The Diplomat

The future of modern warfare increasingly emphasizes technology, with a fast-emerging field being the artificial intelligence (AI) space. AI is becoming increasingly critical when applied to military applications; a notion China is heavily invested in.

4 thoughts on “The Diplomat

  1. shinichi Post author

    China’s Surveillance Technology Is Keeping Tabs on Populations Around the World

    Exports of Chinese AI technology give Beijing a foothold in foreign security systems.

    by Hugh Harsono

    June 18, 2020

    The future of modern warfare increasingly emphasizes technology, with a fast-emerging field being the artificial intelligence (AI) space. AI is becoming increasingly critical when applied to military applications; a notion China is heavily invested in. Strategic-level announcements by the Chinese government have promised as much, with China pursuing a “strategy for development that concentrates on advancing innovation, the contestation of leadership in next-generation information technologies – particularly artificial intelligence.”

    These artificial intelligence tools run the gamut in terms of application, from facial recognition technology to autonomous vehicles and weaponry. However, China’s focus is on exporting this home-grown technology, enabling placement in – and potential access to — foreign security apparatuses. This influence is especially concerning given the growth of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as China is using the BRI to help boost exports of its home-grown AI tools to other countries, providing a window of opportunity for Beijing to influence other nations.

    China has been at the epicenter of innovation for artificial intelligence systems, particularly for those with an emphasis on national security and defense. This focus on exportable defense-based AI systems encompasses typical security functions such as mass surveillance and facial recognition, but has grown to include an “integrated joint operations platform” that uses “big data and artificial intelligence” to conduct “predictive policing.” Chinese autonomous aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as the Wing Loong 2 and CH-4 have been exported to great success, with key purchasers including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. Additionally, companies with global emphasis such as Huawei, Hikvision, and ZTE work directly in conjunction with other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in order to develop the most advanced AI interfaces, with a reach of over 230 cities worldwide as of late 2019. Beijing’s ability to control domestic research facilities is further driving the growth in exportable AI development, ensuring China’s superiority in the AI space when compared to great power competitors like the United States and Russia. These AI systems have been trialed by China to great effectiveness, with two key examples being the crackdown on Uyghurs and the various cities that have piloted China’s social credit and public trust systems.

    In contrast, the United States has attempted to pursue a governmental-led strategy to AI research. This has led to adverse effects for the export of artificial intelligence products with security applications, with the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA) restricting the export of emerging technologies essential to the national security of the United States, to include artificial intelligence systems. This has ultimately created a developmental environment where many Western companies fear becoming too closely associated with the American military due to potentially losing access to China’s burgeoning markets. Additionally, backlash against firms with government affiliations has further contributed to the hesitancy for security-based AI growth in America, with firms such as Palantir and Google’s Project Maven facing significant public and internal repercussions in light of their defense focus.

    China’s quest for dominance in the AI sphere extends to the supply chain for all artificial intelligence systems as well. This notion can be seen in the development of computing power necessary to power AI systems, specifically semiconductors. China has already invested $21.8 billion in the industry with the goal of expanding chip production efforts, with some predictions anticipating double-digit growth in future years. By doing so, China seeks to become more self-sufficient, allowing for the exportation of fully home-grown AI systems. In short, China’s reach will only continue to expand within the AI space, particularly as the AI market expands in both size and revenue with projections predicting a worth of over $50 billion by 2022.

    Many countries have recognized the importance of adopting AI systems for national security purposes, seeing these automated systems as a way to fill gaps for trained personnel and increase transparency within their respective defense infrastructures. It must be noted that many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America use Chinese AI and surveillance technology exclusively, with ease-of-access, cost, and increased foreign direct investment (FDI) from the BRI no doubt being factors that contribute to this decision. Two examples that showcase this global push include Zimbabwe and the Philippines.

    In mid-2018, Zimbabwe announced plans to utilize Hikvision’s facial recognition technology for border security purposes. The move only solidified the Hikvision/Zimbabwe relationship, particularly with Hikvision kick-starting a pilot smart city concept in Zimbabwe’s fourth-largest city, Mutare. The PRC’s AI investments in Zimbabwe continued in early 2019, with the government of Zimbabwe receiving donations of facial recognition terminals from CloudWalk Technology, a Chinese firm that has been sanctioned by the U.S. government for human rights abuses against the Uyghur community. These terminals were donated to construct a mass facial recognition system for the Zimbabwe government.

    In the Philippines, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched a surveillance system project named “Safe Philippines” in the Metro Manila area in November 2019, in conjunction with the #DisiplinaMuna advocacy campaign. The DILG is attempting to improve its capabilities to ensure safety and security in the Philippines’ National Capital Region. The “Safe Philippines” project encompasses up to 12,000 surveillance cameras, utilizing AI tools in conjunction with facial recognition framework to accomplish this goal. This endeavor saw the Filipino government partnering with both Huawei and China International Telecommunication and Construction Corporation (CITCC) while borrowing nearly $400 million for this project, a move that feed into concerns about China’s debt diplomacy via the BRI. Chinese AI and technology are becoming increasingly utilized in other areas of the Philippines, as well, to include within the nation’s enormous call center industry and the country’s popular Dito Telecommunity phone service.

    The examples of Zimbabwe and the Philippines showcase just two ways China is utilizing artificial intelligence, among other technology, to gain a foothold in foreign security and communication systems. Worryingly, the Heritage Foundation has described China as the “world leader in economic espionage and foreign influence operations,” raising suspicions that Beijing is using its BRI and FDI engagements to surveil other nation’s officials and business leaders. In Africa alone, organizations with ties to the Chinese state have already built 14 “secure” government intra-nets, in addition to gifting computers to at least 35 African governments. Latin America’s widespread acceptance of Chinese AI technology presents similar problems, with some projections anticipating these systems becoming “tools of Chinese intelligence collection and influence.”

    The opportunities afforded China through the exportation of AI technology will enable Beijing to conduct high-level surveillance en masse, particularly based on China’s “long-standing pattern of using its foreign infrastructure projects for political advantage and industrial espionage.” In fact, similar patterns are already occurring in Ecuador, Myanmar, and Iran, among many others, with a significant emphasis on countries where the BRI is heavily present.

    China’s dominance in the AI export sphere has emerged over the course of the past several years, with Beijing being heavily involved in sponsoring this growth through SOEs and other state-backed enterprises. As AI becomes more critical for foreign national security defense systems, Chinese systems are becoming part of foreign countries’ security apparatus. Foreign nations must exercise caution in adopting such AI systems, however. Whenever Chinese-based AI is used by third-party governments, it presents China with opportunities for political influence, economic espionage, and much more.

  2. shinichi Post author

    (Google Translate)





    現代の戦争の未来はますますテクノロジーを強調しており、急速に出現している分野は人工知能(AI)空間です。 AIは、軍事用途に適用されるとますます重要になっています。中国は多額の投資を行っているという考えです。中国政府による戦略レベルの発表も同様に約束されており、中国は「イノベーションの推進に焦点を当てた開発戦略、次世代情報技術、特に人工知能におけるリーダーシップの争い」を追求しています。 」

    これらの人工知能ツールは、顔認識技術から自動運転車や武器に至るまで、アプリケーションの面で全範囲を実行します。しかし、中国の焦点は、この自家製の技術を輸出することにあり、外国のセキュリティ装置への配置と潜在的なアクセスを可能にします。この影響は、一帯一路イニシアチブ(BRI)の成長を考えると、特に懸念されます。中国はBRIを使用して、自国のAIツールのその他の国への輸出を促進し、北京が他の国に影響を与える機会を提供しているためです。 。

    中国は、特に国家安全保障と防衛に重点を置いている人工知能システムの革新の中心地にあります。この輸出可能な防衛ベースのAIシステムへの焦点は、大量監視や顔認識などの典型的なセキュリティ機能を含みますが、「ビッグデータと人工知能」を使用して「予測ポリシング」を実行する「統合共同運用プラットフォーム」を含むように成長しました。 Wing Loong 2やCH-4などの中国の自律型航空機(UAV)は、UAE、サウジアラビア、エジプト、パキスタンなどの主要な購入者とともに、大成功を収めて輸出されています。さらに、Huawei、Hikvision、ZTEなどのグローバルに重点を置いている企業は、他の国営企業(SOE)と直接連携して、2019年後半の時点で世界中の230を超える都市にリーチする最先端のAIインターフェースを開発しています。国内の研究施設を管理する北京の能力は、輸出可能なAI開発の成長をさらに促進し、米国やロシアのような大国の競争相手と比較した場合、AI分野における中国の優位性を確保しています。これらのAIシステムは、中国によって非常に効果的に試行されています。2つの重要な例は、ウイグル人と、中国の社会信用システムと公共信頼システムを試験的に導入したさまざまな都市の取り締まりです。

    対照的に、米国はAI研究に対して政府主導の戦略を追求しようと試みました。これは、セキュリティアプリケーションを備えた人工知能製品の輸出に悪影響を及ぼし、2018年の輸出管理改革法(ECRA)は、人工知能システムを含む、米国の国家安全保障に不可欠な新興技術の輸出を制限しています。これは最終的に、中国の急成長する市場へのアクセスを失う可能性があるために、多くの西側企業が米軍と密接に関連することを恐れる開発環境を作り出しました。さらに、政府と提携している企業に対する反発は、米国でのセキュリティベースのAIの成長に対する躊躇にさらに貢献しており、PalantirやGoogleのProject Mavenなどの企業は、防衛の焦点に照らして、公共および内部の重大な影響に直面しています。




    フィリピンでは、内務・地方政府局(DILG)が、#DisiplinaMuna擁護キャンペーンに関連して、2019年11月にマニラ首都圏で「SafePhilippines」という名前の監視システムプロジェクトを開始しました。 DILGは、フィリピンのマニラ首都圏の安全とセキュリティを確保するために、その機能を改善しようとしています。 「SafePhilippines」プロジェクトには最大12,000台の監視カメラが含まれ、AIツールを顔認識フレームワークと組み合わせて利用してこの目標を達成します。この取り組みにより、フィリピン政府はHuaweiとChina International Telecommunication and Construction Corporation(CITCC)の両方と提携し、このプロジェクトに4億ドル近くを借り入れました。これは、BRIを介した中国の債務外交への懸念につながる動きです。中国のAIとテクノロジーは、フィリピンの他の地域でもますます利用されるようになり、国内の巨大なコールセンター業界や国内で人気のあるDitoTelecommunity電話サービスに含まれるようになっています。



    AI輸出分野における中国の優位性は、過去数年の間に明らかになりました。北京は、SOEやその他の国営企業を通じてこの成長を後援することに深く関わっています。 AIが外国の国家安全保障防衛システムにとってより重要になるにつれて、中国のシステムは外国の安全装置の一部になりつつあります。ただし、外国はこのようなAIシステムの採用に注意を払う必要があります。中国を拠点とするAIが第三者政府によって使用されるときはいつでも、それは中国に政治的影響力、経済スパイなどの機会を提供します。

  3. shinichi Post author

    China: Fighting COVID-19 With Automated Tyranny

    The government response to the virus hinged on invasive new surveillance methods, like the Health Code app.

    by Maya Wang

    April 01, 2020

    “I thought the days when humans are ruled by machines and algorithms won’t happen for at least another 50 years. [But] this coronavirus epidemic has suddenly brought it on early,” a blogger on the popular Chinese forum Zhihu wrote. The blogger was complaining about Health Code, an app that local authorities around China rely on to make decisions about quarantining individuals amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The Chinese authorities are notorious for using technology for surveillance, unconstrained by privacy legislation, a free press, robust civil society, or an independent legal system. In Xinjiang, northwestern China, police over the last few years have collected residents’ biometrics without their consent. This and other data has been used to evaluate the level of political loyalty of the region’s 12 million Turkic Muslim minority residents and to determine how much freedom of movement they will be allowed.

    How does Health Code work? People first fill in their personal information, including their ID number, where they live, whether they have been with people carrying the virus, and their symptoms. The app then churns out one of three colors: green means they can go anywhere, yellow and red mean seven and 14 days of quarantine, respectively. The app also surreptitiously collects – and shares with the police – people’s location data.

    The app’s color determination has a wide-ranging impact on the lives of its 700 million users, as local authorities throughout China require people to show their app when they hail a ride, go to supermarkets, or enter and exit residential areas and the subway. Their ability to move around, earn a living, and even obtain necessities and medical care are dependent on the app’s tri-color code. The access control systems of some residential areas even use facial recognition technology, allowing only those with green code to enter, indicating that these systems are linked.

    Exactly how companies designed the app and the criteria they use to categorize people remain unclear. The Zhejiang provincial government has promulgated a set of standards for the Health Code app, outlining broad and ambiguous criteria for categorization. “Having been to affected areas recently” and “belonging to groups relevant to the epidemic” are two of seven criteria that can turn a user’s code red. Other local governments are authorized to establish rules for carrying out these criteria in their districts. Without further insight into the inner workings of the app it is hard for people to make sense of the color they are assigned, or what circumstances might trigger a change in color.

  4. shinichi Post author

    (Google Translate)





    「人間が機械とアルゴリズムに支配されている時代は、少なくともあと50年は起こらないと思いました。 [しかし]このコロナウイルスの流行は突然それを早期に引き起こした」と人気のある中国のフォーラム知乎のブロガーは書いた。ブロガーは、中国各地の地方自治体がCOVID-19の発生の中で個人の検疫について決定を下すために依存しているアプリ、HealthCodeについて不満を漏らしていました。




    企業がアプリをどのように設計したか、そして人々を分類するために使用する基準は依然として不明です。浙江省政府は、Health Codeアプリの一連の基準を公布し、分類の広範で曖昧な基準を概説しました。 「最近影響を受けた地域に行ったことがある」と「流行に関連するグループに属している」は、ユーザーのコードを赤くする可能性のある7つの基準のうちの2つです。他の地方自治体は、その地区でこれらの基準を実行するための規則を確立する権限があります。アプリの内部動作をさらに詳しく理解しないと、割り当てられている色や、どのような状況で色が変化するのかを理解するのは困難です。


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