Chinese authorities are wielding facial-recognition software, big-data analytics, and other digital technologies to control China’s citizens by monitoring and assessing their activities, both online and off.
Democracies must grapple not only with the proliferation of AI to authoritarian and illiberal regimes, but also with the temptation that AI poses for democratic governments themselves.
Taking advantage of broad global respect for regionalism, authoritarian regimes are using their own regional organizations to bolster fellow autocracies. These groupings offer a mechanism for lending legitimacy, redistributing resources, and insulating members from democratic influences.
Today’s authoritarians are using “sharp power” to project their influence internationally, with the objective of limiting free expression, spreading confusion, and distorting the political environment within democracies.
The Chinese Communist Party has been using New Zealand as a testing ground for its strategy of building influence through “united front work.”
Australia has been an early target of China’s efforts to buy influence and suppress critical voices, but it has begun mounting a serious defense.
China has emerged as a key player in development assistance, challenging the mainstream development community’s emphasis on good governance.
In 2017, the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world sunk to its lowest point in more than a decade. While the democratic powers grappled with their own internal problems, leading autocrats expanded their global efforts to undermine democratic institutions.
Through its “16+1” initiative, China is building relationships with postcommunist Europe that could threaten to undermine the European Union.
Despite its tiny size, Singapore has shown that a firm stance can help to resist Chinese encroachment.