tv QA Michael Fabey CSPAN February 18, 2018 8:00pm-9:02pm EST
parliament talk with american journalists about so-called fake news. and, discussions on internet policy. let's this week on q&a, investigative journalist michael fabey. he discusses his book --"crashback: the power clash between the u.s. and china in the pacific." >> michael fabey, your book -- i had to go to the middle of the book to figure out what it meant. is when a crash back navy warship does an emergency. --..
it is one of the last things you want to do with any kind of ship like that. happened when the uss cal pence today. two halt a crash. it was meant to represent that. crashbackhis term, is. -- thepolicy and arrow western pacific two. oo. >> where did you go to catch up on what was going on? aboard a chinese worship. i was on heaps of american and australian warships. i went into singapore. throughout the whole region.
>> what was your conclusion? we are: it is that engaged in a war of words with china, it is not a cold war, the old-fashioned cold war. this is a jostling that is for theand shoving right to operate in international waters. >> all of this research -- when did you finish it? writing the book right after the election last year. >> the election in 2016? >> yes. but who was the most interesting character you met? harry harris.al he is the commander of the specific commands. -- pacific command. he is japanese by birth.
he is the perfect person for that job at this time. more than that, he has a real feel of the pulse of how far you need to go to stop the chinese without escalating to something that creates war. how would he best describe himself? >> he says i hate to lose. i was one way he described himself. was an aviator for the navy and he has that look and feel about him as someone who is in charge, knows what he is doing and is not going to stop until he gets it done. >> let's look at video to see who andrew harris as. >> nobody including me once conflict. i have been loud and clear that i prefer cooperation so that we can share our security challenges. but i want to be loud and clear
that we will not allow this to be closed down unilaterally. no matter how many bases are taste on artificial features in the south china sea. michael: at the time i met him. he just made admiral, he was in charge of the specific week. 2013, hed have been had just taken charge out there. he had just come aboard and the price was full of stories, especially in the chinese press about concerns over his heritage. ever wonder how he felt about the chinese were worried. they hoped that someone would take a much tougher stance. his predecessor said the biggest concern is climate change.
>> where is he? >> he is in charge of specific commands. in the spring, he ones that down. there -- he is out there have been reports of the freedom navigation at that and our ships sail in the natural waters to prevent we can. he has run this operation and things like that right now. >> admiral harris is have chinese, half american. >> japanese. he was born where? >> he was born in japan. so his father by then and she's in the navy, his mother had calmed from one of the bombed out cities and going to work on naval bases there. the two of the net and then over in thee was
west pacific. kentucky.ew up in he was raised trueblue american. >> what is the significance of him being have japanese and we are talking about the relationship to the united states with china. view,m his point of especially from growing up, his mother, he got a sense of the asian philosophy, eric patient. a group of people willing to a generations. but in his current position, the chinese have a very gut level reaction to the japanese going back centuries. especially pre-world war ii. there is a sense among the chinese people of some of the things that were done when japan
invaded china at that time that had not been forgotten. it wasas a sense that have japanese and therefore he has something against china. he is going to take action that is going to be seen as anti-chinese. that is the way they felt. >> this is not a picture but it is a drawing of the map of that area. >> this is an idea of -- china considers to be this its territory. as the biggest issue going on right now. is some of the largest area for international shipping and international trade as well as areas represented by our allies like japan and south korea. and off, we are having trouble with vietnam are now. you try to reestablish vietnam. we are going to have aircraft
carrier calls. right now, you can get an idea -- he's chinaying sea, south china sea, that is their territory. thereerything alone -- if you they said want to sell here, you have to is the international skies and we will do what we want. now, the top of the east china sea, those were surveillance ships and for the most part that was chinese their time forces. this is working with some of the government forces and things like that. scripting ust of up at that.
down in the south china sea and this ish of hong kong, one of the most important places where chinese militaries and secret subbase is. a big buildup if you will, you have this incident where a v3 is one of our surveillance aircraft it was taking some pictures and things like that. right as it was doing that, it had the chinese aircraft that startedthat basically doing some kind of aggressive actions toward an aircraft. in this particular case, it was a collision and the chinese aircraft was lost. daraprim, they found the crew was sent back.
close it is a very large aircraft, it is similar to the size of the 737. it is filled with this incredible amount of intelligence gathering information, sensors that can take pictures, sensors that can take all kinds of signals. basically, one big vacuum cleaner. >> how many american sailors would be on that ship? michael: you have a dozen or more at any given time. >> what is international law when that plane was flying over that area of the map. basically, there going to keep on going straight. >> go to the pilot of the chinese jet. and someone about what he did.
be was known before then as being a very aggressive pilot. this was someone who would come andgainst american aircraft the airstream would bump the plane. he comes over, rose down, flying circles around our aircraft, eric close and very dangerous. >> how did that accident happened? michael: this particular aircraft had a issue with stalling. a jet fire is going to have to go very slow to go side-by-side with some of this. they think he was trying to maneuver and lost control and flipped up into the plane and the prop is going to cut that aircraft in half almost. >> what happened to him?
michael: he was never found. they wondered if he rejected and that he did at the aircraft was lost. >> what did china do in relationship? are plane landed on the territory. that --happened after this was going to the bush administration. >> we are putting different holding areas and do it all kinds of interrogations and things like that. if you go back to this book, he describes this dashboard to fly -- this -- born to
fly. that is something they are trained to do. this is what they were trying to charge them with. -- china wanted an apology from the u.s. and the u.s. was loath to apologize for doing something that it was allowed to do -- you are allowed to fly international space is five. very recently we had some information to come out about a rush -- russian ship. u.s. was not about to apologize for something you're going to do anyway. this was the death of a pilot, account apology.
this very specifically apologizing. >> bowties to say you apologized, they said is like a mini run. at that point in time, this is a lot of back and forth. the plane was important pieces. it was finally sent to the u.s.. after that, the amount of intelligence, not to much capability but they now live what our capabilities were with that aircraft. that was our premier spy. >> how to jump to 2013. think abc 10 is an san diego for this because you started talking about the uss covens cruisers incident. let's watch what they were reporting back then.
this is how -- make a dangerous turn in the south china sea to avoid the chinese ship that pulled in front of it. but a chinese government run newspaper is accusing the u.s. navy of harassing chinese ships. -- the uss cowpens got too close. >> you are smiling? smiling? michael: i was. though i did that they would be harassing the chinese ramada. there is one thing reported in that segment. >> they have to carry is now but that was their own carrier. they declared this 27 square mile no operator around the
carrier. an island that says this is our territory now. was will idea that the us harassing all of these chinese -- s -- >> who was the skipper? the captain was a rising star in the u.s. navy at the time. he had commanded before this. he was someone who was really looking for bigger things out there. he was given a job which before thesencident was honestly
are coming out. they said this could basically put extra dock. wetead, they briskly said have an idea now, we're going back to the western pacific, is a part of the rebalance. are talking about rebounds of our forces in the western pacific. the pivot, rebalance, whatever you want to call it, exactly. listen, we have this cruiser, it is best. this is a lone wolf patrol. theree some presence out and so this i get a crew ready that is on another cruiser.
with one of the best new combat systems around and we're going back to a ship that was let go from an iphone 10 to one of the first left loons. -- flip phones. the captain -- after this incident did not have a very fruitful career. sick and there is a question of how sick he was, i talked to quite a few times and it seemed that he was pretty sick. he spent a lot of time in his cabin after this. >> you talk about the two different cabins on the praise. bridge andser to the this is basically the port. that is when dignitaries come
aboard. he was at the center of the lesser cabin for most of the time. he had been traded for a sickness. -- treated for a sickness. the thing was that he was running the ship as much as he could from the cabin. when did people start raising concerns? the incident that happened with the chinese armada in early december. by the end of december and january is when there were concerns. one was about him being in the cabin. there are captains with idiosyncrasies but it was because he spent a lot more time with his xo. the executive officer. he sent his regular xo packing
because he thought the regular xo had lost the faith and control of the crew. ,is chief engineer moved over this was a woman into destiny savage. there was some banter around the crew that the captain andy xo -- and the xo were having relations. >> was it just banter? michael: when the crew came back -- a whole bunch of things happened. we took the ship out, it was in horrible shape. he got into just good enough. with it, it back was in bad shape, not as bad as when he took it out but it wasn't in bad shape. you can only take a broken car so far, whatever, it is hard to
say but when it came back, it was in bad shape. he asked the review team to come aboard and give a report to him over what kind of shape it was. this is the banter -- it was the shape of the ship. when you talk to people in and out of the pentagon, they were there at the time and was in --mand of the pacific side if you talk to everyone, it has never been called that. that is the way they felt it was. >> they were all able to leave the service.
they were kicked out but they were not able to leave the service. the chinese aircraft carrier. you said they were to -- michael: the original was a hand-me-down. story a very interesting -- china first bought it that you will make the casino. place on theing two portuguese buildings. that is what the cover story was. then he took it and fixed it up. in the meantime, what they've done is in this light design and build their own aircraft carrier. the recently, he just launched that and it was tested. >> let's look at some video of the awning.
is a big difference in our aircraft carriers. click the biggest difference is how they launch recover aircraft. it is a very sweet talking ship. it has that ski slope up there and basically uses the jets thrust. for the most part it is the jet taking off. with to usecarries the systems. we will throw that out there. as a result, we can put up operations in different kinds of weather and that is that. this is a training ship for the most part. they are learning how not only to operate on a carrier but a -- it is a major logistical nightmare.
right now we have 10. we just recently said we're going to have 12. that is the idea, to have a dozen going forward. >> out in the pacific? onlyel: we have the forward based carrier in the world. its base is japan right now. for everything else, on the east --st side, the carriers based out of san diego. in this case, this is base. it is home -- its home port is in japan right now. it patrols the region. you have a task force that is going around the region. -- theses, cruise ships will peel off.
they gone solo missions here and there. it will operate drills and it will make calls. doing drillscop constantly. likeything were to happen a natural disaster or something like that -- you have the aircraft going in and dealing supplies and eight and things like that. >> you talk about some of the chinese captains and admirals. is the captain still there? >> no, he is not, i don't know where he has gone. i did not meet him but i have talked to some people who have. he is someone who is very engaging, very intelligent. he is very pleasant. he speaks english.
they settle things out that day before they escalated too far. someone -- id as can tell you on our side that people were very impressed with him. he was the chief of naval operations. >> is he no longer the head? is ael: admiral greener former submarine or. he starts off everything by saying i don't know much -- quite honestly he knew a lot. what role did he play between the united states and the chinese? job was tothat his keep things from escalated too far and the best way to do that was to develop a strong relationship out there.
he would always be looking for ways to get us engaged with core exercises. chinese to come. was met -- very much a guy who would lean forward and shake your hand. he get his personal number two admiral lu. -- his own number? the admiral said that i can't give you mine. the pentagon people were not happy with that interaction. lu's job?s admiral how did you meet him?
michael: he grew up in a communist regime. he is very party minded. he is also very chinese minded. the chinese are a very patriotic people. they call china the motherland. he is also considered a top-notch mariner, someone who is very much into it with growing the navy, modernizing the navy and making sure they act appropriately. his operas were in english so that they could do drills properly. >> you said there are 12 chinese nuclear subs, there are 30 other subs -- 75 missile destroyers,
andhelicopter landing ships 60 carrier aircraft that would be on the aircraft carrier -- how does that compare with the united states? overall it is a very small portion. glad we have 11 aircraft carriers and they have two. destroyers, at any point in time, we have 40 or 50 out there, we had a half dozen cruisers. i'm thinking operational. >> what is the difference? slightly bigger. what a cruise includes is that separate areale
that you can do more to set -- defense operations and also for command and control. big airser is your command, and defense type of ship. chinese intohe build a significant navy? this was in 95 and 96 -- there are trying to get them to stop shooting missiles over toward taiwan. they were getting them to think twice. first of all, there was a public shaming and the chinese lost a lot of space. it is hard for westerners to get an idea of what that means to the asian culture. especially something as big and proud as china. they came with the never again mentality. they start with this mindset
that we will build up our navy and our missile defense forces in such a way that we knew -- never this space like this again. >> do we ever put a ship import in china? >> yes, we did. we go to hong kong, sometimes we can do that annually. trouble with the u.s. and china. >> there are other parts. >> do the chinese ships visit the united states? michael: yes. the chinese our motto was over in honolulu. the chinese attitude is we can do it to you but you can to do it to us. what is that mean? concerned,s china is --the very specific incident when the chinese ships were anticipating impact i happens to
be on the uss ronald reagan aircraft at the time and they were saying is that? it is. it was just -- why would they send a spy ship? they had sent the spy ship to every other impact before. but the idea was that you are coming, you are participating. what made -- what they make there was that we are going to do some of our operations now, especially from the aircraft. we do not publicly complain and you have as look --
right to be there. so go ahead, that is fine. were --s time when we when we are in international waters are collecting intelligence, he will leave us dead but that didn't happen. there were a couple of incidents, especially some aircraft incidents over the other south china sea where the chinese started complaining. they were flying internationally. >> let me show you video of something that we have seen a lot, a man-made islands off the coast of china. how many of these are there? >> there are dozens. >> they are all man-made? thing, youre is the have these areas that have a little bit of area popped up.
but they have done is gone over at low tide and build them up. you have these errors and things like that that they have created into these as part of and. grace you go back about a decade and a decade and a half and they're putting on the asphalt and some like that. china kind of came late to the game. but they did it in their own way and they do so much better. they just expanded it. so that it can hold a military aircraft runway. now, i believe there is about three or four that can actually handle that kind of aircraft.
>> as far as they're concerned, the whole south china sea is their territory. >> one of the international goals about the 12 mile limit? michael: the three-mile limit is our territory and everything like that. the 12 mile limit and that is consider their territory. the 200 mile limit is the economic zones because we on the rights to do whatever is in the for that. this whatever they might do. to the chinese recognized the limit? michael: they do when it suits their needs. >> do we? -- some we do international agreements we have not signed into. basically, there are some
domestic oil, is interest abroad that don't necessarily want the the signing our names on dotted line that can hurt or delay. there is some stipulations that we've had issues with, we recognize it anyway. >> how close to a loud chinese aircraft to come to this country? every ship.ecognize so the same thing. , if itly, every aircraft is international, you can do it. this is the operations i mentioned before, we only do this in the south china sea. most of ours are in canadian waters. it shows that we are allowed to go here so we are going to go here. as a matter of course, that is what we do. that has been our mantra. we are here to make sure that these worlds are open to
everyone. >> this is old footage but it goes back to -- you write it in your book, first before look at this, what are the islands? >> this island group, the south china sea has spread across a and both sides are within the territories. >> this is 1988 and it shows some firing going on here. who is firing? the chinese are opening up. >> the chinese firing on. what happened after this incident? incident, china to go over. >> you write about the different relationships between china and other asian countries over there, get a quick synopsis -- what is the relationship between china and japan? >> very contentious. still.
-- south korea? >> contentious, not as much as japan and china would like to see a unified korea. they think it would suit them pretty well. therefore, i think they are willing to back off of south korea a little bit. >> china and be enough? -- and vietnam? michael: always contentious. there isr down extremely course. there's a lot of back and forth because there has been a lot of spine and intermixing of the people down there. sensehas always been this that china could come in whenever they wanted. >> china and the philippines? michael: that has gone back-and-forth. on the filipina
relationship to the u.s. for example. ton the u.s. was very close the philippines, china backed up the philippines for a little bit. at least publicly. for example, when we are no longer in the senate back, china will come into some of the islands that the two sides were claiming territory for. that ebbs and flows. >> china and taiwan? michael: that is the billing of the question. as far as china is concerned, there is only one china and that it is taiwan. taiwan would say the same but they think the government of china is in taiwan. have a statusyou
quo over there that has existed and this is for the future. when kissinger was talking about taiwan eons ago -- taiwan came will have toaid we worry about that, 100 years from now it will all be fine. about china's ship killing missiles. df21's. >> what you call them ship killing? michael: there has been this desire to create a ballistic missile that can hit a moving ship or a moving ship group. it is externally difficult to do. ballistic missiles -- they come down with a set course in mind and there is not much thought
after that. maneuver, yet to be glad the communications back-and-forth. it is very difficult to do and no one has really been able to do it. china kind to have this capability. they had his missiles, ballistic missiles that are very hard to defend against. cruise missiles -- we're pretty good about defending but posted missiles are a different animal, they operate differently. they operate up in the areas of space, very hard to detect sometimes, very hard to defend coming down with a coming closer. it is very tough. china says we have this missile that can do this, this puts our aircraft carriers at much greater risk if that proves to
be true. >> what chinese ship are you on? michael: a guided missile destroyer. >> when were you on it? michael: 2014. been on a lot of american ships, what is the quality like compared to american ships? michael: if there was a destroyer store -- a very capable ship. this is a very capable ship. systems -- provided they work as they're supposed to work. they would be either lethal adversary. -- you go back have generation, there was the idea of this one child designation. they were brought up as little kings, little emperors,
everything was provided for them. they were told to believe that -- when they best, right now, the chinese navy -- to have a sense of entitlement that their time is now, that the training, they have the resources, their time is now. that chinahinking unofficially dollars of our debt. they also send a $700 billion a year in trade. why would they want to mess with us? michael: you go back in history and who would have thought world war i would have happened, extremely tight that part is going to war.
economics to prevent a global escalation of that -- there are so many different things that could be to it. penso back to the cow incident. then have something, things have a way of going off trajectory. that is what is about. a lot of these topics are policy books. but i try to do is put people on the bridges of the aircraft and the ships. this --or not we wanted >> tells about your background -- where do you work full-time? imd the able writer for
james. we put out ships. specializesany that in defense publications, stuff like that. >> how long have you been there? michael: i have been working -- i started as a correspondent for them a little over a year ago. >> i know you get -- grew up in a family -- her father was a marine. did you do any service time? know but my father brought me up like a little marine. >> where are you from originally? what kind of education do you have? michael: i would to philadelphia and i went to cap in schools and went to college is now, this is the college in new jersey -- trenton.
australiat abroad to for a semester. >> where did you spend most of your time? with the usualf cut your teeth kind of thing on local newspapers but over the last decade or so it has been up and is he working for various trade publications. >> this book has been out since last october, what has been the reaction europe got from it? , oneel: for the most part was about the military, that is what it is about. one was an alarmist view. they said i don't think that is true. i think it is a pretty clear portrait.
for the most part, people when they find out, it includes a lot of policy stuff so it isfor thee medicine and sugar. they seem to like it. >> you have a lot of personalities in the book. one is called nasty. who is nasty? he is a former f-14 pilot. one of the greatest military minds i met. is able to putho a religious perspective aware america sits in the world kind of thing. buts not all about america where america fits in the world and where we can invest. >> a couple of years ago cute is talking about the forward class carrier which is a nuke, i want to ask you about that.
here is nasty. and theok at the future weather threats around the world were going. sorting rating capabilities with enhanced technology and a letter capacity and with the emails and the ability to increase getting airplanes on and off the ship and other technologies around the ship. that campaign model is looking that would deliver the requirements fish that resulted in the design you saw today. >> what did he say? he said you can fly a lot more aircraft on and off the carrier at any given time. basically you can get up there with a lot of speed and ordinance if you want.
that is one of the things he was getting at. one of these technologies is a whole new way to wash the aircraft off. it, it wasuts of actually the same under. , the are these pulses old-fashioned hydraulic ones. >> i just read today that the ship might cost as much as $17 billion. michael: here's the thing to remember about this class. originally, the idea was to take his brand-new technologies on the way to aircraft. it was how you catch them on. the other way was a brand-new radar system.
basically they were going to take out all that old cabling and the electric power system that would hook up to the system that not only would make it more official but increase the power so you can put lasers if you weapons,ll kinds of these energy weapons later on. shipdea was to have a 3-d original class. it would be a three ship plan that you have different technology on each of the ships so he would take that price and spread it out across them. this will be transformational, we will put all this technology under one ship. do i agree this was a smart decision? i think when the ship is out goes through his
paces, you will see people that say well this thing can really -- question the chinese not that out? >>, here's the thing, china has never tested that weapon. we don't know. this wasn't even a moving target -- -- howhave as their f-35 does it compare with their jet? michael: there isn't a comparison. it is because of the holistic nature of the f-35. to get away from the prizes you mentioned, a very expensive aircraft.
with the -- what the f-35 brings is still. if everything works it can be hard to hit. suite thatcenter this aircraft can collect signals, it can do electronic attack, it can be used in a way that areas aircraft before. then changinglly the way that they do some air operations of the carriers especially. >> meanwhile, the navy had some problems, it is the new chief of naval operations john murchison talking about this last year. both17 was a year of triumph and tragedy for our navy. we consistently deployed more than 60,000 sailors and summarize around the globe. our navy five series resulted in a loss of 20 dedicated sailors,
american patriots all. our thoughts and prayers remain with our fallen shipmates and their families. as we sat, our investigations reveal that these tragedies were due in large part to human error and values of leadership as we took our eye off mastering the basics. >> we talked about it here, this is a u.s. attorney in san diego that is putting navy people in jail. it is including admirals and there are a lot of admirals that are under suspicion. what is going on with the navy? >> getting to a murchison talked about, one of the things going a way to navy has make sure that the ships are seaworthy, the crews are properly trained and there as they should.
there is no doubt that that is been happening. they have to get that under control because you can't operate a system that is knocking missiles out of the sky if you just your your ship straight. that is the idea. so nothing has happened like this during military drills or anything like that. comesaid that, when it down to combat operations or those guys of things, we are top-notch. is, this daily stuff, that is what they do. most of the time they have been on routine patrol that the stuff has happened. >> let me read the end of your book. paragraphs, -- america of .17 is not the america of 2013. the next time of the chinese navy confronts this, it seems unlikely that it would be the american commander who orders the engine room to his acute and and for america
and the u.s. navy, the air of pushback seems to be over. -- crashback seems to be over, why? michael: we realized a couple of things, one, embrace the chinese. that was the idea during the obama years. it is not working as we thought it would. you have and will harrison out started this plan. there called attention to in ways they never have. very recently, this is happening after i wrote this. when you look at some of the things, secretary mattis has -- matters went to
vietnam. that is going to drive the chinese nuts but something message. what we are doing here. wen he is talking about and are going to act more aggressively about incidents and things in the south china sea. three navigation operations. things like that. it appears what started in the latter part of the obama years, some admirals took power. courses on a path, on a that we are not going to be her off of. >> we only have a minute. >> if you take south korea and japan and the philippines and vietnam -- the thing about being our side. and the chinese do with that? , can they close the south china sea?
>> china is not in a position to do that but china has been too smart, china doesn't act that way. china takes a little piece at a time. the chinese will do whatever is in the best interest of the chinese. it is in china's best interest to keep the unstable western pacific. keep that in mind, china will always do what is in the best chinese interest. they won't do the whole regional interest. everything reverts back to china. >> the name of the book is crashed back. it is all about the united states and the relationship to the chinese navy. our guest has been michael fabey . thank you very much. michael: thank you.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the british house of commons is in recess. that is followed by fcc commissioner jessica rosenworcel talking about identity threats. dayr, another chance to cqi q&a with michael fabey. >> this portion included representatives from cbs news, cnn, and the new york times talking about challenges facing news organizations. it is just under an hour and a half.