Norms and Institutions Podcast Episodes

Knowledge Gaps in Exposing China’s Authoritarian Influence: Cross-Regional Conversations with John Fitzgerald, Niva Yau, and TtCat

a world map of China, 3d rendering

As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become more authoritarian and closed to the world in recent years, its global influence has risen even more rapidly. Civil society and other democratic institutions around the world must grapple with the PRC’s malign influence in many domains, including the information, technology, economic, and political spheres. Key democratic institutions often operate with significant knowledge deficits regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s opaque political system, Chinese language skills, and the ways in which the PRC’s outward-facing engagement is adapting and evolving. How should democracies fill these crucial knowledge gaps? What role can key diaspora, academic institutions, and civil society organizations play at a global level to shrink such deficits?  

Journal of Democracy author and Professor at Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology John Fitzgerald, Hong Kong native and Advisor at Central Asia’s OSCE Academy Niva Yau, and CEO of Taiwan’s Doublethink Lab TtCat discussed how their societies have leveraged expertise on China to address democratic vulnerabilities, and how others might be able to do the same. Christopher Walker, vice president for studies and analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy, and Kevin Sheives, deputy director at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, co-hosted the conversations.

For further insights on modern authoritarian influence, check out the International Forum’s companion blog, “Power 3.0 Understanding Modern Authoritarian Influence.” You can find additional resources on the NED website and join the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter. 

The views expressed in this podcast represent the opinions and analysis of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for Democracy or its staff. Photo Credit: Ran Sinee/