Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace
Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the vision of building a community with a shared future in cyberspace at the second World Internet Conference in 2015. At the conference, President Xi elaborated on the four principles and made a five-point proposal concerning Internet development and governance. The vision has drawn the attention and recognition of the world and become a permanent theme of the World Internet Conference. Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace is an embodiment and major practice of the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and a manifestation of our great interest in the common well-being of humanity and shared aspiration of the international community. We have contributed China’s wisdom and approach to the development and global governance of Internet.
In response to the expectations of all parties, Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace fully expounds on the background, fundamental principles, path to realization, and governance framework of the vision of building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. It calls on the international community to work together to promote development, address security challenges, and build cyberspace into a community where we can jointly advance development, safeguard security, participate in governance, and share the benefits.
As the Internet is developing at an amazing speed, the endeavor to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace must also move forward with the times. We encourage all parties to continue contributing their insights and efforts to enriching and developing this vision, and join hands to create an even brighter future for all human beings.
Organizing Committee of the World Internet Conference
The Internet today is growing at an incredible speed in ways that have enormously expanded people’s work and living spaces. Cyberspace has become a new homeland for human beings, a place where all countries are getting increasingly interdependent, and a community of intertwined interests and shared future. It is therefore imperative for the international community to strengthen communication, broaden consensus, deepen cooperation, and embrace extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance. On matters that involve us all, we should discuss and look for a solution together. We should work hand in hand to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace where the Internet can deliver greater benefits to all the people.
Today’s world is undergoing major development, adjustment and transformation. A new round of technological and industrial revolution is gaining momentum. Emerging markets and developing countries are rising rapidly. The exponential growth of the Internet has created an unprecedented opportunity for the progress of human civilization.
In the meantime, such problems as unbalanced development, inadequate rules and inequitable order have become more evident in the field of the Internet. Hegemony and power politics persist in cyberspace. Protectionism and unilateralism keep rearing their heads. The digital divide among countries and regions is widening. Privacy infringements, intellectual property rights violations, the rise of racism, spread of disinformation, Internet fraud, cyberterrorism and other illegal and criminal activities have become a global scourge.
In the face of these opportunities and challenges, the international community is committed to improving the use, development, and governance of the Internet and has made tireless efforts toward this end. China has not only benefited significantly from the global Internet development, but also made unremitting efforts to safeguard peace, promote development and maintain order in cyberspace. As a responsible major country of Internet development, China is always committed to the path of peaceful development and an open-up strategy featuring mutual benefits and win-win results. China advocates safeguarding sovereignty, security and development interests of all countries in cyberspace and has taken an active part in the process of global governance in cyberspace. China continues to promote international dialogues and exchanges in cyberspace and has engaged in experience sharing and practical cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative. Through the World Internet Conference and other platforms that have been successfully built, China is playing an active role in building consensus and exploring good practices, so as to promote fairer and more equitable global Internet governance.
To build a community with a shared future in cyberspace is to make cyberspace a community where we can jointly advance development, safeguard security, participate in governance, and share the benefits. We call on the governments and people of all countries to follow the trend of the information age, seize the opportunities offered by digital, network and smart technologies, and tackle risks and challenges in cyberspace proactively, so that we can achieve shared development, ensure common security, realize joint governance, and enjoy benefits together.
To build a community with a shared future in cyberspace, the following principles should be upheld:
Respecting sovereignty in cyberspace. The principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations is a basic norm governing contemporary international relations. It covers all aspects of state-to-state relations, and should likewise apply to cyberspace. Sovereignty in cyberspace is a natural extension of the national sovereignty in cyberspace. We should respect the right of each country to independently choose its own development path and governance model, and to participate in global governance in cyberspace on an equal footing. All countries have the right to formulate public policies, laws and regulations relating to cyberspace based on their own national contexts by drawing on experience of other countries. No country should pursue Internet hegemony, or use the Internet to interfere in another country’s internal affairs. No country should engage in, condone or support cyber activities that endanger other countries’ national security, or sabotage their information infrastructure.
Upholding peace and security. A secure and stable cyberspace bears on the shared well-being of humanity. All countries should uphold the international system with the UN as its core, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respect each other’s security interests and major concerns in cyberspace. Countries should oppose hostile activities and acts of aggression, prevent arms race and military conflict in cyberspace, and remain committed to resolving disputes by peaceful means. Countries should oppose attempts to politicize cybersecurity issues. Countries should abandon the Cold War mentality, zero sum games, double standards, trade protectionism and unilateralism, and oppose cyber-attacks, large-scale surveillance operations and unfounded accusations of cyber-attacks against other countries. Countries should make concerted efforts to maintain peace and security in cyberspace.
Promoting openness and cooperation. Openness is a prerequisite for cooperation in cyberspace and an important condition for building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. Countries should work together for the healthy development of cyberspace with an open mind, by adopting policies of openness in more areas and at a higher level. Platforms for bilateral, regional, and international cooperation are needed to leverage the complementarity of resources and strengths. We need to maintain harmonized global innovation architecture, and encourage inclusive development among different social systems, ethnicities, and cultures in cyberspace. We should firmly reject narrow-minded and closed cliquish thinking, and oppose attempts by any country to use its own strengths to undermine the security of other countries’ supply chains of ICT products and services.
Building a sound order. Cyberspace is not a place beyond the rule of law, and a sound order must be established on the basis of commonly recognized international laws and basic norms governing international relations. All countries, regardless of size, strength or wealth, are equal members of the international community and are entitled to participate in cyberspace rules-making on an equal footing. The international community should jointly manage and fairly distribute basic Internet resources, increase developing countries’ representation and voice in global governance in cyberspace, and work toward the cyberspace where countries can share resources, shoulder common responsibilities and exercise joint governance, in a bid to establish a just and equitable order in cyberspace.