This month, Sam sits down with Julia Voo, former head of YCW Beijing and current Research Director of the China Cyber Policy Initiative. The two discuss Julia’s recent paper, which explains how the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) can help America compete with China in telecommunications investment in African and other developing markets.
Sam and Julia discuss the scope of China’s digital silk road and the battle between the U.S. and China over internet infrastructure and influence throughout the Global South. Julia touched on the USDFC’s potential to “balance Chinese influence in developing markets” as well as areas of potential cooperation between U.S. and Chinese telecommunications companies operating in Africa.
Julia also speaks about the global security implications for wavering Sino-U.S. cooperation. “You can’t talk about global cyberspace governance without the U.S. and China at the table,” she said. She talked about the potential progress the two powers can make, including working together to control other bad actors in cyberspace.


“You can’t really develop a good long-term China strategy or comprehensive China policy without having experts who understand the country and in order to have expertise you need to spend time in the country. It shouldn’t be a disqualifying factor at all, it should be seen as a valuable asset.”

Julia VooJulia Voo is the former head of Young China Watchers Beijing, where she founded the YCW Mentorship Program. She is currently the Research Director for the Belfer Center’s China Cyber Policy Initiative.


The YCW Podcast is a monthly podcast series by Young China Watchers. We’re a global community of young professionals, providing a platform to discuss the most pressing issues emerging from China today. We organize events with China experts in our 10 chapters across Asia, Europe and the U.S., fostering the next generation of China thought leaders.

Download and follow our podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music and your usual platforms for podcasting.

Produced by Sam Colombie, with support from Johanna Costigan. Music: ‘We Build With Rubber Bands’, ‘Dirty Wallpaper’ by Blue Dot Sessions.

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YCW Podcast – Julia Voo: Research Director at Belfer Center
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