08/07/2017 Dateline London

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Foreign correspondents currently posted to London look at events in the UK through outsiders' eyes, and at how the issues of the week are being tackled around the world.

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Hello and welcome to Dateline London, I'm Jane Hill.


This week we discuss what the world leaders meeting in Germany


We look at continuing problems on India's border,


both with China and Pakistan; and also - after an exceptionally


busy few months - just how desperate is everyone for a holiday?!


Iain Martin, columnist for The Times;


Nabila Ramdani, the French-Algerian journalist;


Henry Chu, the Europe Editor of Variety;


The discussions in the Germany city of Hamburg this weekend involving


the World's leaders, come at a delicate time


North Korea; climate change; the immigration


crisis; Trump in Europe, the list goes on.


Iain - President Trump now tells us there's going to be a very fast


Yes, so it seems. Good news for Britain, and bad news. The good news


there seems to be a trade deal. The bad news, Donald Trump has confirmed


at some point he's coming to the UK. Depending on one's review. Britain


is a very divided country. He may do us a service, uniting Britain


against such a visit. The other big story out of the G20 is the


weakening of American power. I am reminded, having seen a lot of these


summits some are thinking back to the violence in Nice, Genoa. This


backdrop of chaos and extreme violence, 15 years ago, these events


were about American power, the projection of American power.


America solving the world's problems. That is now clearly no


longer the place. Power has become diffused. We focus on Trump for


obvious reasons, he is entertaining, controversial figure. He is not as


powerful as he thinks. Or as a lot of Americans think. Everybody is


nodding around the table. I do agree with what you have just said. The


violence we are seeing on the streets Hamburg this weekend is the


perfect metaphor for international diplomacy. Intense passions have


been aroused. The principal person responsible is Donald Trump's


position as the alleged leader of the free world. Hardly an


environment for constructive policy making. In the past, summits of


these kind used to be all about adhesion and problem solving. --


cohesion. Now all about PR and showboating. All the leaders


marching off to the next meeting. Posing for these endless pictures.


In effect, this testifies to a crisis in confidence, and in fact,


the Western consensus so prevalent for many years. People talk about


post-capitalism. This is almost posted diplomacy this commentator is


far more concerned about misspeaking, that kind of thing.


Rather than anything of any substance. No one dares say what


they really think? The IDE can get any consensus, let alone policy done


at these kind of meetings, frankly absurd. Let's not forget, these


leaders can link up at any time, nowadays in the great communication


era. The idea of going to get anything done over a very violent,


hot and socially awkward meeting is ridiculous. I agree what comes out


of these meetings is often bland to the point of pointless. How many of


us can remember a communique issued from one of these summits. I don't


necessarily think there is a complete break from the past.


Interesting you mention 15 years ago from protest against American might.


Then you had President George W Bush talking about, for example, imposing


tariffs on steel, exactly what is happening today. Continuity with


what happened 15 years ago and today. I do agree, the isolation the


US is undergoing because of our current leader is not anything I


have witnessed in my lifetime. Usually America was seen as ahead of


the curve, at least trying to leave. This is America retreating, finding


itself not just being shunned by powers that we thought were


unfriendly, but those we thought were friendly. When you have won


against 19 in a communique against climate change, that says something.


That was a process begun by President Obama, the retreat after


the disaster of Iraq. I am not associating Obama with Trump given


their approach to world affairs is entirely different. Trump may be


accelerating the process of America's retreat from the world.


Obama took a very different view from Clinton. Even longer than 15


years. The tail end of the Clinton era. Demonstrations, the early Bush


years. Democrat and Republican leaders saw America in terms of


world leadership. Which announced looks ridiculous. That is all driven


by Trump. Would not been that different from George Bush's view.


Out of Kyoto. The difference with Obama, he did not project the same


kind of persona we have become accustomed to with US leaders. His


idea of leading was three multilateral organisations. Trump is


pulling himself out of that, becoming isolationist. We cannot


afford that. Important to bear in mind, while the policy of


withdrawing did begin under Obama, there is a vast difference. To date


we have the first Detroit dilly Matty Gee 20 where the United States


is playing a peripheral role. Significant change from the past.


You have four big agenda items. Either the United States is not a


part of this, or they're being obstructed. Climate change, for


instance. International trade. North Korea has been outsourced to China


by President Trump. There is an element of incense and is in the


area of counterterrorism. There is more or less a consensus between the


G20 countries. Having said that, the problem is the wording of the


documents. There has to be a strong enough wording which rarely happens


that T20 or any of these summits. The bigger the group, the more


difficult to get stronger wording this then comes the matter of


follow-up. We are nine years after the economic meltdown, still in


austerity. That tells you how much the action which has followed the


resolution is taking T20 summits, have done or not done. Beyond the


T20 summits, there is strong indication world leaders take


bilateral meetings more seriously than general ones. Theresa May met


with Donald Trump, they did not hold hands on this occasion this we heard


from Donald Trump, saying they will be big trade deals. The reality is


Theresa May could be gone before proper negotiations start. As to


Trump. This is an example of how the G20 meeting could not come across as


more hot air rather than anything being achieved. All about good


pledges this which can turn pretty hollow. Are we all saying, the big


set piece meetings are worthless? Just have the bilaterals? The nature


of those meetings have changed. We have to accept that. For example, I


am pretty sure a lot of people in France and Europe would have been


shocked at the way the French president and many well Macron was


paddling up with Trump. -- getting friendly with Trump. Of course you


have two be respectful, but that is different from being friendly.


President Macron will have to learn international politics is much more


politics than treating him like a buddy. Having meetings like this


does serve a purpose. After the financial meltdown there was a T20


that focused on having to repair the financial system and came away with


good ideas. Right now, with the US being isolated, historically having


been the leader and no longer, there is a real deficit. A thought on


Theresa May, how she has performed. We mentioned the meeting with Trump.


She goes on to a curiouser difficult time in this country. What is your


take on how she has performed? Leeway to understand it is think of


the leader propped up by the Cabinet. They cannot necessarily


agree on a replacement. It sounds cruel, she's a cutout. A cardboard


cutout pro minister. This month the focus is on can she make it through


to the summer, the Conservative Party conference in October? Will


she go by Christmas? Do the Conservatives skip a generation. Go


for someone younger. Might be some untried and untested. She is there


is a placeholder pro minister. Where that really complicates Brexit, very


often, and this is where diplomacy does matter, the connection between


leaders. Leaders can bridge the divide. If the talks get bogged down


on Brexit, it would need a strong British pro minister to say to


Angela Merkel and Macron, there was a gap, a compromise to be done which


can make Brexit happen more smoothly than otherwise might be the case.


That requires a Prime Minister with confidence and some clout and


authority. Which it is fair to say Theresa May does not have.


Problematic for the British, in terms of how the negotiations go.


Looking at it from the other side. Donald Trump saying things like a


trade deal will happen quickly does not mean anything. Does not even


know what he's talking about. Sorry to say this, these deals do not


happen quickly. They take a very, very long time. Completely


misleading people by saying that. As is the EU, trumpeting a trade deal


between the EU and Japan which does not exist yet. Taking four, five


years. Never thought about climate change? Will it go Angela Merkel's


way? The well's biggest polluter is not part of the Paris deal. How does


the world proceed with this deal? The rest of the world may continue


to do what they have committed today. Without the United States, a


difficult one to achieve the targets set in Paris. The only consolation I


take from this, in the US you have states, for instance, my home state


of California, committed to reducing carbon efficiency. And have much


more environmental sense. The idea climate change is real and


happening, and needs to be counted as much as possible. Although it may


not be happening on federal level, there are states trying to take


action. That is so interesting. One of those issues, if big polluting


industrial countries are not united, people will say, what is the point?


No use being as green as you can be in California, despite its size and


economic power, if everyone is not on board. We will see whether China


and India live up to their commitments. Good they are pledging


to. China has a history of environmental degradation, even


though they have policies supposed to alleviate that. Hopefully they


will live up to those commitments. We will be discussing that all


again. Well before he arrived at the G20,


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Israel -


the first Indian PM But he left behind growing


tensions and anxiety between his country,


Pakistan and China, especially There is a dispute between China and


India over the border. The two science disputing the Dili new


nation. There was a five-minute chat between the two leaders. The outcome


is not known. Neither side has confirmed whether the stand-off was


discussed at all. A lot of attention of late. China refusing the meeting


to start with, they said the atmosphere is not right for such a


meeting. Eventually what happened, there was a meeting of BRIC country


leaders. There was a polar side, the two had a chat for five minutes.


China has been playing very tough in recent times. The China and Pakistan


axis really endangering India at the moment. Of late, this is a bit


unusual. In the last 25 years or so, since the peace and tranquillity


treaty between India and China things have been going very well. On


the trade front, they have been going extremely well, particularly


for China. All of a sudden in the last three years, the Chinese


approach has become very tough. There is of course a reason for


this. At the same time, there is a condition which needs to be sorted


out between these two major Asian countries. You are nodding. I'm glad


there was a five-minute talk. What concerns me more India and Pakistan


are not talking. That border I find much hotter than the Indian in China


border. Given what has been going on Kashmir, at the heart of the


conflict, the fact both our nuclear armed states. Pakistan doing a test


fire Fellaini Killeen missable earlier this week. That seems much


more concerning them Pakistan and China. I think in general the


tension between India and Pakistan is always at a higher level than the


tension between India and China. Between India and China matters had


cooled off considerably for a number of years. Nearly a quarter of a


century. Between India and Pakistan there is inevitably a face-off. The


Kashmir situation is very hot of the moment. As you rightly said, there


is no dialogue between the two countries at ministerial level.


Maybe the officials will get together at the civil service levels


soon. Ambassadors exist in both countries. Rather High Commissioners


in this case. Fundamentally, it is a very tense situation between the two


countries. What is at stake, it seems to be potentially the defining


relationship of the first half of the 20th century. India versus China


this a new book, on the retreat of Western liberalism makes that point.


Two models tested alongside each other. Both newly capitalist, one


autocratic, one Democratic. Whoever wins the battle, as American power


declines, the West offers an identity crisis, will become the


great power of the future. That is indeed true. China has certainly


been off to a much faster pace in the last 30 years or so. Where as


democratic injury Dili Mecca India had challenges. At the Mehmedi


situation interesting, China and India have slowed down. Part of this


meltdown catching up, not quite allowing the two countries to take


off as they would have liked to have done. There was a time India grew at


10% plus GDP. Remarkable for a country democratic way you have


hurdles, court cases to deal with before you can start a project like


motorway. In that situation India was doing quite well. Inevitably,


the pace is faster in China this ultimately India may get there, but


a very interesting two models competing with each other. I do


think, it seems to me that China's encroachment on that small disputed


territory at the intersection between China, India and Bhutan,


where the dispute is all about. All about the budding superpower China


trying to expand its sphere of influence beyond East Asia into


South Asia. This time around is not an armed conflict. All about a


geostrategic Cold War with India. Not the first time they have had a


stand-off. One going back to 1962, unarmed one. Tensions over Tibet and


along the border. China had emerged victorious. This is the longer


stand-off so far between the two countries. We have been talking


about America's retreat, going in on itself, in relation to June 20. Does


America have a role to play, in relation to China? Between China and


India, I am not so sure. What has been commented on a lot, I find it


ironic living in China, and being America, is China extending its


sphere of influence into places that the US had occupied. Whether it is


on climate, the projection of power, through naval forces, for example,


in the shipping lanes around Asia, that has historically been the US


protecting their shipping lanes. I find it worrisome that China is


stepping into the breach. Another sign of American retreating from


what had been its historic duties, the role it played. While I am


concerned about the decline of America diplomatically. I would not


write off the US. Even though it has been through economic turmoil, it


has still been by far the most innovative economy on earth. As a


believe in democracy, there is something inherently necessary for


innovation, competition to happen, you have to have a free society this


theft is the problem, the unknowable thing with China, in an autocratic


society, can you innovate? You can replicate, become very efficient and


successful, but can you produce the answers to climate change? The next


wave of the Internet. All the stuff that has come out of America in the


last 25 years has its roots in Bill Gates being rebellious, a battle of


ideas. I'm not going to go off and during the state-run company, take


other people orders. I will go off and innovate and invent, my ideas


are better than the other guys. That runs right through American society.


Even though America is in a bad place, should not be written off. I


would add, if I make the withdrawing from expensive wars will lead singer


and economic bounce back for the United States. -- will lead to stop


whether it happens under the Trump model, we don't know. Coming out of


these very expensive situations in the Middle East and Afghanistan was


helpful, and gradually leading to prosperity. That said, there was a


strategic agreement between the United States and India which China


saw as being against China. An agreement between present Obama and


Prime Minister Modi, but that seems to have slipped away under President


Trump. Also to do with an arms race. President Modi's visit to Israel


testifies to that. Another example of a populist global leader trying


to humiliate millions of Muslims around the world. Not only in his


own country but neighbouring Pakistan. He wants it betrayed them


as the enemy within and threatening externally. Instead of installation


to Lee McKenzie DH and can he sees the future in a constant armed


struggle, his side being armed to the teeth, being ready to dispatch


as many Muslims as possible when trouble arises. I would call it the


Israeli model. He has broken decades of support for


the Palestinian cause. Tallying up with on a ferry Terry and hawks like


Benjamin Netanyahu. He snubbed Palestinian leaders, and also


stocked up with weapons. I found it quite outrageous a leader like him


chooses to side with the state of Israel, which regularly breaches


international and humanitarian laws, whose leaders past and present stand


accused of war crimes this who are constantly expanding illegal


colonial entity. I found it quite distasteful. Some of the big


question is, we will continue to debate. It is July. Every journalist


in the UK and abroad is worn out after events of the last few weeks.


The Queen has gone on holiday; Westminster can't wait


And everyone you talk to seems desperate to get away and forget


the troubles of an exceptionally busy few months.


How do you all intend to recharge your batteries?


Iain, every political corr I know is worn out!


The South of France as quickly as possible in three or four days'


time. I have never known a period where people are so much in need of


a holiday. Brexit, Trump, Britain on a cycle, Scottish referendum. Three


or four years of intense activity. Combined with the heat. The


political and media establishment in London has gone off its said. Needs


to go away for a while. Journalists have trouble switching off the


revenue cycle is 20 grams a day. Getting sucked into all of this.


Every time there. I remember a time I would go on holiday, come back,


catching up with the world. Watching the TV news bulletin, reading a


newspaper. Now TV screens are everywhere. You are encouraged to be


connected to your devices at all times. Do not do it, switch them


off. To me, this is the most enjoyable time of the year. I go to


laws to watch Test cricket, go to Wimbledon to watch the tennis. The


British Open golf coming up. Looking forward to it. And in nearly the


Proms. With Brexit looming, I should go to countries I don't need a visa


to visit, I have picked Scotland. I will be visiting the Highlands,


which I've never done before. You will love that. Enjoy,


well-deserved. Switch off the iPhone. For anyone watching, going


on holiday, have a wonderful time. Those who are not going holiday, we


will see you over the course of the summer. See you again soon, goodbye.


On balance, pretty decent day ahead of us.


More cloud in southern areas compared to