The PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs released the Strategy on International Cooperation in Cyberspace (the “Strategy”) on 1 March 2017. The Strategy sets out “peace, sovereignty, shared governance and shared benefits” as the four basic principles guiding China’s participation in international cooperation. It also states China’s six strategic goals including safeguarding sovereignty and security; developing a system of international rules; promoting fair internet governance; protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens; promoting cooperation on digital economy and building a platform for cyber culture exchange.

According to the Strategy, China will focus on the following nine areas to enable development in the future:

(1)  Peace and stability in cyberspace: participating in bilateral and multilateral discussions on building trust; taking preventive diplomatic measures; and addressing cyber security threats through dialogue and consultation.

(2)  Establishment of a rule-based order in cyberspace: supporting the UN General Assembly to adopt resolutions regarding information and cyber security, and seeking a broader international understanding for the International Code of Conduct for Information Security proposed by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

(3)  Partnership in cyberspace: establishing extensive cooperative partnerships with all parties of the international community, expanding dialogue mechanisms and conducting bilateral foreign policy exchange and cooperation.

(4)  Reform of the global internet governance system: participating in the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes, promoting the institutional reform of the UN Internet Governance Forum, and promoting the fair distribution and management of critical Internet resources.

(5)  International cooperation against cyber terrorism and cybercrimes: exploring specific measures against cyber terrorism and cybercrimes together with other countries, formulating treaties and conventions, and establishing the basis for law enforcement cooperation among different countries.

(6)  Protection of citizens’ privacy and other rights: promoting the establishment of privacy protection principles in cyberspace, encouraging countries to take measures against privacy infringement and guiding businesses to increase awareness of data protection.

(7)  Digital economy and sharing of benefits: supporting the innovations in “internet+” sectors, encouraging the investment in communication technologies, developing comprehensive online transaction rules to facilitate international cooperation in e-commerce, and supporting the domestic market to participate in the international market.

(8)  Global information infrastructure development and protection: working with other countries to improve global information infrastructure to facilitate the effective transfer of information, and establishing measures to protect critical information infrastructure worldwide.

(9)  Cultural communication in cyberspace: promoting international cultural exchange, focusing on the development of the animation, comic and games industry, and encouraging domestic enterprises to supply local culture based services to overseas customers.

Following the release of this Strategy, it is likely that more detailed rules and measures will be published to implement the strategic goals and plans.