Governments around the world are in the early stages of a repositioning of power, as China rises and the United States is drawn into direct competition. But some are beginning to wonder whether, for all of the economic benefits, engaging with China carries unseen dangers.
China is now determined to reshape the world in its image. The party is not interested in democracy. It divides the world into those who can be won over, and enemies. They have already lured many leaders to their corner; others are weighing up a devil’s bargain.
Through its exercise of 'sharp power', the party is weakening global institutions, ferociously targeting individual corporations, and threatening freedom of expression from the arts to academia. At the same time, security services are increasingly worried about incursions into our communications infrastructure. Indeed, the vaunted Great Firewall is seen as a temporary measure, only necessary until the party has transformed the conversation at the global level.
We have already missed too many warning signs – now it is time to wake up.