" When did China pivot from seeing the internet as a US-generated threat to something it could use to discipline and punish its own population?
It’s not just the internet, it’s technology in general. If you go back to even the late 1970s and early 80s, the way the Chinese Communist party (CCP) talks about technology is as a tool of social management. It’s a way of not only coercive control, but also sort of cooperative control where you participate in your own management. It’s this idea of shaping the environment, shaping how people think, how they’re willing to act before they even know they’re making a choice. That’s the party’s idea.
The most egregious example of this surveillance technology would be in Xinjiang for controlling the Ui ghur [Muslim] population?
The most visibly coercive forms of what the party is doing are unfolding in Xinjiang. It’s a virtual police state. There are QR codes on people’s doors for when the party goes in to check on who is in. Some researchers have found that if someone leaves through the back door instead of the front door, that can be considered suspicious behaviour."
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