Jiang: Internet Vital to the Nation

President Jiang Zemin Wednesday urged the nation to hasten development of information and network technologies to help China thrive in the Internet era.

China should promote the application of information technology (IT) to all sectors, from science to education to law, Jiang told a gathering of senior legal leaders.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences scholar Zheng Chengsi told the audience that new laws and legal reform are critical to help the nation meet the goal.

Zheng offered suggestions, including encouraging cultural and ideological progress through the Internet and seeking international cooperation in safeguarding network security.

After the lecture, Jiang pointed out that China has witnessed great achievements in information networks, notably in the impressive growth of computer information networks.

About 26 million Chinese now use the Internet as of March, up from 16.9 million in June 2000, Ministry of Information Industry statistics show. Plus, there were more than 620 Internet service providers and 1,600 Internet content providers at the end of 2000.

“The development of information networks not only boosts the national economy but also enriches the culture and is conducive to improving governmental efficiency,” Jiang said.

Still, this growth brings new problems for authorities to grapple with. The chief concern, Jiang noted, is the rampant spread of superstitious, pornographic, violent and other harmful information and Internet crimes.

Jiang said practical and effective measures must be adopted to strengthen network safety and improve the management of information networks. Present laws are not enough, the president exclaimed.

The current laws and regulations on information networks can not meet the demand of the network management, Jiang said.

The president said China should improve the legal system to safeguard network safety while helping to maintain the national culture.

Jiang also said China should play an active role in drafting international regulations on information networks and strengthen its personnel training on information network management.

(China Daily 07/12/2001)

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