Enhance Cyber Capabilities Through Innovation

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III Updated: 2021-12-30

Enhance Cyber Capabilities Through Innovation* 

April 20, 2018 

Information technology has brought China unprecedented opportunities, which we must seize without hesitation to reinforce positive publicity online and safeguard cybersecurity. We should encourage breakthroughs in core information technologies, let IT application boost economic and social development, and increase civil-military integration in IT application. We should take the initiative to participate in international governance of cyberspace, and build China into a cyberpower through independent innovation. All these efforts will further contribute to achieving moderate prosperity in all respects throughout the country, striving for the victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. 

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party Central Committee has attached great importance to the development and governance of the internet. It has coordinated its efforts to address problems concerning cybersecurity and IT application in political, economic, cultural, social, military and some other sectors, and has made a series of major decisions and enacted important measures in this field, yielding results of historic significance. The achievements have proved that the Central Committee's decision on strengthening the Party's centralized and unified leadership over cybersecurity and IT application and its strategic planning of this work during this period are absolutely correct. Constant innovation in theory and practice has helped us to embark on a path of cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics, and form a cyberpower strategy based on a range of new visions, ideas and concepts.

We should improve our comprehensive cyberspace governance capacity and put in place a framework in which Party committees take the leadership, government departments perform administrative functions, internet enterprises fulfill their responsibilities, the public exercise supervision, and netizens discipline themselves, while economic, legal and technical means are employed. We should strengthen positive publicity online, maintain the correct political direction, guide public opinion, advocate positive values, and unite hundreds of millions of netizens under the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the decisions of the 19th CPC National Congress. We should strengthen education in ideals and convictions, promote socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and the Chinese Dream, and actively foster and implement the core socialist values. We should encourage innovation in concept, content, form, method, and means for online publicity, pay attention to the ideal timing, extent, and impact of publicity, and build consensus online and offline, so as to consolidate the ideological basis of the whole Party and the nation. The internet operators must take on the primary responsibility for preventing the internet from becoming a platform to spread pernicious information or rumors. Discipline should be imposed on the internet industry, with netizens and all kinds of players encouraged to be involved in governance.

Without cybersecurity we can ensure neither national security, nor economic and social stability, nor the interests of the people. We need to build a sound understanding of cybersecurity, and strengthen cybersecurity and information infrastructure protection. We will establish a mechanism and platform for coordinating cybersecurity information, increase our emergency command capability in dealing with cyber incidents, and actively steer the cybersecurity industry towards preventing problems before they start. Responsibilities for protecting critical information infrastructure should be distributed among the players: Internet companies and the industry as a whole should shoulder the main responsibility because they are the operators of critical information infrastructure, and the government departments in charge should perform the duty of supervision and regulation. We should combat cyber hacking, online fraud, invasion of individual privacy, and all other criminal acts. We must cut the profit chains of online crime and maintain a tough stance against them, so as to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the people. We should further publicize cybersecurity information to raise the public's awareness and enhance their ability to protect themselves.

Core technologies are the treasures of a nation. We need to accelerate new advances in core information technologies with determination, perseverance and targeted attention. We need to focus on building an overall industrial system and coordinate our efforts in technology, industry and policy. We need to follow the law of technological development, have a long-term vision in making plans, and concentrate on achieving major breakthroughs with best resources. We need to strengthen centralized and unified leadership, improve policies in finance, taxation, international trade, human resources and intellectual property protection, and regulate the market to better motivate all kinds of innovators. We need to create a fair market environment, strengthen intellectual property protection, and oppose monopoly and unfair competition. We need to break the barriers between basic research and technological innovation to highlight the role of the former in leading breakthroughs in application technologies.

Cybersecurity and IT application represents a new productive force and a new development trend, and should take the lead in implementing the new development philosophy. Aiming for a modern economic system and high-quality development, we should accelerate IT application, and promote new industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization as a whole. We should develop the digital economy and speed up digital industrialization. We should encourage innovation driven by information technology to create new industries, businesses, and models, and promote development with new growth drivers. We should advance digital transformation of industry, use new internet technology and applications to upgrade traditional industries in a comprehensive way, improve total factor productivity, and release the full potential of digitization in boosting the economy. We should fully integrate the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real economy to make manufacturing, agriculture, and service industries more digital, networked and intelligent. We should help enterprises in the cybersecurity and IT application sector to grow bigger and stronger by strengthening regulation and guidance for their sound and orderly development. They should seek both economic and social benefits to better shoulder their social and ethical responsibilities. We should employ information technologies to make government and Party affairs more transparent, and build e-government and one-stop online service platforms to better address the problems of red tape that are of strong concern to enterprises and the public. We should put people first in the development of cybersecurity and IT application and make the wellbeing of the people its ultimate goal, giving people a stronger sense of gain, happiness, and security.

Cybersecurity and IT application is a key and frontier area, and also the most dynamic and promising field for civil-military integration. We need to seize the historic opportunities presented by the evolution of information technology and new military reforms, fully understand the internal relationship between productive forces and combat effectiveness, and between market and battlefield, and follow the working principles and laws behind this integration to create a comprehensive framework that covers all areas and all production factors and produces high returns.

Reforming global internet governance is an irresistible and desirable trend. It should feature a multilateral approach with multiparty participation, while leveraging the role of various players including governments, international organizations, internet enterprises, tech-savvy communities, NGOs and individual citizens. We will promote cyber governance under the framework of the UN and in the meantime bring into play the active role of non-state actors. We will take the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, particularly developing countries, in internet infrastructure construction, digital economy and cybersecurity, as part of our effort to build a digital Silk Road of the 21st century.

We must strengthen the Party's centralized and unified leadership over cybersecurity and IT application to ensure it moves in the right direction. All provincial authorities and central departments should attach great importance to this work, including it at the top of their agenda and their lists of priorities, and solving new problems in new circumstances promptly. We should encourage social organizations for workers, the youth, women, and other groups to play their unique roles, and make good use of enterprises, research institutes, and think tanks, pooling the resources of all of society to improve work in cybersecurity and IT application. Leading officials at all levels and particularly senior officials need to adapt to the information age, and improve their cyber awareness and their ability to understand the rules of internet development, to guide online public opinion, to lead the development of IT application, and to ensure cybersecurity. Party and government institutions at all levels and their leaders should improve their ability to organize, mobilize, guide, and serve the public via the internet. We will regulate, operate and use the internet in accordance with the law to ensure that the development of the internet is within the bounds of the law. We will formulate an overall plan for talent development to promote institutional reforms in this regard, stimulate creativity and attract more qualified personnel. We will enhance the Four Consciousnesses, prioritize the effort to reinforce our Party's political foundations, step up efforts to build a high-quality team of Party members and enforce strict Party discipline over them, and select qualified leaders at all levels. All these efforts will give firm organizational and human resources support to developing cybersecurity and IT application.

* Main points of the speech at the National Conference on Cybersecurity and IT Application.

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