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Let's Work Together to Achieve Common Progress
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The Chinese government is working towards the integration of industrialization with informatization. To this end we must accelerate the pace of development of our Internet industry. But in parallel, as the Internet achieves ever wider and deeper penetration of daily life, the question how to build up an honest and trustworthy Internet community has become a topic of growing concern.

Honesty and trustworthiness are traditional virtues of the Chinese nation. The ancient Chinese thinker Mencius said, "Sincerity is the way of nature; and seeking sincerity is the way of humanity." He meant that pursuit of truth and sincerity is an integral requirement of social development, and that everyone should be honest and trustworthy —a primary requisite for membership of society. China is now working hard towards the development of a harmonious society. A cyberspace that is useful and credible, fair and orderly, law-abiding and self-disciplined — and also full of vigor — is an integral part of a harmonious society. In a certain sense, honesty is the foundation on which the future development of the Internet, and also effective applications of the Internet must be built.

In recent years, China's Internet industry has launched a campaign for the construction of an honest and trustworthy cyberspace. Our endeavors include carrying out creditrating for Internet services, emphasizing the protection of online intellectual property, advocating respect for the law, self-discipline and fair competition, and encouraging the public to supervise and report on behavior that contravenes these principles, all directed towards trying to build up a "green online atmosphere" for the young people and a wholesome Internet environment for the public. These efforts have now begun to pay off, with good online ethics that respect honesty and responsibility being steadily established.

The United States is the originator of the Internet, and a leader in networking technology. China has the largest population of Internet users in the world, and therefore has a huge demand for Internet applications. As a result of differences in our national conditions, traditions, and culture, it is natural that we have respectively developed and governed the Internet in a different way. It is therefore of great importance for us to increase exchanges and cooperation.

We should understand each other's differences, and at the same time fully respect the diversity of the Internet. It is this diversity that gives the Internet variety and vitality. Yet on the other hand, because of the global nature of the Internet, international cooperation is essential for promoting its health and its orderly development.

According to the 2007 statistics from the Internet Society of China, 77 percent of online attacks on Chinese mainland websites were from overseas, and 50 percent of our junk emails were sent through outside servers. Over the past four years, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center has received 391,000 repots and complaints about online pornography, of which 81 percent involved websites hosted in the United States. Dissemination of pornography through the Internet violates Chinese law and profanes China's traditional culture. Such information is greatly detrimental to youngsters, so Chinese parents and teachers have issued a strong call for the curbing of Internet porn.

All countries, including the United States and China, should take initiatives to improve the effective governance of the Internet, and to prevent their domestic Internet problems from affecting online order and impairing the public interests of other countries. The United States and China share many common interests in the field of the Internet industry, so we should further reinforce our exchanges and our cooperation. To this end, I have three proposals:

Firstly, let's work together to ensure that communication channels between the competent Internet authorities of our two countries function effectively. Through this mechanism for dialogue we can also explore practical and effective ways of cooperation. Guided by the principle of mutual respect, and seeking common ground while respecting our differences, we can work together to find sound solutions to the problems we both face.

Secondly, let us take initiatives to promote mutually beneficial cooperation in the Internet industry. We should strengthen cooperation in research and development of new technologies. We need to promote the widespread application of new technologies and exploit additional areas of cooperation so that the Internet can better serve the public.

Thirdly, let us improve exchanges and cooperation between professional Internet institutes so that they can reinforce coordination in their campaigns against spam, viruses, and pornography, in order to guarantee Internet security and credibility.

Ladies and gentlemen:

This year marks the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. This was a critical choice, made with determination by China 30 years ago, that has guided the footsteps of Chinese people on their road towards stability and prosperity. China's reform and opening have also contributed to world economic development and human progress. As the tide of opening to the outside world surged, China connected itself to the Internet. It is likely that without the implementation of reform and opening-up, we would not have had the Internet industry that we have today. In its turn, the Internet has provided us with a powerful propeller that has enabled us to intensify our reforms and open ever wider to the world. It has also served as a new engine to boost China's economic and social development.

The Internet industry will continue to maintain its momentum of rapid development. Internet use in China is growing at an average daily rate of 240,000 subscribers. At this rate our total number of Internet users will rise to 500 million in three to four years. The Chinese Internet market is huge and has great potential. We sincerely welcome businesses from across the world, with their new technological achievements, new service concepts, and new expertise in management, to come and share the development opportunities in this market. Let us work together to boost the development and the prosperity of this industry, creating a better tomorrow for the Internet.

Finally, I wish a resounding success to the US-China Internet Industry Forum!

Thank you all.

(China.org.cn November 7, 2008)

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