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SCIO briefing on the Second World Internet Conference

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 9, 2015
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Guo Weimin:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to today's press conference. The second World Internet Conference (WIC) will be held from Dec. 16 - 18 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang. As media members have been paying great attention to this conference, we hold this press conference in special significance and invite Lu Wei, the Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), Ren Xianliang, Vice Minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China and Ge Huijun, director of the publicity department of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee, to introduce the 2nd World Internet Conference and describe the progress of the preparation. Mr. Lu Yuedong, the Party secretary of the municipal committee of Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, is also present at this press conference.

Lu Wei:

Dear friends from the press, good morning. Welcome to today's press conference. One year ago, I was here to introduce the first World Internet Conference to you. Today, I am glad to meet you again and introduce the second World Internet Conference. This year's conference will be held from Dec. 16 to 18 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province. The theme of the conference is "An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All - Building a Community of Shared Future in Cyberspace." The Chinese government has attached great importance to this conference. Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping will attend the conference and address the opening ceremony. Currently, preparations for every aspect of this year's meeting have been made ready. In comparison to last year’s meeting, this year’s will have the following features:

First, the scale is larger. It will have more than 2,000 participants from around the world, half of them will be Chinese and the other half will be foreigners, including 8 foreign leaders and nearly 50 ministerial level officials. Among them are Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev, and Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda.

Second, there will be more representatives from more places. The participants will come from more than 120 countries and regions, including the leaders of at least 20 important global organizations, and more than 600 leading figures, cyberspace celebrities, scholars and experts from the Internet industry, specializing in every different aspect of the Internet and cyberspace, which demonstrates the diverse participation.

Third, the content will be more varied. In addition to the opening and closing ceremonies, another 10 forums will also be held, covering a total of 22 hot issues such as online culture communication, Internet innovation and development, digital economic cooperation, Internet technology standards, and Internet governance. The conference will open a “Light of Internet” Exhibition to fully demonstrate the advanced technologies and latest achievements of Internet development both in China and foreign countries.

Fourth, the conference will see more smart technologies. As the permanent host city of the World Internet Conference, driven by the Internet development tide, Wuzhen not only enjoys a finer natural environment and more distinctive cultural characteristics, but has also comprehensively improved in networking and “smart-tech” innovations. It enjoys fast development of the Internet-based old-age care, as well as government administration and entrepreneurship. An APP and a cloud system have been developed specially for the conference and there will be a full coverage of the 4G and Wifi services. The conference will provide all the participating enterprises with intelligent service of full time and space. Wuzhen will greet all the guests with a completely new profile.


The conference will still be jointly held by the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Zhejiang Provincial Government. For the first time, it will include some important international organizations as its co-organizers, namely the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Telecommunication Union and the World Economic Forum.

To accommodate all the reporters and their interviews, we will set up a press center for the conference. We believe that when the time comes, all the reporters will be able to fully enjoy the unique charm of the ancient town integrated with a long history and modern civilization.

Thank you.

Guo Weimin:

Now, I give the floor to Director Ge Huijun for some introductory remarks.

Ge Huijun:

Dear media friends, good morning. I am happy to take part in today’s conference.

Still fresh in my memory is the first World Internet Conference last year; now, in a week’s time, beautiful Wuzhen in Zhejiang Province is scheduled to host the second one, launching “Wuzhen Time” for the annual global event in the Internet field. Established as the perennial site for the World Internet Conference, Wuzhen has been entrusted with the task by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), bringing unprecedented opportunities for the development of Zhejiang Province. The influence of the conference is leading to numerous changes in Zhejiang.

Firstly, there are the changes that have come to this little town, as the development of Wuzhen has been pushed forward through the concern of President Xi Jinping. During his working on government and Party affairs in Zhejiang Province, Xi had paid five visits to Wuzhen to plan the future landscape of the ancient town that has a history spanning thousands of years. With the opening of the World Internet Conference, Wuzhen has complied with the new concepts outlined by President Xi to achieve a development upgrade based on the use of the Internet. The town has been totally involved in the development highlighted by the element of the “Internet Plus”, fleshed out respectively by the running of Internet-based hospital, smart travel and smart transportation. All the important and scenic spots in the town offer free Wifi, further enhancing the attraction of Wuzhen. In other words, present-day Wuzhen has been innovative and technologically advanced in addition to its historical and tourist attractions.

Secondly, the economy of the town has been transformed fundamentally. The hosting of the World Internet Conference has greatly stimulated the “Internet Plus” process in Zhejiang that has been keen to promote the development of the digital economy. Please allow me here to explain the issue with a number of statistics: The Information Development Index reached 97.98, while the Integration Development Index of Industrialization and Informationization stood at 86.26, both of which secured third place in the national ranking last year. From January to September this year, the added value of the core industries amid information economy amounted to 228.8 billion yuan (US$35.62 billion), accounting for 7.7 percent of the local gross domestic product (GDP). The emerging sectors of the “Internet Plus,” including electronic business, Internet finance, the Internet of Things, smart logistics, cloud computing and big data have had advantages in view of their developments through the entire country. All in all, the Internet provides a new foundation for the further development of Zhejiang.


The third aspect is the change to the development momentum. People in Zhejiang are most famous for their aspirations and being hard-working and entrepreneurially-minded. The economy in Zhejiang used to be a grass-root one. The hosting of the World Internet Conference has attracted a number of Internet entrepreneurial talents to come to Zhejiang, and they have injected new business vitality into the area. Zhejiang now overflows with Internet entrepreneurship, and new businesses launched by talents and young people and in the new-type economy have become a new feature of Zhejiang today. For instance, half year into its launch, the Dream Village in Hangzhou has attracted 380 entrepreneurial projects and 4,100 people. The recently concluded Computing Conference attracted more than 40,000 participants and showcased the promising future of the information economy and the great influence of the “Internet Plus” strategy.

Friends of the press, it is the responsibility and firm commitment of Zhejiang to host the World Internet Conference. Xia Baolong, the Secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the CPC, and Li Qiang, the provincial governor, pay close attention to the conference and have urged all sides to prepare for it according to the requirements of “realizing big changes and creating new highlights”. A leading group comprised of seven working teams is working to improve the landscape and environment; more than 1,000 volunteers have been recruited and trained; all kinds of services are fully prepared to facilitate the holding of the conference; and activities such as the “Light of Internet” Exhibition and the Wuzhen Night are well prepared. The preparatory work is almost complete. Wuzhen is ready, Zhejiang is ready, and we welcome all of you to come to this meeting! Though it is early winter, the smiling faces of the people of Wuzhen and Zhejiang will make Wuzhen a place of warmth. Let’s get together in Wuzhen and enjoy our time there!

Thank you.

Guo Weimin:

Thank you. Now, we are ready to take your questions. Please tell the media you are from before asking questions.


CCTV:

The theme of the conference is “An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All - Building a Community of Shared Future in Cyberspace.” What are the implications behind the theme? Thank you.

Lu Wei:

You are an acute observer. The theme of the conference is “An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All - Building a Community of Shared Future in Cyberspace.” With interconnection being the key characteristic, the Internet brings about global sharing of information for everyone who is connected, and thus turns the world into a “global village.” As cyberspace has become the new living space for humankind, the world is also turning into a community that has a shared future.

Building up a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous cyberspace is crucial to ensure the peaceful development for an individual country and, indeed, the whole world. In cyberspace, it is impossible to completely uphold security for one’s own country or keep out outside influences. A world shared by all means that global governance is needed and we should face up to all the problems and challenges that creates together.

Being an Internet giant, China is willing to shoulder the responsibilities of a great power. Convening the World Internet Conference can promote all parties to share the good and the bad, work together to seek development and enhanced security, and establish an international order for Internet governance that is multilateral, democratic and transparent. That will help ensure the Internet can serve the world in a better way. Thank You.


The Beijing News:

I have a question for Mr. Lu Wei. Some foreign media outlets have reported that “the Chinese government is already firmly in control of the Internet.” Is that true? As an ordinary netizen, I found that some tweets and posts on China’s Wechat and mircroblog have been deleted. As the minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, how do you respond to this?

Lu Wei:

I would like to answer your previous question first. I also noticed the reports from foreign media; some of them said that China attempts to control the Internet would be just like trying to pin jelly to the wall.

What we don’t know about the Internet is much more than what we do know. Just like what netizens complain, while we don’t understand what the Internet is, the Internet of Things appears. While we’re busy figuring out cloud computing, “fog computing” shows up. What I’m trying to say is that there is no country that could ever say they have controlled the Internet.

It’s true that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government has strengthened its management towards problems on the Internet, especially focused on reducing Internet rumors, crimes and pornography, so as to protect all netizens’ rights and ensure that young people can grow healthily.

Although we have achieved obvious results when fighting these problems, we shouldn’t overvalue the effects. We are exploring a way of managing the Internet with Chinese characteristics, whose foundation is governing the Internet in accordance with law. In other words, the key is dealing with the relationship between freedom and order properly. Cyberspace should be managed in the same way a society is. Where there is freedom, there is order. Freedom is our purpose, while order is our means; freedom without order could not exist.

You just mentioned that tweets and posts on China’s Wechat and mircroblog are sometimes deleted. I have also experienced this. I think there are different reasons. Some of the contents are reported by netizens. We have a reporting center which receives millions of reports from our netizens every day, and then sends them to the related websites to be dealt with. Websites and netizens have also singed some agreements that encourage websites to delete the harmful information which is in violation of Chinese law or that might negatively affect young people.

Of course, sometimes our government departments will ask websites to delete some unhealthy information, including content that is in violation of Chinese law, against others 'legal rights or harmful to young people. Therefore, managing the Internet is still a long way off, and we need to continuously explore it. We will continue to manage the Internet by law and improve our netizens’ online qualities, in order to comprehensively promote the legalization of cyberspace. Thank you.


Zhejiang Satellite TV:

My question is for Mr. Lu Yuedong. Tongxiang is selected as the permanent site of the World Internet Conference after last year’s inaugural event. What benefits do you think the event brings to the city and what’s the city’s future development plan? Thank you.

Lu Yuedong:

Thanks for your questions. It’s the city’s honor to permanently host the WIC. Of course, there is also pressure from the sense of responsibility we feel. We will take the glorious task entrusted by the CPC central committee and the provincial committee seriously. To be specific, we will focus on the following three aspects:

First, we will make efforts to hold a successful conference. Indeed, this is the main priority of our government and the city Party committee. We will work to improve the environment for holding the conference and enhance the planning, construction and governance of Wuzhen (a town under the jurisdiction of Tongxiang City), and work hard to make the old town more international and innovational while preserving its features as a traditional water town. We want to make Wuzhen a prime example of the “Beautiful China” and “Beautiful Zhejiang” programs.

Second, we attach much importance to development. We will seize the opportunities brought about by the benefits gained from the WIC, stepping up the implementation of the Internet Plus strategy and embarking on a transformation and upgrading characterized by using Internet development to promote new-type industrialization, agriculture progress, urbanization and modernization of the tertiary sector. Next, we will focus on the construction of the national pilot site for Internet innovational development, accelerate Internet infrastructure construction, step up the introduction of relevant talents and programs, and strengthen international exchanges and cooperation. Hopefully, we can enhance our role as a pilot zone for an Internet power and set an example for cyberspace governance, making Tongxiang a model for the reinvigoration of an industrial city.

Third, we will ensure people can benefit from the conference. The Internet has definitely changed people’s old ideas and behaviors and made their work and life more convenient. We attach great importance to the application of Internet technology in projects related to people’s wellbeing, encourage the development of smart healthcare and transportation and innovation in old-age care, environmental protection and government administration. In this way, we hope to ensure that all the people benefit from Internet development and enhance their satisfaction. The Internet will therefore become a leading force in the programs of using science and technology to benefit the people.

On behalf of the hospitable Tongxiang people, I invite everyone to pay a visit to Tongxiang to see the mixed beauty of old and new. Welcome to Wuzhen. Thank you.


CNN:

You mentioned Internet connectivity, but I feel as though China’s Internet censorship is growing stricter. In this global era of information explosion, will the censorship make China’s cyberspace more of a local area network (LAN)? Does the stricter censorship of content run against Chinese leaders’ call for deepening reform and opening-up while establishing an international image of a more confident and open China? Thank you!

Lu Wei:

Your question is not new. I answered a similar question last year, but I would like to say a few words again about your question.

Actually, you raised three questions. The first one is about the censorship of content. I want to tell everyone that at present, China has more than 4 million websites, nearly 700 million netizens, 1.2 billion mobile users and 600 million Wechat and Weibo users which are producing 30 billion pieces of information every day. No country or organization has the capacity to censor 30 billion pieces of information. So, your choice of words -- “censorship of content” is not appropriate. However, that doesn’t mean that China is “without Internet management.” Actually, when it comes to Internet management, China has been learning from western countries and we are still not learning enough. The management of Internet content is essential to every country in the world. You can’t say that we have no freedom just because we put management in place. Just as I said earlier, your freedom should not be established on the pains or the “lack of freedom” of others. If we had the so-called “censorship of content,” the growth rate of our netizens and their reliance on the Internet would have dropped. However, “no censorship” doesn’t mean “no bottom line.” Anyone who crosses the bottom line and breaks the law will be held accountable.

As for your second question, regarding what you call “LAN,” I also talked about it last year. I can’t change your mind, but I have the right to choose my own friends. Obviously, I need to choose who will be invited into my home. Only friends are welcome. Those who have made money in China, occupied parts of our market, and still speak ill of us are definitely not welcome. It’s like in a normal family. No one likes unfriendly guests.

Your third question mentioned the “stricter censorship of content.” I want to tell you that we are managing the Internet with law, and opening up our country by law as well. China’s open gate will never be closed. We are open to Internet enterprises all over the world; as long as you won’t be harmful to China’s national interests and consumers’ benefits, you are welcome to develop in China.

It has proved that foreign Internet enterprises, especially those from Internet developed countries, have grown well in the Chinese market in terms of not only quantity but also benefits. Some Western Internet enterprises gain 50 percent of their profits in China. Thus, China is an open and fair market. All Internet enterprises across the world have confidence in the Chinese market. Thank you.


People’s Daily:

In this year’s conference, there will be a “Light of Internet” Exhibition. Could you please give us some introduction to this event? Thank you.

Lu Wei:

This question will be answered by Ren Xianliang, vice minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

Ren Xianliang:

As one of the highlights of this year’s conference, the “Light of Internet” exhibition, co-organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Zhejiang Provincial Government, will display China’s contribution to global Internet development as well as its state-of-the art technology, products and applications in the industry. More than 260 companies from Europe, North America, the Asia-pacific and Latin America will display their latest achievements, including Baidu’s state-of-the-art unmanned vehicles, Volvo’s latest smart vehicles, Nokia’s latest virtual reality camera platform, the largest Latin American telecom company’s fast and safe wireless internet platform for the 2016 summer Olympics, as well as China Telecom’s 5G technology. The exhibition will also showcase innovation projects conducted by some fledgling small and medium-sized businesses. During the event, we’ll also launch the China Internet museum. You are all welcome to visit the “Light of the Internet” exhibition, and I guarantee you a rewarding trip. Thank you.


Xinhua News Agency:

My question is for Director Ge. Since the first World Internet Conference last year, what has Zhejiang Province done in preparation for the upcoming conference? As for the second conference, apart from the features that Minister Lu Wei has briefed us on just now, are there any other features that should be highlighted? Thank you.

Ge Huijun:

Thank you for your question. Just now, I briefed on how the upcoming World Internet Conference has changed Zhejiang. Regarding preparations, I think the upcoming conference have three features.

First, the environment is more agreeable. Last year, the serene scenery of the ancient town of Wuzhen left a deep impression on attendees from both China and abroad. Over the past year, we have made great efforts to improve the environment and scenery in Wuzhen. The avenue that links the highway exit to Wuzhen is brand new. For Wuzhen, a water town, the water quality has been further improved. The water visibility in Wuzhen scenic area has improved to 70 centimeters from the previous 30 centimeters. As a current catchphrase states: "The temperament is more important." I would say the water quality is crucial to Wuzhen's look.

Second, we will provide more experiences based on information intelligence, as Minister Lu has told you just now. We believe that to hold a World Internet Conference, it is important to ensure the quality of informatization, and we have accordingly made large investment. China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom, the three national major telecom providers, have together set up 502 base stations and 223 indoor distribution systems. The Wuzhen scenic area has a bandwidth of 220 gigabits in addition to seamless Wi-Fi coverage. For wired Internet connection, we will ensure a 10 Gb-scale bandwidth for the conference venue, 1 Gb-scale for each computer, and 100-Mb for guest rooms.

There are intelligence-based facilities, such as intelligent bikes, among other experiences being offered and projects that have been implemented. Some journalists will stay in the Gold Riverside Hotel. We have allocated a batch of intelligent bikes for them to go to the scenic area. They can just swipe a card and ride off.

Third, the cultural features are more vivid. Holding the WIC at Wuzhen involves a clash between tradition and modernity, which adds a unique glamour to the conference. Hence, we have planned special designs to embody Zhejiang's local culture in combination with the theme of the conference. For example, for the reception banquet "Wuzhen Evening," the theme is "bridges.” There are many bridges in Wuzhen's Xizha scenic spot, including 82 old stone bridges. While a bridge is for connectivity, we connect the "bridges" in Wuzhen with the WIC theme. As another example, we will present our guests with a Yueju opera "Butterfly Lovers." Through this second most important traditional opera in China, we intend to showcase the glamour of traditional Chinese culture and the beauty of the humanity of Zhejiang.


Bloomberg:

China issued a National Security Law earlier this year, which stipulates that the country will have a national security review and regulatory system to oversee all Internet and information technology products and services. China will also issue a cyber security law, an anti-terrorism law and other laws and regulations. Does this mean that China will have more censorship on the Internet? Some U.S. companies think that those regulations are targeted at them and that they are concerned about a possible unfair treatment in China. What’s your view?

Lu Wei:

Your question is often raised by some Western media. The National Security Law issued on July 1, the drafts of the cyber security law and the anti-terrorism law have been opened for opinions from the public, and the whole legislative process is proceeding orderly. This is an important and quite praiseworthy practice of the rule of law in China, as it demonstrates the law-based, democratic and transparent nature of China’s cyber management. The introduction of those laws will not only safeguard China’s national interests, but also protect the legitimate rights of all businesses operating in China. Some people are simply biased towards China: when we don’t have the laws, we are accused of being lawless; when we do have the laws, we are confronted with groundless accusations. So, I am now convinced that, whatever China does, those people are always against us.

Opening-up to the outside world is a fundamental national policy that will not change. Once the door is opened, it will never be closed. We are now firmly embarked on the socialist road with Chinese characteristics in which we are fully confident and will not be diverted by others’ accusations. The achievements made during China’s reform and opening-up demonstrate the correctness and success of this road, which benefits from the leading role of the Communist Party of China. We will continue to walk down this road firmly and we are willing to join hands with other countries to enhance communications, exchanges and cooperation in order to achieve a win-win situation. Thank you.


China Radio International:

I have a question for Minister Lu Wei. You mentioned many countries will attend the conference, and many of them are situated along the “Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.” What’s your opinion on the Internet’s role in promoting the “Belt and Road” initiative?

Lu Wei:

You have picked out a major feature of the conference. The “Belt and Road” initiative China has proposed has already attracted much global attention and strong support of the countries along the routes. In fact, more than 40 of them will be represented at the conference in Wuzhen.

The “Belt and Road” initiative focuses on connectivity and integration. And the cooperation in cyberspace and the exchange of information are the most important issues in this regard. All countries along the routes should cooperate with each other, as we are closely connected by the roads, railways, air routes and the Internet. In our cooperation, the Internet should play an important role. The “Belt and Road” initiative stresses cooperation leading to a win-win situation. The initiative is open to all. It is not led by China. Many countries along the routes are already participating in it enthusiastically, and our goal is to promote joint development. Through this conference, we hope we can intensify our cooperation, achieve a win-win situation, and make the Internet more beneficial to common people. So, we sincerely welcome more countries to join us. Thank you.


Wen Wei Po:

It’s said that a consensus document, known as the “Wuzhen Declaration,” will be issued at the conference. I’d like to verify the hearsay. Thank you.

Lu Wei:

In preparation for the conference, some experts did raise the proposal of releasing the “Wuzhen Declaration.” The purpose of the conference is to provide a platform for people to speak their minds freely. Internet governance needs a consensus, which we are unable to reach in one meeting or even two. So, the news of such a declaration is not precise. We will organize experts to comb the opinions and suggestions put forward at the conference and absorb public wisdom to push forward the establishment of the international rule of cyberspace. It’s our goal to reach a consensus on cyberspace governance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we will issue a declaration. Thank you.


Guo Weimin:

Is there anything else Minister Lu wants to elaborate on?

Lu Wei:

I have a few more words. I wish that we will be able to better exchange ideas, forge a consensus, facilitate cooperation and present a vision for the future at the conference, while striving to foster a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace. Let the fruits of Internet development be shared by the Chinese people and people around the world. Thank you and see you in Wuzhen.

Guo Weimin:

I also extend an invitation to all of you who wish to attend the conference. As Minister Lu and the officials from Zhejiang said, there will be a media center in Wuzhen and the SCIO staff will provide service to the journalists covering the event.

That’s the end of today’s press conference. Thank you all.

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