China's data security initiative smeared by US, but actually helps humanity
Published: Sep 09, 2020 01:48 PM

Photo: VCG

As Beijing proposes an initiative to set up global data security framework, politicians in Washington just can't sit still. Notably, the notorious anti-China US Senator Rick Scott from Florida took to Twitter to cast cold water over China's efforts, texting, "Allowing China to set global data-security rules is like letting the fox guard the hen house."

If the cyber world could be compared to a hen house, then the fox is definitely the US - it does not care about the security of the cyber world, but only the position of who guards the cyber world. In the eyes of the US, the cyber world is no different from the real world where it can impose its ideas and will on the others - of where it can claim hegemony by planting its flag. For the bellicose US, the cyber world is a smokeless geopolitical battlefield.

It is under such a set of blinders that the US and its politicians feel a "challenge" from China. The latter merely proposes to set up fair and inclusive global standards for data security. And what the US really fears is losing US dominance of the cyber world. 

The US is bringing a geopolitical and Cold-War mindset into the digital sphere and views China as its top competitor. It urges other countries to join its "Clean Network" plan. This so-called Clean Network aims to root out Chinese apps and other tech products from the internet of the US alliance. Those who obey it are friends, and those who question it are foes.

There is no denying that the US is more advanced in terms of leaving a backdoor to encrypted devices or storing data of users of other countries in its own territory. And don't forget the PRISM surveillance program the world knows about thanks to the leaks by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. Snowden showed that the US is the very country that has launched surveillance of other countries. If the US can take the lead to respect data security of other countries and formulate rules based on equality, it would be a major contribution to global digital governance. Unfortunately (but expectedly), joint development never crosses the US mind in this regard. 

China, as a responsible major power, has a broader mind about this issue. It raises the proposal of building a global data security framework, and has realized that the issue has become a major concern for global digital governance. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important to national security. But the US only sees this area as place where it can claim total supremacy. 

By stark contrast, China has embarked upon a path to explore cyber governance early on, and has achieved notable results. The experiences of other countries also prove that the cyber world can't be a lawless one. In the absence of globally fit rules of digital governance, China has the ability and right to take the initiative. The more the US and its politicians smear China's efforts, the more this proves that China is doing the right thing. While the US coerces other countries with its "Clean Network" program in a bid for a competitive edge over China, the latter instead is promoting a world with a truly clean network that can be enjoyed by all.