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UN envoy: Stop attacks of other nations' high-tech companies

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-05-24 09:53

China's envoy to the United Nations on Monday called on countries to stop "creating divisions" in the Asia-Pacific region and halt the "attack of high-tech companies of other countries".

"In the face of global challenges, solidarity and cooperation is the right path," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, told a UN Security Council briefing on technology and security.

"China calls on the countries concerned to stop creating divisions around the globe, Asia-Pacific included, stop geographical confrontation, stop drawing lines on the basis of ideology and using coercive measures to make other countries to take sides, stop decoupling economy and science and technology and stop the destructive practices affecting the stability in global supply chain and economic recovery," he said.

"At present, the widening technology divide between developed and developing countries, digital divide in particular, is exacerbating a new layer of inequality," said Zhang.

It is necessary to bring into full play platforms like the UN "to support the research and development capacity of developing countries, leapfrog the development gap by narrowing the digital divide, and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda", he said.

"Developing countries must be supported in using the latest technology and big data to improve social governance and effectively prevent and combat crimes," said Zhang, adding that technological developments can carry risk.

The international community should "uphold the concept of science and technology for the benefit of mankind, give play to the role of the UN as a main channel for active dialogue, exchanges and cooperation, adhere to multilateral and multi-stakeholder participation, jointly manage the risks of technological development and formulate and improve universally accepted rules and norms," he said.

It is necessary to curb the abuse of information technology, oppose cybersurveillance and attacks, and oppose the arms race in cyberspace, said Zhang, adding that it is crucial to prevent terrorists from using the internet for recruitment, financing or organizing terrorist attacks and to prevent the internet from becoming a "hotbed of hate speech, racism, pornography and violence".

Governments should strengthen supervision and control in accordance with law, standardize the application of technology and better safeguard public interests, said Zhang. "Technology platform providers and internet service providers must standardize their practices and strengthen self-discipline to fulfill their social responsibilities," he said.

"Technological innovation should not produce only one champion," Zhang said.

He said it is worrisome that certain governments for some time have "politicized issues of scientific and technological nature, generalized the concept of national security, abused state power and wantonly intensified their suppression of high-tech companies of other countries".

"In order to maintain their monopoly in science and technology, they have established exclusive circles and put forward some so-called strategy or framework. They have imposed technology blockades on other countries and engaged in bullying practices in science and technology. They have interfered with and obstructed economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation among other countries," Zhang said.

That approach, he said, "which carries the obsolete Cold War mentality, runs counter to the spirit of international cooperation and the trend of our times, harms the collective interests of all countries, and is doomed to fail".

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