In a veiled attack on the US, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said no nation should pursue “Internet hegemony” and asserted that countries have the right to independently choose their own path of cyber development and regulations, reported PTI.
Addressing the opening ceremony of Second World Internet Conference attended by executives of global and Chinese cyber companies, Xi lashed out at “double standards” in safeguarding cybersecurity and called for governments to cooperate in regulating Internet use.
“No country should pursue cyber hegemony, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs or engage in, connive at or support cyber activities that undermine other countries’ national security,” Xi said at the government-organised conference in Wuzhen of east China’s Zhejiang Province.
He called for fostering “a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace” and building of “a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system.
“Countries have the right to independently choose their own path of cyber development and model of cyber regulations,” the Chinese President said in an apparent defence to criticism over the ban of international social outlets like Twitter and Facebook in the country.
He said nations should work together to prevent and oppose the misuse of cyberspace for crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and gambling.
“All cyber crimes, be they commercial theft or hacker attacks, should be handled in accordance with laws and international conventions…No double standards should be allowed in upholding cyber security,” Xi said.
“We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure; still less should one seek the so-called absolute security for oneself at the expense of the security of others,” he said.
To promote equity and justice, Xi proposed building an Internet governance system which features a multilateral approach with multi-party participation.
“There should be no unilateralism,” he said.
“Decisions should not be made with one party calling the shots or only a few parties discussing among themselves,” he said.
“Cyber surveillance, cyber attacks and cyber terrorism have become a global scourge,” he said, noting the periodic occurrence worldwide of infringements of individual privacy and intellectual property rights.
According to Reuters, critics of China’s Internet governance have said foreign tech companies should not lend Beijing credibility by agreeing to comply with its policies.
“Tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Microsoft, must be prepared to say ‘no’ to China’s repressive Internet regime and put people and principles before profits,” Roseann Rife, East Asia research director at Amnesty International, said in a release on Tuesday.
Others, including press freedom group Reporters Without Borders and China censorship watchdog GreatFire.org, called for a boycott of China’s World Internet Conference, which attracted executives from Chinese and U.S. tech giants.