Despite many troubling issues being raised around the country’s privacy laws, China has taken the initiative to release a “global standard for data security initiative” that it hopes will be adopted worldwide.
TechCrunch reports that the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi appeared in a video during a closed-door meeting in Beijing on Tuesday where a new eight-part framework for data security was unveiled which China refers to as a new “global standard for data security.”
“It is important to develop a set of international rules on data security,” said Wang. He added, referring to the United States, that “a certain country keeps making groundless accusations against others in the name of a ‘clean’ network and uses security as a pretext to prey on enterprises of other countries that have a competitive edge. Such blatant acts of bullying must be opposed and rejected.”
According to the rules laid out in the initiative, Beijing will not request that Chines companies transfer overseas data to the government in breach of other countries’ laws. China has also called on other countries to oppose mass surveillance against rival countries and ask companies not to install backdoors in their products that would allow for illegal data collection.
The timing for China’s new initiative comes just days before the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok is set to be sold to a U.S. firm in order to avoid being banned in the country, as per an executive order from President Donald Trump. Washington believes that the app poses a national security threat to the U.S. as it could transfer U.S. citizen’s data to Beijing, TikTok has so far denied that it would do so.
Despite Minister Yi’s fairly obvious implication that the initiative was taking aim at the U.S., Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Chinese state-run publication, the Global Times, that the initiative should not be seen as targeting the United States. “Data security is a global issue that matters to the future development of the world. China, as a responsible major power, is putting forward a proposal that aims to maximize the interests of all countries. It is up to other countries to make their decisions,” said Li.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org