China's Xi calls for cooperation on Net regulation

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday urged governments to cooperate in regulating Internet use, stepping up efforts to promote controls that activists complain stifle free expression.

President Xi’s government operates extensive Internet monitoring and censorship and has tightened controls since he came to power in 2013.

Speaking at a government-organised conference attended by executives of global and Chinese Internet companies, Mr. Xi called for creating a global “governance system” to reflect the “wishes and interests of all countries.”

He said that would help fight online crime and terrorism and promote “healthy development” of the Internet.

The Chinese President’s comments reflect the growing assertiveness of China’s ruling Communist Party in promoting its own vision for how to regulate global finance, technology, news media and other matters.

Wednesday’s gathering was the second annual World Internet Conference in the southeastern city of Wuzhen in Zhejiang province, where Xi once was provincial party secretary. It was organised by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Cabinet agency that enforces Internet controls.

On the eve of the conference, the human rights group Amnesty International appealed to technology companies to resist Chinese initiatives that might curb freedom of expression or worsen human rights abuses. — AP

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