Josh Chin is the China Deputy Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal and is the co-author of the book Surveillance State: China's Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control.
During our conversation, Josh talks about China's use of surveillance technology in shin·jaang Xinjiang, how it is using that technology to monitor and send Uyghurs to modern gulags (places the Chinese government calls "re-education camps"), and how the Chinese are exporting this technology around the world.
Josh also talks about being kicked out of China in 2020, how China could unleash this technology on dissidents in the future, and how he would respond to those who are ambivalent to government surveillance because "they have nothing to hide."
(02:10) Josh's interest in China
(07:07) The rise of China's surveillance technology
(11:18) The surveillance of the Uyghurs
(15:46) What triggers a Uyghur being sent to a gulag?
(18:35) The arbitrariness of which Uyghurs disappear is intentional
(23:57) The abuse and torture of Uyghurs in Chinese gulags
(25:46) Possibly 20-30% of the Uyghur population has been sent to gulags
(26:47) China's official statement about what's happening to Uyghurs
(27:46) The details of facial recognition technology
(31:58) Why do the findings of "Surveillance State" matter?
(33:57) A response to "I have nothing to hide"
(38:44) How can surveillance information be used against people?
(43:19) Who is Xi Jinping?
(45:46) Where is China exporting its surveillance technology?
(50:12) Is the Uyghur experiment a prototype for future totalitarianism?
(56:10) Josh's expulsion from China in 2020
(59:38) Are China's human rights abuses, on balance, warranted?
(1:08:02) China and TikTok
(1:12:08) Thoughts on the future of China and the West