Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela [FP] #SurveillanceSociety #RisingChina

X-Keyscore: facilitating a global surveillance society largely unhindered by the tyranny of distance and time.

For more, see how big brother gets complacent: X-Keyscore: The NSA Tool So Secret It’s Advertised on Job Boards

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Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela
Posted By Elias Groll
Source – Foreign Policy, published Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Source - FP

Source – Guardian

Here’s something the National Security Agency probably isn’t happy to find in Edward Snowden’s latest revelation about its activities: The surprising locations of the servers that make up the program X-KEYSCORE, which, according to one leaked agency presentation, has the ability to vacuum up nearly every move a user makes on the Internet.

Those locations reportedly include China, Ecuador, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. In short, the NSA has managed to either place or gain access to servers in a collection of countries that are deeply hostile to the United States. Put another way, computer technicians in every one of those countries are probably combing through their systems right now to figure out ways to boot out the NSA.

The image at the top of this post comes from Wednesday’s Guardian story on X-KEYSCORE, which includes a set of slides described as internal NSA training material. The slide in question says that the program includes roughly 150 sites around the world and spans some 700 servers. The Guardian‘s coverage does not make entirely clear how the program works, but the report seems to outline a system that perches on top of communications infrastructure and sucks up streams of data that the X-KEYSCORE system then sifts into a searchable format. According to theGuardian, the volume of collected information is so large that content is stored on the system for three to five days before being deleted, and metadata stays on the system for 30 days. The picture that emerges is of NSA analysts running searches against a continuous data stream.

Please click here to read the rest/entire article at Foreign Policy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert [Xinhua] #RisingChina #US

Thumbs up for the sensible move facilitating more face-to-face channels for peaceful co-development.

Also, see

1 – ‘4 Promising Themes Emerge In U.S.-China Agreements At Strategic And Economic Dialogue and U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track’ (World Resources Institute, July 12, 2013)

from the U.S. Department of State

2- ‘U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track‘ (July 13, 2013)

3 – Report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (July 10, 2013)

and

In Columbus, Ohio and the Chinese city of Hefei, we are building electric cars with new technology. In New Orleans and Shanghai, wetlands are being conserved, thanks to shared research. And in Charlotte and Langfang, our utility sectors are learning to create electricity in smarter, cleaner ways. These solutions matter to the United States, they matter to China, and they matter to our planet. 4- Remarks With Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the EcoPartnership Signing Event (July 11, 2013)

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Interview: U.S., China strategic talks show commitment to broaden dialogue: expert
Source – Xinhua, published July 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) — The just concluded fifth round of annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) between the United States and China have shown a commitment from both sides to broaden the dialogue, a U.S. expert said Friday.

Besides real progress in areas such as investment and climate change, the U.S. and Chinese sides have shown commitment to ” sustain and to broaden what goes on within these dialogues,” Jonathan Pollack, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in an interview.

He stressed the importance of the commitment at the senior level, saying that “because without a commitment in both leaderships to sustain these processes, momentum and progress will stall very quickly.”

Please click here to read the entire article at Xinhua.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Economics, Education, Environment, Finance, Government & Policy, Green China, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Spying, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Whistleblower welcome in China [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #

Interesting response from the People’s Daily suggesting the floodgates of intertextuality are wide open…

To further understand the likes of Snowden, let us end with a narrative by the character Red from the Shawshank Redemption as he rationalizes the escape of his friend Andy: “Some birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.”

For more, see US suggests whistleblower ‘in league with the Chinese’ (The Age, June 15, 2013)

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Whistleblower welcome in China
By Xu Peixi (China.org.cn)
Source – People’s Daily, published June 14, 2013

By Gou Ben - China.org.cn

By Gou Ben – China.org.cn

Last week, a bright idealistic young man named Edward Snowden almost single-handedly opened the lid on the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program, a program which marks the bleakest moment yet in the history of the Internet due to its scope, exact country of origin and implications.

In terms of scope, major transnational service providers ranging from Google to Apple are involved in allowing the NSA to access their customers’ data for the purposes of “surveillance.” Nearly all types of services ranging from email to VoIP have come within the program’s scope and it originates in a country which dominates the world’s Internet resources – a fact which is acknowledged in the information leaked by Snowden clearly states: “Much of the world’s communications flow through the U.S.” and the information is accessible. The case indicates that through outsourcing and contracting, Big Brother is breaching the fundamental rights of citizens by getting unfettered access to their most personal communications.

As the case unfolds, there are many things to worry about. How do we make sense of the fact that the market and the state colluded in the abuse of private information via what represents the backbone of many modern day infrastructures? How do we rationalize the character of Snowden and his fellow whistleblowers? How do we understand the one-sided cyber attack accusations the U.S. has poured upon China in the past few months? To what degree have foreign users of these Internet services fallen victim to this project? Among all these suspicions, let us clarify two types of American personality.

Please click here to read the full article at People’s Daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People's Daily, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban [ABC News Australia] #RisingChina #Huawei #Telecommunicatioms

So it seems to wearing made in China is fine, or eating out of plates made there does not require too much afterthought. However, using their information infrastructure and equipment to send messages from A to B – requires an ideological leap of faith for some.

Well, it’s not quite time to chuck away the image of China simply being the world’s factory of cheap and good, where excellent margins to those willing to leverage the Chinese model are the key draw. Today, they’re moving up the food chain and it will be a mistake not to take notice.

The land down under is seeing an increasing number of rising China’s foreign vanguard of products tested with the Aussie market prior to going global. This even includes the Great Wall make of SUV and Utility Vehicles.

Rewind – a year back Huawei was barred from tendering for Australia’s National Broadband Network based on intelligence and cyber espionage concerns. See China hits back at NBN bid rejection (The Age, March 29, 2012)

Fast forward a year and check out how Huawei has responds in  the 7.5min video accompanying the article – with ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.

– Over in the UK – Huawei has become embedded into UK telecoms infrastructure [Financial Times] – June 6, 2013

– Can it look any more ominous than this  (see photo below)? Inside The Chinese Company America Can’t Trust [Time Magazine] – April 15, 2013

Source - DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

Source – DOMINIC NAHR / MAGNUM FOR TIME
myth of photographic truth exploited to paint a sinister Huawei

That said, it is probably useful to get a clearer picture of what Huawei does:

To read a perspective of Huawei Its annual revenue is more than $35 billion. It is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Huawei components feature in networks serving one-third of the world’s population… Huawei is not really a manufacturing company. It makes some of its most sensitive equipment, but it contracts out most routine manufacturing. Just under half – 70,000 – of its staff are directly involved in research and development. It has sought 55,000 patents and been granted 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand of its employees worldwide are non-Chinese. It is really a giant R&D, design, marketing and brand company. A questionable risk to security – Huawei an extraordinary creation (The Australian, May 18, 2013)

See also from WC //

Huawei a victim of its success [China Daily] – May 26, 2013

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’ [AFP/Sydney Morning Herald] – October 8, 2012

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Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell
Source – ABC News Australia, published June 10, 2013

The Chinese company blocked from working on Australia’s National Broadband Network has set its sights on shaking off its image as a stalking horse for Chinese spies.

Telecommunications giant Huawei was banned from tendering for the network as Australia followed the lead of a similar government ban in the United States due to espionage fears.

The company, based in southern China’s Shenzhen province, has refuted claims by the US House Intelligence Committee that the company could potentially build so-called “backdoors” into the likes of the NBN to allow for Chinese eavesdropping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: ABC News, Advertising, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.K., U.S.

Skype’s Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It [Business Week] #China #Media

A perspective of the virtual battlefield at the gates across the Great Firewall.

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Skype’s Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It
By Vernon Silver
Source – Business Times Mobile, published March 08, 2013

Jeffrey Knockel is an unlikely candidate to expose the inner workings of Skype’s role in China’s online surveillance apparatus. The 27-year-old computer-science graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque doesn’t speak Chinese, let alone follow Chinese politics. “I don’t really keep up with news in China that much,” he says. But he loves solving puzzles. So when a professor pulled Knockel aside after class two years ago and suggested a long-shot project—to figure out how the Chinese version of Microsoft’s Skype secretly monitors users—he hunkered down in his bedroom with his Dell laptop and did it.

Since then, Knockel, a bearded, yoga-practicing son of a retired U.S. Air Force officer, has repeatedly beaten the ever-changing encryption that cloaks Skype’s Chinese service. This has allowed him to compile for the first time the thousands of terms—such as “Amnesty International” and “Tiananmen”—that prompt Skype in China to intercept typed messages and send copies to its computer servers in the country. Some messages are blocked altogether. The lists—which are the subject of a presentation Knockel will make on Friday, March 8, at Boston University, as well as a paper he’s writing with researchers from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab—shed light on the monitoring of Internet communications in China. Skype’s videophone-and-texting service there, with nearly 96 million users, is known as TOM-Skype, a joint venture formed in 2005 with majority owner Tom Online, a Chinese wireless Internet company.

The words that are subject to being monitored, which Knockel updates almost daily on his department’s website, range from references to pornography and drugs to politically sensitive terms, including “Human Rights Watch,” “Reporters Without Borders,” “BBC News,” and the locations of planned protests. (The system he traced does not involve voice calls.) Knockel says his findings expose a conflict between Microsoft’s advocacy of privacy rights and its role in surveillance. Microsoft, which bought Skype in 2011, is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a group that promotes corporate responsibility in online freedom of expression. “I would hope for more,” Knockel says of Microsoft. “I would like to get a statement out of them on their social policy regarding whether they approve of what TOM-Skype is doing on surveillance.”
On Jan. 24, an international group of activists and rights groups published an open letter to Skype, calling on it to disclose its security and privacy practices. Microsoft, when asked for comment on Knockel’s findings and activists’ concerns, issued a statement it attributed to an unnamed spokesperson for its Skype unit. “Skype’s mission is to break down barriers to communications and enable conversations worldwide,” the statement said. “Skype is committed to continued improvement of end user transparency wherever our software is used.” Microsoft’s statement also said that “in China, the Skype software is made available through a joint venture with TOM Online. As majority partner in the joint venture, TOM has established procedures to meet its obligations under local laws.” Hong Kong-based Tom Group, the parent of Tom Online, didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment for this story. In an October 2008 statement addressing TOM-Skype censorship, it said: “As a Chinese company, we adhere to rules and regulations in China where we operate our businesses.” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t immediately respond to faxed questions seeking comment.

Please click here to read article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, History, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, Trade, U.S.

You Can’t Hack a Steakhouse [Foreign Policy] #China #Hacking #US

I suppose this deserves a tongue in cheek response.

Did anyone check who recently started to run the steakhouse?

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You Can’t Hack a Steakhouse
What China doesn’t get about how Washington works.
By Hayley Barbour, Ed Rogers
Source – Foreign Policy, published February 25, 2013

20130227-072902.jpg Photo – Foreign Policy, 2013

Last week, we learned that the Chinese government had hacked into the computers of some of Washington’s most prominent organizations — law firms, think tanks, news outlets, human rights groups, congressional offices, embassies, and federal agencies — not to steal intellectual property or unearth state secrets, but rather to find out how things get done in the nation’s capital. According to the Washington Post, hackers were “searching for the unseen forces that might explain how the administration approaches an issue … with many Chinese officials presuming that reports by think tanks or news organizations are secretly the work of government officials — much as they would be in Beijing.” In other words, it appears that Chinese hackers have a lot of time on their hands and don’t know much about Washington. There are probably instances where a massive database and a fancy algorithm can tell you what you need to know about a place, but D.C. isn’t one of them.

“They’re trying to make connections between prominent people who work at think tanks, prominent donors that they’ve heard of and how the government makes decisions,” the Post reported one informed expert as saying. “It’s a sophisticated intelligence-gathering effort at trying to make human-network linkages of people in power, whether they be in Congress or the executive branch.” Well, it’s possible to use espionage to learn the inside thinking at one of Washington’s prestigious think tanks. Or you could just attend any of the dozens of daily seminars, issue briefings, and the like in town, raise your hand, and get a direct answer to almost any question. You might even get a free bagel and a cup of coffee.

In Washington, you don’t need a satellite to find out who is raising money for whom. Just look at the co-host list of an invitation to any fundraiser. And if the Chinese really want to get a look at where the power decisions get made, send an undercover eater to see who’s dining with whom at the Four Seasons for breakfast, Tosca for lunch, and the Palm or Oceanaire for dinner. And here’s a secret in Washington the Chinese haven’t hacked into yet: Actual decision-makers will meet with the actual experts and affected parties in order to make as informed a decision as possible. Shhhh. Don’t tell the Chinese.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Cyberattack, Government & Policy, International Relations, Internet, Media, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Chinese Ambassador on China’s internet policy [BBC] #Video #China #Internet #LiuXiaoMing

BBC: Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming to the UK and Northern Ireland contributing to Chinese public diplomacy by engaging traditional top-down broadcast media.

What is the big picture of internet development in China?

China’s intention is to double GDP by 2020, and with that correspondingly double its GDP per capita. If it succeeds it is merely carrying out its promise of equitable growth – its five-year plans are clear for all who bother to read.

The level of success of course, can be measured in some way by the bridging of its digital divide. Sometimes it is hard for those well intentioned speculators who have never set foot in China to see what that means. The nature of the internet is as such that there is no way to cover it with a blanket. Streamline yes, but there is simply no way to turn off the tap.

Apart from that, the biggest population of the Western sphere is the US… China deals with a population more than four times larger. Compared to the UK, that’s even more significant. With >500m internet users at the moment, one has to bear in mind China is still, only 50% urbanised (just as one indicator), nowhere near solid state in terms of access to the democratisation potential of the internet. How does one manage 500 million self-serving narratives? When it hits 1 billion, what then? In Chinese leadership parlance, 1 billion small problems is a much bigger problem than 1 big problem.

No one has managed a situation that scale before. No one.

Extract from the Interview –
Liu: I think corruption is not a problem for China alone. Once you are in the period of social transformation, it’s unavoidable you’ll have all kinds of problems. Just like Deng Xiaoping once said at the beginning of opening up of China, he said, “When we open the window we’ll let in the fresh air, it’s unavoidable that flies and mosquitoes will be in.” But the important thing is how the party face up to it and adopt measures to deal with this problem. I think the leadership is resolute and determined.

Esler: But our correspondent couldn’t even get on Facebook when he was in China. I mean, you can’t get on Twitter. It’s not quite as you present it.

– – –

Chinese Ambassador on China’s internet policy
Gavin Esler
Source – BBC, published December 22, 2012

Screen capture of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming On BBC Newsnight, 2012. Please click to head onto the BBC site with the video interview

Screen capture of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming On BBC Newsnight, 2012. Please click to head onto the BBC site with the video interview

China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiao Ming has told BBC’s Newsnight that there is a “misconception” about the internet in China.

He says “every day thousands of people make comments online”, but that the government must “remove unhealthy content”.

In 10 years the number of internet users in China has grown tenfold to more than 500 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Greater China, Human Rights, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.K., , , , , , , , , ,

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’ [AFP/Sydney Morning Herald]

Agencies-AFP and digital soft power: US Congress report seen by world’s top and fourth ranked telecomms companies as ‘China Bashing‘ in a liminal space where network society vulnerabilities in the telecommunications supply chain are examined.

Click here for a PDF copy of the report, hosted by WSJ.

ZTE, formerly Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation is a Shenzhen-based MNC telecomms equipment and systems maker is the world’s fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer by unit sales. Founded in 1985 by a group of SOEs with China’s Ministry of Aerospace, it can be hard to shake off the allusions manifesting in western critical discourse.

Indeed Huawei too, was founded by former military officer Ren Zhengfei (click for Forbes profile) having spent a decade in the PLA engineering corps.

These associations, though telling, must also factor in the fact that in pre-opening up China, the military was the most sure-fire way to get a strong-er foothold in socialist life then. It still remains an aspirant and express ticket to prosperity in the eyes of many Chinese contemporaries around my age.

The collective memory of a tried and tested path though SOE and the military still remain today. Perhaps I digress.

In a quick scan of dominant media, let us kick off with a response that is couched in a central theme of ‘fear‘ by the Global Times in the op-ed Why does US fear Chinese telecom giantsWashington is afraid that Chinese companies will bring competition and challenges to the US.  Its lack of self-confidence is astonishing. Out of fear, the US is becoming oversensitive to China and even suspects equipment makers such as Huawei and ZTE. (October 9, 2012)

The report comes at a time when Huawei is struggling to establish its credentials in the US Political rhetoric against Beijing is intensifying as the US presidential election nears and as China gains clout in global affairs. Huawei and ZTE refute US lawmakers’ claims, Cisco cancels ZTE order (The Australian, October 9, 2012)

Source – Wall Street Journal, 2012

Huawei, in a statement, denied the allegations made in the report. “Unfortunately, the Committee’s report not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided.” The company also expressed concerns about trade protectionism. “We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market.” Report Threatens Huawei’s Growth Plans
(Wall Street Journal Online, October 8, 2012)

More on ZTE’s mobile phone/data devices, carrier network solutions and enterprise communication operations in Australia here.

– – –

Huawei calls US Congress report ‘China bashing’
Source – Sydney Morning Herald, October 9, 2012

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Monday called a congressional report warning of security risks from its telecom equipment “an exercise in China-bashing” as US lawmakers held firm to their allegations.

A US spokesman for Huawei said the report by the House Intelligence Committee which warned of national security risks from equipment from Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE was “utterly lacking in substance.”

“Huawei unequivocally denies the allegations in the report,” the spokesman, William Plummer, told reporters on a conference call. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Cyberattack, Democracy, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Australian, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

How a single spam from China ended up as an attack on the White House [Naked Security]

Naked Security: Fourth estate or instigator of us-and-them?

The construction of reality by Fox News (arguably known for their right wing tilt) on the White House comes under some light-hearted reverse compression scrutiny.

– – –

How a single spam from China ended up as an attack on the White House
by Paul Ducklin
Source – Naked Security, published October 2, 2012

FoxNews leads today with a dramatic story entitled “Washington confirms Chinese hack attack on White House computer.”

In other important news, experts confirmed that there was a “high probability” that tomorrow, 03 October 2012, due to the rotation of the earth on its axis, the sun would once again give the impression of rising in the East. They also claimed that dinosaurs would “in all likelihood” continue in their state of alleged extinction.

(You read it here first, folks!)

Do we really need major headlines of this sort? What information do their stories convey?

Fox dedicated over 660 words to the Chinese hacking story, but after careful reading it seems pretty clear that the incident, and the story, can be simplified quite significantly. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Cyberattack, Education, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., , , , , ,

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