Pres­i­dent: In­ter­net co­op­er­a­tion es­sen­tial

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By MA SI, MA ZHENHUAN and LIU YUKUN in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called for con­crete co­op­er­a­tion among coun­tries to ad­vance mu­tual trust and col­lec­tive gov­er­nance in cy­berspace in his con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter to the three-day Fifth World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence, which kicked off in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day.

The world is go­ing through a broader and deeper sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy revo­lu­tion and in­dus­trial trans­for­ma­tion, Xi said in the let­ter.

De­spite dif­fer­ent con­di­tions and chal­lenges, coun­tries across the world share the need to pro­mote the dig­i­tal econ­omy, in­ter­est in han­dling the chal­lenges of cy­ber­se­cu­rity and the de­mand for bet­ter gov­er­nance in cy­berspace, Xi said.

More ef­forts are needed to speed up devel­op­ment of the dig­i­tal econ­omy and pro­mote the global in­ter­net gov­er­nance sys­tem to ad­vance in a more eq­ui­table and rea­son­able way, so as to in­ject new im­pe­tus into the world econ­omy, Xi added.

The re­marks came as the world’s in­ter­net ex­pan­sion is on a fast track, with the global in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion rate hit­ting 54.4 per­cent. The fig­ure for China was 57.7 per­cent as of June 2018.

Huang Kun­ming, a mem­ber of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said such fig­ures mark sub­stan­tial progress, but it also in­di­cates that nearly half of the global pop­u­la­tion still does not have ac­cess to the in­ter­net.

“We need to beef up con­struc­tion of net­work in­fra­struc­ture and nar­row the dig­i­tal di­vide be­tween dif­fer­ent coun­tries and re­gions,” said Huang, who is also head of the Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

As ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, quan­tum com­put­ing and other cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies are gather­ing mo­men­tum and be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in­ter­twined with other sec­tors, it is im­por­tant to sup­port small and medium-sized en­ter­prises to main­tain the vi­tal­ity of the dig­i­tal econ­omy, Huang said.

Pony Ma, chair­man and CEO of Chi­nese in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent Hold­ings, said that in China, over 98 per­cent of the more than 800 mil­lion ne­ti­zens are ac­cess­ing the in­ter­net through mo­bile de­vices, which is an op­por­tu­nity for both Chi­nese and for­eign en­ter­prises. “It is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to cre­ate a dig­i­tal world of mu­tual trust and col­lec­tive gov­er­nance. In the face of chal­lenges, we are not com­peti­tors but team­mates,” he added.

The global dig­i­tal econ­omy is ex­pected to hit $23 tril­lion in 2025, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Chi­nese tech com­pany Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co.

Not­ing that the in­ter­net has rev­o­lu­tion­ized the pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion and con­sump­tion of many prod­ucts and ser­vices, Fran­cis Gurry, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­ga­ni­za­tion, said the world also needs to bet­ter ad­dress chal­lenges that can come with a thriv­ing dig­i­tal ecosys­tem.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chair­man of the Kuhn Foun­da­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to pro­mo­tion of so­cial and cul­tural ex­changes be­tween China and the United States, said Xi’s speech “set the tone and gave the over­ar­ch­ing vi­sion of re­ally a new world”.

He said the in­ter­net needs to be made to ben­e­fit hu­man­ity, and its growth must be sus­tain­able, he said. There are enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic devel­op­ment, but there are also a whole se­ries of chal­lenges in terms of cy­ber­se­cu­rity, which re­quires global co­op­er­a­tion. Xin­hua and Cheng Yu con­trib­uted to this story.

CHEN ZEBING / CHINA DAILY

Huang Kun­ming, a mem­ber of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and head of the Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, reads a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter from Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping to the Fifth World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day.

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