作者： 马西莫-伊洛维涅 （Massimo Introvigne） 05/11/2020
Virus and the Chinese Dream: The CCP Wants to Watch All Citizens 24/7—and You Too
While we discuss data, 5G, and tracing apps, a book by Kai Strittmatter on how the CCP dreams to keep the entire world under surveillance may help.
A timely book
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the international conversation on issues such as 5G, apps tracing where we are and what we do, and data storage in China by Western companies. For those taking decisions in democratic countries, it would be a good idea to read a book published in German in 2018 and in English by 2019 by a German journalist with a long experience of China, Kai Strittmatter.
The book, We Have Been Harmonised: Life in China’s Surveillance State (London: Old Street Publishing) may be dismissed by some readers because of Strittmatter’s open display of partisan political opinions about the West. He accuses President Donald Trump and several other Western leaders to use technology to spread fake news, just like their Chinese counterparts do. Obviously, the situation is not the same. Yes, some politicians lie everywhere, but in the U.S. or Europe there is a vigorous free press eager to contradict any statement by those in power. In China, those who contradict Xi Jinping go to jail or “disappear.”
The book is so good about China, however, that readers are advised to overcome their possible disagreement about U.S. or European politics. Strittmatter describes Xi Jinping’s China as the perfection of totalitarianism. Stalin and Mao dreamed to keep their citizens under surveillance 24/7. They did not succeed, for the simple reasons that they lacked the technology. Xi Jinping’s chances “are much better,” and he is building “the most perfect surveillance state the world has ever seen. Ideally, one where you can’t even see the surveillance.”
然而，这本书很好地介绍了中共国，以至于建议读者克服对美国政治或欧洲政治可能存在的分歧。斯特里特马特将习近平的中共国描述为极权主义的完美中共国。斯大林和毛泽东梦想着让他们的公民全天候地处于监视之下。他们并没有成功，原因很简单，就是他们缺乏技术。习近平的机会 "要好得多"，他正在建立 "世界上有史以来最完美的监控国家。最理想的情况是，一个你甚至看不到监控的状态。"
Just as other recent books by scholars, We Have Been Harmonised starts by debunking the idea that Xi Jinping is organizing a state on the basis of traditional Chinese values: “these norms and values are not ‘Chinese’—they are the norms and values of a Leninist dictatorship.” It is also false that Chinese are not capable of democracy because of something peculiar in their ethnicity and history. Strittmatter suggests to those buying such propaganda in the West a quick trip to Taiwan, where they will discover a vibrant Chinese democracy.
The book, then, presents a rich array of essential facts. For the first time in Chinese history, under Xi Jinping the budget devoted to internal security outstripped the budget for national defense. Under the banner of the anti-corruption campaign, Xi has first created a regime of surveillance and terror directed at party cadres: according to the CCP’s own statistics, 243 high Party officers committed suicide in recent years. Later, the campaign extended to all Chinese. Xi revived the Cultural Revolution practice of self-criticism and public confession by the accused, this time live on the Internet and television. Those reluctant to confess are persuaded through “electric shocks, burns, maltreatment of sexual organs, and sleep deprivation.” If they still resist and prefer to go to trial, they face courts that have a conviction rate of 99.9%. If lawyers try to seriously defend them, they are also jailed and tortured.
All this is supported by such a massive propaganda that, Strittmatter reports, a certain percentage of the population ends up believing the most absurd fake news. Not only the media under Xi Jinping lost the small areas of independence they had before him, the CCP also controls movies, videogames, and popular music. Popular rappers are compelled to sing songs featuring lyrics such as, “We all know the original vision and mission of the CCP / It works tirelessly for the happiness of the people.” And a leading videogame company had to produce and promote a game called “Excellent Speech: Clap for Xi Jinping,” where to win one should applaud the leader more enthusiastically than the competitor. The company claims that in just 24 hours after its release, gamers had already given to Xi Jinping more than a billion claps.
所有这些活动都是由大外宣支撑着，斯特里特马特报导说，有一定比例的人最终会相信最荒谬的假新闻。不仅习近平领导下的媒体失去了在他之前的小范围中立，中共还控制了电影、电子游戏和流行音乐。流行说唱歌手们不得不唱出 "我们都知道中共国共产党的初心和使命/它为人民的幸福而不懈努力 "这样的歌词。而一家领先的电子游戏公司不得不制作和推广一款名为 "优秀演讲：为习近平鼓掌 "的游戏。在这里，要想赢，就得比竞争对手更热烈地给领导人鼓掌。该公司称，在游戏发布后短短24小时内，玩家们已经给习近平鼓掌的次数超过10亿次。
Xi Jinping’s predecessors were afraid of the Internet. Xi, Strittmatter argues, loves it. One of his titles used by CCP propaganda is “the wise man of the Internet,” and in 2012 he launched the campaign to “win back the commanding heights of the Internet,” not only in China but internationally. An army of millions of trolls (popularly called in China “fifty cents,” as they used to be paid half a Yuan for every online comment) were recruited to access social media and other Web sites, including those officially banned in China, and spread Xi’s propaganda in all languages. In Chinese language only, it was calculated that the “fifty cents” posted more than 448 million pro-CCP messages on social media in one year. Chinese are encouraged to use WeChat for their private conversations, but are also told that “the State reads your messages,” so you had better beware.
习近平的前任们对互联网是恐惧的。斯特里特马特认为，习近平喜欢它。中共宣传中使用的一个头衔是 "互联网的智者"，2012年，他发起了 "夺回互联网的指挥权高地 "的运动，不仅在中共国，而且在国际上也是如此。一支由数百万名巨魔（在中共国俗称 "五毛"，因为他们过去每在网络上发表一条评论就能得到5毛钱的报酬）组成的大军，进入社交媒体和其它网站，包括中共国官方禁止的网站，他们用各种语言传播习近平思想。仅以中文为例，据计算，"五毛 "一年内在社交媒体上发布了超过4.48亿条亲中共的信息。鼓励中共国人使用微信进行私聊，但也被告知 "国家会看你的信息"，所以你最好小心点。
The real “Chinese dream” of Xi Jinping is to achieve a perfect control through artificial intelligence. The Chinese system of facial recognition is already better at recognizing faces than even the smartest human beings. At the time of Strittmatter’s writing, China already had a data base of 1.5 billion faces, including not only (almost) all Chinese citizens, but also “every foreigner who has passed through China’s border.” Once in the system, the technology can recognize you for life, and “masks, hats, sunglasses, even plastic surgery present no problem.”
习近平真正的 "中共国梦"，就是通过人工智能实现完美的控制。中共国的人脸识别系统在识别人脸方面已经比最聪明的人类还要厉害。在斯特里特马特写这篇文章的时候，中共国已经拥有了15亿张人脸的数据库，不仅包括（几乎）所有的中共国公民，还包括 "每一个经过中共国边境的外国人。" 一旦进入数据库系统，该技术可以终身识别你，"口罩、帽子、太阳镜，即使整容都不是问题。"
A huge number of surveillance cameras, doubled in Xinjiang and other “risky” areas, continuously photograph, and identify through facial recognition, all Chinese citizens. Their movements are coordinated with credit card and bank records, “medical histories, takeaway orders, courier deliveries, supermarket loyalty card numbers, methods of birth control, religious affiliations, online behaviour, flights and train journeys, GPS movement coordinates and biometric data.” A Dutch expert found in early 2019 data about Xinjiang inadvertently parked in an unprotected cloud, and discovered that in 24 hours 6.7 million pieces of information had been collected about 2.5 million Uyghurs.
在新疆和其他 "危险 "地区，大量的监控摄像头成倍增加，不断地对所有中共国公民进行拍照，并通过面部识别来识别他们的身份。他们的行踪会与信用卡和银行记录一致，会与"病历、外卖订单、快递配送、超市会员卡号、节育方法、宗教信仰、网上行为、航班和火车行程、GPS移动坐标和生物识别数据等进行关联。" 2019年初，一位荷兰专家发现，关于新疆的数据在不经意间被放在云端，发现在24小时内收集了670万条关于250万维吾尔族人的信息。
Paradoxically, the only way of salvation for the Chinese is corruption. The CCP gathers your data, but a corrupted officer may erase or alter them for money, which explains why members of persecuted religious movements are still able to get passports and escape abroad.
These data in China are used to fuel the social credit system, a creation Xi Jinping is particularly proud of. Each Chinese citizen starts with 1,000 points at adulthood, as an A citizen. With more than 1,030 points, you can become a double-A citizen, or even ascend to the model status of triple-A with more than 1,050. But you can also be downgraded to B, C (under 849 points) or D (under 599). A law of 2016 provides that C and D citizens (and, to some extent, B) can no longer fly, board high-speed trains, be connected through high-speed Internet, or enter the best hotels and restaurants. In 2018 17,5 million Chinese were denied access to planes because of their low social credit status. While neighbors may be alerted about the presence of a B, the names and pictures of C and D “appear on large screens” in their cities and villages, and they are publicly shamed.
中共国的这些数据为社会信用体系推波助澜，这是习近平特别引以为豪的创造。每个中共国公民成年后，从1000分开始，作为A级公民。分数超过1030分，就可以成为双A公民，甚至超过1050分就可以升为三A模范公民的。但也可以降级为B、C（849分以下）或D（599分以下）。 2016年的一项法律规定，C、D级公民（在一定程度上也是B级）不能再乘飞机、不能坐高铁、不能上高速网络、不能进入最好的酒店和餐厅。2018年有1750万中共国人因为社会信用度低，被拒绝乘坐飞机。虽然邻居们可能会因为B等级存在而被提醒，但C、D级公民的名字和照片却 "出现在城市和乡村的大屏幕上"，公开遭受羞辱。
Incredibly, the Chinese social credit system has been defended by some in the West as a way to guarantee a needed and scarce resource, trust, by allowing the business community to immediately identify those who have a history of fraud or dishonest practices. However, Strittmatter notes that the maximum deduction, 100 points, is applied not only to those convicted of serious crimes, but also to those who have attended “illegal religious activities” or have commented on Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, or Xinjiang in a way regarded as not supporting the CCP line.
令人难以置信的是，中共国的社会信用体系被西方一些人辩解为，中共国的社会信用体系可以让企业界立即识别出那些有欺诈或不诚实行为记录的人，从而保证了一种需要的、稀缺的资源——信任。不过，斯特里特马特指出，最高扣分100分的规定，不仅适用于被判犯有严重罪行的人，也适用于参加 "非法宗教活动 "或已被认为不支持中共路线对台湾、香港、西藏、新疆发表评论的人。
From China to the world
The “Chinese dream” Xi Jinping talks so much about is not limited to the perpetual surveillance of the citizens of the People’s Republic. Xi dreams of a surveillance extended to the whole world.
习近平津津乐道的 "中共国梦 "并不限于对中华人民共和国公民的永久监视。习近平的梦想是把监视扩大到全世界。
He has started with opponents, real or imaginary. Strittmatter tells of how British civil rights activist Benedict Rogers was kept under surveillance; his friends, neighbors, and even his mother in Dorset were identified and received slanderous letters about him. The New Zealand sinologist Anne-Marie Brady, who had exposed the propaganda activities of the United Front abroad, received death threats. “Her house and office in Christchurch were broken into several times,” and “someone broke into her garage and her car was found to have been tampered with.”
When an executive from the German car manufacturer Daimler posted on Instagram a spiritual thought by the Dalai Lama, totally unrelated to China, Tibet, or politics, he was immediately identified. Threats to suspend commercial relations with China were issued to his company, which had to apologize for what it called the “extreme error” of his manager. Publishers such as Cambridge University Press and Springer also accepted to withdraw texts critical of the CCP in order not to lose access to the lucrative Chinese market for scholarly publications. Pro-CCP academics are generously founded, but those who criticize the Party are banned from receiving visas: “for many Sinologists, that would mean the end of their careers.” In international universities the Confucius Institutes, where they exist, also agitate against academics perceived as anti-CCP.
当德国汽车制造商戴姆勒公司的一名高管在Instagram上贴出达赖喇嘛的精神思想，完全与中共国、西藏或政治无关的时候，他的身份立即被确定了。中共向其公司发出了暂停与中共国商业关系的威胁，公司不得不为其经理所谓的 "极端错误 "道歉。剑桥大学出版社和施普林格等出版商也接受撤回批评中共的文章，以免失去进入利益丰厚的中国学术刊物市场。中共对亲中共的学者很慷慨，但对批评中共的学者则拒签。"对许多汉学家来说，这将意味着他们的职业生涯的结束。" 有孔子学院的国际大学，也煽动反对被认为是反共的学者。
Xi Jinping wants you
Xi Jinping, however, is not happy about keeping watch outside China on opponents only. Ideally, he would like to gather data on everybody. He offers the “Chinese model” to all countries, in two different ways. First, some governments agree to cooperate with China in implementing similar surveillance systems and even sharing data. Russia is mentioned by Strittmatter (and, interestingly enough, the Russian Orthodox Church), as well as Ethiopia. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Zimbabwe. The latter became the first country to store data on all its citizens in China. Other countries are courted. A European diplomat told Strittmatter that, “with countries like Hungary and Greece, China is now practically sitting round the table in Brussels” at the European Union—and that (my comment, not Strittmatter’s) was before Italy signed the Belt and Road agreement and politicians with strong pro-Chinese views became part of the Italian government.
然而，习近平并不乐于只在中共国以外的地方盯住对手。理想的情况是，他希望收集所有人的资料。他向所有国家提供了 "中共国模式"，有两种不同的方式。第一，一些国家政府同意与中共国合作，实施类似的监控系统，甚至共享数据。斯特里特马特提到了俄罗斯（有趣的是，还有俄罗斯东正教），还有埃塞俄比亚。委内瑞拉、玻利维亚、厄瓜多尔和津巴布韦。后者成为第一个在中共国存储所有公民数据的国家。其他国家被追捧。一位欧洲的外交官告诉斯特里特马特，"像匈牙利和希腊这样的国家，中共国现在几乎已经坐在欧盟的布鲁塞尔桌子周边了"——而这（我的评论，不是斯特里特马特的）是意大利签署 "一带一路 "协议之前，有强烈亲华观点的政客成为意大利政府的一部分。
The second way of collecting data is to offer to large private companies storage services in China, with the persuasive argument that they are much cheaper than elsewhere. Some accept. They assure their non-Chinese customers that agreements have been signed by the Chinese guaranteeing that data will remain safe. Not that the CCP feels bound to respect its own laws, Strittmatter objects, but in this case a law of 2017 compels all companies operating in China to share all data they keep there with the intelligence service and the police if they are requested to do so.
Strittmatter’s book is required reading for all those who deal with China, even more now during the COVID-19 epidemic. The pandemic created the necessity to collect data about almost every human being on the planet: if they test positive to the virus, authorities want to know whom they met in the previous days. China offers its technologies, and Huawei its 5-G networks to transmit data quickly. Not only the book proves that the “Chinese model” is a recipe for totalitarian control, but it warns politicians in democratic countries to make sure that data collected there, particularly with the help of Chinese technology, will not end up in China.
斯特里特马特的这本书是所有与中共国打交道的人的必读书目，在COVID-19疫情当前更是如此。疫情造成了收集地球上几乎每个人的数据的必要性：如果他们对病毒检测呈阳性，当局就想知道他们在前几天见过谁。中共国提供技术，华为提供5G网络来快速传输数据。这本书不仅证明了 "中共国模式 "是极权主义控制，而且还警告民主国家的政治家们，特别是在中共国技术的帮助下收集的数据，不会中共国结束。
编辑：【喜马拉雅战鹰团】Edited by：【Himalaya Hawk Squad】