Four Diplomats From Asia on the Case for 'America First'

Four Diplomats From Asia on the Case for 'America First'



thank you all for being here it's a particular pleasure for me to be here and my alma mater I have a little white and purple going here and also a particular pleasure to be with diplomats with decades of experience in a region that I covered for more than a couple of decades and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the rather provocative focus of our evening the case for America first and of course for many of you this may raise the question of is there a case for America first and if so what does it look like we'll get to that so the United States since world war ii as we all know has played a uniquely prominent role globally creating and supporting international institutions participating in other international institutions groupings and initiatives Naida NAFTA APEC ASEAN and the Arctic Council and more maintaining a military presence the u.s. has 800 military bases in some seventy countries that's as compared to Britain France and Russia that have thirty combined and China which has one at the moment in Djibouti and one that's a little less official in Tajikistan the US has played a really important role throughout its existence in welcoming immigrants some times we've been more welcoming than other times but many of Silicon Valley's successful startups were started by immigrants especially from your countries in fact and Asian scholars and researchers in the United States have added richly to our knowledge and global knowledge of won Nobel prizes Asian writers actors artists and filmmakers have been deepening our understanding of the human condition and human experience but we're at a moment now when our president says that America hasn't been treated fairly in the world and that the wrong kinds of people are coming at least some of the people who are coming are the wrong kinds and he calls this his America first policy I guess my first question then is what does the America first policy mean to each of you and how has it affected your countries so far can I start with you China first yes not politically right and you know United States thank you Mary it should to ask the council dinner anyway on behalf of Chinese consulate consul general Wang today is Oregon for visit so answer your question American first in fact is natural and normal for any heads of state of any country to put their national interest and the bio beans of their own people priority it's no exemption for China and all the other countries but as you mentioned that that International Cooperation is also important if America first means that the American continued to take the lead in sugar more responsible international responsibility to cooperate more international challenge Anneka climate change cross-border criminal cases and the drugs and the illegal immigrants so we believe all of us so people applaud American first take the lead but I believe American first putting the American people's interests the first also need the international cooperation this morning I did not mean before I came here I try to check because the your president called for mating USA and higher USA I tried to see whether we can only come with meeting USA or meeting China I check everything from mobile phones and trousers like jacket if meeting USA only meeting in USA I can only bring my iphone here so my third and the jacket a jacket is from Italy thanks to my wife under shoes is there from a British brand so some from Vietnam yeah thank you my name is Liam I'm the Consul General in Japan and they had like to thank the aegis arathi for hosting this very interesting event it's quite challenging normally at this kind of meeting we are I normally say that don't take any notes don't in records but today is a little different so I try my best but I thank you for the question and the as everyone knows Japan and the United States fought war in the world war two but after the war we became a very good friend and the San Francisco is a peculiar place in 1951 we had a very important Treaty of San Francisco peace treaty we came back to the international community and also Japan the u.s. signed japan-us security treaty which another still the foundation of the security policy of Japan and as its mentioned by the moderator we have a quite number of American military bases in Japan and the not just for protecting Japan but it's a foundation of these pieces the ability of Asia and the Africa first is something quite I think domestic partially it's electric but partially it's something real but I think it does not itself say an accurate what is going to say because any country of course have a national security interest first and so I think it's really going to really find out what really means in each of the different stage and as far as Japan the u.s. religion is concerned we have relax and cooperation and of course we don't agree everything but we had an opportunity to talk and discuss and the try to coordinate our policy so so far I think although there are certain issues but overall I think it's going very well now thank you so no adverse effect on Japan at this point well I said it some maybe I may have a small chance to talk about certain certain details but there are some differences for example we really wanted to have a environment in this East Asia the Asia Pacific where the businesspeople have a predictability and a high level a rule and the TPP was actually the importance to a trans-pacific partnership agreement actually it ended in force unfortunately that analysis earlier this year was the kind of instrument where such a very high level of trade liberalization and very high level of rules including the protection of intellectual property can be realized and the so far wantedly u.s. decided to withdraw from there but City still remains and we are ready to receive us when he change his mind but this is the one of a sort of example of some differences we have so joonyoung / both South Korea and Japan have a significant US military presence and have relied on the u.s. to some extent provide stability in the region how are you and your government reading the America first policy and how it affects your sense of security within the region in my view making America great again or America first seems to be mr. Trump's usual rather than foreign policy under this new vision basic line of demonstrations policy doesn't seem to be very far from the traditional one of the US government's with a few exceptions first of all the US ominous Homeland Security must be a top priority and the u.s. still was secure is strategic and economic interest abroad and us he wants to prefer free and fair trade and also the US was is willing to take the lead in tackling many college she was not if not all of them and I think the in the in Asia policy the u.s. still remains unchanged in this course so maintain peace and stability in the region in cooperation with allies and security partners this also wants to expand this economic relations with us and countries for mutual benefit so in this context the Korean to the US have who shared common goals and values and have been developed into a deep-rooted political economic and military alliance I think even under the administration's so-called Omega force policy I think the korea-us alliance will prosper so you're saying the u.s. hasn't changed its core goals but it certainly has changed its approach on the Korean Peninsula I mean president Truong meeting Kim jong-un at the DMZ Tom and John how do you read that yes our two governments have been a very well coordinated to push forward with that agenda so far there has been many changes on the Korean Peninsula and now we are expecting we really hope that you know the I was called to issue of North Korea's denuclearization can make big progress over you know very short India last no that's one yeah what I meant to say that India has the last word okay thank you first of all Asia Society of organizing this brilliant to have the four Asian countries in fact 21st century is termed as the Asian century so it's now when you're talking about America first and how we look at it I mean this is nothing new I mean this is it was actually President Woodrow Wilson who first talked about it so it's very natural and I agree with my colleagues when they say that for any country national interest and the domestic compulsions are what really prompts your foreign policy priorities so America first is something which if you look at it very realistically every country worth its salt would also look at like if it is Prime Minister Modi II might be talking about neighborhood first but it's understood that it was always India first because Indian national interest is paramount but there is something from the Indian perspective that we feel that if America first is to mean the isolationist policy inward-looking then that is something which is a little dangerous for the simple reason that from the Indian ethos there's a term that we use which is called vasudhaiva kutumbakam which means world is one family so which means that in today's world I mean you cannot have the isolationist policy we had to be together we had to meet the challenges together and we had to face things to the for example if India is aspiring to become a 5 trillion economy by 2024 we cannot possibly be saying that we will do it while we are in a cocoon so many Asian countries but yours in particular have had extraordinary growth in the last 20-30 years have developed a thick web of relationships within Asia and in many ways I mean what used to be a much more hub and spokes kind of relationship where the US had relations with these different countries now you you have various groupings within the region and strong bilateral relationships and I'm wondering whether you would make a case for Asia first and if so what that looks like in the Asian century or do you think that would be kind of productive because other regions would get annoyed you know this when we actually talk about regional groupings then we are forgetting the world as a whole because we are no longer this barriers are artificial barriers created you know this National Front news these have no meaning I mean especially in a globalized world we cannot even talk about regional groupings yes groupings are important for the simple reason that you grow together and the benefits accrue to all but at the same time the regional groupings have to deal with the groupings outside the region with the countries outside the region in that sense if you have a grouping like the Indian Ocean rim Association it has to have a scene in a wider context and now when this Indo Pacific concept has evolved it's actually more than a geographic it is an idea it is a thought process I mean just both strategic interest you can explain it's from a strategic viewpoint as well as a major economic angle to it yes thank you very much I think I'm obviously compared with the 20-30 years ago Asia has more weight in international politics and the I think Asia is a more sort of playing important role in constructing the rule making and in the international community for example and the for example if we think about the trade liberalisation I'm sorry India is not still a member we have a group called APEC and the quite quite often whatever the WTO can agree certain new rules or improving its its rules or liberalisation it's normally initiated discussion in Depok whatever epoch is initial discussion they're moving to to the to the Geneva and WTO so this is a kind of one of the example and so Asia is not really making a new block but we are sort of trying to play a more important role they contribute to the global agenda so that's a happening I think so yep a year the role of Asia is I think is stronger and its continued for some time and also since the Indian colleagues mentioned the indo-pacific agenda I think this is a quite important I totally agree this is not kind of a sort of coalition of certain country versus another it's more the value attached the value or principle including the freedom of navigation or free trade rule of law those are the core value and principle that the concept of in Pacific Tandi the purpose is again I try to create an environment predictable in my environment where are all the people in the world can benefit from there to encourage more business and the encourage more infrastructure which is open and transparent and so this is kind of raw I think Asia should should be doing more and to try to have a represent a universal value so one of the transformative things that's happening in Asia and Beyond right now is China's belton Road project the New Silk Road building out infrastructure in some 70 countries and there's not just the physical infrastructure there's the Digital Silk Road the science Silk Road the space Silk Road even the Arctic Silk Road I'm wondering I'd like to come to you last but I'd like to first ask how how you're seeing the belton road how it's affecting your country's interests how much are you seeing opportunities how much are you seeing potential risks how is it transforming the region and is it in ways that you think would be conducive to helping stability and prosperity in the region are you looking at India please first oh well no we have a little difficulty in not or the belt and Road initiative per se but in being a part of it for the simple reason that you know it covers one an area in what we call the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir so it's the Sepik the china-pakistan economic corridor so since we do not recognize that and that is why India obviously doesn't embrace Bri but having said that having said that if this connotes development and developing without any you know strings attached and how it evolves how much it has flown we are obviously keeping a watch on it but obviously we cannot embrace that for the reasons that I specified but again so far as us is concerned there are other there is a as you are aware there is a public-private partnership in the UH Sheehan context and where there is a fund which is being created for developing infrastructure so we feel that it is also I mean it is not only that you have to look at bri or look at anything through the prism of PRI there are other avenues also her development can take place for examples of resin dia is concerned we have in fact fun turned which is your marked for you know very taking of development projects in many of the in many African countries so similarly I feel that there could be other balancing initiatives which should also looked at seriously indeed there's one in Sri Lanka right I mean so China now is in control of the hub punto de port for the next 99 years India and Japan right are building out another port in Colombo what can progress work in progress consul general Park how's about Road looking in South Korea yes I still remember in 2013 when the initiative was suggested by China this issue was not so complicated in interpretations but later he said initiative was combined with many other suggestions raised by Chinese government and then the world started started looking at that initiative from a different perspective and now I think pri and the indo-pacific strategy seems to be under become fronting from each other but my view is that the Chinese your eye has their two aspects which one is beneficial to to neighboring countries and that the other aspect would be the political one that which our China might have in their mind so maybe the neighboring countries including Korea can you know look into the connotations of which projects specific would be a comfortable in cooperating with the China I think oh but there are economic ramifications also there of a particular material source so broadly I can say there Korea is eager to cooperate with the PRI projects which would be beneficial to neighboring countries Eri incidentally belton Road initiatives when you hear that acronym that's what they're referring to yeah thank you very much I think there are a lot of issues on the news reports and so forth but I think currently the core part of the written word initiatives is enhancing the connectivities between countries and so a lot of construction of the infrastructure is involved and it is true that in many parts of the world and particularly Asia there are a lot of needs to build more infrastructure so in that respect supporting building such an infrastructure is really important that we are doing also supporting infrastructure and the so what is actually a my trades concern is that sometimes they making such an infrastructure lacks transparency and the some sometimes lacks a certain as you just said in sri lankan case the lack of financial sustainability for the recipients and there should that be more sort of dialogue so that recipients will be able to be in a position to return those funds the world from and also there are sometimes the fear of this lack of consideration of environment or lack of consideration of a social impact so all these kind of issues I think we we also experience all these and there are a lot of experiences by doing a Oda or no audio loans making infrastructure and there are accumulated sort of experiences so I think it's some very important to sharing those experiences and creating certain principles to ensure that it's good to support the infrastructure but on the basis of certain certain principles and for that right with the participation of China or Korea and India and many others Japan hosted the g20 summit meeting Osaka and and we agreed the Osaka declaration agreed with documents I think very few of them have ever read it but if you're interested please read them and one of the things we agreed is a principle to the of this infrastructure and we are very watching very carefully but I think with this there are lots of things we can support for infrastructure what do people need to understand about the belton road well how do you think it's misunderstood berlin drew thank you but in the road initiatives is the public products initiated by china it's initiated by china are not dominated by china is belong to the world and the purpose is the benefit of all as mentioned by terms of general zod we try to enhance facilitate the communication transportation and upgrading the people's level of hope it is all the same that if you want to be rich you must first build the road and another Chinese thing that it's you want to be rich you should also make your help your neighbor rich otherwise you cannot serve Godin and you can no to do business that's the purpose of China and it is also follows the suit of many Western countries you will learn from the world from the United States from France you know the Panama Canal the Suez Canal connector of the world facilitated treat benefit all and also the US as a whole wheel inside the country as a whole way of transcon continental our highway system yeah we just follow the suit of the Western countries of other countries and also encouraged by many countries when China become richer you should provide so they're more responsibility to provide more public products it's one of the public if you give me one minutes my moment is like I want to say a little bit about a Sri Lanka because before I came here and I'm deputy head of mission of China in Sri Lanka for three years I can tell that there is no sukkot that trap in Sri Lanka I give you an example so the Oh nearly all the in fact a lot country of infrastructure electricity water drainage clean water systems the the first railroad after very independent for 60 years and the first highway and the boss than 20 countries as a rule and resided Road benefit all people is financed and constructed by Chinese company inside the invitation of Sri Lanka at the competition of the International birth every time when because of India you know that India is a big browser of Sri Lanka a good neighbor and every time Sri Lanka pay respect to India every times there's a one project they ask in their first and also ask China second so India fest and also in some international baton the view will be held and China some Chinese companies joined the international band and the wind there's a contract we hire the local people 95% all of the local people so our people benefited the two lies on the last descendant is the two lights in every Sri Lankans family there is a one light generated by Chinese the finest and the technological they supported Norah chili coal power plant we finished 90 in just a three years so the infrastructure that China help to build has had a positive effect in Sri Lanka but it is also true that Sri Lanka couldn't make its loan payments and part of the agreement with China was that the one way to pay part of what Sri Lanka own oh oh it was to have China take control of the port and some of the surrounding area for 99 years right it's a tough question but I know the answer that's Hanban tota that's Hambantota Hambantota China is a portable on to Sri Lanka after we finished building the port we can know to move the port to China no can we send our ships to make Hambantota military bases no it's only we can is 99 years 19 year nine years is not a as a colony the Great Britain occupied Hong Kong no it's only means you show their moral responsibility sri lanka occupy 51% of the shear and we forty nine and general manager the two sides and we share share and china attracted all over the world is always a possibility with or cooperative is all sri lankan friends to attract we establish industrial free zone free industrial zone to try to attract investment from all over the world if Bank of Silicon Valley want to invest of course I just wanted to mention that just before coming here I was in Delhi in the foreign ministry and looking after the Indian Ocean region and silicon Maldives was part of my charts so I actually worked very closely and yoke of what you said that's perfectly understandable but I'm telling you what the Sri Lankans feel insulin can see the figures with interaction that we have had they feel that they've got into a you said there was no debt trap how they have got into it they've got into some economic difficulties and thanks to getting the I mean getting into this loan situation I mean coming to Humber Tata port the it's it's a fact that India was asked first then we did did our due diligence and found that it is not economically viable to have a port there I mean we didn't look at the strategic part at that time because it was too much a price to pay and we thought no the country would probably think of a yeah you know having a port there it didn't make economic sense but then there was a lot of I mean the funds the debt which thus Lanka government got into and eventually when you cannot repay the debt the debt turns into equity and then obviously the ownership now on the point that 51% is Sri Lanka and 49% is Chinese Chinese company it's actually no Chinese god no no no not Chinese government Chinese company okay so it has actually there are two agreements there are two arguments the first agreement where there's both arguments the silicon has 51% that is perfectly all right but the Chinese company there's a consortium in the second agreement I mean the first was on looking after all the regulatory issues and other things and the second one was on commercial matters but there's a Chinese company which is part of the Sri Lankan consortium so effectively the controlling stake is with the Chinese company so this is if you have to all these are actually available these agreements and public domain but the point is nobody analyze this is further but that's besides the point what is important what the China say Lankan government has got into the salon comment has got into a situation that the question of repaying this loan is impossible so they have got into equity it's a fact that China has contributed substantially in rating infrastructure in Sri Lanka there's no denying that but then it makes a little sense to study at what price and then look at the narrative so it's for a country to really understand and make its calculation how the development I mean what is the path to take to development time itself yeah let me ask a question and it's for you so you can then add whatever it is actually China first related so whatever the actual agreement was in Sri Lanka and you saying you know actually Sri Lanka has benefited from the infrastructure investment the perception in many countries is whoa we need to be careful with the belt and Road you know China says this is going to be when when we're thinking it's a double win for China I was hearing this when I was in Malaysia last year during the election and in the rallies that happened before the election that brought Maha tear back to power so when you're thinking about a future where China is a predominant power in the region as one possible future and I think a lot of players in the region a lot of countries a lot of individuals certainly who I've talked to think that that's kind of the direction where Asia may be going how do you reassure others in the region that whatever your conception is of China first and I'm asking if you if there is a conception of China first I'm gonna ask each of you about like if instead of America first there was your country first what would that mean what would it look like is that even something that you would consider having as a policy beyond the fact that countries look after their own issues interests or how do you deal with the perceptions you writ large the Chinese government that the the belton road whatever its actual positive impact in terms of infrastructure feels sometimes like it's much more in China's interests than it is in the interests of those on the receiving end about andro the initiators there is not perfect some economists and told me that Dave is the percent of eighty percent of this project project is a win-win and make profit and not lose money that's very good but all record today is better than light Hambantota is only in one lips of a big tree and second point is for the debt you can check her to the internet there was the percentage of China debt in the total debt of Sri Lanka is a small margin it's a small margin under the interest of the debt is quite low a certain point is that China don't like us some international monetary organization to the World Bank and Asian working bank we do note a prerequisite for the receiving country but when we give the Illume to them they told me so Duncan friend told me that when China provided the investment assistant the cume was a whole sausage butter for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank they are quite careful of course to the governance the education conditions and other they cut the sausage into pieces one by one the UK to them but infrastructure development we shouldn't they should in the wait it could not wait five years ten years to do to the infrastructure so if you are in Sri Lankans true seeing the development countries choose if one country give you the whole sausage and help you to buildings for structure region rich people and poor people and use the infrastructure the roads ain't I wrote that connecting Jaffna to Colombo so that job jeffina Mungo can easily seven just please know seven minutes the congestion the chime but I'm gonna give you welcome in it with the question again is there a case for China first and if so what is it and at first that means China want to show their more responsibility and take the need one to seeking common ground well putting aside the differences they want to develop to seeking common development of all countries when we putting our national interest the first we also respect other countries co interest and under their concerns we are thinking a wing wing and multiple wing that's all purpose thank you thank you very much mmm you got to the Development Assistance actually I myself has been involved in the development assistance program with Japan for quite many years in not the same total but also when I was a stationed in overseas including in the Philippines and also as in Egypt we were kind of robust bilateral economic cooperation programs and actually Japan was a little sort of late comma for this world at 20 years ago so and the our way of doing Economic Cooperation it's a little different from the traditional donors that was team before us we attached very much importance to how the recipient think how the priority of recipient that's the most important and we spend a lot of time on the dialogue with recipient countries and also what we did was also to try to explain to other donors what we are doing and try to coordinate with other two other countries and because we're members of osed there's a group called the DAC DAC development assistance committee well there's a lot of occasions almost daily talking about each of the development programs there are differences but there are some way to how we can learn each other and the so for us what we I think it's very important for example China – we appreciate to increase its overseas assistance and its contribute to building infrastructure but it's also important I think China to be involved more with the donal community and I think it's okay China has a different view but it's very important for this is to be more explain to to other donors and just in not in the headquarters but also of each of the recipient countries situations I think this will help more and to learn each other and the good understanding to an appreciation by other countries and they have to answer the question well thank you I think it's very similar to what a Chinese colleagues saying did yeah I don't think we have a kind of campaign so the promise with Japan first or something like this but we have of course our diplomacy maybe at the same time same thing for any country we try to maximize the national interest but that does not mean at the expense of other interests of other countries but try to look at the situation a very objective manner and what people are doing and they tried to make understand our policy and then I try to maximize national interest in a very realistic way that's I think we'll be doing and we would like to continue about Japan putting its own security interests first in the sense of potentially becoming more militarily active and this is a very active debate in Japan yes or no I'm the in the sense right after the war – there's situations we didn't have any military power but of course like other many other countries there was a discussion that we can't just stand and the do nothing when there was an aggression from outside so there should be a certain minimum sort of power self-defense forces we call it to defend ourselves and then later there are more soft cause to contribute to the there's no peace and security and we then decided to increase their contributions to peacekeeping operations and others and this is a sort of historic discussions and still going on that's right but I think it's not so much to sort of put Japan first or something it's more in the context of how Japan should contribute to the pieces of greater regional peace and security in the world okay is there a case for South Korea first Oh first a time in briefly touch upon China first okay we are targeting popular countries of course Chinese secret boom has contributed to a world economy including the Asian economy and the Karina's proactive of participation in the world a non-proliferation system has prompted a safer life of people and also Chinese our shoot number of Chinese people going abroad has enabled to trap our tourism industry to be posted in many countries actually under the Chinese abundant cultural heritage he also has in which the life of the people and so in this context sir Korea has been a one of the main benefactors of China's openness policies and I think China or the remain a very important partner for Korea because in the future because we are close neighbors and with many common interests and Japan also a very close neighbor culturally and economically and geographically actually overall we have a great potential for across the board to cooperation for the benefit of most people and the world and if Korea takes a Korea first policy I think we would focus on as you know you know establishing a permanent peace rich amount of Korean Peninsula including at increasing North Korea and next and then maybe our government to to make every effort to spur our economy by creating favorable environment including every and the fair trade and the third maybe we can make our efforts to maintain the stability and co-prosperity in the region by establishing and mobilizing more for to looking cooperation bodies so both in South Korea and in Okinawa and Japan there's been some pushback to US military presence continued US military presence and president Trump has said about South Korea hey why do we have so many troops there you know maybe we should reconsider this in that way that America first has at least been playing out verbally what has the reaction been in South Korea yeah even everybody knows where everybody has noticed mr. Trump has already began talking about that during his election but at the moment we are facing a little issue of assuring the budget for US troops stationed in Korea and the last year we successfully concluded Khiladi 30 every month on the amount of increasing the budget and maybe this year were next year we are going to have another round of negotiations on that I think I did flex what I mean present Trump said about there reflects on his strong interest in US economic interests so I think it does not necessarily mean that mr. Trump is going to withdraw its troops up from South Korea over a TPM because maintaining your troops in that region is very critical for the United States regional strategy interest I'll get you in just one second yeah could either of you imagine an Asia and East Asia and Asia Pacific where US troops are not present in South Korea or Japan mr. Park could you imagine an asia-pacific region where US troops are not present where US isolationism taken to its logical conclusion ends up with withdrawal of troops don't imagine that the US troops would be withdrawn withdrawing from South Korea and we firmly believed that the u.s. and South Korea share the common interest by maintaining the US military presence in that region in stabilizing in maintaining stability and correspond core prosperity in that region and I think I guess that Japan is the same I think the same but as earlier as mr. panda said if America first means in East Asia as isolationist policy is introduced in Asia I think that's a problem and the including withdrawing the troops from there or I was drawing the commitments to Asia that would be a huge problem and but so far as far as I know that's not the case so we are very much confident that you're still making it's a very deep commitments and including the military presence and East Asia with Korea and Japan so I don't have any really problem so far on that basis and a fundamental office of policy so it doesn't look like a very isolationist but small sort of commitments we're looking at Asia situations that's how I feel okay is there a case for India first well first of all I can't help but compliment Consul General Parker perfect diplomatic term in the way you put everything positive everything nice I wish the world was like that and I suddenly got reminded of John Lennon you know like it's such an ideal but you know I feel that sometimes the ideal falls short of the actual anyway I don't elaborate further I have also a good diplomat know coming to India first well as I mentioned for every country if they do not think that they are the first I mean they have to look at their interest first then there's something drastically fundamentally wrong there but some countries they articulated some countries that do not articulate it India has never articulated India first but of course we say that okay world first but heart of hearts we know India first but it gets along so the world has to be together with India so we all grow together whatever it is so when I mentioned that coming to India first when our Prime Minister articulates neighborhood first when he says we have a locust policy act astrology if we embrace Indo passive then obviously these are all feeding into India first feeding into our national interest for example with China China was and continues to be our largest trading partner I mean if you see the Chinese presence in India in the Indian market place I mean you cannot imagine I mean it's it's all over the place China has a huge presence in India and India now has a huge presence in China there are you know the way the Indian movies are faring in China the Bollywood is now looking at China first I mean so so so this is it's a very complex kind of a thing so you cannot really say that we look at India first yes we look at it we don't articulate it some countries prefer articulating it yeah I'm not going to I leave it to your guests I should be right of reply India even though in the eyes country you know they'll be far from our country geographically but we have developed a very good relationship including with a different name in the last year over two-way trade volume reached 18 billion USD to people's help or very friendly sentiments I think and not a high level of assurance exchanges are very frequent so I think future hires there's no reference okay just put everything in the positive I wish I could do that so we're gonna go to questions from you in a few minutes but I have another question for you all first and that is you know obviously mr. Wrenn mr. Pandey you represent countries with 1.3 1.4 billion people each India's population is much younger it's about to enjoy its it's starting to enjoy its demographic dividend China's got extraordinary experience in building out infrastructure it's got a very big strength there both countries are poised in different ways to play extremely important roles in the 21st century so this is sort of an omnibus question but do you feel that going forward the region and the world will be more multipolar than it is now and in that kind of a world if if that is what you expect do you expect that there's going to be one significant big power that's going to kind of play the role the United States has played do you think there will be several different powers that will be working together or working across purposes do you think that the prevailing sort of energy is going to be competition or finding ways to cooperate I mean kind of how are you seeing the long the medium to long term future going forward in the region and the role that the u.s. will play in it let me start with you I'm quite a positive with them you shouldn't Pacifica regions there will more and more multilateralism and the regional economic integration will take further steps first the existing magnesium Saturdays is en issue epic epic 10 plus 1 and 10 plus 3 and the East Asia Summit we can work together in all these existing mechanism second we can we should develop a more free trade zone like the negotiation we hope free trade agreement can be reached between a month Japan South Korea and China and maybe in the future right now we have free trade agreement with Eastern countries with Australia with New Zealand and other countries maybe in the future is all Indian friends in China in the role of the u.s. in the world and in asia-pacific USA the important member equal member at least the North Asian Pacific Asia Pacific family it has the historical influence and programmatic interest of the in this country the US interests that we respect the influence and the interest and we want to cooperate with the US as a major player one of the larger is the trading partner of all three countries yeah although the Chinese government has on more than one occasion called the u.s. a hegemon and has said you know it's time actually for Asians to be the ones who are in control in Asia that the US shouldn't be playing as prominent role as it has been playing for the last 50 to 70 years we encourage the us play more constructive role in the u.s. in the Asian Pacific region yeah we hope that the US the Asian policy could be more not only problematic but more constructive one putting American first also or both other countries interested in concern so that seeking common ground common interest so that we can develop together reveal together yeah let me just go down the line thank you mm-hmm we also think the u.s. continued to have a player important role and the actually growing center of the United States is California and the actually California is facing the Pacific the many people from Asia is very active playing a role in the growth of California and the growth of the United States so therefore the u.s. is in a sense it's a Pacific country so we are sort of colleagues each other to create a new Pacific region and so but also true that he given the current high level of our growth continues in Asia not just India or China but also as in countries and the many other Asian countries like Bangladesh Asians weight is increasing that's that's a that's a different thing so so what like what mr. Ren said I think it's very important to create really important attach importance the rule of law creating new rules including those trade and investment and the as he also said the university in Japan China Korea a PFT a but also we are negotiating they were called our zip covering all four countries plus Australia and New Zealand the a.cian so I think we are at I suppose to creating those to attach importance to make a new rules and they also are importance to not just free trade but also navigation a freedom of navigation and the human rights and so forth and the so we also attach importance to in the Pacific region for that concept it's a concept oriented having said that China has contributed another one Asia but also world's economic boom I have to point out that with in occurrence with the Chinese rice actually some level of a power shift she said taking place among Asian countries and between the United States and China so now Asian countries are concerned their national security and economic vitality would be in power like other Asian countries South Korea always wants to see the environment favorable to maintain the peace and co-prosperity in the region so I think all the countries should think and behave in a cooperative and accountable and forthright way and if you have a good ideas to solidify the ties among the countries they should be institutionalized and the behaviors or actions taken by every country should based on the principle of openness and transparency and also the inclusiveness and also should be based on based order absolutely but there are certain things which we cannot overlook the fact that United States has a preeminent role in the global order that is something which is accepted 24% of the global wealth is confined here but having said that we know how it has moved from cold war to the post Cold War I mean bipolar world to unipolar and yes we are moving in the direction of multiple award the multiple award which we are moving into is going to be very different it's going to be very different because there are some global challenges which all of us are confronted with and it has to be concerted effort is required so if we only look at country acts first then there is a difficulty there and we cannot we cannot afford to do that actually I'll give you one examples now the crisis which the entire way we are talking about terrorism we're talking about many other things but the number one crisis in the world is actually the water crisis how many how many people realize that and the way we are moving the water crisis from rural areas people move to urban areas it becomes unmanageable and then it underemployment and this is following a particular pattern so we had to we don't have a choice we don't have a choice but to work together in unison and work together concerted effort round the clock seven days a week 24 hours a day and when I say 24/7 two days 724 ok on the right day so you take this pledge on this day and that's the answer so you cannot really say that we are moving towards a multiple-award multipolar world with you know global concern and global it has to be unified so that's a different role with the you know reformed United Nations will have to clean case for America first if there is one is you know keep your interests in mind but stay globally engaged be respectful be constructive perfectly summed up great questions yes hi I'm Christina from startups Croatia we connect tech companies in the valley with Asia and so my question is you know in your diplomatic role and given the increasing importance of technology you know what and and all the policy issues trade war going on but what are some things that you would like you know us Western companies to know about your your respective countries interesting question and I must confess that when I wanted to come to San Francisco I was actually looking at the Silicon Valley and they used to restriction but I was primarily technology and innovation interested me and I knew that India has a major thirst for technology and to absorb this technology to meet our developmental challenges so having said that now for example I'll give you a very simple example now this 5g rollout has happened and we know that everyone is looking at India as a major market for the 5-0 load but what people don't realize that India doesn't have the infrastructure to absorb 5g to optimally okay commercially optimally India to benefit and commercially the companies to benefit so now here having engaged with Silicon Valley and the companies now they're working on ways to build the infrastructure so that optimally India can benefit from 5g and they make more money here so it's a win-win kind of service so now diplomacy is changing into the role that I would like to see myself playing is called tech lumisi Tech diplomacy so then this is actually very relevant ok is there a question on this side of the yeah how long do we get to last one minute ok so climate change we left Russia we encouraged the meddling North Korea it's just been publicity stunt after another the brexit situation Hong Kong situation we haven't touched on any of these in the in America America first has led to white supress supremacy coming back racism the highest disparity between rich and poor and putting kids in cages so it's not such a good situation in our country right now so I grew up with democracy meeting free speech rule of law free really religion and we had a leadership role in the the world right most of my friends live overseas and I think we're just all disgusted with what America has done so my question is with this loss of credibility what are you guys doing to pick up the slack basically you talk about nationalism or your countries being first what can you do during this hopefully blip in our country during these this four year period so I mean are you going to do things that you'd normally wouldn't have done in the past are there things you can do and my other question is what advice you're going to give the president the next president of the United States regardless of who it is what would you like to see them do what would you like to see happen I think your to post questions whom you want to answer see now you get China for the sign now all you think I want to comment is not all responsibility as diplomatic specially consular officer to command a foreign country's president but China is one of the largest the killing partner of the US and then we find that China is the largest bundle didn't pass an unlawful all three countries yes correct South Korea enjoy a big treat surplice we didn't initiate an onion Treat war because China want to be cooperate with unimpressed and the US people elected China remains unchanged I think other three countries that we may have changed to be cooperative to be called innate to respect each other's old interest because we are seeking a win-win situation thank you to answer the question we also do not sort of interfere with the domestic affairs that's what American people should choose whoever the president and the we deal with him but I think it's um well we're doing here is not really kind of a narrow sense diplomacy but I tried to create a good relationship with the community we were living like Northern California and also covered Nevada and that's what we're trying to do and the we reattach thank the agent society for cooperating with us to achieve a purpose and they come back to the first question rather than sort of business things also want to share with you that in already but we are going to host the Olympic next year and the if you have never really been to Japan please come that's a good a great opportunity and that will have a start of various other cooperation and interest would you like to issue you may ask whether our chairman Kim is going to really give up his nuclear program actually our leaders of the countries involved in this issue including President Kim Esther has it's a willingness to Bob is a program and you know some racists even say that achievement Kim has come too far to back off and now even if it is not the case we have no other options to keep going down the road with patience and here chairman Kim changes his strategic calculus at the moment what we should do is that will capture him at the negotiation table and to keep all the other states aware coordinated and the two key North Korea under appropriate pressure and regarding the sorry oh sorry but just one very small sentence I just wanted to mention that both in India and us I mean irrespective of the political spectrum and whoever's irrespective of whoever is the president in India or prime minister in the years there's a realization that the world's largest democracy and the oldest democracy has the strategic convergence and have to move together so that doesn't really matter so far as we are concerned okay oh yes there's a question here and I'll come back to you yeah fourth row from the back yeah yes yes okay campaign chief acted for BOTS local transit here question for all of you all the discussions about American first make America great again it seems sound impact and inference on externally so I want seek your sage advice by living here by will train a difference and have such an international affair knowledge would will be or what is your observation which the current policy by a current administration do you think America can become better from your perspective if you do give me any example economically socially or playing golf whatever you said really no that's a very tough question for a diplomat to answer because then Europe you're putting you're trying to make us say something and when media is in the room that I I think I'd refrain to comment for saying that every country there is always go for improvement and we working there otherwise will become status quo I stand up okay we have reached there and we don't have to do anything so and then we have to have our own innovation and out-of-box thinking of how to run the country but if you're asking about okay my country there are many things to do I have to improve quite a lot in many areas and we have Tories there and I leave the reflection to you I mean I think that's true for every country just one thing I'm I mean basic things are the same with them is the Panda but one thing that the president Trump is that importance to is creating jobs and the Japan actually is ready and also also doing making investment creating a lot of jobs in the United States that's what I want to say does it seem to be very far from the traditional one even so a press and academicians have pointed out that there are some differences notated by the world one thing is that the American supremacy in economic and military power is a lot more emphasized and the pilot realism is also more underscored and also a linkage between cutting-edge technologies and the national security is perceived to be a lot more closely than ever before and another thing is that you take 15 seconds if another thing is that more flexibility and a higher risk are being taken by the administration in tackling lingering issues um we have time for one more question maybe one and a half go ahead I'd seen your hand up earlier I'm a senior vice president for a Silicon Valley technology company and I've got a client in the UK who is tasking us with launching a design center in China is it okay to do that now or should I wait six months and I disagree with the very comment this gentleman made earlier now over six months from now are you saying because of the trade war yeah should I wait for the noises subside organ should I go now oh no no what do what do you what do you expect him to do I've got a lot of check points that I've got to address the the biggest one right now is I've got to build a domain-specific technology team my clients in the UK I'm here in Silicon Valley the team has got interface with Australia my end market is going to be China low-cost cell phone market I'm cycling right now with identify which region I know Shanghai is out I can't afford Shanghai I used to but not anymore but I don't want all of the other checkboxes that I have to check getting in a way would it be cleaner smoother to wait for six months or so you gotta go now I'd suggest you talk about it afterward we've we've been short on questions from women there's one hi my name is Tasha a rose ooh and I'm an attorney in San Francisco my question is to if possible to each diplomat my observation has been that diplomats are usually career diplomats but you know this is the United States where it seems like even the government thinks outside the box and many of its diplomats to some pretty major countries are not career diplomats but industry experts or just regular private citizens who are very successful in business who are more or less transaction oriented or are extremely wealthy now and they have become diplomats not subject matter experts that diplomats a seek advice from okay and so my question is do you see your countries sending diplomats or considering diplomats who are not career diplomats who are possibly the types of diplomats that US has been choosing I'm very very quick we happen to the United States we have had those are not career diplomats for the trend during the last so many years has been that a career diplomat handles it much better and takes the nonsense a relationship so we are now of we do have a policy of having career diplomats coming here but well-trained in various fields is that true for each of you career diplomats right okay let me let me just thank you very quickly for all of you for being here thank thank you all for your attention [Applause]

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