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DealBook Online Summit 2021
November 10, 2021, Online
DealBook Online Summit 2021
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The Biden Doctrine
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About the talk

The nation’s top diplomat and longtime Biden adviser Antony Blinken shares his insight and discusses what it takes to defend American leadership abroad while protecting vital national interests at home at the 2021 DealBook Online Summit.

About speaker

Antony Blinken
Politician at U.S. Department of State
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My next guest is US Secretary of State, Anthony blinking, for nearly twenty years. He's been his adviser to President Biden. Lincoln is served three Democratic presidential administrations for Clinton Obama now. Biden, top Diplomat. He is tasked with taking on issues of our time, including relations with China. What that means for dressing climbing on a global stage and protecting vital interests at home. We welcome the secretary this morning. Thank you for joining us with the secretary about this

morning by talking about China. There were reports of just this morning that President Biden and present. She may be meeting virtually for the first time. Next week, this happening. There will be a virtual meeting between the president's coming up soon. They've had a couple of very extended conversations since President Biden has been in office. Sub multiple hours on the phone, but now we have an opportunity for them to get together at least face-to-face virtually and and hopefully it's some point in person.

Where do we miss work for me? But at some level you want to get the two, the two presidents standing next to each other. I think something like five hours on the phone over the course of several conversations when they have this, this virtual meeting that that'll be more time, more focus on a whole host of issues. Because, here's the, here's the thing. This is the most complex and also the most consequential relationship that we have the relationship with China. And it's it it's tempting

to try to put it on a bumper sticker but Do that. It has aspects of that are better competitive cooperative. And the challenge for us is to make sure that we're managing that relationship across all of these on a different aspects. Mark, quote. We are witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power. The world has witnessed. They are clearly challenging us. This is China regionally and their aspiration is to challenge the United States globally to have the, the largest and strongest economy

in the world. As far as to have the, the largest and strongest military in the world. It is fires to leadership, but not just in the region but but around the world, I think that's clearly. What is aspiration is the the nature. That leadership the nature of its engagement is is what really matters and for us the United States. We have a stake in in in a few things. As I said, we have a stake in making sure that we're managing the relationship in a way that allows us where it were possible to operate. Where were put in a where we put ourselves in position to compete and compete effectively and

where we can stand strongly where the relationship is is is more adversarial and you don't answer that requires two things. Whether it's any of these aspects of a relationship one is we have to be making the right Investments ourselves and it really does start at home. And we're seeing that we're seeing that right now. S, we're so much more effective in dealing with whatever challenge trying to pose as when we're working closely with allies and partners. Just on the economic front as you know, when we're acting alone and trying to stand up to the contact that we have Jack to when it comes to

what China's doing commercially. 420 25% of world GDP for acting in concert with allies and partners it maybe forty-five. 50% of world GDP. That's a lot harder for trying to ignore. That's why we put such an emphasis these first at 10 months in making those investments in home, and in revitalizing, our relationships and Partnerships with allies around the world. Is there any effort to contain China or do you think the view is that China? Cannot be contained? This is this is not about detaining China. It's not about holding China back. What it is

about is up holding us something that we talked a lot about the infamous International rules. We took the lead many years ago. Many, many decades ago in helping to put that order together that among other things. Encouraged that the free flow of ideas of capital of people. And based on widely shared rules and rules that were inspired by liberal values to the extent. That order is being challenged by. Anyone weather is China or anyone else. We will stand up and defend it.

That's what this is about. It's about upholding that order, and it's about making sure that as the world is moving forward, were engaged in a race to the top, not a race to the bottom. So much of the world in the business world is looking at Taiwan as, as the neck, as the centerpiece is, in the chest piece in, what happens next. And there seems to be still so much confusion about what the United States will or will not do and what is required to do or not. If in fact, China were to reach Taiwan

We Stand strongly against anyone taking unilateral action to disrupt the, the status quo by force and we have commitments longstanding commitments, under the Taiwan Relations Act, to make sure the Taiwan has the ability to defend itself. We're committed to the Taiwan Relations Act and our responsibilities to do just that we we continue to adhere to the one China policy, but that is based on the The Taiwan Relations Act. It's based on various assurances and Brian Kim. It must have been

made, but we will make sure that I want us to be stupendous up because the purpose here is never to get to that point where anyone is actually trying to disrupt the status quo by force to make sure that deterrence is there and that no one engages in actions that could be profound. Lee profoundly disruptive, dangerous world, peace and security. Maybe this is a language question, but I went back to look at the law and effectively. It says, quote, the United States is quote, to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defensive capability. And you talked about them at maintaining that

the defense itself. What is that mean? It comes in what our role would be? Our role as I said, is to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself. Because ultimately, we would step in and defend it. I think that's that's that's the big question. Our role is to make sure that has the means to defend itself because if it does, that is the best to turn against any very, very, very unfortunate action. That it might be contemplated by, that's what we're focused on it. At the same time. I think it's fair to say that we're we're

not alone in this determination to make sure that we preserve peace and stability in that part of the world. There are many countries both in the region and beyond that would see any unilateral action to use Force to disrupt the status quo, as a significant threat to peace security and they too would would take action in the event that that happens. But again, the purpose here is to make sure that no one does that. Give me ask you a question about the business Community for a moment and China. I think there's a lot of Business Leaders, especially United States

that are challenged about thinking about how to do business or not in China right now, given all of the issues that are taking place and I'm curious how you think about that issue. So a couple things here. First for my perspective, this is not about decoupling from China trade investment in in both directions. And what other countries is important to all of us and done the right way with a with a Level Playing Field with with the playing by the rules. It's a good thing. It's a good thing for us. It's a good thing for

China's a good thing for any other country. So that's not the issue. It's not, it's not about the coupling. It's not about stopping trade. It's not about stopping investment. It is about making sure. I said that this. It's done in a way that we have a Level Playing Field that there is genuine reciprocity in the way, trying to engage the world commercially and the way the rest of us engage China. And it is also about making sure that when it comes to particularly sensitive areas, we're protecting them and that we recognize that there may be some some threats that come along with

engaging with China. Because here's the problem. Particularly for sensitive areas of technology and investment. For example, coming from China, it in those areas. There is no separation between private Enterprise and the state and a private Enterprise. In China is absolutely the home to the state and if the state wants information, if it wants intellectual property, if it wants anything that one of these Enterprises is having access to as a result of its investment or its engagement. The state will get it. So countries have to be very very aware of that at the same

time. I think that what I'm saying from, you know, companies around the world and in countries around the world is to the extent that Ryan is engaged in repressive activities at home. We don't want to be in the business of providing the technology to do that. And I think you're seeing that increasingly around the world. Similarly, if products are made as a result of a forced labor or Worse, we shouldn't be in the in the business of acquiring that it buying it. So Is there a certain guardrails around us that I think the world is it is establishing but not for the purpose of the

coupling. Number of us Business Leaders over the past year or two have come out a quite publicly making pronouncements about politics, or frankly, moral issues in the United States. And they have often been described by some in political quarters as Hypocrites because they will speak in the United States but they won't speak out with it when they do business in China. What do you think of that? And do you think that they have an obligation to speak out in a place like China? Pull up businesses decide for themselves. How

they want to approach these issues there. Their they're incredibly complicated. There are. I think you do good faith arguments in in, in various directions. What I'm hearing again from company after company in the United States and around the world is a clear focus on making sure, for example, that they're not providing technology to China with anyone else that could be used to repress people and similarly, that they're not engaged in businesses with in, in business with these are countries that are producing Things based on on Force labor. So that's, that's one thing. I

think this is very important, but look companies have to make these decisions. They also were hearing from shareholders their hearing from their own employees. All of those things are factored into the decisions. They make a question that came in from the audience. So I'll ask it. And then the question is, can progress with China. Be made when present, she is able to play the long game while the US Administration. No guarantee of more than four years in office and what we want and expect from China. That's a great question and a couple of things first

to be outside. I'm going around the world and trying to help lead our our foreign policy at his request. What I know is this for everything I can do the state department can do. Maybe the most important thing we can do, is to actually start by making these investments in ourselves and also demonstrating that are our system can actually deliver Real Results. That's that's where it all starts. Because here's the story that autocracies are telling around the world. They're saying that that our system, our democratic system can't deliver

anymore. The world is moving too fast or systems, are polarized are paralyzed. They're not producing results, autocracies are. So if we can start by showing results in making the right investments in ourselves and our people, and it's showing that our system can actually deliver it. That in and of itself. As the most powerful thing in that helps the long game to deal with investing ourselves, which is Ron semiconductors, has been moving at 6 to invest in part. Because in Taiwan, the question that I was going to ask you though is, would you do business effectively and bring in Taiwan

semiconductor, which is based there. To help manufacture here. Given the long-term potential implications of that. So I think we have to develop further capacity to 22 actually manufacture the highest and semiconductors in the United States. And in other countries, we as you know, do the Innovation, but the actual production and Manufacturing is in other places, but if it's a complicated piece of business are semiconductor companies for them, China is a huge market for the sort of run-of-the-mill day in day out.

Honey collectors have sold their, it's a huge source of the profits. Those profits are then, plowed back to companies here and put into research and development among other things and that allows us to keep our eyes. So it's important to maintain that. But when it comes to the most Leading Edge semiconductors, we have to make sure that we were protecting that that technology and that includes making sure we have some capacity to manufacture here. There is I won't get into politics or legislation but suffice to say that there are things happening in

Congress. That is very important that will allow us to do that. You said earlier this year, that you were Consulting with allies about the Olympic games that are going to be taking place in Beijing in 2022, and I was curious if there's an update on that and what do you think that us athletes should be participating in the game? Is given that the United States has in your words? Describe China, as being involved, in genocide. We are talking to to, to allies to Partners. Two countries, around the world about how they're thinking about the game. So, they're thinking about

participation. It's an active conversation. We're coming, we're coming up on the games, but let me leave it at that for today on a decision, one of the other. Well, let's see if the games are coming up with it and so before then this meeting to the conversation around. Move it. It just a second cuz I know you just came from a meeting around vaccines, but When pressing by meets with President XI, how much of a conversation you think's going to be around this ongoing investigation into the origin of covid? What, what

that's going to be part of it. And it's important to be really clear about this because I know that some in China, including leadership think that this investigation into the originals is, actually a political tool, a cudgel to try to hammer them. That's not at all the point. This is not about 22 finger in placing. Blame. It is about understanding what happened. So that were in a better place to prevent it from happening again. That's what we need to know. That's why we need to know it. And so, I hope that the China will step up to his responsibilities to

make sure that it is cooperating with the effort to find out the originals of the on the pandemic to make sure that information is being shared, experts are being made available, There's real transparency and that we can work together because we have to work together to make sure that we're putting in place, a better more effective system to prevent this from happening again. You just came from a meeting where you announced a plan to, to get more vaccines. Into developing or less developed countries and places, frankly, that have had thus far no access

upper Burrell. I hear from Pfizer grade. How you think about the pharmaceutical companies and how they have done, not in terms of the creation of the vaccine, which, of course is a miracle. But in terms of its distribution, Look, they have performed Miracles, support to say that and what's what's what's been done with the creation of act scene of different kinds? Especially the MRNA is remarkable, and they need to be applauded for that. I think as a as an International Community with all of the different actors involved, government's company's

International Organization. We have fallen short of the mark when it comes to distribution and especially when it comes to equitable distribution. How can it be that in the United States? In Europe? We have vaccination rates that on average are of are probably somewhere around 60% in Africa. It's under under 14%, That's not only wrong. It's a, it's a huge problem because we know that we keep repeating it, but it's important. As long as the virus is replicating somewhere. It's going to be mutating. And if it's mutating at some point, we're going to get a variant to defeat the vaccine. So

we have an imperative to get ahead of this and that means companies have to step up countries have to step up International organizations. Have to step up. One of the things we did today, Andrew. Is that we've agreed with all the international organization and the companies involved to actually have a Tracker. So that we know who's producing. What, who is Distributing, what who needs, what where it's needed. And to make sure that there's one place. Where all of that information is located. We need that kind of transparency and that's what gets accountability to make sure that we're making

progress. Do you think though that if there had been a waiver, if the pharmaceutical companies had effectively given over their IP that there would be greater distribution of these vaccines at this point. Look, it is possible. But to be, to be perfectly honest, if you don't even with the waiver, it takes time. It takes time to put a production and place, it takes time to develop the capacity to do that. I think it's critical that we do that for 4. Next time. We have to have the ability to produce vaccines in more places around the world and we we have

to go from from piano in effect, Watership the ownership. So that countries around the world have the capacity to produce what's needed on a regional basis. So that vaccines can get more quickly to people who need them. I know you to be Distributing shots of J & J. It's part of this. Now. Is that going to be one shot or two here in the United States? As you know, now that the CDC is saying, after 2 months, everybody should get a second shot. If their first shot was J&J and I'll leave it to the experts to figure out the the details. We wanted to make sure

that Folks particularly in Conflict zones, as well as the amount of train workers who are were engaged there, and who have difficulty getting vaccines, have a way to get them. That's what we put in place. We put in place of program with J&J, with the World Health Organization to do, just that that's really important. The other thing we set up. It is something that we're calling a Kobe core with the private sector, making sure that the expertise that they can bring to bear is focused on places where it's not just a question of producing Guy saying, it's actually getting shots in arms

and there's tremendous expertise in the private sector that they're now in effect morning to this covid, poor to make sure that we can do that. The last mile where we're staying with, you know, cold chain problems, distribution problems. All of that. I think we can help solve with the with this covid 426 is just winding up this week, China, and Russia went out there. How disappointed were you about that? And what has to happen now? Welch. First, what did happen and why should say what's happened thus far cop, cuz it's, it's not over. So, let's wait and see what the, what the

final communique looks like. Let's see what what? What country is actually end up, end up doing. But we have a global methane pledge where by more than 100 countries who said that by 2030, they'll reduce methane emissions by 30% know if, if they do that. And by the way, if Chyna joins in that, that's the equivalent of taking every car off the road. Every airplane out of the Skies, every ship off to see that's how important that would be. Similarly, very important commitments on deforestation preventing it and reforestation advancing it. We know how important

that is and 65% of world GDP bus far, has signed up to commitments that if fulfilled would help us keep the 1.5 degrees warming Celsius now. We need China in the game. We need Russia in the game. And my hope is that they will stand up. They will step up. They will do the right thing. Final question for you. You started your career as a journalist. So I'm going to ask you to take your political hat off for a second. But you've also been around Washington and the Democratic party for quite some time. And is, you know, President Biden's approval ratings, have slid in

part by the way, since the exit from Afghanistan on what you think is happening inside the party, where the strength lies and where it does not. Andrew one of the great things about my job is I don't do Politics the so and unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, the Hat never comes off. So I don't want to, I don't want to engage in that. But let me, let me just say this and it and I want to come back to where we started. Where from where I sit at Secretary of State. The most important thing that we can do as a

country, Republicans Democrats Independence everyone in between that and presumably. The Democratic party is to demonstrate that we can actually produce results for our people that we can actually deliver that we can make their lives a little bit better, a little bit safer, a little bit healthier. Now we've gone from a place where as a country 30 years ago. We were we were number one in the world in investments in research and development. We fall in way back on that. We're 35, out of 37, top countries in the world in terms of the Investments. We're making an Early

Education. We fall in way back from that and when it comes to the work that the Investments we make an infrastructure, you know, we were we were in at the leader of the pack, we falling back. If we can show that we can do this, we can get our act together. That's going to be very powerful people here at home, but also also for our standing in the world. Beautiful. Nice. If I can't. If we were sitting here fifty or sixty years ago and the conversation we was having it. We're having was about how do you define the wealth of a Nation? What constitutes the talk about the expense of our,

our land mass the size of our population, the strength of our military or abundance of Natural Resources happily. We are still very strong and all of those areas, but what, you know, what I know is the real wealth of a Nation now is defined by its human resources and our ability to allow them to reach their full potential. That's what this is about. If we do that, this is going to be a very good Century for the United States, but that's the challenge. We faced Secretary of State, Lansing blank, and thank you so very much for joining us this morning. Thank you for give me back in just a

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