Recently, I contributed to the European Council on Foreign Relation’s China Analysis series of briefing papers. This paper, “Governing the Web” examines recent changes in Internet governance and regulation in China.
“The internet has gained a new importance in Chinese domestic politics. It is seen as a powerful driver of economic reform, enables more effective social management by government, and realigns the central-local nexus within the party-state architecture.
“Nevertheless, there are international tensions, particularly in the relationship with the United States. Concerns about information and network security have driven China to pursue a policy of software indigenisation and to raise the requirements for foreign technology suppliers. They also fuel the hawkish voices that are already prominent in Chinese public discourse.
“If China and the international community wish to continue reaping the benefits of burgeoning technological change, it will be necessary to achieve some level of mutual co-operation that addresses China’s security concerns while maintaining the operational openness and ethos of collaboration at the heart of the internet’s architecture.”
The full paper can be downloaded free of charge on the ECFR website.