Doublethink Lab
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Doublethink Lab

Join Us at the 3rd China in the World (CITW) 2021 Summit from Nov 15–19, 2021!

The annual China in the World (CITW) Summit has returned for a third installation!

This year’s summit will be a week-long event and will be held from November 15, 2021 to November 19, 2021.

The CITW Summit is organized by the Doublethink Lab, and brings together a network of stakeholders affected by China’s expanding global influence, to encourage dialogue and the exchange of ideas, and to promote new collaborations. This network includes researchers, civil society members, as well as activists and journalists.

For this year’s event, our network partners have come together to organize various public talks and panels on some of the most current issues globally, such as the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on global societies, China’s COVID-19 narratives and vaccine diplomacy, as well as how PRC influence has pervaded social media and the latest research on urban surveillance and digital authoritarianism in China.

We are inviting you to join us in the six public sessions below!

Investigating the Impact of Chinese Corrosive Capital Along the Belt and Road.
Watch the session here:

Chinese investment, which is often politically motivated and opaque, can exploit existing governance gaps in recipient countries to influence economic, political, and social developments. The BRI Monitor investigates the impact of this corrosive capital in five Belt and Road countries, providing insights into phases of the project process that typically lack transparency and identifying tangible areas of advocacy for better regulation and enforcement in recipient countries that can boost resiliency against corrosive capital. This panel will discuss findings from the initial twenty case studies, including common governance gaps and the impact of Chinese corrosive capital on local governance, the environment, and society.

Belt and Road Initiative: is China ready for global exposure
Watch the session here:

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) narratives: when China decides to claim its superpower role at a global scale, what are perceptions on the ground? Assessments of success and failure of the BRI abound, inside and outside of China, and often oppose strongly opinionated definitions: poverty alleviation versus colonialism, GDP growth versus environmental protection, access to vaccines versus increased digital surveillance. In order to nuance such views, it might be better to ask: Who benefits and who doesn’t in each country that hosts BRI projects? What challenges is Beijing facing when developing those projects? Some of the answers can be found in a new, multilingual and on-going media observatory project conducted by Global Voices: China’s Belt & Road Initiative: Deal or steal?

The key findings of the searchable platform “COVID-19 Chinese Archive”
Watch the session here:

Since COVID-19’s first outbreak happened in Wuhan, China, it is no doubt that COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the most important incidents in human history. In the beginning, the Chinese government had no intent to share all information with their own citizens and the world. However, countless Chinese internet users still made their best efforts to backup and preserve online information related to COVID-19 through different channels.

“COVID-19 Chinese Archive” is an English searchable data platform which not only lasts the valuable backup that Chinese netizens persered, but also transfers disarray Chinese COVID-19 information into a consistent index. The goal of the Archive is to allow world-wide researchers access to the information. Through the process of collecting and editing the datasets, the archive team has few key findings:

1. Chinese netizens well know what type of information is sensitive for the CCP , hence, they are almost able to back up before the article is removed.

2. Sensitive articles and removed articles are even easier to be found than other regular articles with multiple online backup sets.

3. Github, Internet Archive, and China Digital Time are major data preserving platforms for Chinese netizens for now.

4. Most datasets Chinese netizens preserved were around the 1st 6 months of the epidemic. After western countries fell into COVID-19 chaos, the online discussion in China changed to a different direction. Comparing the “ask for the truth and freedom of speech” in the beginning, the online voice turns to defend China more and more.

Smart Cities and Two-way Streets: Police Geographical Information System Development in China and Beyond
Watch the session here:

In our proposed Lightning Talk at CITW, we hope to share with the audience one important component of our ongoing research on urban surveillance and digital authoritarianism in China: the development and deployment of police geographic information systems, or PGISs. We hope to give the audience an overview of our methodology, our findings and their limitations, and the Western origins and export prospects that make these systems globally relevant.

China’s vaccine diplomacy as a tool for norm diffusion
Watch the session here:

The panel will discuss the logic of China’s vaccine diplomacy and the effect on norms diffusion such as standards on researching and testing vaccines

PRC Influence in Traditional and Social Media
Watch the session here:

PRC influence in traditional media spaces involve a range of practices from the relatively unproblematic (publishing state media; diplomats on Twitter) to the fundamentally manipulative (fake independent branding; inauthentic social media activity). In this session we will discuss recent trends and case studies, the problems posed for democracies, and appropriate responses.

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