Return to Transcripts main page
Isa Soares Tonight
China Begins Live Fire Drills Near Taiwan After Nancy Pelosi's Controversial Visit; Ukraine Grain Shipment Deal Moves Forward; Kansas Voters Uphold Right To Abortion; House Speak Nancy Pelosi Arriving In South Korea; Interview With Soochow University Chair Professor Victor Gao; President Biden Signing An Executive Order Safeguarding Abortion Rights; Drought Fuels Hunger Crisis In Eastern Africa; Premier League Football Teams Will Stop Taking The Knee At Matches; Tonga Volcanic Eruption Could Warm The Earth. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 03, 2022 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, China begins live fire drills around
Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry calls it a blockade. Then Ukraine's grain ship is on the move
again after a successful inspection. It's one small step towards dealing with global food shortages.
And then later, they're usually conservative. U.S. state of Kansas votes to uphold a woman's right to an abortion. What that means for the future of
this debate. But first, defiance, then a vow, and now the aftermath. Nancy Pelosi is defending her trip to Taiwan by saying the world is facing a
choice between democracy and autocracy.
In the past couple of hours, Pelosi arrived in South Korea following a trip to Taiwan that made history in more ways than one as the first U.S. House
Speaker to visit the island in a quarter of a century. She vowed America would not abandon Taiwan's people and praised its commitment to democracy.
While the reception there was largely positive including praise from the island's president, it's a very different picture in Beijing. Chinese armed
forces have now launched a series of air and sea drills around Taiwan including live fire exercises. Beijing insists its actions are meant to
deter what it calls Taiwan independence, saying Pelosi's trip undermines Chinese sovereignty. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUA CHUNYING, SPOKESPERSON, CHINA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): After Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, many people from different countries at
different ranks and with diverse professional backgrounds have spoken out one after another condemning Pelosi's wrong, stupid and crazy move to visit
They all support the one China principle and China's legitimate actions to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: "Wrong, stupid and crazy", you heard it there. Well, Selina Wang is in Beijing with us. Selina, look, we've been hearing China really
venting their anger, and not just with words, but with military drills. Bring us up to date if you will.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, Pelosi may have left Taiwan, Isa, but China's retaliation is just getting started. So China has already
sent dozens of war planes to fly around Taiwan, and now they are starting to stage a series of military drills all around the island. In fact, in an
unusual move, the officials even released a map of where they plan to hold these military drills.
And if you look at that map, you can see that they encircle the entire island. It's an extremely provocative move. And the map indicates that some
of the areas are actually encroaching on Taiwan's territorial waters. That means that it's within 14 miles from Taiwan's shore.
Now, Taiwan is calling this a blockade. They say it endangers regional security, and in fact, they even had to re-route some vessels to avoid that
drill area. Now, it's not just a military response, however, China has also reacted with economic backlash. They have banned the imports of a wide
array of food products from Taiwan. They've also banned the export of natural sand.
That is a key input in making semiconductors. But Taiwan officials have said that they don't expect this to have a major impact. The White House
for its part is saying that China is so far following the playbook that they expected. After so many days of saber-rattling and threats, they were
expecting China to show some kind of muscular military force.
The big question though is how far China decides to take these drills. Because yes, Xi Jinping at this moment in time, just months away from a key
political meeting when he is expected to step into an unprecedented third term. Xi Jinping at this moment needs to look strong, but he also needs
stability. He cannot risk this spiraling into a conflict.
He doesn't want to take this to the point where it gets out of control. In fact, however, we also have to remember that this strong reaction we're
seeing from China is not just directed at Taiwan, not just directed at the U.S., but it's very important for the home audience to show that Chinese
leaders are taking very seriously to defend China against what they're calling this national humiliation.
It may have only been a two-day trip, but to Beijing, it is a slap in the face that is a direct challenge to China's sovereignty. The big question
now is, well, now that Pelosi is gone, is what in fact did this trip accomplish?
Did it make Taiwan more secure? There are also a lot of concerns that it's actually sparking China to increase its coercion of Taiwan over the long
SOARES: And do we know on your earlier point of what the red line in terms for Beijing is? You know, what point does it get out of control in the view
of -- for Xi Jinping here, Selina?
WANG: Well, ultimately, when and if Beijing decides to make a more decisive move on Taiwan, they would make that calculation based on their
own timeline, on their own terms. They wouldn't make a rash move just because a U.S. official had went to visit the island. But the key concern
is that when you have all of this military hardware in the region, that it could increase the risk of a miscalculation or an accident that does spiral
into a real conflict.
But we have seen Chinese leaders also use this moment to whip up nationalism and patriotism at home to talk about how Taiwan and the
motherland, how this is an important time to defend sovereignty, to defend China, defend Taiwan.
At the same time though, very interestingly, if you look at Chinese social media, there has been a lot of criticism from people online who say they
don't think the reaction from Beijing is going far enough. That it does not live up to all of the threats that China was making, and they think
Beijing should be doing more.
SOARES: Very interesting, indeed. Selina Wang there for us in Beijing. Appreciate it, Selina, thank you very much. Well, the ship carrying 26,000
tons of Ukrainian grain has passed inspection in Turkey and is now on its way to Lebanon. The world breathed a sigh of relief when it arrived at port
in Istanbul on Tuesday evening.
It is the first shipment of Ukrainian grain to leave the country since Russia invaded. Ukraine's president says it needs to be the first of many
shipments to help ease the hunger crisis around the world. Nada Bashir is in Istanbul for us. And Nada, of course, 26,000 tons, it's a tiny
proportion, isn't it, of the grain stuck in Ukraine. But the symbolism here, Nada, is huge.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. So, it is a tiny fraction of the nearly 20 million metric tons of grain still stuck in silos in Ukraine's
southern Black Sea port. But it really is a significant moment and a critical test of that hard won deal by Turkey and the United Nations with
Russia and Ukraine to bring about the resumption of these crucial grain exports from Ukraine.
Now, this really was a test of the deal that the Joint Coordination Center here in Istanbul has been overseeing in order to get the grain out of
Ukraine, overseeing the safe corridor, the safe passage of these vessels through the Black Sea, avoiding those mines that have been placed in the
area, in order to get to Istanbul.
And then of course, a second key test when it arrived in Istanbul is that inspection which took place today, to ensure that this vessel that was only
-- it was only carrying the agricultural goods agreed upon in this deal. And of course, it has now passed that inspection and is making its way to
Tripoli in Lebanon.
This really has been a critical moment. A key testament. We were actually able to join the Joint Coordination Center delegation today as they made
their way for that crucial inspection. Take a look.
BASHIR (voice-over): A moment weeks in the making. This is the first grain shipment to have left Ukraine in months. Charting a carefully identified
safe corridor through the Black Sea, before reaching Turkish waters. At the Port of Rumelifeneri in Istanbul, a delegation from the newly established
Joint Coordination Center carried out its first ever inspection.
Setting sail to board the nearby Razoni to inspect its cargo. This Sierra Leone flagship is transporting more than 26,000 metric tons of corn to
Tripoli in Lebanon. But that's only a fraction of the near 20 million metric tons of grain still stuck at Ukraine's southern Black Sea ports.
(on camera): This first shipment is the culmination of weeks and weeks of negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the United Nations. And
this really is a critical test of how well this new Black Sea grain initiative can work in practice. The hope now is that this will give
commercial shipping companies the confidence to send more ships to Ukraine.
(voice-over): A welcome sign of progress for those countries most depending on Ukraine's grain exports. The U.N. has warned that an
additional 47 million people have been pushed into a stage of acute hunger as a consequence of the war in Ukraine. And despite positive signs, there
is still a real sense of urgency around alleviating the pressures of the global food security crisis.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday warning that while this is a significant step, it is only a first step. And Ukrainian President
Volodymyr Zelenskyy striking a similarly cautious tone.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Thanks to the U.N. in partnership with Turkey, we have had the first shipment, it's
still nothing, but we hope it's a tendency that will continue.
BASHIR: But with at least 17 ships now awaiting permission to depart from Ukraine, there is cautious optimism that this hard one deal will prove to
be a success.
BASHIR: And look, Isa, while this was obviously a crucial opportunity for the Joint Coordination Center to see how this deal would work in practice,
we also heard from the delegation saying this was an opportunity for them to speak to the crew on board to discuss the procedure of actually getting
through the Black Sea and their experience of the safe passage into Istanbul and onwards.
And of course, to be able to then fine-tune this procedure for further shipments to come. So there is hope that this deal could last, this could
hold and allow for future ships to travel from Ukraine through the Black Sea safely and onwards to the global market to deliver that crucial grain
that is so desperately needed by some of the world's most vulnerable countries. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, and I know that you'll be monitoring this for us. Nada Bashir for us there in Istanbul, Turkey, thanks very much, Nada. Well, oil prices
are down following Wednesday's OPEC-Plus meeting. The group agreed to increase production by only a 100,000 barrels per day.
On the one hand, OPEC-Plus is under pressure from the White House, and on the other, it's hesitant to beef up output at the expense of Russia, which
is dealing with sanctions over Ukraine. You can see Brent crude is down 3.5 percent, WTI, similar pictures really, three-tenths of a percent. Let's go
straight to Richard Quest who anchors "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS". Richard, does this have any meaningful impact on oil prices?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, the 100,000 --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: No, not really. Now, what this is, is OPEC being worried. And what OPEC is worried about is what OPEC is also always worried about, the
collapse in prices. You see, if we're going into recession, whether it'd be global, our city, whatever, if this is recession on the cards, and demand
for oil falls, then the higher prices can't be sustained.
And that's what you're seeing in the market at the moment. You're seeing basically the market realizing that the price based on supply and demand
have got too high and was now falling back, by offering up a 100,000 barrels, which of course, bearing in mind the demand that the president of
the United States wanted from Saudi and others, is really the proverbial drop in the ocean.
So you're looking at concern from OPEC to maintain the price. OPEC wants stability of the price around about $100, $110. And the fear is, it will
SOARES: How worried, Richard, is the U.S. administration, do you think, following obviously those negotiations in Saudi Arabia with President Biden
about the 100,000? Are they disappointed, perhaps?
QUEST: I think they will be certainly disappointed, but that will be more for political than --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: Economic reasons. One of the reasons that there is -- the price has been so high is that the U.S. shale producers, the non-traditional methods
hasn't come on stream as much as originally thought. Now, if the U.S. really ramps up again, and they don't ramp up because of economic reasons,
if the U.S. ramps up again, they're terrified of a collapse in prices.
This is what it's all about, really. Everybody is fearful. Oil producers do not want to spend money on increasing production only to find the bottom
fallout of the market when a recession comes along, or there is a down-turn in activity.
SOARES: The dreaded word, recession. Something we have heard quite a bit about in the last few weeks. But --
QUEST: Yes --
SOARES: Richard, look, let's talk gas and particularly --
QUEST: Yes --
SOARES: Gas in Europe. Because as we know, it's very much in short supply right now. In the last hour, I believe we heard from Gazprom, they won't be
accepting the delivery of a pipeline turbo from Germany. Why not? I mean, what -- and particularly, what does this mean for Germany; Europe's biggest
economy who rely so heavily of course on Russian gas, Richard.
QUEST: Oh, this is down-right embarrassing all around. First of all, you have the Canadians that repaired this turbine, and they got into a huge
trouble with the Ukrainians because the Canadians agreed to send it back to the Germans, so the Germans could pass it on to the Russians, so it could
be put back into Nord Stream one, and therefore increase production.
Now, the Russians haven't cut back Nord Stream one capacity are saying well, we're not taking it. We're not taking it because of sanctions. And
because of sanctions here, sanctions there, sanctions everywhere, it's all too risky for us to take it. Meanwhile, the German chancellor who you see
here is saying, take it! It's here. Yours --
SOARES: It's ready --
QUEST: Go! Take it! Ready. So this is just downright embarrassing for Germany, for Canada, for everybody involved, and it's another case of the
Russians being one step ahead in the gamesmanship if you --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: Will of oil and gas. This turbine should have been on its way to Russia to be put back into Nord Stream one, and it's not.
SOARES: It paints a very worrying picture, of course, as we head into the Winter months. Richard Quest there for us, great to see you --
QUEST: Thank you --
SOARES: Thanks very much. And still to come tonight, a high-profile trip to Poland shines a light on the refugee crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRIYANKA CHOPRA, INDIAN ACTRESS & UNICEF AMBASSADOR: I knew that this trip would hit me differently, because of the fact that I have recently, you
know, become a mom. But I think that it's admirable to me, to see these mothers smiling in front of their kids, talk to them play games with them,
and then while speaking to me behind closed doors, actually letting their emotions flow, and just talking about how scared they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Actress and activist Priyanka Chopra Jonas explains why women and children are bearing the brunt of Russia's war in Ukraine. That exclusive
interview is next.
SOARES: Welcome back now. We talk a lot about the fighting on the ground in Ukraine, but there's another battle taking place in the skies. Drones
are playing a critical whole -- role, and while they help Ukrainian troops mark the targets for artillery strikes, a mistake can cause drone operators
their lives. Our Nic Robertson shows us a war within the war.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): At Ukraine's southern front, a reconnaissance team leads us towards Russian
(on camera): We're walking through the trees because they're afraid we might be spotted from above by Russian drones. That's the way they do their
work out here. Hidden by the trees.
(voice-over): Our destination, a drone team shrouded from the skies. Their mission, find Russian forces and call in artillery strikes. A problem
though on their first flight of the day, Russian counter-measures messed with their drone, they need to switch out parts before the next launch.
"It's nearly impossible to fight off the Russian jamming signal." The commander says, "but we have special devices to combat it." But as the
drone launches, it lurches the wrong way, hit the trees, not clear what causes the malfunction.
(on camera): There is a war within the war here. A high tech war, a software dogfight in the skies above the battlefield. And a mistake by
these drone operators can cost them their lives.
(voice-over): Back at base on a big screen, they scour the first flights video.
(on camera): The detail is incredible. I mean, you can see exactly where the vehicles are in the trees.
(voice-over): The operator, a 24-year-old former news cameraman.
(on camera): So, you're looking at the Russians, but they can be looking at you when you're in the field?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROBERTSON: How does that feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's scary.
ROBERTSON: How scary?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very scary.
ROBERTSON: Very scary. But you keep doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because we must do it.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Life or death decisions, which targets to hit to save his fellow countrymen.
(on camera): He is driving along, and he has no idea your drone is following him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROBERTSON: No idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No idea.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Previous days when they've avoided Russian counter-measures, they've had better luck. A Russian tank position hit in
the past week when they called in an artillery strike as they watched. Who wins these drone wars will help determine who dominates the battle space.
And that depends on who has the smartest technology, and who has the best traditional frontline skills to hide from it. Nic Robertson, CNN, at
Ukraine's southern front.
SOARES: Well, I want to remind you now about the refugee crisis that this war of course has sparked. The United Nations says more than 6.2 million
Ukrainians are now living in other countries. The vast majority of those in Europe, as you can see there on your map. Well, earlier, I spoke
exclusively with UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. She traveled to Poland this week to meet with families who fled the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOPRA: I think from what I have seen, it's a massive mental health crisis first of all. Yes, you're absolutely right, most people thought that this
war would be over much sooner. So --
SOARES: Yes --
CHOPRA: They grabbed whatever they could, and left a lot of -- people have left their families, the elderly, the infirm, the men behind, some children
are uprooted from their homes have no idea where schools will be, where life will be.
And I think the biggest need is support for these families to be integrated into the countries that they're going to for kids to not miss and carry on
their education, whether that's with online classes or distance learning or even with the language to be taught to them in the countries that they're
going to be going to school.
And so, I think the immediate really need is being able to think about the future of the refugees. Where they're going to go, because of the
uncertainty of the war.
SOARES: Yes, and this is something, actually, that you're bringing up, Priyanka, this is something that I saw when I was in Ukraine, when I went
to Ukraine. I saw families returning because of course, they didn't have the stability. Families who wanted a sense of normalcy. They wanted their
children to go to school and weren't able to get that. So, creating that environment for them is so important right now.
CHOPRA: And you see that with UNICEF has -- UNICEF has 11 centers called Blue Dots around Poland. And they're like reception centers, where
refugees, children, all refugees can come to and they get information about how to protect themselves or how to get jobs where they can get resources.
How their kids can go to school, they have daycares for kids where moms, if they have to go figure out what they're going -- what their next steps are.
They can leave their children, and they can with these teachers that actually, you know, are working with them on education and development. So,
that is such a weight that comes off of the parents, because they have the ability to get that kind of support. And I think that is extremely crucial,
where you intercept the refugees coming in at a point where you could actually give them support to find the next steps in their lives.
SOARES: Was there a story, Priyanka, from your time there, that marked you, that you know, has kept you thinking day-in-day-out?
CHOPRA: Multiple stories --
SOARES: Yes --
CHOPRA: I can't just say one. But I think that, you know, hearing from mothers, mothers who are trying to keep their emotions in check in front of
their children, who are trying to be so strong, who are the caregivers of the family, the bread-owners of the family, Ukraine is being supported by
its women right now, because they're the ones who are crossing the borders, going out looking for jobs, and sending money back to support their
And I think that when I spoke to them -- there was one mom who told me that there was no way she would have left Ukraine, and she left alone with her
son, and she said, I only left because of my son.
I don't want him to become used to the sound of sirens and explosions like so many of the other family members of mine have. They used to live in
shelters, but now they live in their own home, because they've got used to it. And no child should be used to the sound of missiles or explosions and
SOARES: And these are the sort of stories that I heard too, and I have to say as a mom, it really marked me coming back home and remembering kind of
the resilience and strength that these moms, these women, are facing every day. You're a new mom, Priyanka, how did it impact you?
CHOPRA: I think the one thing that is common about mothers, and especially in this case, when -- like I told you, I was very affected by speaking to
the mothers and seeing how they protected their children. But no matter how tough the circumstances are, a mom is a nurturer, and they speak with a
smile on their face. They have hope. One of them said to me, life is life. Where it doesn't stop until it's taken from you.
And my life and my child's life is not taken from me. So the resilience of mothers and their undying, unconditional need to nurture their children and
protect their children, which is a child's fundamental right, to feel protected. To see moms do that, I mean, it's really shaken me. And I
don't know if that has to do with the fact that maybe, yes, I knew that this trip would hit me differently because of the fact that I had recently,
you know, become a mom.
But I think that it's admirable, to me, to see these mothers smile in front of their kids, talk to them, play games with them. And then, while speaking
to me behind closed doors, actually letting their emotions flow, and just talking about how scared they are. How scared they are for their families,
how terrifying it is to wake up at 4 O'clock in the morning to the sound of an explosion.
How to -- how terrifying it is to know that the school that your child goes to was blown up, and your child could have been there, and there were so
many children that were. Hundreds and hundreds of schools and hospitals have been bombed. And to hear these women that have fled from that, and
these children that don't even know how to speak it.
Their teachers are using art therapy to get them to speak it. So, they have them draw, and then, through their drawings, these kids talk about their
feelings. And I've seen that no matter where you have been, and I've been to a few places with UNICEF, like Jordan, to meet Syrian refugees --
wherever you go -- or even Ethiopia, wherever you go, no matter what the conflict is, if these kids have been through war or armed conflict, their
drawings look the same.
No matter which part of the world they come from. There are explosions. There are people with guns. There are dead family members. There are
heartbroken flags from their countries.
There are flowers or sunshine, and I remember this one kid was -- all these children were showing me their drawings, and this one child made
island, and I thought that was really peculiar, because you know, there are other kids drawing like broken cities or whatever, and this child drawing
an island. And I said, why did you draw an island? And he said I like the silence of it.
CHOPRA: And that was just -- it really affected me --
SOARES: Yes, that really speaks a thousand words. It goes to show the impact of war, Priyanka, is felt way beyond the front lines. Those front
lines that we keep hearing about on the news, a psychological impact is been felt. Priyanka, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to
us, thank you very much.
CHOPRA: Thank you so much, Isa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And still to come tonight, a win for abortion rights. We'll look at what a vote in Kansas may mean for the controversial issue and the
future of the Republican Party. That is next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Now, Nancy Pelosi may have arrived in South Korea after a visit to Taiwan but she leaves behind it, diplomatic
firestorm as tensions between Beijing and Washington hit new levels. China has now begun military exercises around Taiwan, which has more than two
dozen Chinese warplanes have made incursions into its Air Defense Identification Zone.
The U.S. house speaker used her visit to reaffirm America's commitment to democracy. But Beijing is biting back, saying that it has the right to
protect its sovereignty. Victor Gao is chair professor at Taiwan's Soochow University. Watching from Beijing. He says people in China are agitated by
Pelosi's visit. Victor joins us now.
Victor, why are they so agitated?
VICTOR GAO, CHAIR PROFESSOR, SOOCHOW UNIVERSITY: Thank you very much for having me. As far as China is concerned, Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in
disregard to repeated warnings from China and in disregard of the presidential counseling by President Biden, and in disregard of the
counseling by the U.S. Pentagon, was really aimed at promoting Taiwan's separatism and Taiwanese independence.
Thus, China is firmly opposed to it. China has condemned it. China is calling Nancy Pelosi troublemaker in chief of the world, and she meant to
spread around instability, confrontation, and it will throw the whole region into great chaos.
Now China is honoring what it said it would do, the United States will face consequences, because China will do whatever it can to defend its
sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that territorial integrity includes Taiwan, because generally speaking, it is widely expect accepted
and agreement or acknowledge that there is only One China, and Taiwan as part of China.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, Victor, in that case. I mean, we have seen in the last 24 hours live fire exercises, series of air and sea drills around
Taiwan. I mean, do you think it warrants such a furious reaction from Beijing because of this visit?
GAO: Yes. Let me explain to you. Thank you very much for your patients. Do you know that Chinese military is called the Chinese People's Liberation
Army? It came up with this name in the middle of the civil war back in the latter part of the 1940s. The mission for the Chinese military, that is the
Chinese People's Liberation Army, is to liberate the totality of China.
They have managed to do that in 1949 and 1950, as far as the mainland is concerned. Now, the only thing missing is Taiwan. Taiwan's liberation or
Taiwan's peaceful reunification will be the last missing piece. And this is really directly related to China's sovereignty, as well as territorial
integrity. China will do whatever it takes to achieve the national goal of unification.
SOARES: Let me break that down. How far -- whatever it takes, Victor, how far is China prepared to go here to show its displeasure? How much strength
do you think that Xi Jinping needs to show?
GAO: Allow me to mention one point. Ever since the beginning of the 1980s, China's official policy has always been to pursue peaceful reunification.
Meaning, they do not want to use force. And even though China is much militarily powerful entity compared with its own Taiwan province, China has
never wanted to use force. Why? Because of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are of the same Chinese people.
However, if there are forces promoting Taiwanese independence, if there are acts and behavior like what Nancy Pelosi did in promoting Taiwanese
independence and separatism, then China will be forced to take other measures. That is to demonstrate to the whole world that China has the
wherewithal to achieve the goal of national reunification. And this is exactly what China's doing. China will do whatever it takes to achieve
SOARES: Victor, whatever it takes, of course, the U.S. Defense Department has concluded that China's army is likely preparing for contingency to
unify Taiwan with the PRC by force. How soon, Victor, do you think this will happen?
GAO: I hope it will not happen. Why? Because we still want to do the national reunification by peaceful means. This is the top priority. This
has remained the top priority ever since the beginning of the 1980s. But it is really the troublemaking of people like Nancy Pelosi and others and
those local leaders in Taiwan who believed that Taiwan had its own sovereignty, its own territorial integrity, for example. In reality, it
didn't. Why? Because Taiwan is a province of China. It doesn't have sovereignty in itself. And therefore, I think, this is the moment of truth,
that China wants to demonstrate to the world once again what is exactly Taiwan, it's is not an independent sovereign country.
SOARES: Let me ask you a final question, really. Today, John Kirby, the National Security council directive for Strategic Communications said --
and I'm going to quote him here, Victor. "Nothing about speaker Pelosi's trip was inconsistent with our long-standing approach to both China and
The U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, said this as well, "The speaker of the house has the right to travel to Taiwan, and that her trip
is fully consistent with our One China policy."" What do you say to that, Victor?
GEIST: That is their version of the truth, which is not accepted by China. China has its own version. That version is generally accepted by all the
countries in the world. Allow me to emphasize. There is no country in the world which can recognize both the People's Republic of China on the one
hand, and the Republic of China on the other hand. Why? Because China will never allow that to happen. China will always pursue the One China policy.
Taiwan will never be an independent sovereign country.
Therefore, for Nancy Pelosi to travel there as a very high-ranking U.S. government official, for example, the speaker of the house, is a violation
of the One China policy as far as China is concerned. I think we need to be honest about the truth. China has the truth of the ownership of Taiwan,
about its sovereignty over Taiwan, about its territorial integrity theory including Taiwan, and that is the truth the world wants to know about.
GAO: Victor Gao, really appreciate you taking time to speak to us and for staying up there for us in Beijing. Thanks very much, Victor.
GEIST: Thank you for having.
SOARES: Right now, U.S. President Joe Biden is signing an executive order aimed at safeguarding abortion rights. The Supreme Court is overturning Roe
v. Wade just over a month ago, if you remember, has already paved the way for more than a dozen states to ban or restrict abortion.
The State of Kansas, which tends to be conservative, could have follow suit when it voted Tuesday on a measure that would have allowed lawmakers to ban
abortion. But, in a surprising result, Kansans voted overwhelmingly to keep access to abortion legal.
And you could see there how excited everyone was. Well, joining us now to discuss this is CNN's Political Director David Chalian.
David, great to have you on this.
Look, this is a deeply conservative state in the middle America of course. So, explain to our international viewers the significance of this vote.
Because it is quite a turnout, wasn't it, David?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It was. It was quite a turnout, you are right. I mean, we saw 950,000 Kansans show up to a primary in August.
So, you know, our general elections, the big show, usually is in November. This is a summer primary, and turnout was at levels mirroring when a
general election in midterm year like this one would be.
And what we are seeing, why this is so important for us to report on this because what we are seeing here is exactly what Democrats were saying right
after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which is that this is going to ignite the electorate in this country, which is firmly opposed to that
Supreme Court decision. All of the polling across America shows that the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade was contrary to public
And what Kansas showed us last night was the first electoral proof of that where voters went to the polls, even in this very conservative red state,
and said, this is an overreach to now try to implement or pave the way to implement an all-out abortion ban. That goes too far and it wasn't just
Democrats voting that way. This was independents and Republicans that we are putting that way too.
SOARES: That was going to be my question. The breaking it down, the Republicans and independents also voting for this. I mean, that is symbolic
in many ways for the country, perhaps suggesting, David, it's an important issue as we look to the midterms. We're what? Several months away. What
does this mean then for candidates here?
CHALIAN: Yes. We are 97 days away now from the midterm election. And I think this means is that you're going to see Democratic candidates who are
facing a lot of political headwinds here in the United States with inflation, President Biden's approval rating is very low from where a party
would like to see the president of their party be and hope to hold on to seats in the Congress.
So, there are a lot of factors going against Democrats. But what we are seeing here is that perhaps that this issue of abortion rights has the
ability for Democrats to peel back some of those it depended, suburban, more moderate voters who were repelled by Donald Trump in 2018, in 2020.
But because of inflation, because they are not so pleased with Biden's performance, have been drifting towards Republicans, this may be an
opportunity for Democrats to win some of those folks back.
SOARES: And how do you think, then in that case, David, this will translate -- will it translate to other red states here?
CHALIAN: Yes. That is a very good question. I think that we are still going to see a lot of Republican conservative legislatures in red states
still pursue some of these abortion bans. We are going to see some other ballot initiatives, not exactly like the Kansas won, but dealing with
abortion rights as an issue on the ballot in November in places like Michigan, possibly Colorado, some very blue states like California and
Vermont has measures on there to codify Roe v. Wade into their law.
So, this will be on the ballot literally in some places like it was in Kansas last night. But it is also going to be on the ballot metaphorically
because Democrats are going to be eager to put it there because they think that they are on the side of public opinion when it comes to this issue.
SOARES: Such a good point. David Chalian there for us in Washington. Thanks very much, David, appreciate it.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, inside the hunger crisis plaguing East Africa. We will hear from people who are desperately trying to feed their
children. That report, is next.
SOARES: Well, as we told you earlier in the show, one shipment of much- needed grain safely left Ukraine. But that shipment along alone is not nearly enough to solve the global food crisis. The grain shortage just one
aspect of the dire situation in East Africa, which is facing a catastrophic drought. Our Sam Kiley has the story.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It's not a coffin he' being measured for, this is an urgent effort to keep him from
the grave. He's arms so thin for his age and height. He's categorized is severely acutely malnourished.
Abolo (ph) needs urgent help. He's about two and he can't walk. He's one of 6 million kids across the Horn of Africa, the U.N. says are on the brink of
starvation. There's food for her youngest, but nothing for Okur Goks (ph) children. Except for a little wheat, grounded to a handful of flour.
She says her husband died last year. She's no livestock. She survives by selling charcoal where she can. But food prices have trebled this year. The
evidence that humanities ancestors lived here one and a half million years ago has been found in places like this. Now, water, the very source of
life, is being measured out in coffee cups. And 11.6 million people across Northeastern Africa are short of water in the worst drought for 40 years.
Here in Eldoret (ph), Northern Kenya, local officials say that at least 85 percent of animals, once owned by nomadic people, our dead. And the U.N.
says one and a half million head of livestock have perished in Kenya, and across the Horn of Africa, close to 20 million feet people face acute food
Now, the price of stable food like maize flour have more than doubled in many parts of Kenya since the disruption of global food supplies by
Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In short, Europe's war may soon start killing people in Africa.
KILEY (on camera): This community is marginal, it is living on the brink, the very brink of survival. But so are millions of people right across the
region. And critical to their long-term survival is the stability of Kenya, a country that is facing drought, it is facing massive increases in the
price of fuel and food and it is now facing general elections. Instability here causes chaos across the whole Horn of Africa.
KILEY (voiceover): The increase banditry across the vast Marsabit County has led to dozens of murders and thousands of livestock lost in raids, and
has now been met with military operations and a dawn to dusk curfew.
Around 200 machine guns and other weapons were captured in one recent police operation here, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Roadblocks screen travelers in daylight. Nomads are moving south in search of grazing, into major towns like Isiolo. And they have invaded wildlife
sanctuaries like Buffalo Springs. Competing with protected and often endangered animals for food and water. The results can be fatal. Two men
were recently killed by female elephants near here. But it's a violence between humans that is putting the most traditionally stable country in the
Horn of Africa at risk.
FRANK POPE, CEO, SAVE THE ELEPHANTS: Anytime you get people that are hungry without other options, you got a security situation. In Northern
Kenya is, you know, were boarded by so South Sudan Ethiopia, Somalia, all of which have had -- or are still in the grip of conflict that spews small
arms into these ecosystems. So, you've got a lot of weapons up here and increasing hunger. So, yes, I would say that is a security concern.
KILEY (voiceover): That concern will endure as long as this landscape continues to dry out and war in Europe chokes food supplies to Africa's
most needy. Sam, Kiley CNN in Eldoret (ph), Northern Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. In England, Premier League Football teams will stop taking the knee at every single match. But not everybody is happy
about the decision. The gesture has become a symbol of anti-racism as well as equality. CNN's Don Riddell joins me now live to discuss.
So, Don, why have they decided to stop taking the knee in every game? Do they believe they have seen meaningful change here?
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was something, Isa, that was considered and the captains of all the teams' kind of met to discuss
what they were going to do going forward. And the truth is, that since these players have been doing this since June of 2020 when the Premier
League resumed after the pandemic and, of course, during that hot summer of Black Lives Matter intensity following the death of George Floyd in police
custody, there was a real movement to do this.
But there was criticism from several quarters, some fans criticize, government ministers. And some of the players themselves quickly became
disaffected because they felt that it had just become part of a pre-match routine. And because they were doing it at every game, it had therefore
lost its impact, it lost its potency.
Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace striker, was one of those who said that he would stop doing it. In fact, he has stopped doing it since early last
year. So, it was felt that by doing it in every single game, it had just become so watered down and it would be more impactful if they could do it
at specific periods of the season.
So, for example, the opening round of fixtures when the new season kicks off is going to be when all the players will be taking a knee. The last
game of the season. Cup finals. Also, at boxing day, which would be the first round of games after the World Cup, which this year's happening in
the middle of the season. And also, weekends that have been set aside specifically in October and March to continue to address this issue.
But I think many in the game feel as though the players have done their part, it is up now to the others, the administrators, those in govern
positions to do their part themselves.
SOARES: Don Riddell there for us. Thanks very much, Don, and good to see you.
RIDDELL: All right.
SOARES: Now, the eruption near Tonga's main islands back in January is one of the most powerful volcanic events on record. We are now learning that it
could affect the earth's climate. A group of NASA scientists says the eruption blasted so much water vapor into the atmosphere that it is likely
to warm the earth's surface. Their study shows it was the enough water to fill 58,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. The warm, in fact, is expected to
Meanwhile, in Iceland, fire rising from the ground after a volcanic fissure, as you see there, are erupted near Reykjavik. The government says
the area has been seen intense seismic activity in the last few days. Officials say that while there's lava and smoke coming out, there isn't
much ash and the eruption isn't expected to affect flights.
And finally, there is a glimmer of hope that emerges really from the destructive wildfire in McKinney, California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, buddy. Are you OK? Are you OK? What's up with you, buddy? How are you doing? Are you good? You want to come with me? You want
me to take you somewhere?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Oh, he's gorgeous. This adorable puppy was rescued, as you can see there, by a photo journalist wagging his tail near the rubble and ruin of
the houses destroyed in the fire. And after this video was posted on social media, the canine was given a fairytale ending and reunited with his
family. That's one very lucky puppy. My kids really want a puppy.
Don't forget, you can catch up with interviews and analysis from the show online, on my Instagram, IsaSoaresCNN or my Twitter feed too. The details
are on your screen. That does it for tonight. Thank you very much for your company. I shall see you tomorrow. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard
Quest is next.