China's Cyber Sovereignty

NUPI Policy Brief
Security policy  Asia  Cyber
Written by

Niels Nagelhus Schia

Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Research group on security and defense, Head of NUPI's Centre for Cyber Security Studies


Lars Gjesvik

Senior Research Fellow



This policy brief analyses China’s ambitions for imposing and strengthening the concept of cyber sovereignty in international negotiations on topics related to cybersecurity and Internet governance (IG). The presentation proceeds through four interconnected steps: 1. brief introduction and background to the Chinese ‘cyber sovereignty’ concept. 2. China’s role in defining, developing, and promoting this concept in international politics. 3. international responses to the Chinese use of the concept of cyber sovereignty, and how this should be seen in conjunction with current trends in Chinese foreign-policy strategies. 4. the use of cyber sovereignty in diplomacy, and how China uses this concept to counter Western dominance in cyberspace. Thus, the policy brief offers a brief examination of how the Chinese idea of state sovereignty in cyberspace influences how China positions itself in international negotiations with regard to issues such as security, economy and trade, and soft power (diplomacy/governance).