Chinese chief Xi Jinping personally directed the communist regime to focus its efforts to manage the worldwide web, displacing the influential position of the United States, in keeping with inner authorities paperwork not too long ago obtained by The Epoch Times.
In a January 2017 speech, Xi mentioned the “power to control the internet” had change into the “new focal point of [China’s] national strategic contest,” and singled out the United States as a “rival force” standing in the best way of the regime’s ambitions.
The final purpose was for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to manage all content material on the worldwide web, so the regime may wield what Xi described as “discourse power” over communications and discussions on the world stage.
Xi articulated a imaginative and prescient of “using technology to rule the internet” to realize complete management over each a part of the web ecosystem—over purposes, content material, high quality, capital, and manpower.
His remarks had been made on the fourth management assembly of the regime’s high web regulator, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, in Beijing on Jan. 4, 2017, and detailed in inner paperwork issued by the Liaoning Provincial Government in China’s southeast.
The statements affirm efforts made by Beijing prior to now few years to advertise its personal authoritarian model of the web as a mannequin for the world.
In one other speech given in April 2016, detailed in an inner doc by the Anshan City Government in Liaoning Province, Xi confidently proclaimed that within the “struggle” to manage the web, the CCP has reworked from taking part in “passive defense” to taking part in each “attack and defense” on the identical time.
Having efficiently constructed the world’s most sprawling and complex on-line censorship and surveillance equipment, referred to as the Great Firewall, the CCP underneath Xi is popping outwards, championing a Chinese web whose values run counter to the open mannequin advocated by the West. Rather than prioritizing the free movement of knowledge, the CCP’s system facilities on giving the state the flexibility to censor, spy on, and management web knowledge.
Countering the US
The Chinese chief acknowledged the regime lagged behind its rival the United States—the dominant participant on this area—in key areas reminiscent of know-how, investments, and expertise.
To understand its ambitions, Xi emphasised the necessity to “manage internet relations with the United States,” whereas “making preparations for fighting a hard war” with the nation on this space.
American firms needs to be utilized by the regime to succeed in its purpose, Xi mentioned, with out elaborating on how this may be completed.
He additionally directed the regime to extend its cooperation with Europe, growing nations, and member states of Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” to kind a “strategic counterbalance” in opposition to the United States.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an enormous infrastructure funding undertaking launched by Beijing to attach Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East via a community of rail, sea, and highway linkages. The plan has been criticized by the United States and different Western nations as a conduit for Beijing to extend its political and business pursuits in member states whereas saddling growing nations with heavy debt burdens.
The BRI has additionally pushed nations to enroll to “digital silk road” initiatives—these involving data and communications know-how infrastructure. At least 16 countries have signed memoranda of understanding with the regime to work on this space.
Xi ordered the regime to concentrate on three “critical” areas in its pursuit of controlling the worldwide web.
First, Beijing wants to have the ability to “set the rules” governing the worldwide system. Second, it ought to set up CCP surrogates in necessary positions in world web organizations. Third, the regime ought to achieve management over the infrastructure that underlies the web, reminiscent of root servers, Xi mentioned.
Domain Name System (DNS) root servers are key to web communications around the globe. It directs customers to web sites they intend to go to. There are greater than 1,300 root servers on the earth, about 20 of that are situated in China whereas the United States has about 10 occasions that, in keeping with the web site root-servers.org.
If the Chinese regime had been to realize management over extra root servers, they may then redirect site visitors to wherever they need, Gary Miliefsky, cybersecurity knowledgeable and writer of Cyber Defense Magazine, informed The Epoch Times. For instance, if a consumer desires to go to a information article a few matter deemed delicate by Beijing, then the regime’s DNS server may route the consumer to a pretend web page saying the article is not on-line.
“The minute you control the root, you can spoof or fake anything,” he mentioned. “You can control what people see, what people don’t see.”
In current years, the regime has made headway in advancing Xi’s technique.
In 2019, Chinese telecom large Huawei first proposed the concept for a wholly new web, referred to as New IP (web protocol), to interchange the half-century-old infrastructure underpinning the net. New IP is touted to be sooner, extra environment friendly, versatile, and safe than the present web, and might be constructed by the Chinese.
While New IP could certainly result in an improved world community, Miliefsky mentioned, “the price for that is freedom.”
“There’s going to be no free speech. And there’s going to be eavesdropping in real-time, all the time, on everyone,” he mentioned. “Everyone who joins it is going to be eavesdropped by a single government.”
The proposal was made at a September 2019 assembly held on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a U.N. company chargeable for setting requirements for computing and communications points that’s presently headed by Chinese nationwide Zhao Houlin. New IP is ready to be formally debated on the ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly to be held in March 2022.
Miliefsky mentioned the plan is unlikely to realize widespread help amongst nations, however could also be adopted by like-minded authoritarian states reminiscent of North Korea, and later by nations that signed onto BRI and are struggling to repay its loans to China.
This would speed up a bifurcation of the web, what analysts reminiscent of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt have dubbed the “splinternet,” Miliefsky mentioned. “The communist net and the rest of the world.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to Huawei for remark.
According to the doc, Xi ordered the CCP regime to arrange “three ecosystems”—know-how, business, and coverage—to develop core web applied sciences.
Having expert employees was key to this plan, with Xi directing that expertise needs to be employed from across the globe. This can be completed via Chinese firms, Xi prescribed.
He informed Chinese companies to “proactively” invite international “high-end talents,” and to arrange analysis facilities abroad and rent main ethnic Chinese and international specialists to work for them.
Meanwhile, Xi requested the regime to arrange an expert coaching system in China, which may systematically develop a extremely expert workforce in the long term.
He additionally directed officers in every stage of presidency to information Chinese firms to develop their enterprise plans to align with the regime’s strategic targets, and encourage succesful enterprises to take the lead in growing improvements in core applied sciences.
Enterprises had been to be educated in having “national awareness and safeguarding national interests,” Xi mentioned. Only then ought to the regime help and encourage their growth.
Because expertise and demanding know-how are concentrated abroad, the Chinese chief additionally ordered authorities to help the event of a gaggle of multinational web firms that may have world affect.
Turning the Internet Red
Xi, in his 2016 speech, described all on-line content material as falling into three classes: “red zone, black zone, and gray zone.”
“Red zone” content material refers to discourse aligned with the CCP’s propaganda necessities, whereas “black zone” materials falls foul of those guidelines. “Gray zone” content material lies within the center.
“We must consolidate and expand the red zone and expand its influence in society,” Xi mentioned in a leaked speech in August 2013. “We must bravely enter into the black zone [and fight hard] to gradually get it to change its color. We must launch large-scale actions targeting the gray zone to accelerate its conversion to the red zone and prevent it from turning into the black zone.”
Inside China, the CCP has a stranglehold on on-line content material and dialogue via the Great Firewall, an enormous web censorship equipment that blockades international web sites and censors content material deemed unacceptable to the social gathering. It additionally hires an enormous on-line troll military, dubbed the “50-cent army,” to control on-line dialogue. A current report discovered that the CCP engages 2 million paid web commentators and attracts on a community of 20 million part-time volunteers to hold out on-line trolling.
Freedom House, in its 2020 annual web freedom report, labeled China because the world’s worst abuser of on-line freedom for the sixth straight 12 months. Chinese residents have been arrested for utilizing software program to circumvent the Great Firewall and punished for posting feedback on-line unfavorable to the Chinese regime. In a now-notorious incident in the course of the early levels of the pandemic, whistleblower physician Li Wenliang was reprimanded by police for “rumor-mongering” after warning colleagues in a social media chat group a few SARS-like virus in Wuhan City.
In the 2017 remarks, Xi informed the regime to develop a bigger group of “red” on-line influencers to form customers’ perceptions of the CCP. He additionally referred to as for an growth of the 50 cent military to function each inside and out of doors of China’s web.
Since the pandemic, the CCP has sharply escalated its efforts to affect on-line opinion abroad. Using massive networks of troll accounts on Twitter and Facebook, the regime has been in a position to propagate and amplify propaganda and disinformation on matters such because the pandemic, racial tensions within the United States, and the regime’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
From The Epoch Times