Online education

Data for Everyone: Why China’s Approach to Data Governance Matters


Editor’s Note: Andy Mok is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for China and Globalization. This article reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect his views of CGTN.

The 4th UN World Data Forum, held in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, will bring together statisticians, policy makers, practitioners, and stakeholders from different sectors and regions to exchange ideas. It is a global event that showcases innovations, promotes better partnerships. Data in pursuit of sustainable development.

It’s also a unique opportunity to put China in perspective by considering the approach to data governance driven by the National Digital Strategy. This strategy aims to harness data as a strategic resource and factor of production for economic and social development, and for national security and global influence.

China’s approach to data governance is shaped by a political system, culture, and values ​​that emphasize national sovereignty, social stability, and collective interests over individual rights. This approach may seem alien or even threatening to some Western observers who tend to favor free market and liberal democratic models of data governance. However, we believe China’s approach deserves more respect and understanding, especially in light of its achievements and challenges in using data for sustainable development.

The following two examples demonstrate how China’s approach to data governance has helped achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in poverty eradication and green development.

First, eradicate poverty. China has achieved the historic feat of eradicating absolute poverty by February 2021, lifting more than 800 million people out of poverty since the reform and opening up in 1978. This is an unprecedented achievement in human history.

How did China do it? One of the key factors was data. China has developed sophisticated systems to collect, verify, analyze and use data on poverty at the national, provincial, county, village and household levels. This system has enabled China to identify the poor, identify the causes of poverty, allocate resources efficiently, effectively monitor progress, and rigorously evaluate results. China is also using big data and digital technology to innovate poverty alleviation methods such as e-commerce, mobile payments, online education, and telemedicine.

Tea plantation staff presenting tea plantation scenery via live stream in Hefeng county, central China's Hubei province, April 8, 2020/Xinhua News Agency

Tea plantation staff presenting tea plantation scenery via live stream in Hefeng county, central China’s Hubei province, April 8, 2020/Xinhua News Agency

Tea plantation staff presenting tea plantation scenery via live stream in Hefeng county, central China’s Hubei province, April 8, 2020/Xinhua News Agency

Second, green development. China has made remarkable progress in improving environmental quality, increasing forest cover, reducing carbon intensity, and expanding renewable energy capacity. China has also become a global leader in green finance and green technology.

Again, data has played a key role in achieving these outcomes. China has established a comprehensive and multifaceted system of monitoring, reporting and verifying data on environmental indicators at various levels. This system allowed China to track environmental performance, enforce environmental regulations, encourage environmental behavior, and disclose environmental information. China is also using big data and digital technology to innovate green development solutions such as smart grids, smart cities, and smart transportation.

These two examples show that China’s approach to data governance is not only effective, but also mature and wise. This reflects China’s recognition of the importance of data to achieving the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. It also reflects China’s perception of the challenges and opportunities that data poses to society, including data quality, accessibility, privacy, security, ethics and fairness.

However, China’s approach to data governance is not without its challenges. Issues such as traditional data silos that hinder data sharing and integration across different sectors and geographies must be addressed. Misuse of data that may compromise data quality and trust. Data concentration creates data monopoly and inequality. Data disputes arising from conflicting interests and values ​​of data. We also face the threat of hostile state actors with advanced cyberwarfare capabilities who may steal, sabotage, or manipulate China’s data for their own strategic or malicious purposes. must be dealt with.

These issues pose serious risks to China’s data security, development, and cooperation. China needs to address these issues through effective laws, regulations, standards and practices that balance national and international obligations and respect the diversity of other data cultures and systems.

China also needs to strengthen data defense and resilience, and strengthen data deterrence and response to protect data sovereignty and integrity. China should also work with other countries and organizations to combat cyberattacks and cybercrime, and promote a peaceful and stable cyberspace.

That’s why the Hangzhou data forum is so important. It acts not only as a platform for dialogue and collaboration between various data stakeholders and data cultures, but also as a catalyst for trust and mutual respect between various data systems and actors.

Trust is the glue that holds the data community together, the bridge between the data world and the physical world. Without trust, data becomes meaningless and even dangerous. With trust, data becomes powerful and informative. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said at his 2021 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, the region has built “partnerships based on mutual trust, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation,” which is why it is poised for rapid development. have maintained. The same logic applies to data. When there is trust in data, we have better data for sustainable development.

(If you would like to contribute or have specific expertise, please contact us at @thouse_opinions See the latest commentary in the CGTN Opinions section on Twitter. )

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button