Xi Jinping calls for ‘solid’ security barrier around China’s internet

ISLAMABAD: Chinese President Xi Jinping said China must build a “solid” security barrier around its internet under the supervision of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), in his latest call to safeguard online data and information.

China must persist in managing, operating and ensuring access to the internet in accordance with the law, Xi said in instructions delivered to officials attending a two-day cybersecurity meeting in Beijing that ended on Saturday.

“We must adhere to the Party’s management of the internet and adhere to (the principle of) making the internet work for the people,” state-run Xinhua news agency cited Xi as saying.

In the past decade, Xi has made preserving security a priority, with his concept of security covering everything from politics and the economy to the environment and cyberspace.

In 2015, China passed a national security law with a broader scope to include its cyberspace. A year later, a law was passed that contained requirements for security reviews and for data to be stored on servers in China.

In 2021, China rolled out regulations around so-called critical information infrastructure.

This year, lawmakers updated anti-espionage legislation to ban the transfer of information related to national security and broaden the definition of spying.

Navigating China’s dense network of rules and laws on online data and information is not without risk for companies.

In April, US consultancy firm Bain & Co said police visited its office in Shanghai and questioned some staff. The Financial Times, citing people briefed on the surprise visit, reported that the police also took away computers and phones.

Last year, regulators told China’s biggest financial data provider Wind Information Co to stop providing offshore users with certain data, sources told Reuters at the time.

In 2021, authorities launched a cybersecurity investigation into ride-hailing giant Didi Global two days after it went public in the United States.

An article by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on deepening the reform of Party and state institutions to modernize the system and capacity for governance will be published on Sunday.

The article by Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will be published in this year’s 14th issue of the Qiushi Journal, a flagship magazine of the CPC Central Committee.

The article states that deepening the reform of Party and state institutions is an important measure to implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and a deployment to advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance.

The reform will make Party and state institutions better meet the needs for developing the cause of the Party and the state, says the article.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, upholding and strengthening the Party’s overall leadership has been a significant objective of deepening the reform of Party and state institutions, the article notes, adding that the latest reform has been carried out to strengthen the unified and centralized leadership of the Party’s central authorities over major work.

Reasonable designs and arrangements for institutional structures and assignment of duties have been made in reforms concerning financial, sci-tech and social management, says the article.

Noting the importance of implementation, the article says the institutional reform should be carried out in a coordinated and steady manner.

Reforms at central and local institutions should be closely coordinated, it adds.

It also calls for efforts to guide Party members and cadres to support the reform and adopt a law-based approach to advancing the reform.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]


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