Written Testimony by Sarah Cook
Senior Research Analyst for East Asia and China Media Bulletin Director

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Information Technology

Countering China: Ensuring America Remains the World Leader in Advanced Technologies and Innovation

September 26, 2018

Chairman Hurd, Ranking Member Kelly, and members of the subcommittee, it is an honor to testify before you today. I have divided my comments into four parts:

  1. A brief overview of the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy for becoming a “Cyber Superpower”
  2. Examples of how this is being implemented, often with the assistance of Chinese and foreign technology companies
  3. Analysis of the costs these dynamics impose on human rights, internet freedom, and tech companies themselves
  4. Recommendations for steps the U.S. government can take in response to these trends
  5. Concluding thoughts based on Freedom House experience

China’s “cyber superpower” strategy

Last fall, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) declared its aspirations for China to become a “cyber superpower,” the desired outcome of developing improved capabilities and influence in areas ranging from domestic censorship to high-tech innovation to global internet governance.

During his October 2017 speech to the 19th Party Congress, Chinese president and CCP head Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of innovation as China emerges as a world power.[1] The speech was preceded by a detailed article published in the vanguard Party journal Qiushi the month before outlining the full details of Xi and the CCP’s vision for achieving…