China's Global Sharp Power Project

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Essays

Le pouvoir de subversion de la Chine en Afrique : un manuel pour renforcer la résilience nationale

by Glenn Tiffert, Oliver McPherson-Smithvia Hoover Institution Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Dans toute l'Afrique subsaharienne, la Chine a fait irruption sur la scène en tant que partenaire de premier plan. Si cette situation offre aux nations africaines de riches opportunités, elle les expose également aux risques d'un pouvoir de subversion (« sharp power ») autoritaire et fait peser une menace sur les conditions de la démocratie dans la région. Quels sont les signaux d'alarme ? Et comment les nations africaines peuvent-elles s'engager avec la Chine tout en sauvegardant leur souveraineté et en progressant vers une gouvernance, un développement et une démocratie de bonne qualité ?

Essays

China’s Sharp Power in Africa: A Handbook for Building National Resilience

by Glenn Tiffert, Oliver McPherson-Smithvia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, March 21, 2022

Across sub-Saharan Africa, China has burst on to the scene as a leading partner. Although this affords African nations rich opportunities, it also exposes them to the risks of authoritarian sharp power and makes the conditions for democracy in the region more challenging. Where are the red flags? And how can African nations engage with China while safeguarding their sovereignty and advancing good governance, development, and democracy?

EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

Digital Currencies: The US, China, And The World At A Crossroads

via Hoover Institution Press
Friday, March 4, 2022

This multidisciplinary report explores the economic and sociopolitical motives for China’s central bank digital currency and its implications for privacy, international security, and the leading role of the United States in global finance. Among the key findings: The US government should advocate for democratic norms of privacy, accountability, transparency, and security in shaping the global standards for digital currencies, and should improve innovation and competition in its own payment systems.

Essays

China Explores South Sudan’s Oil Sector without Environmental Care

by Mary Ajith Gochvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

In South Sudan, a consortium of oil companies from the People’s Republic of China has been operating without proper provisions for environmental audits and waste management. Although oil production contributes over 90 percent of South Sudan’s income, the enduring issues of waste management and accountability are putting the future of oil production and those who live in and around the oil-producing states at risk.

Essays

China’s Domination of Distant-Water Fishing: The Impact on West and Central Africa

by Agnes Ebo’ovia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

As marine fish stocks deplete elsewhere, their abundance in the Gulf of Guinea makes the region attractive to distant-water fishing fleets that take advantage of weak governance systems and economies to access advantageous fishing rights. However, the practice now dominated by Chinese fishers is facing growing opposition due to unsustainable subsidies and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, as well as its impact on local fisheries sectors, particularly artisanal fishing.

Essays

The Trappings of the Mauritius Safe City Project

by Roukaya Kasenallyvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Mauritius Safe City Project (MSCP), financed by a loan from China, has from the outset been shrouded in opacity. The MSCP resembles other projects across Africa that are strongly linked to surveillance and control. Is China’s Big Brother model being rolled out in an island nation known to be a beacon of democracy? Why was the project pursued? Whom does it serve? Will it roll back freedom?

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Eyes Wide Open: Ethical Risks In Research Collaboration With China

by Glenn Tiffert, Jeffrey Stoffvia Hoover Institution Press
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Research collaborations with partners in authoritarian nations raise grave ethical challenges. This report examines a prestigious scientific institute in China that collaborates extensively with universities and technology firms abroad but is intimately connected to China’s mass surveillance and public security apparatuses. The report provides a framework for expanding due diligence on research partners from authoritarian nations and argues for revision and enhancement of current ethics and integrity standards.

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China-US Relations In The Eyes Of The Chinese Communist Party: An Insider’s Perspective | 中共眼中的中美关系一个局內人的观点

via Analysis
Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Since the opening of diplomatic relations with China in 1972, the American strategy of engagement, however well intentioned, has been deeply naïve. While accepting America’s efforts to facilitate their country’s modernization, China’s leaders have worked to restrict any liberal effects on their political system. Now that China is strong, the Chinese Communist Party no longer believes that it must accommodate American concerns about its human rights record, military modernization, and foreign policy.

自从1972年打开中美外交关系的大门,无论愿望多么良好,但美国的接触政策却是非常的天真。中国领导人在接受美国帮助,努力促进本国现代化的同时,严厉限制自由主义对中国政治制度的任何影响。现在中国已经强大了,中共认为不需要再在乎美国对中国的人权记录、军队现代化和外交政策的看法了。

Reflections On U.S.-China Relations

with Matt Pottingervia Analysis
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Remarks by Hoover Distinguished Visiting Fellow Matt Pottinger on the great-power competition between the United States and China, the rising risks for Western businesses in China, and the strategic pitfalls the West must avoid. 

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Elizabeth Economy On China’s Communist Party-State Under Xi Jinping | Episode 2101

interview with Elizabeth Economyvia Conversations on China’s Global Sharp Power
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Hoover senior fellow, Elizbeth Economy discusses the structure of the Chinese party-state, and Xi Jinping's populist appeal.

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Banking on Beijing: The Aims and Impacts of China’s Overseas Development Program

Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power and the Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions invite you to Banking on Beijing: The Aims and Impacts of China’s Overseas Development Program on Tuesday, June 7 from 2 - 3PM PT.

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In the News

Hollywood In China

Thursday, June 2, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to Hollywood in China on Thursday, June 2 from 10 - 11AM PST.

Event
Analysis and Commentary

The US Needs To Step Up In The Pacific: Facing Up To China’s Military Challenge

Thursday, May 5, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to The US Needs to Step up in the Pacific: Facing up to China’s Military Challenge on Thursday, May 5 from 3 - 4PM PT.

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In the NewsAnalysis and Commentary

Guarding Dictatorship: The Organization, Tactics, And Scale Of China's Surveillance State

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power in conjunction with the Freeman Spogli Institute's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) invite you to Guarding Dictatorship: The organization, tactics, and scale of China's surveillance state on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 from 2PM - 3PM PT.

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In the NewsAnalysis and Commentary

China's Sharp Power In Africa: A Handbook For Building National Resilience

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to the launch event for a new report China's Sharp Power in Africa: A Handbook for Building National Resilience on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from 10AM - 11AM PST.

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Analysis and Commentary

Cadre Country: How China Became The Chinese Communist Party

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to "Cadre Country: How China became the Chinese Communist Party" on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PT.

Event
Featured

Hoover Institution Working Group Releases Report On US Policy Solutions To The Expanding Influence Of China’s Central Bank Digital Currency

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The Hoover Institution’s Digital Currency and Electronic Payments Working Group has published, “Digital Currencies: The US, China, and the World at a Crossroads,” a new report about how the United States can respond to the growing use of the digital yuan, or e-CNY, China’s version of central bank digital currency (CBDC).

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In the News

China On The Eve Of The Winter Olympics: Hard Choices For The World’s Democracies

Monday, January 31, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to China on the Eve of the Winter Olympics: Hard Choices for the World’s Democracies on Monday, January 31, 2022 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am PT.

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Hoover Institution Publishes New Papers About China’s "Sharp Power" On The Continent Of Africa

Friday, January 28, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution’s Project on China’s Global Sharp Power (CGSP) has published a series of papers that detail how China leverages its economic resources to coerce and corrupt public officials in African democratic nations, undermine these countries’ sovereignty, and create financial and legal conditions that disproportionally favor Chinese companies over local competitors.

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Analysis and Commentary

China's Sharp Power In Africa (Part 2)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power invites you to China's Sharp Power in Africa on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from 9:00 am - 10:00 am PT.

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Pages

China’s rapid accumulation and projection of power on the world stage confronts the world’s democracies and open societies with serious challenges. Beyond the breathtaking modernization and enlargement of the People’s Liberation Army, and its increasingly aggressive and expansionist deployment in the Indo-Pacific region, there is the more subtle—but by no means benign— expansion of China’s “sharp power.”

The Hoover Institution’s project on China’s Global Sharp Power (CGSP) tracks, documents, and analyzes how China’s Communist party-state operates in the shadows to shape and control information flows, coerce governments and corporations, infiltrate and corrupt political systems, and exploit, disrupt, and debase civic institutions, particularly in open and democratic societies. Through its research and global partnerships, CGSP produces papers, lectures, conferences, workshops, publications, and web-accessible resources to educate opinion leaders and policy makers so that they may pursue diverse, balanced, and vigilant relationships with China, tailored to their circumstances.


Larry Diamond a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. Diamond is a co-chair of the China Global Sharp Power Project (CGSP) and leads the Hoover Institution’s programs on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.  At FSI, he leads the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, based at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, which he directed for more than six years. He also coleads (with Eileen Donahoe) the Global Digital Policy Incubator based at FSI’s Cyber Policy Center.

 

Glenn Tiffert is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a historian of modern China. He co-chairs the Hoover project on China’s Global Sharp Power and works closely with government and civil society partners to document and build resilience against authoritarian interference with democratic institutions. He also currently serves on the executive committee of the Academic Security and Counter-Exploitation Program, an association of US universities established to help heighten security awareness in academia. Most recently, he co-authored and edited Global Engagement: Rethinking Risk in the Research Enterprise (2020).