Pakistan stands with China on Global Initiative on Data Security
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 15 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan stands solidly with Iron Brother China after Beijing announced the Global Initiative on Data Security.
A foreign ministry statement issued here late Monday night said, "Pakistan welcomes the announcement of the Global Initiative on Data Security by China on September 8, 2020. Against the backdrop of rapid developments in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the increasing reliance of economies on digitized information, data, and information networks, an equitable and reliable ICT regime is essential to ensure socio-economic progress, including the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The Global Initiative on Data Security is, therefore, both relevant and timely."
The Global Initiative, the foreign ministry said, "advocates a comprehensive approach towards data security and addresses several key issues which are being extensively deliberated at the United Nations and other multilateral fora, and on which the norm-building process is currently underway."
Last Tuesday, China announced it was launching its own initiative to set global standards on data security, countering the US attempts to persuade like-minded countries to "ring-fence their networks" from Chinese technology.
Announcing the initiative at a Beijing seminar on global digital governance, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi cited growing risks to data security and what he characterized as efforts to politicize security issues and smear rival countries on technology matters—in an apparent swipe at Washington.
To counter such challenges, he said: “It is important to develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries.
Beijing’s initiative comes amid heightened tensions with Washington over issues including trade and technological competition.
In recent months, the Donald Trump administration has taken steps to curtail what it describes as "national-security threats" from Chinese tech firms like Huawei Technologies Co. and popular Chinese apps including ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat. Chinese officials, meanwhile, have accused the US of imposing a double standard and of trying to sabotage the efforts of Chinese businesses to expand.
Pakistan has underscored the need for dialogue and international cooperation to ensure an open, secure, peaceful, and inclusive environment in cyberspace, ICTs, and a balanced approach to technological progress, economic development, and national security interests.
With a population of over 200 million people and a flourishing digital landscape marked by a growing number of online users, the foreign ministry said: "Pakistan attaches immense importance to leveraging digital technologies for enabling socio-economic development and facilitating more effective and efficient governance and public service delivery."