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jerryking : authoritarianism   21

Opinion | Dealing With China Isn’t Worth the Moral Cost
Oct. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.

We thought economic growth and technology would liberate China. Instead, it corrupted us.

The People’s Republic of China is the largest, most powerful and arguably most brutal totalitarian state in the world. It denies basic human rights to all of its nearly 1.4 billion citizens. There is no freedom of speech, thought, assembly, religion, movement or any semblance of political liberty in China. Under Xi Jinping, “president for life,” the CCP has built the most technologically sophisticated repression machine the world has ever seen. In Xinjiang, in Western China, the government is using technology to mount a cultural genocide against the Muslim Uighur minority that is even more total than the one it carried out in Tibet. Human rights experts say that more than a million people are being held in detention camps in Xinjiang, two million more are in forced “re-education,” and everyone else is invasively surveilled via ubiquitous cameras, artificial intelligence and other high-tech means.

None of this is a secret. Under Xi, China has grown markedly more Orwellian;......Why do we give China a pass? In a word: capitalism. Because for 40 years, the West’s relationship with China has been governed by a strategic error the dimensions of which are only now coming into horrific view.......A parade of American presidents on the left and the right argued that by cultivating China as a market — hastening its economic growth and technological sophistication while bringing our own companies a billion new workers and customers — we would inevitably loosen the regime’s hold on its people....the West’s entire political theory about China has been spectacularly wrong. China has engineered ferocious economic growth in the past half century, lifting hundreds of millions of its citizens out of miserable poverty. But China’s growth did not come at any cost to the regime’s political chokehold....It is also now routinely corrupting the rest of us outside of China......the N.B.A.’s hasty and embarrassing apology this week after Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets’ general manager, tweeted — and quickly deleted — a message in support of Hong Kong’s protesters......The N.B.A. is far from the first American institution to accede to China’s limits on liberty. Hollywood, large tech companies and a variety of consumer brands — from Delta to Zara — have been more than willing to play ball. The submission is spreading: .....This sort of corporate capitulation is hardly surprising. For Western companies, China is simply too big and too rich a market to ignore, let alone to pressure or to police. .....it will only get worse from here, and we are fools to play this game. There is a school of thought that says America should not think of China as an enemy. With its far larger population, China’s economy will inevitably come to eclipse ours, but that is hardly a mortal threat. In climate change, the world faces a huge collective-action problem that will require global cooperation. According to this view, treating China like an adversary will only frustrate our own long-term goals......this perspective leaves out the threat that greater economic and technological integration with China poses to everyone outside of China. It ignores the ever-steeper capitulation that China requires of its partners. And it overlooks the most important new factor in the Chinese regime’s longevity: the seductive efficiency that technology offers to effect a breathtaking new level of control over its population......Through online surveillance, facial recognition, artificial intelligence and the propagandistic gold mine of social media, China has mobilized a set of tools that allow it to invisibly, routinely repress its citizens and shape political opinion by manipulating their feelings and grievances on just about any controversy.....Chinese-style tech-abetted surveillance authoritarianism could become a template for how much of the world works.
adversaries  artificial_intelligence  authoritarianism  brands  capitalism  capitulation  China  China_rising  Chinese_Communist_Party  climate_change  collective_action  cultural_genocide  decoupling  despots  errors  facial_recognition  Farhad_Manjoo  freedom  Hollywood  Hong_Kong  human_rights  influence  NBA  op-ed  Orwell  propaganda  repression  self-corruption  surveillance  surveillance_state  technology  threats  Tibet  totalitarianism  tyranny  Uyghurs  unintended_consequences  values  Xi_Jinping 
october 2019 by jerryking
China has taken our citizens and canola producers hostage. Here’s how Ottawa can muscle up - The Globe and Mail
APRIL 22, 2019 | Globe and Mail | by COLIN ROBERTSON, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL


Problem: For months, both Canadian citizens and a key part of the Canadian economy have been held hostage by China. After Canada’s detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, Beijing responded; for nearly 150 days, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been jailed, denied legal representation, forced to endure sleep deprivation and, in the case of the latter, had his diplomatic immunity abused as an on-leave Canadian foreign-service officer. Beijing then claimed that our canola is infected by pests. That canola embargo is a double whammy: It cuts our current market in half, and also sows doubt among Canadians about our health and safety standards.

If the Trudeau government continues to let this pass without response, we can expect the Chinese to ratchet up the pressure. Our beef, pork and seafood could be next.......A resurgent China is using the Meng affair to demonstrate its power and influence, and in doing so, it is redefining the norms of the rules-based order. Other authoritarians, looking to follow China’s lead, are watching closely.

Solution: * To address the canola embargo, we need to implement a food chain and inspection system that is the best in the world. We need to show foreign customers and Canadians alike that our food is of the highest quality and that “Made in Canada” is a signal of a premium brand. * the Canadian ministerial delegation being sent to China (to demonstrate to Chinese authorities that Canadian canola is pest-free) should read Lord Macartney’s account of his 1793 mission to China’s emperor, which was unsuccessful because of the deep divides between the two sides. * redeploy the trade commissioners recently added to China to markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. * take the plight of the hostages to the various international human-rights tribunals and encourage human-rights NGOs to include them in their advocacy. * Press the cause of the million-plus Uyghurs kept in Chinese concentration camps * apply Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible for depriving the two Canadians of their human rights * Carefully inspect, with a “name and shame” approach to counterfeits and tainted goods, Chinese goods entering Canada. * formally declare that Huawei equipment will not be used in our 5G network buildout because we do not trust China. * arrest/expel Chinese agents are engaging in illicit activities or, if they are working under diplomatic cover, sent home.* send the current Chinese ambassador, Lu Shaye, packing. *Our next ambassador needs to be tough-minded and go into the job without illusions. Xi Jinping’s China is authoritarian, and does not care about human rights. It believes that its system is superior and more efficient than liberal democracy. *urge our allies to keep up the pressure.
ASEAN  authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  canola  China  counterfeits  economic_warfare  food_safety  geographic_ingredient_branding  hostages  intimidation  Justin_Trudeau  Huawei  Meng_Wanzhou  norms  reprisals  rules-based  TPP  Uyghurs 
april 2019 by jerryking
Canada must not be naive when dealing with China’s authoritarian regime
March 4, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by HUGH SEGAL, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Claws of the Panda, Jonathan Manthorpe’s new best-selling book, a meticulous and well-researched highly readable history of decades of Canada-China relations, is important because it's a primer on the central challenge of our era – how democracies address the scope and depth of an authoritarian wave now picking up momentum.....The Communist Party of China, its presumption of sovereignty not only at home, but also over ethnic Chinese worldwide, is not about to relinquish or dilute its central and presumptive power and control. It certainly won’t do this as a result of peaceful entreaties from middle powers, however respectful or well-meaning.....while the People’s Republic of China has every right to manage its internal affairs without interference, we also have the right to pursue our own national interest without undue Chinese influence......Manthorpe’s work clearly underlines is the economic, social and political equation at China’s core: Prosperity is the result of central control, focus and a clearly defined Communist Party and state-driven purpose. Qualities we hold as important – the right of dissent, democratic pluralism, freedom from fear – are seen by the Chinese government as weaknesses in our democratic societies to be exploited in the new great game of global trade and diplomatic competition.......Our challenge, in terms of diplomatic, trade and strategic policy, is with the Communist Party and the government and forces it controls, not with the Chinese people.........In assessing the intent of any global competitor, contextual awareness is one of the first requirements for tactical understanding and strategic planning. The revelations of Claws of the Panda offer a clear set of contextual conclusions for a well meaning middle power like Canada......We need new rules of the road.

Our engagement with China must set aside the temptations of presuming fair minded universal intent on the part of Chinese state-controlled instruments, economic, diplomatic or military. We must be more focused on the protection of our own security and freedoms from Chinese subversion, including the freedoms of our fellow Canadians of Chinese extraction. Countries that wish access to our resources, technology and investment on normative terms do not get to launch cyber attacks against us, from military and intelligence units controlled by the state. We must invest more with our allies in counter-intelligence and joint naval, air and cyber capacity in the Asian Pacific, not to threaten China’s legitimate regional dominance, or peaceful global economic aspirations, but to preclude illegitimate adventurism which a Chinese communist authoritarian regime might well pursue if costs and risks to them are unclear.
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Claws of the Panda gives a detailed description of the CCP's campaign to embed agents of influence in Canadian business, politics, media and academia. The party's aims are to be able to turn Canadian public policy to China's advantage, to acquire useful technology and intellectual property, to influence Canada's international diplomacy, and, most important, to be able to monitor and intimidate Chinese Canadians and others it considers dissidents.
authoritarian  alliances  Asia_Pacific  authoritarianism  books  Canada  Canada-China_relations  centralized_control  China  China_rising  Chinese  Chinese-Canadians  Chinese_Communist_Party  counterintelligence  cyberattacks  economic_protectionism  fair_minded  history  Hugh_Segal  influence  influence_peddling  intimidation  maritime  mercantilism  middle-powers  naivete  new_rules  primers  rules_of_the_game  security_&_intelligence  situational_awareness  worldviews 
march 2019 by jerryking
Canada must reassess its approach to China - if not, we may get steamrolled by the world’s new juggernaut - The Globe and Mail
JONATHAN MANTHORPE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JANUARY 30, 2019

.....The current CCP regime will not last forever. Dynasties never do, and the historical record in China is that they all die violently. This will likely happen to the CCP, but it’s not a good bet that it will happen anytime soon. Thus, Canada and all other countries having to engage with China while maintaining their own liberal-democratic institutions face some harsh realities. If Canada wishes to preserve its values and its standards of living based on trade in a world dominated by China, if it wishes to expand its influence as a global middle power, present and future governments in Ottawa need to prepare the ground. They need to cement political, economic social, and security ties within NATO and the G7, along with other like-minded countries [JCK: that is, "strategic alliances"]. Canadian politicians need to assume a much tougher and more self-assured attitude toward Beijing than is now the case.
arbitrariness  authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  Chinese_Communist_Party  Donald_Trump  dynasties  editorials  extradition  fascism  hostage_diplomacy  isolationism  Meng_Wanzhou  never_forever  rule_of_law  strategic_alliances  U.S.  Xi_Jinping 
january 2019 by jerryking
Globe editorial: With Meng affair, China shows its true face to the world - The Globe and Mail
Janaury 22, 2019

Ms. Meng's arrest in December and China’s subsequent reaction need also to be understood in the context of the Chinese government’s ambitions in the wider world. In many ways, this is not about Canada, or not only about Canada. It’s about Beijing’s determination to tilt the international order in its favour. China’s decisions to [extract reprsials].....were intended as a harbinger of the future, and are being seen as such....The regime wants other countries to know that they will pay a price if they cross Beijing. The message received has been somewhat different: This is how Beijing will behave as its influence and power increase.

The lesson to be taken from the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and from the death sentence given to Robert Schellenberg, is plain: Countries that defy Beijing may face reprisals, including having their citizens detained and maltreated.....China’s retaliatory moves against essentially random Canadians are a violation of international norms and law.....The Communist Party of China has officially banned “erroneous Western thought" – things such as the rule of law and the independence of the courts that are defining values in Canada, the United States and much of Europe....To increase its global influence, [China] has been aggressively investing in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America in order to bring them into its orbit..... China’s detention of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor serves notice that it has abandoned all pretense of playing by any rules other than the ones set by the Communist Party.

If and when China dominates trade in a region, the rules for foreign investors in that sphere may bear little resemblance to those that Canada and its trading allies hold dear. Trade and other disputes could well be settled in an arbitrary fashion, with little recourse, and with the outcome always tilted toward Beijing.
authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  editorials  extradition  fascism  hostage_diplomacy  Meng_Wanzhou  rule_of_law  Xi_Jinping  Chinese_Communist_Party  arbitrariness 
january 2019 by jerryking
‘How Worried Should I Be?’ - The New York Times
By SUSAN CHIRAMAY 12, 2017

For scholars of democracy who have kept anxious watch over the tumultuous first months of this presidency, this week’s firing of James Comey set off a new round of alarm bells.

As President Trump attacked judges, intelligence agencies, the press, even the Congressional Budget Office — all potential independent constraints on presidential power — they constantly adjusted their scorecards, trying to sift the alarming from the merely noisy. But firing the official who heads an investigation into possible collusion between a presidential campaign and a foreign power crossed a line, they agreed......Few argue that the United States is in imminent danger of becoming an autocracy, a term much chewed over by pundits these days, including some conservative ones like David Frum...but in conversations over the past few months, scholars’ moods and assessments have soared and plummeted...... “Political scientists assume that politicians are ambitious and mainly motivated by a desire to win and retain office,” she said. “It’s not an uplifting image of our leaders but at least it makes them predictable, their actions explicable. An ever-improvising president, one who is utterly undisciplined, even to the point of undermining his own positions — [is worrisome].”....Political scientists are particularly concerned by the way congressional leaders immediately backed Mr. Trump [suggesting]
that partisan loyalty is still far more powerful than checks and balances,”....The scholars agree on what to watch for next: Who will be nominated as head of the F.B.I. and what will Republicans do?....“[Trump's] ability to undermine independent institutions is in the hands of the Republicans.”

Mr. Drutman said that if Republicans continue to reflexively back Mr. Trump, he would raise his “alarm-o-meter” to 8.
Donald_Trump  James_Comey  institutions  autocracies  authoritarianism  partisan_loyalty  democratic_institutions  warning_signs  checks_and_balances 
may 2017 by jerryking
Review: ‘Winter is Coming’, by Garry Kasparov
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 | FT | Review by John Thornhill

‘Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped’, by Garry Kasparov, Atlantic Books, £16.99; Public Affairs, $26.99

"The price of deterrence always goes up"

the real power of Kasparov’s book lies in his argument that the west must pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy, something that has faded out of fashion. In his view, the most moral foreign policy is also the most effective. It enhances international security by insisting on observance of law....one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.

in Kasparov’s view, US President Bill Clinton squandered the chance to advance the international human rights agenda in the 1990s, as the west took a holiday from history. And today the west is too “uninformed, callous, or apathetic” to assert its influence and values.

He, rightly, argues that one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.
books  Russia  Vladimir_Putin  book_reviews  authors  writers  dictators  dictatorships  deterrence  dissension  Ukraine  human_rights  strategic_thinking  autocracies  chess  authoritarianism  foreign_policy  geopolitics  liberal_pluralism  rogue_actors  Garry_Kasparov  consistency  exile 
january 2017 by jerryking
Venezuela reaps what Chavez sowed - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 23, 2016

Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is reaping what Mr. Chavez sowed. The destruction of the economy through the nationalization of entire industries, hostility toward foreign investors and massive borrowing against the country’s vast oil reserves have left Venezuela on the brink of collapse. The very poor on whose behalf Mr. Chavez and Mr. Maduro claimed to be fighting their revolution are much worse off than they were before this pair took over.
Konrad_Yakabuski  Venezuela  mismanagement  authoritarianism  repression  criminality 
june 2016 by jerryking
Stephen Harper: After so many words, he exits in silence - The Globe and Mail
May 25, 2016

Mr. Harper’s solitary political goal was to make unalloyed conservatism a valid ballot option in a country ruled for decades by Liberals and red Tories. He succeeded to a degree, but then let an authoritarian nature overwhelm his own principles. He constantly redefined conservatism as whatever he thought it should be in the moment, no questions asked. It was never a conversation among Canadians, or even his own party.

He ended up burdening the Conservative Party with the perception that it contains an ugly strain of political partisanship that seeks to win at all costs, brooks no dissent, and feel no obligation to explain itself to the outside world. Undoing that legacy will be the biggest challenge faced by his successor.
editorials  Stephen_Harper  exits  silence  tough-mindedness  red_Tories  Conservative_Party  House_of_Commons  authoritarianism  political_partisanship 
may 2016 by jerryking
Can-Do Lee Kuan Yew - NYTimes.com
MARCH 23, 2015
Continue reading the main story

Roger Cohen

The measure of that achievement is that the ingredients of disaster abounded in Singapore, a country that is “not supposed to exist and cannot exist,” as Lee said in a 2007 interview with The New York Times. “We don’t have the ingredients of a nation,” he noted, “the elementary factors: a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.” Instead, it had a combustible ethnic and religious hodgepodge of Chinese, Malays and Indians gathered in a city-state of no natural resources....The fact that the elements for cataclysm exist does not mean that cataclysm is inevitable. Lee demonstrated this in an age where the general cacophony, and the need to manage and spin every political minute, makes statesmanship ever more elusive. The determining factor is leadership. What defines leadership above all is conviction, discipline in the pursuit of a goal, adaptability in the interest of the general good, and far-sightedness.

Lee’s only religion was pragmatism, of which religion (as generally understood) is the enemy, because, to some adherents, it offers revealed truths that are fact-resistant. Any ideology that abhors facts is problematic. (If you believe land is yours because it was deeded to you in the Bible, for example, but other people live there and have for centuries, you have an issue pregnant with violence.) Lee had one basic yardstick for policy: Does it work? It was the criterion of a forward-looking man for whom history was instructive but not imprisoning. He abhorred victimhood (an excuse for sloppy thinking and nationalist delusion) and corruption. He prized opportunity, meritocracy, the work ethic of the immigrant and education.
authoritarianism  city-states  far-sightedness  leaders  leadership  Lee_Kuan_Yew  nation_builders  obituaries  Roger_Cohen  Singapore  Southeast_Asia  statesmen  tributes  victimhood  work_ethic 
march 2015 by jerryking
Zuma moves closer to temptations of authoritarian rule in South Africa - The Globe and Mail
GEOFFREY YORK
Zuma moves closer to temptations of authoritarian rule in South Africa
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 14 2015
Jacob_Zuma  South_Africa  authoritarianism  ANC 
february 2015 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you (JCK: Worst of all worlds).
authoritarianism  autocracies  category_errors  China  Colleges_&_Universities  Crimea  curriculum  David_Brooks  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  dilemmas  diplomacy  geopolitics  grand_strategy  insouciance  international_system  Iran  liberal_pluralism  multiple_stressors  obliviousness  power_plays  power_to_obstruct  rogue_actors  Russia  self-congratulatory  South_China_Sea  stratagems  strategic_thinking  strategy  Walter_Russell_Mead  worst_of_all_worlds  Yale 
april 2014 by jerryking
The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 10, 2011

The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela
The antiapartheid hero refused to launch a personality cult. Why have other African leaders failed to follow suit?....The postcolonial history of Africa has shown that liberation parties harvest a potent crop of "struggle" legitimacy that generally neutralizes opposition for a generation or so. During that time, the countervailing institutions of the new state tend to wither in their infancy, constitutions are swept aside and the civil service is politicized as lines blur between government and party.
Nelson_Mandela  South_Africa  humility  heroes  inspiration  personality_cults  African  sub-Saharan_Africa  legacies  authoritarianism  loyal_opposition  institutions  institution-building  civil_service  postcolonial 
december 2011 by jerryking
Stance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing - NYTimes.com
March 23, 2010 | New York Times | By MICHAEL WINES. Google’s
decision may not cause major problems for China right away, experts
said. But in the longer run, they said, China’s intransigent stance on
filtering the flow of information within its borders has the potential
to weaken its links to the global economy.

It may also sully its image — promoted to its own people as well as to
the international community — as an authoritarian country that is
economically on the move, perhaps even more so than the sclerotic,
democratic West. Bill Bishop, a Beijing Internet entrepreneur and author
of the technology blog Digicha,
Google  China  censorship  authoritarianism  global_economy 
march 2010 by jerryking

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