Global AI Governance: China’s UN Resolution and Its Implications for Developing Countries

Although non-binding, the resolution is an important initial step in the global effort to regulate and manage AI development.

The unanimous adoption of the China-led resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on July 1, 2024, which urges the creation of a “free, open, inclusive, and non-discriminatory” business environment for the development of artificial intelligence (AI), has significant implications for Indonesia and other developing countries. This milestone offers various opportunities and challenges that these countries must navigate to fully harness the potential of AI.

The previous AI resolution led by the United States and adopted by the UN General Assembly in March 2024 focused on several key aspects. First, it encouraged UN member states to ensure that AI technology is “safe, secure, and trustworthy.” Second, it addressed the risks posed by the improper or harmful development, deployment, and use of AI systems, such as the weakening of human rights protections, increased fraud risks, job losses, and disruptions to democratic processes. Third, it promoted international cooperation in the responsible development and use of AI.

Although non-binding, the resolution is an important initial step in the global effort to regulate and manage AI development. It also reflects a growing international consensus on the need to address the potential risks and challenges associated with AI. It is important to note that the US-led resolution is more general and focused on fundamental principles, while the China-led resolution is more specific and focuses on capacity building and international cooperation to ensure developing countries do not fall behind in AI development.

Positive Implications for Indonesia and Developing Countries

Adopting the China-led resolution by the UN General Assembly on AI development has significant implications for Indonesia and other developing countries. This resolution emphasizes the importance of creating a “free, open, inclusive, and non-discriminatory” business environment for AI development, which can help reduce the digital divide. For Indonesia, this means greater access to AI resources, knowledge, and training opportunities that can enhance technological capabilities and economic growth.

The resolution also promotes international cooperation in AI development. Indonesia can benefit from partnerships with other countries through access to cutting-edge research, technology transfer, and investments in the AI sector. This collaborative environment is crucial to ensure that developing countries can learn and grow alongside developed nations, leveraging AI technology to address local challenges in various sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and education. Additionally, the resolution highlights the importance of including the perspectives of developing countries in global AI governance. For Indonesia, this is an opportunity to influence international AI regulations and standards, ensuring its interests and concerns are accommodated.

Developing a strong AI ecosystem in Indonesia can attract foreign investment, create jobs, and drive innovation across various sectors, ultimately fostering economic growth and social progress. Furthermore, it can reduce dependence on technology solely from the West, enabling Indonesia to establish more diverse and inclusive technological collaborations. By adopting Acharya’s “multiplex world” strategy, developing countries can expand their international cooperation networks and create new opportunities for technological development.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s call at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai also reinforces the commitment to bridging the “intelligence gap” and promoting a fair and open environment for AI development. Li emphasized that AI is the common wealth of humanity and urged countries to collaborate in AI governance and face challenges together. With the adoption of the UN resolution and China’s vision for AI development, Indonesia and other developing countries have great opportunities to reduce the digital divide, enhance international cooperation, and promote inclusive development.

By proactively addressing challenges and leveraging these opportunities, developing countries can harness the power of AI to drive economic growth, social progress, and technological advancement. This also allows them to build a more self-reliant technology ecosystem and reduce dependence on Western technology, creating a more multipolar world in AI development and application.

Challenges and Considerations

While the China-led resolution at the UN General Assembly on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) offers many opportunities, its effectiveness depends on the commitment and actions of member states. Indonesia must translate the principles of this resolution into concrete policies and programs, involving the government and private sector to prioritize AI development. Active participation in international forums and initiatives is also crucial to ensure effective implementation.

To fully capitalize on these opportunities, Indonesia needs to invest in developing AI talent, infrastructure, and regulatory frameworks. Collaboration between the government, academia, and industry is essential to build a competent workforce and drive AI innovation. Programs to enhance digital literacy and advanced technical training will also play a key role.

Amid the advancement of AI technology, Indonesia must address ethical concerns such as bias, privacy, and job displacement. Developing strong ethical guidelines and regulations is essential to ensure responsible and beneficial AI development. Social safety nets and retraining programs need to be created to mitigate the impact of AI on the workforce.

This resolution comes amid intensifying competition between the US and China in the AI field. Indonesia needs to navigate these geopolitical tensions carefully, balancing relations with both countries while pursuing its own AI development goals. Strategic diplomacy will be key to ensuring that Indonesia can benefit from international cooperation without being caught in the crossfire of major power rivalry.

Behind China’s initiative to promote international cooperation and inclusive AI development lies significant economic interests. China seeks to expand its influence in developing countries to support its AI industry, similar to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure projects. If not managed carefully, excessive dependence on AI technology from China could limit Indonesia’s technological independence and spark internal conflicts due to geopolitical competition. A cautious strategy is necessary to ensure Indonesia can leverage opportunities from both countries without becoming entangled in broader conflicts of interest.


The UN resolution on AI development presents a pivotal moment for Indonesia and other developing countries. By proactively addressing challenges and seizing opportunities, these nations can harness the power of AI to drive economic growth, social progress, and technological advancement. For Indonesia, this means investing in education, infrastructure, and ethical governance while promoting international cooperation and maintaining a strategic diplomatic stance.

As the world moves towards an AI-driven future, the principles outlined in this UN resolution can serve as a framework for developing countries to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, ensuring that no nation is left behind in the technological revolution.

Tuhu Nugraha
Tuhu Nugraha
Digital Business & Metaverse Expert Principal of Indonesia Applied Economy & Regulatory Network (IADERN)