How do democracies address scope & depth of authoritarian wave?


Jonathan Manthorpe’s best-selling Claws of the Panda is in many ways a primer on the central challenge of our era, notes Hugh Segal, Principal of Massey College, distinguished fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and at the Queen’s School Of Policy Studies.

How do democracies address the scope and depth of an authoritarian wave now picking up momentum?

Engagement with China must set aside the temptations of presuming fair minded universal intent on the part of Chinese state-controlled instruments, he writes for the Globe and Mail:

We must be focused on the protection of our own security and freedoms from Chinese subversion, including the freedoms of our fellow Canadians of Chinese extraction. Countries that wish access to our resources, technology and investment on normative terms do not get to launch cyber attacks against us, from military and intelligence units controlled by the state. We must invest more with our allies in counter-intelligence and joint naval, air and cyber capacity in the Asian Pacific, not to threaten China’s legitimate regional dominance, or peaceful global economic aspirations, but to preclude illegitimate adventurism which a Chinese communist authoritarian regime might well pursue if costs and risks to them are unclear.

The Asia Society hosts a discussion on “Soft Power, Influence, and Strategic Competition in Southeast Asia.”

Speakers: Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; Lindsey Ford, director of political-security affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute; Shanthi Kalathil, senior director of the NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies; Kenichi Nishikata, alternate executive director for Japan, World Bank; Natashya Gutierrez, editor-in-chief at VICE Media Asia; Bradly Parks, executive director of AidData; & Rattaphol Onsanit, Voice of America Thailand Service.

March 6, 2019. 9:30 a.m. Venue: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

RSVP: Elaine Merguerian, 212-327-9313,; or 202-833-2742.

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