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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  July 18, 2020 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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hello and welcome to dateline london. i'm carrie gracie. this week, coronavirus questions with multiple choice answers in the, uk and london may have said no thanks to huawei's sg, but where does that leave chinese tech in the rest of europe and beyond? my guests on socially distanced screens, writer and broadcaster maria margaronis and political commentator steve richards. we are hoping for the writer and broadcaster maria. we are having a slight tech problem with her scream, but we are hoping she will be with us but we are hoping she will be with us in but we are hoping she will be with usina but we are hoping she will be with us in a moment. —— but we are hoping she will be with us in a moment. —— screen.
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and here in the studio, the bbc world service asia pacific editor celia hatton. welcome to you all. should we, a — go back to work if we can? or b — continue to work from home if it's a perfectly good option? this message gap between the british prime minister and his chief scientific adviser came hot on the heels of another about wearing face coverings in shops. are theyjust differences in tone or symptoms of a muddle at the top? steve, i think that is one for you to start off with. i think it is partly a model, partly trying to do something which is close to impossible. to take both points, the model as you suggest in the introduction is in the presentation. should we all now be heading back to work? it is not entirely clear. even borisjohnson isn't entirely clear. he says it is up to employers to decide, and if they think it is a
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good idea, go ahead and get people back to work. that is not quite the same as saying go back to work. it is putting the focus on the employers. the masking messaging was also muddled. michael gove, the senior cabinet minister, last sunday saying it should not be compulsory in shops. it became compulsory in shops and so on. it reflects something which has been a running theme, really, of confused messages from number ten and beyond, but the dilemma is this. and it is across the world. how do you get the economy moving again whilst not taking huge health risks, and different governments have answered this in different ways, but this one appears to be saying the responsibility will lie with the employers to make those decisions, and to some extent individuals as
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well. at the same time, saying two very different things. borisjohnson seemed to be saying in a press conference on friday, lets hope by christmas all this is over. and yet also saying, all is contingent on the virus being controlled. with the clear implication it might not be. so they are navigating that impossible balancing act between the health of the nation physically and economic health, but also at each stage of this, they found it very hard, harder incidentally than nicola sturgeon, the first minister in scotland, to convey a clear and coherent message. maria, thankfully we can see and i hope you are you now, and keep a close eye on europe. which countries in europe are navigating this very difficult
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balancing act well, both at the policies and the communication of the policies? you know, the difficulty is balancing the health issues with the economic need. the ways they have been managed away. two examples are germany and greece. —— well. for a very different reasons. greece went into lockdown immediately. maria, i'm really sorry. i was just kind of sitting here and praying it would improve, but you are cutting in and out. we arejust going to but you are cutting in and out. we are just going to hope that can be fixed, and i am going to go to celia for a minute fixed, and i am going to go to celia fora minute and fixed, and i am going to go to celia for a minute and come back to you in a second. celia, china hasjust announced in the past week it had economic growth in the second quarter. does that mean it has effectively solved some of these balancing act problems? from the face of it, yes, i think it has. you mentioned that messaging gap absent
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in the uk and other countries. in china, when it comes to dealing with the virus, there is no message gap. it has instituted quite a sophisticated system for putting in tracking and tracing measures, for testing millions of people seemingly ona dime, testing millions of people seemingly on a dime, and a good example is this week, on tuesday, the authorities in the capital of a province found a single case, one woman who tested positive, and by friday, the entire city was under lockdown. 3.5 million people. they cancelled 600 flights in and out, so the government has done a very good job, you could arguably say, they have had more time to practice as this system than anyone else in really making sure that regional lockdown is are under control. yes, they did post a bit of economic growth, but economists are still quite worried, because that growth seems to be hinging on factory
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production and not real retail consumption. there are those who say that china is as surveillance state and does not believe in privacy concerns anyway, but there are other countries in asia pacific region, the region you keep your close eye on, that are also perhaps finding ways through this. yes, there are some success stories. vietnam, taiwan, they have both done very, very well in keeping cases low. we have also seen some countries who are at the start seemed to be doing really, really well. south korea, singapore where patting themselves on the back. they were seen for instituting quite sophisticated methods of technology to keep virus numbers are low. the real concern we think in the region is indonesia. it is the world's think in the region is indonesia. it is the worlds for most populous country. they have not managed to get a country. they have not managed to geta grip country. they have not managed to get a grip on the virus, and they just received a warning this week if they do not but in quite strict control measures, they are going to
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see numbers climb through october. control measures, they are going to see numbers climb through 0ctober.|j suppose with indonesia, there is also the question of the testing. there is a degree of uncertainty about what the caseload actually is. that is right. when we go back to the message gap again, the government right from the start could not get a handle on what to tell people what to do. they could not get an effective testing mechanism into place, and they have been playing catch up the whole time. it has been a big problem. maria, we are going to give it another shot. can you give us again, start from the beginning, on the european governments that are managing to navigate this? i'm sorry, i've missed the conversation so sorry, i've missed the conversation so far, but basically there have been two ways that european governments have managed this wealth is up one way has been by shutting down very quickly, like greece, austria, the czech republic. another has been by having a very efficient test and try mechanism in place, like germany, by having a very well functioning health system, like germany, but the thing about europe that has been quite dispiriting has
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been the lack of coordination and cooperation between european countries. when at the pandemic began in china, europe didn't have its eye on the ball at all, and at the end of february when italy was a desperately calling for help from other european countries, all eyes we re other european countries, all eyes were on the greek and turkish borders and the asylum seekers coming in with three presidents of the european council, parliament and commission they are. we had a situation where european countries we re situation where european countries were actually competing for ppe at equipment. so that was a real wake—up call, i think, for europe, and for what needs to happen. the other question is how is europe managing economically? as i think i heard steve saying before, this very difficult balancing act between health and the economy means that a country like greece or portugal, which shut down early, is now facing a very serious economic consequence,
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and a very serious economic consequence, and we now have yesterday and today european leaders are meeting to try and sort out a rescue package, and we had exactly the same disagreements going on as we did during the european financial crisis, where in northern countries, in particular the netherlands and the prime minister there saying we cannot issue corona bonds which are a new version of euro bonds to mediterranean countries without some quid pro quo. huge challenges cropping up in the european summit this weekend. steve, one last one on the uk before we leave this topic. another thing that happened last week was boris johnson accepting there would have to be an independent inquiry when the pandemic is over. these often cost a lot, and take years, and is there anything we do not know about the problems and shortcomings of the government response? problems and shortcomings of the government response ?|j problems and shortcomings of the government response? i think that is a very good question, because i think in essence we do know. we will find out more, and you are right, it
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will take a huge amount of time. this is not imminent. we will find out more about behind—the—scenes tensions and the differences between politicians and scientists, and within those groups as well. i think we will find out a bit more about the most fundamental issue, i think, which is who controls what in the uk, from the very top, where most of the cabinet has been excluded from decision—making. michael gove, dominic cummings. boris johnson, when he pays attention. and then, what does public health england do? what does nhs england do? there has been a lot of talk about leavers being pulled and not a lot happening, and in the context now, the local authorities have the power to have local lockdown is, or is it to have local lockdown is, or is it to the government? there have been big questions about the functioning of the state, certainly in england,
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which i think will be a big issue in the public inquiry, but we know the broad outlines already. these themes have been permanent since march when all this erupted. so although it will be huge and late in the sense, that as you say, it will probably be yea rs that as you say, it will probably be years away, these themes will be explored in more detail, but we know the themes. let us leave the pandemic there and turn onto an issue... let's turn to an issue on which the uk has acted fast — huawei. in, fact it's acted faster than some of its european neighbours twice. first to approve the chinese telecoms giant as a supplier for 5g networks injanuary and then last week to ban it. beijing reacted to this u—turn with predictable fury, saying the uk was america's dupe. but it also said the world is big and the uk relatively small. so can the world's largest provider of telecoms equipment overcome the us attempt to throttle it
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by pivoting elsewhere? maria, i want to start off in europe on this. the eu called china as systemic by volt last year. is this huawei issue the emblematic issue on that, or does europe feel strong armed by washington?” that, or does europe feel strong armed by washington? i think until this point, europe has been able to hide behind the uk and the assurances that the security threat from having huawei systems in place could be controlled, but now that the uk has reversed course i think europe feels much more tracked between a hot rock and a hard place between a hot rock and a hard place between displeasing its ally, the us, and losing out on at the economic benefits, especially after the pandemic offered by good relations with china. because it is notjust huawei. china is germany's biggest trading partner. there has
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been, as you say, over the last year mounting concern in europe over chinese human rights valuations, in hong kong for example. —— violations. there is a lot of debate and discussions going on in europe right now. it is under pressure from both sides. celia, you pay close attention from the chinese perspective on this. one thing that struck me was on hong kong, a lot of european countries did not criticise the chinese national security legislation in hong kong. how do you think they are going to line up on huawei, the ones who sided i suppose with beijing or did not want to criticise at that point? there is a real spectrum. on one end of the spectrum, we have the countries who have said we have been dealing with huawei for decades and do not see a problem. spain, sweden, hungary all fell in that category. on the other end of the spectrum we have countries that have signed a pledge with washington not to use huawei.
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romania, poland, and of course we have the countries that are waffling, so the czech republic for example was firmly in the huawei camp and then suddenly switched a few years ago. really it comes down to germany, i think. we are waiting to germany, i think. we are waiting to see what angle michael's government is going to do in september. in past, she seems to have sided with the fact of keeping huawei to some degree in germany. —— angela merkel. there is growing unease in germany of keeping huawei equipment, especially in the building of future 5g networks was that it building of future 5g networks was thatitis building of future 5g networks was that it is very difficult. her government came out this week to say the best engagement is through trade, so that is may be some indication that germany, a big player in the region, might go on the side of huawei with this. let us go globalfor a minute. as the chinese foreign ministry corresponded said, it is a big world. notjust europe. how is huawei doing in other parts of the world ? can
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huawei doing in other parts of the world? can it pivot into africa and central asia? it is doing very well in other countries, especially ethical. huawei has gotten in very early with a lot of ag, 3g networks in africa, and so it is merely trying to make sure that even if europe or many european countries decided to go away from huawei that it isa decided to go away from huawei that it is a really firmly rooted in africa. we can look at the belton road. as you mentioned, the great project to build new trade routes around the world, and if you look at the countries where the chinese government have focused on building road projects, a lot of those countries are also going to go along with huawei equipment. give us your sense of the global options, countries on the one hand who are turning into a dem at as for some countries, and difficult choices. how do you see it shaping up? —— them and us. it is difficult, but we
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have to find a way to work with china, especially on the crucial issue of climate change. unless china is on board and has good relations with the rest of the world, we cannot move forward on that, and so i think we are in a very delicate and diplomatic situation on what to do with a new superpower which is operating in quite a different way from the old superpower rivalry is. this politics of generosity that we saw during the pandemic with china sending equipment and masks and so on to europe to improve its reputation. and i think we are still in the west sort of struggling with how to make sense of china and how to deal with it, but it is crucial that we find a way to balance out these issues. stephen, need to hearfrom way to balance out these issues. stephen, need to hear from you way to balance out these issues. stephen, need to hearfrom you on this. we heard beijing call the uk america's dupe. did london have any choice at the end of the day? two
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factors meant london and specifically borisjohnson factors meant london and specifically boris johnson did factors meant london and specifically borisjohnson did not have any choice, and it is really interesting. he won at this triumphant election in december, got a very big majority, but he did not have a parliamentary majority for this deal. and he was going to get into deep trouble. labour were going to vote with tory rebels to stop this arrangement from devolving or developing in the way that boris johnson, as you mentioned, wanted in january. so that was one factor. the other one was this, for all the talk post brexit about an independent global britain, i think boris johnson was surprised by... he knew the us would not be thrilled when he, and it was very much him, agreed to the huawei deal earlier this year, but the degree to which the us we re year, but the degree to which the us were telling the uk to pull out of this made that as well a factor in
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the u—turn. so you have the uk parliament limiting a near landslide majority, what the perimeter could do, and then you have the us as well. in the few minutes we have left, tell me what other stories have caught your eye this week — one each. obviously there is much more happening in the world. maria, give us one story that has caught your eye over this week. i wanted to mark the death of congress meantjohn lewis in the united states yesterday, at this moment when racism has been, when civil rights have been in the forefront of everybody's lives. have been in the forefront of eve rybody's lives. congressman have been in the forefront of everybody's lives. congressman lewis was one of the 30 freedom riders in the south. he organised the march in washington on 1963. he led the march across the bridge on bloody sunday ina 1965
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across the bridge on bloody sunday in a 1965 and was beaten by police, and he has been really one of the great heroes of our time in america. i think great heroes of our time in america. ithink in great heroes of our time in america. i think in this country, he is not as well— known, but that was the thing that really me most yesterday, apart from the fact that also in america, the supreme courtjustice ruth peter ginsberg is once again undergoing chemotherapy for liver cancer and all eyes are on the supreme court and american election coming up in november, and if justice ginsburg does not make it and if trump is re—elected, we will have a dramatic change in the supreme court in america. very serious implications for civil rights. although i think should also say that our bg, as are so many of herfans call say that our bg, as are so many of her fans call her, says she is fit to work as normal. fully functioning still, and i think the poor woman is holding on for dear life and for her
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country. steve, what about you? what has caught your attention?m country. steve, what about you? what has caught your attention? it is not a light—hearted observation, butjob losses in the united kingdom have now become a running theme in recent days, and it is obviously virus —related, but this is going to become a huge issue. in the united kingdom, there might be insecure employment, but on the whole unemployment has been relatively low recently. but just over the unemployment has been relatively low recently. butjust over the last few days, more announcements ofjob losses in retail, in the media, it has been very badly hit, newspapers, broadcasters announcing big job losses. and there is talk of millions being unemployed by the end of the year, and as i say, the uk is not used to this. it has had other issues but not this one, since the 80s or early 90s, and i think it is going to be a big theme, because
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what jobs going to be a big theme, because whatjobs are going to be available to them? how do you retrain? the cost of paying benefits, the loss of tax revenue when other economic issues are still huge. i think this tea m issues are still huge. i think this team is going to really intensify, i'm afraid, in the months to come. i know that will be the case elsewhere as well, but it is starting already in the united kingdom.” as well, but it is starting already in the united kingdom. i suppose one of the questions on that is what kind ofjobs, of the questions on that is what kind of jobs, because of the questions on that is what kind ofjobs, because we are living ina new kind ofjobs, because we are living in a new normal that we do not know the full shape of yet. exactly, and i was speaking to somebody who is a big expert on landing, and he was saying that london will not be the same after this. there might be other things that happen in these cities, but not what happened before. the same vibrancy in terms of shops and cafe is and restaurants and theatres and so on. he doesn't know what it will be, but it will not be the same, so we are just...
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whatever happens in terms of the virus, vaccines and all the rest of it, we are at the beginning, really, are facing these kinds of consequences, thejob are facing these kinds of consequences, the job losses and perhaps the need to change vocations entirely. many, many people. celia? i want to highlight a report from save the children that had a very brief moment in the headlines that say 1 brief moment in the headlines that say1 billion brief moment in the headlines that say 1 billion children brief moment in the headlines that say1 billion children are out of school from the crowd virus pandemic but up to 10 million of them may never return to school after the pandemic is over. this is going to hit young girls are much worse than it might hit their brothers, because they are the ones that will probably be told to stay at home if parents have to make a choice as to who returns to school, so the report says we will see a rise in child marriage, teen pregnancy, and children being kept at home are much more vulnerable than those able to
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go and have the safety and security that schools offer. it is a real and continuing problem. does save the children have any answers to that or is it just children have any answers to that or is itjust flagging up a problem we still do not have an answer to? they wa nt still do not have an answer to? they want education funding to be protected. they say that there might be, if no protection is given around the world, there might be a huge gap of $177 million in education funding that might be taken away from schools and put towards pandemic measures. thank you. thank you to all three of you, maria, steve and celia. yet another fascinating discussion, but i'm afraid before we 90, discussion, but i'm afraid before we go, i have to bring you some sad news. the journalist mustapha karkouti has died. he was 77. mustapha was a friend to all of us here at dateline and to journalists from around the world. he was born in syria and spent much of his professional career interpreting and explaining the complexities of arab society. we will miss him.
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that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back next week at the same time. thank you for watching. goodbye, stay safe. hello there. big contrasts in the weather across the uk right now, the warmest of the weather this evening will remain across the south—east of the country, and temperatures will hover around the mid 20s. but wales, north england, you can see overcast in the
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satellite image here, and the radar are superimposed, you can see the ad of rain moving through wales into parts of northern england. also scotla nd parts of northern england. also scotland and northern ireland, some sunshine here. let us have a look at the picture early evening. might still be out and about so summer showers across scotland, particularly in the north—west highlands. some decent weather for northern ireland, around 16 degrees at this stage and nice enough in the east of england, lake district, lancashire, but wales, north midlands, peak district and parts of yorkshire are still cloudy with outbreaks of rain, but in the south—east we have that fine and warm weather, around 25 degrees at six or 7pm. this evening, that weather front, and it six or 7pm. this evening, that weatherfront, and it is six or 7pm. this evening, that weather front, and it is a weather front, will move southwards, and it is going to turn wet in the south. for the early hours of the morning, we are expecting rain in places like cardiff, southampton, london, norwich in for a bit of rain, mild with 16 degrees and the north of the country with clear skies will turn
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fairly chilly. five or six or 7 degrees outside. very different tomorrow in wales and the north of england, look how sunny. clear skies, beautiful weather for liverpool, hull and newcastle. the south will be cooler and cloudier and spots of rain still affecting the extreme south—east. in scotland we are expecting showers on sunday. beyond sunday, we are expecting the high pressure to build of the atlantic, and this means the weather will start to settle down, so that it does mean it will be a fine start to the week ahead. light winds, plenty of sunshine, just a bit of a fair weather cloud building up. a really pleasant summer's data, for the start of the week. temperatures 22 in london, fresher in the north around 17. the implications are we will keep that fine weather. look at that, southampton has a beautiful conditions for most of the week. for the rest of the uk, could be more u nsettled the rest of the uk, could be more unsettled by the time we get to
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wednesday. goodbye.
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dragonbar this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the veteran american civil rights leader and long—serving congressman, john lewis, has died at the age of 80. an officer for london's metropolitan police has been suspended — and another placed on restricted duties — after a video appeared to show one of them kneeling on man's neck. local authorities in england can use new powers from today to deal with coronavirus outbreaks in their area — with the ability to shut down specific premises, close off outdoor areas and cancel events. eu leaders are meeting for the second day of their brussels summit — with only faint hope of reaching an agreement on a coronavirus economic recovery package. the indian film star,
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aishwarya rai bachchan,


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