Towards the International Rule of Law in Cyberspace: Contrasting Chinese and Western Approaches
(2017) 16 Chinese Journal of International Law 271
Posted: 5 Jun 2017 Last revised: 23 Feb 2018
Date Written: May 14, 2017
China and Western countries have repeatedly portrayed each other as potential or actual adversaries in cyberspace. Yet, both sides ostensibly subscribe to an international consensus that cyber operations must be subjected to the rule of law. Against this background, the article examines five key aspects of the rule of law in cyberspace, which are ordinarily understood as areas of contention: (1) preferred method of identification and development of international law; (2) competing models of cyberspace governance; (3) application of sovereignty to cyberspace; (4) question of militarization of cyberspace; and (5) legality of cyber espionage. Our analysis demonstrates that it is inaccurate to view China and the West as sharply divided and competing camps. Rather, the emerging picture reveals a web of relationships and views that reflect an overall trajectory of convergence, even if modest in scope and velocity.
Keywords: Cyberspace, Cyber Security, Internet Governance, Rule of Law, sovereignty
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation