Expert Workshop: Inside China’s Cyber System
On November 23, 2022, the Digital Society Institute (DSI) at ESMT Berlin hosted an expert workshop titled "Inside China's Cyber System". The workshop aimed to facilitate discussion between experts on cyber security concerns pertaining to China and Europe. The focus was on the following questions: Who are the main actors in China's cyber system? What are China's ambitions and priorities in cyberspace?
The workshop began with a presentation by Helene Pleil, Research Associate at DSI, detailing the central stakeholders and ministries making up the Chinese Cyber Governance regime. This structured overview was followed by a second presentation by Antonia Hmaidi, Analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), discussing the geopolitical implications of China's technological development as well as recent efforts in the field of Internet Governance. The ideas and arguments posed by the presenters were subsequently discussed at length.
The result of the workshop is a deepened understanding of China's internal policies as well as its long-term ambitions with regards to ICTs and Internet Governance. It is increasingly clear that China's actions as a global actor are becoming a larger concern for the EU and Germany. Recent developments in China are indicative of a renewed global ambition to put the current institutional cyber system to the test. The EU and Germany need to have a clear and common position on whether China is a partner, competitor, or systematic rival - particularly with regard to cyberspace. This requires closer dialogue and coordination between the European partners, but also a more systematic reflection of previous decisions and policies impacting EU-China relations.