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China pledges to speed up IT development
( 2003-12-11 23:30)

China pledged to spare no efforts to work together with other nations to accelerate the progress of the development of an information society.

That message was delivered in Geneva on Wednesday at the first plenary meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Organized by the United Nations (UN), the three-day conference aims to bring poorer nations into the so-called information age and drive up their economic development by boosting access to technology such as mobile phones and the Internet.

"Information technologies are becoming a major driving force for the development of human society. We are willing to work with other countries to speed up the construction of the information society and help realize the UN's millennium goal,'' said Wang Xudong, minister of China's Information Industry, representing China at the event.

"The information society is a result of human civilization, which is characterized by the universal benefits to all the people and all the nations,'' he said.

The world is now world an increasing gap between the rich and the poor and a digital divide due to the globalization of the world economy and the fast development of information technology.

Wang expected that the declaration of principles and plan of action, which are to be announced at the end of the summit, will give a strong shot in arm to the development of information technologies and the Internet worldwide.

"The fundamental for building an information society should rely on economic development,'' Wang said, adding the IT industry has already become a leading and pillar industry in national development.

Official figures indicated that the total telephone subscribers in China topped more than 500 million by the end of November, registering an annual increase of more than 90 million newly-recruited telephone users in the past three years.

Meanwhile, there are now more than 78 million Internet users in China.

The minister believed that to build a "stable and fair'' international environment will be a key element for an information society.

The developed countries are obliged to help developing countries in terms of capital, technologies and personnel, which will largely narrow the digital gap between the two, he said. Meanwhile, developing countries should work out a feasible model to construct an information society.

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