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Cold War Thinking and Bully Behaviour a Hindrance in Cyberspace Says China

"The Cold War thinking ... has stopped and hindered exchanges in cyberspace. Also, bully behaviour in cyberspace has had a negative impact on mutual trust."

This is how Huang Kunming, head of the publicity department of China’s ruling Communist Party i.e. China’s propaganda chief, summed up what is going on in cyberspace, at the start of the World Internet Conference in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.

He elaborated further: "By using national security as an excuse, some countries have attacked (other) countries and enterprises. This has increased the uncertainty, opposition and negativity in cyberspace."

Even though he didn't name the countries to which he was referring, the somewhat thinly veiled comments are not surprising, considering the tit-for-tat tariff spat between China and the US of late. Part of the China-US trade war has seen Washington ban US companies from exporting to particular Chinese tech companies thanks to trade blacklists.

The statements were a sober start to the state-run conference, which has been used by China in the past as an opportunity to show off its internet governance and defend its own, highly-regulated (policed) cyberspace. China has previously asked nations to respect its 'cyber sovereignty' - the right for countries to control and censor their internet as they see fit - as part of an effort to become a bigger player in global internet governance.

This year's conference, which runs from October 20-22, was attended by, among others, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba and Qualcomm, and was organised by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country's Internet regulator, censor, oversight, and control agency.

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