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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, December 15, 2017

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China vows not to close the doors on global internet

President Xi Jinping has stressed

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BEIJING, China - Addressing the situation in China in connection with the global internet, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed that the country will not close its door to the global internet.

At the country's largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China, Jinping said in a note read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party's publicity department that the country will not close door to global internet.

Jinping said that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of internet development.

As per China’s Cyber sovereignty plan, states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.

He said, “The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane...China's doors will only become more and more open.”

In the past year, China's Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation, formalizing new rules that require firms to store data locally and censor tools that allow users to subvert the Great Firewall.

In June this year, China introduced a new national cybersecurity law that requires foreign firms to store data locally and submit to data surveillance measures.

Cyber regulators claim that the laws are in line with international rules and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. 

However, business groups have argued that the rules unfairly target foreign firms.

Under Jinping, China has advocated strongly for a larger role in global internet governance.

Wang Huning, a member of the Communist Party standing committee said at the event on Sunday, "China stands ready to develop new rules and systems of internet governance to serve all parties and counteract current imbalances.”

The largest public cyber policy forum in the country is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc's CEO Tim Cook and Google Inc chief Sundar Pichai as well as a Facebook Inc executive.

China has banned Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc and most major western news outlets in the country.

Firms like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc also attended the forum.

At the conference, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity.

Cook said on Sunday, “The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share. We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."

Cook's comments come at a pivotal point for the company's future in China, which is now the firm’s biggest market outside North America. 

Cook said that Apple's operations began three decades ago with a handful of employees and today, it helps support more than 5 million jobs in China, including 1.8 million local mobile app developers.

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