UK-China Track 1.5 Cyber Dialogue

The dialogue aims to enhance mutual understanding and reduce misperceptions, with the ultimate aim of identifying potential, future areas of cooperation on cyber issues.

The UK-China Track 1.5 Cyber Dialogue is implemented by the International Security Programme with the support of the UK Embassy in Beijing, and in partnership with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. 

Chatham House and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) have jointly convened three Track 1.5 Cyber Dialogues since 2022. 

The UK and China are both important players in cyberspace. Both countries have pioneered a range of initiatives and efforts that seek to harness the opportunities of emerging technologies as drivers of socio-economic development, innovation and competitiveness. In recent years, both countries have also shared their strategic national approaches to the governance of cyberspace in international fora like the United Nations. 

Recognizing the important role that the UK and China continue to play in developing and governing cyberspace, Chatham House and CICIR launched the UK-China Track 1.5 Cyber Dialogue in March 2022.

Objectives include enhancing mutual understanding, reducing misperceptions and identifying areas of potential cooperation. Meetings have been attended by researchers, academics and experts in addition to some government representatives. All meetings have been convened under the Chatham House Rule. 

In March 2022, the first meeting invited participants to share their views on the following topics: the UK and China’s high-level national approaches to cyberspace, views on international cyber governance, harnessing the potential of emerging technologies and mitigating the risks, and looking ahead to existing opportunities and areas for future discussion. 

Building on the momentum of the first dialogue, in September 2022, the second dialogue focused more narrowly on joint areas of interest, encouraging participants shared their views on the UK and China’s cyber policies and strategies, international rules for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, approaches to data governance, security and emerging technologies, and views on public attribution.  

In November 2023, the third dialogue started with an exchange on new developments in UK and China’s cyber policies and views on cyber norms and responsible state behaviour. The dialogue also included discussions on emerging issues in cyberspace (including AI governance, internet fragmentation, protecting critical national infrastructure and data governance) and bilateral cooperation on cyber issues. 

Looking forward, delegates from the UK and China both expressed their interest in exploring new areas of potential cooperation on cyber issues, and will continue the dialogue in 2024.