for the actors to strike a deal as well.
ANDERSON: Good to have you, thank you.
One another Labor related news, Canadian auto workers have narrowly approved a new contract deal with Ford which includes a key pension plan
concession that striking U.S. workers have demanded. Now the U.S. automaker walkout meantime has ended its 11th day with some progress reportedly made
but no end in sight.
The Union expanded its walk out on Friday. U.S. President Joe Biden sets traveled to Michigan on Tuesday to show support for auto workers. Former
President Donald Trump is expected to travel to Detroit on Wednesday. We'll do a political scandal that stretches from Washington to Egypt in battle
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez reportedly set to talk to reporters today, after federal prosecutors indicted him on bribery and corruption charges.
He and his wife are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit the Egyptian government and to help or protect three others who
also face charges. Menendez is defiantly refusing calls by some fellow Democrats to resign. Here's what some of them are saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I do believe that it is in the best interests for Senator Menendez to resign in this moment. As you mentioned,
consistency matters. It shouldn't matter whether it's a Republican or a Democrat. The details in this indictment are extremely serious. They
involve the nature of not just his but all of our seats in Congress.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): This is a very serious charge. There's no question about it in terms of resignation. That's the decision we made by Senator
Menendez and the people of New Jersey.
SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): Well, these are serious and shocking charges of bribery, corruption. I've never seen anything like this. I think Senator
Menendez is going to have to think long and hard about the cloud that's going to hang over his service in the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You can see this was a talker across the weekend shows, the Sunday shows which are still so influential in the U.S. CNN Political
Correspondent Sara Murray joining me now. Is it clear at this point whether he will effectively be forced to resign?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well look, he's been very defiant in his commentaries in while this investigation was going on, but also
since this indictment has been announced, he put out a statement saying I am not going anywhere.
So we're going to see more at this, you know, 11:30 am Eastern press event that Senator Menendez is having if he addresses his political future. I
think one thing that's notable is that what we have seen some increasing criticism from other Democrats, other members of his party.
We're not exactly seeing a drumbeat of his fellow Senators calling on him to resign from the U.S. Senate. And I think that that is notable,
obviously, as you've pointed out there, we've heard from a couple of folks, we've heard from the New Jersey governor who's close ally of Bob Menendez,
calling on him to resign.
I think that was notable, but there hasn't been a full on pressure campaign, from his colleagues in the Senate calling on him to step down as
a result of this indictment. So we'll see what kind of tone he takes when he makes these first remarks and -- later on this morning, Becky.
ANDERSON: Sara, let's just for our viewers who may not be as read in as it were, as you are. Menendez is a hugely significant figure in foreign
affairs as the Former Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. This is why, this is impactful, correct?
MURRAY: Yes, I mean, to be Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a hugely important position. It's a hugely influential
position. And essentially what prosecutors are alleging is that Menendez and his wife and a handful of Co-defendants were involved in a bribery
scheme, not only to benefit them.
But also to benefit Egypt and that Menendez was working behind the scenes accepting these bribes and also working to increase U.S. assistance toward
Egypt. So he was essentially abusing his role as a U.S. senator and also the head of the Foreign Relations Committee.
And under the Senate rules, he does give up that gavel so he can no longer be the person who is leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but
he's still there. He's still part of the committee. He's still a member of the U.S. Senate. And Chuck Schumer, whose course Senate Majority Leader has
made it clear right now that this is temporary while this all plays out.
So depending on how this goes, you know, there's a chance we could see Senator Menendez right back there. But as you point out, this is a hugely
influential position has a lot to do with shaping U.S. policy towards other nations.
ANDERSON: Absolutely, Sara, good to have you.
ANDERSON: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Kenya looking to strengthen a security partnership between America and that East African
country. He has been meeting with his counterpart in Nairobi and he's scheduled to meet with Kenya's President William Ruto shortly.
Let's get you to Larry Madowo, who is live in the capital of Nairobi. And Larry, this is a trip which includes Kenya. But there are other stops of
course. I wonder how Lloyd Austin is looking to bolster ties. And it seems trying to counter the influence of not just China, in Africa, but Russia as
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China and Russia have some major influences here, some military presence as well, the Wagner group is
affiliated to Russia, operates in parts of Africa. And so the U.S. Secretary of Defense has to make sure that he's maintaining these
This is his first trip to the continent as the Secretary of Defense. He's been in Djibouti meeting with the Presidents of both Djibouti and Somalia,
because they're important partners in the fight against al-Shabaab that is al-Qaeda's main branch on the continent. And he's just been saying a short
while ago that the Somalia President's assessment is that he needs more time before the joint African Union troops in Somalia can be withdrawn.
They're supposed to be leaving at the end of this month. But the President of Somalia has asked for a 90 day extension to that. Short while ago,
Secretary Austin and his Kenyan counterpart Aden Duale just finish this press conference where the major news that came out of that Becky, is about
that French announcement of withdrawal of the troops from Niger.
He said the U.S. has not made any significant changes to its defense posture in the country. So essentially, in plain language, they will not be
withdrawing the troops from Niger in the same way that the French have announced that will do so. President Emmanuel Macron essentially said that
Niger's military junta, have no interest in fighting terrorism anymore.
So why is this important because there's growing opposition to Western troops in the African continent, not just at the Sahel, when Niger is not
just here, the Horn of Africa and East Africa, where Djibouti and Kenya and Somalia are but across the continent, which is why he's got to do this trip
across the continent to make sure that the allies are still with him.
ANDERSON: Larry Madowo is in Nairobi in Kenya. A new twist in a deepening diplomatic showdown, we are learning what led to Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau accusing India of possible involvement in an assassination on Canadian soil, that is after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back you're with "Connect the World" 20 plus 5 in the UAE. We have new details on what led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to link
the assassination of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil to the Indian government.
The U.S. Ambassador to Canada revealing in an interview with CTV, the information came through Five Eyes which is an Intel sharing pact between
the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The accusation which India calls absurd has sparked a diplomatic route between the two
Paula Newton following the story for us, from Washington, we know from where this Intel was gleaned, do we know from which country and in fact,
what this Intel is at this point?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, there are two things that issue here though that no one wants to speak up. One is, as you point out, what kind
of Intel was it? And which country did it come from? Now you are right. To obviously reference Five Eyes, I want you to listen now to as you said, the
Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. telling a Canadian news outlet exactly where some of this intelligence came from, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID COHEN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CANADA: The United States takes very seriously these allegations. And you know, if they prove to be true, it is
a potentially very serious breach of the rules based international order in which we like to function or this is something we're treating we take very
seriously. And we think it's very important to get to the bottom of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So that was not the right bite of the Ambassador. But I can assure you in that same interview in fact, he said that Five Eyes intelligence was
included in that. I reached out to the State Department for a comment on this they refused to comment on it, which also leads us to believe that the
Ambassador did not want to repeat that at least in the statement to CNN why Becky?
Because it is highly sensitive as to whether or not this intelligence came from Indian diplomats themselves operating in Canada. The CNN cannot
confirm that. But Indian diplomat certainly have hinted that perhaps this is how they received this information for its part, Becky, Canada is saying
that it is leaning on the criminal investigation, the RCMP leading that in British Columbia.
The problem is even though this man was you know, basically murdered with several gunshots basically, on the streets on the Canadian streets just
outside of Vancouver. There is no one in custody. RCMP tell CNN this is vitally important this investigation and yet they have not released any
more information thus far, Becky.
ANDERSON: How's the Indian community in Canada feeling about this?
NEWTON: You know, Becky, I have to tell you completely unsettled. You know how complicated certainly, these kinds of political fault lines are in
India, no one here in Canada wants to see that kind of contentious issue make it to the shores of course, they've been a reality of Canadian
politics as well for decades.
But it really doesn't matter which side of this dispute you fall on for most Canadians, the diaspora here. This is completely unsettling, and they
are wondering how much it will hurt them. Also, just the fact that Canada, India pardon me right now is no longer processing visas.
Think about that for any Canadian nationals, a lot of those Canadian nationals from Indian descent and they go back and forth to the country all
the time. Also, I can tell you from having spoken to the Canadian business community this have sent quite a chill especially given the larger Indo-
Pacific strategy now being followed by both Canada and the United States.
They were told in late fall last year, Becky, to try and strengthen those trade relationships with India and now this.
ANDERSON: Paula Newton is in Ottawa in Canada, thank you. Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar. Right now in
Italian icon and Oscar winning film star Sophia Loren has had surgery after a fall in her home in Geneva. Her spokesperson says the surgery went well.
Report say the 89 year old actress suffered a broken hip. Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia are high following a deadly clash and standoff near their
border on Sunday. A police officer from Kosovo and three Serbian attackers were killed. Two border crossings between the countries reportedly remain
Armenia's government says nearly 5000 people have now entered the country from Nagorno-Karabakh since the ceasefire ended Azerbaijan's lightning
offensive there last week. Ethnic Armenian separatists surrendered, leading to talks to reintegrate the breakaway region back into Azerbaijan.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it is quite likely his country will reach a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia. The deal
mediated by the U.S. would mark a seismic foreign policy shift for both countries. Saudi Arabia, like many Arab States does not currently recognize
In an interview with CNN Mr. Netanyahu touted the potential pact as a quantum leap in the region
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think that making peace with Saudi Arabia and basically beginning to end the Arab-Israeli conflict will
also help us end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And I think that's what people miss out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also says the deal will be the biggest in history since the Cold War. But in an
interview with CNN, the President of Iran, Riyadh's regional rival said he believes it will fail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANINAN PRESIDENT: On one side, the Americans did this. On the other side, they started to promote a phobia about Iran, and unfounded
fear in the hearts of the neighboring countries about Iran. So that when they wish to establish contact with Iran, or have an approach or re
approach small, or conduct economic activities with Iran.
They see that these are fears created by the Americans. So this normalization will see no success, just like in previous cases. And this is
not a solution for the Zionist regime after 7.5 decades they must go back to the principle founded in giving the rights to the Palestinian people
that they are owed, what is rightfully theirs.
The past must start from that point of origin instead of addressing the core issue, they are trying to bring about a enforced normalization, which
cannot help design this regime in any way, shape or form, other than to put everyone in a position where even the people of these nations that you
touched upon earlier. They see that establishment of normalization of relationship as a betrayal of their principles and values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: President Raisi said this past week that Israel, Saudi ties will be and, I quote here a stab in the bag to the Palestinians. Well coming up
the Huawei challenge popular new products and new Mideast investments bought brand new battles with the United States away to look at what's next
for the Chinese tech giant.
ANDERSON: Right they are out of the gate. Welcome back. This is "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson, we are with you an hour earlier. Its
5:30 pm in Abu Dhabi 9:30 you can see there in New York where the stock exchange has just opened.
Let's take a look at what is happening on the market. You can see the DOW opening lower there that in a reflection of what happened on these the
European markets earlier on. Today, we had the Asian markets looking like this, NIKKEI not doing too badly, but the Shanghai Composite taking a hit.
And the property market very much in focus there, oil also trading for you today higher 93.51 on Brent Crude the WTI Crude market at 90 that's coming
off these highs have labored still looking strong in that high oil price. And the strength of the dollar, of course, a couple of things that are
having a real impact on sentiment on that U.S. market trading just about a fifth of 1 percent lower as we speak.
Well, the big business news out of U.S. this week is whether Congress can reach a funding deal to avoid a government shutdown? The deadline is
Saturday, this showdown becoming somewhat of a regular political spectacle in Washington. You will be forgiven for thinking this was Groundhog Day. It
happens it seems at this time every year.
Well, a deal normally comes together, of course at the 11th hour. We will bring you the updates as we get them. It does feel like this year, it's
going to go right down to the wire. Again, that having some impact on these U.S. markets.
Let's take a look at the Chinese Tech Giant Huawei now; it held a full season product launch on Monday that executives hoped certainly would keep
the momentum going after a groundbreaking few months for the firm. Huawei announcing a number of new products including electric cars, ear buds or
gold smart watch, the event was watched by millions online. The company however, saying virtually nothing about its new Mate 60 Smartphone lines
which appears to offer superfast 5G connectivity.
You'll remember that the U.S. has slapped sanctions against the firm intended to keep that kind of highly advanced technology out of Chinese
hands. Well, Huawei is also hoping to fuel growth in the Middle East and Africa with new investments to help make up for its lack of access to U.S.
and some European markets.
It also says it wants to be a leader in artificial intelligence. And that is what I want to discuss with my next guest. I'm joined by Nasser Saidi;
he is the President of Nasser Saidi and Associates also Lebanon's Former Trade Minister. You're probably pleased you're out of that file these days
and in the business of in the business of consultancy.
And what I want to talk to you about today is Huawei and its opportunities as it sees them in this part of the world, given you know that it is
effectively being kept out of the U.S. market and indeed some European markets as well.
NASSER SAIDI, PRESIDENT OF NASSER SAIDI AND ASSOCIATES: Yes, increasingly.
ANDERSON: -- increasingly. Tell me what sets the opportunity here in this region?
SAIDI: Well, I think to begin with as a major achievement, because they're using their own processor. Their own idea of the sanctions is that they
would no longer have access to off the shelf chips, and they've developed their own processor.
And interestingly, they've done the reverse what Apple did. Apple went from chips that it uses in its iPhone, to chips that we use in Macs. What Huawei
has done is its used chips in its core hardware, everything that powers the internet, reverse that into chips that they're using in their phones.
And that's what seems to have happened. In other words, they've broken -- they've evaded, if you wish the sanctions, they're using their own
technology. So what that means over time, of course, it's not only 5G I think the big prize, as you noted, I think, is the AI market. It's not
about smart phones, and all the rest is who's going to be dominating the AI market by 2030 or so?
ANDERSON: So it's not about smart cars. It's not about gold smart watches not even about this latest series of Smartphones, which I mean, very little
was said, if anything about that series of Smartphones.
ANDERSON: And of course those watching online and at the actual event, were surprised by that. But you very rightly point out we should go a lot
further when we discuss this company than just talking about these devices?
SAIDI: AI is going to be presumed to some 2.2 trillion markets by 2030. That's the big prize. And of course, AI is what we call a general purpose
technology is to GPT that means it's ubiquitous, you're going -- we're going to be using it and everything. So what the U.S. and maybe others are
worried about is that if they've got access, and they perform as well in AI, they will be able to take over that market.
And if you look at what the Chinese are doing right now, in terms of startups, and investing in AI, they're nearly investing as much as the U.S.
not as fast because they're catching up but lots of startups and lots of money going to go into it.
The net result is going to be they're looking at a market, which is the Asian market and the Middle East market for their phones. They haven't had
access to the U.S. and Europe. Now they're looking at Asia, and in our part of the world.
ANDERSON: How much business do they do in this part of the world to date?
SAIDI: We don't know. We don't have precise numbers. What we do know something about China's trade this part of the world. If you look at GCC
China trade, it now represents 20 percent of GCC trade, OK.
And it's increased some 300 percent in 10 years. Those are amazing numbers. And I think when you look ahead, you ask yourself, where is this heading?
And you need to look at the visit of President Xi in December to Saudi Arabia to see where that's heading as the new strategic relationship.
And right now, there are negotiations ongoing for a free trade agreement between China and the GCC. So if you want to look at something that is a
game changer, it's going to be that free trade agreement that started negotiations in back 2004, but could see a light in 2024.
ANDERSON: Washington would rather that its key partners and it's described, the UAE and Saudi as that in this region, did less business, if not no
business with China than they do at present. And you've just described just how potentially impactful the Chinese market is, or the Chinese business
market is for these countries. And Washington specifically doesn't want to see Huawei's 5G infrastructure embedded in the systems in this region. It
SAIDI: But it already is. And it's going to be wider in scope because 5G, as I said, is an entry into other aspects of technology. And I think that
is what the U.S. is worried about. It's not really about spying, everybody's spying on everybody else, let's be fair about that.
It's about how that will extend into other areas. Because AI is going to go into the energy industry is going to go into electric vehicles is going to
do everything -- go into everything that we do. And I think that is the big price.
And this part of the world is looking at China for renewable for electric vehicles and they already dominates much of the materials that go into
batteries, electric vehicles, and the rest. People are not aware of that.
And I think the Europeans and others are going to wake up and see that China dominates the supply chain for renewable energy phones, electric
vehicles and the rest. And they've been lagging. And where do you stop in terms of the supply chain? Or you start with trips, and then you extend the
trade door? And then where does that end up?
ANDERSON: And that is safe, and that is clearly a real issue as far as this Biden Administration is concerned.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Good to have you. We'll have you back.
SAIDI: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Ahead in sports. He's closing in on another F1 title and Max Verstappen can clinch the championship here in this region after weekend
win in Japan details on that are up next.
ANDERSON: All right you're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson. Just one more when needed for Max Verstappen to repeat, as
Formula One Champion, the F1 Superstar race to an easy win in Japan this weekend avenging his first and only loss of the season at the previous race
Amanda Davies joins me now. Amanda Verstappen can clinch the title in Qatar, where both of us will be in a couple of weeks' time. I mean, this is
extraordinary. I mean so early in the season. What going on?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, perhaps the smallest surprise ever that Red Bull is already celebrating the constructor's titles the team
competition, which they clinched with that victory in Suzuka on Sunday. And in a season where they've led the way they've set new bars.
Max has set new bars throughout having won 13 of 16 races so far. He can complete another first in Qatar. He can claim the title on Saturday in a
sprint race for the first time. He doesn't need a win he needs just three points to clinch what would be a third straight drivers cycle. It's very
difficult to bet against him Becky.
ANDERSON: Amazing. Well, I'm very much looking forward to them very much looking forward to seeing you there in Doha as well. You've got World Sport
that's coming up after this short break, we're back with the second hour of "Connect the World" after this.