China launched an initiative on Tuesday to address global data security issues in response to the U.S. "clean network" program, which aims to discourage other countries from using Chinese technology.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the initiative in Beijing at a seminar on global digital governance. He claims that the growing cybersecurity risks threaten national security, the public interest and the rights of individuals.
U.S.-China relations have deteriorated due to trade tensions and competition in telecommunications and artificial intelligence technologies. The United States accuses Chinese technology firms of threatening U.S. national security.
"Clinging to unilateral moves, a certain country continues to make baseless accusations against others in the name of 'clean' networks and used security as a pretext to attack companies in other countries that have a competitive advantage," Wang said, according to a transcript of his speech provided by the Ministry. "These blatant acts of harassment must be opposed and rejected.
Wang noted that it is important to develop international standards on data security that "reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries through broad participation.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced the "Clean Net" program last month, saying it was intended to protect citizens' privacy and sensitive information from "malicious actors like the Chinese Communist Party.