Return to Transcripts main page
Fareed Zakaria GPS
Panel Discussion on US-China Relations; Jamal Khashoggi Profiled. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 14, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] TAPPER: Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: 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 New York.
We'll start today's show with Saudi Arabia. Just what did the desert kingdom have to do with the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi? Where is the young crown prince leading the country? Why doesn't President Trump consider the U.S.-Saudi relationship so important?
And also, the new cold war with China. How did Washington's relationship with Beijing get so bad? And what does the big chill mean for China, for America and the world?
But first, here's my take. We have been talk thing a lot in recent days about the Supreme Court, midterm elections, immigration policy, but the Trump administration's most significant decisions will be about U.S. policy toward China.
The big question is whether the 21st century will be marked by conflict or cooperation between the two most powerful and prosperous countries on the planet. The last time there was such a question, when Britain confronted a rising Germany 150 years ago, things did not work out so well.
Since the end of the Cold War, we've been living in an era of almost no genuine great power competition which has led to the emergence of a dynamic global economy and a huge expansion of international travel, trade, culture and contact. And all this happened under America's uncontested supremacy. Military, political, economic and cultural.
Well, that age is over. Twenty-five years ago China made up less than 2 percent of global GDP. Today that figure is 15 percent, second only to America's 24 percent. In the next decade or so, the Chinese economy will surpass the size of America's, according to the Center for Economics and Business Research. Already, nine of the 20 most valuable tech companies in the world are based in China.
Beijing has also become far more active on the global stage ramping up its defense spending, foreign aid and international cultural missions. The Trump administration has many of the right instincts on China. Beijing has taken advantage of free trade and America's desire to integrate China into the system. The administration is right to push back and try to get a fundamentally different attitude from China, but instincts don't make for a grand strategy.
For Washington to be more strategic, it would have allied on trade with Europe, Japan and Canada and presented China with a united front. It would have embraced the Transpacific Partnership as a way to provide Pacific countries an alternatives to the Chinese economic system. But in place of a strategy, the administration simply presents divisions.
On the one side of people like Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin who wanted to use tough talk and tariffs to extract a better deal from China while staying within the basic framework of the international trading system. Others like trade adviser Peter Navarro would prefer that the U.S. and China were far less intertwined. This would mean a more mercantilist world economy and more tense international order.
Vice President Mike Pence recently gave a fiery speech that came close to declaring that we're in a new cold war with China.
An outright labeling of China as the enemy would be a seismic shift in American strategy and would certainly trigger a Chinese response. It would lead us to a divided and unstable and less prosperous world.
History tells us that if China is indeed now the United States' main rival for super power status, the best way to handle such a challenge lies less in tariffs and military threat, and more in revitalization at home.
The United States prevailed over the Soviet Union not because it waged a long one in Vietnam, or funded the contras in Nicaragua, but because it had a fundamentally more vibrant and productive political economic model.
The Soviet threat actually pushed America to build the interstate highway system, put a man on the moon, and lavishly fund scientific and technology. Tariffs and military maneuvers might be find at a tactical level but they don't address the core challenge.
The United States desperately needs to rebuild its infrastructure, fix its educational system, spend money on basic scientific research and solve the political dysfunctions that have made this model so much less appealing around the world these days.
[10:05:07] If China is a threat, that is the best response.
For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
We'll get back to the China in a bit, but first I wanted to go to our main story. The stock market in Saudi Arabia plunged today and Saudi officials promised to retaliate against any international sanctions imposed on the kingdom. This comes almost two weeks after the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The international community is demanding answers about Jamal's fate as Saudi officials continue to categorically deny any involvement in his disappearance.
I have a terrific panel today to talk about it all. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of the think tank New America. She was director of policy planning in the State Department under Hillary Clinton. Ivo Daalder is the president of the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO. He is the co- author of the "America Throne: America's Abdication of Global Leadership." We've talked about the book.
Tarek Masoud is a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the faculty chair of the school's Middle East Initiative. And Max Boot is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a CNN global affairs analyst, and the author of a brand-new book, terrific book, "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right."
All right. Let me start with you, Max. This is not the subject of your newly terrific book, but you know a lot about it. Why did Saudi Arabia do this if we assume that they did it? And I understand it's a big assumption, but the murder of another dissident many years ago, a dissident duke after the French Revolution in Paris, and Talleyrand, the foreign minister said, it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder. Meaning it just seems to be causing all these problems for the Saudis. Do you think they anticipated this?
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I don't know if they anticipated the blowback, Fareed, but I assume the reason they did it was because they thought that they could get away with it. Jamal Khashoggi was somebody who annoyed the Saudi royal family because he criticized them, and they don't like criticism. And so they thought they could get away with this. And why would they think they could get away with this? Well, maybe because they look at their primary patron in Washington.
Donald Trump is somebody who refers to the media as the enemy of the people. He has nothing but praise for dictators. He says he loves Kim Jong-un. He praises Duterte in the Philippines for the way he's handling the drug problem, which is by sending out death squads, and he has been particularly enamored of MBS, Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
That's where -- Riyadh was the first place where Donald Trump took a foreign trip and he has been very supportive of the Saudis even as they have become very assertive in the region in ways that are not always smart. Look at their in Yemen. Look at their feud with Qatar. Look at the fact that last year they actually kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon? Now they're in a feud with Canada?
And we're not standing up for Canada, we're standing up for these other countries that are getting rough treatment from Saudi Arabia. And so I assume they thought, well, we can get rid of this pesky reporter and Donald Trump won't care, but what we're finding out now is whether Donald Trump cares or not, a lot of people in Washington do care.
ZAKARIA: Tarek, you not only are a great scholar of the Middle East but you grew up in Saudi Arabia, you were there until you were 16 years old. What I'm struck by is Jamal Khashoggi is not some radical anti-monarchical crazy. I mean, he was somebody -- I've known him for 15, 16 years. He was a very moderate incremental reformer, worked for Turkey -- Turki al-Faisal who was the Saudi ambassador to both the U.S. and Britain.
What does this tell us about what's going on in Saudi Arabia?
TAREK MASOUD, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, so obviously stipulating that we don't know what happened with Jamal, but increasingly looks bad.
I think you're absolutely right. Jamal was not a dissident from some marginalized community in Saudi Arabia. He was actually a member of that establishment. And so to see him run so afoul of that establishment or run afoul of the monarchy suggests that there is a deep cleavage within that establishment. If Jamal Khashoggi is now the enemy of the state, then there is a serious problem in Saudi Arabia and it suggests that there's lots of others in Saudi Arabia at the elite level who have similar views and who are consequently similarly unhappy with the regime.
If you read Jamal's columns in the "Washington Post," this was not a guy who was against the Saudi monarchy.
[10:10:01] This was a guy who was saying -- who's basically giving advice to the Saudi monarchy, saying, look, you should do this, you should do that, you should open up a little bit. But his overriding concern was actually the preservation of that monarchy. You know, some people now would even criticize Jamal if you go back and look over Jamal's entire intellectual production, right? He's said a lot of things that we wouldn't characterize as liberal, right?
He -- when in 2016 when the Saudi government executed Nimr al-Nimr, who was a Shiite preacher, Jamal Khashoggi was actually quite in favor of that. He supported that. He said that this person was a traitor, so again, this guy, because he was a faithful son of Saudi Arabia, a member of what I would call maybe its loyal opposition in self-imposed exile, it's puzzling to me why they saw him as such a dramatic threat.
ZAKARIA: We have a short period of time in this segment. What should the U.S. do?
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEW AMERICA: With that, I would say that's why Jamal Khashoggi is more dangerous than somebody who's all the way out. He had real currency with the people Mohammed bin Salman cared about, which is exactly the folks in Washington and a newspaper columnist, but the U.S. now has to draw a clear line, and I think Saudi Arabia is counting on outrage fatigue. That this will pass as so many outrages have. And we have to draw a line. Congress has to activate and act against Saudi Arabia even if the Trump White House won't.
ZAKARIA: We will come back and talk more about this, about Saudi Arabia, and what it generally says about stability in the Middle East when we come back.
[10:15:53] ZAKARIA: We are back now with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ivo Daalder, Tarek Masoud, and Max Boot, talking about Saudi Arabia.
Anne-Marie, you were saying that you think the U.S. should get very tough and act sanctions against Saudi Arabia. But is that likely to happen? I think a lot of people who look at this and think, Saudi Arabia is so rich, it has so much money, inevitably there is going to be what you describe as the fatigue. You already see it with the Saudi Investment Conference. While media organizations have pulled out, none of the big banks have pulled out, none of the big financial institutions that are going there, hoping to get Saudi money, have pulled out. Won't this pass?
SLAUGHTER: Although Uber has pulled out which I actually think is interesting in terms of their perception and their customer base because younger people are pushing. I think that's the bet, right? That's the bet on the part of the Saudi government, this will pass. It is also in Donald Trump's approach to the world where he says everyone -- every nation pursues its own interests, we pursue ours, others pursue others, this is what happens, the Russians murder people in Britain.
SLAUGHTER: The Saudis murder people in Turkey, but at some point there has to be a line. The idea of living in a world where governments just, without any restraint, attack, murder their political opponents is not a world that ultimately the United States wants to live in. I don't think that the White House will push back, but I do think that there is a bipartisan coalition in Congress as there has been against Russia for what they have done in Britain in particular that can draw that line. But, so.
ZAKARIA: Ivo, talk about the extent to which this is complicated by the fact that we don't have an ambassador in Saudi Arabia, we don't have assistant secretaries at the State Department. I mean, is part of this that, you know, diplomacy isn't just about what the president says to the king. It's what is going on, on a day-to-day basis between two countries?
IVO DAALDER, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO COUNCIL ON GLOBAL AFFAIRS: Yes, it very much is. In some ways that the United States has pursued since the beginning of this administrations really -- toward Saudi Arabia really has been helped by a very small group of people, the president, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and that's about it. There's no ambassador as you said. In fact, no one has been nominated.
There's no assistant secretary. The secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to drive the policy in a different direction. Of course he knew Saudi Arabia extraordinarily well, as a former CEO of Exxon. And no one in the White House listened. In fact he was sacked. Mattis, Secretary Mattis has been trying to drive it in a different direction when it came to the issue of Qatar where, of course, we have more than 10,000 servicemen, and yet, Saudi Arabia has a major confrontation with the Qataris on the question of the future of policy towards the Arab world.
And yet policy in Washington is determined by a very small group of people when it comes to Saudi Arabia which is why even if there is a pushback as we have seen from President Trump in the last few days, I don't think it's going to last. The reality is that there has been a strong relationship with MBS and the White House, and that's what they're counting on. And unless there's a change in Saudi Arabia, I don't see the change coming from Washington.
ZAKARIA: Tarek, the Saudis have responded very vigorously, even to the hint of any kind of Western retaliation.
MASOUD: Absolutely. This morning there was a statement from (INAUDIBLE), a responsible source, authoritative source. It was a statement released by the Saudi Arabia News Agency but they wouldn't tell us who the sources that said basically that yes, these attempts to harm Saudi Arabia will not be dealt with lightly, we'll respond to them as vigorously or even more vigorously than they have.
So, you know, if -- you know, if -- I think Ivo is absolutely right that there is this close relationship between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Trump and his son-in-law, but if there is anything that's likely to disrupt that, it's exactly this kind of posturing, right? Both of these sides seem to be very sensitive and prone to taking slights very seriously, and so this could be an escalation in that relation.
[10:20:08] It just -- can I just say, it's kind of dramatic, right? About when Mohammed bin Salman came here earlier this year, right? He was being celebrated as a reformer, right? He was like -- it was like going from being Steve Jobs to being Elizabeth Holmes in Theranos.
MASOUD: So it really is just -- you've got to wonder Mohammed bin Salman must be looking at this and wondering what has happened to reputation because all of these things are self-inflicted.
ZAKARIA: Very briefly, Max, you do have an unusual situation where a close American ally seems to have again alleged to have murdered an American resident, a "Washington Post" columnist, three of his kids I think are American citizens, in the -- in a NATO country in Turkey, and the United States seems not particularly concerned, at least the administration.
BOOT: This is so outrageous, Fareed. This is the complete abdication of American moral leadership. Something that I've long associated with the Republican Party in particular. I mean, that's part of the reason why I became a Republican in 1980s. And it's so shocking to me to see a Republicans president who has no interest on leading on these issues. All he -- Donald Trump seems to view the presidency, he seems to view the United States as basically being like the Trump Organization, a way to make money.
And so he said, you know, we can't do anything to Saudi Arabia because we're selling them $110 billion worth of arms. But we're not actually, OK. The figure is actually much, much lower than that. But even if it were $110 billion are we willing to sell out all of our principles, everything that we stand for as a country, in order to increase arm sales? That's the kind of amoral behavior we expect from a China or a Russia.
America's strength has always been that we stand for something greater. That's been part of our appeal. That's been part of our power. And Donald Trump is sacrificing what makes America great supposedly to make America great again, but he does not understand what that greatness is all about.
ZAKARIA: Stay with us.
Next on GPS, deaths from many infectious diseases are way down. That sounds like great news, right? It is but, there is a but and I'll tell you about it when we come back. And then I'm going to bring the panel back. We're going to talk about America's new cold war, this time with China.
[10:26:01] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. We're often told that the media never talks about good news. Well, here is some superb news. In the epic battle between man and microbe, man is winning. As of 2016 global deaths from malaria had dropped by 48 percent since 2000 while deaths from measles fell 84 percent. HIV- AIDS deaths are down 52 percent from their peak in 2004.
Now these diseases are far from being eradicated but the downward trend is the same for virtually every major infectious disease. The herculean efforts of aid organizations like USAID and the Gates Foundation have paid off tremendously. But we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't tell you there is also some bad news. All that progress, that turns out to be the easy part.
By 2020 non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are projected to cause 70 percent of deaths in developing countries, up from 47 percent in 1990, according to "The Economist." That might seem obvious given the progress on infectious diseases and the lack of progress on, well, immortality. If we prevent swift deaths, slow deaths will take their place as we get older.
But people in these countries aren't living to a ripe old age and then developing cancer. Consider this fact from a new book by Thomas Bollyky, "Plagues and the Paradox of Progress." Life expectancy for a 15-year-old in a low-income country is the same today as it was in 1990. Those non-communicable diseases are killing people in developing countries at a much younger age than in the developed world, Bollyky says.
Why? And what can the international community do to help? Well, first off, stop making the problem worse. As Westerners adopt healthier lifestyles, multinational companies have been aggressively pursuing consumers in emerging markets. A 2015 World Health Organization report found that the sales of ultra processed food and drinks grew by only 2 percent in North America since 2000 compared to 71 percent in the Middle East-Africa region and 48 percent in Latin America.
Net revenue for Phillip Morris International, the American tobacco giant, rose by just 3 percent in the European Union over the last decade, but by 48 percent in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Similarly as developed nations go green, they're dumping their dirty fuels on the developing world, adding to already dirty domestic supplies. For instance, since 2001 the U.S. has increased its coal exports by more than 200,000 percent to India, where air pollution was estimated in 2015 to kill over a million people a year.
So Westerners companies and the government that support them need to stop slowly killing the millions of lives that Western aid groups are helping to save. Meanwhile, those aid organizations need to rethink their operations. They have been wildly successful at combating infectious diseases and they need to keep up this fight, yet the primary care has been neglected.
Some experts actually believe aid groups have inadvertently undermined the provision of basic care by redirecting existing health infrastructure and expertise to its fighting specific infectious diseases. Defenders of the aid groups say they have laid a strong foundation for health systems by setting up clinics, training workers and establishing networks for care delivery.
It's probably time to build on that foundation now. Bollyky observes that today just over one percent of total health aid goes to treating non-communicable diseases. Primary care isn't simple or sexy, but it does save lives and it can no longer be considered a secondary focus.
Next on GPS, America's new cold war with China. Will there be any winners in this struggle?
I'll be back with a panel in a moment.
ZAKARIA: I want to come back to China now with this great panel.
Many took Vice President Mike Pence's speech last week as a declaration of a new Cold War with China. The speech came, of course, after many rounds of tit-for-tat on tariffs between the two nations.
Back with me now are Anne-Marie Slaughter, who is the president and CEO of the think tank New America. Ivo Daalder is the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Tarek Masoud is a professor of international relations at Harvard. And Max Boot is a fellow at CFR and a CNN global affairs analyst.
Anne-Marie, are we in a new Cold War with China?
SLAUGHTER: No. I think it's much more helpful to talk about complex competition than a Cold War, because the Cold War was between two superpowers who were deeply separated, right? We had no cultural or economic ties, really, with the Soviet Union. It was military. We are intertwined with China in every way, from the number of bonds they hold to our businesses, to our universities. So it's a complex competition, but it is certainly heating up, and China is unfairly taking advantage of us, as you have -- have written.
We do have to get tougher with China. I think this notion that we would integrate them into the post-1945 liberal order and then they would be -- play by the rules -- is not true. But rather than talking about a new Cold War, we need to think much -- in a much more varied way about pushing very hard on theft of intellectual property, but on the other hand, actually working with them in the areas we need to work with them, and then competing on their soft diplomacy, not just the military side. Our budget -- military budget is three times theirs.
They have this massive belt-and-road initiative where they're talking about spending up to $1 trillion building infrastructure in Southeast Asia. We need to be on the ground. We need to be investing. We need to be trading in ways that actually show that there -- there is another way of improving people's lives than just taking Chinese money.
ZAKARIA: Max, does it strike you that -- I mean, is the administration -- and there are parts of the administration that want a Cold War with China, that want -- but is that -- where do you think Donald Trump is? Do you think this is how he wants to characterize? Because this going to be the big -- the big story, if we look back, if it turns into a confrontation with China, will be this new Cold War?
BOOT: I think the administration is in a state of confusion about China, as they are about a lot of issues, Fareed. Donald Trump's primary beef with China seems to be that they have a trade surplus with the United States. So they sell us a lot of stuff that Americans like to buy, but guess what? The trade surplus is actually going up under Trump, not going down.
Now there are other people in the administration like Steve Mnuchin who are focused on the forced technology transfers, the theft of American intellectual property, which I think is a more legitimate issue. But guess what happens? If China actually meets our demands and stops stealing from American companies, China will become a more congenial place for American companies to locate their operations, which is the last thing that Donald Trump wants, because he hates the idea of American companies moving offshore.
And then there are the real hardliners, people like Peter Navarro, who do want a Cold War with China, who want to de-link the U.S. and China economically and who want to block China's "Made in China 2025" initiative. And that's basically sending a signal to China that the United States is trying to stop the rise of China. And how do you compromise on that?
I think the Chinese are just confused because they don't know what Trump wants; they don't know how to satisfy the United States, and so this is a recipe for, basically, hostilities continuing and perhaps escalating. ZAKARIA: But, Ivo, the difficult part here is it does seem to me --
Anne-Marie's point -- it's a different world than the Soviet Union. We can't really stop the rise of China, can we?
DAALDER: No, and we shouldn't. What we should be doing is what we have been trying to do for a very long time, which is to bring China into a rules-based system. And when they violate the rules, we need to call them on it. And I think one of the things that Donald Trump has done rightly is to start calling China on the fact that they are violating the rules.
They have been building islands and militarizing islands in the South China Sea now for over a decade. There was an international legal ruling that this is illegal, and yet they have continued. Xi Jinping told Barack Obama that he wasn't going to militarize those places, and they did.
So we need to push back, but how do you push back? Well, one, by being effective internally and having a very clear sense of what your goals are. And I think, as Max rightly says, everybody is all over the place. But the second thing is you need your allies. The one thing we have that the Chinese don't have is allies. It's the one thing that makes us powerful.
You showed earlier on the GDP the U.S.-plus-major-ally GDP, still 50 percent of the world global output, the same it was in 1945. If the United States were to have a strategy where we bring our European allies, our Asian allies, the Indians, along in a strategy to confront China, not to beat them, not to find some kind of win, which is what the president seems to be looking for, but to get them back in to work on the rules that matter.
ZAKARIA: Tarek, Anne-Marie talked about U.S. soft power. What about China's soft power?
When people in the Middle East look at the world, do they want the American model or the Chinese model?
MASOUD: Well, that's the thing. I mean, you know, that's one of the other big differences between this period and the Cold War, right? I would -- I would submit to you that the majority of people -- not all -- but the majority of people in my part of the world or in all parts of the world that lacked freedom looked at the United States and wanted to be that. They didn't want to be the Soviet Union.
It's not the same thing with -- with China. I mean, if you are look at the United States, and if you look at the United States political system, what do you see? You see all the dysfunctions that Max has been talking about, right? You see Donald Trump. That's what democracy gets you, right? It gets you a kind of unhinged political process.
And what does China get you? It gets you competence. It gets you economic development. It gets you this miracle of lifting more people out of poverty than has ever happened in the shortest period of time. And so that's why you see, in places like Egypt, for example, you know, China's helping Egypt build its new capital. So they look at China and they think, "Maybe I want to be like that; I can have development and I don't have to have all this uncertainty and instability and chaos that comes with this American-style democracy."
And that, to me, is the most dangerous, right? Because, ultimately, it means that there is going to be a much larger coalition in a lot of these countries for authoritarian politics instead of for the democratic politics which is where I think, you know, the future really should lie.
ZAKARIA: All right. We're going to come back and talk more about this, also two fascinating polls that shed light on what role Americans want government to have in global affairs and what the world wants from America. This is a very surprising finding, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Two recent polls shed some interesting light on America's role in the world. The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, in an annual, terrific poll it does, found that American citizens are not on board with Donald Trump's pullback from the world stage. Seventy percent of respondents, an all-time high, say they want the U.S. to take an active role in world affairs.
On the flip side of the coin, the Pew Research Center asked people outside America how they felt about America. While America's image has taken a beating abroad under Trump, the poll found that the world overwhelmingly prefers America as the world's leading power to China in that role.
My panel joins me again to discuss.
Ivo Daalder, you were -- you're the head of the Chicago Council that commissioned one of those surveys. What did you think? What was your takeaway?
DAALDER: So Donald Trump, in many ways, is making internationalism great again.
The reality is -- it's like oxygen; if you -- you don't know it's there until it's gone. And I think people are starting to understand that the kinds of ways in which the United States has engaged now for 70 years as a global leader on democracy, on security, on economics -- they may not have liked the specifics and at times actually disliked the specifics, but when it it's gone, you all of a sudden notice what a problem it is.
And that's true for Americans. As you said, the highest number want America to play an active role. And interestingly enough, so is Pew saying, if the alternative is Russia or China or chaos, give me the United States, because that is a country that believes in rules, that adheres to those rules and is trying to extend those rules. And when the U.S. doesn't do that, all of a sudden you understand how important rules are. We talk about a rules-based order today in Europe, around the world. We never used to talk about it because we took it for granted. We can't take it for granted anymore.
ZAKARIA: And how does this work, again, with the competition with China, because in a way the Chinese don't want that kind of rules- based order, but does Donald Trump?
China, I think, wants different rules. Trump wants no rules. He doesn't talk about rules. He talks about sovereignty. His vision is this is great power politics; we are bigger than you are; we're going to create bilateral agreements that are a function of our relative power.
So he doesn't want rules, which of course puts him in a difficult position when he says China is breaking them. He wants to go back to great power politics. That's what "America First" is, but what America has stood for -- and countries may not like us, but they typically dislike someone else more -- it has been for a set of global rules that will constrain us and other great powers at least to some extent, and then that makes things much more predictable and gives a fairer playing ground for all nations.
ZAKARIA: Tarek, what do you think is going on in China right now, in the sense we look at China as this monolith, this super, hyper- efficient country that builds great infrastructure, but it's also a Leninist political system with total political control of 1.3 billion people.
MASOUD: Right, coupled with dramatic economic growth, which, as you know from your own dissertation adviser, tends to unleash all kinds of forces within a society that it's hard to govern by command. So all I want to say there is color me, sort of, skeptical that China is going to be able to operate in the world in a way that is consistently threatening to us and consistently goal-oriented. You know, there are centrifugal forces within the country; it's got all kinds of problems. And I suspect that they're going to be dealing with political instability in a way that might limit their ambition. So we need to be, kind of -- we need to recognize that China is not just this, you know, super-hyper-efficient monolith, but in fact it's got its own problems.
ZAKARIA: Max, the fundamental question I think many people have is, can America restore itself? You know, is this an -- is this an obstacle; is this a bump; or do people look at the way Trump is handling the world and say, "Look, everybody is in it for themselves; I'm just going to freelance as well; I'm going to go for my narrow self-interests" -- and whether that's the Europeans; that's the Canadians; that's the Chinese; that's the -- can America, you know, re-establish its moral authority and the rules and things?
BOOT: I think that's going to be very hard to do, Fareed, because American power was already waning. You already saw the rise of China and various other regimes. And I think Donald Trump is accelerating that decline. I mean, it is shocking to see in the Pew poll that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are more popular around the world than the president of the United States. Only 32 percent of people in Mexico have a positive view of the United States; only 30 percent of the people in Germany. That is doing long-term damage to American standing and it will be very hard to reverse, because if you're an American ally right now, why would you ever trust the United States ever again?
I mean, you know, OK, Donald Trump's not going to be around forever; maybe he will be replaced by a more internationalist president, but you realize that these forces that Donald Trump unleashed -- they're still going to be there; there is still going to be a constituency in the United States for isolationism and protectionism. So why would you trust the United States? Why would you entrust your security in the future to the United States knowing that you could easily have another Trump arising in the future?
ZAKARIA: Thirty seconds?
SLAUGHTER: We do have a chance to restore the United States, but we have to come up with something better than the world order that was created in 1945. And we need a better model at home. We need to be able to deliver for our citizens and develop international institutions that actually deliver for all nations. So we need to update and offer a positive vision of a world order, and we still have plenty of allies who will come with us.
ZAKARIA: You should run for office, Anne-Marie Slaughter.
Thank you all very much. We will be back. Much more when we come back.
ZAKARIA: The Brookings Institution's World Data Lab defines the global middle class as a household that spends between $11 and $110 per person per day. It brings me to my question. Roughly what portion of the world's population is now living in households within enough discretionary expenditures to be considered middle-class or rich by that definition?
Is it roughly one-tenth, more than one-third more than a half or roughly two-thirds? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
My book of the week is Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge's "Capitalism in America: A History." This impressive book by the former Fed chairman and a brilliant journalist takes the reader through the history of the American economy, ending with some provocative thoughts about America's declining productivity, declining risk-taking, declining entrepreneurship, declining dynamism.
The answer to my "GPS" challenge this week is C. Brookings says the world has reached a tipping point. For the first time in history, over 50 percent of the world's population, more than 3.8 billion people, are living in middle-class or wealthy households. They point out the new middle class is mostly Asian. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the next billion middle-class consumers will be in Asia.
This is certainly good news for some. It does mean that nearly half the globe's population is still living in households that are poor or vulnerable to poverty. But the World Data Lab predicts these numbers will improve by 2030.
Before we go, I wanted to bring you this. Prior to becoming the host of this show 10 years ago, I had a show on PBS called "Foreign Exchange." On that show I had the pleasure of hosting Jamal Khashoggi. I looked at those interviews again this week and wanted to show you some telling clips from one of them. At the time of the interview some 13 years ago, Jamal was actually working for the Saudi government as a media adviser to the incoming Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Jamal joined me alongside John Bradley, who has written extensively on Saudi Arabia. I asked Jamal why the government was allied with extremist clerics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMAL KHASHOGGI, FORMER SAUDI JOURNALIST: It's not -- not extremist, but very conservative, people -- clergy who are afraid of modernizations. But it is our duty to break them into modernization, to change them. And this has begun to happen. And now we begin development -- even begin to recruit new clergies and new judges, especially from the young, who are more open-minded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: I pushed back, asking him why not take harsher measures?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: You need to confront these people if you want to rid the society of that kind of extremism?
KHASHOGGI: No, but we don't -- at the same time, we do not want to break the society. The society -- the Saudi society has suffered enough of polarization between the left and the right, if it is the right that we are to put it. We want to bring the society together. We should not act like -- as if we want to crush the fundamentalists. No, we don't want to do that; we want to bring them to our fold and to work together.
Look, I would like to see my government taking harsher measures against radical clergies, but in the same time, I should also consider the stability of the country. What if we do that? What if we start arresting people by the hundreds, by the thousands?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But did he have to be careful about speaking out?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Have you been muzzled?
KHASHOGGI: I have -- I'm not muzzled.
I can say whatever I want to say, and I'm saying it. We are changing to the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: So this is who Jamal Khashoggi was, a genuine Saudi patriot who sought moderate, incremental reforms in his country. If the reports of his murder are true, it is a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and the world that he was in fact finally muzzled.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.