Uncharted Territory


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1 China loves a vacuum
2 Accidents
3 Global tech cold war
4 Mexico
5 US-Iran relations
6 The erosion of institutions
7 Protectionism 2.0
8 United Kingdom
9 Identity politics in southern Asia
10 Africa’s security

今年の一位は中国でChina loves a vacuumとしています。

2 JANUARY 2018 

THE 19TH PARTY CONGRESS MARKED A TURNING POINT in China's contemporary history, and the speech President Xi Jinping gave there will eventually be recognized as the most geopolitically noteworthy event since Mikhail Gorbachev formally dissolved the Soviet Union. Until last year, China had avoided talk of global leadership. Its diplomatic rhetoric was seldom ideological, let alone evangelical, but in 2017, Beijing publicly shifted its official strategy. China is no longer biding its time. Xi has now consolidated enough domestic power to redefine China's external environment and set new rules within it. He benefits from lucky timing: Trump has renounced the US commitment to Washington-led multilateralism and generated much uncertainty about the future US role in Asia, creating a power vacuum that China can now begin to fill.

タイトルでChina loves a vacuumとあってすぐにピンと来なくてもどのようなものか第一パラグラフの最後に説明してくれています。

He benefits from lucky timing: Trump has renounced the US commitment to Washington-led multilateralism and generated much uncertainty about the future US role in Asia, creating a power vacuum that China can now begin to fill.

中国がリスクというからには何かしらの危険を伴うもの。その危険性については以下のように書いています。The dangers are three-fold. First, / Sedond, / Lastlyという書き方はそのままライティングにパクれますね。

The dangers are three-fold. First, the global business environment will have to adapt to a whole new set of rules, standards, and practices pushed by China and diverging regulatory environments that will raise the cost of doing business. (中略)
Second, there will be pushback against China's further expansion that polarizes Asia by pitting China on the one hand against the US and its regional allies on the other. (中略)

Lastly, Xi's growing assertiveness risks negative effects at home and creates a long-term threat to the Chinese model. (後略) 

時期を同じくして先週のNew YorkerもEvan Osnosが中国について書いていました。リンク先には記事全文を朗読したものもあります。ますます英語学習者が言い訳できない理想的な状況になっています(苦笑)

A Reporter at Large
January 8, 2018 Issue
As Donald Trump surrenders America’s global commitments, Xi Jinping is learning to pick up the pieces.
By Evan Osnos

Words checked = [7721]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [81%]


Technology. China and the US are leading the charge on investment in new technology—in artificial intelligence (AI), in particular. For the US, leadership comes from the private sector. In China, it comes from the state, which aligns with the country's most powerful companies and institutions, and works to ensure the population is more in tune with what the state wants. That's a powerful stabilizing force for the authoritarian and state capitalist Chinese government. Other governments will find the model compelling, especially those most worried about potential social unrest within their borders. And China's economic clout will align tech sectors within smaller nations with Chinese standards and firms. 

New Yorkerはそのあたりの具体例として顔認証の技術について触れています。国家権力が個人のプライバシーよりも優越しているからできることがわかります。ここからはNew Yorkerの記事の抜粋です。

SenseTime’s offices have a sleek, industrial look. Nobody wears an identification badge, because cameras recognize employees, causing doors to open. I was met there by June Jin, the chief marketing officer, who earned an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago and worked at Microsoft, Apple, and Tesla. Jin walked me over to a display of lighthearted commercial uses of facial-recognition technology. I stepped before a machine, which resembled a slender A.T.M., that assessed my “happiness” and other attributes, guessed that I am a thirty-three-year-old male, and, based on that information, played me an advertisement for skateboarding attire. When I stepped in front of it again, it revised its calculation to forty-one years old, and played me an ad for liquor. (I was, at the time, forty.) The machines are used in restaurants to entertain waiting guests. But they contain a hidden element of artificial intelligence as well: images are collected and compared with a facial database of V.I.P. customers. “A waiter or waitress comes up and maybe we get you a seat,” Jin said. “That’s the beauty of A.I.”

Next, Jin showed me how the technology is used by police. She said, “We work very closely with the Public Security Bureau,” which applies SenseTime’s algorithms to millions of photo I.D.s. As a demonstration, using the company’s employee database, a video screen displayed a live feed of a busy intersection nearby. “In real time, it captures all the attributes of the cars and pedestrians,” she said. On an adjoining screen, a Pac-Man-like trail indicated a young man’s movements around the city, based only on his face. Jin said, “It can match a suspect with a criminal database. If the similarity level is over a certain threshold, then they can make an arrest on the spot.” She continued, “We work with more than forty police bureaus nationwide. Guangdong Province is always very open-minded and embracing technology, so, last year alone, we helped the Guangdong police bureau solve many crimes.”

In the U.S., where police departments and the F.B.I. are adopting comparable technology, facial recognition has prompted congressional debates about privacy and policing. The courts have yet to clarify when a city or a company can track a person’s face. Under what conditions can biometric data be used to find suspects of a crime, or be sold to advertisers? In Xi Jinping’s China, which values order over the rights of the individual, there are few such debates. In the city of Shenzhen, the local government uses facial recognition to deter jaywalkers. (At busy intersections, it posts their names and I.D. pictures on a screen at the roadside.) In Beijing, the government uses facial-recognition machines in public rest rooms to stop people from stealing toilet paper; it limits users to sixty centimetres within a nine-minute period.

New Yorkerの記事は長いので興味ある人は一緒に掲載されていた一帯一路の写真を見ながら自分のペースで読んでいくのがいいでしょう。

Portfolio January 8, 2018 issue
China is investing billions in building pathways to Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
Photographs by Davide Monteleone