Cai Mingzhao, vice minister of the State Council Information Office, while addressing the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on China’s joining the Development Gateway Foundation and the press conference for launching the China Development Gateway on May 28, hailed the event as a new cooperation opportunity between China and the World Bank. The full text of his speech follows:
Distinguished President James D. Wolfensohn,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Welcome to the State Council Information Office. As we all can see, today’s signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on China’s joining the Development Gateway Foundation and the press conference for launching the China Development Gateway has a far-reaching significance. This event demonstrates that in the strategic process of promoting information technology and digitization, the Chinese government and the World Bank have found a new cooperation opportunity.
Like other government departments, the State Council Information Office attaches great importance to cooperation with the World Bank. It is believed that the enhancement of our cooperation in sharing knowledge and experience through the Internet will not only benefit both of us, but also be helpful in narrowing the “digital divide” between the developed countries and the developing countries, so as to promote the world’s overall development.
The Chinese government is dedicated to promoting the application of Internet and is willing to expand its cooperation with international organizations in this field. While we are expecting to learn from the world through more successful experiences via the Internet, we also hope that the world can learn more via the Internet about China as well, especially in terms of China’s social advancement and its economic development.
The Internet is enjoying a fast growth in China, being applied extensively in administration, commerce, education, scientific research and mass media. By January this year, the number of Internet users in China had reached 33.7 million. Some institutions say that this number is expected to reach 200 million by the year 2005. I strongly believe that the important and indispensable role of the Internet in the economic growth both in China and in the world as a whole will even go beyond our imagination today. Whether it’s for the Development Gateway Foundation or for the China Development Gateway, I am sure that all the efforts we make today will pay off in the years to come.
Thank you very much!
(china.org.cn May 28, 2002)