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President Xi Jinping outlines blueprint to build China’s strength in cyberspace

According to Xinhua news agency, President Xi Jinping urged the country to acutely grasp the historic opportunity for informatisation development to build its strength in cyberspace.

President Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Head of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, made the instruction at the National Cybersecurity and Informatisation Work Conference held from 20 April to 21 April 21, in Beijing.

While presiding over the conference, Premier Li Keqiang said President Xi has pointed a clear direction for China’s development in the information revolution, enhancing cybersecurity and informatisation, and building China into a cyber power.

Role of information technologies

In his speech, President Xi highlighted that cyberspace development should uphold a “people-centered development vision”, with people’s wellbeing as “the starting point and footing for IT development”.

“The development of cybersecurity and informatization should contribute to China’s drive to develop a modernized economy and achieve high-quality development, and to the new model of industrialisation, urbanisation, and agricultural modernisation,” he noted.

He also stressed that efforts should be made to develop the digital economy, promote deep integration between the internet, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and real economy, to make the manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors more digitalised, smart, and internet-powered.

He emphasised that the country will endeavor to achieve breakthroughs in core information technologies, with more resources to be dedicated to researches, industrial development, and policy making.

Cyberspace governance

According to President Xi, the country has achieved historic progress in the development of cybersecurity and informatization, formed a model of cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics, and developed a strategic thought to advance the country’s strength in this regard.

He urged improvements in the governance capacity in cyberspace and development of a governing network led by the Party. In this, he stressed the centralised, unified leadership of the Party over cybersecurity and informatisation. Under such cyberspace governance network, internet media should “spread positive information, uphold the correct political direction, and guide public opinion and values towards the right direction”. Internet service providers should also take responsibility to prevent cyberspace from degrading into a platform full of harmful, false, and provocative information.

Cybersecurity

President Xi stressed that there is no national security without cybersecurity.

In safeguarding the security of cyberspace, President Xi noted that China will enhance security of information infrastructure, develop coordination mechanisms, tools, and platforms for cybersecurity, enhance the capacity in responding to cybersecurity emergencies, and support relevant industries.

“China will fiercely crack down on criminal offenses including hacking, telecom fraud, and violation of citizens’ privacy,” he said.

Military-civilian integration

Xi urged enhancing military-civilian integration in the field of cybersecurity and informatisation, calling it a key and cutting-edge frontier field with the greatest vitality and potential in the integration drive. He called for putting in place a comprehensive and highly-efficient network of integration for such purposes.

Global cyberspace governance

Moving forward, China will push for the reform of the global cyberspace governance system which he described as “a general trend and common aspiration of the people”.

The reform would be pursued through a multilateral approach, with participation from governments, international organisations, internet enterprises, technology communities, non-governmental institutions, and individuals.

“Cyberspace governance under the framework of the United Nations should be advanced and non-state entities should play a better role”, he said.

At the same time, China will strengthen co-operation with countries along the One Belt One Road initiative in areas such as basic network infrastructure construction, digital economy, cybersecurity, etc.

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