The fifth annual conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum was held during Oct.17- 19 in Beijing, and Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his congratulatory letter.
The forum attracted attendees from different walks of life, including scholars, entrepreneurs, politicians and cultural celebrities.
Nowadays, it is beyond imagination of most people to live without internet, which has become an indispensable part of daily life, and social and economic development. Cyberspace is different from land or sea in that there is no national borders, and it is a new territory whose governance needs joint efforts of international community.
China’s stance on cyberspace governance is firm and clear. It released national strategies for cyberspace security in December 2016, aiming to create a peaceful, civil, open and secure cyberspace environment.
Then in March 2017, Beijing released an International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace, showing inclusiveness and inviting cooperation. In this sense, the EU bears some similarities with China, as Brussels also takes cyberspace security seriously and invited international cooperation as early as 2013.
The two sides launched a cyberspace task force in 2012, and dialogues on cyberspace have been conducted since then. As a matter of fact, they could move one step closer and cement a more reliable partnership.
First, on internet security. Both China and Europe are under the risk of more frequent and knotty cyberspace security incidents. There had been over 4,000 ransomware attacks per day across Europe and almost 80 per cent of European companies experienced at least one such incident, according to EU data. In 2017, WannaCry ransomware attack broke out and hit both European and Chinese companies and other institutions. It is estimated that cyberattacks knock 400bn euros($ 530 bn) off the world economy every year.
Second, on data privacy protection. On the part of the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) took effect on 25th May. It seeks to create a harmonized data protection law framework across the region and give back to data subjects, control of their personal data, whilst imposing strict rules on those hosting and processing this data, anywhere in the world.
On China’s part, China’s Cyber Security Law came into effect on June 1, 2017, aiming to better protect people’s personal information.
Last but not the least, on the development of digital economy. Digital economy is playing an important role in economic growth and prosperity of both European and China. EU’s digital economy was valued at about 335.5 bn euros($385,4 billion) in 2017, a year-on-year increase of about 11.8 percent.
China boasts an even more burgeoning digital economy, which stood at$ 3.4 trillion in 2017, accounting one-third of its GDP and making China the world’s largest market for e-commerce. Cyberspace security is evidently too dead serious to be taken lightly.
The two sides are also keen to join hands with other countries to deal with challenges and enhance security, as Chinese President Xi put it, to “jointly build a community of shared future in cyberspace”.