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Xi's Internet sovereignty comment echoed by researcher and business leader


The comment made by President Xi Jinping at the 2nd World Internet Conference that the international community should respect the "Internet sovereignty" of individual countries were echoed by researchers and business leaders, who believe it is necessary that Internet must have an order and must be managed.

"We should respect the rights of individual countries in choosing their own Internet development path, Internet governance, and Internet policies," Xi said in his address at the opening ceremony of the World Internet Conference, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday.

If a country has sovereignty on land and water, it must have sovereignty on network, said Xu Jinghong, the chairman of Tsinghua Holdings Co Ltd:

He said if the territorial aggression is a kind of invasion, then the aggression on Internet sovereignty must be an invasion. It is necessary that Internet must have an order and must be managed.

Xu's opinion was echoed by Lu Chuanying, assistant researcher from the global governance studies department under Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

Lu said there has already been a certain conclusion about cyberspace sovereignty as in 2003, the UN's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) had put forward “formulating public policy related to Internet belongs to the sovereignty of a country.”

In July 2015, a report issued by the UN's information security expert group, which consisted of the US government and governments of other countries, highlighted respecting the sovereignty of a country in cyberspace, according to Lu.

Lu believed that many officials engaged in network affairs and scholars specializing in cyberspace from Western countries all agree Internet sovereignty in private, but they cannot advocate sovereignty of Internet in public due to the power of Western media.

Doubting China's Internet sovereignty is ill-founded and not worthy of debating Lu said because from an objective point of view, different culture and development phase lead to the diversified cognition to Internet space.

Nowadays, every country exercises the sovereignty of network, and promoting the development of Internet infrastructure and protecting Internet security have become a consensus of governments, Lu said.

All kinds of public policies and legislations about Internet are a natural part of country’s Internet sovereignty. Moreover, the infrastructure, data and users, which make up the cyberspace, have a clear sovereignty.