New platform to promote fairer, more wholesome cyberspace

More than 2.9 billion people in the world today, mostly in the less-developed countries, still do not have access to the internet. The digital divide has further widened the development gap. That has prompted the intergenerational inheritance of poverty in the least-developed countries, making them prey to exploitation.

The World Internet Conference, a permanent international organization founded and headquartered in Beijing on Tuesday, aims to serve as a platform to narrow the digital divide and contribute to global governance in cyberspace and the common development of the world.

The newly founded organization, which includes a general assembly, council, secretariat, high-level advisory committee and specialized committees, represents China's due contribution to the development of the internet and the improvement of global governance in cyberspace.

The World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, every year since 2014 will become the organization's annual conference.

As President Xi Jinping said in his congratulatory letter on the founding of the organization on Tuesday, China stands ready to work with the international community to build a cyberspace that is fairer and more equitable, more inclusive, safer and more stable.

It is hoped that the WIC, whose members come from international organizations, leading enterprises, authorities, industry organizations and top experts and scholars in the internet field, can develop into a platform that can pool the efforts and wisdom of countries to address the problems that have become increasingly prominent in the internet sector.

Violations of individual privacy are prevalent around the world. And cybercrimes, cyberattacks and cyberterrorism have become global hazards.

The big tech companies are also attempting to use trade negotiations to lock in binding international rules that reinforce their monopoly power and limit governments from regulating them. In a similar way, the scrutiny and correction of algorithms is being circumvented.

Via the WIC, countries can strengthen their dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and trust to promote reform of the global internet governance system, jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace, and establish a multilateral, democratic and transparent global internet governance system.

The founding of the WIC is aimed at making cyberspace safer and more vibrant, enabling the internet to improve people's lives.

The formation of the WIC is a victory for multilateralism in cyberspace. It is the common view of its members that the internet is not zero-sum or winner takes all, and the rules in cyberspace should be agreed by all countries together, not one single country.