Xi Jinping’s Speech at the National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference


April 22, 2018


April 22, 2018

NOTE: This translation was originally published on the China Copyright and Media blog, a project of DigiChina’s Prof. Rogier Creemers of the University of Leiden. It has not been edited, double-checked, or standardized with DigiChina’s original content. Read more.

In the wake of the recent upgrade of the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization to a fully-fledged Commission, a national Work Conference on Cybersecurity and Informatization work took place in Beijing on 20 and 21 April. Xi Jinping gave a speech outlining adjusted priorities after the 19th Party Congress. The full text of the speech has not (yet) been made public. This is a translation of the official Xinhua report. Analysis will be published on the DigiChina platform. 

Xi Jinping Stresses at the Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference to Keenly Grasp the Historical Opportunity in Informatization Development, and Move Forward the Construction of a Cyber Power through Indigenous Innovation

Li Keqiang Chairs, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng Attend

Xinhua, 21 April, Beijing (Journalists Zhang Xiaosong, Zhu Jichai). The National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference was convened on the 20th and 21st in Beijing. CCP Central Committee General Secretary, State President, Chair of the Central Military Commission and Chair of the Central Commission for Cybersecurity and Informatization Xi Jinping attended the Conference and gave an important speech. He stressed that informatization has brought extremely rare opportunities to the Chinese nation. We must acutely grasp the historical opportunity of informatization development, strengthen online positive propaganda, safeguard cybersecurity, promote breakthroughs in core technologies in the informatization area, give rein to the guiding role of informatization in economic development, strengthen civil-military convergence in the cybersecurity and informatization area, actively participate in international cyberspace governance processes, move forward the construction of a cyber power through indigenous innovation, and make new contributions to determine victory in comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society, seize new grand victories for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a new era, and realize the Chinese Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, State Premier, and Central Commission for Cybersecurity and Informatization Vice-chair Li Keqiang chaired the Conference. CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and National People’s Standing Committee Chair Li Zhanshu, CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and Political Consultative Conference Chair Wang Yang, CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Discipline Inspection Committee Secretary Zhao Leji, CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and State Council Vice-premier Han Zheng attended the Conference. CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, Central Committee Secretariat Secretary and Vice-Chair of the Central Committee for Cybersecurity and Informatization Wang Huning made a summarizing speech.

In his speech, Xi Jinping stressed that since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Centre has paid high regard to the Internet, developed the Internet and governed the Internet, it has comprehensively coordinated major informatization and cyber policy questions affecting politics, economics, culture, society, military matters and other such fields, it has produced a series of major policies, published a series of major measures, and promoted historical successes to be achieved in the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking. These successes fully demonstrate that the Party Centre’s policy decisions since the 18th Party Congress, concerning strengthening uniform leadership of the Party Centre over cybersecurity and informatization work and a series of strategic arrangements made in cybersecurity and informatization work were completely correct. We incessantly move forward theoretical innovation and practical innovation, we do not only march a cyber governance path with Chinese characteristics, furthermore, we have put forward a series of new ideas, new viewpoints and new theses, and created strategic thinking on a strong cyber power.

Xi Jinping pointed out that we must raise comprehensive network governance capabilities, and create a comprehensive cyber governance structure with participation from Party Committees who take the lead, government that manages, enterprises that carry out responsibilities, society that supervises, and netizens who are self-disciplinary, which integrates economic, legal and technological methods. We must strengthen online positive propaganda, persist in the correct political direction, public opinion orientation, and value trend with clear banners flying, use the Thought of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th Party Centre to unite and bring together millions of netizens, deeply launch education on ideals and beliefs, deepen propaganda and education on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the Chinese Dream, vigorously foster and practice the Socialist Core Value View, advance innovation in online propaganda ideas, concepts, forms, methods, measures, etc., grasp timeliness and effect well, build concentric circles online and offline, concentrate social consensus even better, and consolidate a common intellectual basis for the entire Party and the people in the entire country to unite in struggle. We must press to realize the dominant responsibilities of internet enterprises, we can absolutely not let the Internet become a platform for the dissemination of harmful information, or where rumours spread that create trouble. We must strengthen self-discipline in the Internet sector, muster the vigour of all netizens, and mobilize forces on all sides to participate in governance.

Xi Jinping stressed that without cybersecurity, there is no national security, the economy and society will not operate in a stable manner, and the broad popular messes’ interests will be difficult to guarantee. We must establish a correct cybersecurity view, strengthen cybersecurity protection of information infrastructure, strengthen the construction of comprehensive cybersecurity information mechanisms, methods and platforms, strengthen the construction of cybersecurity incident response command capabilities, vigorously develop cybersecurity industries, ensure we move first to strategic passes, and prevent all possible trouble. We must implement critical information infrastructure protection responsibilities, as critical information infrastructure operators, sectors and enterprises bear a dominant protection responsibility, controlling departments are to implement their supervision and management responsibilities well. We must, according to the law, severely attack online hacking, telecommunications and network fraud, infringement of citizens’ personal privacy and other such unlawful and criminal conduct, sever cyber crime profit chains, continue to create a high-pressure situation, and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of the popular masses. We must deeply launch cybersecurity and knowledge technology propaganda and dissemination, and raise the broad popular masses’ cybersecurity consciousness and protection capabilities.

Xi Jinping pointed out that core technology is a great matter of state. We must be determined, persevere, seek the right centre of gravity, and accelerate the promotion of breakthroughs in core technologies in the information area. We must grasp the construction of industrial systems, and jointly put forth efforts in technology, industry and policy. We must abide by the development laws of technology, systematize the technology structure, select the best from among the best, and focus on breakthroughs. We must strengthen concentrated and unified leadership, perfect financial, fiscal, international trade, talent, intellectual property rights protection and other such environmental elements, optimize the market environment, and ever better unleash the new vitality of all kinds of innovative subjects. We must foster a fair market environment, strengthen intellectual property rights protection, and oppose monopolist and improper competition. We must open up green channels for basic research and technological innovation linkages, and strive to drive breakthroughs in the applied technology community through basic research.

Xi Jinping stressed that the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking represents new productive forces and new development directions, we should step ahead first in practicing new development ideas, focus on building a modern economic system and realizing high-quality development, strengthen informatization development, comprehensively drive and enhance new kinds of developments in industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. We must develop the digital economy, accelerate the promotion of digital industrialization, rely in information technology to drive innovation, incessantly give birth to new industries, new business forms and new models, use new drivers to promote new developments. We must promote industrial digitization, use new Internet technologies and new applications to carry out a transformation of traditional industries from all directions, all angles and all linkages, raise the productivity of all factors, unleash the role of the digital economy in expanding, accumulating and fostering economic development. We must promote the profound convergence of the Internet, bug data, artificial intelligence and the real economy; accelerate the digitization, networking and smartification of manufacturing, agriculture and the service sector. We must unwaveringly support cybersecurity and informatization enterprises to grow large and strong, strengthen normative guidance, and stimulate their healthy and orderly development. Enterprise development must persist in the unity of economic effects and social effects, and ever better bear their social responsibilities and moral responsibilities. We must utilize information means and methods to move government affairs openness and Party affairs openness forward, accelerate e-government services, build online service platforms integrated along a complete value chain, and ever better resolve the problems that handling affairs is difficult, settling matters is difficult and settling matters is complicated, which enterprises and the mosses take issue with. Developments in the cybersecurity and informatization development must implement the development idea of putting the people central, make improving the people’s welfare into a starting point and checkpoint, to let the popular masses have a greater sense of gain, sense of welfare and sense of security in informatization development.

Xi Jinping pointed out that military-civil integration in cybersecurity and informatization is a focus area and an area for advance, it is also the area in military-civil integration with the most dynamism and potential. We must grasp the historical opportunity of the current information technology transformation and new military transformations, deeply understand the immanent relationships of productivity and fighting capability, the market and the battlefield, grasp working mechanisms and laws of military-civil integration [Translator’s note, laws here, as well as higher up, does not refer to legislation, but to scientific laws of social development], promote the creation of a highly efficient and deeply converged development structure for military-civil integration covering all factors and multiple areas.

Xi Jinping stressed that moving forward reform of the global Internet governance system is the general trend, and a common aspiration. International cyberspace governance should persist in multilateral participation and multi-party participation, giving rein to the roles of all kinds of subjects, including government, international organizations, Internet enterprises, the technical community, civil bodies, individual citizens, etc. We must both promote cyber governance within the United Nations framework, and ever better give rein to the positive role of all kinds of non-State actors. We must, with the construction of “One Belt One Road” as juncture, strengthen cooperation with countries along the line and especially developing countries, in areas such as basic network infrastructure construction, the digital economy, cybersecurity, etc., and build a Digital Silk Road for the 21st Century.

Xi Jinping pointed out that we must strengthen the Party Centre’s concentrated and unified leadership over cybersecurity and informatization work, and guarantee that the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking advances in the correct direction from beginning to end. All localities and all departments must give high regard to cybersecurity and informatization work, enter it into the focus work plan and important matters agenda, and timely resolve new issues and new questions. We must full give rein to the advantages of the community organizations for workers, youth and women, give rein to the role of enterprises, scientific research institutes and think tanks, and assemble all of society to make concerted efforts in promotion of cybersecurity and informatization work. All levels’ leading cadres and especially higher-level leading cadres must actively adapt to the demands of informatization and strengthen their Internet thinking, incessantly raise their capability to gasp the laws of the Internet, their ability to guide online public opinion, their capacity to drive informatization development, and their capacity to protect cybersecurity. All levels’ Party and government bodies and leading cadres must raise their skills in organizing communities through the Internet, propagating to the community, guiding the community and serving the community. We must promote the lawful management, running and using of the Web, and ensure that the Internet works healthily, along rule of law tracks. We must research and formulate comprehensive plans for talent development in the cybersecurity and informatization area, promote the reform of talent development systems and mechanisms, let talent’s creative dynamism compete and forge ahead, and let wisdom and talent gush forth fully. We must incessantly strengthen the “Four Consciousness’s”, persist in putting the Party’s political construction first, strengthen efforts to expand the ranks, comprehensively and strictly manage the ranks well, select and allocate leading cadres for cybersecurity and informatization at all levels well, and provide powerful organizational and personnel guarantees for the development of the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking.

Li Keqiang, while chairing the Conference, pointed out that General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech started from the overall picture of the Party and State’s undertaking, comprehensively summarized the historical achievements that have been obtained in our country’s cybersecurity and informatization work, and the historic changes that have occurred, it systematically elucidated the rich content of thinking on the strong cyber power strategy, to scientifically answered a series of major theoretical and practical questions affecting the long-term development of the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking, it clarified the direction ahead and provided a fundamental path to follow for grasping the historic opportunity of the information revolution, strengthening cybersecurity and informatization work, and accelerating the construction of a cyber power, and has a major and profound significance. Everyone must earnestly study and comprehend it, deeply reflect on it, link it up with reality, thoroughly understand it, realistically unite their thoughts and actions around the spirit of the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping. Further raise political standpoints, realistically strengthen a sense of responsibility and a sense of mission from the heights of the Party’s long-term governance and the country’s long-term order and security, and push cybersecurity and informatization work to a new height.

Wang Huning pointed out in his summarizing speech that the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping stood on the heights of human historical development and the overall picture of the Party and the country, scientifically analysed changing trends n informatization and the historical mission we shoulder, it systematically elucidated the strong cyber power strategy thinking, profoundly answered a series of major theoretical and practical questions concerning cybersecurity and informatization development, and is a programmatic document to guide cybersecurity and informatization development in a new era. We must certainly earnestly study and comprehend it, unite thoughts and actions around the Party Centre’s strategic arrangements concerning cybersecurity and informatization work, and grasp the satisfactory implementation of all work items with a spirit of making the most of every available minute.

Responsible comrades from the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, Beijing Municipality, Shanghai Municipality, Hubei Province, Guangdong Province, and Guizhou Province made statements in exchange.

Politburo members, the Secretary of the Central Committee Secretariat, State Council members, the President of the Supreme People’s Court and the President of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate attended the Conference.

The members of the Central Committee for Cybersecurity and Informatization, and responsible comrades from all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, plan-listed cities, the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps, relevant departments in Central Committee and state bodies, relevant people’s organizations, relevant major State-owned enterprises, relevant military work units, major Central news work units, focus Central news websites, etc., participated in the Conference.