Wuzhen, 16 December 2015
President Mamnoon Hussain,
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,
Prime Minister Karim Massimov,
Prime Minister Temir Sariyev,
Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda,
First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov,
Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni,
Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo,
Secretary-General Zhao Houlin,
Dr. Klaus Schwab,
Ministers and Ambassadors,
Welcome to the beautiful town of Wuzhen for this important discussion on the development of the Internet in the world. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, I wish to extend our warm welcome to all participants to the second World Internet Conference, and express warm congratulations on the opening of the conference.
I have worked in Zhejiang for many years and visited Wuzhen on several occasions. Today, coming back to Wuzhen, I find the town both familiar and new. The first World Internet Conference held here last year gave a strong boost to the development of online maker, online hospital, smart tourism and other Internet applications, and added a new, fascinating dimension to the charm of this historical town. An Internet-empowered and smart town, Wuzhen is a vivid example of what can be achieved by combining tradition with modernity and integrating culture with science. It showcases the innovative development of the Internet in China and reflects the principle that global Internet development is indeed shared by all.
Looking at the history of world civilizations, humanity has progressed along with agricultural, industrial and information revolutions. Each of these industrial and technological revolutions has had great and profound impact on our way of production and life. Today, information technologies represented by the Internet are experiencing rapid changes with each passing day. They have brought about new ways of social production, created new space for people's life, opened new horizons of state governance, and enhanced our ability to understand and shape the world. The Internet has turned the world into a global village where distance no longer prevents people from interacting with each other. Communication is made easier than ever before. Indeed, thanks to the Internet, our world has become more colorful and people now live a fuller life.
China is going through a historic process of rapid application of information technologies. China attaches great importance to Internet development. Since China was connected to World Wide Web 21 years ago, we have, in keeping with the principles of proactive utilization, rational development, law-based regulation and assurance of security, strengthened IT infrastructure, developed cyber economy and made life better for our people through IT application. In the meantime, we have conducted governance of cyberspace in accordance with law, and ensured a clean environment in the cyberspace. Today, China is already home to 670 million Internet users and over 4.13 million websites. The Internet is now deeply integrated into China's economic and social development and the life of the Chinese people.
The Fifth Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee has put forward the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China will vigorously implement the national cyber development strategy, the national big data strategy and the "Internet Plus" action plan. We will develop an uplifting cyber culture, open up more space for cyber economy, and promote the integration of Internet development with economic and social progress. Our goal is to ensure that the more than 1.3 billion Chinese people and people across the world can all enjoy the benefits of Internet development.
With the deepening of world multi-polarity, economic globalization, cultural diversity and IT application, the Internet will only play a bigger role in the progress of human civilization. At the same time, however, such problems as unbalanced development, inadequate rules and inequitable order have become more evident in the field of the Internet. The information gap between different countries and regions is widening, and the existing rules governing the cyberspace hardly reflect the desires and interests of the majority of countries. Infringements of individual privacy and intellectual property rights as well as cyber crimes happen from time to time around the world. Cyber surveillance, cyber attack and cyber terrorism have become a global scourge. In the face of these problems and challenges, the international community must enhance dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and trust, promote transformation of the global Internet governance system, and work together to foster a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace and put in place a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system.
To make progress in the transformation of the global Internet governance system, the following principles must be upheld:
- Respect for cyber sovereignty. The principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations is one of the basic norms in contemporary international relations. It covers all aspects of state-to-state relations, which also includes cyberspace. We should respect the right of individual countries to independently choose their own path of cyber development, model of cyber regulation and Internet public policies, and participate in international cyberspace governance on an equal footing. 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.
- Maintenance of peace and security. A secure, stable and prosperous cyberspace is of great significance to all countries and the world. In the real world, there are still lingering wars, shadows of terrorism and occurrences of crimes. Cyberspace should not become a battlefield for countries to wrestle with one another, still less should it become a hotbed for crimes. Countries should work together to prevent and oppose the use of cyberspace for criminal activities such as terrorism, pornography, drug trafficking, money laundering and gambling. All cyber crimes, be they commercial cyber thefts or hacker attacks against government networks, should be firmly combated in accordance with relevant laws and international conventions. No double standards should be allowed in upholding cyber security. 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 of itself at the expense of the security of others.
- Promotion of openness and cooperation. As an old Chinese saying goes, "When there is mutual care, the world will be in peace; when there is mutual hatred, the world will be in chaos." To improve the global Internet governance system and maintain the order of cyberspace, we should firmly follow the concept of mutual support, mutual trust and mutual benefit and reject the old mentality of zero-sum game or "winner takes all". All countries should advance opening-up and cooperation in cyberspace and further substantiate and enhance the opening-up efforts. We should also build more platforms for communication and cooperation and create more converging points of interests, growth areas for cooperation and new highlights for win-win outcomes. Efforts should be made to advance complementarity of strengths and common development of all countries in cyberspace so that more countries and people will ride on the fast train of the information age and share the benefits of Internet development.
- Cultivation of good order. Like in the real world, freedom and order are both necessary in cyberspace. Freedom is what order is meant for and order is the guarantee for freedom. 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. Cyberspace is not a place beyond the rule of law. Cyberspace is virtual, but players in cyberspace are real. Everyone should abide by the law, with the rights and obligations of parties concerned clearly defined. Cyberspace must be governed, operated and used in accordance with law, so that the Internet can enjoy sound development under the rule of law. In the meantime, greater efforts should be made to strengthen ethical standards and civilized behaviors in cyberspace. We should give full play to the role of moral teachings in guiding the use of the Internet to make sure that the fine accomplishments of human civilizations will nourish the growth of cyberspace and help rehabilitate cyber ecology.
Cyberspace is the common space of activities for mankind. The future of cyberspace should be in the hands of all countries. Countries should step up communication, broaden consensus and deepen cooperation to jointly build a community of shared future in cyberspace. To this end, I wish to put forward five proposals.
First, speed up the building of global Internet infrastructure and promote inter-connectivity. The essence of the Internet is connectivity, and herein lies the value of information. We should strengthen the building of IT infrastructure for information to travel on a smooth road. Only in this way can we narrow the digital divide between different countries, regions and communities and ensure full flow of information resources. China is now implementing the "Broadband China" strategy. It is estimated that by 2020, broadband network in China will basically cover all the villages. The "last kilometer" of Internet infrastructure will be linked up thanks to this strategy and more people will have access to the Internet. 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 Internet infrastructure and enable more developing countries and their people to share the development opportunities brought by the Internet.
Second, build an online platform for cultural exchange and mutual learning. Culture and civilization are enriched through exchange and mutual learning. The Internet is an important carrier to spread mankind's fine cultures and promote positive energy. China is willing to build, through the Internet, a bridge of international cultural interaction for the fine cultures of the world to learn from each other and for people of all countries to share their feelings and enhance mutual understanding. We will work with all other countries to leverage the strength of the Internet as a communication platform, so that people of other countries will come to know more about China's fine culture and the Chinese people will learn more of theirs. Together, we will promote the prosperity and development of cyber culture, which will enrich people's mind and thinking, and advance human civilization and progress.
Third, promote innovative development of cyber economy for common prosperity. The world economy is on a difficult and tortuous path to recovery. The Chinese economy is also under certain downward pressure. Solutions lie in innovation-driven development, which will open new horizons of development. China is now implementing the "Internet Plus" action plan, advancing the building of "Digital China", developing the sharing economy, and supporting Internet-based innovation in all forms, with a view to improving the quality and efficiency of development. The robust growth of China's Internet has provided a big market for enterprises and business starters of all countries. China's door of opening-up will never close. Our policy towards foreign investment will not change. Our protection of legitimate rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises will not change. And the direction of providing better services to foreign companies in their investment and business activities in China will not change. As long as they abide by China's laws, we warmly welcome enterprises and business starters from all countries to invest and do business in China. We are ready to step up cooperation with all countries. Through the development of cross-border e-commerce and the building of information economy demonstration zones, we will be able to spur the growth of worldwide investment and trade, and promote global development of digital economy.
Fourth, maintain cyber security and promote orderly development. Security and development are like the two wings of a bird or the two wheels of a cart. Security ensures development, and development is what security is aimed at. Cyber security is a global challenge. No country can stay aloof or immune from it. Maintaining cyber security is the shared responsibility of the international community. All countries should work together to contain the abuse of information technology, oppose cyber surveillance and cyber attacks and reject arms race in cyberspace. 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.
Fifth, build an Internet governance system to promote equity and justice. International cyberspace governance should feature a multilateral approach with multi-party participation. It should be based on consultation among all parties, leveraging the role of various players, including governments, international organizations, Internet companies, technology communities, non-government institutions and individual citizens. There should be no unilateralism. 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. This World Internet Conference is held precisely for the purpose of building a platform for global Internet to be shared and governed by all and working together for the healthy development of the Internet.
"All good principles should adapt to changing times to remain relevant." While the Internet is invisible, Internet users are visible. The Internet is the common home of mankind. Making it better, cleaner and safer is the common responsibility of the international community. Let us work hand in hand to promote an interconnected cyberspace shared and governed by all, and make contribution to a better future for the progress of all mankind.
In conclusion, I wish the conference a complete success.