Chinese President Xi Jinping made a global rallying call Wednesday for countries to adopt Beijing style internet governance.

  • Xi Jinping: “The development of the internet knows no international boundaries. The sound use, development and governance of the internet thus calls for closer cooperation.”
  • Xi repeated China’s pledge to “promote equitable global internet governance” while upholding “cyber sovereignty.”
  • This month: China’s parliament adopted a cybersecurity law critics say could shut foreign businesses out of various sectors in China.
  • 40 international groups and technology organizations condemned the law which introduces sweeping surveillance measures.
  • Beijing: law was designed to root out cybersecurity threats in “critical” industries.
  • Liu Yunshan, member of the China’s Politburo Standing Committee: China hopes to cooperate with other countries to develop international rules and standards for the internet “in a more balanced way.”
  • Liu: “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.”

Speaking at an internet conference in Wuzhen, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, Xi and propaganda chief Liu Yunshan signaled a willingness to step up China’s role in global internet governance, seeking to rectify “imbalances” in the way standards across cyberspace are set.

“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 China’s third World Internet Conference.

While China’s influence in global technology has grown, its ruling Communist Party led by Xi has presided over broader and more vigorous efforts to control, and often censor, the flow of information online.

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.

Reuters copy