China Can't Lead Knowledge-Based Future: Condi Rice

China may well become the world’s largest economy, but because its policies have exhibited such fear of the Internet, it “can’t lead a knowledge-based revolution,” former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CNBC Wednesday.

“China has a political system that’s quite rigid,” added Rice, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush and an advisor and confidante in his father’s administration. Rice, who has just published a book about her parents called Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, is a professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“Can a country that’s so fearful of the Internet, can that country lead the knowledge-based revolution? I don’t think so.”

China is one of the world's most stringent in Internet censorship. The countryrestricts websites that discuss the Dalai Lama, the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters, Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement, and other Internet sites, according to the New York Times.

Rice touched on fear also when discussing immigration, education and the US competing globally.

Rather than being concerned about immigrants and immigration,which is a political hot button in this country, she said, immigrants “after all are the people who refresh us and keep us from the sclerotic demographics of Europe and the tragic demographics of Russia.”

She issued a word of caution, should the United States fail to maintain its dominance in business and politics.

“If the United States doesn’t lead in the global economy and the international political system,” she said, “the world is going to be a more dangerous place, and we as a people are going to suffer.”