He hails important role of internet in economic recovery, global cooperation
China is ready to work with other countries to create a new paradigm for cybersecurity as well as a community with a shared future in cyberspace, President Xi Jinping said in a congratulatory letter to the World Internet Conference－Internet Development Forum, which opened on Monday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.
Xi hailed the important role of the internet in promoting economic recovery, ensuring social progress around the world and promoting international cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, telemedicine, e-learning, sharing platforms and collaboration systems have been widely used, the letter noted.
"China is ready to work with other countries to seize the historic opportunities presented by the information revolution, foster new growth drivers through innovation, break new ground in digital cooperation, create a new pattern for cybersecurity, build a community with a shared future in cyberspace and join hands to create a brighter future for humanity," Xi said in the letter.
The two-day forum, with the theme of "Digital Empowerment for a Better Future, Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace", is very timely, said Liu Zhenmin, under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs of the United Nations.
"As the world embraces digital transformation, the need for international cooperation has become more urgent than ever. The international community welcomes China's initiative and engagement in global internet governance," he said at the forum's opening ceremony via video.
Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of tech company Lenovo, said he was deeply inspired by Xi's remarks in the letter, which reaffirmed the critical role of digital technologies and the internet.
"The digital and intelligent transformation that we human beings are experiencing is a huge opportunity for the information technology industry. It should also be guided by technological innovations like 5G," Yang said on the sidelines of the forum.
"The remarks empowered us to continue to leverage 5G to drive the transformation progress and join hands with upstream and downstream industrial chains to contribute to the development of the digital economy and an intelligent society," he said.
As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, countries across the world should leverage "global cooperation as a strong weapon and informatization as an effective means of fighting against the pandemic", said Zhuang Rongwen, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China.
"During the pandemic, China has actively used frontier technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence in resource allocation and epidemic prevention," Zhuang said. "China has shared such experience without reservation with other countries and such moves have been widely praised by the international community."
Zhuang noted that the nation will further strengthen technical means in protecting the safety and health of people of all countries, especially in helping underdeveloped regions to improve their technological capabilities, so that the internet can truly offer support for humankind globally.
The latest data from the forum showed that China's digital technologies and internet expansion are both on the fast track despite lingering economic uncertainties. So far, the country has built the world's largest commercial 5G network.
As of June, the nation's internet users reached 940 million, with 381 million people using online education, 199 million people engaging in telecommuting and 276 million people using online healthcare services.
"In the upcoming five years, China, together with the United States, South Korea, Japan and a few markets in Europe, will be leading 5G development," said John Hoffman, CEO of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, an international association of mobile operators.
The association said that China is set to account for 70 percent of global 5G connections this year and is expected to have 450 million 5G connections by 2025, which will be the most globally.