At the 3rd World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and propaganda chief Liu Yunshan called for the international community to come together to develop and regulate the internet.
The two men expressed their concerns over global internet governance, saying they seek to rectify “imbalances” in the way standards across cyberspace are set, according to Newsline.
“The development of the internet knows no international boundaries. The sound use, development and governance of the internet thus calls for closer cooperation,” Xi said in a video message at the start of the conference.
According to Reuters, the Communist Party led by Xi is attempting to keep control of the internet and censor content, even as their influence in global technology continues to grow:
China infamously operates the so-called “Great Firewall”, the world’s most sophisticated online censorship system, to block and attack Internet services the government deems unsavory.
Xi repeated China’s pledge to “promote equitable global internet governance” while upholding “cyber sovereignty”, or the right of countries to determine how they want to manage the internet.
China’s rubber stamp parliament adopted a controversial cyber-security law this month that overseas critics say could shut foreign businesses out of various sectors in China.
More than 40 international groups and technology organizations have condemned the law, which introduces sweeping surveillance measures and local data storage requirements.
Beijing says the law was designed to root out cyber-security threats in “critical” industries, and not to target foreign businesses.
China is hoping to cooperate with other countries in order to develop international rules and standards for the internet “in a more balanced way”, said Liu, a member of the Party’s leading Politburo Standing Committee.
“There can’t be national security for one country while there is insecurity in another. (Countries) can’t seek their own so-called “absolute security” while sacrificing the security of another country,” Liu said.
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