Chinese general calls for international cyber space rules

Ma Xiaotian (马晓天), deputy chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, on Monday urged the international community to make joint efforts to formulate rules for cyber space as the world is faced with “grim” challenges concerning online risk.

Ma made the remarks at a symposium titled “Cyber Security: China and the World” held in Beijing. The meeting, attended by over 80 experts from more than 20 countries, was sponsored by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS) and the Hong Kong-based Katie Chan Foundation.

The issue of cyber security has been creeping from the virtual world to the real world with the development of information technology and the popularization of the Internet, said Ma, also president of the CIISS.

“It has posed new challenges for the security of all nations as well as international security,” he added.

As the Internet is open and transnational, no country can effectively address the global challenge single-handedly, in the view of the Chinese general.

However, the world does not yet have any set of widely recognized and accepted rules applicable to the area, a gap which has restrained the healthy development of the online community and the effective management of the Internet, he explained.

Ma said China, in partnership with other countries, has put forward a draft international code on information security to the United Nations to initiate an open and inclusive process of discussion on the issue.

China is not only a beneficiary of the development of the Internet, but also a victim of cyber attacks, according to the general.

All nations should seek common ground while reserving differences and boost exchanges and cooperation to address the issue of cyber security “just as we address international political disputes in the real world,” he told the audience at the event.

Later on Monday, Chen Zhili, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, met with the symposium’s foreign participants.


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