Left-leaning think tank makes new efforts to counter China online


Left-leaning think tank Third Way is launching a new initiative to counter China online, emphasizing that “digital democracy” must triumph over “digital autocracy.”

Valerie Shen, vice president of the Third Way national security program, said on Tuesday that China thinks American democracy is too messy to win online digital competition. But the United States could be successful, she said. His organization is spearheading a new US-China Digital World Order Initiative.

“The United States will need to dig deep, figure it out, agree on it, and then execute our own plan to win,” Ms. Shen said at an event at the International Museum of Espionage in Washington. “All government, big tech, businesses, civil society, and yes, even Democrats and Republicans make laws together. And ideally to start as soon as possible.”

The Third Way, which describes itself as the centre-left, is the “21st Century”, which it will force policymakers to enact. It envisions developing a “comprehensive strategy” to secure a democratic digital world order for the 21st century. The organization is on its website, Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin lists several federal lawmakers as honorary co-chairs, including Kyrsten Cinema of Arizona, Gary Peters of Michigan, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware.

Despite its Democratic party, the group said its initiative would seek to be bilateral, stressing the need to fill cyberspace with American values ​​on issues such as freedom of speech, privacy, human rights, truth and accountability. In an example of GOP reach, former Texas Republican Mac Thornberry attended the launch event on Tuesday.

The group also has allies in the ranks of the Biden administration. At the launch meeting, officials from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council spoke.

According to the State Department, the Biden administration earlier this year included more than 60 countries in its Statement on the Future of the Internet, which aims to develop a “political commitment” to a positive vision of the internet and digital technology.

Ruth Berry, assistant secretary of state at the State Department, said the administration is not seeking to leave China.

“The United States and China will have to come to terms with each other for the foreseeable future, however, there are said to be areas critical to the national and economic security of the United States where the United States will work with its partners and allies. to do it to protect ourselves,” Miss Berry said at the Third Way event. “I think that really fits the idea of ​​both a protection and incentive strategy.”

The Third Way isn’t the only think tank emphasizing countering China in the digital space. The Brookings Institution will host White House officials on Wednesday to unveil its Statement on the Future of the Internet, in which officials assisted the author.


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