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China-UN International Workshop on Cyber Security Held in Beijing

2016/07/11

On July 11, 2016, the International Workshop on Cyber Security jointly held by China and the UN opened in Beijing. Assistant Foreign Minister Qian Hongshan and Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo of the UN attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Over 80 representatives from more than 20 countries, relevant UN organizations, international organizations, think tanks and enterprises were present.

In his speech, Qian Hongshan comprehensively expounded China's propositions on global governance on cyberspace, rules formulation and other issues. Qian Hongshan pointed out that while stimulating market innovation, boosting economic prosperity and advancing social development, cyberspace also poses various challenges. Cyberspace governance has become an important agenda confronting the international society. Building rules for cyberspace is the fundamental way to safeguard the stability and prosperity of cyberspace as well as the foundation for realizing global governance on cyberspace and maintaining the sound order of cyberspace.

Qian Hongshan put forward three propositions on building rules for cyberspace. First of all, we should stick to the parallel track of inheritance and innovation. All sides should observe such principles as sovereignty equality and non-interference in domestic affairs stipulated in the UN Charter while bringing forth new ideas in inheritance. Notions of the new type of international relations of sharing, joint construction, win-win results and joint governance should be upheld to build a community of common destiny for cyberspace. Secondly, we should place equal emphasis on development and security. We should insist on promoting security through development, devote to narrowing the "digital gap" and address development unbalance. At the same time, we should adhere to ensuring development through security. We cannot pursue absolute security at the cost of development vitality, nor can we evade from necessary security regulation on the pretext of market liberalization. Thirdly, we should take on both short-term and long-term perspectives. In the long run, we should set up the common vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous cyberspace while at present, we need to draft pragmatic and effective code of conduct in light of current pressing matters in cyberspace.

Qian Hongshan also proposed three suggestions on cyberspace governance. First of all, all sides should stick to dialogue and cooperation. Common security should be sought in cooperation and through dialogue management and dispute settlement. Secondly, all sides should insist on common participation. Multi-lateralism should be upheld and all countries should participate as equals and make joint decisions. We should also encourage stakeholders to play their due roles. Thirdly, all sides should adhere to the main channel role of the UN.

The theme of the two-day long workshop is "Building norms, rules or principles for cyberspace: promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment". Representatives will conduct in-depth discussion centering on cyberspace situation, international rules formulation, practical cooperation in digital economy, internet governance and other topics. This is the second workshop on cyberspace issues jointly held by the Chinese government and the UN since 2014. It aims at advancing global governance on cyberspace and providing support for UN Group of Governmental Experts on information security as well as other programs.

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