SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

China’s Quest for Foreign Technology: Beyond Espionage

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
Didi Kirsten Tatlow (German Council on Foreign Relations; Projekt Sinopsis)

Date: 19 April 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 19 April 2021Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar



For decades, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state have operated a vast, intricate and highly successful system of science and technology transfer from overseas to “serve the country.” This has taken place by multiple means (以多种方式), as five state ministries spelled out in 2001 — in reality, a carte blanche for legal, illegal and grayzone activities that are difficult for targets to manage. These broad and deep activities have enabled China’s rise as a global power, to the point where it is challenging the countries whence it sourced technology for global leadership. For these activities are more than the sum of their parts; they are also a highly ideological way of interfacing with the world. This talk will present the findings of a recent book explaining how the system works - and why it is becoming an existential challenge to democracies.

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China’s Quest for Foreign Technology: Beyond Espionage

About the speaker

Didi Kirsten Tatlow is senior fellow at the Asia Program at the German Council of Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, Germany, and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Projekt Sinopsis in Prague, Czechia. She researches, speaks and publishes widely on the political system of China, its impact on Europe, technology and worldwide transfer, democratic security, ideology, disinformation, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Indo-Pacific. In 2019, she began a series, “China-in-Germany,” examining the influence and interference activities of the Communist Party of China in Germany. She has co-edited and co-authored a book, China’s Quest for Foreign Technology: Beyond Espionage (2021).

Tatlow worked as a reporter and columnist in Asia and Europe for 23 years including at the South China Morning Post, her hometown newspaper, and the New York Times from 2010 to 2017, the year she relocated to Berlin. She recently published a cover story for Newsweek magazine on the nature, tactics and scale of CCP influencing in the United States. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Tatlow holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Politics from SOAS, University of London.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register.

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Professor Steve Tsang (Director, SOAS China Institute)

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

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