Xi calls for shared future in cyberspace

Updated: 2015-12-17 07:41

By Zhao Huanxin in Wuzhen, Zhejiang(China Daily)

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Xi calls for shared future in cyberspace

President Xi Jinping addresses the opening of the Second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday. WU ZHIYI/CHINA DAILY

President says maintaining security is the collective responsibility of the international community

The Wi-Fi icon appears almost everywherein bars, on buses and buildings in this river town in Zhejiang province. Nearly all its population of 59,000 can connect to the Internet simultaneously through 4G networks.

In this Internet-empowered and smart town President Xi Jinping laid out his vision for the Internet on Wednesday, calling for efforts to "jointly build a community of shared future in cyberspace".

Wuzhen was hailed by the president as a vivid example of what can be achieved by combining tradition with modernity and integrating culture with science.

He said more nations should be given the chance to ride the "fast train of the information age", and the rules governing cyberspace should be transformed because they barely reflect the desires and interests of the majority of countries.

Addressing the opening of the Second World Internet Conference, Xi said cybersurveillance, cyberattacks and cyberterrorism have become a global scourge.

"Cyberspace should not become a battlefield for countries to wrestle with one another still less should it become a hotbed of crime," he said, calling for the international community to work together to prevent and oppose the use of cyberspace for criminal activities.

Xi also said that maintaining cybersecurity is the shared responsibility of the international community.

All countries should work together to contain the abuse of information technology, oppose cybersurveillance and cyberattacks and reject an arms race in cyberspace, Xi said.

"All countries should step up communication and exchanges, improve dialogue and consultation mechanisms on cyberspace, and study and formulate global Internet governance rules," he said.

This would enable the global Internet governance system to become fairer and more reasonable, and reflect in a more balanced way the aspirations and interests of the majority of countries, he added.

The president also said that China will work with all nations to step up dialogue and exchanges and effectively manage differences.

China boasts nearly 700 million Internet userstwice the population of the US.

Xi said the robust growth of China's Internet sector has provided a big market for enterprises and business startups from overseas. "As long as they abide by China's laws, we warmly welcome enterprises and business startups from all countries to invest and do business in China," he said.

An analysis of Xi's remarks at the conference indicates that his vision for the Internet has been consistent since he took office in 2013.

For example, in an address to the Brazilian congress in July last year, he said no double standards should be allowed in upholding cybersecurity, and no party should seek so-called absolute security for itself at the expense of the security of others.

Last week, Lu Wei, chief of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said, "Internet enterprises are welcome in China as long as they do not hurt our national and consumer interests."

Kamel Mellahi, a professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom, said, "President Xi's keynote speech today underscores the important role the Internet is going to play in the future Chinese economy, and gives hints on how China is planning to unleash the potential of the Internet."

The three-day annual Internet conference is scheduled to end on Friday.

Cecily Liu in London contributed to this story.