Return to Transcripts main page
China's One-Child Policy Shift; Poland Swings to the Right; Imagine a World. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired October 29, 2015 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: China abolishes its controversial one-child policy. The rising power needs to grow its
And the IMF chief, Christine Lagarde, joins me for an exclusive interview on that and how women are key to igniting global growth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: It's a moral issue. It's an equality issue. It's a human right issue. But if none of that is
convincing people, bottom line, it makes economic sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Also ahead: a new political era in Poland. What a sharp swing to the right means for that country and for Europe. The
former Polish foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, joins us live.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
It is now legal to have a sibling in China. For the first time in four decades the Chinese government will allow couples to have more than
one child but no more than two.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): It's widely seen as a reaction to a rapidly aging population and a slowing economy. And the problem isn't China's
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Europe is still struggling to recover from the crash nearly eight years ago. And the United States reported today that its economy
grew only 1.5 percent, down from 4.3 percent the same quarter last year.
So what is to be done?
The answer may lie with women. In a landmark report, the International Monetary Fund says that as gender equality increases, so does
GDP and income inequality goes down.
The person leading the charge is, of course, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF. And she joined me for an exclusive interview
from headquarters in Washington to discuss this.
AMANPOUR: Christine Lagarde, welcome back to our program.
LAGARDE: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: There was an incredible announcement today that captured the world's attention. China has officially now said that people can have
more than one child, a two-child policy.
Apart from the social dynamic, what do you think it might mean for China's economy?
Do you think it was done with an eye to spurring the economy?
LAGARDE: It's indeed a big news. And it's probably related to both family life issues but also the economy. It's clear that, with an aging
population, with entitlement issues that are on the horizon, it is certainly, from a demographic point of view, a good move for China to head
in that direction of a second child being legitimate and actually authorized, yes.
AMANPOUR: What do you think it can actually do?
And is the time lag between when these second children become into the working force, is it actually going to make an impact that is useful soon?
LAGARDE: Well, the impact is, of course, a generation away because, for the actual impact on the workforce, will take time, will take the
making, the raising and the education.
But it becomes then part of the horizon. It becomes part of what people expect. And it changes the perspective.
So I think the impact will begin to -- I don't know whether it will be visible. But it will have a short-term impact in people's expectations, in
how they forecast their future and how they see themselves and their families going forward. And it will, of course, have a direct impact a few
years down the road.
AMANPOUR: How do you assess China's economy right now today?
LAGARDE: We had a forecast of 6.8 percent for 2015, down to a bit less than that in 2016. So we see a very large economy which is undergoing
One, it's going from being predominantly manufacturing to being much more into services, from being very export driven to being much more
domestically focused, from being very control-and-command when it came to the --
LAGARDE: -- monetary policy and the currency variations. It's now moving into the direction of much more market-driven principles.
So those transitions are huge. And it's now, I think, expected by the authorities that the growth rate is going to slowly moderate over the
course of the next few years as a result of those transitions.
AMANPOUR: You, the IMF, has just come out with, I don't know, perhaps an unusual report, one that talks about gender equality and income
Why have you put out that report?
What is it saying about gender and inequality in the world today?
LAGARDE: As far as gender is concerned, we are -- this is now our third report that we published on the topic. And the first finding really
is that reducing gender inequality is actually good for growth. And it's good for growth in countries like the United States, like Japan, like
India, like Saudi Arabia.
There are many instances where, actually, if the gender gap was closed, the GDP would increase by a significant amount, 5 percentage in the
U.S., 27 percentage in India. That's finding number one.
Finding number two, not only is it good for growth but it is good for reducing excessive inequality. So if you really close the inequality gap
between men and women, you reduce, by the same token, the inequality in society.
And that matters as well for growth because we really have now done some solid research that demonstrates that excessive inequality is not
conducive to sustainable growth.
So if you want to start attacking those issues of growth being too slow, fragile, uneven, not sustainable, you have to attack at the root of
the issue. One of those roots is the gender inequality.
AMANPOUR: It's been a very difficult nut to crack, despite all the facts and figures that you put forth, not just now but in your previous
reports and the common sense notion of this, it's still a difficult nut to crack.
And there are all sorts of movements now to call for transparency in salaries, for instance. The British prime minister has called for all
major companies to publish salaries and to, therefore, judge the disparity between men and women for equal jobs.
We've also got a landmark achievement that's been announced today, the top FTSE companies now -- there are no more all male boards. They've
achieved a target of 25 percent of women on boards and they want to extend that to 35 percent in the next five years.
Is there a tipping point, a momentum, is it?
Are people beginning to realize that actually it's all about the money, the dollars that will make the world grow faster and better if women
are fully included?
LAGARDE: You know, whatever it takes. I'm tempted to borrow from Draghi. I think it's a moral issue. It's an equality issue. It's a human
right issue. But if none of that is convincing people, bottom line, it makes economic sense.
And if people are concerned about growth, are concerned about jobs, then it's a good idea to have transparency of salaries and to identify who
is paying what to whom and what is the gap between compensation at equal jobs and equal qualifications.
So good of Prime Minister Cameron to ask for that transparency.
And as far as board compositions, I think it's excellent to actually have quotas, targets. And as soon as those quotas and targets are reached,
to revisit and to increase.
As I said, there is now empirical evidence of the fact that women contribute both in terms of growth, in terms of reducing excessive
inequality and in terms of stability. We are seeing a lot of studies concerning the financial stability of companies, the success, which is
clearly correlated to membership of women on the boards.
AMANPOUR: Do you think you are being paid the same salary as your male predecessors?
LAGARDE: Oh, I specifically ask for that. And in any job that I took after a boy, I always asked to be paid the same or more.
AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed. Excellent. That's a great example.
Can I just move on to the COP 21 summit on the environment that's coming up?
Do you call, like the World Bank, for a carbon tax?
LAGARDE: Well, the Paris summit is taking place in a few weeks now. The easiest way to deal with it, the less controversial, is a carbon tax,
which can be budget neutral.
Now we had controversies about it because some countries said, well, all well and done. But if we do that at home and nobody else does it, it's
an issue. Granted.
But even if a country, isolated as it could be does it, it will bring benefit because the indirect consequences of carbon and proliferation of
carbon are costly for a particular country, irrespective of what the others do.
Better to have a corrective approach. Better to have a minimum floor for the price of a ton of CO2 emission, for instance. And then we can talk
about other emissions down the road. But there is a path. It's available. And it can be budget neutral. So I think that those are pretty important
AMANPOUR: Christine Lagarde, thank you very much.
Just as we say goodbye, your term is coming up as managing director. You've said you're open to a second term.
Will you go for it?
LAGARDE: It's for the membership to decide. And if they think that I can continue to do a decent job, I would certainly be prepared to consider.
AMANPOUR: Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.
AMANPOUR: And so while Christine Lagarde and others try to create an equal playing field for women, women in Iran can't even get near it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Since 2012, Iranian women have been forbidden to even enter stadiums where men's volleyball is played.
Now Watch for Women, which is a campaign just launched by Human Rights Watch to end this ban, is pressuring volleyball's ruling body to ban Iran
from hosting the world championship until women are allowed to watch the games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And after a break, the hardliners in the West where anti- refugee fervor is pushing an entire continent to the Right, I speak to the former foreign minister of Poland about the seismic shift in Polish
politics. That's next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
The people of Poland are adjusting to a new political landscape. They have just kicked out of office the Civic Platform Party, which successfully
steered Poland through the 2008 financial crash, becoming the only country in the European Union to avoid recession.
And people have voted in a right-wing eurosceptic anti-immigration party called the Law and Justice Party, whose leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski,
is the twin brother of the former Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in Russia in 2010.
Now he joins the ranks of Hungary's Viktor Orban and France's Marine Le Pen.
So what does his anti-immigration stance say about the future of Poland and Europe itself?
AMANPOUR: With me now is the former Polish foreign minister, Radek Sikorski.
Mr. Sikorski, welcome back to the program.
RADOSLAW SIKORSKI, FORMER POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER: (INAUDIBLE).
AMANPOUR: So answer us. Answer the world.
Why is it that the people punished you for the economic success that your party brought to Poland?
SIKORSKI: As you say, we avoided the recession. We, in fact, grew by almost a third since the financial crisis while Europe, on average,
stagnated. But we became victims of our own success. People's expectations accelerated even faster.
And, remember, we were the first government in Poland's modern history to get two terms of office. So after eight years, people naturally want
change. And I think that was the main reason. Also we lost the presidential election a couple of months ago and that created a dynamic
which proved unfavorable.
AMANPOUR: You do talk about your success but also you talked about rising expectations. There were obviously a significant number of Polish
people, who felt that they had been left out of the great engine that had been created.
Do you agree that it didn't actually reach everybody quick enough?
SIKORSKI: I'm sure that was their perception, although you have to remember that both the minimum wage and the average wage rose spectacularly
in the last eight years and all while maintaining responsible budgetary discipline. Poland has one of the lowest debts in Europe as well.
But you just don't know about social dynamics. And unemployment also dropped to below 10 percent recently. But it's true that many young
people, for example, felt that they needed employment on a more stable basis than they were getting. I think that was a factor.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's move to what happened. And we just said the Law and Justice Party which is right-wing, it's eurosceptic and anti-
immigrant, how did they convince people to give them one of the rare majorities?
They're in with a majority. They don't have to form any alliances. And for instance, Kaczynski, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the party,
says they won't be accepting any more refugees. They're talking about "disease-ridden refugees." It's quite ugly rhetoric.
How did that happen in Poland?
Well, actually, Law and Justice gained the majority of seats in parliament by a fluke of our electoral system. They actually received
fewer votes than we did four years ago and we needed a coalition. But it's to do with which smaller parties made it into parliament. And they got
But yes, the refugee issue was a factor in the campaign. And it was a factor for at least two reasons: number one, on substance. Poland is the
most ethnically homogenous country in Europe. We were ethnically cleansed by the Soviets and particularly the Germans in the 20th century.
And it was felt that the choice, whether to remain an ethnically homogenous country or become a country with much more variety, should be a
Polish decision. And you should know that our government also was skeptical about a proposed system of compulsory quotas.
AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed.
We felt that these should be national decisions.
And also you should remember that for historic reasons, you know, Poland used to be on the edge of Christendom and on the border between
Christendom and Islam. So there's a lot of history here.
But also what played into this campaign was that it was felt that such decisions are not up to any one individual European country to make --
AMANPOUR: Yes, but --
SIKORSKI: -- because we have a Schengen area, where you accept people in one country they can easily move to another country. So this should
have been decided by the Europeans institutions.
AMANPOUR: All right. You seem to be very much sort of understanding of what many have criticized as some rather ugly right-wing eurosceptic,
Brussels certainly is quite scared about a potential pulling away from the E.U. Project. What do you think this new government is going to do
about E.U. ties?
SIKORSKI: That's not going to happen. That's not going to happen. Law and Justice, you know, I was a minister in the civic platform
government until recently. But you should know --
SIKORSKI: -- that Law and Justice was in favor of Poland joining the European Union. Look, any new government needs a honeymoon period. And we
need a few weeks to gauge to what extent this was electioneering and to what are going to be the real policies. And I would appeal to you to
suspend judgment for the moment.
But I agree with you that some of the rhetoric was unpleasant.
AMANPOUR: So suspend judgment in that regard.
But what about here in Britain, for instance, people are already asking how does the new government in Poland impact the whole idea of a
Brexit, British exit potentially or attempts to renegotiate its membership?
Now, we're hearing that Prime Minister Cameron -- and you know him very well and you've spoken quite a lot about his eurodiplomacy -- he's
been in Iceland. And we're hearing from prime ministers of Estonia and Finland that, far from talking about how he would like to renegotiate and
giving them details and concrete proposals, nothing yet, absolutely nothing, just broad talk about reform.
What do you see?
I mean, how do you assess this government's handling of this referendum and what it might mean in the end?
SIKORSKI: Well, I think David Cameron, since he won the second election victory, has got it about Europe. He wants to win his referendum
and he wants his country to stay in the E.U., which is, I think, good for the E.U., because Britain is an important member that is a force for
economic liberalism in the European Union.
And I think -- I believe it's also good for Britain and any Polish government will try to be helpful because we like Britain and also because
we have between half a million and a million Poles in Britain. Every 10th child in British schools is Polish.
But we are a civic platform in the European People's Party, which is the ruling party in the European Union; Law and Justice is with the
conservatives in a somewhat marginal eurosceptic group. So it will be harder for them to be helpful to Prime Minister Cameron. But I believe a
deal is possible.
Now that David Cameron has started to argue for the improvement and for reform, that would be good for the E.U. as a whole, for example,
completing the single market in the area of digital trade, completing the single market in the area of services. These are things for which he will
find plenty of allies in Europe.
As long as he doesn't touch the four core liberties of the European Union and the liberties of the free market -- the freedom of travel, of
capital, of goods and of people. And I think a deal could be struck.
AMANPOUR: Radek Sikorski, thank you for that road map for David Cameron. Thank you so much for joining us this evening.
AMANPOUR: And of course, the onset of freezing temperatures in Europe puts the refugees trying to get there at terrible risk, while across the
world, hot and arid weather paints a much more beautiful picture.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the driest on Earth. But recent heavy rains have raised a carpet of colorful flowers, an instant oasis that
is so rare it's attracting hordes of tourists.
Now after a break, good and bad news for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. Imagine being flogged and languishing in prison and hearing news of a just
reward -- when we come back.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine paying the price of your moral conviction. Today writer and activist, Raif Badawi, received the European
Parliament's Sakharov human rights prize.
But he won't be there to accept it or to celebrate because he's a pariah at home in Saudi Arabia, at least to the government, which has
sentenced him to 10 years in jail and another 950 of the 1,000 lashes he was given.
His crime: blogging and encouraging debate about religion and free speech in Saudi Arabia.
Shortly after he received his first 50 lashes, I spoke to Badawi's wife, who has received asylum in Canada for herself and her children. And
she pleaded for her husband's release.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENSAF HAIDAR, WIFE OF DETAINED SAUDI ARABIAN ONLINE EDITOR RAIF BADAWI (through translator): Frankly, I want to ask for help from His Royal
Highnesses, the king Mohammed bin Salman and Hamid bin Ali (ph). All the people, all the officials responsible people there.
Raif is a very peaceful person. And all his problem is that he expressed his view in a right way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So the European Parliament is also asking the Saudi King to release Badawi in order that he can rejoin his family and receive his prize
And we can only hope that Badawi's prize will hasten the day when Franklin Roosevelt's famous Four Freedoms manage to reach Saudi Arabia:
freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
That's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always see all our interviews at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.