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Statement by Ms. Liu Ying of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Information and Cyber Security at the First Committee of the 68th Session of the UNGA

2013/10/30
 

Mr. Chairman,

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) develop rapidly, which heralds an information era of "big data" and benefits people's life. In the meantime, the characteristics of cyberspace such as virtuality, transnationality and anonymity bring about severe challenges to information security. Cyber crime and cyber terrorism pose grave threats to the healthy functioning of a country's social and economic development. Some countries take advantage of its ICT and resources as a new tool to fulfill their political purposes and interfere in other countries' internal affairs. Some countries keep others from participating in the equitable distribution of information resources and enjoying the digital dividends by monopolizing critical information resources. Some countries are developing cyber military capabilities and threatening others with preemptive strikes, turning the information space into a new battlefield. Some negative incidents exposed recently indicate that many countries' data security and personal privacy were compromised and caused widespread concern of the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

Countries coexist with common interests and share weal and woe in information space. Cold War mentality and zero sum game theory is neither feasible nor tenable in information space, seeking win-win ends through cooperation is the right approach. To ensure one's own security, a country should respect and accommodate the security of other countries, and meet its demand for security through ensuring the security of the whole international community. Only by doing so can we build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative information space.

Firstly, we should promote the concept of common security with peaceful development. To ensure a country’s security by developing its cyber military capabilities and seeking military advantage is not only untenable, but is triggering arms race and increasing the possibility of conflicts in information space, which is against the common interests of the international community. China believes that countries should comply with the UN Charter and the basic principles governing international relations, not to use force or threaten to use force in information space, and settle disputes through peaceful means.

Secondly, we should adhere to the principle of balance between freedom and law. Information space is no "global domain". Countries should enjoy state sovereignty in information space. The governments are entitled to managing its network-related activities and have the jurisdiction over its information infrastructures within its territory. Under such premises, we should protect the freedom for all in information space. Countries shouldn't use ICTs to interfere in other countries' internal affairs and undermine other countries' political, economic, and social stability as well as cultural environment. Countries should not take advantage of its dominant position in information space to undermine other countries' right of independent control of ICT products and services.

Thirdly, we should promote the establishment of an equitable and democratic governance of the Internet. The Internet is integrated deeply into the development of all countries. It is the common wish of the international community to enjoy sharing of resources, shouldering of responsibility and cooperative governance of the Internet. Each country should have equitable participation in the distribution of resources, play an equal role in the elaboration of international norms and orders in information space and make joint efforts to address the common cyber security challenges, with a view to building a multilateral, democratic and transparent international governance of the Internet.

Fourthly, we should facilitate the cooperation that benefits all in information space. Informatization becomes an important engine in fostering economic development. Enjoying digital dividends is the new requirement of the UN Millennium Development Goal. All sides should bolster bilateral, regional and international cooperation and provide digital assistance to developing countries.

Mr.Chairman,

China believes that, in this context, the following measures should be taken to jointly realize a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative information space:

Firstly, develop a set of universal and effective international norms and rules governing activities in information space. China, together with Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, submitted to the UNGA "International Code of Conduct for Information Security" as early as in 2011. We welcome the co-sponsoring of the document by Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan this year. We are updating and improving the document based on the comments and suggestions of other countries. China is ready for dialogues with other countries on the code of conduct for information security with a view to reaching early consensus.

Secondly, make full use of the UN GGE on information security as an important platform to deepen mutual understanding and explore the international norms and rules. China welcomed last June's GGE report, which identified the principles of state sovereignty in information space and peaceful use of ICTs. China supports UN to continue to establish GGE and will participate constructively in its future work. We hope that the new GGE can achieve new consensus and make new achievements built upon the outcomes made in the previous sessions of GGE.

Thirdly, give full play to the leading role of the governments. As the main body to participate in the national administration and international cooperation, governments should play a dominant role in the area of information and cyber security. On the domestic level, Governments should lead all stakeholders, including private sectors, in addressing the network challenges and strengthen the legislation and institutional capacity building. At the international level, all sides should conduct cooperation in preventing and combating of cyber crime and cyber terrorism, protection of critical information infrastructure, as well as the maintenance of stable and secure functioning of information and communication system.

Mr. Chairman,

China firmly safeguards the information and cyber security. Over the years, China has made unremitting efforts in strengthening its own information and cyber security, protecting the civilian privacy and data security in accordance with its criminal law and other related laws or regulations, formulating orders in cyber space on the basis of law and purifying the cyber environment. China has supported the UN to play a leading role in the context of international security,by constructively participating in the UN GGE on information security, contributing to the adoption of the resolution “strengthening international cooperation to combat cybercrime” in the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and supporting the positive efforts made by the International Telecommunication Union(ITU) to promote the equitable governance of the Internet. China, together with the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, is planning to hold an international seminar on cyber issues, with a view to facilitating communications and mutual trust between countries. Besides, China has actively taken part in the information security cooperation through the regional cooperative framework, such as the BRICS, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and etc. In 2009, the SCO reached on the Agreement of between the Governments of Member States of the Shanghai Organization on cooperation in the field of provision of the international information security, which provides a framework document for exchange and cooperation between its member states. Last September, the ARF workshop on measures to enhance cyber security, co-hosted by China and Malaysia made positive achievements. China has also launched bilateral dialogues and consultations with US, Russia, Germany, France and European Union on cyber issues, which deepened mutual understanding and consensus in this field.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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