President Nixon once said that he feared he may have created a “Frankenstein” by opening the world economy to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Unfortunately, Nixon’s fears have become reality, at least in the technology industry.
China has planned for its “desire to seize world technology” in a very methodical way, with specific strategies and tactics since it joined the WTO in 2001.
The plan to capture the world’s technology
CNN reported that China forced companies to hand over trade secrets and technology in exchange for access to their “bait” – a market of 1.4 billion people. Chinese companies gradually took foreign partners’ technology thanks to economic tricks through the globalization system.
Then, in 2008, the government created the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP), a program to attract Chinese scholars educated in the U.S. to return to China as well as recruit foreign researchers in the name of participating in academic research projects. In fact, this is an act to steal intellectual property. In 2012, China spent 1.98% of its gross domestic product on the scheme, and that spending is growing by about 20% annually, according to KChester LLC.
Many Chinese students and scientists have flooded American universities and research institutions to steal American trade secrets, military secrets, and research material. This helps China get the latest technology in the world without spending a lot on research.
According to Clearance Jobs ,TTP has attracted more than 70,000 professionals to “share” their knowledge and expertise with China.
Not only that, but on Oct. 1, 2016 – dubbed the day “America threw the internet to the wolves,” because as soon as President Barack Obama transferred control of the internet of the U.S. to ICANN, China “touched” the U.S. ICANN is not simply a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Los Angeles, California, but it also has an office located in Beijing, with more than 30,000 Chinese employees working in the CCP’s cybersecurity apparatus.
In addition, “warriors” like Huawei and TikTok have gradually taken over the world’s information technology market, providing the CCP with the most useful spyware to conquer the world. By the end of 2018, Huawei had 21 R&D centers around the world with a total investment of more than $15 billion.
“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat – there are countless more,” said Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And he added a comment from White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, “who are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party and their national security apparatus.”
American researcher Christopher Balding recently uncovered evidence that coffee machines made by China-based company Kalerm were unsafe. According to his report, these internet-connected devices collect information, such as payment data, and time and location from users in China.
“While we cannot say that this company is collecting data from non-Chinese users, all evidence shows that their machines can and do collect data from users outside of mainland China and store such data in China,” the report warns. “Data is collected at the time of operation from software installed in the coffee machine.”
So why does China need to collect user data? To serve a bigger plan: win the data war.
China and the data war
Lee, former adviser to the US Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, said China aims to use unrestricted joint operations to achieve the goals of war without actually going to war. In other words, China wants to “subdue the enemy without fighting”.
Under this strategy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses data-collecting apps, products, and services to “monitor and exploit end-user data,” data security expert Rex Lee said.
Robert Spalding, a retired U.S. Air Force major general, sees data as the strategic resource of the 21st century, with a race happening between companies and governments to do their best at data collection and analysis.
That is to say, the CCP soon realized that data had become the new strategic commodity for global domination. Because, if coal and steel were important to national power in the 19th century; and oil and fossil fuels important in the 20th century; then data access and control will be important in the 21st century.
The reason why data will determine the fate of nations is simple: Artificial Intelligence (AI). It can take all that seemingly random and unrelated data to extract patterns and relationships, which is crucial for intelligence machines. The rise of open data, from weather reports and social media to economic and government statistics, plus the rapid growth of machine learning (ML) (thanks to it cloud access and specialized hardware enhanced for ML) turned random data into meaningful information through pattern recognition and predictive modeling — it was all food, like bread and butter for AI. The result is a unified picture that can shape strategic plans and specific actions about the opponent, while giving the informant an unimaginable advantage – sometimes knowing about the opponent more than they know about themselves.
In the case of China, this possibility becomes even more frightening. It is well known that the CCP uses AI for social and political engineering, by rewarding compliance and punishing dissidents even before it happens. Beijing has also learned to export its social credit system to countries that see security as compliance and dissidence as a threat.
With 5G, the data stream will become a flood. These advanced wireless services will move data from 3 million connected devices per square mile — compared with 10,000 per square mile for 4G — including smartphones and cars, photos, and the emails of everyone, almost immediately.
So it’s no surprise that CCP wants Huawei to take the lead in setting up 5G around the world — and no wonder the U.S. and its allies want to prevent that from happening.
Giving the CCP a license to collect and exploit all that data will give it a strategic advantage for the rest of the century. Add in the capabilities of China’s quantum computers, AI/ML accelerators, and we will see them playing a decisive role for the CCP, which will be transformative not just for China and the CCP but also for all of humanity.
Patrick Cronin, an observer of the CCP’s efforts to gain comprehensive information dominance said: “In our advanced digital age, data illuminates the path to economic supremacy, … and control the power of information.” The United States and its allies must develop a strategy to win the data wars and maintain the free flow of information as a sign of freedom, not a component of totalitarian control.