Modern Diplomacy-By Tenzin Dalha
In the age of rapid technological advancement, as the news outlets in China increasingly goes digital, and as television goes mobile, the digital ecosystem has become one of the major concerns to the Chinese leadership and its rule. As part of its political propaganda, Beijing has been setting different communication strategies to control the outflow of news by instrumentalizing and implementing stringent laws to dominate international cyberspace. Through the implementation of three recent laws – the Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law (DSL), and Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) – China has taken a range of measures that restrict cross-border data flows and enforce data localisation.
The Chinese cybersecurity law was enacted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on November 7, 2013, and it came into effect on June 1, 2017. The law is widely seen to be in line with the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) which aims to promote domestic industries such as cloud computing and big data processing. The 14th Five-Year Plan aims to centralize and control China through a digital ecosystem. As outlined in the 14th FYP:
We will welcome the digital age, activate the potential of data factors of productions, promote the construction of a cyber powerhouse, accelerate the construction of the digital economy, digital society, and digital government, and leverage digital transformations to drive overall changes in production methods, lifestyle, and governance.
The legislation passed by China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament accelerates the damage it could do for global trade and services. According to the law, it requires companies to store all data within China and it also includes contentious requirements to pass the security review, within China’s stated goal to achieve “cyber sovereignty.” The idea is that the state should be permitted to govern, monitor, and control data flow in their digital ecosystem. Click here to read more.