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United States And China Sign Trade Deals Worth $200 Billion On Trump Beijing Trip; New Zealand Host Peru In 1st Leg Of Playoff; Rising American Tennis Star Eyes ATP Finals. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 9, 2017 - 02:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN HOST: Hello, everybody. I'm John Vause live in Los Angeles where it has just turned 11 o'clock Wednesday night here on the U.S. West Coast.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN HOST: And I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Beijing where it is now 3 o'clock on Thursday afternoon. Thank you for joining us.
Now, they have differences on major issues. But the leaders of the U.S. and China, they projected this warm, cooperative relationship during talks here in Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump called on Xi Jinping to put more pressure on Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program. And although he's been harshly critical of trade with China and China's trade surplus in the past, Mr. Trump said that he blamed previous U.S. administrations for allowing the imbalance to soar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: We want a vibrant trade relationship with China. We also want to share a reciprocal one.
Today, I discussed with President Xi the chronic imbalance in our relationship as it pertains to trade and the concrete steps that we'll jointly take to solve the problem of the massive trade distortion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, Matt Rivers is also in Beijing. He joins us now. He's been, of course, following this very closely.
And on that issue of trade trade, Matt, trade deals, multibillion- dollar ones, big headlines likely to be announced, but what about any real Chinese concession on the larger issue, the U.S.-China trade imbalance?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, at this point, Christie, we haven't really heard how Donald Trump plans to concretely address those issues as he put it, concrete steps that he talked about. You know, he talked about a number of the ongoing issues that frankly previous administrations have pointed to before, things like forced transfer of technology between U.S. companies and their Chinese counterparts in order to get access to Chinese markets.
He also talked about just generally U.S. companies having problems getting access here to the market in China, the largest middle-class consumer market in the world at this point. And so there's ongoing issues.
But in terms of what's been announced so far, and granted the trip is not over, well, we really haven't heard specific steps that the president says he will be taking to try and make a more level playing field as he called it. What we did here, though, is the kind of thing that we have heard before on state visits and that would be the announcement of trade agreements.
There was some $250 billion worth of trade agreements signed according to the U.S. government and issues are in different fields ranging from ships for cellphones to auto parts, to airplanes. Now, we don't know the extent of those deals.
We don't know -- a lot of it are memos of understanding which are nonbinding agreements. But the fact is Donald Trump will have some sort of deliverable to -- to sell back to his domestic political audience saying, look, we created all these new trade agreements, these -- these joint agreements between U.S. and Chinese companies.
We came home, came out of this trip with something. But in terms of the concrete way he wants to solve this ongoing trade deficit with China, so far, no sign that the Chinese have really put up anything concrete there yet, Kristie.
STOUT: Now (ph), one U.S. tech company that is blocked here in China is Twitter, which is also the social media platform of choice for the U.S. president. And he has been tweeting here in China even though it's banned here.
Is that an embarrassment for Chinese leaders?
RIVERS: I think they're pretty used to foreigners coming into China using their cellphones in a way that the Chinese government frankly would rather them not. I mean, that's how we get access to most of our information.
That's how I use Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Google -- all those things that are blocked here in China. I think for the Chinese government, though, the -- the broader concern when it comes to something like Twitter is the general unpredictability of this president.
I think they've been watching his Twitter feed with great concern wondering if he was going to say or tweet something that wasn't scripted. You know, usually, these state visits are highly scripted affairs.
And so far, this has been. There hasn't been a lot of things that have happened that have kind of been surprising moments at this point. So I think the Chinese are probably quite concerned, though, or quite relieved that the president hasn't used his Twitter feed the way he does typically in the United States.
But it's worth noting this trip is not over yet, Kristie.
STOUT: Yes, not over yet. Matt Rivers, thank you. And for more analysis, let's take it back to John Vause in Los Angeles.
VAUSE: For more on Donald Trump's visit there, we're joined now by political commentator, Mo'Kelly, hosting Mo'Kelly Radio Show and Republican Strategist, Charles Moran. We're also going to talk about politics of the day back here in the U.S.
But first, let's talk about the -- first of all, the president's -- just his demeanor and his tone, Mo, I mean, this -- this is day six of a 12-day trip. You know, there's a big time difference. He seemed very fatigued.
So he didn't seem (ph) himself. Well, what did you make of it?
MORRIS O'KELLY, CNN COMMENTATOR: At best, reserved, at worst, a little tired and fatigued in a way was just -- was a little disconcerting. I mean, he's a human.
He can be jetlagged. And -- and...
O'KELLY: ...it's hard to stay on for days and days on end. But the takeaway for me is -- is not how well this president performs with a teleprompter.
It's when he returns to the States or even gets loose on Twitter again. There's teleprompter Trump and there's Twitter Trump.
And all that good that he may be able to do right now, he can undo very quickly once he's off teleprompter.
VAUSE: And Charles, it does seem, you know, that the president has a very good opinion of the last person he spoke to. And, you know, could we put, you know, the kind words that he's having (ph), you know, saying about Xi Jinping right now, the Chinese people and China in that category?
CHARLES MORAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Donald trump is being America's primary diplomat right now. I think it's funny that people are criticizing his demeanor in the way that he is warmly received.
And he is receiving the -- the attention, you know, characterizing him as -- as being uncharacteristic while they criticize him for not being presidential enough. So this is an opportunity where he is being presidential.
He is being the negotiator and chief -- and the diplomat chief. This is a long trip. It's probably a 13-hour time distance.
This is the longest...
MORAN: ...Asian trip that any president has conducted since President H.W. Bush. And in this situation, you know, we've got, you know, Donald Trump came with a mandate.
And this is what he said. And this is actually consistent with what his campaign promise was -- to go and to renegotiate all of the trade deals. And he, you know, after six days of tough negotiations, sitting at the table, listening to the dialogue, not sending an envoy but being there, he's following through on his promise to take every country one by one and make sure that America is getting the best deal.
VAUSE: Well, you know, the Chinese -- the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping certainly, you know, turning on a show bigly (ph) for the U.S. president. There was that very special dinner at the Forbidden City last night.
But this is your (ph) candidate Donald Trump, sort of (ph), you know, such ceremony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We give state dinners to the heads of China. I say why are you doing state dinners with them?
They're ripping us left and right. Just take them to McDonald's and go back to the negotiating tab (ph) seriously (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, Mo, we heard just some (ph) time ago from President Trump saying the relationship with U.S. and Xi Jinping and China is incredibly important to me. Xi Jinping had some very friendly words (ph) said to Donald Trump.
But you know, is this friendliness, if you like, or friendship, is it driven in part by Donald Trump's failure so far to deliver on some of his campaign promises when it came -- when it comes to China -- currency, manipulation of trade, the trade imbalance, that kind of thing (ph)?
O'KELLY: Well, part of it, I think, if you care to his ego, as an individual, that makes him very warm. He's that (ph) -- warms him up if you cater -- if -- and flatter him.
But let's not confuse the personal affinity with presidential duty, presidential duties being presidential all the time, not part of the time. And this president has to be able to balance his foreign policy with his domestic agenda.
His domestic agenda has failed considerably -- no major legislative victory. And he's abroad now -- not his fault. But he's unable to sell his latest piece of legislation, tax reform.
It's almost like you can't serve two masters and one is going to suffer.
VAUSE: And -- and Charles, it does seem that there -- being this (ph) sort of constant changing of the message to China, you know, we heard this stuff from the campaign. And then there was the Mar-a-Lago over (ph) chocolate cake (ph) and the meeting of, you know, the friendships and the, you know, the -- the praise.
And then there was -- there were the tweets where he was criticizing China. And now, we're back to being China's best friend.
There -- that does seem to be at least a lack of consistency.
MORAN: Well, everything in this (ph) sphere is a shade of gray. It's not we're either China's enemy or China's friend.
We have to take the advantage where we can. The United States is enjoying one of its, you know, best economic periods.
The Dow is at an all-time high. Unemployment is at an all-time low. Americans are feeling solid about the -- the condition of the economy.
And as I said before, Donald trump is actually fulfilling on his campaign promises. We, you know, he has successfully enacted parts of his -- his legislative package.
He's withdrawn from TPP. He's going into every country. You know, there has been a solid new relationship forged in our trade deal with South Korea.
I anticipate that's going to be coming in (ph) additional countries later this week. There's been private deals that are going to -- have been announced, are going to be continued to be announced.
This is what Donald Trump promised. And this is actually Donald Trump at work doing what his agenda was.
VAUSE: OK. Well, obviously, the -- the big issue hanging over this two-day trip to Beijing is -- is what to do about North Korea. Donald Trump was in Seoul, South Korea.
Just a day ago, he delivered a very blunt warning to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at (ph) -- while he was addressing the South Korean National Assembly. We have, you know, the response from, state media in Pyongyang.
Part of it reads this, "Warmongering, filthy rhetoric spewing out of his snout like garbage that reeks (ph) of gun powder to ignite war." I guess, you know, that basically means that they're not giving up their nuclear program.
But you know, Mo, was anybody expecting anything different? O'KELLY: No, it's not a matter of what Kim Jong-un does. It's what
President Trump does in response or lack of response.
To Charles' point as far as legislative agenda, we know that the Iran deal hasn't changed. We only have (ph) repealed, replaced Obamacare.
So what he does right now in Asia will matter maybe disproportionately in terms of Kim Jong-un and be able to deliver on that promise to get him to stand down. If he doesn't get him to stand down, then by 2018, more specifically, then the Republicans are in deep trouble.
VAUSE: I just want to get back to the reaction from Pyongyang because clearly, you know, that was a fairly ecstatic (ph) response. They will not change their behavior based on one's speech.
MORAN: Clearly. But Donald Trump actually came ready to negotiate. In his speech that he's given so far, he has absolutely articulated that he wants to see a diplomatic solution.
He wants to see a (ph) situation evolve where, you know, there doesn't have to be an escalation of force. But at the same time, he has also demonstrated four our allies that he is prepared to do.
He's moved a third aircraft carrier into the region. So again, he is -- he is approaching it with a carrot and with a stick, hoping again from his speech as in (ph) from his statements that diplomacy rules the day.
VAUSE: OK. In case you missed it, a year ago tonight, Donald Trump won the election here in the...
O'KELLY: He did?
VAUSE: Yes, apparently so. According to an analysis by the "Washington Post," "The president has mentioned that election one out of every five days on average over the past year." So both (ph) of you -- does that indicate that this is a president who is, in -- in many ways, or at least some ways, has been unable to move on from that night.
O'KELLY: Well, winning is important to all of us, is (ph) especially important to this president. But also a part of winning is also being able to deliver.
And I think he's innately aware of what it means to be able to deliver in terms of North Korea. And he's aware of what he said about China as part of this conversation.
And he knows he had to tone down that rhetoric (ph) because he needs China as an ally to fort North Korea. He's self-aware. I -- I don't think that he's not aware.
But ultimately, yes, he's all about winning. And winning does not include repeal and replace. Winning does not include the Iran deal.
Winning does not include tax reform as of yet. I think he's aware. VAUSE: OK.
With that in mind, Charles, a new CNN poll found 63 percent of those who were asked believe the president does not deserve a second term. It's only a year in. Is there (ph) a criticism here that this president is already, hey (ph), the lame duck territory.
MORAN: Well, I wonder if that was the same CNN pollster who ended up predicting a Hillary Clinton win in the last election.
VAUSE: Yes, polls are correct. What do you guys get upset about, was it (ph) -- Hillary has a 99.9 percent lead (ph) which we didn't do...
O'KELLY: Polls are a national snapshot, not Electoral College snapshot.
MORAN: And it is a -- and it is a -- it's the temperature. And any given day, those temperatures fluctuate. But really, you know, Donald Trump, you know, as he has continued to move through his first year of his presidency, clearly, I think that he's realizing that it's harder to strike those types of deals we've gone through, you know, there was the -- the -- the oath (ph) election in Atlanta, where the Republican ended up winning.
Last night, clearly, Republicans had challenges in traditionally democratic areas -- New Jersey and Virginia. So we're going to see a balance.
And we've got another year until the next round of elections. So I think that there's...
MORAN: ...there's absolutely a phase (ph) for this.
O'KELLY: We've got -- we've got December in Alabama. And that election will tell us a lot about whether the Democrats have momentum or whether it's just...
O'KELLY: ...business as usual.
VAUSE: Well, I love your spin (ph) about that (ph).
MORAN: Well, but -- you know, there's -- there's a lot of different other...
VAUSE: Anyway, it was a nine-point drop in an (ph) election that was -- that you both said... (CROSSTALK)
MORAN: And Democrats have -- have been outraised three to one by the Republicans in the slide fight (ph) so...
VAUSE: OK. Which is very similar to the Obama administration when they were replacing people and say (ph), we'll -- we'll leave it there. Charles and Mo, as always, great to see you, guys. Thank you.
O'KELLY: Thank you.
MORAN: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, next here on "CNN Newsroom," U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was at the Texas Community reeling (ph) from a mass shooting. We'll tell you the promise he made to them in just a moment.
Plus, two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history just weeks apart but where is the outrage, the demand to change? More on America's apathy in just a moment.
VAUSE: Well, an emotional day in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, as he met with survivors and victims' families from Sunday's mass shooting. Twenty-five people and an unborn child were killed when a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church.
Pence promised to address the failures which allowed the shooter to legally purchase a gun despite a history of violence and a criminal record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: We will find out why this information was not properly reported in 2012. And we will work with leaders in Congress to ensure that this never happens again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Eight members of one family were among those killed in the massacre. CNN's Alex Marquardt spoke to the pastor who broke the news to their loved ones.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In family photos, the Holcombe's look is close-knit as a family gets, dressing up as pirates during Thanksgiving holidays, grandkids climbing up and sliding down the water slide, their grandfather, Brian (ph), got for them at Easter. Pastor Mike Clements knew the family well. Over the years, a number of Holcombes have attended his Baptist church
in nearby Floresville.
MIKE CLEMENTS, PASTOR, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: We'd just crack up, tell stories, tell jokes, have fun, kid around, push on each other just to have fun, just to enjoy life. God meant for our lives to be enjoyed and to be a joy.
And they were that way.
MARQUARDT: But in an instant, their lives changed forever. Eight members of the Holcombe family spanning three generations gun down in church as Brian (ph), the grandfather, was preaching. It was Pastor Clements who broke the news to Brian's (ph) parents.
CLEMENTS: Here, we have eight people in a family that left us in one day. There is no script for that.
MARQUARDT: There is also no script for how loved ones react to this kind of news. Clements says that first, the parents grinned and were excited, their deep Christian faith assuring them that their family is now in heaven.
CLEMENTS: They didn't mean (ph) that they didn't hurt and have tremendous pain and loss in their life. But their faith in god is so strong, they know what their family is experiencing right now with the lord.
And they're excited for them, even though they are sad for themselves because they won't get to see their loved ones.
MARQUARDT: Among the dead were four children, the youngest, 17-month- old, Noah, celebrating her first birthday here with her father, Danny, also killed. There was 13-year-old Greg, receiving a new karate belt, his 11-year-old sister Emily, flashing a peace sign at the camera, their sister, Megan, just nine, leading on their mother Crystal, who was two months pregnant, shot and killed as well. And then Bryan and Karla, married for 40 years, who, during the summers, ran a church camp for kids.
CLEMENTS: Bryan and Karla never went on vacation. They spent their time on vacation at camp.
They provided this opportunity at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment for my kids and thousands of other little boys and girls so that they could go to a place and jump in the river and learn how to use a bow and arrow.
MARQUARDT: And it's the Holcombe's faith, Clements says, that led them to already forgive the killer who took so many lives in this community and in their family.
CLEMENTS: I can tell you, they've forgiven this man for what he's done. And they would say to him, that god loves him inspite of this tremendous tragedy. That's the kind of people they are.
The devil was using that man. The man was -- it was so wrong, so evil. It was so anti-god.
God did not want this to happen at all. But we forgive him.
MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, Floresville, Texas.
VAUSE: And during last year, the wake of what was then the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, 49 killed at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Democratic lawmakers in Congress, days (ph) to sit in, demanding a vote on a gun control bill. It was a dramatic night.
But Republicans adjourned (ph) the House. And the vote never happened. Well, two years earlier, gun control activist staged (ph) protest marches around the country.
This one was in Brooklyn. They were chanting "not one more." You may remember that was the plea from Richard Martinez (ph), after his son was shot to death by a disgruntled young man on a killing spree in Santa -- in Santa Barbara.
There were protests demanding the reinstatement of the federal ban on this style of (ph) military semi-automatic rifles after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 children and six adults dead. In May of 2000, the million-mom march on the National Mall in Washington called for stricter gun control.
But since last month's shooting in Las Vegas and the killing spree at a Texas church 35 days later, nothing. Nobody that (ph) -- it seems that it hasn't even been a national conversation about the epidemic of gun violence.
Adam Winkler joins us now. He's a law professor at the University of California Los Angeles. He's taken a close look at the whole issue of gun laws and what could be done and what hasn't been done.
Adam, it seems right now, this country looks at mass shootings -- it's like a weather event. It's -- it's something which just happens.
They just simply can't control it.
ADAM WINKLER, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES: Well, Americans are very pessimistic about the possibility of stopping mass shootings. First of all, the NRA has a virtual lock on American politics.
And no major gun restrictions are going to be passed by this Congress. And at the same time, Americans feel that even if there were new gun restrictions adopted, you still have 320 million guns already out there.
And a mass shooter will be able to get their hands on guns when they need to. VAUSE: They have reason to be pessimistic, too, when it comes to any
action on -- on gun reform. And the days after the Vegas shooting, there was a lot of focus on bump stocks, a device which changes a semi-automatic weapon essentially.
That seemed like low-hanging fruit. But it seems to have gone nowhere.
WINKLER: Well, that's right. The NRA called for ATF (ph) regulations. ATF (ph) has already determined that there is no possible way they can issue new regulations.
It's just they're handcuffed by the state of the law. I was talking to Republican Senators just this week.
And it sounds like no new legislations are going to be passed on bump stocks either.
VAUSE: You've made the argument that this country is actually not having the right discussion, the conversation about guns. The focus should not be on mass shootings.
The problem with that is all the attention on gun laws happens after a mass shooting.
WINKLER: Mass shootings are high-profile events that do cause us to think about gun violence. But we have to remember, whenever these -- one of these mass shootings as there was in Texas on Sunday, that every day since then, about 33 people have lost their lives to gun violence in America just from ordinary criminal misuse of guns and suicide and ordinary accidents.
What we should do is try to bring down that toll, that daily death toll from gun violence. Well, we could have some success there, whereas fighting against mass shootings is really very difficult.
VAUSE: If you bring down the overall number of fatalities from -- from gun deaths, and if there are some regulations put in place, will -- what -- what would be the positive effect from that, I guess when it comes to mass shootings? Will there be any?
WINKLER: Possibly, possibly not. It's really hard to stop a mass shooter, someone -- if you want to get your hands on a gun in a society like ours that has made a commitment to have civilians armed, it's very difficult to stop mass shootings. But there are things we can do to reduce the daily death toll of gun violence -- universal background checks, better enforcement of our current gun laws, unshackling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the main law enforcement agency.
Those are the things that can happen. Will it have an effect on mass shooting? It's not really clear?
VAUSE: On the other side of the equation, there also seems to be, you know, the almost mythical sort of quality aura around the second amendment in the Constitution, the right to bear arms. And there seems to be, you know, some confusion out there, maybe some deliberate confusion out there about its scope and its power, what it covers and what it does not cover, and what the courts can actually do and what Congress can actually do when it comes to gun laws.
WINKLER: One of the biggest misconceptions we have is that the second amendment doesn't allow for good and effective gun control law. That's not true. The courts have upheld the vast majority of gun control laws.
What's really stopping us from getting the gun laws we need -- politics, that the NRA is able to really turn out a bunch of single- issue pro-gun voters on election day that really make a difference. And until gun-control advocates have that same political mobilization, they're going to continue to lose.
VAUSE: Yes, when it comes to the NRA, this is a, you know, an industry lobby group which has been incredibly effective at what it has to do, which is essentially lobby on behalf of the gun industry. And is there sort of almost a misconception out there, that the NRA is there for -- for gun owners as opposed to gun makers?
Want what sort of difference does that make?
WINKLER: Well, you know, there's a lot of gun owners who disagree with the NRA even among its membership. A lot of gun owners want to see things like universal background checks or a no-buy list for terrorist suspects or even a reregulation of bump stocks. And those voices are marginalized in the NRA.
But the NRA is appealing to this core group of really die-hard gun voters for whom guns are really kind of an identity or cultural issue. And any effort to regulate them, they take as a personal attack.
And as long as those people are such a force in American politics, the NRA will be one, too.
VAUSE: So what you're saying is by having this core group of supporters, these one-issue voters, they essentially -- gives the NRA (ph) incredible political power, which means that the -- means that these restrictions just never get put in place and the gun makers continue to sell guns.
WINKLER: That's right. You know, we think of democracy as sort of the will of the majority. But the truth of the matter is a small intense, really active minority can really overcome a more apathetic majority.
And the truth is is when it comes to gun control, Americans are a little apathetic. They're either pessimistic that nothing can be done.
Or if they're gun-control supporters, they're not willing to organize and mobilize and make that the single issue that they're voting on. And so as a result, you have this intense minority that exerts a disproportionate influence on American law.
VAUSE: And seem have -- have done so for quite some time. Good to see you. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.
STOUT: Hello and welcome back to "CNN Newsroom" coming to you live from Beijing. I'm Kristie Lu Stout.
Our top story this hour, the U.S. and Chinese presidents talking trade in North Korea on a busy day in Beijing. Donald Trump and Xi Jinping reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
And Mr. Trump also touted the U.S.-China relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:30:01] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States, working with China and other regional partners, has an incredible opportunity to advance the cause of peace, security, and prosperity all across the world. It's a very special time and we do indeed have that very, very special opportunity.
LU STOUT: Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $250 billion in new business deals with the U.S. For more on that I'm joined by James McGregor. He is the author of the book Doing Business in China and he's also the chairman of APCO. $250 billion in business deals. Is this generating a lot of value for American companies? Will it create jobs? Is it good for the economy? Or are these jobs kind of deliverables, something that can be announced on Twitter, useful headlines for President Trump?
JAMES MCGREGOR, CHAIRMAN, APCO: It's both. I mean, for Trump he can say he's the dealmaker, he's got a big number and all that. Some of these are window dressing, some are memorandas of understanding. Some are deals already in the works. But there are some significant ones. I mean, they've just saved the Alaska LNG industry. I mean, you know, the governor's deal was falling apart. The major oil companies pulled out, didn't think they could make money. China is going in with $43 billion and they're going to build a pipeline to LNG port and ship LNG to China and then the LNG come to China pays for that loan. That would not happen with our Chinese moneys. So, some of this is quite significant.
STOUT: Yes. You just mentioned that deal for Alaska legitimately a good deal for the United States. There is like the deeper structural issues. Like China's trade surplus. Which we heard from Donald Trump, he criticized the trade surplus that China has. He then proceeded to blame his predecessors for it but -- OK, blame game aside, that issue is for real. Can you just tell us the perspective of a business person on the ground in China? What is like for U.S. companies who are new setting up shop here or already established here to do business in China? What kind barriers are there --p-
MCGREGOR: This gets tougher and tougher. It's really -- we look at reform and closing.
MCGREGOR: The reforming for Chinese company but they're step by step closing for foreign companies in where they can especially technology, they have -- they have this made in China 2025 plan that sets dates on replacing foreign companies in certain technologies with Chinese companies. It's aspirational maybe because some of it they can't reach but the goal is very clear, is to -- is to get foreign companies out of this market, replace with Chinese companies then beat the foreign companies globally.
It's a major threat and it's more important than focusing on the deficit. The deficit is kind of red-haring to use that as the focus but somehow (INAUDIBLE) and Trump, they picked that out as the game they want to play.
STOUT: Got it. Meanwhile, the perspective for Chinese companies moving into the U.S. and picking up assets there, new technologies there, what's the state of play?
MCGREGOR: Well, we're a very open economy, and, you know, it's startling but we found that our openness and our rule of law are our weakness against China because we have a machine coming at us. And if, you know, if China buys an American company and it comes back here, it's a Chinese company subject to none of the restrictions and gets all of the benefits that can kill the American companies that are already here in this market and then beat them globally. So we -- we're frozen and paralyzed in Washington right now because how do you go against our principles of openness and rule of law? But it's -- we've never faced authoritarian capitalism before and China is -- China is a different animal.
STOUT: And these Chinese are very smart. Do you fear that Trump is being played by China in regards to trade?
MCGREGOR: Trump's kind of tailor-made for China. China knows how to flatter the foreigners, make them feel good and get what they want out of him. And he has played right into that on this trip. Now, whether he is playing along with them, then going to go back to Washington and do something tough, we don't know. So I don't want to prejudge. He certainly looks like he's been played like a fiddle here, but maybe he's going along with them, softening them up and then he's going to do something tough. So let's see what happens when he gets out of here and goes back to Washington.
STOUT: So you've been based in China since the 1980s. How would you describe the business environment for U.S. companies today and has it been getting progressively worse in recent years?
MCGREGOR: Yes. I mean, the American business community used to be China's best friend in Washington and always advocating for, you know, let's be more open with China. Now they're going back and saying they've got to -- you know, we've all got a red dot on our forehead when we -- they want to get rid of us, we've got to do something about this. So it's a different environment. Foreign companies used to be special here. They're so far -- they're so less than special now. And, you know, it's -- with China, it's a zero-sum mercantilist game that we have to win which is actually Trump's mentality in the way he's done business. So, maybe his mentality will be effective in fighting back against China. I don't know.
STOUT: And if this downward trend continues for U.S. business in China, what does it mean for jobs, for the U.S. Economy?
MCGREGOR: You lose out globally. There's still half a billion people here to meet the middle class. So, this market is the most important for all of our tech companies.
[02:35:01] I mean, actually, Donald Trump is more important to the CEO of an American tech company -- I'm sorry, Xi Jinping is more important than Donald Trump because of this market and the need for this market. And so jobs could -- we could lose our high-end manufacturing tech sector over the next 20 years or shorter if we don't wake up and do something about it.
STOUT: Yes. So much at stake here for American if the right deals are not being made here. James McGregor, thank you so much. Take care. Now, Forbes Magazine is reporting that U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is incidentally also here in Beijing, they're reporting that he lied about his net worth and we'll ask if Forbes editor about the findings after this short break. Keep it here.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's been a bad week for U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, it started where there's a huge leak of financial documents revealing his direct business ties to the family of Russian President Vladimir Putin. That sparked outrage among Democrats who keeps Ross of being less than transparent. Also, Forbes announced they were dropping his name from their list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Ross made his debut among the who's who of rich and fabulous in 2004 with a net worth of a billion dollars. Last year, his fortune was said to be $2.9 billion. This year, though, Forbes believes Ross is worth $700 million, doesn't make the cut. But what happened to the two billion? Well, it seems you can't miss what you never had. Dan Alexander is an associate editor at Forbes and he dropped the billion bombshell and he joins us from New York. So, Dan, explain to us how this all began. It's started with an error and a lie, right?
DAN ALEXANDER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, FORBES: That's correct, yes. Back in 2004, you know, Forbes made a mistake and we assumed that the money that other people had invested into Wilbur Ross's funds was actually Wilbur Ross's money himself. Called him up and he basically went along with it and said yes, that all sounds good. And then over the years he increased what he was doing and said, you know, here are the values of my assets and really there was a values of his businesses. And then ultimately he just started sending us what appear to be totally fabricated numbers about his net worth. VAUSE: OK. Everything started to unravel when Ross accepted a
cabinet position with the Trump administration which would require financial disclosure. Here's the moment when Ross is explaining to you that you had actually or Forbes had made the mistake because that missing $2 billion was put into a trust.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILBUR ROSS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: No control over (INAUDIBLE) beneficiary of them. And so you're apparently not counting those which are more than $2 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That statement is just not true, and it's not true according to the Commerce Department, right?
ALEXANDER: That's correct. You know, I talked to Wilbur Ross. That was on a Sunday afternoon. He gave me that explanation.
[02:40:05] We published a story then because there were a lot of questions if you transfer a bunch of money into your trust then theoretically that money still would have produced income and you would have had to disclose it anyways and we didn't see it. And so that raised a whole bunch of questions, and we followed up with them, published a story asking these questions and then after we published that, the commerce department issued a statement saying that there was no major asset transfer after the election on behalf of Wilbur Ross.
VAUSE: OK. So this conversation between you and Ross, it goes on for about, what, seven minutes. And at the end, Ross says OK, it will get all fine, just drop me out (INAUDIBLE) whatever but just put in my explanation. Here's that part of the conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSS: I don't' care if I'm on the list or not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
ROSS: -- that frankly, it doesn't matter. But what I don't want is for people to suddenly think that I'd lost a lot of money when it's not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Ross very much wanted to be on the list because it wasn't just good for his ego, it was also good for his business, which is why last year he complained you guys that actually lowballed him, you undervalued his worth, he said he was worth, what, 3.7 billion?
ALEXANDER: That's correct. He said 3.7. We went with 2.9. Look, if you're a guy who manages money for other people, it looks a lot better if you're worth 3.7 billion than if you were something like700 million. So, you can raise a lot more money from people and you have a way of actually translating fake numbers, made up numbers into real assets.
VAUSE: At the end of the day though, you know, it would seem that, you know, a lot of billionaires exaggerate or inflate their wealth and some actually try to minimize it. But has there ever been a case quite like this?
ALEXANDER: This one is particularly egregious. But I'll tell you this. There are two other people who we've done long stories on about inflating their net worth. One is Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia, who interestingly enough is one of these people who was just arrested in the last week, and the other of course is Wilbur Ross's current boss, Donald Trump.
VAUSE: Well, that's a coincidence, huh? Since you mentioned Donald Trump, is there a bigger issue here? About what it says, you know, about the people that the president has hired?
ALEXANDER: Well, you know, I think that Wilbur Ross coming into the admiration was thought of as -- sort of an adult in the room, you know, this is a guy who had been really, really successful, when you talk to him, he sounds genuine. Obviously brilliant. He passed the Senate with, you know, higher margin than almost anybody else in the cabinet. And here you have a guy who's though to be one of the most trusted people, so now if you look back in his career as a long history of dishonesty. This is not just about lying to Forbes Magazine, this is a guy who's been accused of stealing business interest from his former employees. You know, a guy who the U.S. Senate said did not disclose all his lawsuit initially. So he's got a lot of issues with honesty. You know, one person told me just flat out, he's lied to a lot of people.
VAUSE: OK. I'd be happy with 700 million. Dan, thanks so much. Good to see you.
ALEXANDER: Thank you.
STOUT: And that CNN NEWSROOM from Beijing. I'm Kristie Lu Stout. We've got more news at the top of the hour. But stay tuned. "WORLD SPORT" starts after the break.
[02:45:00] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center. We are now counting down to the huge weekend of World Cup qualifying action, ahead of next year's tournament in Russia. There are 23 nations who already know they will be there. However, there are still nine places up for grabs. And yes, that means all the drama and nerve-jangling excitement of two- legged playoffs.
We start down under with a look ahead to this week's intercontinental World Cup playoffs between New Zealand and Peru. And after a daylong journey of over 6-1/2 thousand miles Peru's national team has now arrived in New Zealand as the South American nation looks to qualify for its first World Cup since Spain '82. The build-up to this match has been overshadowed by the fact that Peruvians will likely be without their all-time leading scorer and captain Paolo Guerrero, who's been handed a provisional 30-day suspension for an alleged doping violation over the weekend, with his lawyers saying to be frantically working on an appeal. The Peruvians, though, feel they still have a great chance of advancing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RENATO TAPIA, MIDFIELDER, PERU NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: It's going to be tough. New Zealand is a really strong team. But they also have to go through Peru, so it going to be -- if it's going to be tough, it is going to be more tough in Peru. So, yes, you never know what is going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: All right. Well, in Europe, there are now four nations from a total of eight who will book their place in Russia next year is four- time world champions Italy, look to overcome Sweden over the course of two legs. Meantime, a big night ahead on Thursday in Belfast when Northern Ireland take on Switzerland in their first leg encounter. Before the return game on Sunday, it's a match that will see the host captain Southampton's Steven Davis, earning his 100th international cap, as Northern Ireland look to make a statement on home soil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL O'NEILL, COACH, NORTHERN IRELAND NATIONAL TEAM: This is a real opportunity for us. I think that, you know, it gives us a real opportunity to have a foothold in the tie. We have to take that, you know, we have to balance that with a little bit of caution as well. But I do think that we need to approach it with in mind that it's a big night here, and we have to make a big night and we need a big performance here as well. Yes, the tie is made over two legs but this is our opportunity to really, you know, put our front foot forward and give ourselves, you know, that strong possession going into the second leg in Switzerland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: In Africa, there are only three spots still up for grabs as the 20 nations play their final group games. And perhaps the pick of the matches, Ivory Coast, with just two wins from their last seven since Belgium manager Marc Wilmots took over, need to beat Morocco on Saturday to qualify for a fourth successive World Cup finals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALOMON KALOU, MIDFIELDER, IVORY COAST NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM (through translator): We always had difficult qualifications. This is nothing new. I think that the pressure is on the Moroccan side because it has been a long time that they didn't take part in a World Cup. We went to the last three World Cups, so we don't need to put pressure on ourselves. If we went on Saturday, we will be qualified for the World Cup, so the pressure is on the Moroccan side.
(END VIDEO CLIP) RILEY: But it's been a frustrating 2017 for the Scottish tennis star
Andy Murray in terms of injuries, at least. Now, in other areas of his life, though, why this three-time Grand Slam champion is celebrating quite literally bundles of joy right now.
[02:50:58] RILEY: Welcome back to the show. She is a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, but when it comes to playing team tennis for her country, Belarus's Victoria Azarenka has never made any secret of just how much that actually means to her. The two-time Australian Open winner won't get the chance to do just that though, as her compatriots take on the United States without her in this weekend's Fed Cup final in her homeland as well.
Azarenka, who hasn't played since July, says she's unwilling to leave the U.S. until the future of her 10-month-old son is resolved, and she tweeted, "It is heartbreaking for me not to have a chance to play and help Belarus in the final, but unfortunately, my current custody situation is keeping me in California."
The British tennis star Andy Murray has become a father again after his wife, Kim, gave birth to a baby girl. The news comes as Murray himself was attending a tennis charity event in his native Scotland. It was there he faced the Swiss legend, Roger Federer. It's the first time the three-time Grand Slam champ has played in public since suffering a hip injury earlier this year. Murray hasn't been seen in competitive action since losing to America's Sam Querrey at Wimbledon back in the summer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY MURRAY, BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER: I've been training for a few weeks now. You know, some days I felt great, some days, you know, not so good. But I'm getting there, and, you know, I'll come back when I'm ready and like Roger said when I'm 100 percent fit. I made, you know, probably a bit of mistake trying to get ready for the U.S. Open but it was the last major of the year and I wanted to give it a go, and that's trying to, you know, get my body the rest and recovery that it needs. And I'll come back when I'm ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: One tournament Murray definitely won't be playing in is the ATP Tour finals, which starts on Sunday in England. The Scot won the event last year but with him not being able to compete this time around, we're guaranteed a new winner. Could it possibly be the young American Jack Sock, who we wonder who qualified for the prestigious London event following his surprise and hard-fought win at the recent Paris Masters? Well, earlier, he spoke with our Alex Thomas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK SOCK, AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER: Lost the first set, so you know, it wasn't the best start for me. But I just hung in there, you know, kept my nose down, and was able to turn it around, and as you can see there. Big thanks to my team, my coach there. I'm hugging my physio and then my girlfriend who's, you know, a trooper, been traveling with me for a bunch of weeks now. So, it was a great finish to the season.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You were outside the top 20 in the race for London before that, you rocketed up -- rocketed up to ninth. And then with Stan Wawrinka's injury, you are part of that final eight. Did you really believe you could qualify because you'd come from so far out?
SOCK: I honestly had no idea going into the tournament that I was still, you know, mathematically able to make it in but after I won my second match there which was the third round, they said, you know, if you're able to win the tournament and XYZ happened, you know, you can still make the -- you can make London. So, like I said, I kind of put my nose down, once again, and played, you know, point by point, went through every match.
THOMAS: Maybe that helped.
SOCK: Yes. I think so. Actually, it was -- yes, it was good motivation, you know, still far away when I heard it for the first time, but you know, now here I am able to stay here in London.
THOMAS: The draw for London has just been made in the last hour. I'll let -- show our viewers, you're in the Boris Becker group. I think with Federer, Zverev, and Marin Cilic, how do you feel about that?
SOCK: Yes, played all of them before. You know, Roger's gotten me every time like a lot of players, but I guess, I open with him on Sunday. So, you know, I obviously have to play some great tennis to try to win that one, but played Cilic, played Zverev, gotten wins over both of them but obviously, you know, they're all -- there's top eight guys here for a reason, everyone is playing some --
THOMAS: But also what happened in Paris. I guess you now believe more than ever anything is possible.
SOCK: Yes, 100 percent. I went into my first round in Paris, I was down 5-1 in the third set, was able to turn that around and, you know, hoist the trophy at the end. And so -- yes, I mean, anything's possible. I'm going to come in this week, play some free tennis, sneak into the last spot and really enjoy it and, you know, see what happens.
[02:55:11] THOMAS: You're the first American into the (INAUDIBLE) ATP World Tour finals since Mardy Fish in 2011. Do you feel the pressure of carrying the flag for your country?
SOCK: Not necessarily, no. I mean, like I said, I wasn't -- didn't expect to be, you know, in this position to be here in London playing. So, I'm going to go out there and really enjoy it and have fun. My dad --
THOMAS: You're already following in the footsteps of the likes of Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors.
SOCK: Yes, I mean, obviously a lot of tennis greats and legends coming from the U.S. but I'm happy to be a part of it. I hope, you know, in the future there's a group of Americans out here, you know, playing in the Masters in the year-end finals. So, yes, I mean, I'm thankful and blessed it's me, you know, to be here and playing, you know, this next week, but hopefully, there's a group of us, you know, striving and can get to here.
RILEY: We wish Jack all the best. That brings this edition of WORLD SPORT to a close. Before we leave you, though, we're going to give you a preview of the penultimate event of golf's European Tour in South Africa this week, where Sweden's Alex Noren is the defending champion. Here's our "ROLEX MINUTE."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nestled in the cradle of an extinct volcano in South Africa, a field brimming with Major winners, former world number ones, and past tournament champions, will tee off on Thursday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Known as Africa's Major, the unique setting ensures a special fondness to 2012 winner Martin Kaymer.
MARTIN KAYMER, GERMAN PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: South Africa needs a really big tournament because they deserve one. But this place, for me, obviously I have a very good experience here, very good memories, and it's just a different atmosphere. You know, you play on a golf course here and 200, 300 yards away there's a wildlife, it's crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But with an exhilarating location comes tougher tests.
KAYMER: Obviously, it's always a key to know how hard the ball really flies and work with the altitude and the ball flies very far, I think you really need to use the Par 5s, and you need to drive as well. As long as you hit the fairway it's OK. Sometimes from the rough, it's very difficult to judge the distances. Coming from the rough with the altitude was always very tough.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, everyone. This is CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Center.