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Xinhua commentary: Asia-Pacific main theater of China-US interplay

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Beijing: China and the US must not allow the Asia Pacific region to “retrogress into a destructive wrestling ring” Xinhua news agency said. The US is unable to discard its outdated Cold War mentality, it added.

Photo credit: usnews.com
Photo credit: usnews.com

The Xinhua commentary “Asia-Pacific not China-US wrestling ring” said that as Chinese President Xi Jinping wraps up his first state visit to the US, China-US interaction in the Asia-Pacific region is entering a more predictable and reassuring track.

“A series of signals emanating from the trip…indicate that both of the two giants understand the need and share the desire to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” it said.

The commentary on Saturday said that against the backdrop of tangible worries in “international punditry that the region is turning into a ring for China and the United States to wrestle for influence, their latest agreement to deepen dialogue on Asia-Pacific affairs is encouraging”.

The Asia-Pacific is the main theater of China-US interplay. Having the world’s largest developing and developed countries under its roof, it bears the lion’s share of both their common interests and their differences and frictions.

Xinhua said that the Asia-Pacific is vital to global peace and development. It now carries 40 percent of human population, 48 percent of world trade and 57 percent of global output.

“That is why China-US engagement in the Asia-Pacific is important. Positive, it benefits all; negative, it harms all.”

The commentary went on to say that Washington’s sizeable enlargement of its already formidable military presence in the Asia-Pacific has “emboldened some claimants in the South China Sea territorial disputes to make counter-productively aggressive moves, although the United States pledges not to take sides on the complex rows”.

“At the root of those impediments is Washington’s inability to discard the outdated Cold War mentality.”

It said that the key is to strengthen bilateral contact and communication and cement mutual understanding. On top of that, they need to tighten the intermingling of interests and deepen their interdependence.

To bridge the trust deficit, “the two countries can beef up military-to-military ties, rev up consultations on the Korean Peninsula denuclearization issue, and speed up negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty”.

The Xinhua commentary noted that Beijing’s stance on China-US interaction in the Asia-Pacific is consistent and explicit: “The vast Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States, and China welcomes the US to play a constructive role in the region”.

“During the Chinese president’s state visit to the United States, that message has become ever clearer. It is incumbent on the two countries to seize the positive momentum and build the Asia-Pacific into a dancing pool for the benefit of all, instead of allowing it to retrogress into a destructive wrestling ring,” it added.

With inputs from IANS

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This AI System Can Evade Censorship In India, China and Kazakhstan

Researchers develop an AI tool that evades censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan

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(AI)-based system automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan.

The tool, called Geneva (short for Genetic Evasion), found dozens of ways to circumvent censorship by exploiting gaps in censors’ logic and finding bugs that the researchers said would have been virtually impossible for humans to find manually.

The researchers are scheduled to introduce Geneva during a peer-reviewed talk at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 26th Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London on Thursday.

“With Geneva, we are, for the first time, at a major advantage in the censorship arms race,” said Dave Levin, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland in the US and senior author of the paper.

“Geneva represents the first step toward a whole new arms race in which artificial intelligence systems of censors and evaders compete with one another. Ultimately, winning this race means bringing free speech and open communication to millions of users around the world who currently don’t have them,” Levin said.\

censorship, AI
This AI system that evades censorship is called ‘Geneva’. Pixabay

To demonstrate that Geneva worked in the real world against undiscovered censorship strategies, the team ran Geneva on a computer in China with an unmodified Google Chrome browser installed.

By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user was able to browse free of keyword censorship.

The researchers also successfully evaded censorship in India, which blocks forbidden URLs, and Kazakhstan, which was eavesdropping on certain social media sites at the time, said a statement from the University of Maryland.

All information on the Internet is broken into data packets by the sender’s computer and reassembled by the receiving computer.

One prevalent form of Internet censorship works by monitoring the data packets sent during an Internet search.

The censor blocks requests that either contain flagged keywords (such as “Tiananmen Square” in China) or prohibited domain names (such as “Wikipedia” in many countries).

When Geneva is running on a computer that is sending out web requests through a censor, it modifies how data is broken up and sent, so that the censor does not recognise forbidden content or is unable to censor the connection.

Known as a genetic algorithm, Geneva is a biologically inspired type of AI that Levin and his team developed to work in the background as a user browses the web from a standard Internet browser.

Like biological systems, Geneva forms sets of instructions from genetic building blocks. But rather than using DNA as building blocks, Geneva uses small pieces of code.

Censorship
By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user is able to browse free of keyword censorship. Pixabay

Individually, the bits of code do very little, but when composed into instructions, they can perform sophisticated evasion strategies for breaking up, arranging or sending data packets.

The tool evolves its genetic code through successive attempts (or generations). With each generation, Geneva keeps the instructions that work best at evading censorship and kicks out the rest.

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Geneva mutates and cross breeds its strategies by randomly removing instructions, adding new instructions, or combining successful instructions and testing the strategy again.

Through this evolutionary process, Geneva is able to identify multiple evasion strategies very quickly, said the study. (IANS)