Xi's calls for better development of the Internet - 3 years on
Three years ago today, Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a symposium on cyberspace security and informatization, at which he called for the enhanced development of the Internet for the benefit of the country and its people. Let's take a look back at his calls and the progress that has been made.
Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over a symposium on cyberspace security and informatization in Beijing on April 19, 2016. [File photo: Xinhua]
The Internet as a driving force for China's economic development
Three years ago, President Xi called for the in-depth integration of the Internet with the real economy in order to improve flows of technology, capital, talent, and materials and to propel the country's economic restructuring and the shift in its model of economic development. Following the adoption of China's "Internet Plus" strategy, domestic Internet enterprises have made increasing contributions to the growth of China's economy.
The role of the Internet in reflecting public opinion
During the symposium, President Xi stressed the role of the Internet in reflecting public opinion. He told officials to gather public opinion using the Internet in order to better understand the concerns and wishes of the people. China's 829 million Internet users now play a greater role in helping to shape the government's agenda.
Breakthroughs in core technologies crucial for China
Despite being home to the world's second-largest economy, when it comes to capacity and capabilities in core technologies, China still has to bridge a large gap to catch up with some developed countries. President Xi, who in his speech described core technologies for enterprises, called on entrepreneurs, scholars, scientists, and technicians to work together to achieve new breakthroughs in core technologies. He encouraged enterprises to go out into the world and deepen international cooperation in the Internet sector, adding that China welcomes overseas Internet enterprises who want to come to China so long as they abide by the country's laws and regulations.
There's a need for enhanced cybersecurity
Information infrastructure in fields including finance, power supply, and communications is crucial for the smooth running of the economy and is a prerequisite for the development of the Internet. Failures to protect this infrastructure from cyberattacks pose a serious threat. President Xi urged acceleration in the development of a system to protect China's key networks.
Internet enterprises bear a social responsibility
Concerning the intense and sometimes vicious competition among Internet firms in China, President Xi urged authorities to create a favorable environment for the development of Internet companies and speed up legislation that enhances the supervision of cyberspace. He also urged Internet enterprises to shoulder their social and moral responsibilities, and give back to society so that everyone could benefit from their development.
President Xi's call to action three years on
Today, three years after President Xi's speech at the symposium, China has been marching along its road towards becoming an Internet powerhouse. The national government issued a 10-year plan on national informatization and announced its cyberspace security strategy, vowing to safeguard China's sovereignty in cyberspace and protect the country's national security and development. The government also issued a new law that provides clear protections for personal information and digital property.