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Exporting Authoritarianism



I will relate that interesting story. The president of Kazakhstan actually visited a company called hike. Vision is another one that provides surveillance technology visit their office in China and he saw how with one. Click on a person's face. You could get that person's school history work history financial situation. Wow and wait for it. How did this person spend his or her leisure time? So where did this person go to have fun? Did you go to the movies? Did you stop by the bank to go to the post office where you hang out with friends? Did you participate in a protest and his reaction after seeing all of this was we need this technology. That's not where I thought the story was going. This is probably not the first time you're hearing about China's surveillance technology and that's because it gets a lot of coverage it's like a Black Mirror episode. It gives us visions of a dystopia in future but this technology and the eagerness of some countries to begin implementing. It is only a small part of a much bigger story about China through its belt and road initiative China's in the process of building and funding infrastructure projects across the globe and loaning vast sums of money in the developing world. Some observers argued that as it does this. China is also exporting its authoritarian model of government and eroding democratic norms. That many of us take for granted others say that China is simply taking business opportunities where it sees them and providing countries with an alternative to a global order that has gone unchallenged for decades. The debate comes down to one question. How will we choose to view China as they pour money into hospitals ports and roads around the World I'm Gabrielle? Sierra and this is why it matters today is China exporting authoritarianism. I think the most important thing to understand about China's foreign policy over the past ten years or so is that it really has been transformed. This is Elizabeth Economy. She's a senior fellow and director for Asia. Studies here at the council. She's also a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution beginning in about two thousand and eight with global financial crisis China's hosting the Olympics. These are really moments that defined in the minds of many Chinese leaders that China was rising. Chinese have many goals for these Olympics. One of them was to announce to the world. The China is back after two hundred years. China's economy has grown faster than that of any other major country. The Asian giant has now grown into one of the most important export markets for manufacturers from all over. The world is a period of historic change in China. There haven't been many periods in history as fascinating as this so there was a real sense within China for the first time that they had always expected that at some point China was going to surpass the United States but maybe that time was coming sooner than they anticipated. But what really has changed the game on the ground has been Xi Jinping everything for Xi Jinping is under the mantra of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and it is a call for reclaiming a much greater degree of centrality for China on the global stage. Xi Jinping became China's president in two thousand thirteen some observers have called him the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Look I think there are any number of objectives and we can find them all and Xi Jinping's writings and speeches but fundamentally what I think. Xi Jinping attempting to do is simply to make the world safer authoritarianism. Teaching is a dictator but dictators. Still have to answer to domestic constituents. This is Jessica. Chance Weiss associate professor of government at Cornell and a leading expert on Chinese politics. She has a different take on China's expansion. One that sees it as being less offensive and more defensive. China's concerned about a whole lot of different risks. Some of them domestic others ones. That emanate from abroad sparks. That might start the prairie fire and bring down the Chinese government and might take units overriding purpose is to continue to make the world safe for the Chinese Communist Party to strive at home. So this is a world that safe for autocracy to coexist alongside democracy in the international space. So it's not been as ideological I think and it's foreign policy is some admitted. It out to be so. China is trying to find a way to sort of fit in with a world. That might not be comfortable with its model of government tried to make space for its form of government to be regarded as one that can continue to exist that is legitimate than democracy isn't the only form of government so to speak and so this has made it easier for other authoritarian states to survive

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