China is using tech advances to repress its people — George Soros

Beijing dismisses Soros' anti-China remarks as 'meaningless'

Beijing dismisses Soros' anti-China remarks as 'meaningless'

The world's two largest economies, China and the US, are locked in a "cold war that could soon turn into a hot one", warned Democratic billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"Based on that data, people will be evaluated by algorithms that will determine whether they pose a threat to the one-party state".

"The "social credit" system, if it became operational, would give Xi total control over the people", he said on Thursday.

"Since Xi is the most unsafe enemy of the open society, we must pin our hopes on the Chinese people, and especially on the business community and a political elite willing to uphold the Confucian tradition", he said, referencing the ancient history of Chinese officials speaking truth to power, even on pain of imprisonment or death.

The campaigner was driven to the brink of "despair" by the "totalitarian control" being wielded by the rising power of oppressive technology in the world's second largest economy.

"I've been concentrating on China but open societies have many more enemies, Putin's Russian Federation foremost among them", Soros said.

Xi, 65, is regarded as the most powerful leader after Chairman Mao Zedong, heading the ruling Communist Party, the military and the Presidency.

Financier George Soros said on January 24 at the World Economic Forum that "there are clear indications that a broad based economic decline is in the making in China, which is affecting the rest of the world", according to a copy of his prepared remarks.

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In Beijing, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, shot back at Soros on Friday, accusing him of twisting the facts.

"We hope that the relevant people on the U.S. side can. take an objective, rational, and correct attitude towards China's development", she added.

In the past, Soros has used his keynote Davos address to attack Donald Trump, and he again criticised the U.S. president for his handling of China.

He said US President Donald Trump should crack down hard on the companies as part of a more focussed effort on China instead of taking on "practically the whole world" in trade conflicts. Instead of letting [the Chinese tech companies] ZTE and Huawei off lightly, it needs to crack down on them. "If these companies came to dominate the 5G market, they would present an unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world".

He said this scenario presented an "unprecedented danger". He said China can reach a target of delivering "modest prosperity" for all Chinese people by 2020.

Artificial intelligence systems give authoritarian regimes "an inherent advantage", the 88-year-old financier turned philanthropist said.

"I find the social credit system frightening and abhorrent", he said.

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