Internet sovereignty not against opening up
Global Times


Photo: Xinhua

The 4th World Internet Conference (WIC), with the theme, "Developing digital economy for openness and shared benefits - building a community of common future in cyberspace," opened in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province on Sunday. 

The CEOs or senior executives from major US Internet companies including Apple, Google and Facebook, as well as heavyweights from China's Internet economy, are in attendance, reflecting the attractiveness of the conference's theme.
However, some Western mainstream media continue to show their prejudice, distorting China's claim of respecting Internet sovereignty. They dwell on the fact that people cannot access some US websites and accuse China of ranking low in Internet freedom based on their own reports, so as to prove that Internet openness in China is fake.
The all-round development of the Internet has gradually filtered into every facet of our lives. Its connection with all kinds of major relationships in the real world is thus increasingly evident. Over the past decades, China has become one of the nations with the highest degree of openness in the world. It is also a country that emphasizes sovereignty and has been managing affairs in the field of ideology strictly. The combination of these two aspects enables China to find a path toward success. As for the Internet, such an exploration is underway. 
Some observers in the US and some other Western countries are against the concept of sovereignty of the Internet. That's because they want to dress up the interests of the US and the West into the common interests of the entire world and turn the multi-polar world into a West-dominated uni-polar world through the network. Intentionally or not, they have neglected the complexity of the Internet and have been misleading the public with the simple slogan of "freedom." 
China's Internet economy is developing rapidly. It has not only achieved fruitful results that have amazed the world, but also enjoys promising prospects. If China's Internet really is that closed, it would be unimaginable to see all the achievements and optimistic outlook. 
The West must wake up to the fact that China has the right to choose its own political system as well as explore relevant systems and models. Beijing is now looking for a conjunction point between Internet technology and maintenance of public opinion to maximize the benefits of the Internet era. 
Holding on to the opening up of the Internet as well as the bottom line of Internet sovereignty are actual demands for many countries. How to coordinate the two demands is probably the key to establishing a community of common future in cyberspace. 
It is hard to reach a consensus over the divergence between China and the West when it comes to their systems and ideologies. But both sides need to have an open mind toward each other, rather than simply attaching a label to the complicated area and lay all the difficulties on their different political systems.