China’s Strategic Thinking on Building Power in Cyberspace
September 25, 2017
The following post consists of an introduction by Paul Triolo and Graham Webster, followed by a collaborative translation by Elsa Kania, Samm Sacks, Paul Triolo, and Graham Webster. This post was first published with New America as part of an ongoing series of translations of significant Chinese digital policy documents and perspectives.
By Paul Triolo and Graham Webster
With the 19th Party Congress coming next month and the 4th Chinese-convened World Internet Congress (WIC) soon to follow, China’s digital policy authorities this month held a publicity-filled Cybersecurity Week, and the Party’s leading journal on theory, Qiushi, published an important article from a previously unknown entity under the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).
The article, which a team of analysts has translated in full below, outlines the major elements of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s strategic thinking on one of Chinese cyberspace policy’s watchwords: 网络强国 (wǎngluò qiángguó). It’s a pithy formulation in Chinese that can be translated as “cyber superpower,” or “building China into a national power in cyberspace,” and the strategic concept attached to it ties together a series of concepts and initiatives that Xi has pushed in major speeches and the Chinese government has moved to enact.
The CAC “Theoretical Studies Center Group,” apparently making its debut here, draws on the legitimacy of its Xi-established parent organization and the special status of the journal Qiushi to provide an authoritative synthesis of recent strategic thinking, attributed to Xi, on how to take China from being a cyber power to being a cyber superpower—a goal that implies rough parity with the United States. This comes as U.S.–China cyberspace dialogue continues in a piecemeal fashion across several official channels, although a dedicated dialogue on “law enforcement and cybersecurity” announced in April (and alluded to in the article below) has not yet met.
For the complete article, please visit New America.