Wang Yi Says China Is Considering Launching a Global Data Security Initiative

At an international digital governance seminar on September 8, 2020, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China has participated in the data security discussions of many multilateral platforms, including the United Nations, G20, BRICS, and the ASEAN Regional Forum in order to make due contributions to strengthening global digital governance. To address new issues and challenges, China is considering launching a global data security initiative and would like to call on all parties to participate in the initiative. This initiative includes eight suggestions:

First, all countries should treat data security issues objectively and rationally, and work together to maintain the openness, security, and stability of global supply chains.

Second, all countries should oppose the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to destroy the critical infrastructure of or steal critical data from other countries.

Third, all countries should take measures to prevent infringement of personal data, abuse of ICT to conduct mass surveillance against other countries, and illegal collection of personal data belonging to citizens of other countries.

Fourth, all countries should require their companies to comply with local laws and never force their companies to store data that was generated or obtained abroad within their own borders.

Fifth, all countries should respect each other’s sovereignty, jurisdiction, and data management rights, and should never require companies or individuals to provide access to data that is stored in other countries.

Sixth, cross-border data acquisition requirements during law enforcement should be addressed through judicial assistance and other relevant channels.

Seventh, ICT product and service providers should never install backdoors in their products or services in order to illegally obtain user data.

Eighth, ICT companies must never take advantage of users’ dependence on their products to obtain illegitimate gains.