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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Interview With Colin Powell And Madeleine Albright On Ukraine; Ukraine In The Spotlight As Scandal Unfolds; Celebration In Beijing Clouded By Clashes In Hong Kong; America's Protectionist Turn Sends Shockwaves Through Asia; After Huawei, One World, Two Technological Systems. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 06, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
Today on the show, an exclusive, two former secretaries of State, one from either side of the aisle. Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. On the president's phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. The whistleblower's memo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's vicious, vicious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And the state of American politics today.
And cracking the code on Kiev. Anne Applebaum is back to help us understand who's who and what's what on the Ukrainian side of the story.
But first here's my take. Donald Trump finally got to see the kind of military parade he longed for. Unfortunately for him, it was in Beijing, not Washington. You'll recall that in 2018 Trump directed the Pentagon to put on a lavish show of arms to demonstrate America's might. When news of its costs got out, an estimated $92 million, he scuttled the plan and settled for a far more modest July Fourth event in 2019.
President Xi Jinping faces no such obstacles and put on a thunderous show commemorating China's 70 years of communist rule complete with hundreds of tanks, floats, planes and a nuclear-capable missile that could evade American missile defenses. As Xi inspected troops, he shouted, hello, comrades. They shouted back, hello, leader.
President Xi has made a striking break with China's recent past. In many ways he has increased the state's role in the economy, tightened political control and repression and embraced a revival of Maoism.
What explains this turn backward? Well, a pair of political scientists recently conducted 77 in-depth interviews with Chinese citizens and concluded that some do instead have a hankering for the good old days. The scholars described this as a reflective nostalgia for an earlier, simpler time before the breakneck pace of growth and globalization produced a whirlwind of change in every aspect of Chinese society.
To put it another way, some Chinese yearn to make China great again. The revived celebration of Mao-era ideology, songs and doctrines have truck up many Westerners as bizarre. Mao Zedong after all plunged China into some of its deepest crises from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution which killed and displaced tens of millions of Chinese people, but the Communist Party appears to have recognized that in times of ceaseless change an embrace of nostalgia can be extremely useful.
A central aspect of China's Maoist revival has been the return to a cult of personality. Xi has abolished his term limits, established his own thought as comparable to Mao's own ideas and generally dispensed with the idea of collective leadership. All this marks a stunning reversal from Deng Xiaoping's vision for China. Deng initiated the 1980s reforms that have created China's modern economy, and although he praised Mao, he openly acknowledged Mao's greatest failures, including the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Deng blamed Mao's cult of personality, his insistence on naming his own successor, and his lifetime tenure, and explained that none of this would be permitted in the new China. But President Xi has ignored Deng Xiaoping's cautionary warnings.
Americans largely see China as a monolith, an image encouraged by the Communist Party and its grand parades. In fact, it's a vast complex society going through great transformation. Xi is trying to hold it together and maintain control over a dynamic society, without provoking a backlash. That's why, with all the military power on display, Xi has been wary about using any of it to quell the riots in Hong Kong.
Societies that are confident enough to criticize their leaders relentlessly, to mock military parades, and to look candidly and honestly at all aspects of their past, often look messy, chaotic, and divided. But perhaps in the long run, they have a deeper resilience and stability.
For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
It's a rare pleasure to interview two of America's finest elder states-people at once, but that is exactly the opportunity I had this week when I sat down with Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. Both of them of course served as secretary of State, Powell under President George W. Bush, Albright under Bill Clinton.
I was invited to do interview them on a stage in New Albany, Ohio, in front of a group of citizens, members of the military, and first responders.
Let's begin with General Powell talking about all the tumult in American politics surrounding the whistleblower and that phone call between the presidents of America and Ukraine.
GEN. COLIN POWELL (RET), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE (1987-1989): We have this situation in Washington, with the preliminary investigation being done by the House of Representatives under Mrs. Pelosi. And you just got to ask yourself, where does this all go? Well, it's going to go the constitutional way. She is following the Constitution and the law, and she's created an organization within the House of Representatives to look into these things. And that's what we ought to do.
But it's hard to look into it when the other side in the White House is cursing out everybody, calling a member of Congress a traitor, calling a guy who wrote this that there's something wrong with him. He didn't write it. Well, he had a lawyer write it for him. Or he -- he's a spy. No, he's not a spy. He's an intelligence officer somewhere in the United States government who sat down and wrote this out. He didn't slip it to a newspaper. He didn't go on television and discuss it. He put it into the system like he was supposed to do.
ZAKARIA: You think he's a patriot.
POWELL: Sure he is. I mean, any reason he's not a patriot? This -- you know, I used to see some of these things when they came in over the transient, through the objection means, as getting something up. And I think he is a patriot. I don't see anything to suggest he's doing anything that is improper. And as you know, his paper has now come out after going through all the channels. He didn't break free and go talk to the pres. He let the system handle itself.
And the paper that he put out has a lot of consistency with some of the things that the White House put out. So what we need to do is, I hope, get this investigation, this inquiry done as quickly as possible and let's stop screaming at everybody and cursing people out, and calling people traitors, and calling them spies, and using all of these names of degradation when all we're trying to do is find the answers. So let's cooperate with each other in this in the Congress and get an answer to it and move on.
ZAKARIA: Do you think Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE (1997-2001): Absolutely. And I think it was very interesting in listening to her when she talked about this. I thought she was very measured, and serious, and talked about the Constitution, and saw it as a process. I think it wasn't easy because I think nothing is easy in terms of making a decision like that, but I think she respects the institution.
I think we both have talked about the importance of the institution and the Constitution. There is -- it's set up in a way that Congress has a responsibility here. And I think the question is, the one you asked, what was this phone call about? It is possible that a president will make a mistake in talking to some other leader on an issue that is state managed, which is why in fact you have other people on the phone and you can say you might want to have worded that differently and have somebody follow up.
This had nothing to do with state business as far -- and nobody kind of said anything about it except this man or woman that has been the whistleblower on this, you know.
ZAKARIA: Colin, what do you think the Republican Party's responsibility is? You're a lifelong Republican. You were --
POWELL: I wouldn't quite say that.
ZAKARIA: Well, let me put it differently. The Republican Party desperately wanted you to be its presidential candidate in 1996.
POWELL: Well, that's not true, either, though.
ZAKARIA: OK. Let me try another way.
ALBRIGHT: Some of us did.
POWELL: No, I --
ZAKARIA: You were a very important figure in the Republican Party.
ZAKARIA: What's the --
ZAKARIA: I'm actually right. I'm not going to argue the case, but as such an important Republican, do you worry that the party is putting party or maybe even Trump before country?
POWELL: Let me start by saying, I had no political affiliation during my first 35 years in government, in the Army.
As a career military officer, I had no party. And it was only when I left and there was attention being given to me about running for politics that I said, no, that's not me. And I identified myself as a Republican. But I also made it clear to people that I was a Republican who was Ronald Reagan's National Security adviser. I was a Republican who worked for George Herbert Walker Bush and worked for George W. Bush.
I'm a moderate Republican who believes that we should have a strong foreign policy, a strong defense policy, but we have to look out for our people. And we ought to work hard for making sure we're one country, one team. And so on that basis, I call myself a Republican, but in the state of Virginia you're really nothing. You can be anything you want any day of the week.
ZAKARIA: What do you think -- do you think --
POWELL: But to answer your question, the Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself right now. The Republican leaders and members of the Congress, both Senate and the House, are holding back because they're terrified of what will happen to any one of them if they speak out.
Will they lose a primary? I don't know why that's such a disaster, but will they lose a primary? And so they need to get a grip, and when they see things that are not right, they need to say something about it because our foreign policy is in shambles right now, in my humble judgment.
And I see things happening that are hard to understand. A couple of weeks ago the president put a circle around southeast Alabama, saying it's going to get hit by a hurricane. They put it on top of the meteorology prediction. Meteorologists said, no, no, no, no.
And in my time, and her time, one of us would have gone to the president and said, Mr. President, you screwed up, so we've got to fix it. And we'll put out a correction. You know what they did at this time? They ordered the Commerce Department to go and back up whatever the president mis-said.
This is not the way the country is supposed to run, and Congress is one of the institutions that should be doing something about this. All parts of Congress. The media has a role to play. We all have a role to play. We've got to remember --
POWELL: We've got to remember that all of these pieces are part of our government, the executive branch, Congress, Supreme Court, and the Fourth Estate. And we've got to remember what the Constitution started with, "We the people," not me the president.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, more with Secretaries Albright and Powell. I'll ask them about the foreign policy of this scandal engulfing America, about Ukraine and its struggle with its bear of a neighbor, Russia.
ZAKARIA: Back now to my interview with former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. I talked to them this week in New Albany, Ohio, as part of the community's Jefferson Series of Lectures.
ZAKARIA: Talk a little bit about what Russia is doing in Ukraine, because this whole scandal of the last few weeks, at the heart of it is a country, Ukraine, desperately trying to create its own independence, desperately trying to survive against a fairly constant barrage of Russian attacks.
ALBRIGHT: Most countries don't change their geographical position, Russia did. But the bottom line is they are not as big and their economy is bad, but they are being run by a KGB officer. And he has a plan, which is how to undermine the democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, and in other places. And I think we have to be aware of that.
And Ukraine is the example of it where it actually became taking land, and the question is, how we react to it. They also are expanding their influence in the Middle East. All of a sudden they are really players there. And I think that it was a gift to them in this national security strategy to make them equivalent to China, but they really are out there militarizing information, trying to divide us from our allies, and I am concerned about what they're doing.
ZAKARIA: When the president froze the military aid to Ukraine, you know that struggle. Do you think the Ukrainians worried that something had changed, that American foreign policy had changed, or that they accept the president's argument as just trying to get the Europeans to give them money as well?
ALBRIGHT: Well, the thing that was interesting. I have to say, I thought the Obama administration didn't do enough about Ukraine, frankly, and so when the Trump people began to talk about doing something for Ukraine, I thought that was the right thing to do. It's very hard to tell how the Ukrainians interpreted it, and I think they did see it as OK, so we're now back in the soup without any help.
And I -- the Russians are using a variety of ways to undermine the stability of the Ukrainians and generally. And I do think we need to watch out for that. And the fact that the president thinks that he can play with it in that particular way I think is what is dangerous.
ZAKARIA: You want to --
POWELL: I certainly agree with Madeleine with respect to Russia and what it is doing, but it's mostly soft little touches. You know they're doing military stuff in Syria and in other places, they are doing things. But what they're doing with cybersecurity, what they were doing with those tools is to gain influence around Europe and every place they can in Europe.
And that's what the Chinese have been doing with the belt and road initiative. They understand but it's not just influence, that is an economic giant that they're putting in place, and it'll go from China all the way through the channel into London. And so they are doing things that are exciting, that are attracting people, buying them influence, some of them are going broke with the Chinese deal that they get, but nevertheless what is our equivalent to something like that?
We're cutting foreign aid. We're cutting foreign aid, because, you know, they don't contribute enough. Yes, they do. Or they don't give anything to Ukraine. We're the only ones. You look at the numbers, our European friends and the IMF and others have given a lot more to Ukraine than we have.
And so we've got to see this thing realistic and not always think that there's a war coming, but at the same time be ready for it. I always like to be ready for anything that comes along, but at the same time let's use our common sense to see what really is good or not good.
ZAKARIA: What is the thing that gives you the most hope when you look around the world, when you look at America today? What is the thing that you hold on to?
ALBRIGHT: In my book -- and by the way there's no speech or book ever written that doesn't quote Robert Frost. So in my book I say, the older I am, the younger are my teacher. And what gives me hope are the young people. I think that they really are very forward-leaning, looking -- Greta, the little Swedish girl, and -- what guts it took to go to the U.N. and tell them what jerks they are.
ALBRIGHT: And I know my students I find very interesting and that they work hard. I think the thing that I would like to make sure of is that the young people are engaged, that they don't just think it will happen, that their smarts and their capabilities. So what gives me hope is the next generation.
POWELL: I have confidence in the American people. I have seen bad times in this country. This is not the worst time that I have lived through. I still think of -- when I was going to Vietnam the first time, President Kennedy was killed the day I came home in my first tour. Four years later Bobby Kennedy was killed and Martin Luther King was killed. We're losing the war in Vietnam, we're in a recession, we had racial riots, we had drugs, we have all kinds of things going wrong. We were in a recession.
If that wasn't bad enough, the vice president of the United States resigned in disgrace. If that wasn't enough, the president of the United States resigned in disgrace, and the Soviet Union and China were sitting here and saying, this is exactly what Lenin said would happen, but guess what, we returned to our bases. In came Gerald Ford, a simple Midwesterner, who's now reelected to president of the United States, and he sort of stabilized us.
He used to trip down steps a lot, but we loved it. You know?
(LAUGHTER) POWELL: You know, Jerry, he's just like me, you know. He was one of us. And he stabilized the country, took a big risk by pardoning Nixon, and then Jimmy Carter came along, some difficulties, but we were now moving in the right direction. And then one of the presidents who I really, really treasure was Ronald Reagan. And he just came in and said, it's morning in America, you know?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN: It's morning again in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POWELL: And we said, yes. And we sort of followed that. And we picked up the baton again, and we're going with it. But it's not what's happening now. Everything is a war. Everything is a fight. Everything is a disruption in Congress. Congress can't get its work done.
It gets disrupted and they can't agree. And this is a dangerous time for us, but, you know, I believe in the American people. They have more judgment than we sometimes give them credit for, and they will fix it, as long as they know where to go to help fix it and how to get it done. And I think they have that inherent knowledge. And so I believe in us.
ZAKARIA: Thank you very much.
ALBRIGHT: Thank you. Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: And our thanks to the New Albany Foundation for hosting that event.
Next on GPS, we'll dig deeper into the Ukrainian side of the story. Anne Applebaum is back to make sense of it all.
ZAKARIA: We learned much more about the Ukraine side of the whistleblower story this week. To help us make sense of all of this, I am joined again by Anne Applebaum, a foreign affairs columnist for the "Washington Post" and a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. She's the author of "Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine."
Anne, let me ask you first, why is Ukraine playing such a big role in all of this? Like, if you step back, is there -- what explains this, you know -- why are we -- why did Ukraine become such a large part of this story? ANNE APPLEBAUM, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: So it's very
important to remember that Donald Trump brought Ukraine into American politics when he hired Paul Manafort to be his campaign manager. Paul Manafort had spent most of the previous decade in Ukraine. He lived in Kiev, and he was -- he was profoundly and closely identified with Ukraine's former president, Viktor Yanukovych. He's the president who was -- who escaped from the country following mass demonstrations in 2014. So he is --
ZAKARIA: He was the pro-Russian president.
APPLEBAUM: He was the pro-Russian president, who was profoundly corrupt, who altered the constitution, who sought to take power, who enriched his family and his son, who built a villa with gold taps and all kinds of vulgar art objects outside of Kiev. And that was Paul Manafort's link to Ukraine. And when Trump brought him in, he brought Manafort's contacts, he brought his methods, he brought his tactics, he brought his friends. And this is the -- this is really the origin. This is why Ukraine became part of U.S. politics.
ZAKARIA: Anne, do you think there's more to uncover here? Because, you know, Poroshenko was involved in some of these -- you know, these issues. He was the one being asked by Biden to fire the prosecutor and such.
APPLEBAUM: Yes. Yes.
So, remember that -- so Yanukovych fell after these protests. And then Poroshenko -- President Poroshenko came to power after a free election. And one of the things that Poroshenko began to do was investigate the previous president, including investigating his relationship with Paul Manafort.
In 2018, those investigations were stopped. It has always been assumed whether there was pressure from the Trump administration or not that Poroshenko stopped the investigation to Manafort because he didn't want to irritate President Trump.
ZAKARIA: And now, President Zelensky seems to have succumbed to the pressure and has announced that he will investigate or they will review the investigation of the company that Joe Biden's son worked at.
APPLEBAUM: Yes. I mean, so one of the oddities of this whole stores is that the prosecutor, who originally began investigating that company, stopped the investigation and stopped several other investigations, and Joe Biden, when he was the White House's envoy to Ukraine, asked them, you know, was condemning that -- in other words, he was condemning the prosecutor who had refused to investigate his son's company and many other companies.
So the reopening of the investigation may be a gesture to the Trump White House. It may be legitimately picking up the pieces. It doesn't necessarily tell us anything. But, I mean, certainly the Ukrainian government does now feel under huge pressure to carry out that investigation and to follow up on some of the Trump's conspiracy theories about the Mueller investigation and Manafort and Ukraine.
ZAKARIA: You tweeted recently that people shouldn't talk about this really as a story about Ukrainian corruption, because it's really more about corruption in Washington.
APPLEBAUM: Absolutely. Look, this is a story about a president abusing his office, abusing his privilege as the head of -- the leader of U.S. foreign policy to extract dirt from Ukraine. This is a White House which -- in which the president is personally profiting off the fact that he's president, and his children are as well.
The U.S. banks and U.S.-linked tax havens are one of the things that have made it possible for people to steal money and to launder money from places like Ukraine. The United States is very implicated in creating the kinds of corruption we see all over the world and the fact that we don't stop it, we refuse to stop it indicates that our system is deeply problematic as well.
ZAKARIA: Anne Applebaum, always a pleasure.
Next on GPS if you thought the power of labor unions died with Jimmy Hoffa, think again. I'll tell you what the G.M. strike says about workers and wages in America when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Now, for our What in the World segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what the workers here are saying and workers all over America are saying is enough is enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Factory workers, politicians in picket lines, the autoworkers strike at General Motors seems like a relic of American history. It is the longest strike of its kind in more than 30 years, but it's actually part of a new phenomenon and a surprising one in a country where the power of organized labor has been plummeting.
Nearly 35 percent of American workers were unionized in 1954. In 2018, that number was 10.5 percent, one of the lowest rates among rich countries.
One of the reasons for the decline is historical, as the longtime labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse, documents in his recently detailed new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up.
Ronald Reagan delivered labor a crippling blow in 1981 when his administration fired thousands of striking air traffic controllers, ushering in an era of union busting.
Why else has the power of unions declined so dramatically? Globalization and technology have rewired the American economy as traditional manufacturing jobs have shut. The American economy is now focused on the service sector and unions tend to be less prevalent there.
They're also less prevalent among part-time and contract workers, and over the past two decades, the ranks of those have swelled.
All these trends translate to unimpressive wage growth for the middle class and dwindling benefits even for full-time workers. So perhaps that's why we are seeing a renewed vigor in one particular arena of Union activity, strikes, a nuclear option for workers who have little to bargain with but their own labor.
In 2018, almost half-a-million American workers went on strike, the highest number in 32 years.
What is different today, Greenhouse told GPS, is that the organizers of some of these strikes aren't simply advocating narrow self- interests. They're bargaining for the common social good.
The most prominent examples were the massive teacher strikes last year over low pay and budget cuts that crippled public schools. Many were in red states, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, places that might not have seemed overly favorable to unions.
But teachers' salaries are abysmally low in those states. Parents got behind them, and the teachers did win modest raises.
Over the past few years, organizers have staged strikes among fast- food workers all over the country. Part of a campaign called the Fight for 15. Now, several states have enacted $15 minimum wage laws to be rolled out in the coming years. And it's not just low-wage workers who are organizing, adjunct professors, journalists and freelancers are joining unions.
And look at Google. At The New York Times reports, it employs more contract temps than full-time workers, a sore point for many employees.
Last week there was a small, but symbolic victory. About 80 contract workers in Google's offices in Pittsburgh voted to join a union, a rare feat for the tech sector, which has long been resistant to organized labor.
The numbers are still small, but there is a lot of public support for workers. 64 percent of Americans approve of unions today, which is close to a 50-year high. As Rana Foroohar writers in the F.T., workers will only feel more insecure in the future as yields on retirement funds fall and the cost of household expenses like pharmaceuticals rise.
[10:40:04] That would mean more segments of the middle class will be in trouble. And Foroohar argues that will lead to an eventual pendulum shift, from wealth creation to wealth redistribution. All of this means a lot more people could start organizing.
Next on GPS, we'll go inside the U.S./China trade war with a man who is caught in the middle, Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.
ZAKARIA: The split screen between Mainland China and Hong Kong was was especially striking this week, as President Xi paraded tanks and troops down the Avenue of Eternal Peace in Beijing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Protesters and police clashed in increasingly violent showdowns in and around Hong Kong. One man who was surely watching both spectacles very closely was my next guest, Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore.
His city state is 75 percent ethnic Chinese and it keeps close ties with China. Singapore also has a very close relationship with the United States. Add in the fact that it's the largest port in Southeast Asia, and you'll see that the ongoing U.S./China trade war has put that city state in quite a tough spot.
I started though by asking him what he thought of the ongoing situation in Hong Kong.
LEE HSIEN LOONG, SINGAPOREAN PRIME MINISTER: I feel very sorry for the situation which Hong Kong is in, because they have a city with a lot of talent, a lot of enterprise, a lot of potential, they are right on the doorstep of China.
And China has really been a backstop for them, which enabled them to grow and overcome many economic rough spots. But at the same time, they are part of China and this is a big psychological change, which is not easy for the population to get used to.
And there are also issues within Hong Kong which are quite fundamental, social issues like housing. Fundamentally, it's a question of hope for the future, for the young people.
And these are not radically addressed. I think it's very difficult to overcome their problems.
ZAKARIA: Are you surprised that the Chinese government has not shut down the protests in Hong Kong using force?
PM LEE: No, I don't think so. I think the Chinese government -- I don't think the Chinese government caused this to happen. I think that they are now confronted with this frog in their hands, and what do I do with it? I'm comfortable, it's a problem. But if I do the wrong thing, I may make things worse. And I think they're very conscious of that. They hope that Hong Kong has been sorted out. But the chief executive has a very difficult task.
ZAKARIA: Singapore sits in a very uneasy situation. You are close to China, your economy is increasingly influenced by China, and yet you have been a very staunch American ally. How difficult is this trade war between the United States and China for you?
PM LEE: We see that as a problem for us, but, in fact, it's a problem for the world. All of us have depended on stable U.S./China relations, and increasingly close U.S./China economic cooperation, investments, trades, as well as flows of talent and ideas. And the way things are going now, that benign trend is being disrupted and perhaps even turned around. And I think that's bad for the world.
ZAKARIA: You met with President Trump. Did you convey to him the fear that I hear at least in Asia that America is withdrawing, that by rejecting the transpacific partnership, it's ceding the field (ph) to China? Does he get that?
PM LEE: I don't think America is withdrawing. I don't think that s the perception because America is engaging China very, very actively. I mean, it's not a happy engagement right now, but it's not pulling out from the field.
I think what we would like to see in Asia is the United States engage actively not only with China but with also the other Asian country, in Southeast Asia, East Asia, even for that matter, in South Asia. And cooperatively, constructively, to enable these countries to have economic links with China at the same time as they have economic links and other links with the United States.
And if U.S./China relations are not stable and not amicable, it's much harder for all of us to do that. We will be pressured very hard to choose sides, and it will be a very painful choice.
ZAKARIA: For most countries in Asia, if they have to choose between American and China, what will they do?
PM LEE: I think they will be very unhappy, because all of your allies and many of your partners, so you look at Japan, Korea, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, all treaty allies, all of them have China as the biggest trading partner. So if you ask them to choose and say, I therefore must cut off my links with my biggest trading partner, I think it will put them in a very difficult position.
Singapore is -- we are not an ally. We are a close partner of the United States, but we also have our biggest trading links with China, bigger than the United States.
ZAKARIA: What do you think the world of technology is going to looks like if the United States continues on the path the Trump administration is, which is banning Huawei, fearing that there is going to be, you know, the Chinese technology will have within it a kind of espionage component? Will you end up with a bipolar world of two technology systems?
PM LEE: It was heading in that direction. I think if you take this attitude, it cannot stop with Huawei, because it's -- basically, you don't trust them. And you have reason to doubt whether everything can be taken at face value. By the same token, they are unable to trust you, and they will ask why do we allow your operating systems, your chips, your technology to rule our economy? And we become hostage to you.
So if you're going this way, you must end up bifurcated across a wide range of things, in terms of technology, in terms of systems, and the rest of us carrying two hand phones is the least of our problems.
ZAKARIA: Can you -- how difficult is it for you to navigate? Because, presumably, you will again be asked to choose, you will have to choose an American supply chain technologically or Chinese supply chain.
PM LEE: And the Americans are asking people to choose. They are asking their partners around the world to not choose the Chinese systems.
ZAKARIA: And what has the response been?
PM LEE: If you look at the responses, some partners have agreed to cooperate with the Americans, others have concluded that this is a very big ask.
ZAKARIA: Most have said no, right?
PM LEE: Well, they haven't quite put it like that.
ZAKARIA: Prime Minister, a pleasure to have you on.
PM LEE: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: And we will be right back.
ZAKARIA: As tens of thousands of Hong Kongers continue to protest this week, they were confronted with water cannons, tear gas and for the first time, the use of lethal force. The throngs are angry with their local government in Hong Kong and with the mainland Chinese government, meanwhile a new Pew Research survey highlights how the rest of the world feels about China.
It brings me to my question, which country views China least favorably, the United States, Nigeria, Russia or Japan? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
My book of the week is Daniel Markovitz's The Meritocracy Trap. This is the most interesting and provocative book I have read in a while. The author sits atop America's meritocracy. He is a Yale Law School Professor. But he argues that it has become a deeply dysfunctional and pernicious system causing crazed competition and anxiety for those on the inside succeeding and the sense of exclusion and isolation for those on the outside.
Agree with him or not, you will find this book will make you think hard.
The answer to my GPS challenge this week is D, Japan, where 85 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center have an unfavorable view of China.
Although the two nations have a long history of animosity, this recent tension undercuts official efforts to mend fences.
Since last year, then the leaders of Asia's two biggest economies have pushed for a new era of friendship, one that's become more important as China fights its trade war with the United States.
But the Japanese public is weary. In fact, throughout the region, China is viewed negatively with near historic lows in the Asian country's survey.
But, globally, people tend to view China more positively than negatively, especially younger people, according to Pew. The obvious exception, of course, can be seen on the streets of Hong Kong.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.