Jointly Launched by
China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
National Institute for Global Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
University of International Business and Economics
Members of the Group of Expert for Sovereignty in Cyberspace: Theory and Practice (Version 3.0)
ZhixiongHuang Professor, Wuhan University; Project Coordinator
Cuihong Cai Professor, Fudan University
Lina Dai Associate Research Fellow, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Ping Lang Research Fellow of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Yan Li Research fellow, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
Han Liu Associate Professor, Tsinghua University
Nicholas Tsagourias Professor, University of Sheffield, UK
Ke Xu Associate Professor, University of International Business and Economics
Yun Zhao Professor, the University of Hong Kong
Xuefeng Zhou Professor, Beihang University
Throughout the history of world civilization, the meaning of national sovereignty has changed and been enriched over time. Humanity has successively undergone agricultural, industrial, and information revolutions, which have had enormous and profound impacts on the connotation and denotation of national sovereignty. In the agricultural age, human activity was mainly confined to land, so the focus of national sovereignty was on protecting territorial integrity. In the industrial age, human activity extended from land to the sea and sky. The scope of national sovereignty expanded accordingly. Highly integrated with the physical space of human activity in the information age, cyberspace has become a new frontier for modern states and a new domain of global governance. It is from this that sovereignty in cyberspace has emerged. It is especially important to safeguard the sovereignty, security and development interests of all countries in the context of growing complexity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sovereign states are key actors in carrying out activities and maintaining order in cyberspace. The principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations is a basic norm governing contemporary international relations. Covering all aspects of state-to-state relations, its principle and spirit also apply to cyberspace. In practice, all countries have extended national sovereignty to cyberspace, but different understandings exist around the ideas and practices for exercising it. To facilitate more just and equitable global Internet governance and build a community with a shared future in cyberspace, the international community should, with the common well-being of humanity in mind, follow and practice the notion of sovereignty in cyberspace in line with the principles of equal consultation and seeking common ground while setting aside differences.
The Concept of Sovereignty in Cyberspace
Sovereignty in cyberspace is the extension of national sovereignty to cyberspace. It is the internal supremacy and external independence that a state enjoys, on the basis of its national sovereignty, over cyber infrastructure, entities, behavior as well as relevant data and information in its territory. Specifically speaking, it primarily includes the following rights.
·Independence. A sovereign state has the right to independently choose its own path of cyber development, model of cyber governance, and Internet public policies, free from any external interference.
·Equality. In line with the principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the UN Charter, a sovereign state has the right to participate in global governance in cyberspace on an equal footing and jointly formulate international rules.
·Legislative Jurisdiction. A sovereign state has the right to enact legislation to regulate cyber infrastructure, entities, behavior as well as relevant data and information in its territory, in order to protect its national security, public interests, and the legal rights and interests of its citizens, legal persons, and other organizations.
·Administrative Jurisdiction. A sovereign state has the right to administer cyber infrastructure, entities, behavior as well as relevant data and information in its territory according to law, so as to maintain good order in cyberspace.
·Judicial Jurisdiction. A sovereign state has the right to exercise judicial jurisdiction over cyber infrastructure, entities, behavior as well as relevant data and information in its territory according to law.
A sovereign state has the right to exercise, in accordance with the universally recognized principles and rules of international law, necessary and reasonable personal, territorial and protective jurisdiction etc. over specific cyber activities outside its territory that have genuine and substantial connection to the State as well as over relevant cyber facilities, entities, data and information. In order to exercise its jurisdiction, a State may seek assistance from other countries and regions in the spirit of self-restraint, comity and reciprocity.
A sovereign state has the right to conduct capacity building on cyber security and adopt lawful and reasonable measures under the framework of the UN Charter to protect its legitimate rights and interests in cyberspace from external infringement.
Whether in the physical world or cyberspace, sovereignty incorporates both rights and obligations. The connectivity and interdependence among countries in cyberspace all the more requires countries to respect the basic norms and general principles of international law and earnestly fulfill their due obligations specified in international law while enjoying the rights derived from sovereignty in cyberspace.
·Non-infringement of the sovereignty of other countries. No country shall without permission access the cyberinfrastructure of another country or infringe on the network systems within the jurisdiction of another country. No country shall engage in acts of cyber surveillance, theft or sabotage.
·Non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. No country shall interfere in other countries’ rights to survival, security and development in cyberspace, or their rights to maintain cyberspace order, security and development. No country shall support or allow separatist forces to undermine other countries' territorial integrity, national security and social stability through cyberspace.
·Due diligence. No country shall knowingly allow its territory, or territory or Internet facilities, data and information under the control of its government, to be used for cyber activities undermining national security or interests of other countries.
·Protection. All countries have the obligation to protect lawful rights and interests of relevant cyberspace entities within their jurisdiction. They also have the obligation to promote openness and freedom of cyberspace while ensuring order, security and development.
III. The Legal Status of Sovereignty in Cyberspace
As the extension of state sovereignty in cyberspace, sovereignty in cyberspace is also a legally binding principle and rule. States may define their sovereignty differently and may have different perceptions of the threshold for violating sovereignty in cyberspace, but these differences do not affect the legal status of sovereignty in cyberspace under international law.
If a country infringes on the internal supremacy and external independence that another country enjoys on the basis of its national sovereignty over cyber infrastructure, entities, behavior as well as relevant data and information in its territory, this will be a violation of the principle of sovereignty and will constitute a wrongful act under international law. The acts may include, among others, unauthorized penetration into the network systems in the territory or within the jurisdiction of another country, causing disruption or damage of relevant infrastructure or undermining a country’s exclusive sovereign rights both internally and externally in cyberspace. A cyber operation may simultaneously violate the principles of sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and the prohibition of the use of force. The application of this principle to a specific set of circumstances may require certain contextualization.
IV. Some Concepts Related to Sovereignty in Cyberspace
In view of the diverse application scenarios and domains of the principle of sovereignty in cyberspace, the concepts of "information sovereignty", "technological sovereignty", "data sovereignty" and "digital sovereignty" have been put forward by various parties in the international community in recent years.
"Information sovereignty" that focuses on content management. Information can be divided into broad and narrow senses. The former covers technology and content, as is meant by "information security" proposed by Russia. However, "information sovereignty" is more narrowly defined among the academic community. It mainly refers to the information content produced and disseminated by using information and communication technologies and network. The main goal of upholding "information sovereignty" is to ensure effective governance and regulation of information content.
"Technological sovereignty" that focuses on capabilities in developing home-grown technologies in key areas. In February 2020, the European Commission released three important strategic documents: Shaping Europe's Digital Future, the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and the European Data Strategy. According to Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission, this was aimed at regaining "technological sovereignty" and strengthening EU's ownership in the development and standard setting of cutting-edge technologies and applications such as artificial intelligence, big data and 5G.
"Data sovereignty" that places importance on the strategic value of data. In the era of big data, the strategic value of data has drawn unprecedented attention. Relevant countries are working to improve data governance in an effort to balance security and development. For example, in 2020 the European Commission issued A European Strategy for Dataand the Data Governance Act.
"Digital sovereignty" aimed at enhancing "strategic autonomy". In the Digital Sovereignty for Europe released by the European Parliament in July 2020, "digital sovereignty" was defined as "Europe's ability to act independently in the digital world and should be understood in terms of both protective mechanisms and offensive tools to foster digital innovation (including in cooperation with non-EU companies)". The notion was put forward by the EU to maintain its independence, competitiveness and leadership in the face of competition in the digital world, emphasizing the ability of states to lead their own digital development.
The above concepts may differ in their goals or emphasis, but they are interrelated. Relevant practices and explorations have substantiated and expanded the connotation and extension of sovereignty in cyberspace.
Fundamental Principles of Sovereignty in Cyberspace
Sovereign equality as set forth in the UN Charter is the primary principle that all states should follow in the exercise of their sovereignty in cyberspace. All sovereign states, regardless of size, wealth, or strength, are equal before the law and have the right to participate on an equal footing in international cyberspace affairs. Each state should be treated equally, and each state is also obligated to treat others as equals.
All states should uphold the principles of fairness and justice in cyberspace and facilitate a more just and equitable global Internet governance system that reflects the wishes and interests of the majority of countries, protects the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, and ensures the people of countries around the world get to decide on the development of cyberspace. States should not abuse their superiority in facility, technology, system and data in the cyber domain to interfere in other countries' exercise of sovereignty in cyberspace or promote unjust acts such as cyber hegemony or isolation.
Cyberspace is global in nature. It is difficult for any state to achieve effective governance in cyberspace solely through its own efforts. In line with the principle of cooperation in good faith contained in the UN Charter, states should respect others as subjects of international law, follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, support multilateral and multi-party participation, and build a holistic governance system across multiple fields and levels to ensure the security and development of cyberspace.
In an interconnected cyberspace, the interests of all countries are deeply intertwined. All countries should act in conformity with the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, use the Internet for peaceful purposes, and settle cyber disputes by peaceful means. They should take effective measures to guard against the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to engage in activities that undermine peace, prevent an arms race in cyberspace, and prevent and fight cyberterrorism to maintain peace and security in cyberspace.
V. Rule of Law
All states should make steady progress in domestic legislation and advance the rule of law in global governance in cyberspace, uphold the authority of international law, and oppose the practice of double standards. In the exercise of sovereignty in cyberspace domestically, states should protect their citizens, legal persons, and other organizations’ legal rights in cyberspace, and internationally, states should respect the sovereignty of others in cyberspace, and observe international law; states shall not use the Internet to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or engage in, encourage, or support cyber activities that endanger the national security of other countries.
Key Manifestations of Sovereignty in Cyberspace
Based on the architecture of cyberspace, sovereignty in cyberspace can be divided into four layers, namely physical layer, logic layer, application layer and social layer. Each of these layers is a manifestation of national sovereignty.
I. Manifestation of Sovereign in the Physical Layer
A sovereign state has jurisdiction over the physical infrastructure and basic telecommunications services within its territory. In some circumstances, a state may also be entitled to take necessary measures to maintain the security of the physical infrastructure according to national law and in conformity with international law. A sovereign state has the right to participate in the management of and international cooperation on the global cyber infrastructure.
II. Manifestation of Sovereignty in the Logical Layer
A sovereign state can independently enact or adopt the relevant technical regulations or standards on the premise of not violating their obligations under international law, while maintaining the interoperability of the Internet.
III. Manifestation of Sovereignty in the Application Layer
A sovereign state may exercise its jurisdiction over the development and operation of software, protects lawful data and information, especially those related to national security, from theft or destruction in accordance with national and international law. The state can regulate the dissemination of online content stored in its territory in accordance with national and international law, and restricts the dissemination of information that infringes upon public interests. A sovereign state prohibits overseas organizations from fabricating and distorting facts and disseminating online information content in its territory that seriously damages its national security and public interests. A sovereign state participates in international coordination and cooperation on cross-border data flow and information governance.
IV. Manifestation of Sovereignty in the Social Layer
A sovereign state can exercise jurisdiction over its Internet users and platforms, and foster a social environment suitable for the development of cyberspace; upholds its independent Internet governance system and participates in international cooperation on improving the Internet governance model on an equal footing. A state has the right to take an equal part in the development of the global digital economy.
The above reflects the systemic nature and integrity of sovereign activities in cyberspace. Respect for sovereignty in cyberspace promotes orderly cooperation, harmony and stability in cyberspace and its sustainable development. At the same time, when exercising sovereignty in cyberspace, a country should adhere to universally recognized principles and rules of international law, respect the interconnected and interactive nature of cyberspace, and prevent fragmentation of the Internet. A state should not politicize cyber security issues in the name of exercising sovereignty in cyberspace, violate prevailing international economic and trade rules or market principles, interfere with normal cooperation in cyber infrastructure and service projects, and exclude other states from cyberspace. A state should not use its technological, economic and political power to unfairly allocate or block important network resources or endanger the security of the global supply chain.
Sovereignty in Cyberspace in Practice
I. A number of important international documents affirmed the application of the principle of state sovereignty to cyberspace.
The Declaration of Principles adopted at the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 stated that “policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States”. The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society adopted at the 2005 WSIS highlighted the key roles and responsibilities of national governments in the summit process.
In 2011 and 2015, the International Code of Conduct for Information Security put forward by China, Russia and other countries reaffirmed that “policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States”.
The reports of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) in 2013, 2015 and 2021 stressed that “state sovereignty and international norms and principles that flow from sovereignty apply to State conduct of ICT-related activities”, emphasized “the principle of sovereignty as the basis for increased security in the use of ICTs by States” and the centrality of “international cooperation, dialogue, and due regard for the sovereignty of all States".
The Leaders Communiquéof G20 Antalya Summit in 2015 affirmed that “international law, and in particular the UN Charter, is applicable to state conduct in the use of ICTs and commit ourselves to the view that all states should abide by norms of responsible state behavior in the use of ICTs”.
The Goa Declaration at 2016 BRICS Summit reiterated that “the use and development of ICTs through international and regional cooperation and on the basis of universally accepted norms and principles of international law, including the Charter of the UN in particular political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of States, the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, non-interference in internal affairs of other States as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to privacy; are of paramount importance in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open and cooperative use of ICTs”.
In 2019, the World Internet Conference released the concept document entitled Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace, stressing that "Sovereignty in cyberspace is a natural extension of the national sovereignty in cyberspace. We should respect the right of each country to independently choose its own development path and governance model, and to participate in global governance in cyberspace on an equal footing."
In 2020, the World Internet Conference released the Initiative on Jointly Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace, reaffirming the importance of respecting sovereignty in cyberspace.
The China-ASEAN Initiative on Establishing a Digital Economy Partnership issued in 2020emphasized "respect for sovereignty in cyberspace on the basis of respecting laws and Internet policies of individual countries,” and“building a global community with a shared future in cyberspace in a multilateral, democratic and transparent way".
The China-Africa Internet Development and Cooperation Forum in 2021 launched the Initiative on China-Africa Jointly Building a Community With a Shared Future in Cyberspace, which stated that “On the basis of respecting sovereignty in cyberspace and Internet policies of individual countries, we should explore acceptable means of expanding Internet access and connection, and deliver development opportunities brought by the Internet to more developing countries and peoples.”
II. Relevant states have affirmed the application of the principle of state sovereignty to cyberspace in their position papers.
In recent years, some countries have issued position papers on the application of international law in cyberspace, stating their positions and propositions on the application of the principle of national sovereignty in cyberspace.
In confirming the applicability of state sovereignty to cyberspace, New Zealand released in 2020 the Application of International Law to State Activity in Cyberspace which said that it "considers that the standalone rule of territorial sovereignty also applies in the cyber context". In the same year, the International Law and Cyberspace: Finland’s National Positions also stated that “Finland sees sovereignty as a primary rule of international law” and that “this rule is fully applicable in cyberspace”.
In confirming sovereignty in cyberspace as a binding rule in international law, the document entitled International law in Cyberspace issued by the Netherlands in 2019 said that sovereignty constitutes an independent and binding rule in international law and that "States have an obligation to respect the sovereignty of other states and to refrain from activities that constitute a violation of other countries’ sovereignty." In its document On the Application of International Law in Cyberspace issued in 2021, Germany clearly states that "Germany agrees with the view that cyber operations attributable to States which violate the sovereignty of another State are contrary to international law. In this regard, State sovereignty constitutes a legal norm in its own right."
In determining what constitutes an infringement of a state's sovereignty in cyberspace, according to the French document entitled International Law Applied to Operations in Cyberspace released in2019, “Any authorized penetration by a State of French systems or any production of effects on French territory via a digital vector may constitute, at the least, a breach of sovereignty." Iran stressed in its Declaration of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Regarding International Law Applicable to the Cyberspace issued in 2020 that "Any utilization of cyberspace if and when involves unlawful intrusion to the (public or private) cyber structures which is under the control of another state, maybe constituted as the violation of the sovereignty of the targeted state." In addition, the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation adopted in 2021 states that "The use of information and communications technology is expanding. The use of communication technologies to interfere in the internal affairs of states, undermine their sovereignty and violate their territorial integrity, is posing a threat to international peace and security."
III. States affirm the exercise of their sovereignty in cyberspace through legislative, administrative and judicial means.
With regards to advocating and practicing principle of sovereignty in cyberspace, China stated at the 2nd World Internet Conference that respecting sovereignty in cyberspace is an important principle in the reform of the global Internet governance system. In the Law on Cybersecurity adopted in 2016, China embraces “safeguarding national sovereignty in cyberspace” as a fundamental purpose of cyberspace legislation. The National Cyberspace Security Strategy released in 2016 stresses that “national sovereignty extends to cyberspace” and upholds sovereignty in cyberspace as an important part of national sovereignty. The Strategy on International Cooperation in Cyberspace released in 2017 places the principle of national sovereignty on the list of the basic principles for international cooperation in cyberspace and regards “safeguarding national sovereignty and security” as the primary strategic goal of engaging in such cooperation. China has also made it clear that national sovereignty applies to cyberspace in the UN Group of Government Experts and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization and in other multilateral fora.
As far as exploring the Internet development path and cyber administration models is concerned, The Law on Cybersecurity of Vietnam in 2018 makes it clear that “mutual respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit” form the basic principles of cybersecurity cooperation. It provides a detailed list of acts that are prohibited in cyberspace such as distorting historical facts, undermining ethnic unity, offending religious belief and other acts that violate national sovereignty, interests and security. The European Union put forward “technological sovereignty” in February 2020 in a bid to reinforce its control and dominance in technologies, rules and values in cyberspace.
As for protecting domestic network from threats, disruptions, attacks and sabotage, Russia adopted the Stable Runet Act in May 2019 to ensure independence and reliability of its own Internet resources so that it can still function properly when it is unable to connect to servers outside the country.
In regard to protecting the rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace, the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018 to put cross-border flow of personal data under strict control, and expands the confines of sovereignty through extra-territorial jurisdiction over processing of personal data.
Building a More Inclusive International Coordination Framework Based on Sovereignty in Cyberspace
Respect for sovereignty in cyberspace means respect for the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter in cyberspace. It is the basis and the prerequisite for upholding peace and security in cyberspace and a necessary means to ensure strategic stability in cyberspace. Advocating and practicing sovereignty in cyberspace does not mean that countries can do as they wish in cyberspace or pursue a beggar-thy-neighbor policy. The establishment of a more inclusive international coordination framework based on sovereignty in cyberspace aims to balance the relationship between sovereign rights and obligations of all states on the basis of respecting their sovereignty. It helps all parties enjoy the benefits of the digital era and promotes peace, security and development of cyberspace.
First, it is important to coordinate different perceptions of sovereignty in cyberspace, and on this basis promote and consolidate international consensus on sovereignty in cyberspace. The difference among states in exercising sovereignty in cyberspace will remain for a long time, but the application of the principle of state sovereignty in cyberspace has been confirmed by many important international documents. States should remove prejudice, recognize the fact that cyberspace is a world of shared interests, uphold the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law. States should recognize that sovereignty in cyberspace is an objective reality, seek common ground while shelving differences, respect and understand each other, actively interact and avoid mutual constraints. States should encourage multilateral, bilateral and multi-party cooperation and dialogue at global and regional levels, jointly build international consensus on sovereignty in cyberspace, enhance mutual trust in cyberspace, and jointly promote the realization of the common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom for humanity.
Second, based on the principle of sovereignty in cyberspace, international rules and systems conducive to inclusive coordination should be established as an institutional guarantee. Countries should not only improve their domestic systems, but also enhance international coordination and actively participate in global institutional building on cyberspace. With the UN as the main channel and based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, countries should work together to build systems and norms such as a security mechanism to protect the cyber infrastructure and the legal rights of entities, a cooperative mechanism on exchange and sharing of data information and digital technology, a risk prevention mechanism against malicious activities in cyberspace, a mechanism to crack down on cybercrimes, and a consultation and mediation mechanism on settling disputes in cyberspace. All countries should, in the spirit of honesty and goodwill, do their best to establish effective international rules and systems to govern cyberspace. Countries should ensure the equal realization of sovereign rights in cyberspace and universal compliance with international law obligations in cyberspace. States should promote cooperation in cyberspace for the benefit of mankind. They should prevent hegemonism, zero-sum thinking and Cold War mentality from adversely affecting peace and development in cyberspace.
Third, states should promote cooperation among countries on sovereignty in cyberspace with concrete actions. Sovereignty in cyberspace exists in the community with a shared future in cyberspace. Effective protection of sovereignty in cyberspace requires joint efforts of the international community in the following aspects:
Achieving shared development. Countries should adopt more proactive, inclusive and coordinated policies that benefit all, speed up global information infrastructure construction, promote innovative development of the digital economy and enhance public service capacity.
Ensuring common security. Countries should advocate a cybersecurity vision that features openness and cooperation, and encourage Internet development while laying equal emphasis on cybersecurity so as to jointly uphold peace and security in cyberspace.
Realizing joint governance. Countries should stay committed to a multilateral and multi-party approach to cyberspace governance. Dialogues and consultation should be stepped up to foster a more just and equitable governance system in cyberspace.
Enjoying benefits together. Countries should advocate Tech for Good with a people-centered approach, narrow the digital divide, and achieve common prosperity.
Respecting Sovereignty in Cyberspace and Jointly Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace
The principle of sovereignty in cyberspace comes first in President Xi Jinping's "Four Principles" and "Five Proposals" on building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. Advocating and practicing sovereignty in cyberspace does not mean sealing off the cyberspace or breaking it up. Instead, it means facilitating a just and equitable international cyberspace order that respects national sovereignty and building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. The latter is the driving force and long-term goal for safeguarding sovereignty in cyberspace. Building cyberspace into a community of common development, security, responsibility and interests that benefits all humanity must be achieved on the basis of respecting the sovereignty of all countries.
In building a community with a shared future in cyberspace, countries must adhere to the principle of sovereignty in cyberspace. Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace requires concerted efforts of all countries to address risks and challenges. Clearly defined national sovereignty in cyberspace and respect for it is essential for jointly building a community of shared future in cyberspace. Only when countries are assured that they have independent rights in choosing their own cyberspace development paths, governance models and public policies, have equal rights in participating in the rule setting for international cyberspace governance, have jurisdiction over their own cyberspace through legislative, administrative and legal means, and enjoy right of defense against external risks and infringements in cyberspace, can there be an effective dialogue and consultation mechanism among countries through exchange and cooperation on an equal footing, which serves a community with a shared future in cyberspace.
Sovereignty in cyberspace needs to be better secured and protected through building a community of shared future in cyberspace. The rapid development of the Internet has created unprecedented opportunities for the progress of human civilization, yet problems such as unbalanced development and flaws in rules and order have become more prominent. Hegemonism, power politics, protectionism and unilateralism persist in cyberspace. Infringement on privacy and intellectual property rights, dissemination of false information, online fraud, cyber terrorism and other illegal and criminal activities have become a global scourge. In cyberspace countries have enormous shared interests. Effective responses to threats on security and development in this domain count on cooperation and coordination of all countries. Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace can effectively safeguard the sovereignty of all countries in cyberspace.
However, as national interests are not the same and are sometimes even conflicting with one another, it is not always easy to strike a balance between safeguarding national interests and providing international public goods. Rising geopolitical tensions in the context of emerging issues concerning cross-border data flow, disinformation and supply chain security etc. have made it difficult to push for progress in negotiations on international rules and norms. To identify the converging interests among all countries, it is imperative to follow the principles of respecting sovereignty in cyberspace, upholding peace and security, promoting openness and cooperation and building a sound order.
Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace is a long-term process. We call on the international community to work together under the UN framework and uphold the principles of engaging in discussions as equals, seeking common ground while shelving differences, and pursuing mutual benefits. We call on them to strengthen communication, harmonize positions, and on the basis of upholding sovereignty in cyberspace, formulate universally acceptable international rules and codes of conduct for cyberspace, broaden consensus and contribute wisdom and strength for building a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative, and orderly cyberspace.