President Obama acknowledged Dec. 3 that the Chinese exercise of cybertheft is “indisputable.” While he encouraged American CEOs to speak out about China’s behavior, others, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could not be more eager to pander to senior Chinese officials in order to nudge his way into a lucrative new market. Facebook is blocked in China. So when China’s top Internet regulator, Lu Wei, proclaimed in October that he never said Facebook could or could not enter China, Zuckerberg renewed his charm offensive.
The Facebook CEO was photographed showing a copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book of speeches to Lu during his visit to Silicon Valley earlier this month, saying he bought the book because he wants his employees to “understand socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
Why was Zuckerberg’s gesture toward Lu especially concerning? Because China is actively promoting a counter-narrative to the traditional Western notion of an open, free, networked society. China, and in particular Lu, have been proposing the concept of sovereignty in cyberspace, implying China’s ability to control its own Internet, censor information that may threaten the regime, and administer Web traffic within its own borders. China has employed this language in state-sponsored media, in government white papers, in U.N. meetings, and in literature distributed at Internet governance conferences.
Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle.
More from CNAS
PodcastUS-China: Hong Kong and Uighurs
Daniel Kliman and Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, talk with host Carol Castiel about Beijing’s reaction to the “The ...
By Daniel Kliman
VideoWhat does the US want from China? What is its endgame?
Daniel Kliman appears on a BBC News feature to discuss the state of U.S. policy toward China. Listen to the full conversation and more:...
By Daniel Kliman
Congressional TestimonyHow Corporations and Big Tech Leave Our Data Exposed to Criminals, China, and Other Bad Actors
I. Key Observations and Assessments1 Chairman Hawley, Ranking Member Whitehouse, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a topic of...
By Kara Frederick
CommentaryHow American Progressives Think About Asian Security
Democrats running for the 2020 U.S. presidential nomination implicitly accept – or at least have not rejected – the premise that the United States’ fate is linked to that of t...
By Van Jackson