US perverse in opposing China’s cyber law

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/8 22:33:40

China's top legislature on Monday passed a cybersecurity law, which drew criticism and doubts from mainstream Western media. James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, accused the law of creating obstacles to foreign businesses in China and called the provisions "vague, ambiguous, and subject to broad interpretation by regulatory authorities." Some said the law is a setback to the freedom of expression as a closed-door approach. The Chinese public is tired of those hackneyed accusations.

Cybersecurity is a top priority nowadays. A country as big as China must have a cybersecurity law and clear cyber development strategies. It is understandable that big Western companies in China do not want any regulations. But it is unrealistic - how can they urge China to strengthen law enforcement on the one hand and reject the governance of authorities for their own interests on the other?

All the big powers are cautious about whether national security will be subject to cyber technologies. The US has been one of the most aggressive. It claims it is a target of the most cyber attacks from overseas and has kept the highest alert on foreign IT products. Yet the PRISM scandal reveals that the US is the very country that has no sense of rules in the cyber world. Its wiretap and cybersecurity sabotage in other countries have gone beyond international law and morality.

Whenever China passes a law, some Westerners will voice their objections. It is a twisted mentality. US companies in China and officials in Washington clearly understand the necessity of legislation in China and that the companies are subject to Chinese laws. But they seem uncomfortable when it comes to practice.

The new law requires firms to store their data in China and submit them for security reviews to move the data overseas. If such supervision has to be given up, it means China will be laid bare. Will the US allow Chinese enterprises to buy a US high-tech company, transmit all data concerning the US to China and submit them to China's security authorities? 

US flagship Internet enterprises have expanded across the globe like an invincible armada, but suffered a setback in China. They attributed their failure to "unfair treatment." But China's rules are for all enterprises. If "unfair treatment" does exist, it's the opposite. Foreign Internet companies operating in China can always publish some information that is forbidden on Chinese websites. 

China won't abandon the policy of opening-up. Enhancing exchanges with the outside world is one of the lifelines of China's development and progress. But foreign institutions should respect Chinese laws, and foreign governments and media should encourage such respect.

Exchanges between China and foreign countries will be a mutually beneficial and win-win process. Without a sound legal system in China, the continuous increase of communication cannot be sustained. China must take legislation into its own hands. The American habit of criticizing China's legislation under an imperialistic mind should have been changed long ago.

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