China is turning into ultimate Orwellian police state to keep communist regime in power, US intelligence adviser says

CHINA is turning into the world’s “most advanced Orwellian police state,” a former US defense official has warned.

Michael Beckley, who advises the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies on China, said dictator Xi Jinping will “tighten control over every aspect of society.”

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And he predicted that Communist Party surveillance will become increasingly invasive to maintain its iron-fist rule.

Sophisticated and “invasive” digital technologies have become a central part of the Chinese state – with people under constant scrutiny both online and offline as the government tightens its grip on control.

Experts estimate that more than half of the world’s nearly one billion CCTV cameras are in China, and police officers are now collecting “voiceprints” with recorders on facial recognition cameras.

Chinese police are buying equipment to build DNA databases and tracking the phones of millions of Chinese citizens with WiFi “sniffers”.

This means that the state is well prepared to act against dissent.

Michael, associate professor of political science at Tufts University, said the Chinese state will “tighten control over every aspect of society.”

Speaking on the US podcast Intelligence Squared, he said: “I don’t think the CCP will lose control and the regime will collapse because they have built the most sophisticated Orwellian police state.

“We saw that China was ready to roll out tanks in the streets… I don’t foresee a popular revolution to overthrow the regime.”

His comments come after historic protests in China against Xi’s draconian zero-Covid policy – which led to the country dramatically ending its tough lockdown.

Some experts said it was an unprecedented pullback by the Chinese government, suggesting a softer approach.

But Michael said it was “remarkable” that Chinese authorities are now “hunting down” the protesters who took part in the riot.

China has poured huge sums into its internal security budget over the past few decades in a bid to transform itself into one of the world’s most ruthless police states.

But along with skyrocketing military spending, Michael said investment must slow as it becomes “unsustainable.”

With a rapidly shrinking population and rising debt, China’s growth model is “fundamentally broken.”

The defense expert said “things stopped getting better for China and started to get worse”.

And he warned of the economic and diplomatic “backlash” that China will face in the 2030s.

“The rise of China that we have become so accustomed to is coming to an end,” he said.

“Abroad … China faces a growing band of hostile rivals.

“There is a palpable malaise in China that we have seen in the largest protests since 1989.”

He said the future of the nation of 1.4 billion people looked bleak as the rich “flee in droves” and the poor “refuse to pay mortgages”.

“The fundamental problem is that China’s growth model is … fundamentally broken,” Michael said.

“It’s based on sending money from the Chinese to the government so they can invest.

“It worked well initially … but by the time you enter middle-income status, a lot of the low-hanging fruit has been picked.”

He said the country had “plowed through its water and farmland and energy resources.”

“China is facing these growing headwinds in general,” Michael said.

“They build ghost towns with empty apartments and roads to nowhere,” he added.

“China is facing more and more rivals around the world. Anti-China sentiment has risen to levels not seen since Tiananmen.

“Taiwan is more defiant than ever, Japan is doubling its defense spending, India is massing troops on its border.

“And the anti-China alliances are popping up everywhere.”

Dahlia Peterson, a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, said many in China are unaware of the true extent of government surveillance.

She previously told The Sun Online: “China is developing an Orwellian-style state.

“Domestically, the scariest part is that many people in China are unaware of the true scope of surveillance and still hail it as a source of ‘security’.

“In programs like Sharp Eyes, local governments across the country have even been successful in persuading citizens to engage in peer surveillance.”

Vidushi Marda of the human rights and privacy organization ARTICLE 19 also said there was concern that the highly invasive technology could spread around the world.

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She told The Sun Online: “We think it’s crucial to focus on China – not because it’s a completely different type of surveillance – but because Chinese tech companies have fueled an international boom in government acquisitions of surveillance technology.” “

The full debate between Michael Beckley and Ian Bremmer will be published on February 17 on the US podcast Intelligence Squared.

Surveillance cameras in front of Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing

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Surveillance cameras in front of Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate in BeijingPhoto credit: Reuters
A facial recognition system demonstrated at a trade show in Shanghai

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A facial recognition system demonstrated at a trade show in ShanghaiPhoto credit: Getty
A Chinese citizen scans his face to go through the barrier at a train station

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A Chinese citizen scans his face to go through the barrier at a train stationPhoto credit: Getty
Pedestrians walk under CCTV cameras on Wangfujing Street in Beijing

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Pedestrians walk under CCTV cameras on Wangfujing Street in BeijingCredit: Alamy

https://www.the-sun.com/news/7307092/xi-jinping-orwellian-police-state-control/ China is turning into ultimate Orwellian police state to keep communist regime in power, US intelligence adviser says

DevanCole

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