Build China into a Cyberpower*
February 27, 2014
Cyber security and information technology application are major strategic issues concerning the security and development of the country, and the work and life of the people. We should, based on both the international and domestic situations, make overall plans, coordinate all related parties, promote innovative development, and work hard to build China into a cyberpower.
In the world today the IT revolution is making rapid advances, exerting a profound influence on politics, economy, culture, society and the military in all countries. IT application and economic globalization stimulate each other. The Internet has already been integrated into all aspects of social life worldwide, even going so far as to change the mode of production and way of life. China is going along with and being profoundly influenced by this trend. China has made remarkable achievements in the development of the Internet and IT application. Numerous households in China now have access to the Internet, and China ranks first in the number of netizens in the world. However, we should also be aware that China lags behind in cyber innovation; the gaps in Internet use between regions and between urban and rural areas within China are still wide, and there is a profound gap in per capita bandwidth between China and the advanced level of the world. All in all, the bottlenecks constricting China's Internet development are still prominent.
Cyber security and IT application are closely interconnected with many other fields in any country. We should be fully aware of where we stand and what we should do. We must understand that it is vital for us to act right now. We must make plans accordingly and carry them out as the conditions permit. Cyber security and IT application are as important to China as wings are to a bird. We must, therefore, make coordinated plans for both, and implement them in a unified way. To promote cyber security and IT application, we should balance security and development, and ensure that the two proceed in tandem and stimulate each other to secure long-term development.
It is a long-term task to ensure that online public opinion is healthy and sound. We should innovate and improve online publicity, and use Internet communication rules to advocate things wholesome and positive, and disseminate and put into practice the core socialist values. We should properly handle timing, extent and efficiency so as to make our cyberspace wholesome and clean.
Online information knows no national boundaries. The flow of information assists that of technology, capital and talent. Information resources have become important factors of production and social wealth. The amount of information a country possesses has become a major indicator of its soft power and competitiveness. The development level of a country's IT and information and communications technology industry decides the level of its IT application. We should enhance the innovation of core technology and improve core technology infrastructure, and become better able to collect, process, disseminate and utilize information and ensure information security, in order to better benefit the people's wellbeing.
Without ensuring cyber security, we cannot safeguard national security; without promoting IT application, we cannot realize modernization. To build China into a cyberpower, we should have exclusive and powerful information technologies, rich and comprehensive information services and a thriving cyber culture. We should have a good information infrastructure and a strong information economy. We should have high-caliber cyber security and IT application professionals. In addition, we should carry out bilateral and multilateral Internet exchanges and cooperation with other countries. The strategy for building China into a cyberpower should be carried out at the same time as we work to accomplish the Two Centenary Goals. We should keep making progress in making the Internet infrastructure basically universal, improving our innovation capacity, developing the information economy, and ensuring cyber security.
We should formulate comprehensive research and development strategies for information and cyber technology, and make great efforts to turn research findings into practical applications. We should promulgate policies to support the development of enterprises, and encourage them to make technological innovations and become the main developers of the IT industry.
We should lose no time in formulating plans for improving the laws and regulations on managing Internet information and protecting the key information infrastructure. We should supervise cyberspace in accordance with the law to safeguard our citizens' legitimate rights and interests.
To build China into a cyberpower we should pool all our resources of talent and train them to become a powerful force with political integrity, top-flight expertise and fine conduct. "It is easy to muster a 1,000-man army, but hard to find a capable general."1 We should train globally renowned scientists, leading Internet sci-tech figures, outstanding engineers and high-level innovation teams.
The Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs should provide centralized leadership, coordinate major issues concerning cyber security and IT application in all fields, formulate and implement development strategies, overall planning and major policies on cyber security and IT application, and enhance security guarantees in this regard.
* Main points of the speech at the first meeting of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.
1 Ma Zhiyuan: Autumn in Han Palace (Han Gong Qiu). Ma Zhiyuan (c. 1250- c. 1324) was a playwright in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)