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The Chinese success at the G20 Summit of Hangzhou

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In a letter written in December 2015, Xi Jinping proposed some national and global objectives for the G20 Summit of September 4-5, 2016. For the CCP Secretary the aim of the G20 system – which he recalls was born at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis – would be to develop concrete goals leading to a multipolar and shared global economy.

In that letter Xi Jinping said that, if said goals were reached, China would provide its decisive contribution, even partially changing its production system.

The win-win strategy is the declared goal of the Chinese Secretary. Over and above the wording of this concept, this has a very specific meaning.

As shown by statistics, 77% of all the goals set at the previous G20 Summit held in Antalya have been achieved.

Furthermore, considering that data shows that the G20 countries account for approximately 90% of the world GDP, we can realize that, over and above declarations of principle and set phrases, for China the Hangzou Summit was the ideal forum to start redesigning its place in the world.

In his opening speech at the G20 Summit in China, Xi Jinping clarified – in modern terms – a concept of the old Maoist tradition, whereby each country must take its own specific path to development.

In other words, there are no models to be imported in an already globalized world, possibly after a long and ruinous war for “democracy”.

Each country has its own vocation, its system, its shih, namely its natural form, just to use a term of Taoist philosophy.

While recalling the effort – a true “Great Leap Forward”, unlike Mao’s autarkic line of the 1950s – which has led China to be the second largest economy, Xi Jinping clarified – always between the lines – another important point.

According to the CPC Secretary, China will not slow down the pace of its reforms, which means that today it will still tend to strengthen its internal market and its fight against corruption.

According to the latest data, the Party has sanctioned as many has 300,000 officials this year only.

Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption wants to convey the message that the Party is resuming the central role it has always played in Communist China and intends to open itself to foreign markets in the best possible way.

Hence without foreign entrepreneurs’ actions manipulated by the corruption of State’s and Party’s cadres, executives and leaders.

In addition, Xi Jinping wants to change the old equation of China’s development, with a view to increasing competitiveness on an equal footing with the most technologically advanced Western economies.

In other words, so far China has made social and industrial dumping towards the West’s “mature” productions, characterized by low growth rate and average value added.

Thanks to this system, China is overcoming underdevelopment and is “standing up” – to use again Mao Zedong’s terminology.

Currently the strategy is changing: China will play on equal terms in the global technology and capital market.

In that way, over the years, China had become what some US economists called “the global sweatshop”, thus using for the Chinese factories a terminology reminding us of Charles Dickens’ novels.

According to the CPC Secretary, Xi Jinping, now the Chinese capital will be used, on the one hand, to create a supply-side economy within the country and, on the other hand, to enter the new labour-saving technological sectors, which will be the majority in future productive systems.

Hence, with a view to avoiding the huge Chinese population creating problems of internal political stability which could not be solved, even by force, Xi Jinping is enlarging the Chinese domestic market.

This is the reason why, however, he wants the West to keep on contributing to the upgrade of the Chinese economy.

Globalization is still one of China’s primary goals.

Hence the reference made by Xi Jinping to the renewal of the technological drivers of this global production phase is particularly significant.

And this is the reason why China still requires an open and competitive global market.

Instead of absorbing “old” productions, as in the days of the “Four Modernizations”, China wants to participate in the creation of the new technologies – not only the digital ones – which will characterize the economy in the coming years.

Initially Deng Xiaoping wanted to compete with Hong Kong in attracting foreign companies.

Now Xi Jinping will participate, on an equal footing with the West, in the definition of the next economic growth cycle.

A cycle in which, incidentally, Italy will participate only marginally.

Its current leadership has not even the faintest idea of the issues raised by Xi Jinping in his speech delivered to the G20 Summit.

Therefore the Chinese leader’s line is even clearer: in the near future, development will be based on a range of tax, monetary and geopolitical tools, of which Xi Jinping’s China is fully aware.

Hence it will maintain a flexible fiscal policy and it will support some tax cuts. It will also increase government spending, in contrast to the private capital crisis, while it will maintain and increase the yuan-denominated funds deposited abroad.

This project is reminiscent of the Eurasian project to be undertaken jointly with Russia.

The project consists in replacing the US dollar, or at least being side by side with it, as world exchange currency.

Again between the lines Xi Jinping conveys the message that globalization is perfect because it helps us to manage the still substantial Chinese overproduction.

In addition, China needs to cut production costs – and here the Western advanced management counts – as well as   change its costly and unproductive real estate market.

Finally, China must improve the distribution network efficiency and avoid financial asymmetric shocks.

All this can be read between the lines in the speech delivered by Xi Jinping.

And it is also worth recalling the attention paid by the Chinese CPC Secretary to the “green” economy because it improves the whole economic performance and avoids the parallel health and infrastructure costs and even the cost of adapting the Chinese production to the world market.

According to Xi Jinping, who is still a serious expert of Marxism, it is the new climate of global collaboration which generates the new economic growth drivers, not vice versa.

Without a political decision on the new production formula there will be no transformation of the global economy.

Hence the issue lies in enhancing international cooperation and involving also the marginal countries we must rescue from the jihad or from the long fratricidal wars, as well as particularly ensuring a level playing field in the international system.

China has not appreciated the US policies of vast “ocean” alliance for trade globalization – the TTIP for the European Union and the TTP for Asia, namely the strategies put in place by President Obama.

Types of trade policies that – while speaking of the British economic growth – Carl Schmitt called “thalassocratic”.

In fact, China is both land and ocean.

It has not accepted the North American TTP because it suspects there is a US desire of leadership in global trade.

China wants to take advantage of the void of the US global policy – which has been blocked by the EU for the TTIP and has seen only 13 countries advocating the Asian TTP, clearly targeted against China – and fit in it, also to avoid becoming a regular purchaser of US goods and distorting its monetary policy, which is designed to promote the yuan internationalization.

Furthermore, so far neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have fully clarified their projects towards China.

Using again Taoist concepts, the “emptiness” of US policy must be replaced by the “fullness” of the new Chinese geoeconomy.

Moreover, the current European leaders attended the Huangzou G20 Summit having in mind the next EU Summit of Bratislava, which shall deal with the Brexit issue.

Currently no EU Head of State or Government has the ability, the culture and the strength to evaluate operations longer than six months.

Conversely the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has already had confidential contacts with Xi Jinping and has spoken of a “golden age” in bilateral relations between Great Britain and China.

At the G20 Summit, Prime Minister May also met five other European countries to negotiate the new trade system after the Brexit.

The British Prime Minister wants to ward off the danger of a new US approach vis-à-vis Great Britain and is opening to China with a view to becoming a global hub, not only at financial but also at productive level.

China is expected to invest approximately 40 billion pounds in Great Britain, not to mention the building of the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C and later of Sizewell in Sussex.

Great Britain wants to use China with a view to positively stepping up Brexit, thus decreasing its economic risks. Great Britain will replace the tired old Europe, with the rich, powerful and vibrant China.

This means applying to the European economy – that Great Britain is leaving – the “Four Is”, the four key priorities which provided the slogan of the Huangzou G20 Summit, in the most genuine and authentic Chinese tradition.

The future economy shall be “Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive”.

In other words, China does no longer intend to support global growth only with financial means, as happened during the US-led globalization.

In fact, China founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in December 2015 and aims at including the nations marginalized from the first wave of globalization. The AIIB has already 57 members.

Indeed China aims at a global economy which will implement new value creation mechanisms, especially manufacturing and non-financial ones.

And here the link between the Russian Federation and China will be strengthened permanently.

The starting point will be the joint initiative for the Russian Far East and the Chinese North-East.

The G20 spoke about the new Russian-Chinese Eurasia and the Chinese leaders said to the leaders gathered for the Summit that this would lead to “big surprises.”

The systems and organizations on the basis of which the Chinese and Russian project will be implemented are the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN, through the Eastern Economic Forum.

Hence, in this regard, we can say that, for Xi Jinping, the G20 held in China was a great success.

Advisory Board Co-chair Honoris Causa Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr. Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “International World Group”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France. “

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How AUKUS changed China’s diplomatic position towards the IAEA

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Image source: Wikipedia

The American challenge to China in its places of influence in the “Indo-Pacific” region, and its interference in the Taiwan issue, was a decisive factor in increasing China’s influence and presence in all international forums, especially (the official Chinese objection to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Australian nuclear submarine deal and an attempt to mobilize the international community against this deal under the auspices of the United States of America). Hence, China, through its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency, seeks to present its issues fairly internationally, as in the case of (the AUKUS Defense Agreement and the Australian nuclear submarine deal). This was confirmed by Chinese President “Xi Jinping” in his political speeches, that “China opposes American hegemony and its quest to stifle China in its Asian areas of influence”.

  Therefore, all the Chinese political speeches by President “Xi Jinping” came before all international organizations and forums, stressing (establishing a multipolar and multilateral international world with active actors in it to defend the rights of poor and marginalized peoples, and support development initiatives in developing countries), outlining the declared goals for “China’s global strategy in the new century”, which aspires to be one of its main and distinguished poles.

    The American challenge to China by signing the new AUKUS defense agreement and the intensity of American influence in the “Indo-Pacific” region, especially the (South China Sea, Taiwan’s Formosa Strait and the Pacific Ocean regions), that has given Washington the excuse to increase its presence in the Asian region surrounding China, despite the relative success. The Chinese side isolate Taiwan from communicating with the world for a long time, according to the principle of “one unified China”, according to what has been approved upon Taiwan internationally. However, a number of indicators have created a kind of concern at Beijing about the reality of the changing US position towards Taiwan to interfere in its internal affairs, most notably:

 The current US administration, which is led by the President “Joe Biden” called to “grant Taiwan a permanent seat in the United Nations”, after Washington signed the new AUKUS defense and security agreement with Australia and Britain, under the pretext of allowing Taiwan to present its issues with US support, which strongly provoked Beijing.

In addition to the fact that the “New AUKUS Defense Agreement” has provided the opportunity for the United States of America to interfere in (Taiwan’s internal affairs) to restrict China’s influence by inviting Taiwanese officials to visit the United States of America and visiting members of the US Congress to Taiwan, and announcing an increase in the volume of US military sales to Taiwan, and the (constant presence of the American troops, destroyers and warships in the Taiwan Strait to counter Chinese influence), which is inconsistent with all international conventions that (consider Taiwan an integral part of China), the USA has also provoked Beijing by giving an “entry visa” to the Taiwanese officials, and helping out with the “re-election of Taiwan’s opponent president to Beijing with 54% in the face of China”, in addition to Washington easing restrictions on dealing with Taiwanese officials, which continues so far with the current president of Taiwan, “Tsai Ing-wen”, and increasing the volume of American military sales to Taiwan.

The “Aukus Agreement” gave the United States of America the justification for sending American military ships in the Pacific Ocean and Taiwan’s Formosa Strait, under the pretext of protecting the “Indo-Pacific” region and defending the Taiwan Strait in the face of Chinese interference, as well as increasing the sale of American warplanes to  Taiwan, and the indefinite existence of the US forces in the “South China Sea and Taiwan Strait” under the pretext of protecting international maritime traffic, especially after the United States of America signed the “New AUKUS Defense Agreement” with (Australia, UK) and the “Quad Agreement” with (Japan, India, and Australia).

In ​​an earlier period, the US government deliberately changed the name of the organization in which it handles Taiwan affairs to (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representation Office in the United States of America).

   Hence, we understand the intensity of Chinese international calls after the American signing of the Aukus Defense Agreement, to (confront the policy of American alliances and calling for international polarity). Since China and the United States of America are two large countries that belong to the membership of the nuclear club, in addition to the actual influence of each of them internationally, so any action of either China or the United States of America affects the whole world, so “China submitted an objection to the International Atomic Energy Agency against  The United States of America for violating the terms and conditions of its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency by sponsoring the Aukus nuclear agreement”.

    The signing by the United States of the new AUKUS defense agreement in the face of China, which is “allowed the Chinese side to put pressures on the Iranian nuclear file at the International Atomic Energy Agency and to put actual pressure on Washington”, which came from China’s call for the IAEA’s cooperation with the Iranian nuclear issue in a balanced and objective way to avoid the complex American calculations and China’s resolute response to the withdrawal of the United States of America from the “Iran nuclear agreement” in 2018 during the presidency of “Trump”. This is what China strongly opposes before the International Atomic Energy Agency “IAEA”, especially to embarrass the USA internationally as well, after the American signing of the AUKUS nuclear defense agreement in its confrontation.

  This is what was supported by statements of Chinese officials, calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency “IAEA” to play a constructive role in strengthening diplomatic efforts in favor of Iran in confronting the United States of America,  as a part of the proposed Chinese solutions towards this nuclear issue between Iran and the USA, which China have publicly directed diplomatic and international blame for (Washington’s violation of its international agreements and its negative behaviours of all its international conventions, foremost of which is its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran).

  Therefore, the Chinese strategy came after the signing of the AUKUS Defense Agreement led by Washington, by calling on China to the IAEA to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Iran in the face of American violations in the first place, in order to restore the confidence of the international community regarding (the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program), which is what China is trying to prove  And call him in the face of Washington.  China is also keen to hold and conduct international talks with the European Union and officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency on this Iranian nuclear issue, claiming that “the United States of America has made the world and the Middle East live in a critical stage, due to its violations of all its recognized international covenants”, and the Chinese government’s declaration that dialogue and cooperation with Iran, regarding its nuclear program is the only correct way to resolve this issue in the face of the current provocative American policies.

   The most remaining dangerous and important analysis for me is that China will respond firmly internationally against the United States of America, because of its sponsorship of the Aukus Defense Agreement in its confrontation, especially with the increase in those American and European invitations in the first place, pending the outcome of the new talks with Iran under the auspices and supervision of the officials and supervisors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the final decision to be taken on (consideration of referring Iran’s file to the UN Security Council to take a position or impose sanctions against Iran). Of course, there will be an opportunity here for China and its ally Russia to teach the United States of America and its traditional European allies a harsh lesson by using (veto or objection right) to block any decisions affecting the Iranian nuclear file, which will be the summit of Chinese provocation to Washington internationally after its infringement of its rights by signing the “Aukus Defense Agreement”.

   Here, we find that the role of China will seek at the present time to (extension of the agreement to monitor the Iranian nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency), but in the event of the failure of these talks with Iran due to those American pressures on the International Atomic Energy Agency “IAEA”, and in the event of (the success of the American planning to issue a new resolution by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency against Iran and referral of the issue to the Security Council), both Russia and China will respond and will definitely refuse to support the issuance of any international or US resolutions against Iran. This represents a real Chinese and Russian challenge to US power after it signed the AUKUS defense agreement with Australia in the “Indo-Pacific” region to curb Chinese influence.

  It remains the most prominent and important here, that (the growing Russian and Chinese support for Iran had a negative impact on the efforts of the United States of America and the European Union to bring Tehran to the negotiating table during the last period due to the Iranian conditions supported by Russia and China), and here we analyze that the current situation which (allows Iran to include more demands and conditions in its list for obtaining more concessions from Washington and its European allies in the nuclear negotiations), and this will therefore be the (harsh and resolute Chinese internationally response to confront US policies, after signing the AUKUS Defense Agreement to restrict and contain China’s influence in the “Indo-Pacific” region).  China will respond forcefully before the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community against US policies, due to (the American support of the nuclear proliferation and competition by adopting the Aukus nuclear deal in favor of Australia).

    Therefore, monitoring the relationship between the United States of America and China and identifying points of conflict and convergence between the two countries, and the impact of these relations on the international system and the policies of the work of international bodies and organizations, in addition to the Chinese rise and its impact on American hegemony and the adoption of the United States of America (containment strategy) to control this Chinese emergence, all of this, enables us later to understand and analyze the nature of the next stage and all its international ties, especially with regard to the Iranian nuclear file, and China’s accusation of the United States of America violating to the international covenants, especially by signing the AUKUS Agreement, which will lead to (international nuclear conflict and competition that undermines international security stability).

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How Beijing’s Disinformation Campaign threatens International Security in the Post-Truth Era

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China Beijing

Ever wonder how disinformation[1] could have shaped the next information warfare in the post-truth era? With the continuous advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and our overwhelming reliance on social media, the potential ramifications provoked by state-sponsored disinformation campaign could be disastrous. Indeed, given its relative low cost, low barriers with easy access to basically anywhere that allow free flow of information, disinformation serves as a perfect strategy in the new era of hybrid warfare.

Indeed, western countries have been noticing an alarming surge in political polarization with a pattern of declining public trust for mainstream media[2], implying the increasing susceptibility of the public to fake news. While this kind of information warfare is likely to dominant future warfare as technological advancement continue to upsurge, the liberal democratic structure of the western societies that enables freedom of speech provides fertile ground for adversaries, especially dictated regime to exploit. This article focused primely on China, its ideology, and reasons to deploy disinformation as part of its grand strategy, as well as the tactics Beijing would likely to use in the upcoming information warfare.

Hybrid Tactics as the Grand Strategy—and Disinformation

First announced by the Central Military Commission (CMC) in 2003, the “Three Warfare”—which included the coordinated use of strategic psychological operations, overt and covert media manipulation, as well as legal warfare designed to manipulate strategies, defense policies, and perceptions of target audiences abroad[3]-— acted as political guidelines and mutually reinforcing strategies for the People’s Liberal Army (PLA). While the Three Warfare primely aims at exploiting the adversary’s weaknesses to disrupt their opposition to PRC’s agendas[4], Chinese hybrid warfare has much more potential destruction with the integration of other hybrid tactics such as clandestine diplomacy and irregular warfare.

As a matter of fact, the nature of liberal society and democratic structure makes it difficult to resist hybrid warfare—western nations’ domestic politics could be readily usurped by Beijing’s use of disinformation and geo-economic influence, since the system are “protected by the very same liberal values that these hybrid means are designed to subvert”[5]. Hybrid warfare thus constitute the best strategy for Beijing to weaken opponents’ counterbalancing potential. Free media, for instance, which represents a basic value of liberal democracy, provided sufficient room for hybrid interference. Whilst freedom of speech allows free flow of information, free press is susceptible to fake news and propaganda conducted by coordinated disinformation campaigns, which conceivably result in a delegitimization of the media’s credibility, as well as an internal division among different target audience[6]. In addition, the echo chamber and filter bubbles effect constituted by the news feed algorithm further reinforce information consumption pattern[7] and thus further generates political polarization and potential social turmoil such as the United States capital attack on Jan 6th, 2021. The nature of fake news, indeed, has constituted its easy deployment with great effectiveness.

The Ultimate Nightmare—Deep Fakes for Disinformation campaign 

Constructed by machine learning techniques, deep fakes—images, videos and sound records that mimics one’s speech or action, of which that person had never did or said in reality—are backed by a specific type of deep learning method named as the Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN), where two self-supervised algorithms automatically “learn” from each other. In such method, one algorithm (the generator) produces a synthetic image of a person whereas the other algorithm (the discriminator) reviews the level of authenticity of that image and provides feedback to the former. Generator takes “advises” from discriminator and thus being able to improve every time it creates new image. After thousands and thousands of training cycles, GAN’s algorithms would be either skillful in producing synthetic images or differentiate images’ authenticity. Due to the constant evolvement of AI and its technological sophistication, deep fakes are hence extremely hyper-realistic and difficult to be detected by human eyes[8][9]. Therefore, when deployed as a form of disinformation, deep fakes could bring disastrous implications from democracies to international security.

In relations to Beijing’s strategy, the use of deep fakes could be deployed from the fabrication of public figures and ordinary citizens.

First, deep fakes that aim at politicians, celebrities, and key opinion leaders (KOL) will have an agenda of defamation and/or shaping public opinion. Take the presidential election in 2020 as an example. Both Trump and Biden were being accused of having sexual misconduct during their election campaign. What if, there is a deep fake video portraying such criminal behaviors released the night before election? How would this have reshaped public opinion on their suitability of candidacy? Given the difficulty to debunk fake news in real time, one could only speculate the extent of damage caused to his/her reputation and the country’s democratic system.

Internationally speaking, deep fakes does not only have the potential to damage diplomatic relations but also generating intra and inter-state warfare. What if, a deep fake video illustrating U.S. president stating that America’s nuclear umbrella will no longer shelter her allies? Or Washington is planning on withdrawal of NATO, that collective defense is just a political discourse? How devastated will it be to the alliance relations and U.S. government’s credibility? Such reputation loss is often irreversible, regardless of the authenticity of the news being verified afterwards or not. 

In addition, AI-generated people could be used as “witnesses” to create the illusion of “truth” for disinformation. In fact, certain private companies are already offering disinformation as services, including automated and human-curated accounts, as well as trolling and other AI services[10]. These campaigns are often deployed for a certain political actor, according to an Oxford study in 2020[11].

Moreover, other forms of AI system including Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT)[12] which can generate text that synthesize human writings, could bring fake news and information warfare to the next level, especially when it comes to complexed international politics[13]. Together with the use of hyper-realistic deep fakes, fake accounts, personal statements, and opinion pieces would appear to be authentic—further blurring the line between truth and post-truth, meanwhile, undermining confidence in traditional media and state’s authority.

Perceptibly, the integrated use of private companies’ and state-sponsored disinformation—for instance, the 50-cent army, a notorious internet trolls employed by the CCP, which is responsible for about 450 million fake posts and comments every year[14] masquerading themselves as ordinary citizens in attempt to sway public opinion in favor of Beijing[15]—would be heavily deployed as part of the disinformation campaign/ strategy in the next information warfare.

Tailored-made disinformation

The second characteristics of China’s present (and future) disinformation would be tailored-made to certain target groups, especially its diaspora Chinese community. Overseas Chinese’ tendency to “stick to themselves and form distinct diaspora communities within their settling countries”[16] had paved way for Beijing to exert its surveillance, control, and manipulation on its people, regardless of their physical geographical location. And the spread of disinformation could be effortlessly accomplished through these significant features.

For instance, The Foreign Influence Registry Act (Bill C-282) introduced by Canada’s former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu was being deviously altered as fake news that are deliberately personalized for the Chinese audience. By portraying the Chinese community as the targeted groups and “victims” of the bill, these disinformation campaigns attempt to generate a perception that the introduction of the bill is correspond to racial discrimination against the community; thereby drawing an equal sign (albeit casual assumption) between the foreign influence registry act and the suppression of pro-China opinion, as well as control and surveillance on organizations and individuals[17] in the overseas Chinese community. Such rhetoric is indeed a discourse of danger and insecurity regardless of its truthfulness (the Chinese race being discriminated, free speech, business, and cultural exchange opportunity on the line)—it helps construct the “Chinese identity” by composing binary opposition of “us versus them”—thus provoking a certain degree of pro-Chinese sentiment and nationalism, especially for those who have always been in a more pro-Beijing stance. 

Moreover, dissemination of fake news through via the use of social media like WeChat, WhatsApp[18], increases the sense of familiarity which consequently surge one’s susceptibility to disinformation[19]. Such propagation would be difficult to debunk given the fact that it is spread through community channels and end-to-end encryption communication apps.

Perceivably, China will be utilizing disinformation campaign by tailoring to certain target groups. Chinese diaspora community would inevitably be one of them as Beijing seeks to mobilize them in operation of actions that is in favor of the central authorities. The other likeliness would be agitators and organizations that have the potential to provoke political unrest. The latter is particularly alarming—especially if (when) deep fakes are tailored to spark radical actions of certain target group, which includes but not limited to far-right groups and extremists—the consequences could be riots and social turmoil, and if not impossible, a civil war.

If you want peace, prepare for war[20]

The nature of disinformation makes it easy to be deployed with great effectiveness but at a relatively low cost. Whilst social media algorithm facilitates echo chambers and filter bubbles which conveniently trap users in reinforced information consumption patterns, the psychology of disinformation often puts people in vulnerable position as mere repeated exposure would be able to surge one’s susceptibility to fake news.

Nevertheless, the world has been witnessing more frequent and intensified disinformation campaign. State-sponsored yet covert disinformation campaign could even take advantages of its clandestine nature to deny responsibility while causing chaos in the other side of the planet by generating political polarization and thus social tear.

Certainly, merely a riot or even a  civil war would not bring the U.S. down. But the time bought via such disinformation campaign and social turmoil could be. What if, such chaos is generated in times of China’s pre-emptive strike to the island? The use of fake news is only a part of Beijing’s hybrid warfare, of which included much more complexed strategies such as the integration of a satellite assault to blackout BMD system in space warfare, and other use of unorthodox methods like Chinese Maritime Militia[21] (“little blue man”) in East and South China Sea.

These situations, although hypothetical, are not impossible. Yet these potential dangers have already been undermining public’s confidence in traditional media and state’s authority, let alone when being seriously tailored and deployed in wartime. As Taiwan’s president Tsai has noted, “Taiwan does not seek military confrontation……But if its democracy and way of life are threatened, Taiwan will do what never it takes to defend itself.”[22] Akin to Taipei’s situation, like-minded democracies that hope for peace and stability must align and prepare for this information warfare as it is fundamentally threatening our liberal democratic society, as well as international security.

After all, from a realist perspective—if you want peace, prepare for war.


[1] Disinformation, as a form of fake news, is regarded as “false, incomplete, or misleading information that is passed, fed, or confirmed to a target individual, group, or country”. For details, see Shultz, R. H. and Godson, R. (2018). Dezinformatsiya: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy, Washington, D.C.: Pergamon-Brassey, 1984, p.41. and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2018, p.7; Theohary, 2018, p.5.

[2] Greifeneder, R., Jaffé, M., Newman, E. and Schwarz, N., 2021. The Psychology of Fake News. New York: Routledge.

[3] Raska, M. (2015). ‘China and the “Three Warfares”’. The Diplomat. Available at https://thediplomat.com/2015/12/hybrid-warfare-with-chinese-characteristics-2/

[4] Miracola, S. (2018). ‘Chinese Hybrid Warfare’, Italian Institute for International Political Studies.  [online] Available at: https://www.ispionline.it/en/pubblicazione/chinese-hybrid-warfare-21853 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2019].

[5] Wigell, M. (2019). Hybrid interference as a wedge strategy: a theory of external interference in liberal democracy. International Affairs, 95(2), pp.255-275.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Greifeneder, R., Jaffé, M., Newman, E. and Schwarz, N., 2021. The Psychology of Fake News. New York: Routledge.

[8] Chesney, R. and Citron, D. (2019). ‘Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security’. California Law Review, Vol. 107, pp.1753-1819.

[9] Rossler, A. et al. (2019) “2019 Ieee/cvf International Conference on Computer Vision (iccv),” in Faceforensics : Learning to Detect Manipulated Facial Images. IEEE, pp. 1–11. doi: 10.1109/ICCV.2019.00009.

[10] Hsu, K., Sangvikar, D. Zhang, Z. and Navarrete, C. (2020). ‘Lucifer: New Cryptojacking and DDos Hybrid malware Exploiting high and critical vulnerabilities to infect windows devices.’ Palo Alto Networks: Unit 42. 24 June 2020.

[11] Wallace, A. (2020). “Major Data Breaches in 2019.” Toronto Sun. Available at https://torontosun.com/news/world/major-data-breaches-in-2019

[12] GPT is an artificial intelligence system built by OpenAI, an AI research organization based in California.

[13] Kreps, S. and McCain, M. (2019). ‘Not Your Father’s Bots—AI Is Making Fake News Look Real’. Foreign Affairs.

[14] The number is going up every year according to study.

[15] Farrell, H. (2016). ‘The Chinese Government fakes nearly 450 million social media comments a year. This is why.’ Washington Post. Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/19/the-chinese-government-fakes-nearly-450-million-social-media-comments-a-year-this-is-why/

[16] Forsby, A. (2011). ‘The Non-Western Challenger? The Rise of Sino-Centric China’. Danish Institute For International Studies Report.

[17] Today Commercial News. (2021). ‘Please spread the message: Conservative MP Kenny Chiu proposed <The Foreign Influence Registry Act> to suppress the Chinese community’. Available at https://todaycommercialnews.com/canada/49207# (〈請廣傳! 保守黨國會議員趙錦榮提「外國勢力註冊」法案打壓華人社區〉,加拿大商報,2021年09月09日)

[18] Bramham, D. (2021). ‘Daphne Bramham: Conservatives face ugly barrage over party’s China policy’. Vancouver Sun. Available at https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/daphne-bramham-conservatives-face-ugly-barrage-over-partys-china-policy

[19] Greifeneder, R., Jaffé, M., Newman, E. and Schwarz, N., 2021. The Psychology of Fake News. New York: Routledge.

[20] Old Latin saying “Si vis pacem, para bellum” (If you want peace, prepare for war)

[21] Informal navy constituted by the Chinese “citizens”.

[22] Tsai, I. W. (2021).’ Taiwan and the Fight for Democracy—A force for Good in the Changing International Order’. Foreign Affairs. Available at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/taiwan/2021-10-05/taiwan-and-fight-democracy

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East Asia

U.S.-China Rivalry: Emergence of a New “Cold War”?

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday morning (Beijing time), the first face-to-face meeting virtually since Biden took office. (Photo: Xinhua)

On November 16, 2021, A virtual conference was held between USA’s President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping addressing all the issues related to security, human rights and mainly over the issues of Taiwan. The result of the summit, which started respectfully soon turned into accusations and threats.

The tensions between US and China seem to increase in the past following years. Whether the issue is related to human rights, trade, security, etc., very rarely do they develop a consensus otherwise mostly they result in disagreements. However, some disagreements such as that over the future of Taiwan have escalated to a point where there is a risk of direct military confrontation. From China’s perspective, Taiwan is destined to be theirs using force if necessary. While on the other hand, the USA is prepared and determined to push China back who is using all means i.e., military, economic, and diplomatic blackmail to force Taiwan into submission. Hence, even though both sides refuse to budge and maintain the status quo, both countries are seen to participate in the summit at the same time to put each other on notice.

At the summit held, China’s President Xi Jinping warned the US to stop interference on the Taiwan issue, as it is a matter of Intra-China affairs, and if not stopped the USA will only “get burned”. USA’s President Joe Biden in response prompted their position and defended Taiwan against China’s aggression in the past and warned them of serious consequences If China continued its status on Taiwan’s issue. The disagreement over Taiwan is a sign of a great future conflict of the dominance over Asia and eventually, the whole world. One can also compare their whole picture with that cold war between the US and Soviet Union. Even though, there is a huge difference between the two eras, like USSR’s intention was clearly to become a global power while China as many times stated that they have no such intentions.

However, of seen deeply, there are some similarities where one can find similarities between USSR and China. For example, China emerging as a global power militarily and economically, against the USA which has enjoyed its supremacy after the end of the cold war is and along with Biden framing the conflict between the US and China-based on ideology i.e., a clash between autocracy and democracy and both sides willingness to result to military use if necessary.

China’s Rise and USA’s Decline

China in the last 45 years has exceeded greatly economically, militarily, etc., and can be termed as a global superpower, resulting in US-China rivalry as the US has continued to enjoy its supremacy even though it has declined over the past years. China’s growing economy when compared to USSR was the point why the Soviets collapsed. China in the past 50 years expanded at a greater rate as is also assumed to surpass the US by 2030 further increasing the USA’s concerns.  China is also seen to have advanced developments in naval, conventional, space, nuclear realms, etc.

Starting with when China emerged in 1949 as an independent state. It suffered greatly in the early years due to foreign interventions, turmoil, disintegration, famines, etc. while the USA at that time was the global superpower owning 40 to 50 percent of the world’s economy. After that China’s position became apparent in international politics with China in 2001 joining World Trade Organization (WTO), Belt Road Initiative in 2013, etc. further ensured China’s geopolitical expansion and its geostrategic enlargement. With China’s surprising growth, USA’s power has continued to unravel in the post-cold war era. Beginning with the USA’s debacles of its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the 2008 financial crisis, and the disastrous Trump presidency. All this indicated the decreasing power of the US and the rise of other states like China threatening the global supremacy of the US.

With all the rising tensions especially over the issue of Taiwan both the powerful states are still trying to put in their effort to cool down the tensions. As told by US President Biden in the United Nations that he did not want to have a new “cold war” with China and has tried to cool down the rising tensions with Beijing. He told the United Nations last month that he did not want to see a new “Cold War” with China, and both must tread carefully to avoid any aggressive military confrontation in Asia and beyond. Similarly, China is also seeking to avoid using any unnecessary means and threats that could escalate into a larger confrontation. Both the states fully knowing that the world’s survival and wellbeing depends on the two powerful nuclear states.

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