The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents.
Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviors are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school - or even just your chances of getting a date.
Ahead of China’s annual National Cyber Security Publicity (Propaganda) Week, the Cyberspace Administration of China’s Theoretical Studies Center Group published an article in Qiushi, the leading Chinese Communist Party (CCP) journal on theory, highlighting Xi Jinping’s strategic thinking on building China into a “powerful cyber nation” (or ‘cyber superpower,’ 网络强国).
Their commentary highlights core elements of China’s evolving national cyber strategy, which includes a focus on enhancing the country’s overall level of cyber security, particularly the protection of critical information infrastructure, and advancing indigenous innovation. In particular, this article clearly articulates the CCP’s perception of power and control in cyberspace as an imperative with existential stakes.
On October 23, 1417, the "king of the eastern country," Paduka Batara was buried in Dezhou, Shandong Province, China. Paduka Batara, along with two other kings, Maharajah Kolamating of the "west country" and Paduka Prabhu, the "Cave King", registered in Ming China as a tribute mission from Sulu in 1417.
This year (2017) will be the 600th year since the mission of Paduka Batara to China. To commemorate, three balangay boats were built and launched from Sulu to go to China, tracing the same route once taken by Paduka Batara. While it can be seen as friendly reminder of Filipino-Chinese relations, one may wonder why a Philippine "king" like him would bother going to a tribute mission to China? It is known that the Chinese tributary system involved China being the "Middle Kingdom" or the center of the world, with the rest of the states as subordinates. While the Chinese did not regard them as colonies, and did not administer them directly, they have become planets which gravitated and began revolving around the Chinese sun. In a way, however, is it perhaps symbolic of the Filipino kowtow (bowing down) to Chinese supremacy?
Most people agree that North Korea is a problem. Aside from its nuclear tests, it also stands accused of state-sponsored counterfeiting of foreign currencies, the industrial-scale manufacture and sale of illicit drugs, and even of assassinating its own citizens in foreign countries.
But why is North Korea China's problem in particular? China is North Korea's only major diplomatic ally, but the relationship is fraught with difficulties. How did China get saddled with such a troublesome partner? The history of the relationship runs much deeper than most people realise.
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