As 2016 begins, an historic contest is underway, largely hidden from public view, over competing Chinese and Western strategies to promote economic growth, notes Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University and Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. The outcome of this struggle will determine the fate of much of Eurasia in the decades to come, he writes for Project Syndicate.
For the first time, China is seeking to export its developmental model to other countries, using the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to finance its ambitious One Belt, One Road mega-project, argues Fukuyama, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group. But instability, conflict and corruption are likely to interfere with China’s ambitions, he suggests.
China’s bitter battle to rewrite the rules of the Internet persisted in December in the historic town of Wuzhen, notes Rep. Matt Salmon, U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District. There, China held its second World Internet Conference. The theme was identical to last year’s — “an interconnected world shared and governed by all” — but the context surrounding this WIC was quite different, he writes for The Huffington Post:
This year’s World Internet Conference fell against the backdrop of many notable developments in U.S.-China cyber relations over the past year, including continued government and non-government reporting on China’s persistent malicious cyber espionage; the Obama administration’s threats to impose sanctions against China for cyber-enabled economic espionage; an agreement between the United States and China that “neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors”; and the first China-U.S. ministerial dialogue to discuss cybercrime cooperation.
When the Chinese Communist Party targeted clean energy in its 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), the resulting investment spree upended the global clean energy market almost overnight, notes analyst Scott D. Livingston. Now, as China approaches its 13th Five Year Plan, a new policy dubbed “Internet Power” is emerging as a central theme and is already beginning to influence an even more critical sector: global technology, he writes for ChinaFile:
“Internet Power” (wangluo qiangguo) is a multifaceted strategy that promises to deliver significant state support to the nation’s domestic technology industry while also seeking to influence global Internet governance and opinion. The latest iteration of China’s decade-old strategy of promoting indigenous innovation, “Internet Power” signals that the Party is no longer just reactive to the existential threat of the Internet; it is now seeking to utilize it for its own economic and political ends.