What did Xi Jinping say about cyberspace?

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Yesterday, Xi Jinping presented his political report to the 19th Party Congress – a 32000 word behemoth comprehensively covering all areas of economic, political and social life. The report announces a new era in China’s historical progress. In CCP theory, history is divided in stages, which are characterised by various contradictions that are subordinate manifestations of one fundamental contradiction. Once that contradiction is solved, history moves to the next phase. Xi now announced that the primary contradiction is no longer the one defined by Deng Xiaoping: the tension between China’s material poverty and the needs of its population. Instead, Xi claims the major problem that must now be solved is China’s imbalanced development. In other words, GDP growth at all costs is out, in favour of a more comprehensive approach to social and economic governance. Technology will obviously play a central role in this regard, as a governance tool and a potential economic growth pole, but also as a source of potential risk and disruption. The journal China Information Security very usefully listed the excerpts referring to cybersecurity and informatization, which are translated here:

I, The work from the past five years and historical changes

Public culture service levels have incessantly risen, literature and art creation continues to flourish, cultural undertakings and cultural industries thrive and develop, Internet construction, management and use has incessantly been perfected, and the entire people’s fitness and competitive sports levels have developed comprehensively.

III, The thought and basic orientation of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and

(4) Persisting in new development ideas. […] Push forward the synchronized development of new kinds of industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, actively participate in and promote the progress of economic globalization, and develop and ever higher-level, open economy, incessantly expand our country’s economic strength and comprehensive national strength.

(10) Persist in the overall view of national security. […] Comprehensively manage external security and internal security, territorial security and citizens’ security, traditional security and non-traditional security, our own security and common security, perfect national security structures and systems, strengthen the construction of national security capabilities, and determinedly defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.

V, Implement new development ideas, build modernized economic systems

(1) Deepen supply-side structural reform. […] Accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing sectors, promote the profound convergence of the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and the real economy, foster new growth points and create new drivers in areas such as mid- and high-end consumption, innovative leadership, greenness and low-carbon, the sharing economy, modern supply chains, human capital services and other such areas. […] Strengthen the construction of basic infrastructure networks for irrigation, railways, roads, waterways, aviation, pipelines, the electricity grid, information, logistics, etc.

(2) Accelerate the construction of an innovative country. […] Strengthen the use of basic research, expand the implementation of national major science and technology programmes, give prominence to critical and common technologies, advanced forerunner technologies, modern engineering technologies, disruptive technology innovation, in order to provide powerful support for the construction of a strong science and technology country, a strong quality country, a strong aviation country, a strong cyber country, a strong transportation country, a strong digital country and a smart society.

VII, Persist in cultural self-confidence, promote the flourishing and ascendance of Socialist culture

(1) Firmly grasp leadership power in ideological work. […] Deepen Marxist theory research and construction, accelerate the construction of philosophy and social science with Chinese characteristics, and strengthen the construction of new types of think tanks with Chinese characteristics. Give high regard to construction and innovation in means of dissemination, and raise the communication power, guiding power, influence and credibility of news and public opinion. Strengthen the construction of Internet content, establish comprehensive network governance systems, and create a clear and crisp cyber space.

VIII, Raising, guaranteeing and improving people’s living standards, strengthening and innovating social governance

(1) Giving priority to development of education. […] Promote the integrated development of urban and rural compulsory education, give high regard to rural compulsory education, run preschool education, special education and online education well, universalize education at the higher secondary stage, and strive to let every child enjoy fair and high-quality education.

(7) Effectively safeguard national security. National security is an important cornerstone to bring peace and stability to the nation, safeguarding national security is the locus of the fundamental interest of the people of all ethnicities in the entire country. We must perfect the national security strategy and national security policies, firmly safeguard national political security, and comprehensively advance security work in all areas. Complete national security systems, strengthen legal guarantees for national security, and raise capabilities to guard against and resist security risks. Closely guard against and resolutely attack all kinds of infiltration, subversive and destructive activities, violent and terrorist activities, ethnic separatist activities, and religious extremist activities. Strengthen national security education, strengthen the national security consciousness of the entire Party and the people in the entire country, and promote all of society to create and safeguard powerful polled efforts for national security.

X, Firmly march the path of a strong military with Chinese characteristics, comprehensively move national defence and military modernization forward

Adapt to new global military changes and development trends and national security demands, raise construction quality and efficiency, ensure that mechanization is basically realized by 2020, that informatization concentration sees major progress, and strategic capabilities increase greatly.

The military must prepare to wage war, all work must target the norm of combat effectiveness, the focus must be on waging war and waging war victoriously. Firmly prepare for military struggles in all strategic orientations, comprehensively advance military struggle preparation in traditional security areas and new strategic areas, develop new kinds of battle forces and protection forces, launch combat-type military training, strengthen the use of military forces, accelerate the development of military smartification, raise joint warfare capabilities and all-area warfare capabilities based on online information systems, effectively mould situations, manage and control crises, contain war, and fight war victoriously.

XII, Persist in the path of peaceful development, promote the construction of a community of common destiny for humanity.

At the same time, the world faces prominent instabilities and indeterminacies, global economic growth drivers are insufficient, the difference between rich and poor grows graver daily, regional hotspots and problems rise one after another, terrorism, cybersecurity, major epidemics, climate change and other such non-traditional security threats continue to proliferate, humanity faces many common challenges.

XIII, Unwaveringly, comprehensively and strictly govern the Party, incessantly raise the Party’s governing ability and leadership levels.

Strengthen reform and innovation skills, maintain a tenacious and enterprising spiritual bearing, be good at integrating real creativeness in moving work forward, and be good at using Internet technologies and informatized means to carry out work.

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