China’s Social Credit System
China has created a dystopian social credit system that invades every aspect of a person’s life and threatens in ways more far-reaching than Black Mirror or Big Brother envisioned. Using widespread surveillance, internet use, and swipe technology, individuals get a score based upon their behaviors, interactions, dating activities, attractiveness, and spending patterns. Though there are credit monitors in many countries, the Chinese version also judges trustworthiness, morality, respect, and loyalty to the state. Data is aggregated and a score is generated. High scores offer perks, while low scores blacklist a person from travel, career growth, buying property, taking out a loan, and access to events. Some fear that, with an all-digital money system, accounts will be frozen – no money for food, clothes, transportation, or accommodations with no advanced notice. Without transparency, the consequences of processing this secret code provides little recourse for errors in scoring. Eventually, every person in China will be forced to participate, though at the present citizens are incentivized to opt-in. In this image, you can see some of the ways social credit is earned or taken away. More detail is in the “Power Grab” book.
Countries Surrounding the South China Sea
The countries surrounding the South China Sea include China and Taiwan to the north, the Philippines and Vietnam to the east and west and Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore to the south. The Gulf of Thailand is connected to the South China Sea that is bordered by Cambodia and Thailand. This image is found in the “Raging Waters” book.
ZTE and Huawei
Imagine that everything you write is scanned by Chinese authorities and you are blacklisted by any company working with China. Imagine your phone turns off or is inoperable because you said something counter to China’s will. Imagine that all of your connections, friends, or relatives are threatened by espionage, cyberattacks, or intellectual property theft. If your 5G system is connected to China’s system, their artificial intelligence is being crafted to ridicule, attack, and silence any dissenting voices. ZTE and Huawei pose a serious threat to nations across the world and individuals as well. Since Beijing requires companies that produce products in China to be partially owned by the state and cooperate with Chinese intelligence and security, there is great risk to individuals, companies, and governments worldwide. Chapters on surveillance technology are in the “Raging Waters” and “Power Grab” books.
Crude Oil Trade Flows
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil are believed to be in the South China Sea. Most of this oil and natural gas lies in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the regional states. At the same time, China’s estimates are significantly higher. China estimates that the proved and probable resources are approximately 30 to 72 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 293 to 344 billion barrels of oil. The differences are staggering and the amount on the line could be as much as $60 trillion dollars. China is highly dependent on oil and imports much of what it needs. Thus, there are 60 trillion reasons why China is intent on taking over the region and asserting its claim despite the ruling by the International Court of Justice that there is ‘no basis’ for its claim. More about this may be found in the book “Raging Waters”.
China’s Arctic Silk Road
China determined that there are less impediments and greater speed to get its products to Europe by going through the Arctic. Despite the damage to the environment and contribution to global warming, China began building infrastructure for commerce and trade along its new polar route with the blessings of Moscow. People are alarmed at this move for many reasons including security, trade, global warming, and the breaking of ice sheets. These new shipping routes are part of China’s Polar Silk Road. China began taking steps to secure its new transit in 2013, when it became an observing member of the Arctic Council. China is also using this route to transport liquid natural gas from Russia to China. The silk road chapters are in the book “Belts and Roads”.
Xinjiang Province: China’s Uyghur Concentration Camps
Although China built concentration camps to lock up and torture millions of Uyghur Muslims, few are aware of the extent of China’s effort to exterminate the population. In Xinjiang province, the Chinese have rounded up a wide net of residents and locked them down to ‘re-educate’, sterilize, and ensure their loyalty to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Additionally, they are replacing the imprisoned with Han Chinese who they are incentivizing to move into the region, live with and ‘marry’ Uyghur women whose husbands have been taken away. Furthermore, beyond taking their hair and organs, and using them as human guinea pigs for COVID-19 vaccination trials, they are re-educating them in slave labor, production line facilities to manufacture products for Western companies. There are a few chapters on this topic in the “Power Grab” book.
Airlines Nabbed for Naming Taiwan and/or Tibet
You will be punished if you call Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau countries. Airlines were forced to comply or not fly into China. In 2018, four U.S. airlines (American, Delta, United, and Hawaiian) were among the 36 foreign carriers caught in China’s web for ‘mislabeling’ Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The Civil Aviation Administration of China relayed that these companies would be subject to punishments. The U.S. companies complied and revised their website to reflect China’s demand. China does not recognize Taiwan as separate despite its own government and insists that Beijing has the right to control the island. Beijing has made a concerted effort to force all businesses to conform. The material for this chapter is in “Power Grab”.
China’s Actual EEZ and the 9-Dash Line
China’s actual Exclusive Economic Zone, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is shown here. None of the internationally-ruled area covers the Spratly Islands, despite the fact that China claims that area. China did sign UNCLOS though Beijing does not abide by its rulings. China claims 80-90% of the South China Sea with its 9-dash line roughly sketched on a 1947 map. China makes this claim and states that it has a ‘historic right’ to this region, though older Chinese maps that may be found at the Library of Congress and that we have in our book “Raging Waters” do not show the South China Sea as part of China’s territory and China has never gone to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to assert its claim legally. However, the Philippines brought a case to the ICJ that ruled that China had ‘no basis’ for this claim.
The Size of the South China Sea
This map is interesting in that it clearly presents the vastness of the South China Sea. Together, the three seas, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea, all fit within the South China Sea. This puts into perspective how there can be 250 islands in the South China Sea and how states have fought valiantly to claim their sovereign rights to these islands, stood their ground to fish in the area, and sought the trillions of dollars in oil and natural gas within their Exclusive Economic Zones. This image is found in the “Raging Waters” book.
China’s Debt Trap ‘Diplomacy’
While some say that China’s efforts are not meant to trap countries into debt, the fact is that countries are trapped in China’s web of loans. Furthermore, China has deftly disguised Beijing’s global infrastructure plan with other country paying for the projects. If China were to dominate globally, it would need to have ports to enter, trains for transport, and roads to get to strategic hubs. Brilliantly, China was able to convince country by country to pay for its infrastructure needs by convincing governments that they should purchase and pay. Then, indebted, they would either have to give up their infrastructure or give up their natural resources as payment. The first standout example of its debt-trap diplomacy is Sri Lanka giving up its port for 99 years. Now, with dozens of other countries indebted to China, Beijing may be equally ‘benevolent’ and take their land and sovereignty in exchange for loan reductions. This chapter is in the book “Belts and Roads”.