Bill Weld on Foreign Policy
Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President; former Republican Massachusetts Governor
A: China's behavior should be a wake-up call for the United States, its allies, friends, and partners. While the US can and must do business with China, it can have no illusions about the type of state China is and about its ambitions. It also needs to be clear that it will not accept China continuing to follow the old line, "we're big, you're small. What don't you understand?" It is not acceptable in the 21st century. China should have no doubt that the world knows what it is doing, and is watching. China promised the peoples of Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the world, at the 1997 handover ceremony which I attended in Hong Kong, that there would be and could be two systems in a single country. If China takes a punitive approach, China will demonstrate that its political word is suspect. The implications for Taiwan, a real Chinese democracy, are ominous.
A: We should be thrilled that a continent that was historically underdeveloped and a playground for outside powers is finally growing in wealth as well as population and able to make its voice heard on the world stage. And we should be forging relationships with African countries to support democracy, the rule of law, and prosperity. In some countries, the Catholic Church could be helpful to our efforts. Right now we are getting our brains beat in by China in courting African nations, because we simply don't make it a high enough priority. In my Administration, the Secretary of State for African Affairs would have my ear. On security matters, we and our allies need to continue to help Africa fight terrorists. Al Qaeda offshoots pose a threat to the entire continent, not just the sub-Sahara.
A: We have to go through Cuba, China and Russia to rationalize the situation in Venezuela. Most of the top decision makers there are Cuban, which has hollowed out Venezuela's government, & the spillover into our ally Colombia has been dramatic. I would propose multi-party talks, in which the dynamic new Pres. Duque of Colombia, who greatly impressed me recently in Cartagena, could perhaps play a role.
Bill Weld: Clinton's "no fly zone" for Syria risks war. Our policy would have been more restrained than hers. Half of the population of rebel-held Aleppo have said they will leave if there is a path. I am afraid that Assad is going to take the territory. My priority now would be to prevent further slaughter of innocents in Aleppo.
[In response to Kaine's comment on the Iran nuclear deal]: Kaine not convincing re "safer or more dangerous" question. Trump's proposals are worse. (Nuclear weapons, Putin, abandon allies)
Kaine says the secret to intelligence work is "alliances." As a former federal prosecutor, I would disagree. We have to do it ourselves!
JOHNSON: Well, that ISIS is a very real threat, but I think their days are numbered, they are regional.
WELD: My #1 would be nuclear proliferation, which is why I think it's unbelievable that Donald Trump has suggested that the South Koreans and the Japanese perhaps should have access to nuclear weapons. Religious sectarianism, the Sunni-Shia schism around the world is pretty high on the list, as well. We don't think about it here every day, but, you know, when you're considering actions like Iraq, actions that we've taken in the Middle East and North Africa, you've got to think about things like that as well that have rippling effects in a number of different countries, all across the top of Africa, for example.
The risks were considerable, but I had confidence in Mexico's new president, Ernesto Zedillo. Besides, we simply couldn't let Mexico fall without trying to help. In addition to the economic problems it would cause both for us and for the Mexicans, we would be sending a terrible signal of selfishness and shortsightedness throughout Latin America.
I called the congressional leaders, explained the situation, and asked for their support. All of them pledged it. Several governors were also supportive, including Bill Weld of Massachusetts, who had a great interest in Mexico.
Congress would not pass the bill so we ended up providing the money to Mexico out of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
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2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
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Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
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CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
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CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
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Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
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Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
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