Iswaran in China for first-hand update on tech developments

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran met Party Secretary Wang Weizhong in Shenzhen on July 5, 2019.
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran met Party Secretary Wang Weizhong in Shenzhen on July 5, 2019.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

BEIJING - Mr S. Iswaran is on his first official visit to China as Minister for Communications and Information, where he 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 on Saturday (July 6) has taken him to Beijing and Shenzhen. In Beijing, he was hosted by his counterpart Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology.

He also met Minister Zhuang Rongwen from the Cyberspace Administration of China, said a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information on Friday.

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 2020.

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.

They also discussed efforts in safeguarding cyberspace. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Iswaran said 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 Cybersecurity Law came into force in 2017 and it 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 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 scheduled later this year.


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