Keynote speech by Wang Chen

Updated: 2011-09-29 14:12


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Promote Internet Development

and Safeguard Internet Security

-- Keynote Speech at 4th China-UK Internet Roundtable

Wang Chen

Minister of the State Internet Information Office,China

Sept 29, 2011, Beijing

Honorable Minister Ed Vaizey,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome our British friends to Beijing in golden September, the most beautiful season in Beijing, and welcome representatives from the Internet industry in China and the UK to attend the 4th China-UK Internet Roundtable.

The China-UK Internet Roundtable has become a major mechanism for the exchanges between the Internet communities in our two countries. Over the years, we have taken advantage of this mechanism to exchange opinions and share experiences. We have reached consensus on many issues, deepened our mutual understanding, and promoted our mutual cooperation. Both sides have benefited from this mechanism. We hope to continue to work with the UK and turn this Roundtable into a major platform for the dialogues and exchanges between the two countries over Internet development, construction and management.

“Active use, scientific development, law-based administration and ensured security” constitute China’s basic policy on the Internet. The Chinese government regards the Internet as a major mark of modern advanced productive forces, an important driving force for economic and social development, a useful tool to facilitate the people’s work and life, and a key infrastructure of the country. We have always taken wide Internet use as an important target and done all we can to create fine policy and market environment for sustainable Internet development. We hold that the Internet must be managed according to law, and we have done everything possible to improve the Internet management system that features legal regulation, administrative supervision, industrial self-discipline, technical support, public supervision and social education. At the same time, we have actively safeguarded Internet security and ensured the healthy development and effective use of the Internet.

Internet development in China has been inspiring. China now has over 500 million Internet users and its Internet popularization rate is close to 40%. In particular, rural netizens total 130 million, or account for 27% of all Chinese netizens. The Internet industry in China has been expanding in scale and has become an important emerging strategy industry. Electronic commerce offers nearly 2 million direct jobs and over 13 million indirect ones. Electronic government has promoted the innovation of social services and elevated the efficiency of government work and the level of government openness. The Internet is playing growing roles in meeting the public demand to know. All types of network applications have been developing rapidly in China, and the development of social networks is all the more conspicuous. More than half of Chinese netizens communicate and share information via social networks. And this is changing the pattern of Internet application in China. The rapid popularization of mobile Internet and mobile intelligent terminals has given birth to many new Internet businesses, which has not only enriched service contents but also offered new space for the development of the Internet industry.

While the Internet has promoted economic and social development and facilitated people’s life, it has also brought new challenges and new problems. Here I would like to share and discuss with you some of my views over some issues.

First, innovations. Innovations drive Internet development. The Internet is a result of technological innovations and its future also lies in innovations. The Chinese government supports and encourages Internet innovations from the strategic perspective. While it has invested heavily in building Internet infrastructure, it has given priority consideration to the innovation of the Internet and other information technologies in the course of drawing national plans for economic and social development, launching priority science and technology projects and formulating relevant laws and regulations. We support and encourage the innovation of Internet applications, advocate the continuous integration of Internet application with the development of real economy, and use the Internet to transform and upgrade traditional industries so as to drive the restructuring of traditional industries and the change of economic development mode. We support and encourage the development of Internet applications that can promote economic and social development and facilitate the people’s work and life. We advocate the provision of Internet information services featuring diverse forms and rich contents and the development of healthy Internet culture so as to meet the people’s diversified and multi-level demand for information.

Second, intellectual properties. The Chinese government has always regarded the protection of Internet intellectual properties as an important aspect of healthy Internet development, and has strictly cracked down on all forms of digital intellectual property infringements. We have actively explored how to establish a legal support system, an administrative regulatory system, an industrial self-discipline system and a social supervision system for the protection of digital intellectual properties. We have made tangible results in this respect, which have been widely recognized by the international community. We highly value our cooperation with the United Kingdom in protecting digital intellectual properties. As some websites illegally used the videos of the English Premier League, the Chinese government has closed down and punished over 150 websites in the past 10 months. The Chinese government will regard the protection of digital intellectual properties as a long-term task and will actively create favorable social and market environments for the protection of digital intellectual properties.

Third, social networks. The Internet is in a process of rapid evolution. With the popularization of wireless network, intelligent mobile terminals and social networks, the Internet has penetrated deeper into the people’s life and the mode of social operation. In the world, more and more people share information via social networks. This has both brought conveniences to people and posed new challenges for social management. The violent crimes that occurred in some parts of the world this year have stimulated people to consider how to prevent the abuse of social networks. Facts prove that while developing countries have the new problems arising from social networks, developed countries also face similar new challenges. This is a common problem that confronts many countries in the world. In this respect, China and the United Kingdom can make joint explorations, share experiences and strengthen cooperation. We support the rational use of new Internet technologies. By seeking advantages and avoiding disadvantages, more new technologies can be used to promote social development and progress.

Fourth, responsibilities. The Internet has provided conveniences and access for citizens to exercise their right to know, right to participate, right to express and right to supervise. It has also played growing roles in helping government know public opinions, meet the people’s demand and safeguard the people’s interests. The Chinese citizens have voiced their opinions over the Internet in various forms, and the new Internet applications and services have provided wide space for them to interact and exchange views. At present, China boasts of over 300 million microbloggers. Active online exchange is a major unique feature of China’s Internet. The active participation of vast numbers of netizens in online information transmission and content creation has continued to invigorate its Internet. At the same time, the combination of virtual society with real society and the online-offline interaction have increased the influence of the Internet over society and the general public. Accordingly, it is imperative to emphasize relevant social responsibilities so as to maintain the normal order of Internet information transmission. All stakeholders should consciously safeguard the solemnity of laws and the norms of social morality. They should refrain from jeopardizing national interests, public interests and the legitimate rights and interests of other citizens. We must coordinate the safe flow and the free flow of Internet information.

Fifth, security. Safeguarding network security does not mean to safeguard the security of a particular country. Instead, it is to safeguard the common security of the international community. China is opposed to all forms of network hacking, network war and cyberspace arms race. Like other countries, China also faces a growingly grave network security situation. Due to the vulnerability of China’s Internet, network hacking from abroad has become increasingly serious and has caused huge losses to the country. Accordingly, China has become one of the world’s main victims of network hacking. And as China and other developing countries face more and graver network security challenges than developed countries do, developed countries should make use of their visible advantage in network technology and security support capacity and provide help to developing countries. They should refrain from using this advantage to impose things on others.

Six, cooperation. While the Internets in various countries link with each other, they belong to different sovereign jurisdictions. This determines that international exchanges and cooperation are indispensable. As different countries have different levels of social development and different legal and cultural traditions, their different concerns over network security should all be respected. In addressing the growing network security challenges, countries are in urgent need of strengthening international cooperation while boosting their respective capacities. The international exchanges and cooperation over the Internet should respect the principles of full equality, mutual respect, mutual help and mutual benefit, and should refrain from using "network freedom" to seek “network hegemony”. In view of the complexity of the network security issue, these exchanges and cooperation should fully hear the opinions of all countries and all parties, use open and participative methods, handle the concerns of all parties in a balanced way, and jointly formulate international rules on network security. We would like to play an active role in this process.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China and the United Kingdom share common interests and responsibilities. We both should respect each other, seek common grounds, deepen understanding and strengthen cooperation so that we can work together to promote Internet development and security.

Following the 29th Beijing Olympic Games, the 30th Olympic Games will be held in London next year, and China’s network media will be deeply interested and involved in the London Olympic Games. We look forward to enjoying the excitement and success of the Games with you.

May the 4th China-UK Internet Roundtable a great success!

Thank you all!