China’s “Great Firewall” Is the New Symbol of a New Cold War

(p. A11) At the United Nations Humans Rights Council in Geneva, 53 nations — from Belarus to Zimbabwe — signed a statement supporting China’s new security law for Hong Kong. Only 27 nations on the council criticized it, most of them European democracies, along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Such blocs would not have been unfamiliar at the height of the Cold War.

China has also wielded its vast economic power as a tool of political coercion, cutting off imports of beef and barley from Australia because its government called for an international investigation into the origins of the pandemic. On Tuesday [July 14, 2020], Beijing said it would sanction the American aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin over recent weapons sales to Taiwan.

. . .

A backlash against Beijing appears to be growing. The tensions are particularly clear in tech, where China has sought to compete with the world in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and microchips, while harshly restricting what people can read, watch or listen to inside the country.

If the Berlin Wall was the physical symbol of the first Cold War, the Great Firewall could well be the virtual symbol of the new one.

What began as a divide in cyberspace to insulate Chinese citizens from views not authorized by the Communist Party has now proved to be a prescient indicator of the deeper fissures between China and much of the Western world.

For the full story, see:

Steven Lee Myers and Paul Mozur. “Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward a New Cold War.” The New York Times (Wednesday, July 15, 2020): A11.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated July 23 [sic], 2020, and has the title “Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War.”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.