China’s President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater worldwide cooperation in evolving the internet and making it more fair and equitable, as Beijing seeks to strengthen its global role in shaping the web.
The speech was made on the president’s behalf at China’s main internet conference held in the northern city of Wuzhen. It was a tightly-controlled event organised by the cyber ministry that oversees the domestic internet and censors online content.
Technology and the internet are the main battlegrounds in a trade war that has been going on between China and the United States, with a spotlight on US complaints about intellectual property theft and China’s ambitions to become a leading global giant in cutting edge tech.
China has pushed for a bigger role in global internet governance and asked that nations respect Beijing’s “cyber sovereignty”, an idea that countries should be free to control and censor their internet infrastructure as they see fit
Foreign websites such as Google and Facebook are not permitted in China, authorities tightly control online content and censor or punish those who post material seen as contrary to “core socialist values”.