In the Year 2021, A New Window of Hope is Opening in the US-China Relationship

A change in the presidency and the arrival of Joe Biden as the US president are indicating a strong bilateral tie. The new US administration is aiming to create a new type of relationship with China that is closer to the demands of the 21st century.

Sino-American ties plunged to historic lows under the administration of President Donald Trump, with the two clashing over trade, tech and Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the South and East China seas and over self-ruled Taiwan. The new US administration is aiming to create “a new type of relationship with China that is closer to the demands of the 21st century.”

In spite of the Huawei incident, it is quite unlikely that China will go after every foreign firm. There is no incident reported that suggests even a single US or European company has been told to close down their operations from China. The former US President Donald Trump wanted to lower the trade deficit by imposing tariffs, making Chinese imports expensive.

 

But the change in the presidency and the arrival of Biden as the US president are indicating a strong bilateral tie. Biden said partnering with other democracies on China would “more than double” the US economic leverage over the country.

 

On any issue that matters to the US-China relationship, Biden said, “We are stronger and more effective when we are flanked by nations that share our vision for the future of our world.”

 

“Biden’s policies will be about returning to multilateralism, returning to international organizations, and returning to the status of fighting without splitting,” Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Centre for International Economic Exchange.

 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has previously suggested Beijing would be open to restarting its relationship with the US following November’s election, declaring the two countries to be at a “critical historical juncture” after a year of escalating tensions.

 

The way to maintain an equilibrium in relations, both seem to agree, is to balance competition and cooperation. According to Bloomberg Opinion- “to have any chance of managing such frictions, the U.S. and China first need to set the boundaries of their competition and build realistic expectations for cooperation. That’ll require both Biden and Xi to take some political risks.”

 

“China-US relations have come to a new crossroads, and a new window of hope is opening,” said Wang, who is also a State Councilor, told the state-run Xinhua news agency in an interview.

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An Overview of People’s Republic of China’s Cybersecurity Law

The Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee. China’s Cybersecurity Law is applicable to network operators and businesses in critical sectors. It is to be noted that businesses affected by the Cybersecurity Law are not limited to those in the information technology (IT) industry.

According to the China Briefing, cybersecurity Law defines network operators as network owners, managers, and network service providers. In fact, nowadays, the vast majority of enterprises employing networks are in line with the definition of network operators, and therefore is subject to corresponding responsibilities and obligations.

 

The Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on 7 November, with 154 affirmative votes and one abstention. The Cybersecurity Law will come into effect on 1 June 2017.

 

Scope of China’s Cybersecurity Law

It is safe to assume that any company (regardless of size and domestic or multinational extent) operating its network – including websites and internal and external networks – to conduct business, provide a service or collect data in China could very likely be in scope.

The Cybersecurity Law is applicable to network operators and businesses in critical sectors. The law requires network operators to cooperate with Chinese crime or security investigators and allow full access to data and unspecified “technical support” to the authorities upon request. The law also imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment for critical sector network operators.

Penalties for Violating Cybersecurity law of China
Under the criminal law Peoples Republic of China, cybercrimes are mainly provided in the section: “Crimes of Disturbing Public Order”. Articles 285, 286 and 287 are the three major articles that directly relate to cybercrime. The punishment for violating articles 285, 286 and 287 include imprisonment, detention and fines. An offender if convicted guilty may have to serve imprisonment up to seven years for illegally obtaining data from a computer.

 

According to the Article 5: The State takes measures for monitoring, preventing, and handling cybersecurity risks and threats arising both within and without the mainland territory of the People’s Republic of China. The State protects critical information infrastructure against attacks, intrusions, interference, and destruction; the State punishes unlawful and criminal cyber activities in accordance with the law, preserving the security and order of cyberspace.

How does the Cybersecurity Law apply to businesses?

The “cybersecurity” in the Cybersecurity Law should be understood in the broad sense. The Chinese cybersecurity law includes a whole range of other domains including:

  • Information Security
  • Control System Security
  • Computer Security
  • Communication Security
  • Automation

 

It is to be noted precisely that the businesses affected by the Cybersecurity Law are not limited to those in the information technology (IT) industry.

 

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