World View: China Implements 'Skynet' Surveillance Program to Control Protests

This morning's key headlines from

  • China implements 'Skynet' surveillance program to control protests
  • United States and Israel lose their votes in UNESCO
  • Foreign ministers rush to Geneva to complete Iran nuclear deal

China implements 'Skynet' surveillance program to control protests

Uighur terrorist act at Tiananmen Square on Oct 29
Uighur terrorist act at Tiananmen Square on Oct 29

The recent successful terrorist attack by ethnic Uighurs in the heart of Beijing's most securely guarded and well-protected offices ( "30-Oct-13 World View -- China scrambles to suppress Tiananmen Square terror attack reports") illuminates the increasing discontent of the ethnic Uighur population in Xinjiang province in northwest China. 

To provide better and more thorough control over the population, and to try to prevent everything from protests to terror attacks, China's government has installed as many as 130 million security cameras around the country, with 800,000 in Beijing alone. Facial recognition software is being installed so that the movements of any citizen can be tracked automatically by computer systems. China is calling this the "Skynet" program; Skynet was the name of the computer system in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator movies that became self-aware and decided to protect itself by killing all the humans. 

However, in Xinjiang province itself, tens of thousands of security cameras, two million internet monitors, and large internal paramilitary forces have not only not pacified the Uighur population but have fueled protests, and violence appears to be worsening significantly. Uighur insurgents cannot obtain guns domestically, but Xinjiang lies next door to Central Asian states where guns are plentiful. The real danger for China is that Uighur terrorists will target China's energy infrastructure, bombing Xinjiang's rail network and a growing number of oil and gas pipelines that are vital to supplying energy to the rest of China.

The Uighurs are not the only rebellious group in China. China has tens of thousands of "mass protests" every year, and the Chinese Communist Party's great fear is that these individual protests will coalesce into a major regional protest. I've been writing for several years that China is overdue for a new national civil war. (See "China approaches Civil War" from 2005.) China's history is full of massive civil war rebellions, such as the White Lotus Rebellion (1796-1805) and the Taiping Rebellion (1852-1869), killing millions or tens of millions of people. These occur at regular intervals, with each new one occurring at about the time that the survivors of the preceding one die off. The last of these rebellions was Mao's Communist Revolution (1934-49), and now it's time for the next one. The Diplomat

United States and Israel lose their votes in UNESCO

Both the United States and Israel will no longer be permitted to vote in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), although they both will remain non-voting members. The U.S. stopped paying dues to UNESCO in 2011 when the state of Palestine was made a member of UNESCO, in accordance with U.S. law, and Israel followed suit. UNESCO cancels the ability to vote for any country that hasn't paid its dues in two years. UNESCO supports girls' and women's education and the protection and preservation of cultural heritage sites. U.S. State Dept. and Global Post

Foreign ministers rush to Geneva to complete Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined foreign ministers from Russia, Britain, China, EU, France, and Germany and rushed to Geneva on Friday, leading journalists to conclude that a deal with Iran had been reached and that all was needed was the signatures. That turned out not be true, but officials are saying that a deal is close and should be reached this weekend. 

The details of the proposed agreement are not known, but the general outline is as follows: 

  • Iran will promise to limit its uranium enrichment program to below the level needed to build nuclear weapons and will promise not to build nuclear weapons.
  • Iran will agree to U.N. inspections.
  • The West will reduce some sanctions that target Iran.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was stinging in his criticism of the proposed deal: 

The deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal, it's a very bad deal. Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and it pays nothing.

President Barack Obama called Netanyahu to reassure him and said in an interview: 

We don't have to trust them. What we have to do is to make sure that there is a good deal in place from the perspective of us verifying what they're doing. And that they're actually moving in the right direction.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said:

We’ve got to be creative, we’ve got to be innovative and deal with situations as - on the basis of realities, not on the basis of illusions. I believe, at the end of the day, everybody will be happy with a deal that can be achieved ... 
Iran demands respect and equal footing [that is] only done when you are prepared to accommodate the other side without trying to impose your views.

It is not clear whether the U.S. Senate will approve any deal that's signed. Also, it's not clear whether Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) will go along with any deal. VOA and Tehran Times

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Skynet, Uighurs, Xinjiang, Tiananmen Square, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator, White Lotus Rebellion, Taiping Rebellion, Communist Revolution, Israel, UNESCO, Palestine, Iran, John Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC 

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