The Cybersecurity and Geopolitical Discussion — Broken China? — Episode 20

Separating fact from fiction

To find out, check out Episode 20 of the Cyjax Geopolitical and Cybersecurity Podcast. Here’s a summary of what’s on the table…

In the latest episode of the Cybersecurity & Geopolitical Discussion, the hosts Ian Thornton-Trump CD, CISO for Cyjax, Lisa Forte of Red Goat Security and Philip Ingram MBE of Grey Hare Media, delve into the complexities of China’s image from an outsider’s perspective.

Politics, Growth & Regime

China shares borders with 14 countries and is the fourth largest country in the world, with a population second only to India’s. While China’s political system can be slow-moving, the country is making notable progress in various areas. China is an exceptional country with global ambitions both economically and politically.

From a Chinese perspective, according to Lisa, the country has enjoyed unparalleled growth since 1990. It is not a closed society, as some may presume. In offline conversations, individuals are open about discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the government, but online discussions are subject to censorship. The government reasonably enforces censorship regulations to ensure that the population remains calm and content.

Global Aspirations

Philip discussed their navy’s capabilities and noted that it is a blue water navy with an overseas base in Africa, which provides them with a valuable power projection capability. He further mentioned that they launch an equivalent of the Royal Navy on an annual basis and that their military is growing and becoming more professional. While they do not have any experience in fighting, they are continuously investing in learning and improving their skills. One of the factors that set them apart from other countries is the level of control and surveillance that they impose, and the government exercises a good level of control.

Lisa contributed to the conversation by mentioning that China has made significant progress in terms of development and has successfully lifted more people out of poverty since 1990. The Chinese economy is the driving force behind their growth, and they have ambitious economic goals. China aims to conquer the world economically rather than militarily.

Intellectual Property

It is often suggested that China has gained success through illicit means by stealing intellectual property. While there is evidence to support such claims, it is also important to note that many North American corporations have willingly transferred their technology to China. During a conversation with a Chinese counterpart, Lisa noted their strong business skills and proficiency in creating replicas. Ian added that while Japanese and German electronics are known for their high-end products, Chinese electronics are equally impressive when it comes to cost-effectiveness. In the past, cheap replicas were common, but China’s brands today offer high-quality products ranging from clothing to electronics and cars.

The Shifting Political Relationships

Several smaller nations around the world have attempted to ally with China or have incurred Chinese ire. The UK finds itself in a precarious situation, having opened its doors to Hong Kong immigrants, which has resulted in China’s displeasure due to the rapid outflow of wealth from Hong Kong. According to Lisa, the relationship between China and the UK hinges largely on the outcome of the US elections. A Trump victory would result in a global shift towards the East, not just China but also Korea. Lisa noted that the Chinese hold the British in high regard. However, due to the vast size and diversity of the UK, there exists a multitude of contrasting opinions, and it is difficult to discern a unified stance.

Check out Episode 20 of the Cyjax Geopolitical and Cybersecurity Podcast now to find out all this and more!

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