China poses a major question to the world. Its rapid economic and political emergence since the 1990s has made it a superpower that now weighs on all dimensions of international relations. Above all, the ideological orientations imposed by its current leader, Xi Jinping, represent a global challenge, especially for Western democracies. The Revue Projet calls for a real awareness of this issue with 12 articles brought together under an evocative title: “Where is China taking us? »
For Jean-Maurice Ripert, former ambassador to Beijing, the observation is clear: “This regime has become a dictatorship”, the Communist Party having completely taken over the life of society. The sinologist Alain Wang describes more precisely how police and ideological control is exercised thanks to digital means: government structures have access to all the data acquired by private online commerce platforms; they then use algorithms which track “deviant” behavior and which serve to manage the “social credit” attributed to each citizen. The ByteDance group, owner of the TikTok network which has more than 150 million users in Europe, is one of the most successful in this field…
For Alain Wang too, there is no doubt: “The world has fallen into a technological cold war where the capture of data flows and the creation of artificial intelligence algorithms have become issues between authoritarian countries and democratic countries. This technological competition is part of a rivalry, even a hostility, even more fundamental because it relates to values. Xi Jinping indeed rejects any legitimacy of the universal corpus of human rights. He wants to create an international system other than that of the UN, by attracting emerging countries into the Chinese sphere of influence.
The authors therefore unanimously call on Europeans to remain firm on democratic values. One of the best ways to do this, believes Hauts-de-Seine senator André Gattolin, is to support Taiwan. This Chinese territory endowed with a pluralist political system and an open society offers a flagrant denial to the totalitarian conception of nationalism promoted by Xi Jinping.