BEIJING - China on Tuesday proposed a global initiative on data security to respond to new issues and challenges emerging in the field of data security and contribute to global digital governance.
The new "Global Initiative on Data Security" was unveiled by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as he delivered a keynote speech at the International Seminar on Global Digital Governance, which was held via video link.
As the digital economy is thriving in China, the country has taken a constructive role in multilateral discussions on data security including at the UN, G20, BRICS and the ASEAN Regional Forum, Wang said.
States should respect the sovereignty, jurisdiction and governance of data of other states, and shall not obtain data located in other states through companies or individuals without other states' permission.
Wang Yi, Chinese state councilor and foreign minister
"We look forward to the active participation of all parties," he said.
According to Wang, the initiative comprises eight key points. He suggested that states handle data security in a comprehensive, objective and evidence-based manner, and maintain an open, secure and stable supply chain of global information and communications technology (ICT) products and services.
Meanwhile, "states should stand against ICT activities that impair or steal important data of other states' critical infrastructure," Wang said.
Faced with activities jeopardizing personal information, Wang said that states should take actions to prevent and put an end to such activities through the use of ICTs, and oppose mass surveillance against other states and the unauthorized collection of personal information of other states through ICTs.
Companies should be encouraged to abide by laws and regulations of the state where they operate, while states should not request domestic companies to store data generated and obtained overseas in their own territory, Wang said.
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"States should respect the sovereignty, jurisdiction and governance of data of other states, and shall not obtain data located in other states through companies or individuals without other states' permission," he added.
Wang also said that states need to obtain overseas data through judicial assistance or other relevant multilateral and bilateral agreements.
He stressed that providers of ICT products and services should not install backdoors in their products and services to illegally obtain users' data, and ICT companies should not exploit users' dependence on their products.
Politicization of digital security opposed
In his speech, Wang also voiced opposition to the politicization of digital security issues, stressing that protection of digital security should be based on facts and the law.
The politicization of security issues, double standards and the slandering of others violate the basic norms governing international relations, and seriously disrupt and hamper global digital cooperation and development.
"The politicization of security issues, double standards and the slandering of others violate the basic norms governing international relations, and seriously disrupt and hamper global digital cooperation and development," Wang said.
Bent on unilateral acts, a certain country keeps making groundless accusations against others in the name of a "clean" network, using security as a pretext to prey on enterprises of other countries who have a competitive edge, Wang said.
"Such blatant acts of bullying must be opposed and rejected," he said.
Calling for upholding multilateralism and pursuing extensive consultation and joint contributions for shared benefits, Wang said it was important to develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries through broad-based participation.
Wang stressed that the Chinese government has not and will not require Chinese enterprises to provide data from overseas in violation of other countries' laws.
The Chinese government stringently follows the principles regarding data security and protection.
"The Chinese government stringently follows the principles regarding data security and protection," he said.
China's laws have included clear provisions on the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations, including rights and interests of data security and personal information, according to Wang.
While stressing the necessity to protect data security, Wang called for balancing security and development, abandoning protectionism and providing an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for all businesses.
"Protectionism in the digital domain runs counter to the laws of economic development and the trend of globalization. Protectionist practices undermine the right of global consumers to equally access digital services and will eventually hold back the country's own development," he said.
Wang noted China's digital economy is booming, and the number of internet users in the country has exceeded 900 million.
The number of 5G users is growing rapidly, Wang added, saying the latest figure has exceeded 88 million, and the total output of the country's digital economy has exceeded one third of its GDP.
HONG KONG NEWS