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Lu Wei delivers keynote speech to China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum

( Updated: 2015-09-10 19:55
Lu Wei delivers keynote speech to China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum

Lu Wei delivers keynote speech at the China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum held in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Sept 10, 2015. 

Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, spoke to the China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum on Thursday. The forum was held in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

Here's the full text of Lu's speech.

Building Online Silk Road and Creating a Bright Future Together

Dear Party Secretary Li Jianhua,

Distinguished representatives from Arab countries,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

In this year of exchange and cooperation between China and Arab countries, we get together in the beautiful city of Yinchuan to discuss the development of cyberspace at the Online Silk Road Forum. I express my sincere welcome to friends and guests from Arab countries and all walks of life on behalf of the Cyberspace Administration of China. I wish the forum success and give my sincere gratitude to the host, Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

In his letter of congratulation to the China-Arab States Expo, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China and Arab countries are good friends on the road of joint development. Both sides are important origins of human civilizations, with three of the world's four ancient civilizations prospering in the two regions.

China and Arab countries have a long-standing history of exchange: as early as more than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected the two civilizations both culturally and economically. Now at the new starting point of history, President Xi said, China and Arab countries are natural partners in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Both sides should carry forward the spirit of the Silk Road by promoting exchanges in policy, facility, trade, money, as well as people, contributing to the better life of people of both sides.

Nowadays, the new technology revolution led by information technology has been rising. As a leading force of innovation drive, the Internet has changed people's lives profoundly and pushed society forward to deeper development. On the ancient Silk Road Ali Baba, who was brave and savvy, found the cave where thieves hid treasure. He used the words "open sesame" to open the sealed cave, brought back the treasure and handed it out to the poor. He helped people have a happy life.

Jack Ma was inspired by the folk story and started his company Alibaba. He made a great success by promoting e-commerce among the world including people from Arab countries in just fifteen years. Tencent, Baidu, and Xiaomi are also outstanding Internet companies in China to have achieved success. The connectivity of the Internet and communication of information have created miracles for the world and China one after another.

Connectivity is the key to "One Belt One Road", and connectivity to the Internet comes first. The Internet will have a significant effect and bring fresh ideas to the ancient Silk Road in the first China-Arab States Expo Online Silk Road Forum.

The expo will bond China and Arab countries together as a benefit to a community of shared destiny. Ningxia is a fortress on the Silk Road and also the pivot of culture communication between Arab countries and China. We sincerely wish for a comprehensive cooperation on the Internet to be launched to build an online Silk Road and online Silk Road Ningxia key control project which will benefit people both in Arab countries and China.

First, a road to unblocked information flow. Information infrastructure is not only the cornerstone for developing the online Silk Road, but also the fundamental basis for developing exchanges and cooperation in cyberspace between China and Arab countries.

Together with Arab countries, we are willing to promote inter-governmental, inter-corporate and people-to-people pragmatic cooperation between China and Arab countries. We are willing to build an international online thoroughfare between China and Arab countries with Ningxia as a pivot point.

We will also speed up construction of regional cyber facilities and a communication cable network, prioritize the allocation of cyber infrastructure and promote the common use of 4G network and public WIFI, to break bottlenecks in information-based development such as digital divide and isolated digital island.

In this way, we hope all people in the region, especially the poor, could know the world, obtain information, grasp knowledge and generate wealth via the Internet. In order to lead a happy life, they need the Internet more than anybody else.

Second, a road to economic and trade prosperity. As China speeds up the promotion of its "Internet Plus" project, its digital economy including e-commerce and Intelligent Manufacturing is enjoying fast development.

E-commerce's trade volume in 2014 reached $2 trillion and is expected to make $2.8 trillion in 2015. There are more than 330 listed Internet companies with a total market value of $0.47 trillion, making "Internet Plus" the strongest voice in China's ‘new normal'.

We are looking forward to deepening cooperation on the digital economy with Arab countries and accelerating the building of a common market online. We also expect comprehensive cooperation in cross-border e-commerce involving inspection and quarantine and financial payment to boost development in various areas such as commerce and trade, logistics and tourism.

Third, a road to technical cooperation. We are living in a period of information technology revolution that has witnessed the emergence of a series of new technologies such as cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things.

Whoever owns the most advanced technology can grasp the initiative in development. We shall take advantage of the new round of revolution by strengthening technological cooperation and co-combating challenges. We also need to enhance communication in research and development, technology application and technical personnel together, as well as participate in the standard setting of important technology, in order to provide the most powerful technical support for the online Silk Road's development.

Fourth, a road to converge capital. Information flow leads capital flow in today's world. Internet and capital are intergrading, and the vast development of the Internet is opening doors to more innovation and entrepreneurship. Traditional methods of capital flow can no longer meet the demands posed by accelerated development of e-commerce in China and Arab.

We will continue to work with Arab countries to create a cross-regional Internet finance center, supporting online transactions of enterprises, developing cross-border payment services, promoting multi-currency accounting and capital flow so as to continue to push forward innovation in the online Silk Road and full flow of capital.

Fifth, a road to cultural and human exchange. An old saying in Arabic goes: "True friendship has no end, and a true friend is here to stay." The Silk Road is a historical witness to the friendship between China and the Arabs. It is also part of the beautiful moments shared between our people for centuries. Today, the Internet allows more convenient interaction among our people. Social network services like Weibo and WeChat, as well as on- and off-line communication and interaction, are deepening our bonds.

China hopes to join hands with the Arab countries to create a network cultural resource center. Through the use of the Internet, we want to showcase the culture of China and the Arab countries, expand cooperation in various aspects including academics, education, medicine, culture and media, and let the Internet join us from heart to heart.

The online Silk Road is a road that is not just prosperous, but also safe, smooth and orderly. We are glad to work with the Arab countries to strengthen the governance of cyber space, secure cyber safety, strike online terrorism and online crime, and protect netizens' legal rights to build a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative online space.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As President Xi Jinping has said, interconnection is a road below our feet and no matter it is a highway, a railway, an airline or an online road, cooperation reaches wherever the road reaches. As the online Silk Road has set sail, the Arab countries and China can take advantage of the power of Internet to link the two large markets and let the two cultures communicate with each other.

Both sides should turn the online Silk Road into a road that could benefit the people in the two regions, and devote themselves to promoting the development of human society's progress.

Thank you.

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