Speech at the 13th Chinese Online Media Forum
30 October 2013
Lu Wei, Director, State Internet Information Office All respected guests, comrades, friends: Good day, everyone! Today, we are assembled in Zhengzhou, an important location in the culture of the Central Plains, to hold the 13th Chinese Online Media Forum, and together discuss fundamental matters in the development of online media. This is a real act in our implementation of the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the spirit of the national propaganda and ideology work conference, it is also an important measure to promote the healthy development of the Internet. Here, I represent the State Internet Information Office in expressing warm congratulations for the organization of the Forum. The Chinese Media Forum is an annual distinguished gathering with important influence in the industry, and has so far existed for thirteen years. In thirteen years, the Forum has had a positive and important role in forging consensus in the industry, strengthening academic research, deepening exchange and cooperation, promoting innovation and development, and other such matters, and it has become an important platform for online media to jointly seek development. The themes and content of all previous Fora not only profoundly reflect the development trajectory of China’s online media, they have also pointed out the direction for progress in the future. This Forum is entitled “Concentrate Positive Energy Online, Build the Chinese Dream Together”, this is closely connected with the development orientation, it grasps the pulse of the times, and reflects the aspirations of the masses. Concerning the construction of online content, positive energy is the general requirement, and the Chinese Dream is the main melody. Concentrating positive energy online requires us to closely revolve around the Chinese Dream and use the shared expectations of 1.3 billion sons and daughters of China, to concentrate the energy of ideas, minds full of love, a selfless spirit and a drive to keep forging ahead to the greatest possible extent, and let our cyberspace become full of dew and sunlight; jointly building the Chinese Dream means that we must incessantly stimulate positive energy, transmit positive energy, and concentrate positive energy, and incessantly consolidate the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people. Positive energy comes from the popular masses, it comes from the people’s pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful, it comes from the people’s fervent lives, and it comes from the people’s lively practice and magnificent creation. The Chinese Dream is the dream of the people, it is the people’s yearning for a wealthy and strong country, it is the people’s pursuit of national rejuvenation, and is the people’s longing for individual happiness. The Chinese dream is no vapid slogan, it is not a remote and unattainable goal, it is a firm idea, it is a realistic action, and in the end, must be cast by hundreds of millions of people together. The Internet is an important link connecting the Party, the government and the people, and an important platform to serve the masses under new circumstances, we must tell the stories of the common people’s seeking their dreams, display the struggles of the common people in pursuing their dreams, and concentrate the forces of the common people in fulfilling their dreams, this is the basic essence of concentrating positive energy online and building the Chinese Dream together.
I will tell a story here, this story was disseminated online yester day evening, but has not yet truly achieved an effect of online concentration. Central Television, the Guangming Daily and others have reported it. What I am talking about is the story of a father and son in Linli, Hunan who pursued their dreams. These father and son were peasants. The father was named Shen Kequan, the son Shen Changjian. The father accidentally discovered, thirty-five years ago, that he had three canola plants that grew extremely well, and he judged that this was a rare breed variety, and so thought up a dream, to use these three canola plants for cross-fertilization, and swore that he would not shave his beard if he was not successful, and in the end, he was not successful until he passed away. With his dying breath, the father called the son next to his bed, and said: “To realize this dream of canola, father and son must both struggle.” The son received his father’s straw hat, directly went into the field to conduct scientific research, the whole family was willing to sacrifice the iron of their woks, to lose everything before letting it go, this dream that was pursued for thirty-five years, that required more than a thousand tests, for which 23 diaries on canola plants were written, and in the end, they developed an exceptional canola plant of with high output and high oil quality, which gained high appraisals from domestic and foreign experts. The experience and story of these father and son peasants who pursued their dream is a model example of our concentrating positive online, it is regrettable that it has not become a force to concentrate positive energy online. After today’s meeting, I hope that all websites, user terminals, microblogs and WeChat will go to Hunan to seek these father and son, tell the story of how they pursued their dream, show their struggle in pursuing their dream, and concentrate their strength in pursuing their dream. I expect that there are hundreds of thousands of people like father and son Shen in the expanse of China’s territory whose stories of pursuing a dream can be brought together online, this is concentrating positive energy online.
In the past few months, we have forcefully launched propaganda activities around the theme of the Chinese Dream online, we have forcefully moved forward with special campaigns to protect citizens’ lawful rights and interests, attack online rumours, etc., all localities and all relevant departments have set to work together, grasped and managed affairs together, mainstream news websites have taken the lead and led by example, focus commercial websites have closely cooperated, and worked in positive concert, the broad netizens have participate eagerly and interacted sincerely, the haze in cyberspace is gradually dissipating, and blue sky is beginning to emerge, which was fully approved by all walks of society. “The last mile is the longest one”, we must continue to give rein to the dominant role of the broad netizens, give rein to the leading role of online media, fully muster the vigour, initiative and creativity of the entire society, and progressively clear up cyberspace. To realize this objective, we must focus on building a cyberspace for the people, which is civilized and sincere, has the rule of law, is secure and innovative.
First, a cyberspace for the people. Netizens come from among the masses, the masses have gone online and the Party’s mass line must therefore also extend online. To serve 600 million netizens well, is the meaning of the phrase of marching the mass line well under new circumstances, and is the basic starting point and stopover point for building cyberspace well. We must listen to the people’s will through the Internet, fully respect those straightforward and even somewhat sharp voices, earnestly and actively ask netizens about political matters, ask netizens about their needs, and ask netizens about our plans, promote government information openness, effectively change the phenomenon that government decrees are “a barrier lake”; we must collect the wisdom of the people through the Internet, derive nourishment and gain strength from the popular masses, bring the calls of the masses into the policies of Party Committees and governments; we must benefit the people’s livelihoods through the Internet, provide richer, faster, more convenient and safer information services to the popular masses, incessantly satisfy the popular masses’ daily growing spiritual and cultural demands; we must warm the people’s hearts through the Internet, persist in interaction online and action offline, to ensure that there are people to listen to the masses’ interests and concerns, and ensure there are people to act upon them, that there are people to help in case of difficulties, that there are people to manage problems that arise, we must even better unite the Party’s standpoints and the voices of netizens, and let the Internet truly become a new channel for Party Committees and governments to understand the masses, stick close the masses and serve the masses.
Second, a civilized cyberspace. The Chinese nation has a history and civilization of five thousand years, and has always had the epithet of “a land of decorum”. Our ancestors created a magnificent culture, and formed moral norms and standards for etiquette that have been inherited across millennia, this not only prompted the progress of human societies, it also nourished our spiritual roots and fostered our nation’s spirit. “Propriety, righteousness, honesty and a sense of shame, are the four cardinal principles of the country”, regardless of whether it concerns a country, a nation or an individual, regardless whether it concerns history, the present or the future, in all cases, we must preserve the roots of a civilization and the spirit of a civilization, we can never lose the fine qualities inherited through generations, this is the historical responsibility of our generation. In this country of ours, which is widely known for its civilization, if cyberspace is full of vulgarity, sex, boorishness and violence, it will gravely harm the fine image of the Chinese nation, gravely imperil the physical and mental health of minors, and even ruin the millennial coherence of the Chinese nation, destroying our beautiful future! We must persist in the “seven baseline”, just like a netizen called “online virtue” said, the “seven baselines” do not equal online civilization, in comparison with the towering mountain and vast sea of online virtue and interpersonal virtue, they are only the floorboards, stairs, roads and sea levels of cyberspace, but even so, exactly because we have these firm foundations and stairs, we are able to climb towards the maintain peak smoothly, step by step. We must start today, start from ourselves, advocate the customs of the civilization in cyberspace, carry forward advanced Socialist culture, show the true, the good and the beautiful, castigate the false, the bad and the ugly, display the good deeds and just acts of common people, display the moving stories of commoners, display the bearing of contemporary Chinese civilization, and build cyberspace into a spiritual garden which worships virtue and the good, is civilized and polite, and which warms people’s hearts.
Third, a sincere cyberspace. People cannot stand without trust, business cannot flourish without trust. A cyberspace without sincerity does not have life force, an Internet that does not stress sincerity is no different from “destroying one’s own Great Wall”. In the present world, no person is willing to live in a space inundated with falsehoods, and rumours as far as the eye can see. The existence of online rumours and other untrustworthy acts erodes the organism of the Internet like a virus, and become common nuisances that everyone bitterly hates. If we do not timely and effectively deal with this, it will lead to a “broken window effect”, and they will run rampant across cyberspace, which will endanger the personal interests of everyone in the end. “What you do not wish for yourself, you must not do unto others”, every netizen must make sincere surfing into a behavioural norm, be responsible for their own voice, consciously ensure that where there are “rumours”, they do not believe them, they do not disseminate them, and they attack them together, and let untrustworthy acts be condemned by all like a tiger crossing the street. We must unite online celebrities and online “Big Vs”, encourage them to give rein to positive social energy, consciously bear their social responsibility, ensure self-respect and self-love, so that they do not become “Big Rumours” by any means. We must forcefully carry forward the virtue of sincerity, strengthen the value orientation of “seeing sincerity as glorious and untrustworthiness as disgraceful”, establish and perfect a sincerity system in cyberspace, and firmly contain and attack those acts of malignant concoction and dissemination of rumours, in order to build a sincere cyberspace together.
Fourth, a cyberspace with the rule of law. Cyberspace is an extension of real society, online deeds are carried out by offline people, cyberspace is not “a land outside the law”, netizens are not “a people outside culture”, abiding by the law is the basic norm, baselines may not be exceeded, all acts violating the law must be strictly punished. If we seek freedom, we need to seek order; if we seek openness, we need to seek the rule of law. Governing the Internet according to the law is the common convention and universal consensus of all countries, no country would connive at online illegal and criminal acts. Recently, the “Two Supremes” published a judicial interpretation concerning attacking online rumours and other such unlawful and criminal acts, which forcefully displayed our firm determination to govern the Internet according to the law. We must accelerate the perfection of network laws and regulations, firmly attack cybercrime, and we must especially forcefully eradicate online blackmail, violation of citizens’ lawful rights and interests, and other such “viruses”, strengthen websites’ self-discipline and netizens’ self-discipline, construct a network infrastructure with a fresh wind and correct tendencies, and bring network management, network operations and network services onto rule of law tracks from beginning to end, so they operate healthily.
Fifth, a secure cyberspace. Security is the precondition and basis for Internet development, without security, there is nothing else worth mentioning. At present, cybersecurity has become a focus question in international society, and the degree of attention it receives is without precedent. China is a main victim of cyber attacks, it faces severe cybersecurity challenges, hacker attacks, dissemination of viruses, information theft, violation of privacy and other such acts have become a torrential undercurrent, the broad netizens’ call for cybersecurity is extremely strong. We must make security into a “lifeline” of cyberspace, forcefully safeguard data security, technological security, application security and channel security, accelerate our strength to storm key passes in technology, perfect security protection systems, build firm “dams”, keep the “gates” well, and block “back doors”. New technology applications are like driving a new car out of the garage, “the brakes must be calibrated well before you go on the road.” In cyberspace, we equally must respect the privacy rights of citizens, expand our strength to protect personal information online, raise citizens’ awareness about information security, and forge a secure, stable, reliable and orderly online environment.
Sixth, an innovative cyberspace. Innovation is the genome of the Internet, without innovation, there is no Internet, without Innovation, there is no future for the Internet. Take a broad view of the international development of the Internet, innovation strength decides communication strength, communication strength decides influence, influence decides competitiveness. “One who does not renew every day, falls behind every day”, China’s online media must persist in putting innovation of ideas first, take technological innovation as support, take service innovation as a focus point, take communication innovation as key, and take management innovation as guarantee, they must strive to build a cyberspace that is full of dynamism and rich in innovation. Innovation of ideas means that they must, with a heart like that of the sea, which accepts a hundred rivers, vigorously learn from advanced international experiences, start from our country’s national circumstances, and march a path of new media development with Chinese characteristics; technological innovation means that they must dare to stand at the head of the tide of Internet science and technology development, forcefully promote indigenous innovation, use even more Chinese creations and brands of the nation, race to seize the commanding heights of communication and strengthen international competitiveness; service innovation means that they must start from netizens’ real demands, expand new business models, eliminate information barriers, fill information divides, and provide even more specialized and individualized services; communication innovation means that they must grasp the laws of Internet communication, use vivid stories to attract people, sincere emotions to move people, and common reason to persuade people; management innovation means that they must incessantly complete management systems, innovate management structures, innovate operational models, and expand the overall strength of online media.
Constructing a cyberspace for the people, which is civilized, sincere, honest, has rule of law, is safe and innovative is an important and extremely urgent mission, which requires that all walks of society lend a hand and joint forces to build it together. Mainstream news websites and focus commercial websites are the core forces to promote the healthy development of the Internet undertaking, they are the main army to disseminate positive energy, and must fully play their roles as example, by taking “eight leads”:
First, take the lead in grasping orientation, meaning that they must tightly grasp the correct political direction.
Second, take the lead in management, meaning that they must persist in the fact that firm management is a hard rationale from beginning to end.
Third, take the lead in promoting healthy tendencies, meaning that they must persist in the fact that disseminating positive energy is the overall requirement.
Fourth, take the lead in establishing a new wind, meaning that they must invigorate a civilized wind online.
Fifth, take the lead in abiding by the law and discipline, meaning that they must persist in the baseline of laws and regulations.
Sixth, take the lead in exploring laws, meaning that they must raise the effectiveness of online dissemination.
Seventh, take the lead in seeking development, meaning that they must strengthen the core competitiveness of online media.
Eight, take the lead in building teams, meaning that they must build a series of strong teams loyal to the Party and the people.
Comrades, friends: Concentrating positive energy online and building the Chinese Dream together is a glorious mission that the times have entrusted to us, and is the common aspiration of the Party and the people. Positive energy is like kindling for hope, it needs to be lit, and must be transmitted. I wholeheartedly hope that the broad online media keep their mission firmly in mind and do not disgrace our trust, concentrate positive energy, disseminate positive energy, let cyberspace be full of warmth, full of sunlight and full of hope, and concentrate strong spiritual forces for the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation! Finally, I wish the 13th Online Media Forum complete success! Thank you, everyone!