China’s Internet Policy: Policy OutreachRecommendations for the Asia FoundationMonica ChanJune 24, 2013
Background• Internet established in China in 1994• Annual increase of 20-30% of internet userseach year• Internet used as a vital tool for participation inthe global market
Background• Development of internet in China has raised concerns inthe U.S. due to issues related to human rights, cybersecurity, and trade/investment.• Chinese government has been accused of barring andmanipulating the flow of information to Chinese citizens.• Chinese government’s aim to control and maintaincultural boundaries.
The Facts• 37,000 employed workers policing the internet• Sites blocked by China’s Great Firewall• Chinese government has implemented counter censorshipsoftware that is used to control internet information flowthat is allowed into the country
The Decision of the Standing Committee of the NationalPeople’s Congress on Maintaining Internet Security• Established in December 2000 by the StandingCommittee of the National People’s Congress• Emphasizes that it is the role of the state to safeguardinternet operations by preserving Chinese communistculture as well as foster economic growth.
Provisions• Crimes against the state:• Invading computer systems that have confidentialinformation about state affairs, state defense• Causing and spreading computer viruses and creatingdestructive programs that attack other computercommunications systems causing damage to system widenetworks• Spreading information, rumors, and slander over theinternet for the purpose of overthrowing the stategovernment, “overthrowing the socialist system,” orbreaking up/destroying the country’s unity
Provisions• Crimes against the state:• Stealing and/or leaking classified government andmilitary information via the internet.• Using the internet to ruin racial and ethnic unity as wellas ignite racial or ethnic hatred.• Using the internet to organize cults or contacting cults to“destroy racial and ethnic unity”
Cultural Model• Nationalist-Cultural Model• Chinese government’s role to create and intervenein the state’s cultural identity• State’s role to determine what types of onlineinformation is deemed as destructive and “harmfulto the public”
Implications forinternational Relations• China has been WTO member since December 2001• China’s internet censorship policies has instigatedcriticisms and pressures from companies such as Google.• Google claims that China’s internet censorship policiescreate trade barriers and human rights problems.
Recommendations for theAsia Foundation• The Asia Foundation’s China chapter iscurrently looking to focus their mission oneconomic and technological governance inChina. They should consider focusing thistheir internet policy program on thefollowing:
Recommendations for theAsia Foundation• Education/Outreach – Implement programs that spreadawareness of China’s current media policy• Industry and Trade – serve as a platform forcommunicating with other countries’ reservations onchina’s internet policy• Flow of Accurate Information – develop a series ofdialogues and forums forcorporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizationsthat have bilateral relationships with China