By The Brookings Institution
/ Published January 23, 2018
The U.S. government will have more ability to influence Chinese behavior, push back against Chinese actions that challenge U.S. values, and ultimately shape the terms of the debate on global technology developments by being a part of the conversation than by standing apart from it. The U.S. government should engage broadly and proactively, both at Wuzhen and also with like-minded stakeholders outside of China. In the absence of strong U.S. participation in the debate, the likelihood will grow that China’s vision of an internet centered on sovereignty and control will gain appeal, to the detriment of U.S. efforts to foster an open, secure, reliable, and interoperable cyberspace environment.
Washington made the mistake of standing apart from the creation process of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which had the effect of self-limiting its ability to influence the terms of that debate. The stakes are much higher now on questions about the societal impact of technological progress. The United States government should not make the same mistake twice.
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