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Today human society has entered a new era of “one global village combines the North and South, one worldwide network connects the East and West” in the early 21st century. With the large-scale development of cloud computing, big data, internet of things, industrial internet, artificial intelligence and other new technology applications, cyberspace has increasingly become the “focus” of people’s hot discussion and nations’ secret wrestling. Cyberspace has gradually developed into the “fifth territory” juxtaposed with the existing four dimensions of land, sea, air and space of a country. This intangible and priceless field has many unique characteristics, which enrich the content of national interests and reshape the boundary of national security. Its strategic value is affecting and will continue to affect all aspects of international relations.

International anarchy is the most realistic portrayal of the overall situation of global governance in cyberspace, in which various international actors, based on their own interests and goals, act in their own ways and lack of organic cooperation. A series of severe challenges between national cyberspace sovereignty and multiple governance subjects, between “cyberspace developed countries” and “cyberspace developing countries”, and between cyberspace hegemonic country and cyberspace big powers, to a large extent constitute a huge constraint on the further expansion of global cyberspace governance. As a globally open and interconnected system, there is no clear national boundary in the cyberspace, and no single government, no matter how strong it is, can manage it effectively. Up to now, the international mechanism in the field of cyberspace governance has not been perfect. The only existing superpower in the world, based on its own strength far beyond other countries, wantonly practices double standards, which aggravates the complexity of global governance in cyberspace.

Thanks to over 40 years of reform and opening-up policy, China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has become the second largest economy in the world, and has already become one of the inseparable organic components in the globalized world. Globalization without China’s participation is not worthy of the name, and cyberspace global governance without China’s participation is even more flashy. The call of the international community for the responsibility of great powers not only reflects the reality of the distribution of international political power, but also comes from the socialization process of international norms and orders. To assume the responsibility of a big power in the process of promoting cooperation with other powers on cyberspace governance, it is in China’s national interest, and it is also very important for global governance in cyberspace. Since China’s getting access to the Internet in 1994, China has rapidly grown into a dynamic actor with the largest number of Internet users in the world. However, it should be recognized that China has not yet become a comprehensive cyber power. The scale of nearly one billion internet users in China not only promotes the development of the internet, but also increases the cyberspace security risks and maintenance costs. In the face of increasingly deteriorating situation of cyberspace security, China is trying to combine the internal industrial development with the external requirements of the information age, for the purpose of providing solid technical support and intellectual support for ensuring China’s future cyberspace governance. To this end, China must continue to deepen international cooperation with the United States, Russia, the European Union and other countries or groups of countries in the field of cyberspace security, actively create relevant agenda for strengthening cooperation in cyberspace governance under the framework of international organizations or mechanisms, and strive to lead the discussion and formulation of cyberspace global governance rules to the greatest extent. China is vigorously promoting dialogue and cooperation to actively open the door of the Chinese market to the world, and welcomes all countries in the world to share China’s “digital dividend” and jointly cope with the threats and challenges of cyberspace. By vigorously promoting dialogue and cooperation in cyberspace, China has deeply participated in and led the formulation of international cyberspace rules, and is committed to enhancing global governance in cyberspace and building a peaceful, safe, open, cooperative, and orderly cyberspace. After all, cyberspace is shared, and cyberspace order is built together. Each country has the responsibility to maintain the prosperity and order of cyberspace. However, different countries may have different capacities, responsibilities, and opinions. As a pivotal member of current international arena, China naturally hopes to occupy an indispensable place in the global governance system of cyberspace.

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 pandemic with its enormous power of destruction and unpredictable nature of contagion, on the one hand, directly lead to the temporary disconnection among various countries and regions at the geopolitical levels, and the sharp decline at physical level in ordinary interpersonal communication, which magnifies the hesitation and reproach, complaining and reproving of the globalization process. On the other hand, it also makes the weight of global digital economy continue to rise in the national economy. Digital transformation is widely regarded as the strategic support to realize the modernization of national governance system and governance capacity, as well as the tactical engine to optimize the business environment and promote high-quality economic and social development. Chinese government, based on the increasingly mature digital technology and increasingly popular digital tools, which has built a complete set of control systems that can link up and down and make quick response. It has taken the lead in the global collaborative epidemic prevention, and has won the overwhelming victory in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic. It also injects complex and diversified new power into the global governance of cyberspace under the special situation. While as the other side of the coin, concerns about the disclosure and infringement of citizens’ privacy information during this process also needs to be attached great importance and carefully dealt with.

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Prof. Youzhi Tan chairs both the Department of International Political Economy and the Department of Diplomacy at UIBE, China. His research interests include Cyberspace Governance, Public Diplomacy, Non-traditional Security and International Political Economy.



Prof. Youzhi Tan chairs both the Department of International Political Economy and the Department of Diplomacy at UIBE, China. His research interests include Cyberspace Governance, Public Diplomacy, Non-traditional Security and International Political Economy.

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