We’ll see you next week for another discussion on the global business environment as we sit down with Prajakta Chitre of the World Bank to discuss infrastructure finance.
The large-scale shift to telework brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting businesses around the world to explore new avenues to engage with clients and friends. Harris Bricken is no exception, and we are proud to announce our new podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench.
In Episode #19, we are privileged to engage in a fascinating, if at times sad, conversation with Rayhan Asat, a Washington, DC-based attorney and Uyghur advocate. We discuss:
- Who are the Uyghurs and what are the root causes of their current human rights crisis?
- The imprisonment by the Chinese authorities of Rayhan’s brother, Ekpar, after he participated in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
- Uyghur forced labor in China supply chains and what companies can do to avoid getting entangled in the problem.
- The connections between the different Turkic peoples, including the Uyghurs.
- Rayhan’s views on Turkey, as a former resident of Istanbul.
- Reading, listening, and watching recommendations from:
If you have comments on this episode or if you’d like to suggest topics for future episodes, please email globallawbiz [at] harrisbricken [dot] com.
And please follow Fred and Jonathan on social media to stay informed on upcoming guests and topics:
- Fred Rocafort (Twitter: @RocafortFred) (LinkedIn)
- Jonathan Bench (Twitter: @jonathan_bench) (LinkedIn)
- Global Law and Business Twitter: @globallawbiz
This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.
Fred Rocafort 0:07
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seemed to keep pace with each other, developing and developed nations wax and wane and their importance in the global stage. While consumption and interconnectedness both increase, laws and regulations change incessantly, requiring businesses to stay nimble. How do we make sense of it all? Welcome to global law and business, hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort
Jonathan Bench 0:34
and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every Thursday, we take a bite sized look at legal and economic developments and locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of our international guests. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.
Fred Rocafort 0:59
We hope you enjoyed today. podcast. Please connect with us via email and social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.
Jonathan Bench 1:17
Rayhan Asat is an international specialist at a Wall Street firm where she works primarily with the anti corruption and internal investigations practice group. She also works with the firm’s arbitration group. She works with clients in anti corruption, internal investigations, compliance audit, business partner reviews and other due diligence efforts. She also assists in the representation of clients in investment state arbitration proceedings. Rayhan has extensive experience in Central Asia, Canada, Turkey and China. While at Harvard Law School Rayhan was a teaching fellow together with a leading Harvard Business School Professor on a course focused on emerging markets, brown chairs, the women entrepreneurs initiative with Harvard alumni entrepreneurs in one Washington DC. Previously Rayhan worked in the Istanbul Office of an international law firm where she assisted with construction disputes, including construction arbitration matters. Before that Rayhan worked in a leading business law firm in Istanbul, where she assisted with dispute resolutions, as well as corporate and nuclear energy matters involving negotiations with the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. We are pleased to welcome Rayhan today to discuss the Human Rights crisis facing the Uyghur people as well as other topics. Rayhan, welcome to global law and business.
Rayhan Asat 2:31
Oh, wonderful to be with us. Thank you for having me.
Fred Rocafort 2:34
Rayhan we know the Uyghur human rights crisis is a deeply personal topic for you. Before we go any further though, could you help us set the stage for our listeners who may only have a superficial understanding of what is happening, who exactly are the Uyghur people and tell us about what is happening to them right now.
Rayhan Asat 2:56
Yeah, thank you. The Uyghurs are a Target ethnic groups that predominantly live in the north and west part of China. But they share cultural and linguistic heritage with other chart essentially Asian nations. Or you could maintain very distinct identity one that closer to the neighboring countries or the eastern countries, if you will. Since the incorporation of the People’s Republic of China that we could region start to be called the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. The term Xinjiang means new frontier. The name gives an illusion that the region enjoys greater autonomy when in fact that’s not the case. After the Cultural Revolution, I think there was a brief period where Uyghurs enjoyed cultural autonomy and a lot of social aspects of their lives whether it’s a musical theaters flourished. The trade on the Silk Road revived during that period. Many western movies were translated into Uyghurs. So you can say that Uyghurs enjoyed a bit of freedom. But then early 2000 we start to see oppression in southern shinjang. Then there was a July 1 2009 uprising, which was the result of the regional governments forced migration policy, where they forced an impose this policy to move Uyghurs in from the south and Xinjiang to work in Guangdong factories as a part of what they called a peering up policy. Now, due to the government’s oppression, there was always resistance in the southern Xinjiang that created conflict between government apparatus or police officers and civilians. Then after Xi Jinping came to power, he rolled out the strike hard campaign under the banner of fighting extreme simple terrorism and separatism, and in mid 2016, and this, this is the part that changed the course of history. Similar to what happened in 2009 uprising, the Xi Jinping’s administration appointed Chen Quanguo who was recently subject to the sanctions under the global Magnitsky act. He came from years of governing Tibet and became the architects of the infamous internment camps where millions of years of Uyghurs locked up. The minute he stepped foot in the Uyghur region, he launched this veil on precedented repression that we have not seen since unfortunately, Holocaust. Now I think we reached a point of arguing what’s happening to the Uyghur people about the genocide. I do want to have a bit of a treat on religious component in discussing Uyghur identity because I think oftentimes the media refers to Uyghur as Uyghur Muslims. When we describe like Kazakh Turkish is back their identity never followed by their religious identity and the reason there’s so much emphasis on Uyghurs Muslim identity, I think it’s twofold. First, freedom of religion or religious liberty is a constitutionally protected right provided in the religious clause of First Amendment and many Western countries have similar provisions. Since we value so much of these rights, then we desire to safeguarded and in the past questions against the Uyghurs stem from religious persecution, especially in the conservative part of Uyghurs people did face this kind of oppression as a result of their religious identity. But I think it’s beyond religious oppression because we also need to recognize the pluralism aspect of the Uighur region because Uyghurs You know, practice all sorts of religion. And then there are families like mine that parents or family members were forced to pledge their allegiance to the party rather than a particular religion. So I grew up for instance, like without having exposure to religion other than celebrating holidays. Then after leaving China, I embarked on my own spiritual journey. So um, so that’s why like, I just want to have a bit of like a different take on this identity Uyghur identity as a whole. But I do want to thank you for opening this podcast was questions pertaining to the grave human rights violations and human suffering. I think the business and human rights are not mutually exclusive concepts. And we need to make sure that this course and human rights is part of the discussion. When we talk about business.
Jonathan Bench 7:50
Thank you for opening up to us. We are absolutely looking forward to learning more. We know this is a sensitive topic for you and deeply personal as well. On your Twitter feed you describe yourself first and foremost as a lawyer and proud sister of unjustly detained entrepreneur, Ekpar Asat, can you tell us about Ekpar and his situation?
Rayhan Asat 8:12
Yeah. And you know, as you said, it’s in kind of the personal and painful, my brother that is very kind and compassionate Uyghur entrepreneur and at a very young age, like when he was in college, like many other young visionaries, he foresaw a new opportunity in which, which is the digital media platform that we’re using all the social media platform, and this was like early 2007. He did not pursue like the typical nine to five government jobs, but he wants to build his own entrepreneurship, while internet as a space for freedom of information, but in China, everything is censored and that is a common knowledge. But he still tried to succeed to the extent the system allowed. The platform that he created is a combination of social media platform like Facebook or the traditional media like the New York Times. And there are like so many different focuses or columns on the platform, including there’s a segment that dedicated to Chinese law. And he complied with the censorship rules. And but despite that, he was wildly successful. And, you know, he also became a bridge between the Xinjiang government and the people. There was so many good aspects of this platform that is known bug bash for the weekers because, on occasions the garden responded to people’s complaints or creativeness. The ideals that he pursued are very much reflected in his philanthropic commitment and helping kids with disability. And, you know, on multiple occasions, the government called him as a positive force and bridge builder between the Chinese government and local citizens. But all of that changed in March 2016. He was nominated for the seat partners most prestigious international business leadership program, by then US ambassador to China, Max Baucus, in 2015. After going through rigorous rounds of review and background checks, my brother came to the US to participate in this program in early 2016. You know, I mean, I also learned about some of the notable alumni community including the current prime minister of New Zealand, Justin Darden, who’s very much loved internationally, or the current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, I was very much excited for him, but I didn’t know that this would be a curse rather than a blessing and celebration of his achievement. So what happened was immediately after turning from the State Department’s trip and This is a period when they start to build these internment camps. He was thrown into one and later put the impression on trumped up charges, inciting ethnic hatred and facing a 15 year sentence. And obviously, you know, it’s been like more than four years and some some might feel like you know, it’s been a long time but I think I do say that the feeling of loss are still run painful. I learned how to to cope with this but his absence is ever more fault. My brother’s case, I mean, I think shines a light on, you know, regardless how much you conform to the government’s definition of model citizen, or how successful you are contributed to the Chinese society. You’re never free from These sort of like governments sweet or arbitrary detention, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re successful. You’re a believer or not, obviously nobody should be subjected to enforced disappearance or arbitrary detention by a totalitarian country for their religious, ethnic or viewpoint. Um, but this this is what this is what happened and that is the reality of millions of Uyghurs facing, but I do want to mention one thing that is, um, because, you know, he was the teen rate after returning from the US trip some of his last words were from his reflection of participating in the state prize program. He said, and I quote, it is an incredible honor to participate in the State Department’s ivlp program. I’m excited about gaining profound insight into American culture and media. I mean, I don’t think these words, this desire of a young entrepreneur should be a reason for the Chinese government to unjustly hold him. And I hope every American would care about his ordeal and join my fight to free him. So just to sum up to your question where he is now, I haven’t heard a word from him it’s been more than four years. And I, I say this is the defining characteristic of the internment camps, or post Chen Quanguo prisons, there are such that you don’t even have access to your loved ones. Basically, you don’t even know if they’re alive or not.
Fred Rocafort 13:45
Thanks for sharing that Rayhan. I mean, certainly, what you’re going to and what your family’s going to is, at least for me, personally, something that I cannot imagine and even though many of our listeners will be familiar with what is happening to the Uighur people, you know from from from reading articles in the news and watching things on TV. It’s a totally different thing to hear this, this very personal description of what’s happening there. So, so thank you for that. Staying on the general subject, one of the more troubling aspects of the Uighur human rights crisis is the use of forced labor both inside and outside of Xinjiang. You You alluded to this earlier. Can you tell us a little bit more about this? This problem we know that you have published on this topic. And as a matter of fact, a couple of months ago, you co authored an article titled five steps for keeping supply chains free of Uighur slavery. Tell us about this problem, please. And also, what can international companies do to stay clear of this ethical and legal disaster?
Rayhan Asat 14:59
This is Such a great question. I’m so glad you asked this. At the outset, I want to set the tone five from the head. This is a serious issue. No company can afford the negative implications and reputational damage of being associated with forced labor, nor can they afford to break the law. You know, this issue of forced labor came to light as a result of a report titled Uighurs for sale by the Australian strategic policy institute that identified at least 83 global brands from the technology, closing food and beverage to automotive sectors that are suspected and could be linked to or Uighur for staples through their supply chains. But recently, the customs Border Protection agents also see it seen tons of human hair, suspected of forcibly being removed from human hair at the US border. The New York Times last month reported that the face mask produced this Uighur forced labor, which turn North America sure. So the mounting evidence suggests that the pervasiveness of the Uighur forced labor, and many detainees right now are even being transferred to other parts of China. So this creates very complicated challenges for the base in which we do business globally. You know, obviously, in the US we do have this pending legislation before Congress called the Uighur forced labor Prevention Act. Regardless of the fate of these legislation at the moment, we do have federal and state laws that seek to prohibit products made, but the use of forced labor from entering US. Give you an example under the victims, trafficking and violence Protection Act, also known as tvpa. It is unlawful to provide or obtain the labor or service of person with threats of physical harm by force, or by orchestrating any scheme or caused the person to engage in such labor or service to avoid harm or physical constraint against themselves. And if you look at other countries like the UK, or Australia, they also have similar legislation. They call it modern slavery legislation, which mandates transparency in supply chains of commercial engagements. So, you know, when companies meddle willingly or unwillingly end up getting entangled in the use of forced labor. Not only you know their reputation is at risk, they’re also at a risk of breaking the law. And in fact, the law was very clear. The senior executives even could face criminal punishment, not just fine, but actual sentencing can be levied against them. So my suggestion would be, I think, you know, first, it was so interesting when the report there was so many reports coming out about the use of forced labor. Some of the companies that are implicated, were indifferent, or they disregarded the complaints or media inquiries about the use of first neighbor, that’s a very wrong approach. And And truly, maybe they didn’t know about the use of force in their supply chain, but they should immediately remediate and respond to investigations were evidence of forced labor pure in their supply chain second, The company should be very vigilant in doing business in China, not just in connection, but that Uighur region. And I really want to emphasize that that’s a very critical point, because Xinjiang’s economy is highly integrated into China’s economy. Because Xinjiang was such a, like, you know, the oil industry and the mineral resources are so rich. So, you know, it became a, an integral part of the Chinese economy. Therefore, products, ostensibly originating in a low risk location, perhaps, you know, I’m just throwing it out there Guangdong may introduce products tainted by forced labor to their supply chains. And third, I could think of you know, because, you know, all the companies they do have compliance departments, it is very important for them to incorporate modern slavery to diligence and supply chain compliance into existing compliance efforts. And very relevant third party due diligence chain should also include tailored segment that focus on identifying red flags and potential indicators of forced labor, especially recruitment. And they have to find ways to monitor view labor practices of suppliers and their network of sub suppliers. Because oftentimes that, you know, I’m an anti corruption lawyer and we do conduct you know, we advise companies how to conduct you know, their own digital logins to make sure they’re compliant with different laws. But I’m at this point when we consider the pervasiveness of the use of Uighur forced labor, the Modern slavish diligence has to be part of the compliance efforts. And, you know, at the last point I could point out is that when the companies try to identify a potential supplier, they have to engage, provide a specific, credible record of verifiable and legitimate business. And also they need to pay attention to sometimes even if they do verify, oh, this business is good, because right now, because of so much emphasis on the use of forced labor, the companies can always design or redesign to conceal the ownership structures. So when you do business in China, the companies have to make sure like all of these red flags would be at the forefront of their compliance efforts and make sure they even have a mandarin speaking person in their compliance department. Because without that language capacity, you won’t be identify the ways how business are done and especially having somebody who understands how business done in China, I think would be incredibly critical. Obviously suggest people to look up my article and also make sure that they follow the UN guiding principles on doing business has integrity.
Jonathan Bench 22:34
So in addition to your advocacy in connection with the legal issues, you are the president of the American Turkic international Lawyers Association. Can you explain to us what Turkic means as opposed to Turkish? I mean, clearly, there’s a connection between Turkic peoples in a very important one culturally, are there any implications in that for the world of business?
Rayhan Asat 22:55
Now I I personally think the English translation really messed that up for everybody where I had to explain what is Turkish versus what is Turkic. So the word actually like you know, is Turk. Right so Uighurs, Turkish, Kazakh Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Turkmen,Tatar, like this. The they are a broad family. They’re all like, share similar language and their identities they’re actually Turks. And I think because when people look at Turkey somehow it was translated Oh, these are Turkish, from Turkey or from Turkey. Yeah. And that kind of create this distinction between Turkish and Turkic. So, but then I could explain that I won’t confuse your listeners is that Turkic encompasses a broader Turkic identity that it’s everybody like all them. Turkic people, including the Turkish people in Turkey, as well as Uzbek, Uighur. Tatar, Kyrgyz Kazakh. So, once you understand one culture, I believe it opens you up to a huge market. You know, Azerbaijan is a big oil and gas hub. And I’m somebody who is a big proponent of understanding and respecting the cultural nuances when you do business in a foreign country. So, I think, you know, these are very important region. And, you know, I recall last year in September, I attended a trans-caspian business conference. In New York, and I was sitting with diplomats and business people from all this Turkic regions, and we were, you know, joking about the commonalities between each other and just like understanding each other. So, in that forum, the US Ambassador made a very subtle statement. And from his statement, my understanding was that there’s a renewed interest in the region because, you know, some of the tragic states sort of became client states to China. And these are regions that we assisted so long ago, and it’s important that we renewed this interest and we make sure these countries still be our allies. And, you know, because of these, like that entrapment policy that China rolls out each time As they engage with these countries, they are literally buying up their conscience. And they’re also Chinese gun laws are changing the ways in which these target countries do business. And they are in many ways similar in terms of the ways in which they engage in business settings, but the United States. So for me, when I saw that sort of statement, and among people attended that forum, I do believe it goes to show that it’s still going to be huge market and it’s very important for American business to seize this opportunity. Now as compared to like, you know, other markets like Kazakhstan, obviously Turkey is much more mature. So as Azerbaijan and I also noticed this some very interesting development fair In the context of Azerbaijan, they send their young kids to America to study law. And, but often, these lawyers are more than happy to come back and make sure like, you know, develop and pursue career opportunities. So there. So when that happens, I think they still bring, you know, our values, the democracy, the rule of law back to to their countries. So I believe there’s so much opportunities out there for the business to see and make sure they understand the challenges as well as the cultural nuances in those markets.
Fred Rocafort 27:46
Rayhan we know that you’ve spent time in Turkey, and we’d like to hear your thoughts on where that country is going, particularly from the perspective of business people and business attorneys. What are some trends we should be keeping an eye on?
Rayhan Asat 28:04
Whenever I talk about Turkey, I love telling this like a very short story that a lot of Americans don’t know. And this is a story about a Turkish businessmen or media guru if you will named Ahmet Ertegun. Amet was born in Istanbul in 1923 to Turkish parents. Ahmet’s father, Munir Ertegun was a career diplomat and his mom was a musician. While his father served as an ambassador of Turkey in the London he developed and cultivate a love for jazz as a young young man. And in 1975, his father was appointed as an ambassador to the United States. And this was a period in which DC was washington dc was very much segregated. Young Ahmet while he came from an affluent family, he spent most of his time interacting with black musicians in the hovered sea at a neighborhood of DC. And to support Ahmet’s love for jazz and black artists Munir Ertegun his father would in much older musicians, Turkish embassy and everyone would enjoy this beautiful jazz. You know, fast forward, he opens a store and starts his career in the music production business. And then he founded what is known today as the Atlantic Records, which later discovered legendary musicians like Ray Charles Aretha Franklin respond, and so many more. And Ertegun himself also helped foster ties between the US and Turkey. He served as the chairman of the American Turkish society and I love telling this story. point out that the relationship between the two countries go back to a long time ago. And in fact, in 1946, President Harry Truman, when his father passed away, ordered the battleship, USS Missouri to return his body to take it as a demonstration of friendship between the US and Turkey. Now, so turkey in the past has been viewed as also a darling of the Europeans and also engaged in a very frequent business engagement, but the European allies, and I am concerned about the direction Turkey is headed at the moment. But I’m still very much optimistic because turkey still has some of the key pillars of democracy, for example, the right to vote and the ideals that Toki pursued in its foundation. And then development over the years are right now is under attack. And we call it a temporary setback, but I don’t think it would be a long term situation. So that is kind of, you know, historical analysis and sort of where we are. And right now, the Europe, you know, it used to be, especially during the time and I will say between 2012 to 2015, you’d see a lot of Europe, European business in Turkey, especially the European part of Istanbul. But right now, a new form of inbound investment coming in to Turkey, and that is coming from the Middle East. And at the same time, over the years, Turkish contractors invested or explored a lot of opportunities in Central Asia, but now they’re coming to Africa. Even America and Turkish contractors are very much well known and very skilled, and they are ranked at the top in a lot of construction and engineering companies ranking. And at the same time Turkish business also reached maturity to compete with American companies and we hope to see more coming to the United States in the future. And in terms of legal structure Turkey is very much modeled on Germanic law and especially Swiss law, and terms of commercial law. In the past few years, Turkey amended its Company Act and adopted some of the key features of American corporate laws, for example, like the piercing the corporate boom. At the same time, Turkey has tons of bilateral investment treaties with many countries. So even if there’s a dispute in the future, an international dispute resolution mechanism can protect investors in any event of unfair expectation. So despite the geopolitical challenges, what I see is often times whenever I’m invited to business events that hosted by the American tax Business Council, or, you know, the business community, it’s a commitment from both Texas and American business community to engage in respecting shared values of human freedom and human rights, but also seek to seek opportunities to flourish together. So I think when we think about the current development of the Middle Eastern business coming into taking what I see a future in which American business can benefit Both Turkish and the Middle East and market. And this could be very optimistic view and I’ve always been told that I’m very optimistic person but uh, I think most importantly, Turkish people share the same values that they share and entire turkey regions share similar values of human freedom and human rights. So I do believe that people would welcome Foreign investment and the country’s legal infrastructure also set up in such a way to welcome Foreign investment and I think so much of that can be seen in you know, the ways in which people do business. It’s a very welcoming business environment that is facing some challenges and I guess, you know, we can see that even here in America at the moment. So to that end, I do say that I think I’m incredibly optimistic that things will return to the period in which where we would see many, both inbound and outbound investment between the US and Turkey. I hope that answers your question.
Jonathan Bench 35:29
Yes, Rayhan, thank you. Our time with you has been both inspiring and sobering as well. We appreciate everything you shared with us. And we always like to end our podcast by asking our guests for recommendations, something that our listeners can read or watch or listen to, either on on topic or something completely off topic. So what would you recommend for us to to look into?
Rayhan Asat 35:56
So um, I mean, obviously, first and foremost, I I do hope people would pay attention to the Uyghur human rights crisis right now. So that we can end this mass atrocities as soon as possible. I don’t think we can afford to ignore what’s happening to the Uyghur people as a whole. Um, and, you know, as a lawyer and entrepreneur, if you’re well, I’m always fascinated in being more intentional lawyer, in a sense that I think, you know, great lawyers need to understand business too. Because then we can speak the client’s language. So in the past few years, I’ve been reading a lot of books on entrepreneurship and business and one book, always stand out. For me, it’s called the infinite game. And, you know, it talks about having infinite mindset rather than having a short sighted approach to either to life to our careers, and, you know, personal relationships too. And right now we’re living in these incredibly trying times. And you know, whether in our careers or in personal relationships that all of us are experiencing, incredibly difficult times. So, you know, I think it’s a book that gives you a sense of purpose, and also forces you to understand, you know, some of the challenges, but make sure you have long term thinking. And, you know, lawyers, in some ways, we’re leaders in our rights and so our business leaders, and I think I’m a big believer that great business leaders have infant mindset. The great leaders eat last, they will make sure to protect their employees. And especially right now because you know, the time to show leadership. And, you know, we’ve been hearing, you know, some employers are trying to doing everything they can to protect their employees, they’re showing leadership in a sense that they are showing an infinite mindset. And I hope like some of the key principles that identified in this book, very much resonate with now and also with many more years in the coming. So I strongly recommend everybody to read whether your leader, whether you are just somebody who’s exploring the law or business and even in your personal relationship, I think, you know, for me how that kind of finished Short minded approach to anything in life, we would be doing the service to explore our potential, but as well as making sure taking care of other community members, and that’s valid, great leaders are born, and they continue to develop. So, um, and that was my own takeaway from that book, to make sure like at any time, I have an infant mindset, that everything will be fine. But first and foremost, I need to make sure that people within my organization, but in the American Bar Association, I want to take care of everybody. Make sure that they are, you know, they feel like they’re validated. They’re acknowledged within the organization. And that’s what great leaders do and I’m learning about leadership, but I think we all can and we all should Should and I think that’s how we can create a purpose driven business. So So that would be my recommendation.
Jonathan Bench 40:08
Excellent. Thank you for that. Fred, what do you have for us?
Fred Rocafort 40:12
I’d like to recommend an article that has been making the rounds. So a lot of our listeners will have probably read it already. But for those who haven’t, check out an article called the unraveling of America, written by Wade Davis, it was published on August 6, in Rolling Stone. great article, I think it’s it’s one of those pieces that will will start a conversation, certainly amongst its readers, and it’s one of those articles that has been shared, you know, just just seeing the kind of coverage and and the level of sharing on social Media, it’s definitely catching people’s attention. It’s definitely touching a nerve. Very interesting primarily focuses on our national response to COVID. But it does touch upon other other related issues. there there’s actually some some content there about China as well, which I thought was was spot on. It’s only a small part of the article, but, but I think it did hit the right node. So again, the unraveling of America by Wade Davis, what about you, Jonathan?
Jonathan Bench 41:30
Not too long ago, I read John Lewis’s, you know, farewell message to the United States. It was a New York Times opinion piece called together, you can redeem the soul of our nation. You know, John Lewis was a politician and civil rights leader. And I was really touched. It wasn’t a long article, but I was touched by how candid he spoke to us. You know, I’m always intrigued by people who reach the end of their lives and if you’re fortunate enough to have time to To reflect, you know, to provide advice to your, to your family to your friends, or if you’re, you know, a prominent figure than then to everyone who’s listening. You know, and I think about this probably more than most about what I would say, you know, what kind of legacy am I leaving behind? and certainly in apropos what we’ve been talking about today, you know, with interracial relations throughout the world, it really makes me think hard about how I’m interacting with people around me, and, and whether I’m doing enough to kind of heal our breaches in our society. And so it’s very, very sobering article, a very sobering thing to think about. And I’m in natural reconciler, right I mean, if I have beef with somebody or they have beef with me, my my first goal is to try and reconcile as quickly as possible, because I can’t kind of grates on my soul, right if I have that hanging out there, so certainly recommend that to anybody who want that kind of insight in part Words from John Lewis array. And I want to thank you again, Fred and I certainly enjoyed having you with us on on the podcast. We would love to have you back again to keep talking about various issues. You have wide array of expertise. And we hope that you enjoyed being with us because we certainly enjoyed having you with us.
Rayhan Asat 43:16
Oh, thank you so much. You guys have been a delight.
Jonathan Bench 43:20
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue to discuss developments in global law and business. and tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai