September 27, 2017

The Party’s ‘Hurdles’: the Internet, Propaganda, and Power

By Elsa B. Kania

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 (translated here) 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. The authors gravely declare, “If our Party cannot traverse the hurdle represented by the Internet, it cannot traverse the hurdle of remaining in power for the long term” (我们党过不了互联网这一关,就过不了长期执政这一关).

Read the full op-ed in The Diplomat.

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