Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the vision of building a community with a shared future in cyberspace at the second World Internet Conference in 2015. At the conference, President Xi elaborated on the four principles and made a five-point proposal concerning Internet development and governance. The vision has drawn the attention and recognition of the world and become a permanent theme of the World Internet Conference. Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace is an embodiment and major practice of the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and a manifestation of our great interest in the common well-being of humanity and shared aspiration of the international community. We have contributed China's wisdom and approach to the development and global governance of Internet.
In response to the expectations of all parties, Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace fully expounds on the background, fundamental principles, path to realization, and governance framework of the vision of building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. It calls on the international community to work together to promote development, address security challenges, and build cyberspace into a community where we can jointly advance development, safeguard security, participate in governance, and share the benefits.
As the Internet is developing at an amazing speed, the endeavor to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace must also move forward with the times. We encourage all parties to continue contributing their insights and efforts to enriching and developing this vision, and join hands to create an even brighter future for all human beings.
Organizing Committee of the World Internet Conference
The Internet today is growing at an incredible speed in ways that have enormously expanded people's work and living spaces. Cyberspace has become a new homeland for human beings, a place where all countries are getting increasingly interdependent, and a community of intertwined interests and shared future. It is therefore imperative for the international community to strengthen communication, broaden consensus, deepen cooperation, and embrace extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance. On matters that involve us all, we should discuss and look for a solution together. We should work hand in hand to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace where the Internet can deliver greater benefits to all the people.
Today's world is undergoing major development, adjustment and transformation. A new round of technological and industrial revolution is gaining momentum. Emerging markets and developing countries are rising rapidly. The exponential growth of the Internet has created an unprecedented opportunity for the progress of human civilization.
In the meantime, such problems as unbalanced development, inadequate rules and inequitable order have become more evident in the field of the Internet. Hegemony and power politics persist in cyberspace. Protectionism and unilateralism keep rearing their heads. The digital divide among countries and regions is widening. Privacy infringements, intellectual property rights violations, the rise of racism, spread of disinformation, Internet fraud, cyberterrorism and other illegal and criminal activities have become a global scourge.
In the face of these opportunities and challenges, the international community is committed to improving the use, development, and governance of the Internet and has made tireless efforts toward this end. China has not only benefited significantly from the global Internet development, but also made unremitting efforts to safeguard peace, promote development and maintain order in cyberspace. As a responsible major country of Internet development, China is always committed to the path of peaceful development and an open-up strategy featuring mutual benefits and win-win results. China advocates safeguarding sovereignty, security and development interests of all countries in cyberspace and has taken an active part in the process of global governance in cyberspace. China continues to promote international dialogues and exchanges in cyberspace and has engaged in experience sharing and practical cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative. Through the World Internet Conference and other platforms that have been successfully built, China is playing an active role in building consensus and exploring good practices, so as to promote fairer and more equitable global Internet governance.
To build a community with a shared future in cyberspace is to make cyberspace a community where we can jointly advance development, safeguard security, participate in governance, and share the benefits. We call on the governments and people of all countries to follow the trend of the information age, seize the opportunities offered by digital, network and smart technologies, and tackle risks and challenges in cyberspace proactively, so that we can achieve shared development, ensure common security, realize joint governance, and enjoy benefits together.
To build a community with a shared future in cyberspace, the following principles should be upheld:
Respecting sovereignty in cyberspace. The principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations is a basic norm governing contemporary international relations. It covers all aspects of state-to-state relations, and should likewise apply to cyberspace. 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. All countries have the right to formulate public policies, laws and regulations relating to cyberspace based on their own national contexts by drawing on experience of other countries. No country should pursue Internet hegemony, or use the Internet to interfere in another country’s internal affairs. No country should engage in, condone or support cyber activities that endanger other countries' national security, or sabotage their information infrastructure.
Upholding peace and security. A secure and stable cyberspace bears on the shared well-being of humanity. All countries should uphold the international system with the UN as its core, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respect each other's security interests and major concerns in cyberspace. Countries should oppose hostile activities and acts of aggression, prevent arms race and military conflict in cyberspace, and remain committed to resolving disputes by peaceful means. Countries should oppose attempts to politicize cybersecurity issues. Countries should abandon the Cold War mentality, zero sum games, double standards, trade protectionism and unilateralism, and oppose cyber-attacks, large-scale surveillance operations and unfounded accusations of cyber-attacks against other countries. Countries should make concerted efforts to maintain peace and security in cyberspace.
Promoting openness and cooperation. Openness is a prerequisite for cooperation in cyberspace and an important condition for building a community with a shared future in cyberspace. Countries should work together for the healthy development of cyberspace with an open mind, by adopting policies of openness in more areas and at a higher level. Platforms for bilateral, regional, and international cooperation are needed to leverage the complementarity of resources and strengths. We need to maintain harmonized global innovation architecture, and encourage inclusive development among different social systems, ethnicities, and cultures in cyberspace. We should firmly reject narrow-minded and closed cliquish thinking, and oppose attempts by any country to use its own strengths to undermine the security of other countries' supply chains of ICT products and services.
Building a sound order. Cyberspace is not a place beyond the rule of law, and a sound order must be established on the basis of commonly recognized international laws and basic norms governing international relations. All countries, regardless of size, strength or wealth, are equal members of the international community and are entitled to participate in cyberspace rules-making on an equal footing. The international community should jointly manage and fairly distribute basic Internet resources, increase developing countries' representation and voice in global governance in cyberspace, and work toward the cyberspace where countries can share resources, shoulder common responsibilities and exercise joint governance, in a bid to establish a just and equitable order in cyberspace.
Path to Realization
Accelerating the building of global Internet infrastructure for greater connectivity. The international community should adopt more proactive, inclusive, and coordinated policies that benefit all to spur faster expansion of Internet infrastructure around the globe and provide accessible, affordable, and quality Internet services to underdeveloped regions and low-income population. Countries should make comprehensive efforts to build the next-generation information infrastructure. Countries should make joint efforts to advance cross-border and international submarine optical cables and improve information infrastructure in space. Mechanisms such as multilateral development banks should be fully leveraged to increase funding, technical support, and expertise for Internet infrastructure development, and encourage wider participation for enhanced connectivity. It is important to strengthen international cooperation in fields such as next-generation ICT and enhance both global awareness of building and protecting Internet infrastructure and the capacity to do so. Policy coordination is necessary to promote intellectual property protection in cyberspace.
Building an online platform for cultural exchanges and mutual learning. The role of the Internet should be given full play as a bridge for promoting online cultural exchanges, academic communication, people-to-people exchanges, knowledge sharing, and media cooperation between countries. It should also serve as a platform for displaying achievements in civilizations of all countries and people and promoting harmonious coexistence of all civilizations. Cultural innovation and creativity in cyberspace needs to be encouraged to promote the integration of technology with cultural progress, and increase digital cultural products and their online distribution. Protection of women, children, and other vulnerable groups should be strengthened in cyberspace, where ethics and good behaviors must be highlighted for the healthy development of the culture and the ecosystem in cyberspace.
Promoting innovative development of the digital economy for common prosperity. The role of the digital economy as an engine of global economic growth needs to be fully leveraged. Proactive steps should be taken toward digital transformation of industry. The digital economy needs to become more inclusive and people-centered. We should conduct thorough studies to examine the impact of new technologies, ensure the use of science and technology for the greater good, and explore new cooperation approaches and measures. Explorations should also focus on establishing cooperation mechanisms for venture capital investment. Open and mutually-beneficial common markets need to be built to achieve the sound flow of production factors, efficient resource allocation, and greater market integration. To promote inclusive development on a truly global scale and enable all countries to share benefits of Internet development, it is important to enhance Internet capacity of developing and underdeveloped countries by breaking information barriers and bridging the digital divide, in an effort to facilitate the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Maintaining cybersecurity to promote orderly development. We should advocate a cybersecurity concept that features openness and cooperation. We should encourage Internet development, while laying equal emphasis on secure and orderly development. It is important to strengthen the protection of critical information infrastructure and international cooperation in data security, maintain the neutrality of information technology and the globalization of the information industry, and take collective action to curb information technology abuses. Countries should increase strategic mutual trust, work together to timely share information on cybersecurity threats, combat cyberterrorism and cybercrimes, and effectively coordinate on cybersecurity incidents, in an effort to uphold peace and security in cyberspace.
Building a system of global governance in cyberspace to promote equity and justice. Reform on global Internet governance should feature a multilateral and multi-party approach with participation of various stakeholders. The UN should serve as the main channel of global governance in cyberspace. Governments, international organizations, Internet companies, technical communities, social organizations, and individual citizens should play their respective roles. Thus a global partnership characterized by mutual trust and sound coordination will be established. The international community needs to improve dialogue and consultation mechanisms, formulate cyberspace governance regulations, and make joint efforts to study and draw up international rules that reflect the interests and concerns of all parties in a more balanced way, particularly those of developing countries. These efforts will ensure progress toward a more just and equitable governance system in cyberspace.
Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace requires greater communication and cooperation among all parties, including governments, international organizations, companies, technical communities, social organizations, and individual citizens, for the creation of a multi-dimensional and well-coordinated governance framework.
Governments, as the main actors in state governance and international cooperation, have a critical and leading role to play. Governments have the right to draft and implement laws, regulations, policies, and measures in line with their national conditions, improve their countries' capacity for Internet development, application, and management, and safeguard their sovereignty in cyberspace. They are also entitled to participate in the supply of public goods including formulating cyberspace rules, promote the growth and prosperity of the global digital economy, control and contain the spread of cybersecurity risks, and uphold the well-being of all countries in cyberspace.
International organizations are not only the main developers of international cyberspace rules, but also important platforms for Internet communication and cooperation among all parties. Countries should support and advance the process of international rules-making in cyberspace by the UN and other inter-governmental organizations, regulate the conduct of the parties concerned, promote exchanges and cooperation, and keep cyberspace secure, stable and vibrant. Non-governmental international organizations should enhance coordination and interactions with inter-governmental organizations to draw on each other's strengths.
Internet companies are key actors in the development of the digital economy and important participants in cyberspace governance. At the forefront of Internet development and cybersecurity, they must commit themselves to innovative development and law-based governance. They should observe laws and regulations, explore best practices and strengthen communication and cooperation.
Technical communities, social organizations, and other groups have an indispensable role in cyberspace technology development and public decision-making. They should continue to play their due role in such areas as technology agreement formulation and standards development, providing guidance to facilitate cyberspace governance and international cooperation from a technical perspective. Social organizations can make suggestions and proposals to jointly promote fair allocation of key Internet resources, efficient operation and innovation-driven development of cyberspace.
Individual citizens are users of Internet services and one of the main actors in cyberspace. Their responsible behaviors are the cornerstones of a community with a shared future in cyberspace. Citizens must abide by laws and regulations, conscientiously regulate their own online behaviors, and enhance their awareness and capability in terms of cybersecurity protection.
Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace bears on the destiny of the entire humanity. It has become an imperative to answer the call of the information age and tackle the risks and challenges in cyberspace. As countries may have common concerns and diverse aspirations in cyberspace, we should, on the basis of mutual respect for core interests, work for the common good and rise to common challenges. We should enable the Internet to better serve all countries and people in the world, and jointly create an even brighter future for humanity.