Xi Jinping’s Talks at the Beijing Forum on Literature and Art

The original text of the speech has not been published. This summary was published by Xinhua on 15 October.

Xi Jinping Chairs Forum on Literature and Art Work and Stresses

Persisting in the Creative Orientation of Putting the People Central

Creating Ever More Excellent Works Living Up to the Times

Liu Yunshan in Attendance

CCP General Secretary, State President and CMCC Chairman Xi Jinping chaired the Forum on Literature and Art Work organized in Beijing on the morning of the 15th, and gave an important speech. He stressed that literature and art are the bugle call for the advance of the times, are most able to represent the spirit of an era, and are most able to guide the mood of an era. To realize the “Two Centuries” struggle objective and realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the role of literature and art is irreplaceable, and there is great promise from literature and art workers. The broad literature and art workers must understand the position and role of literature and art from this height, understand the historical mission and responsibility they bear, persist in the creative orientation of putting the people central, strive to create ever more excellent works living up to the times, carry forward the Chinese spirit, concentrate Chinese strengths, and encourage the people of all ethnicities in the entire country to march toward the future full of vigour and vitality.

Standing Committee member and Central Committee General Office Secretary Liu Yunshan attended the Forum.

At the forum, China Writer’s Association Chairwoman Tie Ning, China Peking Opera Association Chairman and Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre and Art Director Shang Changrong, Kongzheng Song and Dance Ensemble First-Level Playwright Yan Su, China Association of Fine Arts Vice-Chairman and China Academy of Fine Arts Director Chang Xuhong, China Association of Dance Chairwoman and National Theatre Dance Art Chief Inspector Zhao Rusu, China Writer’s Association Vice Chairman and Shanghai Municipal Writer’s Association Vice Chairman Ye Xin, China Film Association Chairman and China Drama Academy First-Level Performer Li Xuejian gave successive addresses.

After earnestly listening to everyone’s speeches, Xi Jinping made an important speech. First, he indicated that the literature and art undertaking is an important undertaking of the Party and the people, the literature and art battlefront is an important battlefront for the Party and the people. For a long period, the broad literature and art workers have devoted themselves to literature and art creation, performance, research and dissemination, and in their respective areas, have been diligent and hardworking, served the people, obtained clear achievements, and made important contributions. Through everyone’s joint efforts, a hundred flowers are growing in our literature and art garden and there are countless great fruits, presenting a vivid picture of flourishing and development. Xi Jinping extended his sincere respects to literature and art workers nationwide.

Xi Jinping pointed out that promoting the flourishing and development of literature and art, in the end, requires the creation and production of excellent works that can live up to this great nation and these great times. Literature and art workers should firmly keep in mind that creation is their central task, work is the root of their being, they must engage in their creation with calm hearts and a spirit of improvement, and present the best spiritual nourishment to the people. The creation and production of excellent works must be made into a central link of our literature and art work, and we must strive to produce even more excellent works that disseminate the value views of present-day China, reflect the spirit of Chinese culture, mirror the aesthetic pursuits of Chinese people, which organically integrate ideology, artistry and enjoyability.

Xi Jinping stressed that, since reform and opening up, our country’s literature and art creation has welcomed a new springtime, and produced large amounts of universally appreciated excellent works. At the same time, it cannot be denied that, in the area of literature and art creation, the phenomena that there is quantity but no quality, and there are “high plateaus” but no “high peaks” exist, the problem of plagiarism, imitation and stereotypes exist, and the problems of mechanistic production and fast-food-style consumption exist. Literature and art cannot lose its direction as it is absorbed into the market economy, it cannot accept deviations on the question for whom they are, otherwise, literature and art will not have life force. Vulgarity is not popularity, passion does not represent hope, and naive sensual amusement is not equal to spiritual cheer. The reason excellent works are “excellent”, lies in their ideological profundity, artistic exquisiteness and product superiority. [Translator's note, these three adjectives all contain the character 精, "excellent"]. Literature and art workers must hold high ideals, live and create in step with the times, and innovate through the individuality of their art. We must persist in the principle of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, carry forward academic and artistic democracy, construct a vigorous, healthy, tranquil and harmonious atmosphere, advocate discussion between different viewpoints and schools of thought, advocate that styles, themes, forms and methods fully develop, and promote mutual praise and reflection in group discussion on ideas, content, styles and schools.

Xi Jinping pointed out that, to make literature and art creation flourish and promote literature and art innovation, we must have a large batch of distinguished literators and artists skilled in virtue and art. Our country’s writers and artists should become prophets, trailblazers, and pioneers of the spirit of the times, write and record the magnificent practice of the people and the demands for progress of the times through ever more literature and art works that have strong fibre, virtue and a warm temperature, display the beauty of faith and the beauty of the sublime. Literature and art workers must consciously persist in literature and art ideals, incessantly raise their scholarship, self-control and self-cultivation, strengthen their ideological accumulation, knowledge stores, cultural accomplishments and artistic training, earnestly and solemnly consider the social effect of their works, stress quality, place weight on artistic virtue, save righteousness for history, present beauty and virtue to the people of the world, strive to win people’s love and welcome with noble professional integrity, a fine social image, and beauty both in writing and quality.

Xi Jinping stressed that Socialist literature and art, essentially speaking, is the people’s literature and art. Literature and art must reflect well the people’s wishes; it must persist in the fundamental orientation of serving the people and serving Socialism. This is a basic requirement of the Party for the literature and art front, and is the crux that decides the future destiny of our country’s literature and art undertaking. We must make satisfying the people’s spiritual and cultural needs into a starting point and checking point for literature and art and literature and art workers, make the people into the centre of literature and art expressions, make the people into connoisseurs and critics of literature and art aesthetics, and make serving the people into the vocation of literature and art workers.

Xi Jinping pointed out that, following the incessant rise in people’s living standards, the people’s demands on quality, status and style of cultural products, including literature and art works, have risen. Literature, theatre, film, television, music, dance, fine arts, photography, calligraphy, folksong, acrobatics as well as folk literature and art, mass literature and art and other areas must follow the developments of the times, grasp the demands of the people, and create and produce excellent works that the people love to see and hear with full fervour, vivid brush strokes, graceful melodies and moving forms, to let the people’s spiritual and cultural lives incessantly climb towards new heights.

Xi Jinping stressed that the people are the sources of flowing water for literature and art creation, whenever they are removed from the people, literature and art will change into rootless duckweeds, baseless groaning, and soulless bodies. Whether or not we can produce excellent works fundamentally depends on whether or not we are able to write for the people, express emotions for the people, and express the compassion of the people. We must modestly learn from the people and learn from life, derive nutrients from the people’s magnificent practices and rich and varied lives, incessantly accumulate life and artistic experiences, incessantly discover the beautiful and create the beautiful. We must consistently keep the people’s daily lives and the people’s happiness in our hearts, pour the people’s range of emotions into our own brushstrokes, eulogize the struggling human life, portray the most beautiful characters, and persist in people’s yearning for and belief in beautiful lives.

Xi Jinping pointed out that if literature and art workers want to achieve success, they must consciously breathe together with the people, share their fate, link their hearts with the people’s hearts, fell joy for the joy of the people, suffer for the suffering of the people, and be servants of the people. They must love the people sincerely, love them profoundly, love them lastingly, and must deeply understand the rationale that the people are the creators of history, go deep among the masses, go deep into life, earnestly and sincerely be the little students of the people. Art may give wings to imagination, but it must absolutely have its feet on terra firma. There are a hundred, a thousand ways of creating art, but the most fundamental, the most crucial, and the most reliable method is taking root among the people and taking root in life. We should use realist spirits and romantic feelings to contemplate real life, use light to disperse darkness, use the beautiful and the good to vanquish the ugly and the evil, let the people see that beauty, hope and dreams are ahead.

Xi Jinping stressed that a good work should put social effect first, and at the same time should be a work that integrates social effect and economic effect. Literature and art cannot become slaves of the market, and must not be stained with the stink of money. Excellent literature and art works, at best, can gain ideological and artistic successes, and can receive a welcome on the market.

Xi Jinping pointed out that every age has a spirit of the age. Literature and art are the engineering project of casting souls, literature and art workers are engineers of the souls. Good literature and art work should be like sunlight in a blue sky, like a cool spring breeze, they should be able to enlighten thoughts, caress spirits and mould people’s lives, they should be able to clear away the wind of despair. The broad literature and art workers must carry forward the banner of the Socialist core value system, reflect the Socialist core value system in their literature and art creation vividly, vigorously and in a lifelike manner, use true-to-life images to tell people what they should affirm and praise, and what they must oppose and deny, ensure that the salutary effect of education, like a spring breeze, noiselessly touches all. We must make patriotism into the main melody of literature and art creation, guide the people to establish and uphold correct views of history, views of the nation, views of the country and views of culture, and strengthen their fortitude and resolve to be Chinese.

Xi Jinping stressed that pursuing the true, the good and the beautiful is the eternal value of literature and art. The highest boundary of literature and art is moving people, letting the spirits of people experience baptisms, letting the people discover the beauty of nature, the beauty of life and the beauty of the spirit. We must, through literature and art works, spread the true, the good and the beautiful, spread upward and charitable value views, guide the people in strengthening their powers of moral judgment and their sense of moral honour, yearn for and pursue a life of stressing morals, respecting morals and abiding morals. As long as the Chinese nation pursues the moral plane of the true, the good and the beautiful generation by generation, our nation will be eternally healthy and upward, and will for always be full of hope.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China’s excellent traditional culture is the spiritual lifeline of the Chinese nation, is an important source nourishing the Socialist core value system, and is a firm basis for us to get a firm foothold within the global cultural surge. We must integrate the conditions of new times with inheriting and carrying forward China’s excellent traditional culture, and inheriting and carrying forward a Chinese aesthetic spirit. For our Socialist literature and art to flourish and develop, we must earnestly study and learn from the excellent literature and art created by people in all countries worldwide. Only if we persist in using the foreign to serve the Chinese, exploration and innovation, ensuring combinations of the Chinese and the Western, and mastery through comprehensive study, will our country’s literature and art be able to flourish and develop better.

Xi Jinping stressed that all levels’ Party Committees must bring literature and art work onto the important matters agenda, implement the Party’s literature and art principles and policies well, and grasp the correct orientation of literature and art development. We must choose good leadership ranks for strong literature and art work units, put cadres who have both ability and integrity, and who are able to be on the same page as literature and art workers into leading positions in literature and art work. We must respect the creative individuality and creative labour of literature and art workers, have full confidence in political matters, provide enthusiastic support in creative matters, and create a good environment for the benefit of literature and art creation. We must, through deepening reform, perfecting policies and completing structures, shape a vivid picture of incessant production of excellent work and talents. We must give high attention to and realistically strengthen literature and art criticism work, use the viewpoints of history, the people, art and aesthetics to judge and appreciate works, advocate telling the truth, stressing virtue, and create a good atmosphere to develop literature and art criticism.

Wang Huning, Liu Yandong, Lu Qibao, Xu Qiliang and Li Zhanshu attended the Forum.

Persons in charge from relevant Party and State departments, and the Liberation Army General Political Department, as well as representatives of literature and art workers from all sectors participated in the Forum.



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Propaganda Chief Liu Qibao Elaborates China’s Indigenous Development Path

This article was published first in Qiushi, on 13 October.

We Are Marching on the Right Path

Some Points of Understanding concerning the Path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

Core points:

- When we say that China’s path can be marched correctly and to the end, this is not anyone’s subjective judgment, it is a powerful answer made in practice, it is a profound verdict reached through history and international comparison. We haven’t walked the old, closed and fossilized path, and haven’t walked the crooked road of changing our banners and allegiances, but have marched the new path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

- The path and the system are closely related, the success of the path is inseparable from systemic guarantees. China has chosen a particular system that is unique to it, which is the result for standing up to severe tests. Since the modern era, China has tried on various kinds and sorts of “shoes”, and has even thought about imitating the “peak” of Western systems, but in the end, these haven’t succeeded.

- Value concepts are the core of a development path. In understanding China’s path, the dimension of value cannot be overlooked. Where a nation and a country are concerned, the longest lasting and the most profound force are the core values that the entire society commonly recognizes.

- China’s path is the choice of the people, it is created by the people, and it has been made and marched by the Party in the lead of the people.

- On whether or not the path is good, the people who are on this path have the strongest right to speak. China’s people have, through the continued improvement in the material necessities of life, through the huge changes in the look of the country and through their eager desires and overflowing hopes, realistically felt the correctness of China’s path, and supported this path deep in their hearts.

There are no two completely identical tree leaves in the world. Similarly, there are no completely identical paths for the development of countries. It is as General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, a nation and a country must know who they are, where they came from and where they will go, and if this has been thought out clearly and well, they must unwaveringly advance towards their goal. Contemporary China is currently taking big strides on the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This path has been marched through the magnificent practice of more than three decades of reform and opening up, it is marched through the sustained exploration in the more than six decades since the establishment of the New China, it is marched through the profound verdict of the development process of the Chinese nation in over 170 years since the advent of modernity, it is marched through the inheritance of the 5000 year of civilization of the Chinese nation, it ahs profound historical sources and a broad basis in reality. This path suits China’s national conditions, conforms to China’s characteristics, complies with the development requirements of the times, and is the necessary path to create beautiful lives for the people and realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

We have come to the fore, and are running in the front row, in the “international contest”

When we say that China’s path can be marched correctly and to the end, this is not anyone’s subjective judgment, it is a powerful answer made in practice, it is a profound verdict reached through history and international comparison. If we look back to the grinding poverty and persistent weakness after the Opium War, and the destitution when the New China was established, and now look again at the completely new look and thriving vitality of present-day China, the great leaps and great advances of history exceed people’s imaginations, and provide the most vivid emphasis for the Communist Party leading the people in marching the Chinese path.

Practice is the best judgment, comparison is the most convincing. After the end of the Second World War and especially in the last thirty years, a contest between development paths and development models has imperceptibly formed between various countries worldwide. In this contest, many countries’ starting points were higher than China’s, their resources were richer than China’s, their external environments were better than China’s, and yet, after these years of struggle, the results of this competition are already starting to become clear. Some countries have changed their banners and their allegiances, with the result that they have taken wrong turns, and become mired in difficulties; some countries imitated other countries’ systems, with the result that these systems failed to acclimatize, like “planting southern oranges in the north”. In clear contrast, we have not marched an old, closed and fossilized path, neither have we marched a crooked path of changing banners and allegiances, but we have marched a new path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. On this path, we have used decades of time to complete a development process that took developed countries centuries, we realized a historical leap from poverty to comfort and again to moderate prosperity, the Chinese nation has overtaken the waves of progress of the times with big strides, and is welcoming a glorious prospect of great rejuvenation. In economic development, for instance, between 1979 and 2012, our country’s average annual GDP growth rate was 9.8%, which is far higher than the annual 2.8% growth in the global economy during the same period; our economy has vaulted into the second position worldwide, and its proportion of the global economy has risen from less than two per cent to nearly twelve per cent, from suffering material shortages and lack of products that happened in the past, we changed into “the factory of the world”, and are marching towards “the centre of the global stage”. Naturally, this path has not been even, on the journey, we have also suffered many complications and bumps, and have vanquished a series of risks and challenges. We don’t need to look far, we can just look at our response to this great test of the international financial crisis, when China submitted an outstanding answer sheet, and took a global lead in realizing an improvement in economic stability, it became an important driver in pushing the global economy to round the corner, and in recent years, China’s contribution to global economic growth exceeded 20 per cent, by now, it is even higher than thirty per cent. Some foreign government leaders and academics have named the huge changes in China as “the most significant event in current times”, and believe that China’s achievements are “without comparison”, the previous US Secretary of State, Kissinger, even sighed that it was “hard to believe” and “exceeded expectations”.

Since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Centre with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary has taken over the baton of history, it has persisted in taking Marxism as guidance, unwaveringly marched a Chinese path, blazed China’s path in step with the times, and continued to write this great writing of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. On a path of pursuing dreams and making them come true, the Party Centre has comprehensively planned the both the domestic and international big pictures, it has completely deepened reform, dared to bite through hard bones, dared to ford treacherous waters, resolved to destroy systemic and mechanistic abuses on all sides, and promoted the modernization of the country’s governing system and governing ability; it adapted to the new trends in economic growth, persisted in seeking progress through stability, reformed and innovated, and promoted the sustained and healthy development of the economy; it improved and protected people’s livelihoods on the basis of national circumstances, and wove a tight security net of the people’s livelihood; it persisted in strictly managing the Party and governing the Party, in leaving an impression on the stones it trod on, grasping work style construction with an iron ruthlessness, and combated corruption with an attitude of zero tolerance; it persisted in marching a path of peaceful development, and strove to build a new type of international relations with cooperation and common benefits at the core, and won the wholehearted support of the popular masses, and the broad respect of international society. The Party and the country have initiated a new dimension, they have created a new wind, and they have gained new successes, and have engraved a new historical marker in the journey along China’s path.

Decoding China’s path

As more and more attention came to be paid to China’s development miracle, its international influence grew ever larger, and “decoding China” became a hot topic in international society. Why is China able to do what it does? Why is the Chinese Communist Party able to do what it does? Such questions can always attract people’s broad reflection. The path and the system are closely connected, the success of the path is inseparable from the guarantees of the system. China has chosen a particular system unique to itself, which is the result of withstanding great tests. Since the beginning of modernity, China has tried on all kinds and sorts of “shoes”, and has even tried to imitate the “peaks” of Western systems, but in the end, this has never been successful. Only at the point where the Chinese Communist Party expanded, did all of this fundamentally change. Our Party has led the people in the practice of arduous struggle, it has found the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics through exploration, it created the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and established the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. In comparison with other systems, this system of ours has clear superiorities in many aspects, and reflects a sort of unique characteristics and a superior systemic civilization.

For instance, scientific and efficient policymaking and implementation. A country’s policymaking capacity and implementation efficiency are important yardsticks to measure its systemic quality. If unpredictable changes are made in policy, anything would become impossible. The previous president of Afghanistan, Karzai, said: “If Afghanistan had the opportunity to choose again, it would certainly have marched a Chinese-style development path. Because it acts efficiently, makes resolute policies, and is guided towards results.” This displays a prominent advantage of the Chinese system. Our system is able to focus on the overall interest of the people and the long-term development of the country, scientific and timely policymaking, and efficient and powerful implementation have effectively integrated continuation and exploration. The formulation of every “Five-Year Development Plan” processes through consultation and inquiry with all sides, things go up and down repeatedly, until up and down are integrated, and in the end, a consensus is shaped and a decision made. In concentrating strengths to deal with major affairs and resolve difficulties, our system displays strong implementation power. In the process of resisting the Great Wenchuan Earthquake and other such huge disasters, as soon as the Party Centre gave the order, immediate action was undertaken up and down the entire country, a majestic force was assembled to fight the disaster and provide disaster relief, and new homes were built within a quite short time.

For instance, broad and effective people’s democracy. Our democracy is a people’s democracy. Some things can be settled through discussion, the masses negotiating the affairs of the masses , and finding the greatest common denominator of the will and demands of the entire society is found, are the true essence of the people’s democracy. We have instituted the basic political system of the People’s Congress system, we implement multi-Party cooperation and political consultation systems under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, autonomous ethnic region system as well as grass-roots mass autonomy systems and other such basic political systems. The people exercise their power through elections and voting, and a broad, multi-level and institutionalized consultative democracy is implemented among the people, these are two kinds of important democratic elements of our country’s Socialist democratic politics. Such democratic forms not only have a complete systemic order, they also have a complete practice of participation, which benefits strengthening the cooperation and consultation between all forces in society. In comparison, Western democracies characterized by multi-party systems and tripartite separations of power, reveal their abuses and limitations more and more every day. A number of Western scholars recognize that in recent years, Western democracy has faced a profound crisis, checks and balances in democratic systems have evolved into impediments of power, while party games have taken the national interest hostage. A number of countries have blindly “transplanted” or “imported” Western democracy, but have fallen into an endless cycle of regime change and social unrest, resulting in “the early death of democracy”. Only a democratic system that has taken root in the soil of a country, and draws abundant nutrients from it, can be reliable and effective. In this regard we must keep a clear mind and maintain our political orientation, we cannot attend to trifles while neglecting the main matter, nor slavishly imitate others.

For example, the multi-layered practice and experience of selecting the able for appointments. Through a long period of exploration, we have formed selection and appointment mechanisms that broadly take in the virtuous, and are brimming with vitality, we have broadly assembled talents from all sides within all undertakings of the Party and the State. All levels’ leading cadres have, on the journey to their leading positions, had to undergo severe organizational inspections, democratic recommendations, competitive selections and other such procedures, they have all undergone the test of time and have been tempered in practice, they all have grass-roots experience in many positions and remarkable work achievements. The cartoon film “How Are Leaders Selected” that is popular online has vividly displayed this. Now, a long time of “Chinese kung-fu”-style training, selecting and appointing the able, is gaining the recognition of ever more visionaries around the world.

For example, the coordinated efforts of the “two hands” of market and government. Our country implements the Socialist market economy system, its clear characteristic is that it stresses giving rein to the role of the market, and stresses giving rein to the role of government, to ensure that the “invisible hand” and the “visible hand” are both used well. This systemic arrangement both respects the common laws of the market economy, and remedies the failures of market mechanisms, such as is blindness, its spontaneity and its lag, it integrates the roles of the market and the government well. By relying on this system, we have produce a “report card for the Socialist market economy” that has caused admiration around the world. Some countries worldwide have become separate of their own reality, and mechanically applied prescriptions written out by neoliberalism, they conducted complete non-interference, liberalization, privatization and marketization, the result is that they have stumbled into development “traps”, from which it is difficult to extricate them. On the basis of explorations in practice and deepening understanding, our Party has proposed “letting the market play a decisive role in the allocation of resources and giving better rein to the goal of government” as a major theoretical viewpoint, this provides a new scientific orientation to the relationship between market and government. This inevitably promotes the incessant deepening of reform in our country’s economic system, and further gives rein to the superiorities of the Socialist market economy.

In his important speech at the conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National People’s Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping clearly put forward important standards for evaluation whether a political system is democratic and effective. In comparison with these standards, with our decisive progress in practice, we have handed over a convincing examination sheet. Practice demonstrates that China’s system has huge superiorities, resilience, vitality and potential, it has enriched and developed the institutional culture of human societies .Some foreign scholars have pointed out that the Western development model is being resorted into a regional development model, and that the success of China’s model has opened up a plural era in which various systems coexist and compete. Even Fukuyama, who put forward the “end of history theory” believes that the Chinese model has a number of important advantages that Western democratic systems lack, and that space should be reserved for China in the treasure house of human thought and civilization.

Seeking the roots of China’s path

We have concentrated the most persistent and most profound spiritual forces

Chinese culture is the “root” and “spirit” of our nation, and is the deep soil in which the Chinese path was born and lives. The magnificent culture that the Chinese nation has created for over 5000 years contains precious ideological resources and noble value pursuits, it contains important inspirations to resolve the difficulties that humanity faces at present, such as the beautiful ideals of “grand harmony” and “moderate prosperity”, the political concept that “the people are the root of a country, and if the roots are stable, the country is tranquil”, the spirit of struggle of “as Heaven is ever vigorous, the virtuous must constantly strive for improvement”, the important thought of “harmony in difference, and harmonious coexistence”, the broad heart of “maintaining amity through good faith”, “peace and harmony between all nations” and other such things, unobtrusively influence the ways of thinking and acting of Chinese people. But since modernity, some people have come to believe that the reason China fell back was not only because it was inferior in skills or systems, but because it was inferior in culture, it lost confidence in its national culture, and even put forward the viewpoint of “wholesale Westernization”. The Chinese Communist Party has taken up the great banner of inheriting and carrying forward Chinese culture, and proposing and developing advanced culture, it has used scientific theory to endow Chinese culture with advanced ideological content. During the long-term practice of revolution, construction and reform, we have held fast to the position of Chinese culture, inherited China’s cultural genome, promoted the creative transformation and innovative development of Chinese culture, shaped a modern Chinese culture, and provided rich nourishment for the creation and development of China’s path.

Value concepts are the core of a development path. To understand China’s path, we cannot overlook the dimension of values. For a nation or a country, the most persistent and the most profound force are core value views that the entire society jointly recognizes. Our Party has put forward the Socialist core value system which advocates wealth and strength, democracy, civilization and harmony, advocates freedom, equality, fairness and the rule of law, and advocates patriotism, respect for work, sincerity and amity, this profoundly answered the major question of which kind of country to build, which kind of society to build, and which kind of citizen to foster, it is the concentrated expression of the spiritual and value level of the Chinese path. This core value system inherits the value core of traditional Chinese culture, reflects the essential properties, development requirements and struggle objectives of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is the “greatest common denominator” of Chinese civic values. On the Chinese path, in the face of the intensifying mutual agitation, exchange, mingling and clashing of various ideologies and cultures, we forcefully construct the Socialist core value system, vigorously foster and practice the Socialist core value system, establish dominance over pluralism, seek consensus in diversity, and effectively integrate social ideologies and value pursuits. To persist in and expand the Chinese path, we must further strengthen self-confidence about values, we can absolutely not blindly become an echo of Western value concepts, and we can absolutely not lose our own spiritual independence.

The result of smelting yellow sand is gold. The formation and development of the Chinese path not only means material enrichment and institutional perfection, it also reflects spiritual plenty and cultural vitalization. The most important matter in this regard is inheriting and carrying forward a national spirit with patriotism at the core, casting a spirit of the times with reform and innovation at the core, and assembling them into a magnificent Chinese spirit. Along the way, we experienced baptisms through various major events, we were steeled by various risks and challenges, we incessantly infused the Chinese spirit with new vitality and content, and inspired the Chinese people to march toward the future with a vigorous and youthful spirit. On this path, we have pained a magnificent scroll of cultural development and flourishing, traditional plays, folksongs, folk music, stories, poems and other cultural forms have gained a bright life force, modern films, television dramas, popular music, network cartoons and other cultural forms emerge one after another in great splendour, cultural innovation, creation and vitality are incessantly strengthening, the cultural lives of the popular masses have become more varied and colourful, their spiritual world has been incessantly enriched. “Made in China” and “sent abroad”. Now, a “Chinese culture craze” continue to rise in temperature, Confucius institutes have opened branches and spread their leaves across more than 100 countries, learning Mandarin, reading Chinese books, watching Chinese films and listening to Chinese stories have begun being popular in a number of countries, the international influence and infectiousness of Chinese culture has greatly strengthened, and the long-standing and well-established Chinese culture is marching towards new glories.

Judging China’s path

We take the common development of and common sharing by the whole body of the people as the final standard.

China’s path is the choice of the people, and is created by the people, it has been worked out and marched by the Party leading the people. It may be said that every breakthrough and innovation we made in understanding and practice, the emergence and development of every novelty during reform and open up, the creation and accumulation of every important experience in modernization an construction, invariably originated from the practice and the wisdom of the popular masses. From the 18 peasant households in Xiaogang Village who put their red fingerprints on a “household contract”, as well as countless peasants washing their feet, leaving agriculture and throwing themselves into township and village enterprises, to “taking a long and arduous journey and suffering untold hardships” to set up people-run enterprises, etc., hundreds of millions of people have explored and innovated, this became a powerful driver for reform and opening up. Exactly because our Party respected the dominant role of the people, and respected the pioneering spirit of the masses, it was able to let all the vitality of all labour, knowledge, technology, management and capital compete and burst forth, and let all sources creating social wealth flow freely, which enabled the Chinese path to obtain the most profound sources of strength.

The people’s yearning for a beautiful life is our struggle objective. The Chinese people warmly love life, their are full of dreams, they hope for a better education, more stable jobs, more and comfortable housing conditions, they seek the protection of their dignity, the success of the undertakings and the realizations of their values. In more than three decades of reform and opening up, these simple drams have progressively come true, and they are now striding ahead to even higher levels. Our determination to invest in people’s livelihood is great, and our strength is great, this is rare everywhere in the world. We have taken ten years of time to realize a minimum living security system, a system for basic care for the elderly in town and country, and basic healthcare system with complete coverage, we have built a basic social security network that some Western countries have only completed in a century. Through many years of efforts, China now has 600 people who escaped from poverty, and completed seventy per cent of the complete global task of poverty reduction. There is no end to protecting the people’s livelihood, there is only an incessant stream of new starting points. Since the 18th Party Congress, household registration reform, student recruitment examination reform, and birth planning policy adjustment have been completed, and a batch of policies to improve people’s livelihoods has been rolled out, ensuring that more fruits of development are extended more fairly to the whole body of the People. The American scholar Kuhn believes that, “in all of human history, it has never happened that this many people have achieved these living standards at such a speed.”

On whether or not the path is good, the people who are on this path have the greatest right to speak. The Chinese people have personally felt the correctness of the Chinese path, through the sustained improvement in material living conditions, through the huge changes in the look of the country, and through their full hopes and desires, and have embraced this path in their hearts. Some people metaphorically say that in the more than three decades of reform and opening up, the absolute majority of Chinese people have actually undergone a “welfare revolution”, the “major purchase” consumption in common households has gone from wristwatches, bicycles, sewing machines in the past to refrigerators, colour television and washing machines, and again to houses, cars and computers at present, an earthshattering change has happened. At present, Chinese people have a relatively satisfied and optimistic attitude towards the general circumstances and development prospects of their own country. In 2013, the amount of returning overseas students exceeded 350.000, this is more than thirty times the number at the beginning of this century, and an increase of over 32 per cent annually. The “homecoming wave” of these overseas students clearly demonstrates the attraction of China, and from one angle reflects people’s convictions in the future of the country. With hundreds of millions of people firmly believing in the Chinese path, we will have ever more reason and ever more stamina to march along this path.

The question about the path is most fundamental, it relates to the rise and fall of the nation’s destiny, and the happiness of the people. In the Nineties of the previous century, when he stood on the bridgehead of the Yangpu Bridge, and overlooked the new Shanghai, where the great wave of reform and opening up was surging, Comrade Deng Xiaoping sighed: “the joy of seeing the road of today surpasses reading for a century.” We must ever more cherish the Chinese path, on which the Party has led the people to undergo untold hardships, and whose success has come against various kinds of costs, persistently and incessantly extend and expand it. We must incessantly deepen our ideological identification, theoretical identification and emotional identification with Socialism with Chinese characteristics, incessantly strengthen our self-confidence about the path, self-confidence about theory and self-confidence about the system, maintain our strategic orientation from beginning to end, not fear any risk, and not become doubtful for any interference. We firmly believe that the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics must become ever broader, and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the nation can absolutely be realized!


Parsing the New Internet Rules of China’s Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Supreme People’s Court issued a document with the – predictably convoluted – title “Supreme People’s Court Regulations concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Handing Civil Dispute Cases involving the Use of Information Networks to Harm Personal Rights and Interests”. This document provides instructions to People’s Courts on certain aspect of dealing with civil cases involving harm to personality rights, including the right to privacy, portrait rights and reputational rights. (Full disclosure, I was involved in an academic project that provided input into the drafting process). It has been drafted to supplement the broad language of Article 36 of the Tort Liability Law, which sets forth a basis of liability for the online infringement of citizens’ rights, and provides for basic remedial measures. The Article’s wording left many questions of procedure and substance unanswered, meaning that courts (which in China’s civil law-based system have considerably less leeway to interpret the law, and do not create binding precedents) often faced considerable difficulties in handling these cases.

So, what are the salient points?

Most of the provisions in the document relate to procedure, yet have important consequences for the potential liability of network service providers and a fortiori, Internet users. Article 3, for instance, indicates that if a plaintiff sues only an Internet user or a network service provider (rather than both), the defendant may request that the other party is added to the case as a joint defendant. In other words, defendants are incentivized to share the blame and, in case compensation is ordered, the costs. Internet service providers are also mandated to provide identity and contact details of Internet users posting unlawful information, and face punishment if they do not provide this (Article 4). So far, efforts to impose an online real-name registration system have only been moderately successful, but depending on the penalty companies might incur if they are not able to provide identity details to courts, that might just change a little. Yet the real-name requirement goes both ways, as Article 5 indicates that Internet service providers are exempt from liability if the plaintiff’s notification about the presence of harmful content does not include a full name and contact details, indication of the harmful information, and an explanation for why it might be harmful. Furthermore, plaintiffs who falsely indicate that certain information is unlawful, face tort liability themselves (Article 8).

One particular bugbear in Article 36 was knowledge of the infringement as a necessary basis for liability for Internet service providers. Article 9 of the SPC Regulations provide a number of possible factors, including whether the ISP actively processed the information, the extent to which it can be reasonably expected that the ISP has the ability to identify this kind of information, the degree to which it is clear that the information is unlawful, its influence and hit rate, the extent to which it is possible to carry out remedial measures, and whether a case concerns repeated infringement by the same user or through the same information. Another hot topic was the question of liability for retweeting information, particularly since criminal liability was imposed for retweeting false defamatory information more than 500 times last year. On the civil side of things, these regulations provide that fault is a condition for liability for retweets, and might be constituted by the duty of care borne by the retweeter, the extent to which it is clear that the information is unlawful, and whether or not the retweeter alters the information in a manner resulting in harm. This is an interesting inversion of the public figure doctrine as it exists in the US. Under American defamation law, prominent public figures must satisfy a higher burden of proof (actual malice) than common individuals in cases of alleged defamation against themselves. Within the Chinese system, public figures, such as online celebrities and “Big Vs”, bear a greater duty of care than common individuals not to defame others, because of the disproportional impact their expressions may have.

Article 11 confirms that tort liability applies also to defamatory expressions concerning commercial parties, as well as their products and services, while Article 12 imposes a presumption of tort liability in cases where individuals’ medical and criminal history, their household address, and other such private details are published. Exceptions include agreement or self-publication by the data subject, publication for the public interest or scientific research under conditions of anonymization, and for the purpose of obeying other laws and regulations. In short, it may be assumed that this presumption is not strong enough to prevent the publication of, say, the telephone book. A very broad exception is granted to State organs, who (at least as far as this particular provision is concerned) can publish whatever they like in fulfilment of their duties.

The SPC also goes after the much-maligned “black PR” business. First, it declares all agreements concerning the deletion, alteration or blocking of online information for payment invalid. Second, it institutes tort liability for these activities, meaning that affected users and ISP have a right to recourse (and compensation), and thus an incentive to sue. (Article 15) Further incentives to sue are introduced in Article 18, which provides that reasonable expenses incurred to stop the infringement, as well as reasonable lawyer’s fees may be included in the calculation of compensation. This might mitigate much of the cost of litigation, which has hitherto been identified as one of the higher barriers against the filing of cases. There is also a statutory amount of compensation provided for cases in which the actual damage is difficult to calculate, fixed at 500,000 Yuan (£50k/US$81k/€64,5k). This may not seem like a lot at first, but it is nearly twenty times the average amount of urban disposable income reported for 2013.

Is this not just another form of Internet control?

To a certain degree, yes. In particular, the requirement that ISPs must provide real identity information to courts when demanded has elicited some concern in foreign reports. Equally, there are legitimate questions about some of the wide exceptions given to State bodies in some of the new rules. But the matter is a bit more complex, and deserves more nuance than the simple “dictatorial government quashes civil rights” narrative.

1: These rules fall under civil law, not criminal or administrative law.

For non-lawyers: civil law is the law that governs relationships between individual citizens. Tort law is one part of it, and exists to provide relief to individual who suffer harm through wrongful actions by others. Consequently, cases within this area of law are initiated by the victim of a wrong, not by the State. This actually makes it not so useful a tool for coercive State power as criminal or administrative law – which the State controls much more. Furthermore, Chinese tort law (as, indeed, most of global tort law) is aimed at compensating harm, not punishing wrongdoing. In other words, the consequences of a finding of liability might result, for instance, in an order to pay compensation, restore the status quo ante, or an apology, not in prison time. (This is why media outlets should take care about the use of the word criminalization – it’s not because something is unlawful that it’s criminal). It may well be that officials might intervene on patrons’ behalf during litigation, just as happens in any other area of law, but problematic as that would be, it could in principle happen on both sides of the argument.

2: Much of the harm identified by these regulations is real

What is rarely discussed in Western media is that the Chinese Internet is rampant with various kinds of scams. The announcements that some general died in a country far away and generously left me a few million (which I receive on a regular basis – being a general apparently comes with a high death rate) pale in comparison with some of the stuff that goes on in China, which includes the alleged extortion of more than 100 companies by one of the country’s leading media group. In my view, it is not unreasonable, nor illegitimate, that legislators aim to protect citizens (and companies) from harm that might occur through malicious publication or alteration of online information, or at least create ways in which compensation might be sought.

3: Some provisions might actually enhance transparency

One of the targets of these new rules is the “black PR” industry, people who are paid to remove or alter publicly available information about companies, but also officials. It is one of the ways by which corrupt officials aim to avoid the gaze of Beijing’s censorate, the Central Discipline Inspection Committee. There is a continuing stream of reports about companies that used the industry to slander competitors, extort funds as indicated above, or remove negative stories about themselves. These new rules may, at least in theory, empower both the posters of legitimate information as the websites on which it is published.

Aren’t you just feeding the trolls now?

There are many, problems with the Chinese legal system that are far broader and more profound than these specific new rules. This new document actually illustrates them in quite an interesting manner. We get a lot of specifics about procedure: who can be liable, which documents are necessary to evade liability, under which circumstances can they be liable, etc. What this Judicial Interpretation does not provide, is a clear list of criteria to decide on the facts of the case, or in other words, how to determine whether a particular expression is defamatory or infringes another personal right, and if the answer to that is yes, whether there is a legitimate defence for having done so. In comparison, most voluminous section of the UK Defamation Act 2013 is the section outlining all particular defences, and their constitutive elements. Furthermore, it institutes a threshold of serious harm, to forestall lawsuits over trivial insults. De minimis non curat lex. But this Act exists within a broader legal context: one in which a constitutional presumption of free speech has been strongly established. The Defamation Act thus exists at the intersection of two fundamental principles: the (tort-based) protection against harm through wrongful acts, and the necessity to safeguard free speech – even if that entails certain individuals must be called upon to tolerate, or even suffer, certain harms. One of the most important reasons free speech is a fundamental part of many Western legal systems is exactly to protect publications that might be found offensive and harmful. One does not need free speech protection to publish Paddington Bear as much as one needs it to publish Common Sense. Political opinions, racy novels, horror films or religious treatises often easily evoke resentment and (at least perceived) harm to the self. But toleration of what is resented has become essential for the organization of an open and pluralist society – its impossible to please everyone. Neither is it possible to protect everyone from the inevitable vicissitudes of life through the law. Still, most legal systems in the world have – rightly, in my view – decided that free speech does not extend to malicious and false accusations, for instance. To be sure, the line is thin, and there will always be a good argument on why a particular lawsuit should have gone another way. That’s why we call it a judgment; most cases aren’t black or white, they imply a choice between two competitive arguments on the basis of legitimate concerns. Perhaps ironically, a steady stream of cases might be beneficial: it allows us to continue debating on the judgments and decisions made in concrete cases, and how they reflect the way we want our society to be governed. Also, it is beneficial not to try and legislate for all possible occurrences, the transaction costs would be horrible, reality might change in surprising ways, and the consequences of pernickety micromanagement might be worse than having legal disputes from time to time. In short: Western legal systems see legal disputes as inevitable at worst and possibly salutary at best.

Chinese law is founded on rather different assumptions, the most relevant to this discussion perhaps being the one that a legal system is perfectible, and thus eliminate all kinds of harm. The Imperial Code contained an article imposing punishment on all things “that should not be done”. Both Republican and Communist ideology was predicated on utopian ideals, remnants of which remain in, for instance, the Chinese Dream. Reform policy documents often contain the verb 完善 wanshan, or “to make perfect”. In short: there is no such thing as a legitimate (or unsolvable) problem. This is one reason why this website already contains about 900 translated legal documents: every time something happens that is deemed problematic, the government must do something, even if it is something as trivial as the employment of actors who might have used drugs. It also means that it is extremely tricky and sensitive to navigate the question of which harm one might be expected to tolerate. The instinct of the Chinese legal mind is simply to stop harm from occurring.

To a certain degree, that is a laudable aim. These new regulations would, for instance, provide a convenient path for Jennifer Lawrence to attenuate the circulation of her nude photos. All she would need to do, in theory, is sue the website on which they are posted (which, under Chinese law, must be registered and therefore are identifiable), which in turn can be required to identify all persons who have posted them. But the question is not about the individual alone, but about the collective as well. This approach would also mean that the Internet would be a lot less chaotic and raucous (for better and worse) than it is now. To the Chinese government, that is not a bad thing. Perhaps the best metaphor to describe China’s view of the Internet is a French garden: geometrically perfect and ordered, without a single sprig out of place. Indeed, the objective is to ensure that all sprigs, branches and leaves know their own place and behave accordingly. There are two unresolved problems here. First, what if people disagree with the vision or actions of the gardener? Second, it is difficult to see why citizens would act civilly on the Internet when the Party that governs them is riddled with corruption, is regularly – and clumsily – economical with the truth and steadfastly refuses to engage with broader society. In short, while there might be a case to be made for these rules on their own, they come into being against the background of an intractably dysfunctional system.








Xinhua: Standardizing Case Trials of Online Torts, the Supreme People’s Court Issues a Judicial Interpretation

This article was published by Xinhua on 9 October.

(Journalists Luo Sha, Xu Wei)

On the 9th, the Supreme People’s Court published the “Supreme People’s Court Regulations concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Handing Civil Dispute Cases involving the Use of Information Networks to Harm Personal Rights and Interests“, these Regulations will take effect on 10 October.

The Supreme People’s Court spokesperson, Sun Jungong, stated that this just-published Judicial Interpretation created a system of judicial rules for problems of Internet law together with the “Regulations concerning Some Issues of Applicable Law in Hearing Civil Dispute Cases on Infringement of the Right to Dissemination through Information Networks” and the “Interpretation concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Hearing Criminal Cases of Fabrication and Wilful Dissemination of False and Terrorizing Information”, and is of significant importance in standardizing online activities and establishing a desirable online order.

Courts can order network service providers to provide personal information and lock out infringers.

“When persons carrying out infringing acts online are hidden in the shadows, and publish posts without gods and ghosts knowing about it, it is often difficult to determine the defendant when persons suffering an infringement want to file a complaint”, said Yao Hui, the Vice-President of the First Civil Chamber of the Supreme People’s Court.

With regard to this sort of situation, this Judicial Interpretation provides new rules in two areas: the first is in terms of judicial procedure, it allows plaintiffs to only sue a network user or a network service provider. Where the defendant requests the addition of the network service provider suspected of infringement, or a network user can be determined as a joint defendant or third party, the People’s Court shall allow this.

The second clarifies that after the plaintiff files a complaint, People’s Courts may, on the basis of the circumstances of the case and the request of the plaintiff, order a network service provider to provide the personal information of an online user who is suspected of infringement, in order to make it easier for the plaintiff to file the case. This information includes the name, contact method, network address and other such information, by which a network user suspected of infringement can be identified.

“Where network service providers refuse to provide this information without valid grounds, People’s Courts may adopt punitive measures against the network service providers on the basis of the corresponding provisions of the Civil Procedure Law”, the Judicial Interpretation stipulates at the same time.

Liability must also be borne for “retweeting”, the determination of “fault” is key

Sun Jungong stated that social media, such as Weibo and WeChat which developed rapidly in recent years, as well as the self-media that these engendered, have a power far exceeding that of traditional media in aspects such as scope of distribution, influence, etc.

“In the light of this characteristic, the Judicial Interpretation includes provisions concerning the retweeting of online information”, he said.

The Judicial interpretation stipulates that People’s Courts establishing the fault of network users and network service providers in retweeting online information and its extent, shall comprehensively consider the following factors: a duty of care commensurate with the nature and scope of influence of the reprinting subject; the extent to which it is clear that the retweeted information infringes another person’s personal rights; whether or not the retweeted information has been substantially altered, whether or not article titles are added or altered, and the probability that this leads to grave inconsistency with content and may mislead the public.

“At present, the number of cases concerning self-media torts is not too prominent, but following the development of network technology, I feel that this sort of cases may become more frequent in the future”, Yao Hui stated, one important factor in establishing the responsibility borne by retweeters is “fault”, this requires that judges consider and judge the matter by integrating evidence and objective facts.

“For example, if you are a ‘Big V’, you should know that you might rashly retweet something, with a large influence. Your works, your every move might influence a great audience, your legal duties therefore include greater attention. You should be more cautious”.

Saying “no” to ‘paid-for post deletion” and “water armies”

“IN practice, one important factor among the reasons for the existence of the Internet industry, represented by illegal post deletion service, is that Internet technology is asymmetrical, network users posting infringing information or network service providers often have a technological superiority. This Judicial Interpretation provides rules against these activities through a civil liability angle”, Sun Jungong said.

The Judicial Interpretation provides that the People’s Courts shall determine invalid agreements between a person suffering infringement and a network user or network service provider committing infringement in which one side pays remuneration and the other side provides deletion, blocking, severance of links and other such services.

“Where specific online information is distorted, deleted or blocked without authorization, or other persons are prevented from obtaining online information through the method of severing links, and the network user or network service provider publishing the information concerned request that the infringer bears tort liability, the People’s Courts shall support this. Where entrustment by others is accepted to carry out the acts concerned, the entrusting person and the entrusted person bear joint liability.”

The Judicial Interpretation at the same time clarifies that where another person is employed, organized, instigated to or assisted with the publication or reprinting of online information that infringes another person’s personal rights and interests, and the person suffering infringement requests that the actors bear joint liability, the People’s Courts shall support this.

Reasonably determining whether network service providers “know” about infringement

Paragraph 3 of Article 36 of our country’s Tort Liability Law provides that: “Network service providers who know that network users use their network services to infringe another person’s civil rights and interest, and do not adopt necessary measures, bear joint liability with the network user concerned.”

This Judicial Interpretation includes the following provision on this matter: Where a People’s Court determines, on the basis of Paragraph 3 of Article 36 of the Tort Liability Law, whether a network service provider “knew”, it shall comprehensively consider the following factors: whether or not network service providers, through manual or automatic means, recommended, ranked, selected, edited, arranged, revised or in other ways processed the infringing online information; the ability to manage information that network service providers should have, as well as the nature and method of the provided service, and the extent of the probability that it might cause infringement; the category of personal rights and interests infringed by the online information concerned, as well as the degree of clarity; the extent of the social influence of the online information concerned, or its browsing rates for a determined period; the technological possibility for network service providers to adopt measures to prevent infringement, and whether corresponding reasonable measures have been adopted; whether or not network service providers have adopted corresponding reasonable measures against the same network users’ repeated act of infringement or the same infringing information; other factors related to the specific case.

“The Internet sector has entered a phase in which content, community and commerce are highly integrated, how to establish this “knowledge” required some caution”, Sun Jungong said, an overly stern standard might create overly onerous burdens for network service providers, influencing the free communication of lawful information. Overly lax standards then might lead to network service providers who are complacent about carrying out the necessary duty of care, indulging and even actively carrying out tortious acts.

Increased protection for personal information, expansion of judicial protection for persons suffering infringement

Sun Jungong stated that in the Internet era, the protection of personal information and especially personal electronic information faces many challenges.

This Judicial interpretation provides that where network users or network service providers use the network to publish genetic information, medical history materials, health investigation materials, criminal records, household addresses, personal activities and other such private and personal information, resulting in harm to others, and the person suffering infringement requests that they bear tort liability, the People’s Courts shall support this.

The Judicial Interpretation provides at the same time for circumstances in which exceptions are made. These include publication within the scope of an agreement with the natural person in writing, within the scope necessary to promote the social public interest, etc.

Furthermore, in response to the reality that in judicial practice, costs for rights defence are high, and the costs for using the network to infringe other persons’ personal rights and interests are low, the Judicial Interpretation provides that “reasonable expenses incurred by the person suffering infringement to terminate the infringing act, may be determined as asset loss according to the provisions of Article 20 of the Tort Liability Law”.

“Where it is not possible to determine the asset loss the person suffering infringement suffered because of harm to personal rights, or the profit the infringer obtained from this, People’s Courts may determine the amount of compensation, on the basis of the concrete circumstances of the case, to the extent of 500.000 Yuan or less”, the Judicial Interpretation provides.

Sun Jungong said that these Regulations expand the judicial protection for persons suffering infringement, benefit containing the sprawl of online torts and thereby realize that the online atmosphere is normal and orderly.

SIIO Director’s Five Priorities for Internet Development

Between 26 and 28 August, the 2014 China Internet Conference took place in the Beijing International Conference Centre. State Internet Information Office Vice-Director Ren Xianliang delivered an address at the opening ceremony of this Conference.

Respected Minister Miao, Minister Shang and Academician Wu, guests, friends:

Good morning everyone!

The 2014 China Internet Conference ceremoniously starts here today, this is a grand occasion for our country’s Internet circles this year. I sincerely represent the State Internet Information Office in expressing warm congratulations for the successful convention of the Conference.

Since it was first organized in 2002, successive Internet Conferences have been closely tied up with trends in the sector’s development, have incessantly explored and innovated, its content has become ever richer, its forms have become ever more diverse, which fully reflects the huge achievements made in our country’s Internet development, it has become a distinguished gathering for the sector to jointly discuss major affairs on Internet development, and has played a positive role in deepening cooperation and exchange, stimulating sectoral innovation, and moving the sector’s development forward.

This Conference’s theme is “creating limitless opportunities – forging an economic era for a new age”, which gives prominence to the important position and role of the Internet in assisting economic development, stimulating social transformation and enriching the lives of the common people. This topic is very important, I hope everyone fully uses the platform that this Conference created to jointly explore channels to innovate information technology, safeguard cybersecurity and move informatization forward, and to promote the continued healthy development of China’s Internet.

In the 20 years since China’s complete access to the international Internet, our country’s Internet has seen developments at flying speed, and it has become the largest Internet country in the world with 6332 million netizens. At present, the Internet has merged into every aspect of social life, it has profoundly changed economic and social development, and people’s production and living methods, it has promoted the innovation of social management and the modernization of the governing system, and brought unprecedented new opportunities and new challenges to Chinese society.

In the beginning of this year, the Centre established the Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization, General Secretary Xi Jinping personally took up the post of director of this Leading Group, at the first meeting of the Leading Group on 27 February, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the important judgment that “without cybersecurity, there is not national security, without informatization, there is no modernization”, he stressed that our strategic objective is to build a strong network country, and the strategic deployment to build a strong network country must advance in step with the “Two Centuries” struggle objective. This fully reflects the firm determination of the Party and the State in protecting cybersecurity and promoting the development of informatization. The Centre is paying great attention to cybersecurity and informatization work, which as also placed great expectations on Internet circles. We must deeply comprehend the spirit of the Centre, closely follow the tide of the technological revolution in information technology worldwide, and vigorously throw ourselves into constructing a strong network country.

Here, I would like to raise a few points of opinion, and exchange and explore them with everyone.

First, we must make innovation into the perpetual thread of Internet development. When looking over the history of the Internet’s development, every technological breakthrough is the result of people diligently seeking out incessant innovations. It can be said that innovation is the genome of the Internet, and the source of the Internet’s vitality and vigour. There are no limits to the development of the Internet, neither are there limits to innovation, we must now squarely face up to the great opportunities brought by a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial change. In the area of the Internet, we must urgently accelerate the implementation of the strategy to drive development with innovation, with participation from many sides, working hand in hand, and jointly forge a cyberspace that is full of vigour and rich in innovation.

We must promote the close integration of Internet innovation and economic and social development, encourage and support, small, mid-size and micro-enterprises to vigorously participate and compete, stimulate the vitality of the market, lay stress on giving rein to the decisive role of the market in allocating resources, and ensure that enterprises truly become the core and backbone forces in Internet innovation. We must persist in a problem-based orientation, closely follow new global Internet science and technology development trends, clarify the direction of the main attack in Internet innovation, enhance original innovation, integrated innovation, and import-digestion-re-innovation capacities, and seize the commanding heights in Internet science and technology competition and future development. We must strive to improve the environment for talent development, improve talent evaluation and incentive mechanisms, establish and complete talent fostering systems, select, use and employ talents well, and strengthen the knowledge support driving Internet innovation. We must strengthen international innovation, further accelerate the pace of “bringing in” and “marching out”, actively participate in global science and technology exchange and cooperation, support enterprises in establishing research and development bodies overseas, and vigorously merge them into global innovation networks.

Second, we must make media convergence into an important part of Internet development. The development of the Internet has promoted the cross-boundary convergence of traditional media and new media, the converged development of traditional media and new media has become an important trend in the development of Internet content. Promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media is an urgent and strategic task, we must establish integrated development ideas, and do more exploratory work to promote the convergence of traditional media and new media in areas including content channels, platforms, operations and management.

We must persist in Internet thinking, act on the basis of the development laws of new media, plan and move work in all areas forward, we must fully use the most advanced network technology means to transform traditional media, innovate information dissemination models, and occupy the commanding heights of information dissemination, including using microblogs, WeChat and other such platforms, operate good legal persona accounts, and broaden user scope; use big data and cloud computing technology in the production, storage and distribution if news products; under the precondition of respecting user privacy, provide individualized and localized news services grounded in the people’s needs, enhance news and propaganda effects in the mobile Internet environment.

We must persist in using advanced technology as support and content construction as the root. New Internet technologies and new businesses emerge incessantly, and change information carriers and forms, yet what remains unchanged is the competitive rule that “content is king”. We must give rein to the superiorities of traditional media and new media, fully utilize new technologies and new methods, develop through convergence, and give rein to traditional media’s strengths in areas such as information gathering, analysis and interpretation to the greatest extent, at the same time, we must use new media’s forms of expression and dissemination methods to display news and information products better.

We must persist in differentiated strategies, and march the path of characteristic development. There is no one model or path for converged media development, different media forms and different media organs must strengthen the extent to which they suit measures to local conditions, explore pluralisation, formulate development strategies suited to the characteristics of each, draft roadmaps and timelines, get onto the path of differentiated converged development as soon as possible, and avoid homogenized, malicious competition.

Third, we must make security into a powerful guarantee for Internet development. Security is the precondition for innovation and the guarantee for development, it is the Internet’s “lifeline” and an indication of core competitiveness. At present, our country’s faces a very severe cybersecurity situation. Up to now, our country has not formed indigenous and controllable computer technology, software technology and electronic technology systems, core technology and crucial services used in important information systems and crucial infrastructure still rely on the outside world. The servers, storage equipment, operating systems and data bases of our government departments and important industries are mainly foreign products, and it is difficult to be optimistic about the cybersecurity situation.

Our country is one of the main victims of cyber attacks, a report from the National Internet Emergency Response Centre indicates that the number of alterations and backdoor attacks against our country’s Internet sites has shown a rising trend for successive years, while government websites have become an important target for attacks. The absolute majority of cybersecurity threats emerge from website information systems and are especially induced by using security leaks existing in systems, some relatively well-known media, finance and payment bodies have become the target of imitation websites, bringing real threats to national information security and financial security.

Grasping indigenous, controllable, secure and trustworthy core Internet technology is the key in realistically guaranteeing cyber and information security, and even national security. In the area of core technology, especially in the areas of chips and operating systems, we must – from the height of safeguarding national security – expand our capability to tackle strategic technological problems, and bring out our own competitive products. Perfect security protection systems, build strong “dikes and dams”, guard “the passes” well, and block “back doors”.

On the other hand, network and information security are not limited to the technical level, they also involve cultural and ideological security, which merit our high attention. The fragmented and high-speed development of network technology has led to major changes in the media structure and the public opinion ecology. All kinds of new technology platforms fostered on the Internet have enabled ever more people to become used to obtaining information through mobile phones and other mobile terminals, new media’s ability to set discussion topics and influence public opinion has progressively strengthened, challenging traditional media’s capacity for public opinion guidance. At the same time, the openness characteristic of the Internet has stimulated the cross-border flow of information, all kinds of ideologies and cultures are interacting, mingling and clashing on a global scale, on a daily intensifying basis. In Internet culture dissemination, we should strengthen our national identification, ethnic identification, political identification and cultural identification, protect our “cultural borders” and defend the country’s cultural security and ideological security.

Fourth, we must make responsibility into an inherent demand of the Internet’s development. The development of the Internet has enriched every one of us, stimulating the Internet’s healthy and sustained development is a responsibility that all walks of society must shoulder. Government controlling departments must take a leading role, and build, manage and use the Internet well, promote the construction of a national network legal system, and strive to build a good ecological environment for the Internet. Internet enterprises shall have a central role, abide by laws, regulations and sector norms, respect social responsibility, observe commercial ethics, move trust-building forward, and provide core competitiveness for the sustainable development of China’s Internet. Sector associations shall play a nodal and promoting role, participate in public service, carry out solid sector surveys and research, unite industrial circles, and launch sector self-discipline activities in a characteristic and influential manner. The broad netizens shall vigorously participate in cyber governance, and must ensure they use the web in a civilized manner, express themselves reasonably, observe the “seven baseline” and vigorously transmit positive energy.

Fifth, we must make the rule of law into a firm basis of Internet governance. On the global level, in the area of governance, through many years of exploration and practice, all countries have shaped management models with law at the basis, which comprehensively use technological, economic, administrative and many other kinds of means. In our country, governing the Internet according to the law is a concrete reflection and demand in the Internet area of ruling the country according to the law.

For many years, our country’s government has persisted in management according to the law, and scientific management of the Internet, it has striven to perfect the Internet management system, and promulgated a series of laws and regulations, which provided norms for the responsibilities and duties of basic telecommunications operators, Internet access service providers, Internet information providers, Internet users and other actors, and provide legal guarantees to build a healthy, civilized, harmonious and orderly network ecology and environment.

But generally speaking, our country’s Internet legislation still faces the problems that it is insufficiently up-to-date, it is not strongly systematized, and the status of law remains relatively low, it is especially so that, following the rapid development of new Internet technologies and businesses, related legal problems have emerged in quick succession, such as difficulties in gathering evidence after netizens’ property rights are infringed, disputes existing over jurisdictional powers in Internet tort cases, difficulties of applicable law in cross-border network crimes, etc. We must integrate the networks’ globalization, virtualization, dynamization and other such characteristics, as well as the newest trends in Internet development, strengthen top-level design, build and Internet legal system, earnestly conduct surveys and research, focus on aspects such as crucial infrastructure, Internet resources, information security, junk information, online copyright, e-commerce, cybercrime and other areas, and timely carry out corresponding legislation and legal revision work.

Comrades, friends! Our country’s realization of the transition from being a large network country to being a strong network country is inseparable from the powerful leadership of the Party and the government, and is inseparable from the joint efforts of the industry and the vigorous participation of all walks of society. The universe is boundless, the Milky Way is resplendent. In a future era when everything is connected, it will be the Internet that connects heaven, earth and humankind, and every one of us will be a weaver of this “web”, let us cooperate in jointly building an even brighter tomorrow for China’s Internet.

Thank you, everyone!

Central Reform Leading Group Approves Media Convergence Plan

On Monday 18 August, the Central Leading Group for the Comprehensive Deepening of Reform – established in the wake of the 18th Party Congress – met for the 4th time. Among the documents it approved is a programme to integrate different media sectors, the “Guiding Opinions for the Converged Development of Traditional Media and New Media” (关于推动传统媒体和新兴媒体融合发展的指导意见). As is common with this kind of document, these Guiding Opinions have not been published. However, Xinhua today published a short summary of some of the main points:

The “Opinions” point out that integrating news media resources and promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media is an important task in implementing the Centre’s deployment concerning comprehensively deepening reform and moving reform and innovation in the propaganda and cultural sphere forward, and is an important measure to adapt to the profound changes in the media structure and improve the communication strength, credibility, influence and public opinion guidance ability of mainstream media. Converged development ensures that our mainstream media can scientifically use advanced communications technology, strengthen information production and service capacities, even better communicate the voice of the Party and the government, and satisfy the popular masses’ information demands even better.

The “Opinions” point out that in promoting converged media development, we must abide by the laws of news communication and the development laws of new media, strengthen Internet thinking, persist in the correct orientation and public opinion guidance, persist in comprehensive planning and coordination, persist in innovative development, persist in integrated development, and persist in using advanced technology as support.

The “Opinions” point out that, to promote converged media development, we must put technological construction and content construction in an equally important position, we must comply with the mobilization, social mediatization and audiovisualization trends of Internet communications, vigorously use big data, cloud computing and other such new technologies, develop mobile clients, mobile websites and other such new applications and new business models to incessantly raise technological development levels, use new technology to lead the converged development of media, and drive the transformation and improvement of media. At the same time, we must adapt to the communications characteristics of new media, strengthen content construction, innovate newsgathering and editing workflows, optimize information services, and win the development superiority through content superiority.

The “Opinions” point out that, to promote converged media development, we must act according to the demands of moving matters forward vigorously, scientific development, standardized management, and guaranteeing orientations, promote the profound integration of traditional media and new media in areas such as content, channels platforms, operations and management, strive to forge a batch of new-type mainstream media with diverse forms, advanced methods and competitiveness, build a number of new-type media groups having strong force, communication strength, credibility and influence, and shape a three-dimensional, diverse and modernized communications system with converged development. We must grasp convergence with one hand and management with one hand, and guarantee that converged development proceeds in the correct direction from beginning to end.

Media convergence – the ability to access different forms of content through various channels and gadgets – has gained in priority after its inclusion in the Decision on reform that was taken at last year’s 3rd Plenum. In April, Central Propaganda Department director Liu Qibao published a long essay on the topic, while Xinhua released a first annual report on the converged development of China’s new media a few weeks ago.

This convergence policy is a direct consequence of the growth of China’s social media and the development of technology. Throughout the early 2000s, China’s traditional propaganda outlets remained preoccupied with classical media forms, including print and broadcasting, while paying less attention to developing Internet-specific technologies and approaches. But the rapid price drop of smartphones and the expansion of mobile broadband meant that fewer and fewer audiences obtained their information through legacy channels. Furthermore, these new platforms enabled netizens not only to obtain, but also to generate information. This fostered the successive proliferation of Weibo and WeChat, platforms where the government’s voice was relatively absent. Weibo came to public prominence through its role in events such as the 2011 Wenzhou train crash, leading some observers to openly speculate that the Party would no longer be able to control and contain the spread of information.

The Party recognised the impact of social media and the difficulty that it faced in maintaining dominance in the sphere of public opinion, and particularly since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, launched a succession of policy initiatives and campaigns to tame the autonomy of online media and mobilise it for its own purpose. It went after Weibo first: a well-publicised campaigns against “Big Vs” – online celebrities and opinion leaders not affiliated with the state – curtailed political discourse on the platform, chasing many influential voices to the comparatively much more private environment of WeChat. Simultaneously, local governments and departments were encouraged to set up their own Weibo accounts, in order to more closely engage with their populations. More recently, WeChat came into the spotlight: in March, a number of popular public accounts were blocked, while recent new regulations impose real name obligations for all users, and a licensing process for public accounts.

Having largely eliminated the autonomous public voices that Weibo and WeChat rendered possible, this convergence programme now seems aimed to reconstruct public discourse in the Party’s image. This is a multi-pronged initiative, which encompasses news and current affairs, but also central and local government-society communications. The convergence programme seems mainly oriented towards the former, as the propaganda leadership aims to re-establish dominance in the area of news and current affairs, with its traditional content providers – People’s Daily, CCTV and Xinhua – in the lead. These outlets are encouraged to develop interactive and audiovisual content, such as the cartoon about China’s leadership selection process that garnered quite a bit of attention last year, and to create mobile client apps and websites to present their content to audiences in a more attractive manner. The objective: to render a picture of normality that is subconsciously accepted by China’s population, without having to resort to overt indoctrination. As a People’s Daily editorial put yesterday:

Media communication work essentially is the work of creating people’s thoughts. Invisible propaganda is the most brilliant communication. Coercion is ineffective, only by bringing life as the spring breeze and rain, by silently watering everything is it possible to reach people’s hearts.

It is not yet clear how this initiative is supposed to be realised in practice, and the published announcements remain vague in their descriptions of policy measures and specific objectives. It is purported that convergence will result in “a batch of new-type, competitive mainstream media with diverse forms and advanced methods, a number of new media groups that are strong in power, dissemination strength, credibility and influence, and a modern communication system that is three-dimensional and diverse, with converged development”. To this end, reports indicate that the leadership will rely on the expertise in the generation of correct content of traditional media enterprises, as well as the capabilities that private technology and media companies have built up in developing marketshare and creating attractive products for users. In other words, there seems to be a growing recognition that the Party and state do not need to be in charge of the entire value chain, as long as they are able to intelligently use solutions developed elsewhere for their own purposes.

There are indications that this will lead to an approach not too dissimilar to the tack taken to attract foreign technology over the past decades: allowing private players access to profitable markets under conditions where they have to cooperate with state-owned enterprises, for instance in the form of joint ventures. In his April article, Liu Qibao indicated that it would be more efficient for the administration to use existing smartphone technology, social media platforms and app stores, rather than invent its own, which possibly implies greater efforts to co-opt China’s Internet giants into the state-directed system.  The People’s Daily quotes  Yu Guoming, a professor of journalism at Renmin University of China:

Concerning the convergence between the networks of the future and communication media, Yu Guoming said that in the future, mergers between websites and traditional media will become necessary. There are three main points for future development. The first is good content, this is the strong suit of traditional media; the second is technological support, the third is insights into users, traditional media themselves have insufficient insight into the market, and Internet companies are extremely strong, they are the most able to develop the market through big data and many other such methods.

In any case, share prices of state media enterprises have gone up considerably. This is not strange, given the fact that this announcement effectively means that more investment will be poured into central media enterprises, and they will be given privileged positions in important developing information-based markets. One previous example is the People’s Daily Public Sentiment Monitoring Office, which now dominates the highly lucrative market for reports on public opinion. Similar possibilities for other companies are tantalising prospects for investors. For citizens, it signals yet another advance for a technocratic regime that uncannily resembles Huxley’s imagination.

People’s Daily People’s Commentary: Only by Embracing Convergence Can Traditional Media Have a Tomorrow

Li Haoran

News employees can hardly contain their excitement, all kinds of interpretative articles successively “fill the screen”, shares of People’s Daily Online and other media are trading up… As soon as the news that the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform deliberated and passed the “Guiding Opinions concerning Promoting the Converged Development of Traditional Media and New Media” at its 4th meeting was published, it attracted close attention from various circles.

As early as last year, the 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress clearly pointed out: “integrate news media resources, promote the converged development of traditional media and new media”. This passing of the Guiding Opinions undoubtedly means a further detailed implementation of the reform deployment of the Plenum. This both lets people see the determination and courage of the Centre in firmly moving forward with real knives and real guns, and gives prominence to how urgent vigorous planning and arranging matters as early as possible is in an ever-changing communication structure. Continue reading

People’s Daily: Telling China’s Story Well in a New Converged Media Structure

This article was originally published in People’s Daily on 19 August

Guo Ping

As the “lowered head tribe” are ambling through the torrent of information, they might not yet have paid attention to the fact that media themselves are seeing a profound change.

From the People’s Daily client coming online ceremoniously to the wind and waves stirred up in a short time by ThePaper.cn, and again to a number of Internet portal websites’ resigning themselves to “also being traditional media” as new media swiftly storm the beaches, the harbinger of media transformation have arrived everywhere already. And the starting gun has officially gone off on 18 August 2014. This day and this year will be written into the annals of history as the first year of converged media development in China. Continue reading

SIIO Spokesperson’s Comments concerning the “Provisional Regulations for the Development and Management of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services”

This interview was originally posted on the Xinhua website.

The State Internet Information Office convened a press conference on the 7th, to announce the “Provisional Regulations for the Development and Management of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services” (hereafter simply named “Regulations”), which imposes standards on instant messaging service providers, user services and user conduct, and puts forward clear management demands for engaging in public information service activities through instant messaging tools. To this end, a Xinhua journalist interviewed a SIIO spokesperson. Continue reading

Notice concerning Strengthening Education on Ideals, Convictions and Moral Conduct in Cadre Education and Training

Yesterday, the CCP Central Organization Department issued new requirements concerning cadre education. Amongst others, they demand active resistance to Western norms and concepts. The notice has not been made public, the following is a translation of a summary in today’s People’s Daily. 

Yesterday, the Central Organization Department issued the “Notice concerning Strengthening Education on Ideals, Convictions and Moral Conduct in Cadre Education and Training”, which demands that all localities and all departments strengthen education on ideals, convictions and moral conduct, and guide and assist cadres to continuously persist in Communist ideals and faith in Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and continue to hold fast to the spiritual garden of Communist Party members. Continue reading

Pay High Attention to Online Ideological Security

This article by Lieutenant-General Li Dianren of the National Defence University was published first in the Chinese Journal of Social Science, and republished on Seeking Truth online, on 15 June.

Li Dianren

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that cybersecurity and informatization are two wings of one bird and two wheels of one cart, they must be uniformly planned, uniformly deployed, uniformly moved forward and uniformly implemented. In constructing a strong network country, we must, together with strengthening informatization construction and guaranteeing the security of information infrastructure, give high regard to building a social governance system for the network, guarantee ideological cybersecurity, and incessantly strengthen our capacity to protect cybersecurity.

I, We must put safeguarding ideological cybersecurity in an equally important position as safeguarding information technology security. Continue reading

State Council publishes new Copyright Law Revision Draft

On 6 June, the State Council Legal Affairs Office published a new draft to revise the Copyright Law (h/t China IPR). This is the third draft that has been published, reviving an process that had fallen someway out of the spotlight during the turbulent first year of the Xi administration. The State Council is accepting responses and opinions concerning this draft until 5 July. After this, it will conceivably be sent to the National People’s Congress for further reading. I am currently comparing the new version with the second revision draft, published by the National Copyright Administration in 2012, and will publish a full translation and comment in due course. In the mean time, the State Council’s accompanying explanatory document is translated below.

Explanation of the “Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China” (Submission Version of the Revision Draft)

In order to smoothly carry out the revision work of the Copyright Law, the National Copyright Association has established a special “National Copyright Administration Leading Group for Copyright Law Revision Work” and a “National Copyright Administration Expert Committee for Copyright Law Revision Work”, these broadly solicited opinions and suggestions from all walks of society concerning work to revise the law, and have entrusted three education and research work units that are relatively influential domestically in the area of copyright to draft separate expert suggestion drafts for the revision of the Copyright Law. After the first versions of the Copyright Law Revision Drafts were created, the National Copyright Administration solicited opinions respectively from the social public, legislative, judicial and administrative departments, as well as corresponding social organizations, through its official website and special letters, it organized or participated in specific conferences directed at soliciting opinions in specific areas, specific sectors of specific departments, and heard suggestions and opinions in face-to-face meetings with relevant interested subjects. More than a year ago, on the basis of broadly listening to the opinions of the social public and domestic and foreign relevant organs, and through repeated research, analysis and argumentation, it created the “Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China” (Submission Version of the Revision Draft) (hereafter simply named Submission Version”). Hereby, the relevant content from the Submission Version is explained as follows: Continue reading

Stimulating New Online Media to Shape an Objective and Rational Online Ecology

This article by SIIO vice-director Ren Xianliang was published in Red Flag Manuscripts on 9 June. It mainly takes stock of the development of broad trends online, and identifies challenges to be overcome. Specifically, it points to the development of new models of communication and information management, as well as the development of new online activities such as banking, as opportunities to be exploited as well as challenges to be managed. Furthermore, it identifies cybersecurity as a necessary component of further Internet development, referring to the establishment of the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization earlier this year. In terms of steps forward, it continues the emerging discourse of strengthening top-level design, strengthening norms and standards, and relying on the industry and citizens themselves to play an important role in developing an organic “network ecology”. Ren implies that the crackdown which started next year and has continued hitherto may become the new normal. In other words, we can expect continued harsh action against critical voices and potential risks, while the commercial development of the industry will be stimulated.

Ren Xianliang

Abstract: Even thought there are differences in international society on how to manage the Internet, the attitude of “the Internet needs stronger governance” is consistent. No country can permit the Internet to become a “land outside the law”. The Centre has decided to establish higher-level Internet management organs, which expanded top-level design strength, rationalized and integrated online governance structures, realistically upgraded new media application levels and governance levels, and promoted the shaping of an objective and rational online ecology from the height of modernizing the country’s governance capacity.

This year is the 20th year since China gained access to the international Internet. In 20 years, the information technology revolution has brought something new every day, Internet applications and innovations emerge one after another, they have rapidly merged into every aspect of society, and have promoted China’s economic and social development to an unprecedented depth and breadth, and changed people’s production and living methods. At present, China’s Internet development is showing new tendencies, which merit research.

I, The new trends of network development.

Wu Hequan, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering has described the development of China’s Internet for the last 20 years as follows: “We have bypassed the PC era where computers were central and figures were the main interface, we have bypassed the network era in which software was central, we have reached the cloud computing age where data is central, we have reached the era of the Internet of things in which applications are central and the Internet is fundamental”. Scientific and technological development and innovation is boundless, the new business models and new trends in the Internet era are numerous. At present, our country’s Internet development mainly has the following new characteristics:

1. Big data, cloud computing, the Internet of things and other new-generation Internet technologies will profoundly change economic development methods, and production and life methods.

Informatization has become a strong driver for the promotion of economic and social transformation, the realization of sustainable development and the upgrading of a country’s comprehensive competitiveness worldwide. As the clearest symbol of informatization, the Internet has entered the era of big data, cloud computing and the Internet of things. Through more than twenty years of rapid development, our country has developed into a large country of new Internet technology and applications: the number of netizens exceeds 600 million, ranking number one globally; there are 4 million websites, and we are only second to the US in the quantity of website visits; there are 1.2 billion mobile phone users, and the number of mobile network users exceeds 800 million.

After the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping clearly pointed out: “without informatization, there is no modernization”, and “promote industrialization, urbanization and the modernization of agriculture through informatization”. A while ago, the “National New Urbanization Plan (2014-2020)” was promulgated, into which intelligent cities were written. This is both a major plan that is related to the future of the country and the fate of its cities, and is an important handhold for our country’s sustainable and healthy economic development. On the one hand, the rapid move ahead with urbanization has provided a broader space for the development of China’s Internet; on the other hand, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, big data and other such informatization technologies will see accelerated innovation and gain wide application in this process, providing powerful driving support to optimize the composition of future cities. Intelligent cities are a high-level stage of urban informatization, and represent the development trends of future urbanization. To live in intelligent cities, intelligent traffic systems can help you chose the best route, long-distance healthcare systems can allow you to enjoy treatments at home, intelligent domestic servers are able to provide the most reasonable health suggestions on the basis of temperature, humidity, body temperature and other indications. The realization of these functions is inseparable from big data, is inseparable from cloud computing, and inseparable from the Internet of Things, it may be said that intelligent cities are the organic integration of the real world and the digital world. In more than 20 cities in our country, intelligent city demonstration point work has begun, by 2025, government investment in intelligent cities promises to exceed 2 trillion Yuan, which will rapidly drive the accelerated growth of related industrial chains and enterprises, foster new converged industrial forms across areas, and create 4 million job opportunities.

Big data is not equal to “big amounts of data”, but it is cross-sectoral, comprehensive, dynamic and meaningful data. Some people say that big data is the “gold” of the Internet industry, enterprises track users’ “data footprints” through the Internet of Things, they then integrate and analyse it in order to provide a basis for policy decisions for enterprise development. Because of this, to a certain degree, a huge mass of users means market potential and development prospects. In the last two years, e-commerce has rapidly expanded in our country, and ever more businesspeople have forcefully expanded online channels outside of traditional sales models, ever more people have changed their purchasing habits, they love online shopping, they stay at home and enjoy entertainment on Haitao. Last year, our country’s e-commerce market exchange value reached 10 trillion Yuan. From 2010 onward, the competitive commercial activities by which Internet service businesses have vied for market share with their commercial adversaries have grown ever more intense, they not only influence the ecology within the industry, they have also radiated to netizens numbering in hundreds of millions. Last year, Yu’ebao advertised with an interest rate that is higher than current deposit accounts with banks, and in three months, accumulated 16 million new accounts. Starting in the second half of 2013, Yu’ebao, “Huoqitong” (jointly rolled out by Tencent, Tenpay, Huaxia Fund and Huaxia Money), “Baifa Financial Management” (under the banner of Baidu) and other such Internet finance management products have successively emerged, and the competition in the electronic commercial banking area as turned white hot.

It can be imagined that the daily renewal of new Internet technology not only deeply changed social and economic development methods and people’s production and living standards, they have also put forward a series of new topics and new challenges for economic and social management.

2. Wearable terminal equipment is appearing, and mobile Internet development profoundly influences social development trends.

The mobile Internet with smartphones and tablet computers as terminals has grown explosively, and is one of the clearest characteristics of the development of China’s Internet in the past two years. In life, everyone can directly experience the quantity of mobile netizens. In the underground, on buses and in cafes, everywhere the “lowered head tribe” can be seen, they listen to music, watch movies, buy things, chat, read, etc., and all of this is realized on mobile phones. When getting together with friends or dining with relatives, mobile phones must always be placed on the table, it is as it is said: “the longest distance in the world is not between me at the edge of heaven and you at the corner of the sea, but it is when you are playing with your mobile phone when I’m next to you”.

Mobile terminals are not only mobile phones and tablet computers, wearable equipment will initiate a new and more magnificent chapter for the mobile Internet. During the Two Meetings period this year, pictures of a People’s Daily journalist wearing Google glasses during interviews aroused considerable interest. Google glasses have a similar function to smartphones, they can take pictures through voice command, record conversations, give directions and surf online, process written information and e-mails, although they are not yet openly sold, similar wearable terminals undoubtedly will be one of the development directions of the mobile Internet. The evolution and renewal of these terminals not only changes the production methods of media, it also influences people’s news consumption customs, up to the point where they influence social development trends. The annual report on news media published by the American Pew Research Centre (State of the News Media 2013) shows that nearly one third (31%) of American youths have abandoned one medium (including stopping to read a paper medium, or no longer watching a television channel), the reason for that abandonment is that these media are no longer able to provide the news they want. At the same time, the largest global social media site, Facebook, has become the largest news reading network un the US, 64% of US youths use this website monthly.

Among Chinese netizens, the proportion of people using mobile phones to go online has risen from 74.5% at the end of 2012 to 81.0%, far higher than the proportion of netizens using other means to go online. Following the expansion of 3G and 4G networks, some industry models, business models and commercial models have incessantly replaced older iterations. QR code tracing technology has been adopted in the production and sale of Xinjiang Aksu apples, to supervise and control the production, logistics and consumption process of apples. These small applications have brought a brand premium of 20-30% to enterprises, reduced losses through counterfeits, safeguarded consumers rights and interest, and engendered a very good social effect and economic effect.

The expansion process of the mobilization of internet business is already comprehensively spreading out, funds, technology and talent are rapidly gathering together, and this is becoming one of the areas developing the most rapidly, in which competition is the most intense and innovation is the most vivacious.

3. The Central Leading Group for Internet Information has been established, this means that cybersecurity and informatization construction have been elevated to being a national strategy.

Last year, Snowden and the “PRISM” plan put the severity of the issue of online information security in the face of the entire world. It woke up every person and every country: online information systems have become basic platforms and nerve centres for political, economic, cultural and social activities, if they are destroyed, it may bring grave consequences to financial communications in an entire country, to energy and transport, defence and military affairs, and many other areas relating to the national economy and people’s livelihoods, as well as core national interests. The network has broken through national boundaries in the traditional sense, they are a sort of “new frontier” for countries, major countries’ value understandings concerning cybersecurity are incessantly deepening, cyberspace security has been elevated to the height of national security strategy, and is planned and directed as such. The US, the UK, France, Germany and other major countries have all formulated cyberspace security strategies. According to incomplete statistics, more than 50 countries have already published cybersecurity strategies, more than 40 countries have established cyber warfare units. It may be said that the most important battlefield in global competition in the next ten years will be the Internet.

Being a large Internet country is not the same as being a strong Internet country. Our country currently has 4 million websites, and ranks first worldwide in the number of netizens, it has the highest quantity of broadband access, and only ranks second to the US in terms of website visits, it is truly a large Internet country worthy of that name. But, there are some indicators that are lacking behind levels of developed countries worldwide, such as the rate of Internet penetration. By December 2013, our country’s Internet penetration rate was 45,8%, less than 50%. On the other hand, the market value of our publicly traded Internet companies is still far behind in comparison with the U.S, China’s Internet enterprises established after 2005, so far have not emerged on domestic trading lists. In the area of safeguarding cybersecurity, although we have exerted grave efforts, regulatory structures are incomplete, methods are not rich, technology is not up to the mark, this creates very large risks in cybersecurity. Only in 2013, 2430 of our country’s government websites were altered, a comparative growth of 34.9%. Especially the Internet area lacks indigenously innovated core technology, from hardware to software, from basics to applications, from products to services, a large difference exists with Western developed countries and even with South Korea and India. 82 per cent of servers, 73.9 per cent of storage devices, 95.6 per cent of operating systems and 91.7 per cent of databases in our country’s government departments and important sectors are foreign products. Our country’s annual import of chips is worth in excess of 200 billion US dollars, which is higher than the 120 billion US dollars of imported oil. US Internet enterprises have seemingly penetrated into every segment of our country’s cyberspace, covering all areas of information technology. At the same time, in online life, the lawful rights of network users, and individual privacy have repeatedly been violated, online viruses, the human flesh search engine, cyberattacks, online secrecy theft and other such phenomena occur frequently.

Promoting online information security requires incessant technological innovation, only through scientific and technological innovation will it be possible to occupy the commanding heights of information technology. Our country’s Internet enterprises do not innovate sufficiently, emerging Internet enterprises are not strength, and other such problems exist that constrain the expansion of our country’s network power, even though we have a huge mass of Internet users, it is still difficult to fully give rein to the advantages of our country’s Internet market. Because of this, national cyberspace strategy and planning brooks no delay, and the matter of cybersecurity is extremely urgent. On 27 February of this year, General Secretary Xi Jinping convened the fist meeting of the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization. The Central Network and Information Leading Group is the third important body that works across Party, government and military lines, in which General Secretary Xi Jinping is the direct head and Premier Li Keqiang is the first vice-director. This body is not only a leading group for informatization, but has also put cybersecurity in a prominent position, it is considered together with the overall national informatization strategy, which has a major strategic significance. In this meeting, General XI Jinping stressed that: “Without cybersecurity, there is no national security, without informatization, there is no modernization”, clearly putting forward the strategic objective of building our country into a strong network country. It may be foreseen that our country’s future Internet development will proceed at the same pace as the “Two Centuries” struggle objective, and will incessantly proceed towards the objective of the basic penetration of network infrastructure, the clear strengthening of indigenous innovation capacity, the complete development of the information economy, powerfully guaranteeing cybersecurity.

II, The new characteristics of online public opinion dissemination

The application of new Internet technologies has changed all people’s information consumption methods. Where traditional media and especially printed media are concerned, being able to adapt to information network dissemination trends is an opportunity, not being able to adapt or not being able to follow this trend is a risk. In the first period of Internet development, some traditional paper media, radio stations and television stations built their own websites, and published content from newspapers, broadcasts or programmes at the same time. In this period, the network was, in fact, a new carrier for the traditional media industry, and had a strong instrumental flavour. After the Internet entered the Web 2.0 era, the properties of the Internet have seen a series of new changes, what we have felt most clearly is that you can not only brose website content, you can also publish opinions and express viewpoints online, this was a change from pure “reading” to “writing” and even “jointly building”. The various sorts of new technologies fostered by the network has changed traditional media into public opinion spaces in which common people are able to jointly participate, especially after the popularization of blogs and microblogs, barriers to content publication and dissemination have reduced greatly. The uni-directional dissemination and passive audience reception model of tradition media has been replaced by new media, represented by the Internet, with equal exchange and interactive dissemination, which pay more attention to user experience, satisfy the diversified demands and are disseminated in real-time, public opinion dissemination has thus seen a number of new characteristics.

1. The social mediafication of online media has made individualized information screening normal, and information dissemination chains more dynamic.

The core of change of China’s online media in the last ten years is the change from stressing the relationship between people and content to increasingly stressing the relationship between people. QQ, Weibo, WeChat, YiXin, YY and Momo, these products have greatly tightened the distance and space for free exchange and communication between people, we are no longer simply locked into a relationship between people and content. Everyone in a socialized chain conducts a second dissemination of information after screening it. This selective process has made information progressively shift from “public use” to “private enjoyment”, for example, on the WeChat platform, you can freely read or reject all sorts of information on the basis of your individual interest, and you can resend information you approve to specific persons, finding a true audience for this information.

This autonomous and dynamic process of dissemination is a clear characteristic of the social media relationship chain. People can push change in content production models with regard to their specific information demands, content production subjects may become more pluralized, and the “customized” information “special oven” that people forge may become even more individualized. Still, this individualized content on social media cannot replace mass media, it may even be said that newspapers, television, etc., still are indispensible information sources and content producers. Japan conducted a survey of social media users in Tokyo and eight other countries (the capital and the countries are Japan’s first-level administrative divisions) in 2012, the results demonstrated that among people who regularly post texts or publish information on social media, about 30% of the content they post originates from newspapers, television and other mass media reports. Although information sourced from mass media is far less than the information created by themselves, in terms of reliability, 58.3 per cent of people who regularly publish information believe that newspaper information can be trusted, and those believing that main page content from television stations, enterprises, organizations, etc. can be trusted respectively number 45.9 per cent and 38.2 per cent. Information originating from social media is held to be not so trustworthy, among the abovementioned survey participants, only 10.2 per cent trusts information originating from social media.

On our country’s new media platforms, high-quality news content equally is a decisive factor in attracting users. This is exactly the forte of mainstream media, political authority, specialized content, brand influence and market share are the loci of the advantages of “mainstream media”. Now, mainstream media is trying all possible means to uphold its content superiority, and at the same time paying attention to using the form of social media to strengthen interaction with audiences. The People’s Daily’s legal persona microblog already has in excess of 30 million fans, and has become an influential media microblog. Xinhua has opened a special new media line, and uses multimedia methods to provide rich products and information services to users, the Central Television Station ” Television Audiovisual” user terminal has in excess of 210 million users, spread across more than 190 countries and regions. By the end of November 2013, there were 103 websites in China that provided microblog services, with a total number of microblog accounts in excess of 1.3 billion; media microblogs have rapidly developed, only on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, there were more than 37.000 media body accounts. The People’s Daily Online, CCTV News, the Voice of China and other such media have opened up and accessed the news user end, they collect many kinds of broadcasts in one go and rely on “news + subscription models”, the news customer end is beginning to realize the objective of complete mobile media platforms, these are all beneficial attempts towards media convergence that break through traditional dissemination methods. It may be said that, under new media circumstances, the new media-ification, transformation and development of mainstream media is conducting coordinated breakthroughs and innovation through production models, content models, channel models, user models and other complete industry chains, and a new kind of public opinion structure is being shaped.

A healthy and flourishing information society inevitably is inevitably one in which individual information and public content exist at the same time and mutually supplement each other, individual information respects the differences between groups’ demands, and public content is the “glue” of society. Completely fragmented information and highly homogeneous information both have negative influences. The former may entail a state of disunity, without any voice that can be dominant, with a lack of trust between groups and between audiences, and with a cyberspace flooded with unverified discourse lacking a sense of responsibility. The latter means that there is no exchange between groups, that they all talk to themselves, creating grave group polarization.

2. The fragmentation of information and the microization of communication are other notable characteristics of present-day online communication.

In an internet era where information is highly developed, social life is becoming more pluralized, the rhythm is becoming ever faster, information demands are becoming ever more diverse. One notable characteristic of the new forms of network media communication is “micro-communication”, information is becoming fragmented, content production increasingly stresses conciseness and brevity, liveliness and speed. Microblogs only have 140 characters, microvideos only last three minutes, microfilms last less than half an hour. All sorts of micro-content and micro-information are circulating rapidly and circulating across platforms, users can obtain the most information in the shortest time at any time and in any place.

“Micro-communication” has made information circulation increasingly reliant on new Internet technology. During the “Two Meetings” period, People’s Daily Online set up a mobile direct broadcast room for the first time, the four “micros”, microvideos, microblogs, WeChat and micronews daily, integrated and engaged in live broadcast of images and text and real-time reporting of the “Two Meetings”. Xinhua Online set up columns such as “On-the-spot at the Two Meetings”, “The Two Meetings Knowledge Circle: I Contribute Knowledge to Reform”, “The Two Meetings Fans Group” and other such columns on its official microblog platform, to extend the reach of reporting on the Two Meetings to social media. China Network Television recommended reporting on the Two Meetings at the same time, through IPTV, mobile phone television, mobile phone CCTV Online, Internet Television, the CCTV News User Terminal, Cbox CCTV audiovisual user terminals and other such terminals, shaping joint communication forces. China Economic Net pushed out “Where Has the Time of Representatives and Committee Members Gone” and many other series of collected information, which guaranteed the systematicness and integrity of reporting on the Two Sessions, and realizing “brevity, uniformity and speed” in information communication. China Net, China Broadcasting Net, Sohu, Netease, Tencent and other such websites rolled out a series of columns on their mobile user terminals, microblogs and WeChat platforms, including “Micro-Broadcast”, “Micro-Video”, “Micro-Livecast”, etc., and so brought information about the Two Sessions to netizens through mobile terminals instantly.

The traditional media often put up a stance, write lengthy pieces and articles, this communication model of strong pushing and hard pouring is different from online communication, micro-communication is now following its path in a big way. Last year, “How Have Leaders Been Trained” was warmly received online, it was rolled out online in the form of a five-minute cartoon. Within a short few days, the click rate of various large websites exceeded 10 million times, ranking it at the front of similar videos. Netizens applauded it as one, all believing that this video linked up with the climate, it was close to the masses, followed the masses, “cute”, and reduced the distance between central leaders and the popular masses. It expressed a serious political topic in a humorous manner, which was a great breakthrough in propaganda work.

3. Watchability, explaining news with images, cartoons, etc., are increasingly becoming new online communication forms that meet with success.

Shallow reading has become a clear symbol of information fragmentation and micro-communication. Shallow reading is not “superficial”, its essence is speed and skimming, and incessant renewal, sometimes this means “accuratization”, it means that information must have “eyeball effects”.

Search engines have made “customized” shallow reading possible, what different keywords bring all is “fragmented” information, the details of events emerge before an overall view, the process of people absorbing information displays the characteristics of going from points, to threads, and then again to surfaces. Some websites use cloud computing and big data to optimize media content production, storage and analysis workflows, enhance their data processing capacity, fully unearth the news value behind big data, broaden news sources, enrich new content and provide high-quality news information products to users. In this year’s Spring Festival period, CCTV and Baidu have cooperated in using big data analysis to report the movement and circulation of people during the Spring Festival, this is not only accurate, watchable and trustworthy, but it brings a completely new impression to people. Watchability, images, cartoons and other information dissemination forms have greatly raised people’s sense of cheerfulness and joy in reading, they have guaranteed the interest for online information in the process of dissemination, and provide information volumes to the broadest possible extent.

4. Network public opinion communication not only requires paying attention to the production of news information sources, but also great attention for the guidance and maintenance of information dissemination and circulation processes.

If we do not pay attention to information dissemination and circulation processes, it will be difficult to avoid that information changes appearance halfway. Quite a few positive reports have, because of devious appraisal by some Big Vs with ulterior motives, because of interference by some public relations companies employing navies, or the flood of following posts by me-tooist netizens, during the process of dissemination become online negative energy in the end. Because of this, communication through new media, represented by the Internet, is opposite to traditional mainstream media, and we must pay ever more regard to guiding and maintaining the process of dissemination, pay ever more regard to guiding online comments and managing tracking posts during the process of communication, pay ever more attention to the construction of online comment teams and the education, training and management of website editors, and truly build a line of teams with strong politics, excellent business skills and a solid work style.

III, New explorations in network management.

Even though there are great differences in international society on how to manage the Internet, there is a consistent attitude that “the Internet requires stronger governance”. No country can permit the Internet becoming a “land outside the law”. The Centre has decided to establish a higher-level Internet management body, which from the height of modernizing the country’s governing capacity, will expand top-level design strength, rationalize and integrate the cybergovernance structure, realistically enhance new media application levels and governance capacity, and promote the shaping of an objective and rational online ecology.

1. Building an Internet legal system, strengthening top-level design.

This is an urgent need for maintaining order in cyberspace and guaranteeing cybersecurity, it is also a necessary condition to participate in the formation of international standards and increasing our international cyber discourse power. The Centre pays high regard to network legislation, the 18th Party Congress and its 3rd Plenum have clearly indicated the necessity to strengthen the construction of a network legal system, expanding strength to manage the network according to the law, and stimulate that the network is operated according to the law, according to norms and in an orderly manner. In February of this year, at the first meeting of the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed again that we must grasp the formulation of legislation and planning, perfect laws and regulations for Internet information content management, crucial information infrastructure protection, etc., govern cyberspace according to the law and safeguard citizens’ lawful rights and interests.

At present, our country’s network legislation is mainly composed of two component parts, one part is traditional laws and regulations, that can be directly applied to the network, or can be applied to the network after revision or interpretation, another part consists of special legislation for the network. Generally speaking, this network legislation has mostly been formulated in thy early period of Internet development, and contains problems such as being insufficiently up to date, lacking focus, and systematicity, they are relatively low-level norms, etc. Following the rapid development of the network, and the incessant emergence of mobile Internet, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, e-commerce and other such new technologies and new businesses, the problem of cybersecurity has become more prominent every day, the existing legislation can no suit the needs of network management and development, it is urgently necessary to conduct top-level design and comprehensive planning, and vigorously launch legislation, alteration, abolition and interpretation work.

2. Free and safe circulation of online information relies on the order of norms.

Currently, the “Internet Information Service Management Regulations”, the “Internet News Information Service Management Regulations”, the “Minors Protection Law” and other such laws and regulations are unequivocal on obscenity and sex, vulgar information and other such content prohibited online. The State Internet Information Office has, in cooperation with other departments, launched many special campaigns to deepen and expand regulating the online order, and clean up cyberspace. In the area of standardizing online news broadcasting order, on 9 May 2013, A special campaign of two months on norms for the Internet news information broadcasting order was deployed and launched on a nationwide scale, with a focus on acts violating regulations such as news source indications not being standard, releasing false and inaccurate information, maliciously altering news titles, illegally using the name of news organs to release news, etc. In the area of attacking online rumours, in August 2013, public security organs nationwide launched a special campaign to deal with online rumours, the Supreme Court and Supreme Procuratorate especially rolled out a corresponding judicial interpretation, and a batch of online celebrities, such as “Qin Huohuo” and “Li’erchaisi” were successively caught. At the same time, Beijing regional websites’ joint anti-rumour platform came online, which rapidly integrated and disseminated information to refute rumours. In the area of norms for self-media, on 10 August 2013, the State Internet Information Office director Lu Wei and more than 10 online celebrities had a discussion, in which it was pointed out that online celebrities should bear even more social responsibility and disseminate positive energy, and it was put forward that they should observe the “Seven Baselines”. At the same time, clear requirements were put forward for the rapidly developing instant communications tool WeChat, as well as for Weibo accounts set up by foreign groups, bodies and foreign government leaders. In the area of cleaning up online obscenity, sex and vulgar information, this year on 13 April, the Nationwide “Sweeping Away Pornography and Striking Illegality” Work Group Office, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued the “Report concerning Launching a Special Campaign to Attack Online Vulgar and Sexual Information”, to conduct a one-time comprehensive clean-up of online obscene, sexual and vulgar information, including on the mobile Internet. At the same time, they announced channels to accept social supervision, and coordinate with the development of the special campaign through real actions. Civilised countries are inevitably countries that have a good Internet order and use Internet content healthily. Only if government, media, netizens and other pluralized actors join hands, and build coordinated governance mechanisms, will it be necessary to strengthen online governance and guarantee the order of the online media ecology.

3. Sector self-discipline is an important component part of Internet management.

“Government strengthening management, the sector strengthening self-discipline” is a widespread method of Internet management in various countries worldwide. In 20 years, our country has progressively explored and established Internet management systems integrating legal norms, administrative supervision, sector self-discipline, technological guarantees, public supervision and social education, sector self-discipline has become an indispensable and important component part of our country’s Internet management. Some Internet sector self-discipline organizations launch explorations and research in close step with Internet developments, vigorously coordinate with government to strengthen sector management, and have made prominent contributions to promoting our country’s Internet development and the construction of a network culture with Chinese characteristics. The Capital Internet Society established in 2004 has shaped constraints on Internet enterprises mainly through the three mechanisms of the “Beijing Network News Information Advisory Council”, the “Website Self-Discipline Commissioner” and the “Mummy Inspection and Approval Team”. In the beginning of this year, Tencent published the letter of proposal “Declaration of War Against Online Fraud and Black Industry Chains”, directed to all of society and business circles, which sounded the trumpets of war against online fraud and black industry chains. As a network business, the sector self-discipline that Tencent proposes has the advantages of being formulated relatively simply and having great applicability and flexibility. At the present juncture, this can not only give rein to a regulatory role concerning individual acts of information processing or a barrier role until official laws are promulgated, it can also accumulate experiences for the formulation and promulgation of corresponding laws. In early April, the China Internet Finance Association was established, this national-level association’s members include banks, finance companies and other such traditional financial bodies, it is aimed at implementing self-discipline and management over the Internet finance sector, promotes the creation of uniform sector service norms and standards, guides Internet finance enterprises to implement their social responsibility, and stimulates the healthy development of the overall sector. At present, the great development, great convergence and great change of the Internet have become fixed modes, the areas that self-regulation organizations explore are ever wider, and their forms may grow increasingly diverse. These sector organizations will give full rein to a driving role, a serving role and a node role in self-discipline construction, perfect self-discipline norms, complete self-discipline frameworks, vigorously launch online information public appraisal, civilized website selection and other such activities, guide business circles to run the network according to the law, sincerely and in a civilized manner, and promote the sustained and healthy development of the Internet sector.

4. Raising citizens’ individual online cultivation is the basis of managing and using the Internet well.

The increase in Internet, mobile equipment and social media use has resulted in an increasing difficulty of the people’s mastering available information. Creating norms for Internet development, apart from perfecting laws and regulations and strengthening management and sector self-regulation, must rely on the people’s self-consciousness support to a very large degrees. This requires netizens to strengthen their consciousness about public opinion pacts, foster thinking to objectively deal with news events and persist in safeguarding the public interest, and use an open and tolerant attitude to deal with Internet information dissemination.

Looking from the composition of our country’s Internet, raising the information cultivation of the youth and students brooks no delay. At present, our country’s youth comprise 235 million netizens, or 41.6 per cent of the total number of netizens. They are in a crucial period in which their worldviews, views of life and value views are formed, at the same time that the network and new media make it convenient for youths to study and live, they also engender quite a few negative influences. The rapidity and openness of online information disseminations easily create difficulties of screening information for youngsters who are inexperienced in the ways of the world, this is not beneficial for the fostering of their thinking ability and judgment ability. At the same time, the flood of vulgar information, online rumours and other such false information may mislead social understandings, and dilute or supersede the education on mainstream ideology and morals for a number of youths, and their value views may be distorted or deviated.

In recent years, various government departments have conducted a series of explorations and trials in the areas of forcefully advocating that minors use the Internet in a civilized and green manner. In November 2013, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Education, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and other such work units jointly guided one hundred websites nationwide to launch a campaign of loving concern for the youth and the network: “Green Network – Help Dreams to Fly”. Within this, Internet law and regulation lectures and dissemination activities were aimed at the young masses, these propagated and disseminated knowledge about Internet laws and regulations and common knowledge about surfing safely and healthily, guiding youths to strengthen their consciousness about law, raising youths’ network self-cultivation and legal consciousness, and shaping scientific, civilized, healthy and law-abiding surfing habits.

Fostering online civilization and cultivation is not a work of one day. Commercial departments must make online culture rule of law and moral education a part of their practice in building a Socialist core value system, and raise citizens’ willingness to consciously safeguard the healthy and orderly development of online culture. We must both implement the “Cybersecurity Knowledge Entering Schools” campaign, and give rein to the main channel function of ideological and political education in all classes and special classes on the Internet, in daily school education and management, we must bring students’ online morals into curriculum teaching and strive to realize minors’ online self-education, self-restraint and self-protection.

(The author is the Vice-Director of the State Internet Information Office).

Deeply Study and Implement the Spirit of the Series of Important Speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping

On this day, many have opined on the future of China’s political constellation, and the Party’s legitimacy. I have little to add to the excellent writings that have been published in recent weeks. For the moment, however, it seems that the new leadership aims to continue and intensify the line it has quite consistently taken since the 18th Party Congress, as evidenced by this editorial in Seeking Truth, published on 1 June. This number of Seeking Truth seems to be dedicated to Xi Jinping’s speeches, with five further articles of exegesis on different topics. 

Scientific theory is the quintessence leading the times, the spirit of an advanced political party, and a guideline for the people’s practice. Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping stood on the height of the development of the times, based himself on the entire picture of international and domestic developments, and made a series of important speeches in which he put forward a series of new ideas, new viewpoints and new judgments, which profoundly answered major theoretical and practical questions involving the undertaking and development of the Party and the country, revealed the governing ideas, reform thinking and strategic resolutions of the new-generation central leading collective, and further deepened out Party’s understanding of the laws of Communist Party governance, the laws of Socialist construction and the laws of human societies’ development. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s series of important speeches are the newest theoretical achievement of persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, they persist in and develop Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought, and they are a magnificent programme and guideline for action to realize the “Two Centuries” struggle objective from a new historical starting point.

With every step that the Party’s theoretical innovation is pushed forward, its theoretical weapons will follow in step. At present, studying and implementing the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping is a major political task for the entire Party. The Party Centre pays great attention to this matter, has made a comprehensive deployment, and adopted a series of powerful measures to promote this. All levels’ Party organizations are, according to the demands of the Centre, to put studying the spirit of the speeches in a prominent position, meticulously organize and arrange matters, and arouse an upsurge of studying and implementing the spirit of the speeches. Through the previous period of study, propaganda and implementation, thoughts have been powerfully unified, spirits have been stimulated, and forces have been concentrated, this promoted a change in the Party style and the governance style, and stimulated Party and State work in all areas. We must continue to make persistent efforts to further remain diligent in keeping abreast and deep study, to remain diligent in taking real action and acting honestly, even better use the results of the Party’s theoretical innovation to unify thoughts, concentrate forces and deepen reform, and open up a new dimension for the undertaking and development of the Party and the country.

To incessantly deepen studying and implementing the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, it is first and foremost necessary to comprehensively and correctly grasp the rich content of the speeches. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s series of important speeches focused on the main themes of the times: persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and realizing the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, they are developed from all areas and all aspects of the undertaking and development of the Party and the country, and constitute a systematic and scientific theory. We must study the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping well, there is no shortcut to take, we must make bitter efforts in reading the original texts, study them from beginning to end, read them piece by piece and sentence by sentence, ensure that we understand, master and penetrate them. On this basis of mastery through comprehensive study, the spirit of the speeches can be grasped as an integrated system, on the basis of a comprehensive grasp, our understanding of the scientific content of the speeches can be deepened. At present, studying generally speaking is good, but there are also some situations in which understandings are incorrect and mastery is not comprehensive. For instance, in dealing with the overall objective of comprehensively deepening reform, stressing “moving forward the modernization of the State’s governance system and governance ability” and overlooking “perfecting and developing the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics”; in dealing with the relationship between government and the market, stressing “letting the market have a decisive factor in the allocation of resources” and overlooking “giving rein to the role of government even better”, and so on. These one-sided understandings are directly related to not studying sufficiently completely. This requires that when we deepen our study, we not only must profoundly understand the origin, formation and development of the spirit of the speeches, and deepen our understanding in all areas and all aspects, we must also understand the spirit of the speeches from the whole, understand the spirit of the speeches by integrating historical experiences and the viewpoints of other theories that they share, strive to grasp this systematic scientific theory, and prevent the emergence of subjectivism and one-sidedness in theoretical study and application. At the same time, we must also integrate studying the spirit of the speeches with Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, integrate it with Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought and the scientific development view, integrate it with the spirit of the 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, truly ensure mastery through comprehensive study and a complete grasp, strengthen our firmness and self-confidence in matters of theory, and realistically raise ideological and theoretical levels.

In incessantly deepening the study and implementation of the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, it is crucial that we correctly grasp the essence of the speeches. To study and implement the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, we must not only gasp their rich content, we must also grasp their ideological marrow and spiritual essence, grasp the firm ideals and convictions that penetrate the speeches, their strong assumption of responsibility, their sincere care for the people, their clear orientation on questions and their scientific thinking methods. “Revolutionary ideals are higher than heaven”. This speech was penetrated from beginning to end with a high degree of consistency with the highest programme and the most basic programme of the party, they highly unite this red line, they define clear limits and attitudes on major issues of paths, orientations and viewpoints, and fully reflect the firm ideals and convictions, and clear political standpoints of Communist Party members. Through study, build firm and ambitious Communist ideals, unwaveringly persist in and develop the ideas of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” “Responsibilities are heavier than Mount Tai”. This speech pointed out how the idea of Socialism with Chinese characteristics came about, where it will go, in which historical position our Party finds itself in the progress of the Chinese nation’s civilization, which historical burdens it must bear, and which historical tracks it must proceed on, it fully reflects a profound sense of history and a sense of the actual times, and fully reflects the burden of the responsibility for the Party, for the country, for the nation, for the people and for history. Through studying it, strengthen a sense of worry, sense of mission, sense of enterprise, never be self-satisfied, never slacken, dare to take responsibility dare to undertake matters, and open up a path ahead to climb the high peaks to implement the general objective and general responsibility of comprehensively deepening reform. “The Interest of the People Is Higher than Everything”. This speech stressed that “the people’s yearning for beautiful lives is our struggle objective”, we must have true compassion with the popular masses and may never become separated from the masses, and it fully reflects a sincere and profound concern for the people. Through studying it, resolve well this basic question of “for whom, relying on whom, who am I”, create new achievements that can endure the tests of practice, the people and history, realistically ensure that development is for the sake of the people, development relies on the people and the fruits of development are shared by the people. “Questions Are Slogans of the Times”. This speech was penetrated with a strong consciousness about questions, a clear orientation of questions, and fully reflected the scientific attitude of seeking truth and acting pragmatically of Communist Party members. Through studying it, strengthen acuity in discovering questions, the clarity to squarely face questions, and the consciousness to resolve questions. The speech was penetrated with Marxist stands, viewpoints and methods, it was good at summarizing laws, clarifying positions, grasping larger trends, and initiating the future on the point of intersection between both international and domestic situations, and the point of intersection of history, the present and the future, it fully reflected the authority of scientific thinking methods. Through studying it, we must greatly increase our grasp of a scientific worldview and methodology, make great steps ahead in enhancing our ability of strategic thinking, innovative thinking, dialectical thinking, and bottom line thinking, and even better undertake the responsibilities that history has entrusted to us.

Incessantly deepening out study and implementation of the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping is for the sake of even more consciously guiding new practices with the spirit of the speeches. The objective of studying them is application. We must forcefully carry forward the Marxist study style of linking up theory and practice, make efforts to “truly believe” “truly study”, “truly understand” and “truly apply”, and make efforts to strive for actual results. We must truly integrate studying with resolving questions about our own worldviews, views of life and value views, with building high-tension wires and firewalls against corruption and in favour of clean government, consciously draw boundaries between great matters of right and wrong, firmly resist the influence of all sorts of mistaken thoughts, even better use the spirit of the speech to deepen our understanding, transform our thinking and arm our minds. We must closely link up with the reality of reform and opening up, and modernization construction, closely link up with the reality of Party building, strive to use the spirit of the speeches to guide the promotion of the practice of reform and opening up, transform the results of studying the speeches into ways of thinking and measures to stimulate sustained and healthy economic and social development, transform them into concrete policies and real actions to comprehensively deepen reform, transform them into new progress in resolving urgent questions in the masses’ production and lives, transform them into new achievements in resolving the problems of the “Four Work Styles”, and transform work styles, and ensure that the process of study becomes a process to liberate thoughts, break through difficulties and enhance work levels.

Let us even more closely unite around the Party Centre with Comrade Xi Jinping as general secretary, and unwaveringly use the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping to arm our minds, unstintingly implement the spirit of the speeches in all areas of reform, development and stability, ensure that they gain achievements that can stand the tests of practice, the people and historical experience, for the sake of comprehensively deepening reform, and making ever greater contributions to seizing new victories for Socialism with Chinese characteristics.


MIIT Chief Engineer On China’s Cybersecurity Policy

This speech by MIIT Chief Engineer Zhang Feng was published on Sohu on 29 May.

On 20 May, Zhang Feng, the Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology presented a substantive report at the 2014 Annual Chinese Conference on Computer and Network Security

The transcript of Zhang Feng’s speech is as follows:

Zhang Deng: Respected Vice-Provincial Head Liu Zhigeng, Vice-Minister Liu Xiaoying, Academician Wu Hequan, Academician Ni Guangnan, Secretary Chen Maohui, Mayor Zheng Renhao, all guests:

Good morning everyone! I am very happy to meet with all of you in Shantou, Guangdong, to participate in the 2014 Annual Chinese Conference on Computer and Network Security. The theme of this year’s conference is “Cooperating in Protection – A Secure Future”, it revolves around building a secure and reliable network environment, it promotes common efforts between government departments, sector organizations, enterprises, practical departments, science and technology institute and other sides, to shape effective pooled forces for prevention, and it has an important significance. Here, I have the honour of representing the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to express warm congratulations concerning the convention of this annual conference. I also express sincere wishes of welcome to all present guests.

2014 marked the 20th anniversary of our country’s connection to the Internet. Through 20 years of development, our country has become a large cyber country worthy of that name. By the end of last year, the number of netizens in China exceeded 600 million, among whom 500 million netizens used mobile phones, there are 18.44 million domestic domain names, and 3.16 million websites in total. Last year, our country’s government successively published many major policies in the area of information and telecommunications. The State Council promulgated the “Some Opinions concerning Stimulating Information Consumption and Broadening Internal Demand” and the “‘Broadband China’ Strategy and Implementation Plan”, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued 4G licenses to three basic telecommunications enterprises, and launched trial points for private capital to develop mobile telecommunications reselling businesses. These major measures have created a benign environment for the further development of our country’s information and telecommunications.

Even so, the development of the Internet has brought a series of challenges to the economy and society, and especially the question of cybersecurity is becoming more complex every day. On the basis of monitoring data from the State Internet Emergency Response Centre, between January and April of this year, the number of hosts infected with Trojans or zombie networks within the borders of our country reached 4.86 million, more than 20.000 websites were tampered with, backdoors were implanted into 18.000 websites, and there were nearly 5.000 phishing pages imitating domestic websites. “Prism”, the “.cn domain name attack”, “Microsoft ceasing service provision to XP systems”, “grave security leaks existing within OpenSSL” and other such incidents have successively and incessantly sounded our alarm bells. At the same time, new technologies and new businesses have rapidly developed, which brought new security risks. The broad application of cloud computing has increased information leakage risks and the difficulty of dealing with incidents; social media networks have provided new channels for hackers’ attacks and cybercrime; mobile payment security and mobile terminal security have become new challenges. Attacks against these networks and security threats harm the interests of the broad netizens, impair the healthy development of the sector, and create grave threats to economic and social development, as well as national security.

Not long ago, the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization was officially established. General Secretary Xi profoundly pointed out that “without cybersecurity, there is no national security”, “cybersecurity and informatization are two wings on the same body, two wheels of the same cart, we must uniformly plan them, uniformly deploy matters, uniformly move forward and uniformly implement plans.” We must profoundly comprehend the spirit of the General Secretary’s important speech, and from the height of guaranteeing national security, safeguarding the public interest and stimulating informatization development, fully understand the importance and urgency of doing cybersecurity well under new circumstances, and struggle diligently to build our country into a strong cyber country.

Under the uniform deployment of the Party Centre and the State Council, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has deeply moved forward the construction of cybersecurity protection systems in recent years, according to the policy of vigorous use, scientific development, management according to the law and guaranteeing security, it incessantly perfected the establishment of cybersecurity standards, norms and mechanisms, strengthened cybersecurity emergency response and management, expanded the strength to govern the public Internet environment, and organized self-discipline work in the cybersecurity sectors, it made vigorous progress. Next, I will further talk about a few points of opinion on further doing cybersecurity work well, focusing on prominent problems that we face in the area of cybersecurity at present.

I, Vigorously responding to cybersecurity threats, forcefully strengthening guarantees for key information infrastructure. At present, basic information networks as well as important information systems relevant for the national economy and the people’s livelihood face ever more complex security threats, and especially the organized attacks they face have become more complex and diverse. At the same time, the application of next-generation Internet, cloud computing, mobile Internet, the Internet of Things, big data and other such new technologies has brought new security risks. Basic telecommunications enterprises and important information systems operation departments should play a central role in guaranteeing the satisfactory implementation of all rules and measures to guarantee cybersecurity, strengthen security monitoring before the purchase of crucial equipment, strengthen security protection of networks and information systems, regularly carry out compliance surveys and risk assessments, timely discover and eliminate major security risks, and incessantly raise the ability to resist attacks against crucial information infrastructure.

II, Strengthening indigenous innovation capacity, raising the security and controllability levels of information technology and services. We must, with enterprises at the centre, raise innovation capacity, promote technological progress and industrialization, follow and grasp the main direction of new-generation information technologies, strive to make breakthroughs in core and crucial technologies such as integrated circuits and crucial electronic components, high-end routers and servers, operating systems, databases, etc., strengthen coordination and integration capacity with regard to crucial and core technologies. Incessantly enrich Internet information services, strive to foster specialized applications, stimulate technology and business model innovation, and satisfy the diversified information demands of our country’s social public. Strengthen the construction of cybersecurity technology teams and labs, forcefully raise core cybersecurity technology capacities concerning locating leaks, analysing malicious code, tracing attacks, evidence-gathering, etc., perfect cybersecurity evaluation methods, stimulate the rapid and healthy development of the cybersecurity industry.

III, Developing ways to deal with malicious code on the mobile Internet, creating a healthy mobile ecology and environment. Following the development and popularization of 3G and 4G networks, smartphones have progressively become a major tool for people to go online. At the same time, driven by economic interests, law-breakers have made the mobile Internet into a main battlefield, the categories of malicious mobile code has become numerous and its quantity has become huge, which gravely harms users’ personal interests. In order to clean up the mobile Internet environment and protect the lawful rights and interests of users, in April of this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has, together with the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, launched a special campaign to deal with malicious code on the mobile Internet, according to the work thinking of governance according to the law and dealing with both root causes and symptoms, this fully gave rein to the roles of government supervision, sector self-discipline and social supervision, and strengthened security management through joint steps forward from smartphones’ using the internet to segments such as the development and dissemination of mobile applications, etc., and attacked the use of malicious code to engage in unlawful and criminal activities according to the law. I hope that basic telecommunications enterprises, Internet enterprises, terminal manufacturing enterprises and security enterprises realistically implement their security responsibilities, fully give rein to their superiorities, strengthen joint sectoral action and information sharing, let them vigorously participate in comprehensively dealing with malicious mobile Internet code, and make positive contributions to forging a healthy mobile Internet environment.

IV, Strengthening sectoral cooperation, completing cybersecurity incident coordination and joint handling mechanisms. To respond to cybersecurity threats and clean up the Internet environment, it is necessary that there is uniform understanding and close coordination between government departments, and between governments and enterprises, at the same time, it is necessary that all walks of society and the road users together raise their consciousness about prevention and strengthen protection measures. Basic telecommunications enterprises, value-added telecommunications enterprises, Internet enterprises, security businesses, etc., must realistically take up their corporate social responsibility, strengthen cooperation and coordination with State cybersecurity protection forces, establish and complete cybersecurity emergency response, handling and coordination mechanisms that are agile in their operations and flexible in their response, they must further strengthen early warning and handling, raise emergency response efficiency, and forge active prevention systems within our country in which the investigation of leaks and dangers, discovery threats of attack, and response to incidents are integrated, and many sides act together.

V, Strengthen international cooperation, strive to raise our country’s discourse power in international cyberspace governance. Internet governance requires broad exchange and cooperation between all countries worldwide, and the construction of a fair and reasonable international order for cyberspace. In recent years, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has, together with other departments, vigorously participated in and promoted the process of intergovernmental cyberspace security cooperation through the United nations, the International Telecommunications Union, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation organizations, etc., it guided corresponding work units to strengthen cooperation in the International Standardization Organization, professional associations and other relevant organizations. In the area of cybersecurity emergency response organization and cooperation, the National Internet Emergency Response Centre has established joint mechanisms with 59 countries and 127 organizations, and strengthened cross-border cybersecurity incident technology coordination procedures. The Ministry of Industry and Information technology will further broaden international exchange and cooperation in the area of cybersecurity, at the same time, it will support emergency response organizations, sectoral associations, enterprises, etc., to develop diverse ways of international cooperation, and jointly stimulate the formation of an international consensus and behavioural norms that are beneficial for the development of the Internet.

Guests, friends, following the rapid development of the Internet, the problem of cybersecurity has become ever more prominent and ever more important. This Conference has created a platform for colleagues in cybersecurity circles to share information and exchange technology, I hope everyone is able to use this opportunity to speak out freely and exchange ideas. Finally, I wish that this annual conference is crowned with complete success.

Thank you all!




SIIO Vice-Director Wang Xiujun: Cybersecurity Is a Major Strategic Question

This interview with SIIO vice-director Wang Xiujun was published in People’s Daily on 18 May.

Q: What is the major significance of establishing the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization?

WXJ: Because of historical reasons, our country’s Internet management and cybersecurity management was a matter of “Nine Dragons Controlling the Waters”, and many malpractices exist, such as multi-headed management, overlap of functions, a lack of uniformity between powers and responsibilities, low efficiency, etc., which have entered a state where they must be solved. Although there were coordinating mechanisms before, on the basis of the developments and changes of the circumstances, it is necessary to further raise its level and strengthen its authority, and make it have the final say in policymaking, guidance and supervision with regard to major matters, complex issues and difficult problems by strengthening tis concentrated and uniform leadership.

Our country’s cybersecurity and informatization leading mechanisms have been adjusted several times, but they have never been raised to the highest State levels before. Following the incessant rise in the position and role of cybersecurity and informatization in national security and development, it is also objectively needed to make cybersecurity and informatization into a major national strategy, to be grasped by the highest Party and State leaders personally. Many countries worldwide have also made cybersecurity and cyberspace development work into national “boss projects”.

The degree of the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization is higher than ever before. This fully reflects the high level of attention that the Party Centre pays to cybersecurity and informatization work. In order to carry out the implementation of the Leading Group’s decisions well, the Centre also established a Leading Group Office, which is the same organ as the State Internet Information Office with a second plaque.

Q: Cybersecurity involves many areas, when we stress cybersecurity at present, which content does that mainly include?

WXJ: At different times, there have been different appellations and understandings of cybersecurity, their content has incessantly deepened, and their extent has incessantly broadened. At present, the cybersecurity that we pay attention to includes ideological security, data security, technological security, applications security, capital security, channel security and other such areas, this involves both objectives and targets for cybersecurity protection, and methods and channels to reflect the maintenance of cybersecurity.

Generally speaking, political security is the essence. At present, foreign hostile power use the Internet as their main channel to infiltrate and destroy us, under the name of “cyber freedom”, they incessantly attack and slander us, they spread rumours to create trouble, and scheme to destroy our country’s social stability and national security; some people play up hot topics or sensitive issues for their political or commercial interest, and even engage in unlawful and criminal activities; new Internet technologies are made into new tools for communication by some people, who disseminate unlawful and harmful information on a large scale. On the Internet, whether or not we can gain victory in the struggle of ideological infiltration and anti-infiltration, decides to a very large extent the future of our Party and country.

Another major area of cybersecurity is the security of networks and information systems. The “Stuxnet” virus of a few years ago caused great destruction to Iran’s nuclear facilities, which revealed that crucial infrastructure had become a target for attack through cyber armament, which might lead to disastrous outcomes. The Snowden incident and others indicate that a small number of countries use their Internet infrastructure resources and information technology advantages to carry out cyber surveillance on a large scale, steal large amounts of political, economic and military secrets as well as enterprises’ and individuals’ sensitive data, some also control major networks and information systems in other countries from a long distance. Just think, in a period of danger, if a country’s crucial infrastructure, which involves the national economy and the people’s livelihood, is attacked and paralysed, and control even over military command and control systems is taken over my others, that will bring “the nation in peril”.

Q: Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that cybersecurity and informatization are two wings of one body, two wheels of one cart. How do you see the relationship between cybersecurity and informatization?

WXJ: For a long time, there have been some disputes concerning the relationship between cybersecurity and informatization. We certainly see that some applications have come up, and security problems followed in their wake; some new technologies emerged, and traditional technological cybersecurity defences and management regulations lost their use. Comrade Xi Jinping has made an extremely profound elucidation of this, which swept away the confused understandings that existed in the past. Without cybersecurity, the quicker informatization develops, the larger the harms it creates may become. And without the development of informatization, economic and social development would lag behind, cybersecurity would have no guarantees, and the security that there is might be lost. The demand of “protecting development with security and stimulating security with development” fully reflects Marxist dialectics and reflects the scientific development view.

Cybersecurity is a new problem that emerged through the progress of informatization, it can only be resolved through the process of development with the method of development. We cannot simply guarantee freedom by not going online, not sharing and not interacting, or one-sidedly stressing the construction of an autarchic network. The result of acting in this manner can only be unnecessary duplicate construction, a large amount of online resources would not be fully used, increasing the cost of informatization and reducing its benefit, and so development opportunities would be lost. This sort of “lazy politics” thinking must be gotten rid of. We must strive to realize technological innovation, structural and mechanism innovation, we must incessantly shape new ways of thinking, new ideas, new measures and new skills to maintain cybersecurity.

Q: The Centre has made a general composition of cybersecurity and informatization work, in which areas is it necessary to further make breakthroughs going forward?

WXJ: The Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization convened for the first time on 27 February, it deliberated and passed the 2014 Focus Work Points for the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization, and arranged cybersecurity and informatization work for the present and future periods. The top priority is urgently implementing this, and ensuring that all work points are done meticulously, substantially and satisfactorily. We must strengthen top-level design and strategic planning, accelerate the formulation of cybersecurity and informatization development plans, macro-level planning and major policies; innovate and improve online propaganda, carry forward the main melody, arouse positive energy, and comprehensively govern the online ecology; accelerate the formulation of urgently needed laws, regulations and technical standards for cybersecurity and informatization, strengthen indigenous innovation, and build cybersecurity guarantee systems; forcefully upgrade informatization levels in all areas of the national economy and social development, stimulate the development of information industries, promote the digitized development of culture, publishing, radio, film and television, and push military-civilian integration forward; accelerate talent team construction, upgrade the entire society’s consciousness about cybersecurity, and persist in accelerating talent training across areas, categories and levels.



China’s Response against U.S. Cyberespionage Indictment of PLA Staff

As could be expected, Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that criminal charges concerning hacking would be brought against five PLA soldiers elicited an immediate and vehement Chinese response. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted the following reaction on its website (MFA translation):

On May 19, the US side announced indictment against five Chinese military officers on allegation of cyber theft. This US move, which is based on fabricated facts, grossly violates the basic norms governing international relations and jeopardizes China-US cooperation and mutual trust. China lodged protest with the US side right after the announcement, urging the US side to immediately correct its mistake and withdraw the “indictment”.

The position of the Chinese government on cyber security is consistent and clear-cut. China is steadfast in upholding cyber security. The Chinese government, the Chinese military and their relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cyber theft of trade secrets. The US accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded and absurd.

It is a fact known to all that relevant US institutions have long been involved in large-scale and organized cyber theft as well as wiretapping and surveillance activities against foreign political leaders, companies and individuals. China is a victim of severe US cyber theft, wiretapping and surveillance activities. Large amounts of publicly disclosed information show that relevant US institutions have been conducting cyber intrusion, wiretapping and surveillance activities against Chinese government departments, institutions, companies, universities and individuals. China has, on many occasions, made serious representations with the US side. We once again strongly urge the US side to make a clear explanation of what it has done and immediately stop such kind of activities.

Given the lack of sincerity on the part of the US to solve issues related to cyber security through dialogue and cooperation, China has decided to suspend activities of the China-US Cyber Working Group. China will react further to the US “indictment” as the situation evolves.

Soon after, both the Ministry of Defence and the State Internet Information Office posted their own rebuttals (My translations):

Ministry of Defence Spokesperson Geng Yansheng Issues Statement on the U.S. Department of Justice Indictment Against Chinese Soldiers

Beijing, 19 May. With so-called “theft of online commercial secrets”, the U.S. Department of Justice has indicted five Chinese soldiers. The Chinese side has expressed strong indignation and firm opposition to this, and has put forward stern representations to the U.S. side.

The Chinese side’s position on the issue of cybersecurity is consistent and clear. The Chinese side is a firm upholder of cybersecurity, the Chinese government and military have never engaged or participated in any activity of stealing commercial secrets through networks. The so-called “theft of online commercial secrets” and other statements from the U.S. side are fabricated out of nothing, they confuse public opinion, and have ulterior motives.

For a long time, relevant departments on the U.S. side have relied on the advanced technology and infrastructure they controlled to conduct large-scale and organized online secrecy theft, monitoring and surveillance activities against foreign government leaders, enterprises and individuals, this is a fact known to everyone in the world. From “WikiLeaks” to the “Snowden” affair, the U.S. side’s hypocrisy and double standards on the issue of cybersecurity have become abundantly clear. The Chinese military is a grave victim of this sort of actions by the U.S. side. According to statistics, the Chinese military’s user terminals accessing the international Internet have suffered large amounts of attacks from abroad in recent year, and IP addresses reveal that a considerable quantity of these attacks originate from the U.S. The Chinese side demands that the U.S. side provides a clear explanation concerning online theft of secrets, monitoring and surveillance activities against the Chinese side, and immediately ceases this kind of activity.

At present, the relationship between the Chinese and U.S. militaries is generally developing well, this move by the U.S. side runs counter to its commitments to “strive to build a healthy, stable and reliable relationship between both armies”, and gravely harms mutual trust between both sides. The U.S. side should realistically show good faith and move the healthy and stable development of relationships between the Chinese and U.S. armies forward with real actions.


State Internet Information Office Publishes Newest Statistics on U.S. Attacks Against Chinese Networks

On the 19th, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of five Chinese soldiers on the grounds of so-called online theft of secrets. On this matter, journalists interviewed a spokesperson of the State Internet Information Office. This spokesperson revealed the newest data on U.S. attacks against Chinese networks to these journalists, saying that it is the U.S. that is the largest online thief of secrets in the present world, and is the number one aggressor against Chinese networks.

This spokesperson said that the newest data of the Chinese National Internet Emergency Response Centre indicates that between 19 March and 18 May of this years, 2077 Trojans or zombie network control servers located in the U.S. directly controlled about 1.18 million hosts within our country’s borders.

During this same period, the Centre’s monitoring discovered that 135 hosts located in the U.S. contained 563 phishing pages aimed at websites within our country’s borders, resulting in 14.000 instances of online fraud and infringement, which mainly includes fake websites, fraud involving personal location information, personal data information, password information, etc. This sort of activities includes theft of commercial secrets as well as online fraud, resulting in huge harm suffered by Chinese netizens.

The Chinese National Internet Emergency Response Centre also discovered that between 19 March and 18 April, 2016 IPs located in the U.S. implanted backdoors in 1754 websites within our borders, and the number of incidents involving backdoor attacks is about 57.000. In data from the same period last year, the U.S. was equally placed first, these are undisguised acts of cybercrime.

The spokesperson pointed out that against this background, the U.S. indictment of five Chinese soldiers on the grounds of so-called online theft of secrets is purely utter nonsense, it is purely an unfounded counter charge, like a thief crying to stop the thief.

As verified by relevant departments within our country, the U.S. has conducted large-scale surveillance, offensive and invasive activities against Chinese government departments, bodies, enterprises, universities and telecommunications backbone networks for a long time, U.S. monitoring activities involve Chinese leaders, common netizens, the broad mobile telephone users, etc. China has repeatedly raised stern representations with the U.S., demanding that the U.S. side ceases this sort of mistaken act. Hitherto, the U.S. has never apologised in any way for its illegal activities to the Chinese people, and has not restrained itself in the slightest. Even after Snowden exposed the U.S. National Security Agency’s “Prism” and other such surveillance plans, and the U.S. was condemned throughout the world, it not only failed to engage in critical self-examination, but instead, it accused others, which truly made it an object of universal ridicule.

The spokesperson said that China is a firm upholder of cybersecurity, the Chinese government opposes acts of cybercrime of whatever form, and firmly opposes baseless criticism of China. If the U.S. side continues to insist on doing things its own way, China will adopt measures towards a determined counterattack.

Furthermore, the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, Max Baucus, was summoned to the MFA. Also, in a move widely seen as a further response to the indictment, China’s Central State Agencies’ Government Procurement Centre issued supplementary regulations to tendering standards concerning energy-saving information products (computers, tablets and printers), which may not contain Windows 8 software. Chinese computers still mainly run Windows XP, and its reliance on foreign operating software has been an increasing concern for cybersecurity. Efforts to develop home-grown alternatives have strengthened, and a first mobile OS, China Operating System, was presented in January.

Personally, I believe this move is deeply problematic. First, while China has not quite been a responsible international citizen with regards to hacking, the Snowden revelations have cost the U.S. the international support and moral position it needs to make a convincing case. Second, a state-initiated criminal case is not conducive to the argument the U.S. Government is trying to make, which claims that national security-related hacking (permitted) and commercial hacking (naughty) are separated. A corporate-initiated civil suit against a Chinese company using hacked information might have more effect. It might hit Chinese companies in their (international) wallets, raising the costs of engaging in hacking, and maintain enough distance between corporate and government to ensure that intergovernmental dialogue could continue. As it stands, China gets to make easy points on Snowden and the NSA, while it is not clear to me what the estimate of an acceptable exit strategy or endgame on the U.S. side is. Yes, we need rules of the roads in cyberspace, which will require mutual restraint and well-understood self-interests from all involved sides. Shoot-from-the-hip criminal lawsuits will not foster that.

This story will develop over the days to come, and this blog will follow Chinese editorials and reactions as they come out. In the mean time, a ChinaFile conversation (in which I participate) is developing, and the following online resources provide useful insights:

With Spy Charges, U.S. Draws a Line That Few Others Recognize (NY Times)

For U.S. Companies That Challenge China, the Risk of Digital Reprisal (NY Times)

More Thoughts on the DOJ China Indictment (Lawfare Blog)

People’s Daily Editorial on Global Internet Governance

This editorial was published first in People’s Daily on 28 April 2014.

For Internet Governance, Norms and Standards are Crucial

In recent days, the Global Internet Governance Conference sponsored by the Brazilian government was organized in Sao Paolo, Brazil, representatives from more than 20 national governments, corporate circles and science and technology circles engaged in broad discussion, and passed a series of non-binding international norms that various countries may use in their Internet management. Even so, outside of this series of norms, it should also be considered that in the process of global Internet governance, the acceleration of formulating rules has become extremely urgent.

After 25 years of development, the Internet has completely renewed people’s ways of work and life. [Everyone], from the common people to national governments, at the same time as enjoying the conveniences brought by the Internet, has successively experienced the negative influences and security risks that exist on the Internet. The Internet security concerns that started with last year’s “Prism” incident, have aggravated every day, pursuits of interest are incessantly expanding, and the desire to strengthen Internet governance has become ever more prominent.

Last month, the US expressed its willingness to transfer its supervisory power over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), this is a positive signal emerging in the global Internet governance area. But Internet governance is not limited to the allocation of spaces for Internet addresses, it also depends on control of Internet technology standards, as well as how all countries can jointly build an online environment that is peaceful and secure, open and fair, free and orderly.

Internet governance should respect the UN Charter and generally recognized norms of international relations, i.e. recognizing and respecting all countries’ sovereignty in cybersace, including the formulation of relevant law, regulations and policies on the basis of the development levels of that country’s information technology, language and culture, and according to the will of the broad masses of that country; managing that country’s information infrastructure as well as online activities on that country’s territory according to the law, protecting that country’s information resources from threats according to the law, and guaranteeing citizens’ lawful rights and interests.

Internet governance should persist in the principles of broad, multi-stakeholder participation, tolerance and equality. Countries should not be distinguished on the basis of size or wealth, they should all be able to participate fairly in cyber governance, and fairly share in the opportunities that the development of information technology has brought. People should not be distinguished on the basis of sex, race, religion or belief, but should all be able to equally use knowledge and information gained through information technology

Internet governance should persist in the principles of openness and transparency, cooperation and mutual benefit. The formulation of standards, norms and policies related to the Internet should be more open and transparent, developed countries should help developing countries to develop cyber technology, and reduce the information divide.

Internet governance should persist in the unification of rights and obligations. Respect human rights, fully guarantee individuals’ online freedom of speech, confidentiality of communications and privacy. Without online order, how can online freedom come? No person may, when enjoying and exercising online rights and freedoms, harm other persons’ or society’s interests, violate laws and regulations and social morals.

The sponsor of this conference, Brazil, makes people think of the Football World Cup that will be organized in Brazil. The movement of football, from its emergence to it coming into fashion worldwide, is inseparable from incessant perfection of and respect for its rules, only when there are rules is their fairness, only when there are rules is there a basis for competition on the same field. Internet governance is similar. The crux of promoting global Internet governance lies in the fact that all countries worldwide must strengthen coordination, and formulate realistic and feasible global norms and standards. Opinions from all sides and the pursuits of all countries should be taken seriously, and we should strive to reach agreement on rules for cyberspace activities that are accepted by all sides.

Brazil’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations Marquedos (*) regarded this conference as a first step on the slow journey of global Internet governance. Global Internet governance requires the joint participation of all interested parties, but also needs to seek a balance between those many interested parties and the role of government, and build joint forces. Now, the majority of countries has already reached a consensus on governance norms in certain areas, we should strengthen the formulation of concrete rules and realistically promote the establishment of governance structures on this basis, and incessantly perfect them in practice, while enhancing our confidence in attacking and overcoming difficulties.

Possible transliteration of the Chinese characters 克多思. I have not been able to verify the name of this minister, nor the statements made.













Liu Qibao: Expand Strength to Move Cultural Structural Reform Forward

This speech of Propaganda Department director Liu Qibao was published first by Xinhua, on 28 March 2014.

The Speech of Liu Qibao, who is the head of the Central Leading Group for Cultural Structural Reform and Development Work, a member of the CCP Politburo and the director of the Central Propaganda Department brimmed with a sense of urgency. He said that the Central Leading Group for Cultural and Structural Reform and Development Work deliberated and passed the “Plan for Deepening Cultural Structural Reform” not long ago, and put forward that the struggle objective for reform is to establish structures and mechanisms that are full of vitality, rich in efficiency and benefit the flourishing and development of culture by 2020, to ensure that the Socialist culture system with Chinese characteristics becomes more mature and more finalized. 2020 is seven years away from now, there is little time, and tasks are grave.

Liu Qibao said this at the meeting of the National Work Conference for Cultural Structural Reform convened on 24 and 25 March. At the Conference, Liu Qibao elaborated on a series of new thoughts, new viewpoints and new requirements of General Secretary Xi Jinping concerning cultural reform and developments. He said that a new round of reform waves had started, and that it was urgently necessary to accelerate the pace of cultural reform and development, promote the coordinated progress of reform of cultural structures and various other areas, and push out ever more and better cultural products.

Liu Qibao pointed out that in the past few years, major advances and clear achievements have been obtained in cultural structural reform, following the incessant deepening of reform, many profound contradictions and problems have manifested themselves; the structures of some cultural work units have been reformed, but operational mechanisms have not been satisfactorily reformed yet, they have not truly become qualified market subjects, this requires that the establishment of modern enterprise systems must be advanced, and legal person governance structures are perfected; after some cultural enterprises have entered the market, they found it difficult to exist and develop by only relying on their own strength, which requires the exploration and establishment of the necessary support mechanisms, and the strengthening of cultural enterprises’ own “hematopoietic” functions and development objectives; the level of interconnectedness of reform in some areas is high, it is difficult to push it forward individually, this requires that cultural structural reform and reform in various other areas must be comprehensively planned, that all areas, all levels and all factors of cultural structural reform must be comprehensively planned, and that the systemicness, integratedness and coordinatedness of reform is guaranteed.

Liu Qibao said that cultural structural reform only has a progressive tense, no perfect tense, we are still on the road, the tasks are heavy and the way is long.

The 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress put forward requirements concerning cultural structural reform, for which Liu Qibao provided deployments one by one.

Concerning the perfection of management structures for State-owned management structures, the establishment of management organs for Party Committees and the government to supervise and manage State-owned cultural resources, and promoting the unity of implementing personnel management, management of affairs, management of resources and management of orientations, Liu Qibao said that this is a difficult point, but however difficult it may be, it must be firmly and unwaveringly pushed ahead.

Exploring the implementation of special management and shareholding structures is a major reform measure aimed at already-transformed State-owned media enterprises, the objective is to maintain management power over media enterprises during shareholding system reform from beginning to end. Liu Qibao required that we must grasp the research and formulation of corresponding regulations, clarify the scope of application, subjects of implementation and supplementary mechanisms, persist in preliminary trials, accumulation of experiences and gradual pushing ahead.

The 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Conference put forward that we must complete structures and mechanisms to persist in the correct public opinion orientation, Liu Qibao pointed out that it is necessary to aim at new network technologies and applications, vigorously move the integration of newspapers and the network, and [radio and television] stations and the network forward, shape organizational structures, management systems and dissemination systems for integrated development, promote the development of all media, and ensure that traditional media and new media continue to be mainstream media after they are scientifically integrated.

When discussing paying attention to and developing folk and ethnic culture, and striving to establish inheritance structures for excellent traditional culture, Liu Qibao said that, under the great trend of globalization, ethnic and native cultural traditions have an important and irreplaceable, reproductive value, and at the same time face the danger that they are marginalized, replaced, decline or even perish. He passionately said that: “We must keep our homes, and remember our hearths.” He demanded a strengthening of protection for and development of folk culture, the inheritance of unique styles and forms, endowing them with new cultural content, and ensure that excellent folk culture becomes enlivened and is handed on. It is necessary to integrate new urbanization and the construction of a new countryside, with forcefully developing beautiful cities, towns and villages that have a historical memory and regional ethnic characteristics.

Liu Qibao stressed that deployment is ten percent, implementation is ninety percent. We must make implementation into the focus point of moving cultural structural reform work forward, strengthen organizational leadership and work leadership, and closely grasp the correct orientation of cultural structural reform, ensuring our hooves are quick and our pace steady. Member work units of the Small Group for Cultural Structural Reform must, as quickly as possible, research tasks and ledgers for reform in their areas, and strongly move reform tasks in all areas forward.

新华网北京3月28日电 作为中央文化体制改革和发展工作领导小组组长,中共中央政治局委员、中宣部部长刘奇葆的讲话充满了紧迫感。他说,中央全面深化改革领导小组不久前审议通过了《深化文化体制改革方案》,提出改革的奋斗目标是,到2020年建立充满活力、富有效率、有利于文化繁荣发展的体制机制,使中国特色社会主义文化制度更加成熟更加定型。现在距离2020年只剩下7年,时间很紧,任务很重。


Accelerate the Promotion of Converged Development of Traditional Media and New Media

Liu Qibao

Promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media is a major strategic deployment that the Party Centre made with a view to consolidating the propaganda, ideology and cultural battlefield, and expanding mainstream ideology and public opinion. General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed that we must accelerate the converged development of traditional media and new media, permit the use of new technologies and new applications to innovate media communication methods, and occupy the commanding heights in information communication. The 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress has put forward that we must integrate news media resources, and promote the converged development of traditional media and new media. We must earnestly study and comprehend the spirit of the Centre, further unite thoughts, raise our understanding, and realistically strengthen our sense of urgency, sense of responsibility and sense of mission concerning converged media development.

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