Iswaran gets update on China's tech

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran discussing the smart city twinning initiative between Singapore and Shenzhen with the Chinese city's Communist Party secretary Wang Weizhong yesterday.
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran discussing the smart city twinning initiative between Singapore and Shenzhen with the Chinese city's Communist Party secretary Wang Weizhong yesterday.PHOTO: MCI

Minister also emphasises need for a common set of standards for cyber security and 5G

On his first official visit to China as Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S. Iswaran met senior government officials and visited some Chinese companies to get a first-hand update on developments in the tech industry.

His five-day trip, which ends today, has taken him to Beijing and Shenzhen.

In Beijing, Mr Iswaran was hosted by China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei. He also met Minister Zhuang Rongwen from the Cyberspace Administration of China, a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information said yesterday.

In the meetings, both sides reaffirmed their warm and longstanding bilateral relationship, especially in innovation and technology. They also discussed the importance of an enabling environment to drive the growth of the digital economy.

Mr Iswaran told the Chinese officials about Singapore's ongoing 5G public consultation and plan to roll out 5G networks by next year.

The statement said Mr Iswaran emphasised the need for a common set of standards for cyber security and 5G, and that Singapore was engaged in international efforts to set such standards.

The two sides also discussed efforts in safeguarding cyberspace.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Iswaran said that while both sides acknowledged the benefits of collecting big data, "we also noted the need for data regulation to build public trust and I shared our ongoing efforts on protecting personal data, such as through the Personal Data Protection Act".

China's cyber-security law came into force in 2017 and the country is in the process of legislating a new data protection law. Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act was passed in 2012.

In Shenzhen, Mr Iswaran met Communist Party secretary Wang Weizhong. They discussed the smart city twinning initiative between Singapore and Shenzhen, and how to move it forward in time for the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting later this year.

This twinning falls under the auspices of the Asean Smart Cities Network, a collaborative platform for cities to work together towards smart and sustainable urban development.

The initiative had been given the green light by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Iswaran gets update on China's tech'. Print Edition | Subscribe