with Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, House of Commons, Canada
It has been 50 years since President Nixon announced to the world he would ‘seek normalization’ between the United States and China. Democratic nations looked on as China opened its economy, and its society to the world in the pursuit of a ‘Great Leap Forward’. Today, the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China, are locked in an ideological and technological competition. Were we naive to imagine China’s prodigious rise would result in a more open, accountable and democratic society? What do we do with a global actor determined on patrol by algorithm? Given the export of AI surveillance technology to autocracies across the world, how do democracies stop the spread of this technological virus?
Josh Rogin of The Washington Post challenged U.S. Senator Joni Ernst to answer for the preparedness of the United States to regain the competitive edge in the fight against autocracy. Boeing VP, Rear Admiral Michael Manazir and James Appathurai, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, debated the rapid acceleration of China’s cyber, nuclear and military capabilities. Can businesses continue to partner with the CCP on technological and security matters without considering the construction of concentration camps and the pervasive reach of the military in commercial matters in China?
Get in the game because there is a game on, and we’re not playing. Democracies must step-up and show-up to #StandTogetherOnChina.
In essence, China is rolling out an all-seeing system of societal control, patrolled by algorithms that identify even potential dissent before it happens – in real time.
Technology is an interesting thing – it all depends what you do with it.
American taxpayer dollars were actually being funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to do research on coronaviruses through our National Institutes of Health.
We all need to put pressure on China to participate as a responsible international actor. If it wants to be a peer competitor, it also has to play by the rules. This would benefit China as much as they benefit us. They would have stability and predictability.
We cannot be passive about the freedoms and liberties that we have been given.
President Biden has called for a move from ‘relentless war to relentless diplomacy’ less than three months after the U.S. withdrew forces from Afghanistan, following a 20-year engagement.
Democracies are rethinking how they engage with the rest of the world in pursuit of prosperity and freedom–concepts that are more interconnected than ever before. Dealing with the global challenge of autocratic governments on the ascent, climate change and a global pandemic, requires government by the people, for the people.
Who holds the key to unlocking the door to the future; military personnel, health educators, civil activists, or members of parliament? Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Dr. Iko Ibanga Founder and CEO of Pro-Health International, Mai El-Sadany from The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and German MP Stephan Mayer grappled with these questions. The panel discussed military coups in Africa, multi-layered democratic collapse in the Middle East, and democratic fatigue in the world’s most established democracies.
The flashpoint of the January 6th attack on the Capitol Building called the resilience of democracy in the West into question and showed that the path ahead will not always be well-travelled. Who will carry the torch forward and keep the faith in democratic institutions and governments alive on this journey?
Russia is an adversary and China is a challenge.
Recently, China has made a big push into Africa in terms of giving loans, building airports, and building railways. It comes with a price. I don’t think they do it because they love us.
Technology played an important role in the Arab Spring. It played an important role in the years since, and it continues to play an important mobilizing role. At the same time, however, governments are now catching up and weaponizing it.
We shouldn’t be too critical of democracy. Certainly, we have tremendous challenges to cope with—Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Mali, still Syria—but I think we still have a lot of strength. Not only in economic terms, but especially in political terms.