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China-US Internet Industry Forum opens in Washington DC

Chen Weihua in Washington
Updated: Dec 4,2014 10:09 AM     China Daily

Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, speaks at the seventh China-US Internet Industry Forum in Washington DC, the United States, Dec 2. [Photo/China Daily]

The China-US working group on cybersecurity remains suspended following the decision by the United States in May to indict five People’s Liberation Army officers for cyberespionage.

However, bilateral contact seemed to resume on Dec 2 as senior officials, scholars and executives from Internet and telecom giants of both countries assembled in Washington for the 7th China US Internet Industry Forum.

The forum, co-hosted by Microsoft Corp and the Internet Society of China, drew some 150 participants, including Lu Wei, minister of the State Internet Information Office, and Catherine Novelli, the US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.

Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, speaks at the seventh China-US Internet Industry Forum in Washington DC, the United States, Dec 2. [Photo/Xinhua]

Lu Wei (3rd R), minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China and Catherine Novelli (4th R), US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and environment attend the seventh China US Internet Industry Forum in Washington DC, the United States, Dec 2. [Photo/Xinhua]

Catherine Novelli (R), US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and environment, speaks at the seventh China-US Internet Industry Forum in Washington DC, the United States, Dec 2. [Photo/Xinhua]

In his keynote speech, Lu suggested China and the US should appreciate each other instead of engaging in mutual denial and also respect each other instead of engaging in confrontation and accusation.

He pointed out that China has become the world’s largest Internet market, with more than 4 million websites, 600 million Internet users and four of the world’s top 10 Internet firms.

“We should respect each other’s cybersovereignty, Internet governance, major concerns and cultural differences,” he said. “The success of the Internet in China in the past two decades shows that successful foreign companies in China respect China’s market environment and abide by China’s laws and regulations.”

He called for mutual governance of the Internet instead of each country serving its own interests, and said the two countries should enhance mutual trust instead of mutual suspicion.

“A responsible major country should never restrain others for its own development, or infringe on other countries’ security to protect its own interests,” he said. “With wisdom and courage, cybersecurity will not become a source of conflict in China-US relations, but a new bright spot of cooperation.”

He proposed that China and the US engage in win-win cooperation instead of zero-sum games and said the bilateral relationship in cyberspace is generally positive despite occasional obstacles.

In a separate speech in afternoon of Dec 2 at George Washington University, Lu described the differences between the two countries in the cyberworld as accounting for only 10 percent of the picture, but they reflect a lack of trust that could be improved through more contact.

Novelli, a former executive at Apple Inc, said the two countries are cooperating on a lot of things on the Internet.

She said the two countries share a mutual responsibility to build up more broadband access, particularly in the developing world, describing it as being directly linked to GDP growth and noted societies and technology need to address problems such as identity theft and child pornography.

“Those are things we have to acknowledge that exist and work together to find ways that are effective to address that,” she said.

Zhang Yue contributed to this story.

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