Recent studies by the United States and Taiwan show that China poses “unprecedented” espionage and cybersecurity dangers.

According to the ‘China Index’ program by Taiwan-based research firm Doublethink Labs released on Monday, April 25, Southeast Asia is the region most impacted by Beijing’s excessive influence.

In an interview with CBS News on April 24, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the extent of Chinese spying and cybersecurity threats are “unprecedented.” China is the greatest threat to the United States from a spying approach.

Doublethink Labs came up with the indicators which fall into three categories:
Exposure—how vulnerable the country is;
Pressure—actions taken by China to change the behaviour of people in the country;
Effect—the degree to which the country accommodates China, and the impact of these actions.

The catergories were then rated on a four-point scale by at least two anonymous local experts, academics, journalists, researchers, or community leaders, who had to back their rating with evidence.

In economics, the “China Index” program looks at how economically dependent countries are on China and how the Chinese regime uses its economic and trade power to get businesses or politicians in other countries to do what it wants them to do.

The China Index program conducted studies in Southeast Asian nations and discovered they were all listed in the world’s top 10 and heavily impacted by China’s political and economic policies.

According to the Singapore Straits Times, the ‘China Index’ program consists of three main parts: exposure, pressure, and effect. These three parts show how vulnerable a country is to China. The top 10 territories most influenced by China are:

  1. Cambodia
  2. Singapore
  3. Thailand
  4. Peru
  5. Kyrgyzstan
  6. The Philippines
  7. Tajikistan
  8. Malaysia
  9. Taiwan
  10. Australia

Su Ziyun, head of Taiwan’s National Institute of Defense Strategy and Resources noted the situation in Southeast Asia is particularly troubling because the democratic system there is still emerging and is relatively immature. For elections, there exist democratic systems, but for democracy’s culture and literacy, there is still a long way to go.

“Beijing Spring” honorary editor-in-chief Hu Ping, an American researcher, remarked that CHINA organizes many Chinese people in Southeast Asia, so detecting unethical dealings might be challenging.

Su Ziyun believes that the United States is now stepping up its efforts to counter Beijing’s infiltration.

In the past few years, Beijing mouthpieces, such as Xinhua News, have been labeled by the U.S as a foreign spying organizations. As a result, the United States needs to accelerate the defense of domestic enterprises and information technology as soon as possible.

Su Ziyun believes that the United States will be able to exert more significant influence in Southeast Asia because of the severe invasion of China’s rule in the region.

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