China's military chief calls for cyber rules

General from People's Liberation Army asks for joint efforts among international community to create rules for cyberspace to tackle online threats, according to report.

The deputy chief of general staff for China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has called for joint efforts among the international community to formulate cyberspace rules to tackle the "grim" challenges concerning online risk.

Chinese news media Xinhua reported Monday that Ma Xiaotian made the call at a cybersecurity symposium in Beijing, which was attended by over 80 delegates from more than 20 countries.

Ma, who is also president of the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), said the issue of cybersecurity has crept from the virtual to real world with the development of IT and the popularization of the Internet. "It has posed new challenges for the security of all nations as well as international security," he said.

The Web is open and transnational and no country can singlehandedly and effectively address the global challenges, yet there isn't a set of widely recognized and accepted rules applicable to cyberspace which means there is no effective management of the Internet, he pointed out.

To mitigate these threats, Ma said China, in partnership with other countries, has put forward a draft international code on information security to the United Nations to initiate an open and inclusive discussion on the issue. He added that all nations should seek common ground while reserving differences, and boost cooperation to address the issue of cybersecurity similar to how real-world political disputes are addressed.