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Trump Calls Out China for Aggressive Economics; Interview with Women from the #MeToo Movement

Aired December 20, 2017 - 14:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, as President Trump calls out China for economic aggression, a rare interview with Beijing`s top man in

Washington. Ambassador Cui Tiankai on what this all means for the rival powers and for the nuclear neighbor, North Korea.

Plus, is a backlash brewing against the #metoo movement. Historian and journalists who both been following this cultural shift join me to discuss.


AMANPOUR: Good Evening everyone and welcome to the program. I`m Christiane Amanpour in London. President Donald Trump is ending the year

on a high. He`s just won a legislative victory with his pledge to make massive tax cuts and is watching the stock market soar to record highs of

its own.

But the year also ends with great disruption to America`s relations around the world. That could turn around and bite America workers where it hurts.

A potential trade war could be looming with China as Trump follows through on another campaign promise to paint that country as an economic threat

that challenges America.

Ambassador Cui Tiankai is Beijing`s envoy to the United States as he joins me now from his embassy in Washington D.C. Ambassador, welcome to the


CUI TIANKAI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR: Thank you, good evening.

AMANPOUR: Good evening to you. let me first start by asking you about your reaction to the national security review that President Trump outlined

and if you would mind, Ambassador, I`m just going to start with a sound byte so that you can get a flavor of what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth. We will

attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest.


AMANPOUR: So when you heard that, what did you think in particularly as compared with what`s actually written in the document which goes a lot


TIANKAI: Well I think for any strategy, to look truly like a stratagem. It will need a couple of things, first a truly global outlook and a forward

looking vision and a construction and appropriate approach. And frankly, I think that the current strategy could be improved in all these aspects.

AMANPOUR: Well that -

TIANKAI: As far as China is concerned, we are not seeking -

AMANPOUR: You`re about to say you`re not seeking to challenge America. I think that`s what you`re going to say, so I want to ask you to comment on

what actually was written in the document. Basically the document describes China in terms of economic aggression, as a threat to the United


It say China presents it`s admissions as mutually beneficial but Chinese dominance risks diminishing the sovereignty of many states in the end

pacific. And as you know, the national security advisor said last week that Russia is a - sorry, China is a revisionist power that`s undermining

the international order. That`s pretty harsh.

TIANKAI: Well, you have raised a number of question, let me try to respond one by one. First of all, as I said earlier, China is not seeking global

dominance. We believe in today`s world, all countries are confronted with a lot of common challenges and we do share a growing common interest.

So what is importance for us is to form a wide based global partnership to respond to the common challenges. And to build a community of nations that

will have a share and better future. This is our globe. We don`t think there is a zero sum game between any countries, especially between China

and United States.

Economically, the fact is China U.S. economies have become increasingly connected and inter dependant. And both our economies, both our people

have benefitted form this fact and China will continue to open its door wider to the rest of the world, including in particular the United States.

And the huge and growing Chinese market is providing tremendous opportunities to U.S. business. At the same time, Chinese business is also

coming to the U.S. To invest and create jobs. So, I think a stronger tie - a stronger economical tie would benefit both countries and benefit those


Of course we have to recognize The United States is the largest and strongest economy in the world. So, very often U.S. now creates economic

policies do have external impact on others, including on China.


TIANKAI: So we have to watch very carefully.

AMANPOUR: OK, Ambassador. You know you`re talking very much in terms of partnership and certainly in his verbal comments to President Xi and about

President Xi. President Trump talks about partnership, but this national security review paints a different picture. So, were you surprised, did

you have a heads up? Did you know, did China know what was coming in this document?

And I specifically ask you, because you`ve been very prominent in paving the way for meetings between your president and President Trump.

Particularly, the first meeting in Mar A Lago that everybody called a roaring success.

TIANKAI: Well, there are always conflicting views about our relationship to The United States. We are fully aware of this. So, this is not

something entirely new. It`s been with us for maybe a decade and we have to stress and put our emphasis on the growing economy interest and mutual

needs between our two countries.

Of course, our two presidents have had very good meetings at Mar A Lago and in Beijing more recently. And we are very encouraged by the policy of

development. Especially, at the top level and we have also established high level dialogue mechanism. All of these mechanisms have worked well

for both countries and we should continue.

We should continue to build a positive momentum generated by good communication between our two leaders.

AMANPOUR: And do you fear...

TIANKAI: It has to do with specific issues. Manage possible differences.

AMANPOUR: ...yes, and do you fear...

TIANKAI: In an American trusting manner.

AMANPOUR: ...yes, do you fear a possible in position of tariffs as the President and his people threatened you know, certainly during campaign and

potentially in the early years of this administration. Do you think that`s now a real possibility?

TIANKAI: I think for countries like The United States and China we have to follow a very positive, cooperative, and constructible approach. Even when

dealing with some possible differences with other countries. Because a trade war, a currency war would hurt both countries. We have to coordinate

our positions to have a fuller understanding of the concerns and needs of the other side.

And try to build a position that will take care of the interests of both countries. We have to proceed on the base of mutual respect and much

better mutual understanding. And that will bring a winning outcome for all of us.

AMANPOUR: OK, well here`s a win-win question that I need to ask you about and that is about North Korea. Of course, President Trump has really

relied on President Xi to reign in North Korea, but the interesting development seems to be that there are reports that both of your countries

have had military conversations in Washington last month, according to the ST and the New York Times.

To talk about contingencies if there is any kind of collapse or conflict in North Korea. Is that the case, can you confirm that those conversations

are going on?

TIANKAI: I think that China and The United States do have share goals on the Korean (peninsula). We both stand for denuclearization of the entire

Korean peninsula. We both want to maintain peace and stability and we both prefer a diplomatic solution to the issue. And cooperation and

coordination between China and The United States have played a big part in strengthening international efforts to address this particular issue.


TIANKAI: And we should continue. Of course, we firmly believe - yes we firmly believe war is no option on the Korean peninsula. War or armed

conflict is no option. We have to seek diplomatic and peaceful solutions to the issue.

AMANPOUR: And what is...

TIANKAI: And China and The United States have to work together on this.

AMANPOUR: Right, and to that end I want to play this sound byte from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who discussed what might happen in the

case of a conflict or a collapse of the North Koran regime. Listen to what he just said this last week.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE, THE UNITED STATES: The most important thing to us would be securing those nuclear weapons they already developed

and (assures) that nothing falls into the hands of people who we would not want to have it. We`ve had conversations with the Chinese about how that

might be done.

We have had conversations in if that is something happened and we had to go across the line, we have given the Chinese assurance we would go back. And

retreat back to the South of the (38th) parallel.


AMANPOUR: (Ambassador), that`s an extraordinary public description of very, very detailed conversations that they`re having with you. What

conversations are you having with North Korea about this?

CUI TIANKAI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: I think that real job for China and United States is to do whatever we can to prevent (the)

conflict from happing on the current issue. And this (will serve) the larger interest of everybody concerned. China, (United Nation) remain

committed to this goal.

AMANPOUR: All right. Ambassador Cui Tiankai, thanks very much for joining us from Washington with Beijing prospective. Thank you, very much.

TIANKAI: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And, from challenges abroad, to how we face the threats that hide in plain site in our own neighborhood, homes and even our churches.

When the Boston Globe`s spot light team uncovered the abuse of children by Catholic priests in 2002, it shook the church to its very foundation and

saw the church even beg for forgiveness. But, those memories are awakening in some today. With news of the death Boston`s former Archbishop, Cardinal

Bernard Law, at age eighty-six.

He`d been accused of covering up for the priests, who of themselves were accused, of child abuse and moving them around from church to church. So,

how much has really changed? Law had retired to the Vatican and has been announced that he will get a full Cardinals burial at St. Peter`s Basilica

with the Pope giving the final blessing.

Today, at an emotional press conference in Boston, the victims of abuse, allegedly enabled by Bernard Law spoke out again.


ALEXIS MCPERSON, ABUSE SURVIVOR: You made us disappear. And you, he wrote a letter to the Archbishop in Thailand. When my priest originated from my

abuser and he said: You need to recall him so that we can avoid grave scandal for the church. Where was I in that letter? No where, no where.

I didn`t exist. The church existed and that`s wrong. That`s just wrong.

AMANPOUR: The horror is still so real for these people and in 2016, as I said, the film, (Spotlight), won best picture of the Oscars, the true story

of the Boston Globe investigative team that exposed these church crimes. At the time, I spoke to the movie star, Mark Ruffalo and his director, Tom



MARK RUFFALO, ACTOR, "SPOTLIGHT": In the days of hiding these kinds of issues are gone now. I mean, the internet, people ability to speak to one

another, it`s, it`s created a (decentralized) kind of information nexus that makes these kinds of stories finally have a powerful way of being


We know the truth, and we know the culturally. It`s no longer a story that`s in a small segment of the population. We all know about it now. So

now, we get to act on it.


AMANPOUR: And just as it was the power of journalism that brought the world`s attention to sexual abuse in the church, this year we saw the same

power finally expose sexual abuse the work place, setting the ground for the MeToo Movemnet.

As 2017 comes to an end though, we ask, will the movement live on? With me to discuss are (Mary Beard), author of "Women in Power" and presenter of a

highly rated television program on ancient history here in Britain and Rebecca Traister, writer and author of "Big Girls Don`t Cry". Ladies,

thank you both for joining me.

Mary, let me ask you first, put this movement in context.

MARY BEARD, AUTHOR OF "WOMEN IN POWER": How wide of a context do you want, Christiane? You can back to two and a half thousand years if you want.

AMANPOUR: Well, let`s just go back about 30 years. (Dale Ruban), Cultural Anthropologist and a female activist has observed. That during certain

times in history, humans (set) to renegotiate the sexual order. She noted that they produced laws, institutions and most important (norms) that

govern sexuality for decades after. That`s written up in the New Yorker. Is that what we`re seeing now?

BEARD: Well, it might be but I`m far from convinced that it is. That`s why I think, actually, a much longer perspective helps you kind of

understand what`s going on better because when I think that, it may be in a few years, we will look back at (me) too in just that way. I hope so.

AMANPOUR: What gives you cause?

BEARD: What gives me cause is that if you think the real underlying problem here is the power structure between men and women, then however

important a catalyst people speaking up might be, however brave they`re being, however important it is in a sense to out some of (inaudible) that`s

been going on.

Nevertheless, if the power structure remains the same, ultimately, and imbedded in that it`s going to take much longer to change. Now, I hope

that`s not the case but my kind of gloomy analytical perspective is that, so as long as the power relationship between men and women are as they are,

then something like this is not quite ever going to go away.

AMANPOUR: Well Rebecca, I see you in there in New York nodding, I think. Do you think from a much more, in your face, sort of modern perspective

covering it right now, that this is a changing point, that this is a tipping point about the power structure itself?

TRAISTER: Well, on the one hand I so agree with Professor Beard, in that this is such a long term readjustment of power, but I don`t feel gloomy

about it because I -- I`m somebody who`s looking at this particular step and I think it is going to be catalytic.

It`s not going to take us to fixing the problem, because as Mary Beard says, this is eons of human behavior and a power structure that was built

around gendered and racial privilege and inequality, and taking it apart takes lifetimes, centuries.

However, I see residences between a period, you mentioned 30 years ago and the United States 25 years ago when Anita Hill testified about her

experiences of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Clarence Thomas.

That was a battle that you could feel gloomy about at the time because she lost. She was treated poorly by the Senate Judiciary Committee and

Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court where he`s had a very active hand in shaping all kinds of law and law that has been damaging to

people with less power in the United States.

However, her testimony kicked off a conversation, a reexamination of sexual harassment, not just as a kind of behavioral quirk, but as a pattern of

behavior that does damage to women as a class within the public and professional sphere. That was hugely important conversation.

It did not, obviously, fix the behavior or alter the power structure in any kind of permanent way, but it was a part of a conversation that we`re

picking up in a very big and loud way right now. And I think that`s part of how these revisions work. They don`t happen all at once.


TRAISTER: They don`t get rid of just a couple bad apples and fix it.


TRAISTER: But we`re in this long process and this is part of it.


BEARD: I think Rebecca is actually spot on there, because we look here, we get very optimistic and we think things are now -- it`s really going to

change. And of course it`s going to take a long time.

But what need, and this is where I do feel optimistic, is that you kind of need a catalyst to change what`s going on in people`s heads, because this

is not actually just about people putting their hands where they shouldn`t or worse where they shouldn`t. It`s about how they think about other

people, how -- what their views of women are deep inside and you need to help them tell a different story about that.

AMANPOUR: Well you know what, that`s a really interesting point to make because Mary is bringing this up as something fundamental that needs to

change in the psyche, while others are bringing it up now, you just described different degrees of harassment and abuse and all are being

treated the same.

There are others who are now saying, including women who are writing articles saying, is this going too far? Is there a backlash? Is every

minor transgression being lumped with the major transgressions? How do you see that Mary, before I go Rebecca?

BEARD: Well, I`m going to think whenever you get a useful storm like this, you also get ragged edges to it. And you get people saying that it`s too

far -- that -- and you get other people almost objecting it entirely.

But, I think that`s goes with the territory. If you want to change things, what you do is shake things up and sometimes you shake things up in way

that is more uncomfortable than it needs to be.

This is never going to be a comfortable experience, but what you`re looking for, and I`m not worried, really, about the backlash, I`m worried about it

never quite catalyzing what we hoped.

The backlash people can go on talking about it forever as far as I`m concerned. What I`m looking for is, people in general to see that can

start a process of telling new stories about how we should behave.

AMANPOUR: Do you have any further worries about the backlash, because you`ve also written about that. You`re worried about it, Rebecca?

TRAISTER: I am -- I`m worried about it but it`s inevitable and I don`t think there`s one moment where suddenly it`s going to be oh the back lash

is now. We`re already swimming in it. As Mary says moments like this where the power structure is disrupted, right.

The stories that are being told now are stories of people who have had a disproportionate share of power in public and political and professional

life. The stories of how they`ve abused that power. The fact that the stories are being told by the people who have historically had less power.

And that those powerful men are loosing their jobs and suffering reputational economic professional harm. That makes us incredibly

uncomfortable. It`s power operating in a direction that`s now how it usually operates. And so were all made uncomfortable but by that. We all

worry that it`s going too far, it`s confusing, it`s scary, we don`t know what could come of it.

That`s all part of back lash. But it`s - it is inevitable in a moment like this. The thing I am hopeful about, Mary mentioned changing, you know

peoples minds and ideas and our practices. There`s also some hope in political electoral participation. Post Anita Hill(ph) in 92 following her

testimony and the anger of women who recognized their selves in their own experiences in her testimony.

And the anger at the view of the Senate in the United States and the judiciary committee that was all white and all male. Women ran for office

in 1992 in unprecedented numbers. And it resulted in the year of the woman. And I think we could see something - we already do see something


AMANPOUR: I was going to say actually that according to Emily`s list this is a really a generated a huge interest. More than 25,000 women interested

in running for office have contacted the group in 2017. That surely must make a difference when you get women in positions of power.

BEARD: It sure does but I think the other side of that is that at least in the U.K. it might be different in the U.S.. The would have captured media

the attention they`d(ph) be a celebrity. It`s been celebrity culture, it`s been the palace of West Minster, it`s been Hollywood, and the theater. Now

the key to whether this is really actually going to make a seismic difference is whether we actually start looking at what goes on in the

ordinary office, by the ordinary water cooler, by the ordinary photo copier because this isn`t just women at the top of the power structure.

They were finding it -

AMANPOUR: -- more and more women are coming to us and saying, you know what is as you say right at the bottom of the ladder and you don`t have as

powerful of a voice.

BEARD: If you`re looking for a big, really effective movement. It`s got to have everybody in it. Not just those that in those kind of bits in

celebrity culture which I think important as it is it`s not - it`s only an minority.

AMANPOUR: So now I want to ask you and you can chime in in a second Rebecca because I want to ask you both and I`ll go to you first. What

happens when this still happens in countries such as Sweden where they have spent decades leveling the playing field? Let me just read to you what a

Swedish journalist has written in the International New York Times.

This recognizing in a country, she`s talking about her own. That sees it`s self as best in class at gender quality has been particularly painful.

With a feminist government, a feminist foreign policy, a prime minister who calls himself a feminist. Shouldn`t we be better than this? Oh my

goodness. Rebecca what hope if it`s not even ok in Sweden?

TRAISTER: Well I think this speaks to what Mary and I are talking about. Is the length of time and the number of angles from which we have to being

to dismantle this. So there is the political - there are the political and policy fixes and we`re far behind Sweden here in the United States. When

it comes to things like equal pay protections and paid family leave and subsidized child care.

All those things that would better support women working in the public sphere. But it also about changing really deeply ingrained ions worth of

attitudes 2,000 plus years worth of attitudes about gender power possibility and equal rights. And there`s no one quick fix and that is the

bigger story is that this is a deep complicated multilayered problem.

We can`t just throw up our hands and give up though because it`s complicated. You have to start digging from every angle.

AMANPOUR: Right, so I give you the last word Mary Beard. We`ve got a minute left. You have talked to Hillary Clinton, she put in perspective

that even somebody like her have a hard struggle actually trying to be heard. So what is - give us the sort of the context as a way to kind of

protect this movement.

BEARD: I think that none of have got a quick fix here. I think we protect the movement by really doing what Rebecca`s saying. Which is saying, now

let`s put this in context let`s realize it`s not just our fault. But - the thousands women have been told to shut up, they`ve had their tongues cut

out to stop them talking about how they`ve been abused and very occasionally they`re learned to speak out and that is what we have got to

face and we`ve got to remove that sense of female violence from deep in here.

AMANPOUR: But we do need ladies, both of you, a final, final word this time, men`s help. It can`t be women against men, men against women, we do

need their help.

BEARD: Everybody has got to and that`s men and women; we`ve all got to learn different stories to tell.

AMANPOUR: Rebecca how do -- how does this play out with the men in the United States, I mean I hear all the time, oh my goodness we can`t do this,

we can`t do that; they`re all feeling a little shell-shocked.

REBECCA TRAISTER: Right they`re worried that their behavior might have repercussions or consequences, which is something that women have worried

about for as long as there have been men and women.

AMANPOUR: All right on that note, Rebecca Traister; Professor Mary Beard, thank you so much for joining me here to discuss that. And that is it for

our program tonight. Remember you can always listen to our podcasts, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks

for watching and good-bye from London.