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Xi slams "double standards," advocates shared future in cyberspace

Source:Xinhua 2015年12月17日 15:38

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday lashed out at "double standards" in safeguarding cyber security at an Internet conference organized by China, urging countries to "jointly build a community of shared future in cyberspace."

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Second World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen of east China's Zhejiang Province, Xi urged the fostering of "a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace" and the building of "a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system."

He listed "imbalanced development, inadequate rules and inequitable order" as problems and challenges concerning the Internet.

"The information gap between countries and regions is widening, and the existing rules governing cyberspace hardly reflect the desires and interests of the majority of countries," Xi said.

"Cyber surveillance, cyber attacks and cyber terrorism have become a global scourge," he said, noting the periodic occurrence worldwide of infringements of individual privacy and intellectual property rights.

Since gaining access to the Internet 21 years ago, China has followed a policy of "a proactive utilization, rational development, law-based management and assurance of security," according to Xi.

With around 670 million users and over 4.13 million websites in China, the Internet and economic and social development have become intrinsically linked.

China will vigorously implement the national cyber development strategy, the national big data strategy, and the "Internet Plus" action plan in the next five years, said Xi.

Co-hosted by the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Zhejiang provincial government, the three-day conference is attended by more than 2,000 people from over 120 countries and regions.

They include Jack Ma, Pony Ma and Li Yanhong, the heads of Internet giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev, Tajik Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov, the International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Zhao Houlin and World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab also addressed at the opening ceremony.

Wu Hongbo, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs read a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the meeting.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chaired the opening ceremony.

DOUBLE STANDARDS SLAMMED

The president highlighted a number of principles for reforming how the Internet is governed globally, opposing double standards in safeguarding cyber security as well as Internet hegemony.

Xi called on all nations to respect cyber sovereignty.

"No country should pursue cyber hegemony, interfere in other countries' internal affairs or engage in, connive at or support cyber activities that undermine other countries' national security," he said.

Countries have the right to independently choose their own path of cyber development and model of cyber regulations, he said.

The right for countries to participate in international cyberspace governance as equals should be respected by all, Xi said.

Stressing maintenance of peace and security, the president urged the international community to cooperate to combat cybercrimes and Internet terrorism.

He said nations should work together to prevent and oppose the misuse of cyberspace for crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and gambling.

All cybercrimes, be they commercial theft or hacker attacks, should be handled in accordance with laws and international conventions, he said.

"No double standards should be allowed in upholding cyber security," Xi said. "We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure; still less should one seek the so-called absolute security for oneself at the expense of the security of others."

Calling for expanded Internet access, the president said, "More nations and people should be given the chance to ride the fast train of the information age."

He urged "reform of global Internet governance" and said "the old mentality of a zero-sum game or winner takes all" should be scrapped.

All countries should advance opening up and cooperation in cyberspace and create more converging points of interests, according to Xi.

He compared cyberspace to the real world, saying the world needs to strike a balance between order and freedom.

"Cyberspace is not a place beyond the rule of law," he said.

"We should respect Internet users' rights to exchange their ideas and express their minds, and we should also build a good order in cyberspace in accordance with law as it will help protect the legitimate rights and interests of all Internet users."

Howard Goodison, part of a U.S. college students' delegation and in China for the first time, is awed by both the natural beauty and Internet infrastructure of Wuzhen.

As a junior student majoring in International Relations at George Washington University, he was most impressed by Xi's proposal for an Internet governance system to promoting equity and justice.

"Millions of dollars are lost a year due to cybercrime and as we benefit from the growth of the Internet, there should also be a sense of accountability," he said.

"As China is spearheading this with this conference, other powerhouses like the United States and UK will be able to enforce this sense of equity and justice. It's not any individual country's job but a collaborative work," Goodison added.

PROPOSALS FOR "SHARED FUTURE"

Cyberspace is for all mankind. Its future should be in the hands of all nations. Countries should step up communication, broaden consensus and deepen cooperation, the president said.

Xi put forward five proposals to build a community of shared future in cyberspace.

He called for efforts to speed up the building of global cyber infrastructure and promote connectivity.

"China stands ready to work with all parties concerned to come up with more investment and technical support to jointly advance the building of global cyber infrastructure and enable more developing countries and their people to share the development opportunities brought by the Internet," Xi said.

Valeriy M. Matsel, consul general of Belarus in Shanghai, shared similar views to Xi in terms of information infrastructure and connectivity.

Information infrastructure is the foundation for adjusting and updating the economic growth mode, he said.

Matsel expressed his hope that China could increase investment and cooperation with Belarus in this regard via the Belt and Road Initiative.

Noting that Chinese information communication companies such as ZTE already have branches in Belarus, he looked forward to cooperation with more Chinese Internet companies in the future.

While stressing the building of an online platform for cultural exchanges and mutual learning, Xi also highlighted development of a cyber economy for common prosperity.

"The robust growth of China's Internet has provided a big market for enterprises and business starters of all countries," Xi said.

He also promised that China will remain open to foreign investment.

In addition, Xi called for measures to maintain cyber security and promote its orderly development, comparing security and development to "the two wings of a bird."

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

The president said China will work with all other countries to step up dialogue and exchange, and effectively manage differences.

"We should push for the formulation of international cyberspace rules accepted by all parties as well as an international convention against terrorism in cyberspace, improve the legal assistance mechanism to fight cyber crimes and jointly uphold peace and security in cyberspace," Xi said.

To promote equity and justice, the president proposed building an Internet governance system which features a multilateral approach with multi-party participation.

"There should be no unilateralism," he said. "Decisions should not be made with one party calling the shots or only a few parties discussing among themselves."

"All countries should step up communication and exchange, improve dialogue and consultation mechanism on cyberspace, and study and formulate global Internet governance rules, so that the global Internet governance system becomes more fair and reasonable and reflects in a more balanced way the aspiration and interests of the majority of countries," Xi said.

Jia Xiudong, a research fellow with the China Institute of International Studies, said Xi's views are in accordance with the common interests of the international community, and conducive to the Internet's orderly development.

As the largest developing country, China needs to express its views in face of global challenges as it can reflect the interests of other developing countries, bringing equity and justice to international governance, he added

World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab said Xi's remarks on open cyberspace reflected the need for global cooperation.

"We should keep the Internet open and we have to work together on the global level which brings the dedication of the governments, businesses and individuals to shape the Internet in such a way that everybody has access and that Internet can really serve as an engine and catalyst for economic development," Schwab said. (Xinhua writers Meng Na, Guo Likun, Wang Cong, Wang Xiaopeng, Cao Peixian and Zhang Zhongkai contributed to the story)

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