Transcript: China's Political Ambitions | Oct 02, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted brown tie.

A caption on screen reads "China: Radical change and radical order. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says SINCE THE TURN OF THE
21ST CENTURY, CHINA'S ECONOMIC
GROWTH HAS SOARED, SUCH THAT IT
IS NOW VYING WITH THE U.S. FOR
TOP SPOT IN THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC
ORDER.
IT'S A DYNAMIC,
ENTREPRENEUR-DRIVEN ECONOMY,
WITH A BURGEONING CONSUMER
CLASS.
AND WITH A POPULATION
APPROACHING A BILLION DOLLARS AND A
HALF, THAT MEANS RIPPLES AND
REALIGNMENT ACROSS THAT COUNTRY.
JOINING US NOW TO REFLECT ON
CHINA'S REMARKABLE RISE:
DAVID MULRONEY, FORMER CANADIAN
AMBASSADOR TO CHINA AND AUTHOR
OF "MIDDLE POWER, MIDDLE
KINGDOM: WHAT CANADIANS NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT CHINA IN THE 21ST CENTURY."

David is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a navy blue sweater, blue shirt, and spotted blue tie.

Steve continues AND DIANA FU IS HERE, SHE IS
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ASIAN
POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, AUTHOR OF "MOBILIZING
WITHOUT THE MASSES: CONTROL AND
CONTENTION IN CHINA" AND HOST OF
TVO'S SERIES THAT STARTS
TONIGHT, "CHINA: HERE AND NOW."

Diana is in her thirties, with long straight black hair. She's wearing a bright red shirt and a silver and gold necklace.

Steve continues AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
YOU BACK TO OUR TELEVISION
STATION, AND YOU HERE AND NOW
FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Diana says THANK YOU.

Steve says LOVELY TO HAVE YOU
HERE.
LET US JUST TO GET OUR
CONVERSATION KICK STARTED HERE
LOOK AT A LITTLE CLIP ABOUT THE
MAGIC OF e-COMMERCE IN CHINA
TODAY.
SHELDON, GO.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Xiang Wan, Jiangxi Province."

Images show a rural area and a young person collecting water from a small channel by a dirt road.

The caption changes to "China's E-commerce revolution."

A male announcer says THIS IS A VILLAGE IN CHINA.
IT IS ONE OF THE PLACES THAT
DIDN'T ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THE
ECONOMIC BOOM AND HAS NO
ADEQUATE WATER SUPPLY FACILITIES.

Elderly women sit outside a shop in a small village.

The announcer continues THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE LEFT TO
WORK IN THE CITIES AND THE
REMAINING 500 OR SO OLDER PEOPLE
IN THE VILLAGE GET BY ON THEIR
OWN MEANS.
THEY COULDN'T SHOP BECAUSE THERE
WERE NO STORES, BUT IN 2015 A
SERVICE CENTRE FOR ON-LINE
SHOPPING WAS OPENED HERE.

An elderly woman approaches a young woman who uses a desktop computer inside a small shop.

The announcer continues TOGETHER WITH e-COMMERCE
COMPANIES, THE GOVERNMENT SET UP
THIS MARKET WHERE ON-LINE ORDERS
CAN BE PLACED.

The young woman unwraps a red blazer and shows it to another woman.

The announcer continues ABOUT 40,000 OF THESE
e-MARKETPLACES HAVE BEEN
ESTABLISHED AROUND CHINA, MAINLY
IN INLAND VILLAGES.

The clip ends.

Steve says SO HERE WE'VE GOT
BUYING AND SELLING AND CREATING
AND DIGITIZING AND INVESTING.
IT SEEMS LIKE A REGULAR
CAPITALIST SOCIETY, BUT WITH, AS
THE CHINESE LIKE TO SAY, CHINESE
CHARACTERISTICS.
HOW IS THIS EXPERIENCED BY
MILLIONS OF PEASANTS WHO WERE
EXCLUDED FROM COMMERCIAL LIFE IN
THE PRE-DIGITAL CHINA?

The caption changes to "Diana Fu. University of Toronto."
Then, it changes again to "Digitizing the Middle Kingdom."

Diana says YEAH, I MEAN, THIS IS A
REALLY GOOD QUESTION.
I THINK THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
IN CHINA HAS PROFOUNDLY CHANGED
EVERYDAY LIFE FOR A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN CHINA, ESPECIALLY FOR
RURAL PEOPLE.
AS YOU SAW IN THE VIDEO AND IN
THE DOCUMENTARY TONIGHT, THESE
ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR.
THEY LIVE IN THE HINTERLANDS OF
CHINA.
THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO MALLS,
RIGHT?
AND SO BEFORE THE DIGITAL
REVOLUTION, THEY DIDN'T HAVE A
RANGE OF GOODS THAT THEY COULD
BUY, BUT NOW IF THEY GO TO THE
SERVICE CENTRE, OR SOME PEOPLE
JUST WITH A FEW CLICKS ON THEIR
PHONES, THEY CAN ORDER THE
LATEST FASHION T-SHIRTS.
THEY CAN ORDER THE LATEST
GADGETS, AND THIS IS REALLY
PROFOUNDLY CHANGING THEIR LIVES,
AND IT MIGHT NOT SEEM... I THINK
IT MIGHT NOT SEEM REALLY
REMARKABLE TO THOSE OF US WHO
ARE USED TO BUYING STUFF FROM
AMAZON, RIGHT, BUT I THINK IT'S
REALLY A BIG SHIFT BECAUSE
OPENING UP THE RURAL MARKET IN
CHINA IS LIKE... KIND OF LIKE
DISCOVERING A GOLDMINE, AND IT'S
MADE SOME PEOPLE VERY, VERY
WEALTHY.
I'M SURE YOU'VE HEARD OF JACK MA
WHO HAS BASICALLY BECOME CHINA'S
INTERNATIONAL e-COMMERCE HERO
BECAUSE HE OWNS ALI BABA.

Steve says HE'S STEPPING DOWN,
ISN'T HE?

Diana says HE'S ONE OF THE TOP 20
RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

Steve says LET'S PUT SOME NUMBERS
ON HERE.
THE e-commerce PHENOMENON IN CHINA

A slate appears on screen, with the title "China online."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
731 MILLION DOLLARS OF CHINA'S
1.4 BILLION DOLLARS CITIZENS USE THE
INTERNET, ABOUT HALF.
OF GLOBAL e-commerce, CHINA
ACCOUNTS FOR 42 percent.
10 YEARS AGO IT WAS 1 percent.
YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MASSIVE
GROWTH, THIS IS A COUNTRY,
DAVID, THAT HAS CHANGED IN WAYS
WE CANNOT IMAGINE OVER THE PAST
FEW DECADES.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHINA THAT
MAKES THAT POSSIBLE?

The caption changes to "David Mulroney. Former Canadian Ambassador to China."

David says WELL, I WAS THINKING AS YOU
WERE QUOTING THAT, WHEN I FIRST
SERVED IN CHINA IN THE MID-'80S,
MY CO-WORKERS, WE WERE OPERATING
OUT OF A HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS OF
SHANGHAI THAT WAS THE CONSULATE
GENERAL OF CANADA.
WE REOPENED IT IN 1986.
HOURS COMMUTING, SHOPPING FOR
THE FAMILY IN STORES THAT WERE
UNFRIENDLY AND POORLY SUPPLIED,
AND THAT'S ALL CHANGED.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS CHINA'S
DONE REALLY WELL IS, YOU KNOW,
WHAT'S REFERRED TO IS
LEAPFROGGING.
SO WHEN I WAS IN CHINA IN THE
FIRST TIME AROUND, IT WAS REALLY
HARD TO MAKE A TELEPHONE CALL TO
THE EMBASSY IN BEIJING.
PEOPLE DIDN'T HAVE PHONES AND
THEY LIVE IN VAST TENEMENTS AND
THERE WOULD BE A COUPLE OF
PHONES THAT EVERYBODY WOULD USE.
BUT INSTEAD OF INSTALLING THE
PHONE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WE
HAVE IN NORTH AMERICA, THEY WENT
CELLULAR.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN RETAIL IS
INSTEAD OF BUILDING A WALMART IN
EVERY VILLAGE, YOU'RE GOING...
YOU'RE SHOPPING ON-LINE AND YOU
HAVE REALLY SMART, VERY
SOPHISTICATED DELIVERY SERVICES
THAT WILL NOW INCLUDE DRONE
DELIVERIES, SO THEY LEAPFROG
WHOLE AREAS OF TECHNOLOGY TO
SORT OF GET OUT INTO THE
FOREFRONT.
IT'S REALLY REMARKABLE.

Steve says DOES THEIR
AUTHORITARIAN CAPITALIST NATURE
OF GOVERNMENT MAKE THIS POSSIBLE
IN A WAY THAT MAYBE WE CAN'T DO
IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY?

David says TO AN EXTENT IT DOES, IN THAT
REGULATIONS ARE THERE TO BE
OBEYED UNTIL SOMEONE ISN'T
LOOKING, SO THERE'S A LITTLE BIT
OF NUDGE, NUDGE, WINK, WINK,
THAT'S ALLOWED MANY
ENTREPRENEURS TO RISE TO THE
TOP.
THAT'S CHANGING A LITTLE BIT
RIGHT NOW UNDER PRESIDENT XI
JINPING BECAUSE THE
ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN IS NOW
SHINING A LIGHT ON SOME OF THOSE
AREAS THAT ALLOWED PEOPLE TO
FLOURISH.
AND THE ABSENCE OF REGULATION IN
SOME OF THESE SECTORS IS
PROBLEMATIC.

Steve says LET'S DO ANOTHER
GRAPHIC HERE.
AGAIN SHOWING SOME OF THE WEALTH
THAT YOU JUST, DIANA, TALKED
ABOUT A MOMENT AGO.
HERE WE GO, SHELDON, THANKS.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Unicorns: Privately held startups valued over 1 billion dollars."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
AS OF 2017 CHINA HAD WHAT ARE
CALLED UNICORNS, 164 UNICORNS.
THESE ARE PRIVATELY HELD
START-UPS VALUED AT MORE THAN A
BILLION DOLLARS, VALUED AT 628
BILLION U.S. dollars.
BY COMPARISON, THE U.S. HAD 132
UNICORNS VALUED AT 700 BILLION DOLLARS
U.S.
TODAY CHINA COUNTS 338
BILLIONAIRES.
IT IS THE SECOND-LARGEST
NATIONAL GROUPING AFTER THE
U.S., WHICH HAS ABOUT TWICE AS
MANY, 680 BILLIONAIRES.
BILLIONAIRES... WELL, NOT
UNIVERSALLY, BUT OBVIOUSLY THERE
ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE
UNITED STATES WHO ADMIRE
BILLIONAIRES FOR WHAT THEY'VE
BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH.
DO THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY IN
CHINA ABOUT THEIR BILLIONAIRES THERE?

The caption changes to "Diana Fu. Author, 'Mobilizing without the masses.'"

Diana says THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION, AND
IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHO YOU
ASK, RIGHT?
IF YOU ASK THE AVERAGE CHINESE
PEOPLE, I MEAN, I REMEMBER A
DECADE AGO THERE WAS A
SOCIOLOGIST AT HARVARD, MARTIN
WHITE DID A SURVEY, AND
SURPRISINGLY PEOPLE ARE QUITE
TOLERANT OF WEALTH INEQUALITY.
IT MIGHT SEEM IRONIC.
THIS IS A COMMUNIST COUNTRY AND
YOU THINK PEOPLE WANT QUALITY.

Steve says OF OUTCOME.

Diana says YES, EQUALITY OF OUTCOME,
EQUALITY OF WEALTH AND EQUALITY
OF LIFE.
BUT MY OWN EXPERIENCE LIVING IN
CHINA, HAVING FRIENDS AND
RELATIVES IN CHINA, PEOPLE DON'T
REALLY HAVE THAT MUCH OF A
PROBLEM WITH WEALTH INEQUALITY.
THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH
GETTING RICH, GETTING
SUCCESSFUL, THE ENTREPRENEURIAL
SPIRIT.

Steve says SO THE SENSE IS IF
THEY COULD DO IT, THEN MAYBE I CAN DO.
THAT USED TO BE THE SENSE IN THE U.S.
THERE'S A LOT MORE ENVY ABOUT
THE RICH TODAY I SUSPECT.
THERE'S MORE IN... I MEAN,
ACCORDING TO THE FIGURES I HAVE,
THERE'S MORE INCOME INEQUALITY
IN CHINA THAN THERE IS IN THE
UNITED STATES TODAY, WHICH IS
SHOCKING.
IS EQUALITY NOT VALUED IN CHINA
TODAY IN THE WAY MAYBE IT ONCE
WAS 34 YEARS AGO?

David says I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE
CHALLENGES THAT THE COMMUNIST
PARTY IS FACING, AND IT'S THAT
RAMPANT INEQUALITY.
IT'S ONE OF THE GREATEST CHANGES
I SAW IN MY LIFETIME.
DESPITE ALL THE PROBLEMS I
MENTIONED THAT I SAW IN CHINA
WHEN I SERVED THERE IN THE
MID-'80S, THERE WAS AN EQUALITY,
THERE WAS AN EGALITARIAN SIDE TO
SOCIETY THAT WAS ACTUALLY QUITE
ADMIRABLE, AND THAT HAS CHANGED.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS
PREVENTED THIS FROM BECOMING A
MAJOR ISSUE IS THAT IT'S
GEOGRAPHICALLY THE TWO CLASSES
ARE GEOGRAPHICALLY SEPARATED.
SO IF YOU'RE IN SHANGHAI OR
BEIJING OR DOWN IN GAUNG JOE,
THERE ARE A LOT OF WEALTHY
PEOPLE AND THE SHOPPING MALLS
ARE ALMOST OVERWHELMING IN TERMS
OF THEIR OPULENCE.
BUT WHEN YOU PUSH INLAND, AND WE
SAW SOMETHING OF THAT IN TERMS
OF THE VILLAGE WHERE THE OLD
PEOPLE LIVE, IT'S NOT AS
APPARENT.
THAT'S CHANGING SLOWLY, AND THIS
WILL BE A POLITICAL PRESSURE FOR
THE PARTY TO ADDRESS.

Steve says I SHOULD ASK A
MILLENNIAL A QUESTION ABOUT MILLENNIALS.
DOES THE WORD "COMMUNISM" MEAN
ANYTHING TO MILLENNIALS IN CHINA TODAY?

Diana says YEAH, I THINK, YOU KNOW,
MILLENNIALS TODAY THINK OF
COMMUNISM MORE IN AN
INSTRUMENTAL FASHION, RIGHT?
YOU JOIN THE PARTY NOT
NECESSARILY BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE
IN COMMUNISM BUT BECAUSE YOU
WANT TO ADVANCE, YOU WANT TO
SIGNAL THAT YOU'RE ON THE RIGHT
SIDE OF POLITICS, THAT YOU'RE A
GOOD CITIZEN, AND THAT'S WHY YOU
JOIN THE COMMUNIST PARTY.
NOW THERE'S THAT TERM, ACTUALLY,
TO REFER TO THE MILLENNIAL
GENERATION IN CHINA TODAY.
THEY ARE CALLED THE ZEN
GENERATION.
WHY?
BECAUSE EVERYTHING KIND OF IS BLASÉ.
EVERYTHING IS BASIC, AND THEY
ARE NOT SUPER-POLITICALLY
ENGAGED, SO I HAVE A HARD TIME
THINKING THAT THESE PEOPLE OF
THE ZEN GENERATION ARE ALL THAT
CONCERNED WITH COMMUNISM.
THEY ARE PROBABLY MORE CONCERNED
ABOUT TAKING SELFIES AND POSTING
IT ON WE CHAT.

The caption changes to "Communist inequality."

Steve says OH, MY GOODNESS.
NOW WHEN YOU WERE THERE, WOULD A
YOUNG PERSON HAVE TAKEN THAT
APPROACH TO THE WORD "COMMUNISM."
OR WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A
COMMUNIST BACK THEN?

The caption changes to "David Mulroney, @David_Mulroney."
Then, it changes again to "Watch the documentary series at: tvo.org/ChinaHereAndNow"

David says WHEN I FIRST WENT, NO.
IT WAS VERY SERIOUS.
THIS WAS PRE-TIANANMEN, WHICH
HAPPENED IN '89, AND THAT
CHANGED EVERYTHING.
IT SENT THE PARTY INTO MORE OF A
DECADE IN FIGURING OUT WHAT HAD
HAPPENED, WHAT HAD CAUSED
SOCIETY ALMOST TO COLLAPSE, WHAT
HAD CAUSED THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
ALMOST TO COLLAPSE.
SO THEY WIDENED THE PARTY
GREATLY.
THEY ALLOWED ALL KINDS OF
PEOPLE, INCLUDING ENTREPRENEURS,
TO BECOME PARTY MEMBERS.
THE PARTY WENT FROM, YOU KNOW,
SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS TO 70 MILLION DOLLARS,
AND THEY DECIDED THAT INSTEAD OF
HAVING A DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE
IT, YOU HAVE DIFFERENT PARTIES
CONTESTING, THEY WOULD HAVE WHAT
THEY CALL INTRAPARTY DEMOCRACY.
DEMOCRACY INSIDE THE PARTY.
SO YOU COULD DEBATE REALLY KEY
ISSUES.
WE SOMETIMES THINK THEY DON'T
DEBATE THINGS IN CHINA.
THEY DO.
THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WORRY ABOUT
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ARE
ENVIRONMENTALISTS, AND THEY ARE
INDUSTRIALISTS WHO SAY, NO,
WE'VE GOT TO KEEP THE ECONOMY
GROWING AT THIS LEVEL AND WE'RE
GOING TO HAVE TO CUT SOME
CORNERS AT SOME LEVEL.
BUT THESE DEBATES HAPPEN WITHIN
THE PARTY, AND ONCE THEY ARE
SETTLED, THEY'RE SETTLED.
I THINK DIANA IS ABSOLUTELY
RIGHT.
I WOULD MEET PEOPLE WHO WERE
JOINING THE PARTY LIKE YOU JOIN
A SERVICE CLUB HERE OR GET ON A
BOARD.
IT HELPS YOUR CV, BUT PEOPLE
DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, AND THE
PARTY I THINK RECOGNIZES THIS,
AND THEIR DEAL WITH THE CHINESE
PEOPLE IS WE WILL PROVIDE
STABILITY.
YOU'RE GOING TO GET HEALTH CARE,
YOU'RE GOING TO GET EDUCATION.
YOU'RE GOING TO GET YOUR OWN
CONDO.
AND IN RETURN WE'LL TAKE CARE OF
THE GOVERNMENT.
IN FACT, THAT OLD SLOGAN FROM
WHEN I WAS YOUNG WITH THE BUS
COMPANY SAID LEAVE THE DRIVING
TO US.
FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY, IT'S
LEAVE THE GOVERNANCE TO US AND
THINGS ARE GOING TO BE OKAY, AND
SO FAR THAT'S WORKED.

Steve says IT DOES RAISE THE
QUESTION WHAT IF YOU DON'T WANT
TO LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US, AND
THAT GETS US... WANT TO MOVE OUR
CONVERSATION NOW INTO
SOMETHING... WE ACTUALLY... IT'S
FUNNY, THEY HAVE THE SAME
EXPRESSION MANY DECADES AGO,
SOCIAL CREDIT.
THERE WAS A GOVERNMENT IN
BRITISH COLUMBIA CALLED THE
SOCIAL CREDIT GOVERNMENT.
THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT.
I'D LIKE YOU TO EXPLAIN TO US
THIS NEW AND HUGELY
CONTROVERSIAL APPROACH THEY'RE
TAKING IN CHINA CALLED SOCIAL CREDIT.
WHAT IS IT?

The caption changes to "Diana Fu, @dianafutweets."
Then, it changes again to "Harmony through surveillance."

Diana says YEAH, I MEAN, THE SOCIAL
CREDIT SYSTEM IS NEW TO ALL OF
US, AND IT IS INDEED
CONTROVERSIAL.
AND WHAT IT IS IS YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND THAT CHINA HAS GONE
THROUGH SO MUCH RAPID CHANGE
THAT EVERYBODY IN SOCIETY IS
FACING COMMON PROBLEMS, LIKE
CONSUMER SCAMS, RIGHT?
THEY GO ON-LINE, THEY BUY
SOMETHING, THEY GET CHEATED.
OR THEY'RE FACING SOMEONE WHO IS
BEHAVING VERY BADLY IN PUBLIC,
AND SO WHAT THE SOCIAL CREDIT
SYSTEM DOES IS IT PUNISHES
PEOPLE THAT ARE BAD CITIZENS.
IT PUNISHES COMPANIES THAT ARE
CHEATING CONSUMERS BY DEDUCTING
POINTS, AND CONVERSELY, IF YOU
DO SOMETHING GOOD, LIKE GET A
GOOD CITIZENSHIP AWARD, YOU GET
POINTS FOR IT.

says YOU CAN LITERALLY LOOK ON
YOUR SMARTPHONE AND SEE YOUR
SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE.

Diana says I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT.

Steve says YOU CAN.
I'VE SEEN IT.

Diana says YOU HAVE, OKAY.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO
THAT'S BAD IN ORDER TO HAVE YOUR
SCORE REDUCED?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Diana says THERE CAN BE A NUMBER OF
THINGS.
YOU CAN VIOLATE TRAFFIC LAWS.
THAT SEEMS, OKAY, YEAH, NO ONE
WANTS TO VIOLATE TRAFFIC LAWS,
AND WE ALL WANT TO KNOW WHO'S
VIOLATING TRAFFIC LAWS, BUT
THERE ARE OTHER A LITTLE BIT
MORE WORRYING THINGS THAT YOU
CAN GET DEDUCTED FOR, SUCH AS
CRITICIZING THE GOVERNMENT
ON-LINE, AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT
WORRIES SOME OBSERVERS LOOKING
AT THE SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM.

Steve says WHEN THIS IS FULLY
IMPLEMENTED, IT IS GOING TO KIND
OF, YOU KNOW, REACH TENTACLES
INTO MANY, MANY ASPECTS OF THE
AVERAGE CHINESE PERSON'S LIFE.
THEY THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY
IT WILL CREATE A MORE HARMONIOUS
SOCIETY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

David says WELL, THAT'S THE REALLY
INTERESTING THING ABOUT IT.
WE TEND TO THINK, AGAIN, IN
TERMS OF THE STATE AND THE
PEOPLE, BUT SOCIAL CREDIT IS
SOMETHING THAT IS BEING
IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT THE
CHINESE SOCIETY AND THROUGHOUT
THE ECONOMY SO THAT IF YOU, FOR
EXAMPLE, HAD A MELTDOWN ON AN
AIRPLANE, YOU WERE MAD ABOUT
HAVING TO LINE UP OR NOT GETTING
YOUR SEAT, AND I USED TO SEE
THAT HAPPEN ON A WEEKLY BASIS,
THEN THE AIRLINE RECOGNIZES YOU
WHEN YOU GO TO CHECK IN, YOU
MIGHT NOT GET A TICKET ON YOUR
NEXT FLIGHT.
SO BANKS AND AIRLINES AND
SERVICE PROVIDERS, THE UBER
EQUIVALENT IN CHINA COULD
RECOGNIZE THIS.
SO PEOPLE ARE GOING TO FEEL THE
DIFFERENCE, AND AS DIANA SAID,
THIS CONCERN ABOUT A BREAKDOWN
OF, YOU KNOW, SORT OF CIVIC
BEHAVIOUR, CIVIC DECENCY IS VERY
REAL.
THAT'S THE SEMI-POSITIVE SIDE OF
THIS.
BUT IF YOU MARRY THIS CAPACITY
TO THINGS THAT WE'RE SEEING NOW,
SUCH AS INCREDIBLE ADVANCES IN
THINGS LIKE FACIAL RECOGNITION
TECHNOLOGY, YOU HAVE... YOU'RE
HANDING THE POWERS THAT BE
TREMENDOUS, TREMENDOUS CONTROL
OVER THE SOCIETY.
AND WE'RE SEEING THE REALLY
NEGATIVE SINISTER APPLICATION OF
THIS IN THE FAR WEST OF CHINA IN
SHING JANG WHERE ABOUT A MILLION
OF THE MUSLIM... PEOPLE THERE
ARE NOW IN RE-EDUCATION CAMPS,
AND CHINA IS USING THIS MIX OF
TECHNOLOGY AND TRACKING PEOPLE
INDIVIDUALLY TO EXERT A DEGREE
OF SOCIAL CONTROL THAT WE
HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE.

Steve says WE WOULD NOT... AT
LEAST I THINK WE WOULD NOT PUT
UP WITH THIS IN THE WEST WHERE
THERE ARE LITERALLY 200 MILLION
CAMERAS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
TAKING THE MOST SOPHISTICATED
PICTURES OF PEOPLE WALKING IN
DAILY LIFE AND TRACKING THEIR
PERSONAL INFORMATION.
HERE'S... I WANT TO JUST STEAL A
QUOTE FROM A COLUMN YOU WROTE
EARLIER THIS SUMMER WHICH
CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING: WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, WE'RE
ARROGANTLY INSISTING ON THE
ADOPTION OF AN AGENDA THAT
REFLECTS THE WORLD VIEW AND
BIASES OF THE SECULAR WEST.
PRIVACY AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
ARE WESTERN VALUES.
SHOULD WE PUT THESE VALUES,
SHOULD WE IN THE WEST BE PUTTING
THESE VALUES ASIDE WHEN WE THINK
ABOUT THE POLITICAL CONTROL THAT
IS OBVIOUSLY PART AND PARCEL OF
SOCIAL CREDIT?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

David says NO.
I THINK THERE ARE CERTAIN
COMMONLY HELD IDEAS IN TERMS OF
PEOPLE'S RIGHTS TO PRIVACY AND
RIGHTS TO A DEGREE OF A
POLITICAL FREEDOM THAT WE
SHOULDN'T SET ASIDE.
IT'S HOW WE EXPRESS THEM, AND
WHEN WE EXPRESS THEM IN PURELY
WESTERN TERMS, WE OFTEN SAY...
AND THERE'S AN ARGUMENT IN CHINA
THAT DEMOCRACY IS A WESTERN
CONSTRUCT.
WELL, A PLACE LIKE TAIWAN PUTS A
LIGHT TO THAT, BUT TAIWANESE
DEMOCRACY DEVELOPED IN TAIWANESE
TERMS, AND THERE WAS A
DEMOCRATIC PAST IN CHINA THAT
DEVELOPED IN PURELY CHINESE
TERMS, SO WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED
TO UNDERSTAND HOW IT'S EXPRESSED
AND WHAT THE SOLUTIONS ARE THAT
THE CHINESE FIND.
BUT THE IDEAS LIKE DEMOCRACY AND
PRIVACY ARE ACCEPTABLE AND
SHOULD BE PROTECTED WHEREVER YOU
LIVE.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON
THAT, DIANA?

Diana says YOU KNOW, A COLLEAGUE OF MINE
RECENTLY DID A SURVEY ASKING
CHINESE PEOPLE WHAT THEY THINK
OF THE SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM, AND
SHE FOUND A WHOPPING 80 percent
RESPONDENTS TO THE SURVEY
ACTUALLY SUPPORT IT.

Steve says CHINESE CITIZENS, 80 percent
OF WHOM APPROVE.

Diana says PROVE OF THE SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM.

Steve says OF THE GOVERNMENT
BEING IN THE MOST INTIMATE
DETAILS OF THEIR LIFE.

Diana says YES, AND THE REASON FOR THAT
I THINK... I WAS PUZZLING OVER
IT, AND I WAS THINKING IT'S NOT
THAT SURPRISING BECAUSE MOST
PEOPLE ARE NOT POLITICAL
DISDENTS OR ACTIVISTS.
MOST PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
NOT BEING CHEATED WHEN THEY GO
OUT AND BUY SOMETHING.

Steve says I WOULD LIKE TO, WITH
YOUR PERMISSION, INTRODUCE A NEW
VOICE TO YOUR CONVERSATION HERE
TONIGHT ON TVO.
MICHAEL SZONYI, DIRECTOR OF THE
FAIRBANK CENTER FOR CHINESE
STUDIES AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
AND CO-EDITOR OF: "THE CHINA
QUESTIONS: CRITICAL INSIGHTS
INTO A RISING POWER."

Michael is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short tousled gray hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and patterned blue tie.

Steve continues MICHAEL, WE THANK YOU VERY MUCH
FOR JOINING US.
WE SHOULD SAY EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE
IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS,
YOU'RE A CANUCK, YOU'RE ONE OF
US.
WE'RE DELIGHTING TO WELCOME YOU
TO OUR CONVERSATION.
CAN I START BY ASKING YOU HOW
YOU THINK OLD CHINA IS
RESPONDING TO THIS NEW DIGITAL
CHINA THAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING
ABOUT TONIGHT ON TVO.

Michael says SURE.
LET ME JUST FIRST APOLOGIZE FOR
BEING LATE.
IT WAS A TECHNICAL GLITCH, AND
THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED
IN CHINA.

Steve says NOW WHY DO YOU SAY
THAT?
THAT'S INTERESTING.

The caption changes to "Michael Szonyi. Harvard University."

Michael says NO, I'M SURE THAT THERE ARE
PROBLEMS WITH VIDEO FEEDS IN
CHINA AS WELL, BUT ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT IS REALLY STRIKING,
AND I'M SURE THIS IS SOMETHING
THAT DAVID NOTICES ALL THE TIME,
IS JUST THE INCREDIBLE TECHNICAL
SOPHISTICATION OF LIFE IN CHINA
TODAY.
THE ONE ASPECT OF THE DIGITAL
ECONOMY THAT DIDN'T COME UP IS
THE WAY CHINA IS INCREASINGLY
BECOMING A CASHLESS SOCIETY.
PEOPLE LIKE ME, AND I'M SURE
LIKE DIANA, WE COMPETE WITH OUR
STORIES OF WHAT'S THE THING WE
ARE ABLE TO DO WITH OUR PHONES
THAT IS UNIMAGINABLE IN CANADA.
THIS SUMMER I WAS ABLE TO GIVE
MONEY TO A PANHANDLER, TO A
BEGGAR ON THE STREET, BY
TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM MY
CELLPHONE.
I WAS ABLE TO ORDER AN ICE CREAM
CONE WITH... AN ICE CREAM CONE
DELIVERED USING MY CELLPHONE.
WHAT I THINK IS REALLY
INTERESTING IS THAT THE
AUTHORITARIAN PARTY IS CONFIDENT
THAT IT HAS REFINED ITS
TECHNOLOGY AS FAST AS DAVID
MENTIONED LEAPFROGGING THE
CONTROL TECHNOLOGY IS MOVING AS
FAST AS THE DIGITAL AS THE
GENERAL DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY.
SO I DON'T GET A SENSE THAT THE
PARTY AND THE PARTY LEADERSHIP
IS AT ALL CONCERNED THAT THIS IS
LEADING TO A LOSS OF CONTROL.
AS YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT
EARLIER WITH RELATION TO THE
SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM.
IN FACT, THEY ARE REFINING THEIR
MECHANISMS OF SOCIAL CONTROL TO
ADJUST TO A DIGITAL SOCIETY.

Steve says AND IS IT YOUR SENSE
AS WELL, MICHAEL, THAT THE
AVERAGE CHINESE CITIZEN ACTUALLY
DOESN'T HAVE ANY ISSUE WITH THE
SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM IN A WAY
THAT, SAY, IF ANY GOVERNMENT IN
CANADA OR THE UNITED STATES WERE
TO TRY TO IMPLEMENT SOMETHING
LIKE THAT, WE'D BE UP IN ARMS,
PRESUMABLY.

The caption changes to "Michael Szonyi. Co-Editor, 'The China questions.'"

Michael says RIGHT.
WELL, I WANT TO FIRST REFINE A
LITTLE BIT THE PREVIOUS
CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SOCIAL
CREDIT SYSTEM.
A LOT OF THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS OF
IT IN THE WEST SUGGESTS THAT
LIFE IN CHINA IS BECOMING LIKE
AN EPISODE FROM BLACK MIRROR.
THE REALITY IS THAT THERE ARE
DIFFERENT PILOT PROGRAMS
HAPPENING IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF
CHINA.
SOME OF THE MOST ALARMING OF
THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT GET
HIGHLIGHTED IN THE NEWS, BUT WE
ALL HAVE CREDIT SCORES, RIGHT?
THE BANKS KEEP AN ACCOUNT OF
WHETHER WE'VE PAID OUR DEBTS,
WHETHER WE PAY OUR CREDIT CARD
SYSTEMS.
THERE'S NO GREAT OBJECTION SO
THAT IN CANADA.
THERE'S SIMILARLY NO GREAT
OBJECTION TO THAT IN CHINA.
IN CHINA IT'S ACTUALLY MORE
IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT
OF LENDING THAT IS DONE PEER TO
PEER ON-LINE.
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT I
KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE BECAUSE I
MIGHT BE LENDING YOU MONEY.
SIMILARLY, ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE REALLY
APPRECIATE ABOUT THE SOCIAL
CREDIT SYSTEM IS IT'S INTENDED
TO INCENTIVIZE GOOD BEHAVIOUR.
ONE OF THOSE GOOD BEHAVIOURS IS
IF YOU LOSE IN A COURT CASE AND
YOU OWE SOMEBODY SOME MONEY AS A
RESULT OF A LAWSUIT, THE SOCIAL
CREDIT SYSTEM PENALIZES YOU
VERY, VERY HEAVILY IF YOU DON'T
PAY.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT'S A SYSTEM
THAT SERVES TO ENSURE THAT LEGAL
JUDGMENTS ARE FULFILLED.
MOST PEOPLE ARE MUCH MORE
CONCERNED ABOUT THOSE KINDS OF
ISSUES THAN ABOUT THE
IMPLICATIONS FOR THEIR ABILITY
TO ARTICULATE POLITICAL VIEWS
THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE
GOVERNMENT.
I WILL ALSO SAY THE REALLY
WORRYING THING IS, AS DAVID
MENTIONED, THE USE OF THIS
SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY AND NEW
FORMS OF AI AND BIG DATA FOR THE
SUPPRESSION OF ORDINARY CHINESE
CITIZENS AS WE'RE SEEING IN
TERRIBLE WAYS.

Steve says LET ME DO ONE MORE
FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU, MICHAEL, AND
EMERGING OUT OF THAT LAST
ANSWER, WHICH IS... I MEAN,
OBVIOUSLY THAT IS WHAT HUMAN
RIGHTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS
OBSERVERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT,
IS THAT IF YOU SAY SOMETHING
NEGATIVE ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
YOUR SOCIAL CREDIT WILL DECLINE
AND, YOU KNOW, THEN YOU CAN'T
GET ACCESS TO LOANS.
THEN YOU CAN'T GET ON THAT
FLIGHT.
THEN YOU CAN'T GET ALL OF THESE
OTHER THINGS.
HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Michael Szonyi, @MichaelSzonyi."

Michael says UMM, HOW CONCERNED?
WELL, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE
STRANGE THINGS ABOUT CHINA IS
THAT IT ACTUALLY HAS
VIRTUALLY... IT'S A GROWING
ECONOMIC POWER WITH VIRTUALLY NO
SOFT POWER.
IT'S MAKING ALL KINDS OF EFFORTS
TO BUILD SOFT POWER, AND THEY
ARE UNSUCCESSFUL BECAUSE
NOBODY... NOBODY WOULD... NOBODY
WANTS TO GO LIVE IN A SOCIETY
THAT CONTROLS PEOPLE IN THIS
WAY.
THAT ACTUALLY I THINK IS A KIND
OF ENCOURAGING THING, BECAUSE I
THINK IN THE LONG RUN IF THE
CHINESE WANT TO CONTINUE TO
DEVELOP, CONTINUE TO GLOBALIZE,
THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CREATE
A MODEL OF SOCIETY THAT IS
ATTRACTIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE, AND
THAT MEANS A MORE OPEN SOCIETY.
I DON'T THINK IT MEANS THAT
WE'RE GOING TO SEE IMMINENT
POLITICAL TRANSFORMATION, BUT I
DO THINK THAT OVER THE LONG RUN
THE SOERT OF NEFARIOUS ELEMENTS
OF THE XI REGIMES, THE XI
LEADERSHIPS, EFFORTS AT SOCIAL
CONTROL ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE
LIMITED, BROUGHT BACK.

Steve says I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON
THE POLITICAL ANGLE WITH YOU
NOW, DIANA.
YOU JUST PUBLISHED A BOOK
"MOBILIZING WITHOUT THE MASSES."
IT'S ABOUT POLITICS IN A COUNTRY
WHERE COMPETITION AMONG
POLITICAL PARTIES IS NOT
ALLOWED.
WHAT KIND OF POLITICS ARE
POSSIBLE UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES?

The caption changes to "Non party politics."

Diana says RIGHT, SO THE BOOK IS REALLY
ABOUT HOW PEOPLE CAN COORDINATE
WHEN THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO.
SO HERE IN CANADA AND THE UNITED
STATES AND A LOT OF LIBERAL
DEMOCRACIES, WE ARE USED TO
DOING SOCIAL CHANGE BY TAKING TO
THE STREETS, RIGHT?
ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE ON THE
STREETS, THROUGH PROTESTS OR
STRIKES, AND WE HAVE LABOUR
UNIONS AND OTHER SOCIAL
ORGANIZATIONS THAT ENABLE PEOPLE
TO COORDINATE COLLECTIVE ACTION
AS SUCH.
BUT IN PLACES LIKE CHINA AND IN
OTHER AUTHORITARIAN STATES,
THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE.
IT'S POLITICAL SUICIDE FOR AN
ORGANIZATION TO COORDINATE
PEOPLE TO TAKE TO THE STREETS EN
MASSE, AND SO THE BOOK REALLY
EXAMINES BASED ON YEARS OF FIELD
WORK IN CHINA, EXAMINES HOW
PEOPLE, HOW ORGANIZATIONS ARE
ABLE TO EXERT SOCIAL CHANGE
WITHOUT DOING THAT, AND THEY DO
SO THROUGH SENDING PEOPLE...
SENDING INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE WHO
HAVE GRIEVANCES WITH THE STATE,
ONE BY ONE, TO PUT PRESSURE ON
THE STATE.
AND SO INSTEAD OF MOBILIZING
WITH THE MASSES, AS YOU WOULD
IMAGINE SOCIAL CHANGE WOULD
HAPPEN, YOU HAVE PEOPLE
MOBILIZING WITHOUT THE MASSES,
WHICH IS THE TITLE OF MY BOOK.

Steve says MICHAEL, WE HAVE A
COUPLE OF MINUTES OF SATELLITE
TIME WITH YOU LEFT, SO I WANT TO
PICK YOUR BRAIN ON ONE MORE THING.
YOU ARE ONE OF MANY VOICES WHO
POINT OUT THE INCONGRUITY OF A
COUNTRY THAT HAS OPENED UP
ECONOMICALLY WHILE BEING A
CLOSED SHOP.
CAN YOU IMAGINE A COUNTRY THAT
IS MORE OPEN POLITICALLY,
DEMOCRATICALLY, MORE OPEN TO
VOICES GOING FORWARD?

Michael says WELL, DAVID'S MENTIONED THE
EXAMPLE OF TAIWAN, AND I THINK
IT'S A REALLY POWERFUL ARGUMENT
AGAINST THE IDEA THAT CHINESE
SOCIETIES OR CONFUCIAN SOCIETIES
ARE NOT SUITED TO DEMOCRATIC
POLITICS.
ONE WAY OF THINKING ABOUT THE
LAST 40 YEARS IN CHINA IS A
SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS IN WHAT
CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED UNDER
AUTHORITARIANISM, AND MANY
PEOPLE IN CANADA AND IN THE
UNITED STATES PREDICTED THAT,
FOR EXAMPLE, WITH THE EMERGENCE
OF A MIDDLE CLASS THE POLITICAL
SYSTEM WOULD HAVE TO CHANGE.
TURNED OUT NOT TO BE TRUE.
CHINA HAS THE WORLD'S LARGEST
MIDDLE CLASS, AND THEY SEEM TO
BE QUITE CONTENT WITH AN
AUTHORITARIAN REGIME.
THE NEXT WAS A MODERN BANKING
SYSTEM AND MODERN SECURITY
SYSTEM WHILE THERE WAS
AUTHORITARIAN POLITICAL CONTROL.
CHINA HAS MANAGED THAT ONE AS
WELL.
THE LATEST IS CREATING AN
INNOVATION SOCIETY, AND THE
CHINESE DO SEEM TO BE DOING
EXTREMELY WELL AT FOSTERING A
CULTURE OF INNOVATION.
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE 164
UNICORNS IN CHINA.
I DON'T THINK THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN IMAGINABLE, THAT WE WOULD
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IMAGINE THAT
THAT WAS POSSIBLE UNDER AN
AUTHORITARIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM.
SO I THINK THAT IT IS UNLIKELY
THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEE A
DRAMATIC TURNAROUND IN THE
POLITICAL SITUATION.
I ECHO PROBABLY MOST POLITICAL
ANALYSTS WITHIN CHINA IN SAYING
A DRAMATIC SHIFT IS PROBABLY NOT
GOOD FOR THE CHINESE OR GOOD FOR
THE WORLD... SORRY, A DRAMATIC
IMMEDIATE SHIFT BECAUSE THAT'S
GOING TO BE... LEAD TO CHAOS.
WHAT I DO THINK IS THAT THE
CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY IS GOING
TO HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO
INCORPORATE MORE VOICES FROM AN
EXTREMELY COMPLEX BUT
INCREASINGLY COMPLEX AND DIVERSE
SOCIETY.
I THINK THAT'S THE ONLY ROUTE
FOR THEIR SURVIVAL, AND I THINK
THAT'S EXACTLY HOW THEY'RE
THINKING ABOUT IT.

Steve says I'M GOING TO PUT THAT
NOTION TO THESE TWO.
SADLY IN YOUR ABSENCE, WE'RE
ABOUT TO LOSE THE SATELLITE FEED
IN 15 SECONDS, WHICH GIVES ME
ENOUGH TIME TO THANK MICHAEL
SZONYI FOR BEING WITH US TONIGHT.
APOLOGIES FOR ALL THE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS.
WE'RE SO GLAD THAT YOU COULD
PARTICIPATE.
THANKS SO MUCH.

Michael says THANK YOU SO MUCH.
IT WAS A PLEASURE.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says OKAY, DAVID, PICK UP
ON THAT LAST COMMENT, IF YOU WOULD.
HE'S SAYING THAT THERE IS A DAY
OF RECKONING COMING, THAT CHONZ
IS EVENTUALLY GOING TO HAVE TO
ALLOW MORE VOICES TO BLOOM, IF I
CAN STEAL A LINE FROM A PREVIOUS DECADE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "David Mulroney. Author, 'Middle power, middle kingdom.'"
Then, it changes again to "Understanding the Middle Kingdom."

David says I THINK THAT'S VERY TRUE, AND
I THINK NOBODY REALIZES IT MORE
THAN THE PARTY ITSELF.
AND YOU KNOW, ONE OF YOUR
GUESTS, DAVID SHAMBAUGH, HAS
WRITTEN ELOQUENTLY ABOUT THE
PARTY BEING ADAPTIVE.
IT'S INCREDIBLE AT SPOTTING
TALENT AND DEVELOPING THAT
TALENT AND BRINGING IT TO
LEADERSHIP POSTS THROUGHOUT THE
COUNTRY, LISTENING TO WHAT'S
HAPPENING.
I THINK, THOUGH, UNDER XI
JINPING, THE CURRENT PRESIDENT,
WE'VE SEEN A BIT OF A PAUSE, A
SLOWDOWN IN TERMS OF THAT
GRADUAL REALIZATION.
XI JINPING IS THE ULTIMATE PARTY
MAN.
HE BELIEVES THAT THE FUTURE OF
CHINA IS THE FUTURE OF THE
COMMUNIST PARTY.
SO WE'RE SEEING A HIGHER DEGREE
OF REPRESSION, CONTROLS OVER
UNIVERSITIES, MEDIA, ET CETERA,
AND THE PROBLEM... THE GREAT
PROBLEM WITH THAT IS THAT HE
POSTPONES, FORESTALLS, DELAYS
CHINA'S GRADUAL ACCOMMODATION
WITH MORE VOICES.
THE LONGER YOU PUT THAT UP, THE
MESSIER THE DAY AND MORE
DIFFICULT THE DAY OF RECKONING
WILL BE, AND I'M NOT AN OPTIMIST
WHEN I LOOK AT CHINA'S FUTURE.
I THINK THAT THE COMMUNIST PARTY
WILL REMAIN IN POWER FOR SOME
TIME, BUT ITS END IS GOING TO BE
MESSY AND CHAOTIC, WHICH IS NOT
GOOD FOR CHINA, NOT GOOD FOR THE
REST OF US.
PRECISELY BECAUSE THEY ARE
FORESTALLING THIS GRADUAL DATE
WITH DESTINY AND WITH A MORE
PARTICIPATORY SOCIETY.

Steve says THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT
OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE FORECAST THIS
DAY OF RECKONING, AND THEY HAVE
ALL BEEN WRONG SO FAR, RIGHT?

David says SURE, SURE.

Steve says ANY QUALMS ABOUT
PUTTING THAT OUT THERE, THEN?

David says JUST AS WORRYING WOULD BE THE
CONTENTION THAT THE COMMUNIST
PARTY WILL RULE FOREVER, RIGHT?
AND SO I THINK THE END HAS GOT
TO COME AT SOME POINT FOR THE
COMMUNIST PARTY, AND SMART
COMMUNISTS I THINK WOULD AGREE
WITH THAT, AND SMART REGIMES
GRADUALLY IMPLEMENT REFORMS SO
THAT THE TRANSITION CAN BE MORE
HARMONIOUS.
UNDER XI JINPING, THIS IS NOT
HAPPENING.

Steve says WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO
THAT, DIANA?

Diana says WELL, I WOULD ADD SO THAT
THAT HAS OF THIS WEEK CHINA HAS
OUTLASTED THE SOVIET UNION IN
TERMS OF STAYING POWER.
WE ARE AT 69 YEARS.
AND STILL COUNTING, AND EVERY
COUPLE OF YEARS CHINESE
POLITICAL SCIENTISTS WILL
PREDICT WHETHER CHINA IS GOING
TO STAY OR... WHETHER IT'S GOING
TO COME TO DEMISE.
I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE THAT
PREDICTION, BUT I THINK THAT THE
CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS VERY, VERY
GOOD AT ADAPTING AND VERY GOOD
AT WHAT CHINA'S PARAMOUNT LEADER
USED TO CALL CROSSING THE RIVER
BY GROPING THE STONES.

Steve says CROSSING THE RIVER BY
GROPING THE STONES?
THAT SOUNDS VERY DUNG ZOO PING.
WE HAVE A COUPLE OF MINUTES HERE.
LET'S TACKLE ONE MORE THING.
WHAT DO WE AS WESTERNERS NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT CHINA SO THAT WE CAN
COPE WELL WITH THIS NOTION OF
CHINA BECOMING NOT JUST A
SIGNIFICANT POWER IN THE WORLD
BUT MAYBE ONE OF THE TWO
PRE-EMINENT POWERS IN THE WORLD,
YOU KNOW, LOOKING FORWARD.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY, DIANA?

Diana says WELL, I THINK THE FIRST THING
THAT I TELL MY STUDENTS IS THAT
JUST BECAUSE CHINA'S RUN BY A
COMMUNIST PARTY, IT DOESN'T MEAN
THAT IT'S CULTURALLY COMMUNIST, RIGHT?
CHINESE PEOPLE EMBRACE CAPITALISM.
THEY EMBRACE CONSUMERISM.
THEY EMBRACE THE ENTREPRENEURIAL
SPIRIT, AND SO I THINK WE HAVE
TO BE CAREFUL WHEN THINKING
ABOUT CHINA AS A COMMUNIST STATE
AND THINKING THAT THERE IS
SOMEHOW AN IRONY OR SOMEHOW AN
INHERENT TENSION BETWEEN THAT
AND CAPITALISM.
I THINK A LOT OF CHINESE PEOPLE
DON'T SEE ANY SORT OF INHERENT
TENSION BETWEEN COMMUNISM AND
CAPITALISM.

Steve says THAT SHIP HAS SAILED, HASN'T IT?

Diana says YES.

Steve says DOES ANYBODY STILL
HAVE THE VIEW OF CHINESE PEOPLE
ALL DRESSED LIKE CHAIRMAN MAO
WITH THEIR LITTLE RED BOOKS?
THAT IMAGE IS 40 YEARS OUT OF
DATE.
PEOPLE DON'T THINK THAT ANYMORE,
DO THEY?

Diana says NO, NO.

Steve says SAME QUESTION FOR YOU,
DAVID.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW AS
WESTERNERS TO HELP US DEAL WITH
THE FACT THAT CHINA IS GOING TO
BE, IF NOT THE, CERTAINLY ONE OF
THE PRE-EMINENT POWERS IN THE
WORLD, OVER THE NEXT HALF
CENTURY?

David says I THINK WHAT WE HAVE TO
FIGURE OUT IS THE NEXT STRATEGY
FOR ENGAGING CHINA.
THE GLOBALIST VISION OF, YOU
KNOW, THE... AT THE BEGINNING OF
THIS CENTURY, THAT IF YOU SIMPLY
LIBERALIZE AND ENGAGE CHINA WILL
BECOME MORE LIKE US HAS CLEARLY
NOT WORKED.
THE DANGER IS THAT NOW... AND
PARTICULARLY IN THE TRUMP ERA,
WE'RE CREATING WALLS AND
BARRIERS.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE TECHNOLOGY
SECTOR, FOR EXAMPLE, I THINK
WE'RE IN DANGER OF HAVING A
BIFURCATED TECHNOLOGY SECTOR SO
HERE IN THE WEST WE'RE WORRIED
ABOUT HUEWAY AND WORRIED ABOUT
OTHER CHINESE TECHNOLOGY FIRMS.
IN CHINA, COMPANIES LIKE GOOGLE
ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND A
FOOTHOLD.
WE COULD HAVE A DIVISION IN
TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD SERVE
NEITHER SIDE, RIGHT?
YOU BENEFIT WHEN YOU HAVE THIS
COMPETITION OF IDEAS.
SO WE HAVE TO KEEP THIS
COMPETITION OF IDEAS GOING.
WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE, AS DIANA
SAID, THAT CHINA IS DIVERSE.
IT'S NOT MONOCHROME.
IT'S GOT A VARIETY OF VIEWS AND
PERSPECTIVES, AND THAT'S ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT I ENJOYED ABOUT
IT.
BUT THAT WE NEED THE COURAGE AND
INDEED THE RESPECT TO CONFRONT
CHINA, TO ARGUE WHEN WE... TO
DISAGREE AND NOT TO BE AFRAID TO
DISAGREE.
THIS I THINK IS A PARTICULAR
CHALLENGE FOR CANADA.

Diana says I PARTICULARLY LIKE WHAT YOU
SAID BEFORE, DAVID.
I THINK YOU TERMED THE PHRASE
CHINA COMPETENCY, AND I THINK
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg."

Steve says GOTCHA.
I WANT TO TAKE WHAT TIME WE HAVE
LEFT TO PLUG BOTH OF YOUR WORK
SO PEOPLE KNOW WHAT'S COMING UP.
DAVID MULRONEY, OUR FORMER
AMBASSADOR TO CHINA, THE AUTHOR
OF "MIDDLE POWER, MIDDLE
KINGDOM: WHAT CANADIANS NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT CHINA IN THE 21ST
CENTURY" WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE
DOING ALL THIS WEEK.
DIANA FU, YOU'RE THE POLITICAL
SCIENTIST AT U OF T, AUTHOR OF
"MOBILIZING WITHOUT THE MASSES:
CONTROLLING CONTENTION IN CHINA."
ALSO THE MOST OF CHINA HERE AND
NOW WHICH IS COMING UP TONIGHT.
WE DO WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY
TO STAY TUNED TO TVO FOR PARTS
ONE AND TWO OF THE FOUR-PART
SERIES "CHINA THE GREAT DRAGON."
THAT'S AIRING RIGHT AFTER THIS PROGRAM.

A screenshot from the TVO website pops up featuring an article titled "A documentary series that examines how 21st-Century China is changing the world."

Steve continues IT IS THE FIRST IN OUR
MULTI-FACETED EXPLORATION OF
CHINA WHICH WILL AIR EVERY
TUESDAY THROUGH NOVEMBER RIGHT
HERE ON TVO.
YOU CAN ALSO GO TO A WEBSITE,
CHECK OUT ALL THE STUFF WE HAVE
THERE ABOUT THIS,
TVO.ORG/CHINAHEREANDNOW.
DAVID, DIANA, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

David says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Watch: China's Political Ambitions