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China calls for mutually-beneficial global co-operation in cyber space

China is calling for greater international collaboration in cyber space, saying it is committed to working with other countries to combat cyber crime and cyber terrorism

China is calling for greater international and mutually-beneficial co-operation in cyber space, according to a document published by the country’s foreign ministry and cyber space administration.

“It is in the shared interests and also the responsibility of the international community to safeguard peace and security, promote openness and co-operation and foster a community of shared future in cyber space,” China’s president Xi Jinping is quoted as saying in the preface to the international strategy of co-operation on cyber space.

The publication of the strategy comes nearly 18 months after the Chinese premier and US president Barack Obama agreed that neither government would support the cyber theft of intellectual property (IP) in an attempt to quell rising tensions between the two nations on the issue.

China now wants to encourage the international community to come together to enhance dialogue and co-operation and build a peaceful, secure, open, co-operative and orderly cyber space and a multilateral, democratic and transparent global internet governance system.

The document notes the rise of cyber terrorism, cyber crime and interference in other countries’ internal affairs by abusing ICT and massive cyber surveillance activities.

“The absence of general international rules in cyber space that effectively govern the behaviour of all parties hampers the development of cyber space,” the document said, calling for a rule-based global governance system in cyber space.

China said the strategy advocates the principles of peace, sovereignty, shared governance and shared benefits in international exchange and co-operation in cyber space.

The strategy calls on all countries to oppose ICT-backed acts of hostility and aggression, prevent arms race and conflicts in cyber space and settle disputes through peaceful means.

However, it said countries should respect each other’s right to choose their own path of cyber development, model of cyber regulation and internet public policies, and participate in international cyber space governance on an equal footing.

“No country should pursue cyber hegemony, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, or engage in, condone or support cyber activities that undermine other countries’ national security.”

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International cyber space governance should follow a multilateral approach, the strategy said, with all countries entitled to equal participation in developing international order and rules in cyber space.

The international community should promote greater openness and co-operation in cyber space, the document said, to ensure that people across the world can share the benefits of internet development.

While stating that the strategic goal of China’s participation in international cyber space co-operation is to safeguard the countrys sovereignty, security and development interests in cyber space,  more altruistic goals include: ensuring a secure and orderly flow of information on the internet; improving global connectivity; maintaining peace, security and stability in cyber space; enhancing international rule of law in cyber space; promoting global development of the digital economy; and ensuring that the benefits of internet development will reach the people of all countries.

China supports universal rules

China said it supports formulating universally accepted international rules and norms of state behaviour in cyber space within the framework of the United Nations, which will establish basic principles for states and other actors to regulate their behaviour and intensify co-operation in order to uphold security, stability and prosperity in cyber space.

“China is firmly committed to safeguarding cyber security. As a victim itself, China opposes all forms of hacking and regards them illegal criminal activities that should be tackled in accordance with law and relevant international legal instruments.

“Given that cyber attacks are usually transnational and difficult to attribute, countries should work together to ensure cyber security through constructive consultation and co-operation.”

China said it will continue to actively participate in cyber-related international processes, enhance bilateral, regional and international dialogue and co-operation, promote international mutual trust and common development and address threats through joint efforts to reach universally accepted international rules and establish a fair and reasonable global cyber space governance system.

Along with other countries, China said it will explore norms of behaviour and concrete measures for international co-operation against cyber terrorism, including discussion on an international convention on combating cyber terrorism and consensus building on fighting cyber crimes and cyber terrorism, to provide the basis for law enforcement co-operation among countries.

China said it will also step up policy exchange and law enforcement co-operation with other countries on cyber crimes and cyber terrorism. It will explore institutionalised dialogue and communication on cyber terrorism, establish bilateral police cooperation mechanisms with other countries, improve judicial assistance mechanism and promote technology and experience sharing on fighting cyber crimes.

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