Chinese President Xi Jinping says that tighter control of the Internet is imperative for maintaining national stability and ensuring that China meets its economic and development goals.
In a speech delivered at the National Internet Security and Informatization Work Meeting (全国网络安全和信息化工作会议) on 21 April, Xi pointed to the need to “increase comprehensive Internet administrative capability…strengthen the correct propagation via the Internet, uphold the correct political direction, guide public opinion and trends in values.”
“Without Internet security there is no national security, there is no stable operation of the economy or society, and it is difficult to safeguard the interests of the masses.
“We cannot allow the internet to become a platform for disseminating harmful information and stirring up trouble with rumours.
“[We] need to establish correct internet security perspectives, strengthen the protection of information infrastructure network security…actively develop internet security industries, make preparations in advance, and prevent dangers before they arise.”
Xi’s remarks arrive amidst a crackdown on online media content in China which has built up momentum since 2017.
In addition to flagging an increase in domestic control of online content, Xi also pointed to the need to step up global and cross-border regulation of the Internet.
“Driving the reform of the global internet regulatory system is the broad trend, and what the people want…[we] must advance internet regulation within the framework of the United Nations.”