Alexandra Grace Casale is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University, with BA in Chinese Language/Culture and Economics (summa cum laude). Her Chinese language essays have been published in The US-China Peoples Friendship Association and the Juhe Supplement 2019. Alexandra is currently working with The National Committee on US-China Relations based in New York City, where she focuses on research related to the dynamic Sino-American relationship. In addition to her interests in Mandarin and US-China relations, Alexandra is an emerging technology and AI enthusiast.

Guest Contribution – Sci-Fi, AI and the New Chinese Dream: How China Uses Science Fiction To Define Its Future

The sun is dying, and the people of earth must band together to save the planet… or at the very least save the human race. This is the plot of the popular Chinese Sci-Fi book and its 2019 movie adaptation entitled The Wandering Earth (Liulang diqiu 流浪地球) by author Liu Cixin (刘慈欣). A pivotal scene in the futuristic movie depicts a battle of wits between the advanced AI computer called MOSS and our rebel human hero, astronaut Liu Peiqiang. The scene reveals a clash between the logical, utilitarian based MOSS and the illogical, almost selfish goal of our hero, which is to save his children on earth. In a nutshell, MOSS runs the numbers and concludes that in order for humanity to survive at all, the earth and its current inhabitants cannot be saved. On the contrary, our human protagonist Liu sees something quite different…he sees a small chance to save earth, its inhabitants, and the future of humanity – he sees hope[1].

As the scene progresses, each entity attempts to stifle the other, until our human rebel prevails. Ultimately, our hero does what heroes do – he makes the right decision, sacrifices himself, and saves the world. Further, the movie not only depicts a Chinese hero, but it also shows China’s advanced science and technology. This blockbuster movie played to Chinese audiences ready to enjoy the entertainment factor and envision China’s superior future.

The Sci-Fi genre, with its ability to inspire and educate the masses, is not lost on those who wish to guide the future. In fact, modern Sci-Fi is being tapped into by the Chinese government as well as China’s captains of industry to both inspire innovation as well as prepare its people for the future. Moreover, China utilizes the genre to help usher in a larger goal, which is to become the global leader in emerging technology, specifically in Artificial Intelligence, by 2030.[2]

The History of Chinese Sci-Fi and its Place in Chinese Politics

Chinese science fiction debuted over one hundred years ago when Liang Qichao (梁啓超) began publishing The Future of New China (Xin Zhongguo weilai ji 新中国未来记) in 1902.[3] In this serialized novel, Liang, one of the most important politicians and ideologists of China in the late Qing dynasty, described a futuristic vision of China. This future described China as a world power, with economic wealth, and a constitutional monarchy.[4] The ideas of this work and its global outlook laid the foundation for a new literary imagination.

Alexandra Grace Casale is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University, with BA in Chinese Language/Culture and Economics (summa cum laude). Her Chinese language essays have been published in The US-China Peoples Friendship Association and the Juhe Supplement 2019.
Alexandra is currently working with The National Committee on US-China Relations based in New York City, where she focuses on research related to the dynamic Sino-American relationship. In addition to her interests in Mandarin and US-China relations, Alexandra is an emerging technology and AI enthusiast.

Liang believed the Sci-Fi genre could help spread a more modern vision of China and foster positive developments in the then technologically lagging nation. At this time, the West was dominating in technological advancements during the Industrial Revolution. Hence, Liang saw Sci-Fi as able to instill a sense of pride in Asian readers, with stories of China conquering the world with futuristic high-tech weapons and emerging as a world leader.[5] Yet, this genre was ultimately disrupted, along with its vision, as years of war and political turmoil from the late Qing Dynasty (1833-1911) to the Republic Era (1911-1949) took precedence.[6]

Science fiction experienced a resurgence in the decade from 1956-1966, when Mao Zedong’s Communist Party called for a “March toward Science” (xiang kexue jinjun 向科学进军).[7] At this time, Mao utilized the Sci-Fi genre primarily as an educational tool for China’s youth. Many of these works also served to legitimize the Great Leap Forward (dayuejin 大跃进), a campaign of mass mobilization and collectivization at the end of the 1950s aimed at boosting the country’s agricultural and industrial production, while also catching up to the West in technological advancements.[8] Science fiction thus had the politically charged duty of imagining a new society realized through technological progress, while also serving as material for teaching science and promoting Maoist ideology. For example, one of the prominent works of this period is The Secret of Swimmer No. 3 (Sanhao youyong xuanshou de mimi 三号游泳选手的秘密, 1958) an anthology by Chi Shuchang that includes texts such as “The Elephants with their Trunks Removed” (Gediao bizi de daxiang 割掉鼻子的大象), in which the author imagines genetically modified pigs bred to the size of elephants so that one could feed an entire village.[9] Further, in the story “Whale Farm” (Dajing muchang 大鲸牧场), whales fished out of the sea by planes are used to feed the Chinese population.[10] A common current of these texts is the presentation of a futuristic China with mastery of science and technology to transform the land into a self-sufficient utopia in line with the ambitions of the Great Leap Forward. Yet, in a marked reversal, The Cultural Revolution (Wenhua dageming文化大革命 1966-76) ultimately ushered in a sudden cessation of the Sci-Fi genre.[11] During this time, Mao now enforced a stricter view of art and literature, where the genres were only meant to ‘serve the people’ and his socialist agenda.[12] Thus, artistic freedom and anything that fell outside of the government sanctioned narrative was suppressed. Moreover, Sci-Fi was portrayed as useless escapism and thus, a waste of time. More importantly, the genre no longer aligned with Mao’s mission for China and was stifled. As Han Song wrote in Science Fiction Studies, “writers were silenced because the genre was regarded as something from corrupt Western culture that could lead people astray.”[13]

Following the death of Mao and the Cultural Revolution’s end in the late 1970s, the Chinese government returned to technological development and launched the “Open Door policy” (Menhu kaifang zhengce 门户开放政策), refocusing on scientific advancement and foreign technologies. In the relatively relaxed climate that came with this policy, science fiction had another resurgence. The creation of the journal Scientific Literature (Kexue wenyi 科学文艺) in 1979 contributed greatly to this movement by including and translating a large number of Western works into its issues.[14] Despite the genre’s rise, the government still expected Chinese Sci-Fi authors to follow guidelines and/or constraints, such as focusing on a positive message for progress and the future of the country. We saw such optimism for the future in works such as “Little Lingtong Travels to the Future” (Xiao Lingtong manyou weilai 小灵通漫游未来) by Ye Yonglie, in which a fictional reporter offers snapshots of coming developments, including aerial highways, artificial suns and household robots.[15] Beyond limiting story content, science fiction soon faced greater marginalization during this era. In 1983, a new campaign spearheaded by the more conservative sect of the Communist Party took foot hold. This “Anti-Spiritual-Pollution” campaign was primarily against anything representing Western materialism, and Sci-Fi fell into this mix.[16] The genre was criticized by Party newspapers for “spreading pseudoscience and promoting decadent capitalist elements.”[17] Thus, Chinese Sci-fi once again was repressed.

Fast forward to today, Sci-Fi is experiencing another renaissance with renewed interest in the genre both publically and politically. Sci-Fi is receiving its longest run of unprecedented government support, yet this time it is politically appropriated in terms of the “Chinese Dream” (Zhongguo meng 中国梦), where China is building the future of technology, especially artificial intelligence. For example, we can see government officials taking direct action to guide science fiction in order to encourage the public embrace of AI and the Chinese Dream. In September of 2015, a few days after Liu Cixin received the Hugo Award, Li Yuanchao (李源潮), the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, met with a delegation of science fiction writers in Beijing, Liu Cixin among them. On his visit, Vice- President Li called on Chinese SF writers to “implement the central government’s opinions on the prosperity and development of socialist literature and art” and “inject scientific positive energy into the Chinese dream to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”[18]

Further, in an interview with The Guardian, British author of short fiction stories, Neil Gaiman provides an interesting account on the recent appropriation of science fiction in China and its pursuit for innovation. As per Gaiman’s account, he was visiting China in the mid 2000’s at the first government approved Sci-Fi convention in China’s history. Here, Gaiman had opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the genre and its position in China. At one point, Gaiman took a government official aside and asked, given that Sci-Fi had been disapproved of for so long in China, what changed? The official responded with his perspective: “the Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine.”[19] Following this assumption, China sent a delegation to the US, specifically to companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Upon their visit, the delegates learned that almost all of the US tech workers they met had read science fiction as children.[20] Hence, we see that the Chinese government’s renewed support and enthusiasm for Sci-Fi is largely a result of their push for technological innovation. This push for Sci-Fi supports China’s goal to become the global AI leader by 2030, while also promoting the Chinese Dream.

China’s High AI Expectations and the New Chinese Dream

In the spring of 2016, an artificial intelligence system called AlphaGo defeated the world champion player – this was monumental for global Go fans, especially in China. Intelligent computing had already mastered checkers and chess; now it had learned to dominate this more complex game. Here a machine, recently invented by some new tech company in California conquered a game invented in Asia over 2,500 years ago.[21] This became a watershed moment and the Chinese government took notice. Later that year, China unveiled its “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” (“Xin yidai rengong zhineng fazhan guihua” 新一代人工智能发展规划), a document laying out the country’s strategy to become the AI global leader by 2030.[22] The plan, presented by the Chinese government, gave its citizens a new vision of the future, and this future would be here soon. Prominent author and former president of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee (李開復), made the analogy in his book entitled AI Superpowers that “If AlphaGo was China’s Sputnik moment, the government’s AI plan was like President John F. Kennedy’s landmark speech calling for America to land a man on the moon.”[23]

The good news for China is that when it comes to their high AI expectations, the country may have some advantage. First, with its large tech companies driving significant investments in R&D, China has fast become one of the leading global hubs for AI development. In the “2019 AI Index Report” out of Stanford University, it was revealed that on average Chinese companies receive millions of dollars more in investment than their western counterparts.[24] Further, China’s massive population of 1.4 billion has the potential to generate huge volumes of data, and AI depends heavily on big data for success. Yet it is the proliferation of Sci-Fi in recent times that has played a vital role in the molding the public’s vision of a technologically superior China while simultaneously inspiring innovation en masse.

Of course, science fiction alone cannot lead an entire nation into its technological future, but it works as medium to deliver both message and mission. The question is: What is China’s message and mission exactly? For this one must look to President Xi’s version of the Chinese Dream. The term Chinese Dream has been promoted by Xi Jinping since 2013 and is often referenced to describe the collective aspiration of the nation and articulate the role of the individual in Chinese society. What this actually means has led to multiple interpretations, but some compare it to the American Dream, more aligned with the pursuit of happiness.[25]  While, others interpret the Chinese Dream with more focus on military development, suggesting that a happy nation comes from a strong military.[26] Further, many see the Chinese Dream with emphasis on the economy, a vision of China becoming a rich, powerful nation through projects such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a vast collection of development and investment initiatives stretching from Asia to Europe.[27] However, the Chinese Dream has recently turned notably digital, where AI dominance could fulfill these various components to the dream and deliver China to economic, political, and military supremacy. Once again, Kai-Fu Lee profoundly proclaims that: “AI is going to change everything. To not understand the coming AI revolution is to risk getting left behind.”[28] Xi Jinping is heeding these words and its prophecy.  Further, Xi views AI as a geo-political game changer, one that must be tied to his vision of the Chinese Dream. Hence, the State Council of China’s release of the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan in 2017 officially marked the development of the AI sector as a national priority, signaling the convergence of the Chinese Dream and China’s AI dream. Now that the two dreams or missions are in essence united, the method for motivating the masses brings us back to Sci-Fi. Yet, the question remains: what is it about the genre of Sci-Fi that has such potential to inspire innovation?

 A Vision of the Future- How Sci-Fi Fosters Innovation

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. . .  This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking. Isaac Asimov (Asimov 1978: 5)

This powerful medium of the Sci-Fi genre works as both inspiration and introduction to the possibilities of the potential. Moreover, its ability to inspire and perhaps educate the masses is not lost on those who wish to guide the future. For instance, American tech companies, such as Apple and Google, often commission Sci-Fi writers to do something called: “design fiction”. Here, science fiction think tanks run through futuristic narratives with the goal of leading to marketable products and services.[29] Further, marketable goods are not the only impetus for such design fiction-esque methodology. Ironically, we even see similar methodology playing out in today’s covid-19 scenario. For example, the writer of the then futuristic 2011 pandemic movie, entitled Contagion, is often asked by people what can be expected with this novel virus[30].  Moreover, the head of the American space agency NASA recently announced they are working with actor Tom Cruise to make a movie on the International Space Station. “We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a recent tweet[31].

Prophetic storytelling has often provided insight and inspiration as to what the future may deliver, even before today’s big tech companies. For example, the mobile phone made its debut in 1966, not in the labs of some company, but on the television series Star Trek.[32] Of course, the full range of today’s phones was not featured, but the idea of mobile communication was brought to the mass consciousness through fictional imagination. Similarly, the introduction of AI came through HAL-9000, the malevolent supercomputer in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Artificial intelligence researcher Pete Bonasso recalls, “When I saw 2001, I knew I had to make the computer into another being, a being like HAL 9000.”[33] In 2018, Bonasso and his team created an artificial intelligence system inspired by HAL to serve simulated astronauts on a virtual planetary base.[34] Over all, American technology companies have often turned to science fiction as a medium for exploring potential technologies and their societal impact.

Capitalizing on this insight and inspiration of Sci-Fi, Chinese industry and political leaders have increasingly turned to the genre. We especially see this with the popular novel The Three Body Problem (santi三体), written by renowned science fiction author Liu Cixin. For example, Lei Jun (雷军), founder of Xiaomi (小米) one of China’s biggest smartphone companies, has made the trilogy required reading for his employees.[35] The maybe because The Three Body Problem focuses on Chinese innovation, specifically in science and technology. For example, the book features a superior weapon the military utilizes known as “Flying Blade.”[36] This weapon has the powerful ability to cut apart an enemy ship with ease. Further, we also see advanced technology such as virtual-reality suits and panoramic helmets in this futuristic world.[37] This required reading, with its highly technologized perspective, works to inspire and provide unified vision for the employees of Xiaomi. This hope of inspiring innovation is highlighted by scholar and Sci-Fi writer Wu Yan (吴岩): “Popular visions of a scientific utopia provide the foundation for Liu Cixin’s advocacy of hard science fiction, based as it is on faith in science and technology instead of faith in human moral consciousness… this echoes the government’s call for advancing scientific and technological modernization.”[38]

In addition to inspiring innovation, science fiction also allows one to understand how a country imagines itself into the future. Questions like: What is China’s global role in the future world? And, how does this vision of China contribute to its goals of AI dominance? While most American-made entertainment involving various threats to the planet depicts the US as the savior of humanity, Liu places China in that central role in The Three-Body Problem. For example, in a strategy meeting, a Chinese civilian is able to come up with a solution that a U.S. general could not; one that relies on Chinese-made technology.[39] Further, Liu himself believes that China should shoulder more responsibility for solving the problems faced by human beings in a changing world, and even suggested adding research into alien affairs policy to the country’s “Twelfth Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development”, adopted during the annual parliamentary session in 2011.[40] “The suggestion might seem farfetched, but an alien spaceship might hover right over us any time soon,” Liu argued. “As a strong country with a long history, China is playing an increasingly important role in international affairs; for this reason, China should take up its corresponding responsibilities in interstellar affairs between beings on earth and other planets.”[41]

Hence, China is capitalizing on Sci-Fi’s unique ability to stretch the collective imagination and project a vision of the future – a vision that will ultimately deliver China to its own future, that of a global innovation leader. Yet, this formula of utilizing the western model of design fiction/science fiction may not be so simple for China. President Xi Jinping has a distinctly Chinese dilemma, one of competing goals: One goal is control, and the other goal is innovation – and these goals are in stark opposition.

China’s Unique Dilemma

Markedly, the Sci-Fi genre, with its unique ability to inspire innovation and futuristic thought, is being tapped to help China achieve their dream of technology dominance. However, China faces a distinct problem compared to its western counterpart when it comes to utilizing the genre for innovation. The issue for China is, the country has struggled in modern times to successfully toggle between historical governmental controls and releasing the reins of artistic freedom – something vital for innovation.

In the US, it’s not too difficult to get a movie or book released. Even if one cannot get a publisher or movie studio to back them, an author can self-publish or simply release on the internet in hopes of acquiring viewers. While in China, these creative works are subject to government approval, censorship, and in some cases complete revisions. This poses a unique problem for the Chinese government, as most of the country’s popular Sci-Fi writers are the ones that push the limits of imagination as well as push the limits against authority. On the other hand, the creative Sci-Fi writer has to balance between his or her artist expression while not pushing so far that their work never gets released to audiences. It should be noted that in recent times, there is good news for these writers, as China is experiencing an aforementioned science fiction renaissance of sorts. Perhaps, because President Xi’s AI dominance message and mission specifically needs Sci-Fi’s help. As previously mentioned, the genre is currently receiving it longest run of quasi-government support. For example, after the success of the Wandering Earth, a headline in People’s Daily (Renmin ribao 人民日报), the Chinese Communist Party newspaper, proudly proclaimed: “Only the Chinese Can Save the Planet!”[42] Further, in recent years, China has witnessed a rise in state-sponsored science fiction conventions; such as the 2019 China Science Fiction Convention, sponsored by the China Association for Science and Technology and the government of Beijing.[43] Moreover, the provincial government, through the Sichuan Association for Science and Technology, has allocated roughly 12 billion yuan to build a “Science Fiction City” on the outskirts of Chengdu. This futuristic town will consist of museums, a writers’ base, a national science and innovation center and a Sci-Fi theme park.[44] Authors such as Liu Cixin believe this trend of government support “signals a deeper shift in the Chinese mind-set—that technological advances have spurred a new excitement about the possibilities of cosmic exploration.”[45]

While the genre has been steadily thriving for a couple of decades, it is still subject to that approval and censorship, and the government can step in if it seems that the genre has gone too far conceptually. This is especially the case as Xi Jinping’s government seeks to establish increasingly rigid cultural control. Hence, Chinese Sci-Fi writers must toggle between conveying their art without being labeled a dissident. Further, working to maintain this delicate balance may hinder their artistic expression. Ultimately, this would be counterproductive for both the artist and Xi’s mission. For example, Liu Cixin’s publisher worried that the opening scene of his book The Three Body Problem was too politically charged and would never make it past government censors. Reluctantly, Liu revised his book to appease the government. While this move allowed his book to be published, Liu felt the change diminished his story. “The Cultural Revolution appears because it’s essential to the plot,” Liu Cixin proclaims during a New York Times interview. “The protagonist needs to have total despair in humanity.”[46]

Further, Ken Liu (刘宇昆), a translator of Chinese science fiction, has become adept in navigating such political obstacles. He says he finds creative ways of translating writer’s political or social critiques without being too inflammatory. Liu argues that in the effort to maintain this delicate balance, many Sci-Fi writers have skillfully learned to convey their art in an ambiguous manner, creating multiple possibilities of interpretation. For example, Sci-Fi author Chen Qiufan (陈楸帆) is conscious of how science fiction can be useful as a mode of social critique in the face of censorship. His story Waste Tide (Huang chao 荒潮) reveals the dangers of unchecked capitalism and technological development, and how it can especially hurt the most vulnerable people in society. This story takes place in a futuristic location called “Silicon Isle”, which receives electronic waste from all over the world. Yet, this location was actually inspired by Qiufan’s real-life experience growing up near Guiyu (贵屿), China, where the largest e-waste recycling center in the world is located.[47] Further, we see a major class divide in this story; as there are three local clans that control the e-waste business and profit from it, while poor migrant workers do the dangerous, toxic work of recycling the waste.[48] In this world we can even see technology become an extension of people, where only the rich can “switch body parts as easily as people used to switch phones,” further exacerbating class inequality.[49] Hence, this major difference between the lives of the rich and poor perhaps mirrors the issue of social inequality in China, and how such inequality could be intensified by rapid technological change. Yet, Qiufan addresses these inflammatory issues without making blatant social critiques; utilizing the guise of an imaginary, futuristic world. This ambiguity may work as loophole for authors to publish daring material without explicitly challenging the government – while readers are left to read in between the lines.[50] These loopholes allow the artist to toggle between their story and censorship, but the question is at what cost? In the end, loopholes may actually just be gaping holes. In other words, reading between the lines means that much of what the Chinese government may deem as not acceptable has been removed. For the artist, their messaging is thus hindered. For the country, much of the innovation that could have been fostered is also hindered.

Conclusion

As China seeks to transition from a low-cost production powerhouse to a global center of innovation, its leaders have worked to bring this vision to society at large. For the past several years, especially since President Xi’s assumption to the highest office in 2012-2013, innovation has become Xi’s focal point for China’s future. Further, science fiction is being deployed as conduit to deliver this message and inspire the populous. The powerful medium of Sci-Fi works as both inspiration and introduction to the possibilities of the potential. This is most notably true for China’s “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan”, laying out the country’s strategy to become the AI global leader by 2030. Yet, as China utilizes Sci-Fi in pursuit of AI global dominance, they are faced with a unique problem of conflicting goals. For on one hand, President Xi wishes to utilize the popularity and inspirational vision of Sci-Fi to foster innovation and lead China into the technological future. However, on the other hand, Xi’s expanding governmental cultural controls actually work to stifle the Sci-Fi writers, thus stifling Xi’s innovation mission. Moreover, the country’s Sci-Fi artists are not only creative in their story telling; but also creative in their rebellion. For as they strive for greater artistic expression without being censored, they must find creative and stealth ways to portray their art. Just as with Liu Cixin’s The Wandering Earth, we see our rebel hero fight against the machine’s authority, where man prevails against the powers that be with something very human: ingenuity.

Notes

[1] Frant Gwo, The Wandering Earth (China Film Group and Beijing Culture, 2019)

[2] Ashwin Kaja and Yan Luo, “Covington Artificial Intelligence Update: China’s Vision for The Next Generation of AI,” Inside Privacy, Covington & Burling LLP, March 25, 2018, https://www.insideprivacy.com/artificial-intelligence/chinas-vision-for-the-next-generation-of-ai.

[3] Gautham Shenoy, “Rise of Chinese Science Fiction,” MCLC Resource Center, January 17, 2019, https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2019/01/17/rise-of-chinese-science-fiction/.

[4] Milena Doleželová-Velingerová, Oldřich Král, and Graham Sanders, eds. The Appropriation of Cultural Capital: Chinas May Fourth Project. (Cambridge (Massachusetts); London: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001)

[5] Han Song, “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization.” Science Fiction Studies 40, no. 1 (2013):15-21. https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.40.1.0015.

[6] Bruce Sterling, “Mithila Review Describing Chinese Science Fiction,” Wired, Conde Nast, November 4, 2016, https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2016/11/mithila-review-describing-chinese-science-fiction/.

[7] Gwennaël Gaffric, “Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and the Status of Science Fiction in Contemporary China.” Translated by Will Peyton. Science Fiction Studies 46, no. 1 (2019): 21–32, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.46.1.0021.

[8] Gwennaël Gaffric, “Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and the Status of Science Fiction in Contemporary China.” Translated by Will Peyton. Science Fiction Studies 46, no. 1 (2019): 21–32, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.46.1.0021.

[9] Gwennaël Gaffric, “Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and the Status of Science Fiction in Contemporary China.” Translated by Will Peyton. Science Fiction Studies 46, no. 1 (2019): 21–32, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.46.1.0021.

[10] Gwennaël Gaffric, “Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and the Status of Science Fiction in Contemporary China.” Translated by Will Peyton. Science Fiction Studies 46, no. 1 (2019): 21–32, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.46.1.0021.

[11] Lavie Tidhar, “In China, This Is Science Fiction’s Golden Age,” New Scientist, February 27, 2017, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2122794-in-china-this-is-science-fictions-golden-age/.

[12] Marsha Wagner, “Introduction to Chinese Literature,” Asia for Educators, Columbia University, 2009, http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1900_literature.htm.

[13] Andrew Liptak, “Narratives of Modernization: China’s History of Science Fiction,” The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, Barnes & Noble, December 11, 2015, https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/narratives-of-modernization-chinas-history-of-science-fiction/.

[14] Gwennaël Gaffric, “Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and the Status of Science Fiction in Contemporary China.” Translated by Will Peyton. Science Fiction Studies 46, no. 1 (2019): 21–32, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.46.1.0021.

[15] “Ye Yonglie,” SFE: The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, SFE, 2012, http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/ye_yonglie.

[16]Robert G. Price, Space to Create in Chinese Science Fiction (lulu.com, 2017), 42.

[17] Han Song, “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization.” Science Fiction Studies 40, no. 1 (2013): 16, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.40.1.0015.

[18] Chen Jian 陈剑, ed. “Liyuanchao: Fanrong kepu kehuan chuangzuo wei shixian zhongguo meng zhuru kexue zheng nengliang” 李源潮:繁荣科普科幻创作 为实现中国梦注入科学正能量 (The Prosperity of Science Fiction Creation Injecting Scientific Positive Energy to Realize the Chinese Dream), Xinhua wang新华网 (Xinhuanet), Sep. 14, 2015.

[19] Robert G. Price, Space to Create in Chinese Science Fiction (lulu.com, 2017), 55.

[20] Robert G. Price, Space to Create in Chinese Science Fiction (lulu.com, 2017), 55.

[21] Nicholas Thompson, “The AI Cold War That Threatens Us All,” Wired, Conde Nast, October 23, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/ai-cold-war-china-could-doom-us-all/.

[22] Ashwin Kaja and Yan Luo, “Covington Artificial Intelligence Update: China’s Vision for The Next Generation of AI,” Inside Privacy, Covington & Burling LLP, March 25, 2018, https://www.insideprivacy.com/artificial-intelligence/chinas-vision-for-the-next-generation-of-ai.

[23] Kai-Fu Lee, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), 98.

[24] Raymond Perrault, Yoav Shoham, Erik Brynjolfsson, Jack Clark, John Etchemendy, Barbara Grosz, Terah Lyons, James Manyika, Saurabh Mishra, and Juan Carlos Niebles, “The AI Index 2019 Annual Report”, (AI Index Steering Committee, Human-Centered AI Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, December 2019)

[25] Xiaoying Qin, “The Chinese Dream vs. The American Dream,” China-US Focus, China-United States Exchange Foundation, April 27, 2013, https://www.chinausfocus.com/society-culture/the-chinese-dream-vs-the-american-dream.

[26] Mingfu Liu. “The World Is Too Important to Be Left to America,” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, June 4, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/06/china-dream-liu-mingfu-power/394748/.

[27] Christopher H. Lim and Vincent Mack Zhi Wei, “‘Chinese Dream,’ Global Ambition: Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative,” Global Asia, East Asia Foundation, September 2018, https://www.globalasia.org/v13no3/feature/chinese-dream-global-ambition-beijings-belt-and-road-initiative_christopher-h-limvincent-mack-zhi-wei.

[28] Kai-Fu Lee, “AI Will Change Everything, But Not in the Way You Think,” AI Superpowers, AI Superpowers, 2018, https://aisuperpowers.com/common-ai-myths/everything-will-change.

[29] Davis Levine, “Design Fiction,” Medium, Digital Experience Design, March 14, 2016, https://medium.com/digital-experience-design/design-fiction-32094e035cd7.

[30] Michele L. Norris, “He Wrote ‘Contagion.’ Here’s What He Had to Say About the Response to Coronavirus,” The Washington Post, The Washington Post, April 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/writer-contagion-imagined-all-this-except-inept-government-response/

[31] Loren Grush, “Tom Cruise will work with NASA on first movie filmed in space, NASA says,” The Verge, Vox Media, May 6, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/5/21248460/nasa-tom-cruise-movie-international-space-station

[32] Paul Sloane, Think like an Innovator: 76 Inspiring Business Lessons from the World’s Greatest Thinkers and Innovators (Harlow, England: Pearson, 2016), 137.

[33] Peter Dockrill, “Scientists Built an AI Inspired by HAL 9000 And What Could Go Wrong, Really,” ScienceAlert, November 22, 2018, https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-built-an-ai-inspired-by-hal-9000-and-what-could-go-wrong-really.

[34] Elizabeth Rayne, “AI Inspired by the Lethal HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey Kept Virtual Astronauts Alive,” SYFY WIRE, November 24, 2018, https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/ai-inspired-by-the-lethal-hal-9000-from-2001-a-space-odyssey-kept-virtual-astronauts-alive.

[35] “China’s Grand, Gloomy Sci-Fi Is Going Global,” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, June 22, 2019, https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/06/22/chinas-grand-gloomy-sci-fi-is-going-global.

[36] Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem, trans. Ken Liu (New York: Tor Books, 2014), 88.

[37] Charles Q. Choi, “The Science of The Three-Body Problem and How It Ties Into Self-Worth,” Tor.com, Macmillan, August 29, 2019, https://www.tor.com/2014/11/25/three-body-problem-science/.

[38] Mingwei Song, “Variations on Utopia in Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies 40, no. 1 (2013): 95, https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.40.1.0086.

[39] Samantha Nelson, “Cixin Liu’s Translated the Three Body-Problem Works Better as Anthropology,” The A.V. Club, G/O Media, July 20, 2018, https://aux.avclub.com/cixin-liu-s-translated-the-three-body-problem-works-bet-1798181874.

[40] Han Song, “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization.” Science Fiction Studies 40, no. 1 (2013): 18. https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.40.1.0015.

[41] Han Song, “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization.” Science Fiction Studies 40, no. 1 (2013): 18. https://doi.org/10.5621/sciefictstud.40.1.0015.

[42] Jiayang Fan, “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds,” The New Yorker, Condé Nast, June 17, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/06/24/liu-cixins-war-of-the-worlds.

[43] “2019 Zhongguo kehuan dahui zai beijing juxing cu kexue mengxiang chuangzao weilai” 2019中国科幻大会在北京举行促科学梦想创造未来 (2019 China Science Fiction Conference held in Beijing to promote scientific dreams and create the future), Zhongguo xinwen wang中国新闻网 (China News Network), chinanews.com, November 3, 2019. http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2019/11-03/8996945.shtml.

[44] Li Qiangqiang李强强 and Gao Hongxia高红霞, eds. “Chengdu 120 yi yuan dazao zhongguo kehuan cheng ni yongdi 1400 mu” 成都120亿元打造中国科幻城 拟用地1400亩 (Chengdu allocating 12 billion yuan to build China’s science fiction city), Renmin wang人民网 (People’s Network), www.people.com.cn, November 13, 2017. http://sc.people.com.cn/n2/2017/1113/c379471-30913787.html.

[45] Jiayang Fan, “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds,” The New Yorker, Condé Nast, June 17, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/06/24/liu-cixins-war-of-the-worlds.

[46] Alexandra Alter, “How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America,” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, December 3, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/magazine/ken-liu-three-body-problem-chinese-science-fiction.html.

[47] Andrew Liptak, “Waste Tide is a Chilling Sci-fi Novel About Class War and Trash in Near-Future China,” The Verge, Vox Media, May 25, 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/25/18626394/waste-tide-chen-qiufan-chinese-scifi-science-fiction-class-war-book-review

[48] Liz Bourke, “Trouble on Silicon Isle: Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan,” Tor.com, Macmillan, May 9, 2019, https://www.tor.com/2019/05/09/book-reviews-waste-tide-by-chen-qiufan/

[49] Anjie Zheng, “The Future in the Trash: China’s William Gibson on the Power of Sci-fi,” Fast Company, Fast Company, Inc, May 16, 2019, https://www.fastcompany.com/90349062/sci-fi-author-chen-qiufan-on-waste-tech-and-china-future

[50] Alexandra Alter, “How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America,” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, December 3, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/magazine/ken-liu-three-body-problem-chinese-science-fiction.html.

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