Chapter II. Basic Principles
China has been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. It steadfastly pursues a path of peaceful development, works to uphold justice and friendship and pursue shared interests, and calls for a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. With the theme focusing on peaceful development and the core message for win-win cooperation, International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace advocates the principles of peace, sovereignty, shared governance and shared benefits in international exchange and cooperation in cyberspace.
1. The Principle of Peace
In the interconnected cyberspace, countries are bound together by intertwined interests. A secure, stable and prosperous cyberspace is of great significance to all countries and the world.
The international community should observe the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter in real earnest, particularly non-use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes, in order to ensure peace and security in cyberspace. All countries must oppose ICT-backed acts of hostility and aggression, prevent arms race and conflicts in cyberspace and settle disputes through peaceful means. Countries should reject the Cold War mentality, zero-sum game and double standards, uphold peace through cooperation and seek one’s own security through common security on the basis of full respect for other countries’ security.
Cyber terrorism poses a new threat to international peace and security. The international community should take pragmatic measures to prevent and fight against cyber terrorist activities. Efforts should be made to prevent terrorists from using the Internet to spread extremist ideology, or plan and orchestrate cyber terrorist activities.
2. The Principle of Sovereignty
As a basic norm in contemporary international relations, the principle of sovereignty enshrined in the UN Charter covers all aspects of state-to-state relations, which also includes cyberspace. Countries should respect each other’s right to choose their own path of cyber development, model of cyber regulation and Internet public policies, and participate in international cyberspace governance on an equal footing. No country should pursue cyber hegemony, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, or engage in, condone or support cyber activities that undermine other countries’ national security.
Upholding sovereignty in cyberspace not only reflects governments’ responsibility and right to administer cyberspace in accordance with law, but also enables countries to build platforms for sound interactions among governments, businesses and social groups. This will foster a healthy environment for the advancement of information technology and international exchange and cooperation.
National governments are entitled to administer cyberspace in accordance with law. They exercise jurisdiction over ICT infrastructure, resources and activities within their territories, and are entitled to protect their ICT systems and resources from threat, disruption, attack and destruction so as to safeguard citizens’ legitimate rights and interests in cyberspace. National governments are entitled to enact public policies, laws and regulations with no foreign interference. Countries should exercise their rights based on the principle of sovereign equality and also perform their due duties. No country should use ICT to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs or leverage its advantage to undermine the security of other countries’ ICT product and service supply chain.
3. The Principle of Shared Governance
Cyberspace is the common space of activities for mankind, hence needs to be built and managed by all countries. International cyberspace governance should follow a multilateral approach. Countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal members of the international community entitled to equal participation in developing international order and rules in cyberspace through international governance mechanisms and platforms, to ensure that the future development of cyberspace is in the hands of all peoples.
Second, international cyberspace governance should feature multi-party participation. All parties, including governments, international organizations, Internet companies, technology communities, non-governmental institutions and individual citizens, should play their respective roles in building an all-dimensional and multi-tiered governance platform. Countries should enhance communication, improve cyberspace-related dialogue and consultation mechanisms and jointly develop international cyber rules. The United Nations, as an important channel, should play a leading role in coordinating positions of various parties and building international consensus. Other international mechanisms and platforms should also give play to their respective advantages to complement relevant efforts. The international community needs to work together to manage jointly and distribute equitably basic Internet resources and put in place a multilateral, democratic and transparent global governance system, so that the Internet will be a place of open resources and shared responsibilities governed through cooperation.
4. The Principle of Shared Benefits
Integrated development of the Internet and other sectors has overall and revolutionary significance on countries’ economic structure, social formation and innovation system, and provides strong driving force for world economic growth and the realization of sustainable development goal. To ensure Internet development brings benefit to all regions and countries will facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The international community should promote greater openness and cooperation in cyberspace, further substantiate and enhance the opening-up efforts, build more platforms for communication and cooperation and strive for complementarity of strengths and common development of all countries in cyberspace. This will ensure that people across the world can share the benefits of Internet development and a people-centered, development-oriented and inclusive information society will be realized, as envisaged by the World Summit on the Information Society.
Countries should promote development cooperation at the bilateral, regional and international levels. In particular, more technical and financial assistance should be channeled to developing countries for capacity building and help them seize the digital opportunities and bridge the digital divide.