The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future

Geoffrey Cain. PublicAffairs, $29 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5417-5703-5
The Chinese government has innovated a new form of authoritarianism based on advanced surveillance technologies argues journalist Cain (Samsung Rising) in this disturbing and deeply reported account. He accuses the Chinese government of creating “the world’s most sophisticated surveillance dystopia” in the Xinjiang province, where an estimated 1.8 million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim ethnic minorities “have been accused by the government of harboring ‘ideological viruses’ and ‘terrorist thoughts,’ and taken away to hundreds of concentration camps.” Cain speaks to camp survivors and interviews technology workers to detail how the government uses artificial intelligence, facial recognition cameras, police checkpoints, and DNA collection to surveil nearly every aspect of life in Xinjiang. He also reports on how China uses massive bailouts and high-interest loans to bring poorer countries under its web of influence, and details the use of Chinese surveillance technologies by authoritarian leaders in Uzbekistan and Uganda. The recent trade war between the U.S. and China has sparked investigations into the role that Chinese tech firms including Huawei have played in repressing the country’s ethnic minorities, but a “zero-sum” conflict between the two countries threatens to derail America’s “large technological lead.” Packing a wealth of information into a crisp narrative, this is an impassioned and well-informed exposé. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/07/2021
Release date: 05/25/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-3905-5
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