Saturday, November 1, 2014

Internet Regulator Lu Wei: "I Believe That Some Websites May Not be Accessible"

On October 31, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Beijing Has ‘Never Shut Down’ Overseas Websites.”  According to that article:
China has never shut down any overseas websites and its management over websites aims to protect China's national security and consumers' interests, said Lu Wei, director of the State Internet Information Office at a press conference on Thursday.
A transcript of Lu’s comments was published on the Xinhua website. Below are some excerpts:
TV Asahi: I have two questions. The first is, Facebook and other Western websites are inaccessible in China, why has China shut down these websites. The second question is, in recent times there has been a clear increase in the degree of website deletions and account closures in China, and there is information indicating that the SIIO will issue administrative measures on mobile applications, does this mean that China wants to restrict online speech? In the future how will you balance Internet regulation and free speech? 
You asked three questions. I didn't hear clearly which Western websites cannot be accessed in China. I have no experience using these websites, and I don't know if they are blocked or not. But I believe its possible that some websites may not be accessible. But what I want to make clear is that our administration is done in accordance with PRC law, and every measure that we take is for the protection of China's national security and the interests of China's consumers. What I want to make clear is that we have not shut down a single overseas website. Your website is in your home, how can we run over to your home and shut down the website in your home. Since time immemorial China has been hospitable and welcoming, but if someone comes to our home as a guest, I get to choose. I can say two things, I have no way to change you, but I have the right to choose my friends. I hope everyone who comes to China is a friend, a true friend. Thanks. 
The second question, you say that the degree of website deletions and account closures has increased, but I don't get that feeling. But I can tell you, the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Party Congress has just concluded, and it raised the goal of ruling the country in accordance with the law. To rule the country in accordance with the law it is necessary to rule the Internet in accordance with the law, and to rule the Internet in accordance with the law it is necessary to use rule of law thinking to promote the rule of law-ism in the Internet space. Ruling the Internet in accordance with the law it is first necessary to rule the Internet in accordance with the Constitution, and all the regulations that we promulgate, for example the "Nine Prohibiteds" and "Seven Bottom Lines," every single provision was promulgated in accordance with China's Constitution. For example, Article 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution provides that "The socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited." Now we must further strengthen ruling the Internet in accordance with the law, operating the Internet in accordance with the law, managing the Internet in accordance with the law, going online in accordance with the law, and using the law to regulate behavior in Internet spaces.
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Phoenix TV Reporter: You just mentioned the Facebook website, I recall that you had said that there is no way this kind of website would be allowed to enter China, and that China immediately implemented an Internet security screening system. What to do you think about the critiques of outsiders who say that the implementation of this system of ours is obstructing certain foreign enterprises from entering China? 
Lu Wei 
You also asked two questions. First, when I was in Davos I did in fact notice that various media were asking me whether "Facebook" could enter China. The media said I said "absolutely not." Today I can tell you, this is false reporting. Of course, I also did not say that "Facebook" could enter. I neither said it could not enter China, nor did I say it could enter China. What I want to say is that China's policy of openness to the outside will not change, because it is one of our fundamental policies. For foreign Internet companies wanting to enter China, our bottom line is that must comply with China's laws and regulations. Laws an regulations have two bottom lines, the first is not harming the national interests of China, the second is not harming the interests of China's consumers. What we will not permit is getting a piece of China's market, earning China's money, and in return harming China. This sort of situation is something we are unwilling to tolerate. All that is required is obeying China's laws and regulations, and we welcome all Internet companies in the world to enter the China market. The China market really is too big. 
You also mentioned a question about the Internet security screening system, and the fact is we did issue some information about establishing an Internet security screening system. Where does our Internet security screening system come from? It is something learned from America and other Western countries. Our Internet security screening system is intended to safeguard Internet security and national security, and safeguard the healthy development of the economy and society, and safeguard the interests of China's consumers. We are not targeting a particular country or a particular enterprise. Of course it will also include all countries and all enterprises. 
第二个问题,你说各家网站的删帖、关闭帐号的力度加大,我没有这方面的感觉,但是我可以告诉你,中国中共十八届四中全会刚刚闭幕,提出了依法治国的目标。要依法治国,就要依法治网,依法治网就是要用法治的思维推动网络空间法治化。依法治网首先是依宪治网,我们出台的所有法规,比方说“九不准”,还有“七条底线”,每一条都是对照中国宪法来出台的。比方说宪法第一章第一条就规定“社会主义制度是中华人民共和国的根本制度,禁止任何组织或个人来破坏社会主义制度”。我们现在要进一步加强依法治网、依法办网、依法管网、依法上网,用法治来规范网络空间的行为。[ 2014-10-30 16:32 ]
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