TRISH: What's your current assessment of where the trade talks actually are right now, too? So give me a current assessment of where we are on these trade talks. Do you believe a deal is possible?
XIN： It is true that the satellite connection is not very good, but I believe that you asking me where we are in terms of trade negotiations. I don't know. I don't have any insight or information. What I knew was the talks were not very successful last time. They were going on in the united states, and now I think both sides are considering what to go next. But I think China has made, the Chinese government has made its position very clear that unless the united states treat the Chinese government treat the Chinese negotiation team with respect and show the willingness to talk without using outside pressure, there is high possibility that there could be a productive trade deal. Otherwise I think we might be facing a prolonged period of problems for both sides.
TRISH: And I would I would stress that trade wars are never good. They're not good for anyone. So I want to believe, Xin, I want to believe that something can get done.
TRISH: These are certainly challenging times. I realize there's a lot of rhetoric out there, let me turn to one of the biggest issues and that's intellectual property rights. I mean, fundamentally I think we can all agree it's never right to take something that's not yours and yet in going through so many of these cases， cases at the independent world trade organization, the WTO that China is a member of, as well as the DOJ and FBI cases, you can actually see some of them are on the screen right now. There's evidence there that China has stolen enormous amounts of intellectual property, hundreds of billions of dollars worth. Now. You know that's a lot of money. But truly, I guess we shouldn't really care if IT's hundreds of billions of dollars or just fifty cents. How do American businesses operate in China if they're at risk for having their property, their ideas, their hard work stolen?
XIN： Well, I think, Trish, you have to ask American businesses whether they wanted to come to China. Whether they find coming to China and cooperating with Chinese businesses has not been a profitable or not, and they will l tell you their answers. As far as I understand, many American companies have been established in China and they're very profitable. And the great majority of them I believe, plan to continue to invest in China and explore the Chinese market. Well, now US president Donald Trump's tariffs makes it a little bit more difficult makes the future a little bit uncertain. I do not deny that there are IP infringement. There are copyright issues or their piracy or even theft of commercial secrets. I think that is something that has to be dealt with. And I think the Chinese government and Chinese people, and me as an individual, I think there's a consensus, because without the protection of IP right, nobody, no country, no individual can be stronger, can develop itself. So I think that is a very clear consensus among the Chinese. You know society and of course there are cases where individuals were companies go and steal, and I think that's a common practice probably in every part of the world. There are companies in the united states who sue each other all the time over infringement on IP rights and you can't say simply because these cases are happening that America is stealing or China is stealing or the Chinese people are stealing. And basically that's the reason why I wrote that rebuttal, because I think this kind of blanket statement is really not helpful.
TRISH: IT's not just a statement, it's multiple reports including evidence from the WTO. But let me ask you about Huawei because that's certainly the headlines right now.
XIN： Sure, I don't deny those.
TRISH: I think as I said we can all agree that if you're gonna do business with someone, it has to be based on trust and you don't want anyone stealing your valuable information that you spent decades working on. Anyway. China passed a law in 2017 requiring tech companies to work with the military and the government. So it's not just individual companies, right? That might be getting access to this technology. It's the government Itself, which is an interesting nuance. But I get that China is upset that Huawei is not being welcomed into the US markets. I totally get it. So let me just ask you this. It's an interesting way to think about, I think. What if we said, hey, you know, sure, Huawei, come on in, but here's the deal. You must share all those incredible technological advances that you've been working on. You gotta share it with us. Would that be okay?
XIN： Oh, I think it is. If it is through cooperation, if it is through a mutual learning, if you pay for the use of this IP of this high technology, I think it's absolutely fine. Why not? We all prosper because we learn from each other. I learned English because I had American teachers. I learn English because I had American friends. I still learn how to do journalism and because I have American copy editors or editors. So I think that's fine as long as it is not illegal, I think everybody should do that. And that's how you get better. Right?
TRISH: But you mentioned something pretty important, which is that you should pay for the acquisition of that. And you know, look, I think that the liberalized economic world in which we live has valued intellectual property, and it's governed by a set of laws and so we all need to kind of play by the rules and play by those laws. If we're going to have that kind of trust between each other. But I think you bring up some good points. Let me turn to China right now, which is now, wow, the second largest economy, at what point will China decide to abandon its developing nation status and, well, stop borrowing from the world bank?
XIN： Well, I think this kind of discussion is going on and I heard very live discussions about this and indeed there are people talking about China already becoming so big. Why don't you just grow up? Basically. I think you said it in your program as well. China, grow up. Well, I think we want to grow up. We don't want to be you know dwarfed or poor, underdeveloped all the time. But it depends on how you define developing country. Right? If you look at China's overall size, the overall size of the Chinese economy, yes, we are very big the world's number one. But don't forget we have 1.4 billion people. That is over three times the population of the united states. So if you divide the second largest overall economy in the world, basically when it comes down to per capita GDP where I think less than one sixth of the united states and even less than some other more developed countries in Europe. So you tell me, where shall we put ourselves. This is a very complicated issue because per capita, as I said is very small, but overall it's very big, so we can do a lot of big things and people are looking up, looking upon us to do much more around the world. So I think we are doing that. We're contributing to the united nations, we are the world's biggest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions, and we're beginning out donations and human humanitarian aid and all of that because we know we have to grow up. And Trish, thank you for that reminder.
Trish: Let's get to the tariffs. I've seen some of your commentaries too. And Xin, I appreciate that you think China could lower some of its tariffs. I I watched you say that and I'm totally in agreement with you. In 2016, the average tariff, effectively a tax that was charged on an American good in China was 9.9 percent. Now that was nearly three times what the U.S. is charging. So what do you say about this? What do you think about saying, hey, you know, the heck with these tariffs? Let's get rid of them altogether. Would that work?
Xin: I think that will be a wonderful idea. I mean. Don’t you think? For American companies, products from China would be even cheaper and for consumers in China, products from America would be so much more, so much cheaper too. I think there would be a wonderful idea. I think we should work towards that. But you know you talked about rule-based system, rule-based order. This is the thing. If you want to change the rules, it has to be done in mutual consensus. Basically we talk about tariffs it is not just between China and the United States. I understand if you lower tariffs just between China and the United States, the Europeans will come. The Japanese will come. The Venezuelans probably would come and say, hey, we want the same tariff, you can't discriminate, you know, between countries. So it is a very complicated settlement to reach. I think the last time when the world agreed on the kind of tariff reduction China should commit to was exactly the result of multilateral and years of difficult negotiations. The United States saw in its interests and decided to what degree they can agree or to what degree they can lower their tariff. Nobody could have a gun at their head and China agree to, although with some difficulties, to lower our tariff considerably. It is all the decision of countries according to their own self-interests.
Now things are different. Yes, I agree. Twenty years later what are we going to do? Maybe these old rules need to be changed. You know what? Let's talk about it. Let's do it according to the rules. The same rules? If you don't like the rules, we’ll change the rules. But again, it has to be a multilateral decision, process.
Trish: I could just say you know you can go back to the trade agreement of 1974, Section 301. There is a rule that enables the United States to use tariffs to try and influence behavior of China should it be taking, stealing our intellectual property. And that I think in some ways is part of what this all comes back to, and it's this sense of trust. And I hear you on the forced technology transfer and I think that some American companies perhaps have made some mistakes in terms of being willing to overlook what they might have to give up in the near term. But this is an issue I think where the country as a whole needs to step in and we're seeing the United States do that. Perhaps in a way that hasn't happened. I mean, it’s been in the background. Don't get me wrong. I think previous administrations have identified the challenge but have really been a little unwilling to take it on. So we're living in these very different times. How do you define state capitalism.
Xin: We would like to define it as socialism with Chinese characteristics where the market forces are expected to play the dominating or the deciding role in the allocation of resources. Basically，you know, we want it to be a market economy. But there are some Chinese characteristics for instance, uh some state-owned enterprises which are playing an important but increasingly smaller role maybe in the economy. And everybody thinks that China's economy is state-owned, everything is state controlled, everything is state, state, state. But let me tell you it is not the true picture. If you look at the statistics for instance 80 percent of Chinese employees were employed by private enterprises, 80 percent of Chinese exports were done by private companies, were produced by private companies. About 65 percent of technological innovation were achieved, were carried out by private enterprises. Some of the largest companies that affect our life for instance some internet companies or some 5G technology companies they are private companies. We are, yes, a socialist economy with Chinese characteristics but it's you know not everything is state-controlled, state run, not like that. We are actually quite mixed and very dynamic and actually very very open as well.
Trish: Well I think you need to probably keep being open. I think that you know as a free trade person myself I think that that's the direction to pursue. And ultimately that leads to greater economic prosperity for you and better economic prosperity for us and so then you get a win. This is interesting. I appreciate you being here.
Xin: Thank you so much. If you if you want to have a discussion in the future we can do that. If you want to come to China. You're welcome and I'll take you around. Thank you Trish for the opportunity. Thank you so much.
Trish: You know, look, I would just say it as as I told Xin, no one wants a trade one. We have to think long and hard about the right next steps.