James Chau, news anchor and editor at China-US Focus and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador, joined us to discuss the current China and US relationship. We began with his background as a news anchor with Hong Kong TVB, BBC and CGTN (former CCTV news) and discuss his insights from his recent conversation with former US President Jimmy Carter. We dived deeper into the China and US relationship starting from 1979 and discuss how the escalating trade skirmishes between both countries might push them towards a trade war. Last but not least, we hear his perspectives on the recent detention of Huawei’s CFO and the potential implications to world politics upon the calibration of US and China relationship based on the current trade talks. 

  • James Chau (@jameschau, LinkedIn), News Anchor, and Host of your own podcast with China-US Focus (Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher). [0:22]
    • How did you start your career? [1:04]
    • You have been with Hong Kong TVB, a guest presenter on Horizons, the award winning show at BBC and long time anchor on CCTV news, or now CGTN and you have the opportunity to have interviewed important personalities: Muhammad Yunus, Ban Ki-moon, Christine Largarde and many important people globally, what’s your impressions of their thinking and the experience of interviewing these movers and shakers? [2:57]
    • On your recent trip to the US, you have the opportunity to speak to former US President Jimmy Carter again, what are the new takeaways you learned from the conversation with him this time round? [6:11]
    • You have an interesting career, being in tune as a news anchor on what’s happening across the world, what are the interesting lessons you can share with my audience? [10:20]
    • You are currently an editor with China-US Focus, an initiative of the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the podcast, what’s the aim of the initiative and who are the audience that you are trying to reach? [13:30]
  • China and US Relationship [16:56]
    • Let’s start from where we are now, what is the chronology behind US and China’s relationship and how did it end up towards a pending trade war? [17:20]
    • Can you provide in the context of the trade war and what it means for the current China and US relationship? [21:04]
    • Does the rise of China, intellectual property theft and difficulty of US tech companies operating in China leading them to a Thucydides trap?  [25:00]
    • What is happening now is reminiscent of the rivalry between US and Japan in the 1970s. Some experts think that US is pushing China towards a new Cold War, and in fact, I hear from foreign policy experts talking about the digital cold war, where the US is now gathering their allies, for example, banning Huawei on the pretext of cybersecurity and stopping Chinese technology companies to acquire any US tech companies, does that impede China’s ambition to be technology independent nation?  [29:00]
    • We hear the concept of “Made in China 2025” and recently, the Chinese government has dropped it in order to appease the US government and de-escalating the trade tensions, what is that about and will they continue to focus to move in that direction? [34:07]
    • The recent detention of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou in Canada who happens to be the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, immediately after the meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump, what are your perspectives on the whole event? With Canada caught in the centre and their citizens now detained in China, should they have done this favor for the US and what can they do now given China exerting pressure on them from trade and detention of their citizens? [36:25]  
    • One major criticism from US is that China impose technology transfer and peek into the source code of US tech companies and allow unfair competition against US companies before they can enter into China, will that requirement change in order for the current tensions to end?  [41:10]
    • Where do you think the future of US-China relationship will go in 2019 and eventually for the next 20 years? [44:40]
  • Closing [47:29]
    • Can you recommend a book or movie or podcast or anything which recently made an impact to your work and personal life? [47:46]
    • How do my audience find you? [50:56]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is edited by Carol Yin, and co-produced by Carol Yin and Bernard Leong.