A Chinese newspaper („Chinesische Handelszeitung“) with a focus on news around German-speaking countries has found mission and purpose in being offended by a children’s book. It contained the “racist” statement that the Covid-19 virus came out of China. The outrage errupted in protest letters that denounced the “disinformation” and demanded an apology. The Chinese ambassador’s envoy for the city of Hamburg got involved. A manual how to protest German companies appeared on WeChat. Yet, publisher Carlsen stood the ground … no, of course, they didn’t. They promised to change the book and to destroy all printed copies that have not yet been sold.
The European Union Institute for Security Studies is the independent, autonomous, totally separate advisory agency chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (i.e. the de facto Foreign Minister of the EU). It is the place that prepares the EU deities with their briefs on foreign policy. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis Senior Analyst Alice Ekman wondered what China is actually up to. And she found the next hot thing, smart cities, which is whatever blinks and is remote from a barnyard.
If Europe does not act ambitiously, our cities could fall behind, become uncompetitive and antiquated, just as they were before Europe came up with Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter…*cough*. Meanwhile China’s is selling its ‘smart city’ technologies to developing countries and China being China bakes in authoritarianism tools and workshops along the way. Alice wonders if local authorities will resist to put Western citizens into shackles once the East Asian salesmen knock on their doors? And more questions arise for the rest of us. Will the Chinese sell smart building cranes to Tehran that smartly integrate gallows? Is the stuff even that terribly integrated at all?
Deng Jiewei, a 26-year-old from Dongguan in Guangdong province, was convicted of “providing software and tools for invading and illegally controlling the computer information system”, according to court documents posted on a website run by China’s Supreme Court.
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