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China to launch initiative to set global data-security rules - WSJ

FILE PHOTO: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the media during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (not pictured) as part of a meeting in Berlin, Germany September 1, 2020. Michael Sohn/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - China is launching an initiative to set global standards on data security, countering U.S. efforts to persuade countries to ringfence their networks from Chinese technology, the Wall Street Journal reported here on Monday.

Under its “Global Initiative on Data Security,” China would call on all countries to handle data security in a “comprehensive, objective and evidence-based manner,” the Journal said, citing a draft that it had reviewed.

The initiative would urge countries to oppose “mass surveillance against other states” and call on tech companies not to install “backdoors in their products and services to illegally obtain users’ data, control or manipulate users’ systems and devices.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to announce the initiative on Tuesday at a seminar in Beijing on global digital governance, the report said.

Chinese diplomats have approached a number of foreign governments to seek their support for Beijing’s new initiative, according to the report.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump in recent months has tightened its restrictions on Chinese companies, citing national security concerns. Washington also rolled out a “Clean Network” initiative to exclude Chinese tech firms perceived as threatening national security.

Separately, Trump on Monday raised the idea of separating the U.S. and Chinese economies, suggesting the United States would not lose money if the world’s two biggest economies no longer did business.

(This story refiles to add dropped sourcing from headline)

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler