This interactive map series illustrates how China’s Digital Silk Road is advancing Beijing’s technological reach in four areas: wireless networks, surveillance cameras, subsea cables, and satellites.
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A new book provides a global tour of China’s expanding digital footprint, from cables on the ocean floor to communications satellites in outer space, and calls upon the United States and its allies to compete in the developing world.
The United States’ position as the world’s leading hub in subsea networks can no longer be taken for granted. More of the world is coming online, and China is emerging rapidly as a leading subsea cable provider and owner. This guide for policymakers describes subsea cables’ essential functions, planning processes, and common threats; explains the U.S. economic and strategic interests at stake; and offers recommendations for protecting U.S. centrality in subsea networks.
Illiberal regimes use a wide range of tools to undermine democratic institutions and alliances, prevent criticism of their own regimes and governance systems, and establish norms and standards favorable to autocratic rule. In the case of digital information technology, these efforts go beyond shaping norms to controlling the infrastructure that transmits information itself. To date, democracies have been slow to adapt to this contest, but the United States can regain the initiative if it addresses its vulnerabilities, leverages its strategic advantages, and reframes the contest on its own terms.
On September 29, CSIS hosted an online discussion of Jonathan Hillman’s new book on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century, moderated by Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. Hillman recounts his journey to China’s projects in Asia, Europe, and Africa to reveal the global risks lurking within Beijing’s project of the century.