Since the 1970s China has been seen by outside observers as moving progressively toward free markets and a more liberalized free market economy. Events like Tiananmen Square protests and resulting government crackdown were seen as an exception, not the rule.
Today, 20 years after Tiananmen the story is proving this perspective of China false. China’s economy has continued to expand, it is now second only to the United States in nominal GDP rankings, in other areas China has become much more regressive than was imagined in the 1990s.
Many are aware of China’s influence on the protests in Hong Kong. Far more critical and emblematic of China’s authoritarian nature is the crackdown among the Uighur Muslims. An estimated 2 million have been imprisoned where they are “reeducated” through torture and indoctrination. In the course of 6 years, one thousand new prisons were built in China to house the Uighurs. Children are taken from their parents and taught that their parent’s religious believes make them insane.
The crackdown upon the Uighur people may be the most severe in China today but there are other victims and targets of the Chinese state as well. These include Tibet, Christians, and more.
The methods China is using in these methods for maximum state control of the world’s largest national population are also very disturbing. To put it plainly, China is becoming a nationalized version of everyone’s greatest fears regarding today’s tech companies. With a seeming total disregard for privacy and civil liberties, China is using technology not only to monitor its citizens and capture criminals but to predict criminal behavior using artificial intelligence and advance face recognition technology.
- China’s New Weapon of Choice is Your Face (Quartz)
- George Orwell’s Dystopian Nightmare in China (The American Conservative)
- 30 years after Tiananmen Square massacre, China is more authoritarian than ever but also more capitalist (Business Insider)
- How China Is Using “Social Credit Scores” to Reward and Punish Its Citizens (Time)
- How the West Got China’s Social Credit System Wrong (WIRED)
In this podcast episode, the guys look at China and consider how this occurred and the different cultural perspectives to state control and technology. You will likely be surprised by this open-minded approach and discussion to China and where we end up.
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