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China wants party voice ‘strongest on net’

Lu Wei, head of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Informatization, speaks during a press conference in Beijing on December 9, 2015. China's internet tsar likened controlling Chinese internet usage to ‘trying to nail Jell-O to a wall’, but admitted the government had toughened censorship in recent years. Photo AP/Imaginechina

Lu Wei, head of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Informatization, speaks during a press conference in Beijing on December 9, 2015. China’s internet tsar likened controlling Chinese internet usage to ‘trying to nail Jell-O to a wall’, but admitted the government had toughened censorship in recent years. Photo AP/Imaginechina

Shanghai [RAW]

China’s internet regulator has vowed to make the views of the ruling communist party the ‘strongest voice in cyberspace’, as part of efforts to strengthen its tightening grip on the internet.

Following a two-day meeting the Cyberspace Administration of China also said a priority this year would be ‘using Chinese views, Chinese plans to lead to a transformation in the governance system of the internet globally’.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has championed a vision for cyberspace in which internet ‘sovereignty’ rests in the hands of countries that can control the flow of information and fence off certain online content as they please.

Since Xi took China’s helm in early 2013, he has presided over a centralisation of domestic internet governance and broader efforts to control and often censor information online, experts say.

Those efforts are aimed at maintaining stability, seen by the ruling Chinese Communist Party as a critical pillar of its rule.

This year the administration would strive to ‘let the party’s achievements in theoretical innovation and practical accomplishments become the highly held main tone and key themes in cyberspace,’ it said in a statement posted on its website late on Wednesday.

China infamously operates a ‘Great Firewall’, the world’s most sophisticated online censorship system which blocks – and, as of this year, also attacks – internet services the government deems unsavoury.


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