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Home > Ambassador Liu > Remarks > 2016
Keynote Speech by H.E Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Chatham House Conference "Cyber 2016": Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace Requires Concerted Efforts
Royal Society of Arts, 24 May 2016
2016/05/24

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a real pleasure to speak at "Cyber 2016" in the Chatham House. Dr Niblett suggests I talk about China's views on three topics:

· China and the Internet.

· Cyberspace governance in China.

· And China's cooperation with the world on cyber security.

As far as the Internet is concerned, China is a latecomer. But latecomers do not have to stay at the back of the queue. We Chinese often say:

"Latecomers are bound to surpass early-starters."

At present, China is keeping up with the world in both Internet technology and utilization. In some areas China is even in the lead.

The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of humanity in the 20th century:

· The rapid development of information technology, integrated through the Internet, has led revolutionary changes to the world we live in.

· The Internet is a huge advance building on the agricultural and industrial revolutions in history.

· The Internet has immensely improved man's capability to understand and change the world.

· And the Internet is redefining people's way of work and living.

These are some of the many positives provided by the Internet. However, there are negative side effects which we have a powerful shared motivation to rectify.

These are some of the problems:

· There is the information gap between nations.

· There are inadequate rules.

· There is inequitable order.

These are just some of the issues that are becoming increasingly prominent in the field of Internet.

It is of increasing concern that activities in cyberspace can be trans-national, anonymous and untraceable. This has given rise to infringements on individual privacy and intellectual property rights as well as other cyber crimes.

Cyber surveillance, attack and terrorism have also become a global scourge. Stronger and worldwide cooperation on cyber security is thus high on the agenda for the international community.

So, the Internet has presented us with both opportunities and challenges. Against this backdrop, China has adopted an Internet development and governance approach in line with China's national conditions, and has gathered rich experience.

Internet growth in China is noted for its fast speed and massive scale.

· China is now home to over 4.13 million websites.

· China embraces nearly a quarter of the world's total Internet users - which totals about 670 million.

· China is implementing its 'Broadband China' strategy.

· It is estimated that by 2020 the broadband network in China will cover even the most remote villages. This means the Internet infrastructure will reach the 'last mile'.

Internet is now part of China's overall national development strategy. For China, 2016-2020 is a crucial development stage in which China will implement its 13th Five Year Plan. The highlights of this Plan are five key development concepts, these are:

· Innovation.

· Balanced growth.

· Green economy.

· Opening-up.

· And inclusive development.

In line with these five concepts, China will adopt vigorous measures in Internet development. They include:

· the national cyber development strategy

· the national big data strategy

· and the "Internet Plus" action plan.

These measures aim at building what we call "Digital China". That means delivering the enhanced social and economic integration of Internet development.

In this process, China is committed to developing healthy and uplifting cyber culture. This is a key part of Cyberspace governance in China. This means that in China we believe that:

· Cyberspace must be based on rules.

· Cyberspace must be governed, operated and used in accordance with the law.

· And the overall aim is an Internet that can enjoy sound development under the rule of law.

As part of this process, greater efforts have been made to strengthen ethical standards and promote civilised behaviour in cyberspace.

Moral influence can play a part in providing guidance on Internet behaviour. The objective is to encourage positive energy and ensure a clean and healthy cyberspace.

Security is a core focus of cyberspace governance in China. This means that China gives high priority to cyber security:

· China aims to build up its protective capability through the establishment of a cyber and information security system.

· This aims to ensure the security, reliability and controllability of the Internet, including key technologies, critical infrastructures, and systems and data of important sectors.

· And China is also campaigning to raise public awareness of cyber security.

As China advances Internet development at home, it attaches equal importance to international cooperation. That means China is an active participant in global Internet development.

When it comes to building a safe cyberspace, we are all in it together. China stands ready to join hands with other countries to foster a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace.

Last December, at the second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in China, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech. In the speech, he talked about global Internet governance and emphasized four principles. They are:

· Respect for cyber sovereignty.

· Maintenance of peace and security.

· Promotion of openness and cooperation.

· Cultivation of good order.

He also put forward five proposals.

· Speed up the development of global Internet infrastructure and promote inter-connectivity.

· Build an online platform for cultural exchange and mutual learning.

· Promote innovative development of cyber economy.

· Safeguard cyber security.

· And build an Internet governance system.

President Xi's four principles and five proposals highlight China's views on how to build a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system.

Based on these principles and proposals, I want to address the issue of cyber security from four perspectives.

First, we must choose peace over war.

The world today is far from being a peaceful place. Therefore building peace in cyberspace is highly significant for all countries of the world. The principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the UN Charter is one of the basic norms governing contemporary international relations. It should also apply in cyberspace.

This sovereign principle should manifest itself in these ways:

· The right of individual countries to independently choose their own path of cyber development should be respected mutually.

· Each nation should have the right to develop their own model of cyber regulation and their Internet related policies should be respected.

· There needs to be the right to participate in international cyberspace governance on an equal footing.

· The approaches inherited from the cold-war years and zero-sum game should be abandoned.

· No country should interfere in others' internal affairs, nor engage in cyber activities that undermine the national security of others.

· And an arms race in cyberspace or cyber warfare must be rejected.

Second, we must choose security over turbulence.

Cyber security is a global challenge from which no country can stay aloof:

· No country has the luxury of absolute security.

· Therefore, all must work together for a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

· All must join hands to crack down on the cyber crimes.

· Collaboration is the optimal path to tackle challenges such as terrorism, pornography, drug trafficking, money laundering and gambling.

Cyber crimes, commercial thefts and hacker attacks against government are shared international threats. All these menaces should be firmly combated in accordance with relevant laws and international conventions.

The interpretation and application of international law in cyberspace must be aimed at enhancing common security rather than encouraging hegemony or power politics. Attempts by any nation to have Internet supremacy over others will leave hidden risks of potential turbulence and conflicts.

Third, we must choose openness over closeness.

An open Internet has the potential to bring great advances for all of humanity:

· The Internet is highly globalised.

· The Internet is a vehicle that helps spread knowledge and culture.

· All countries should work in the spirit of mutual support, mutual trust and mutual benefit.

· Through Internet development, countries should be open, and further substantiate and enhance their opening-up efforts.

· The Internet is also a great platform for better communication between countries.

· Through Internet channels, countries can deepen mutual understanding of each other's culture.

· And with the Internet nations can pool their strengths to promote the development and prosperity of the cyber culture.

We need more platforms like the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. This will enable exchange of views and experience between nations and improve their capability in Internet development and governance.

Fourth, we must choose cooperation over confrontation.

The reality of the 21st Century is that we have become a global village.

In such a world cyberspace is the village green. The future of this common space should be in the hands of all countries.

That means there should be platforms and mechanisms of cooperation for countries to pool their respective strength and achieve common development. This will help more countries and people to catch a ride on the fast train of the information age and share the benefit of the Internet.

Cyberspace governance should follow a multilateral approach with multi-party participation:

· It should be based on consultation among all parties.

· Governments, international organisations, businesses, professionals, NGOs and individual citizens must all be included in the dialogue.

· In cyberspace governance, there should be no room for unilateralism.

· The issues are too important to be decided by only a few parties discussing among themselves.

· And decisions that impact on all humanity should not be made with one party calling the shots.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China is firmly committed to international cooperation on Internet. China always stands to build, safeguard and contribute to the development in cyberspace.

Two years ago, China put forward an initiative known as "One Belt, One Road". This is short for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It is a grand vision of reviving two ancient trade routes. These routes are extending from China to Europe on land and from Southeast Asia to East Africa by sea.

An important part of this Initiative is to strengthen cooperation in building a Belt and Road on line. China is ready to work with countries along the routes:

· To advance Internet infrastructure.

· Remove information barriers.

· Narrow the digital divide.

· And build a digital network to facilitate cooperation.

This cooperation will bring greater benefit to people and countries along the routes of the Belt and Road.

These efforts show that China is living up to what people expect from a big country with responsibility.

All these are China's concrete contribution to make the cyberspace a better place, and China will make even greater contribution in the days to come.

Thank you.

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