Prof. Shi Anbin Discusses President Xi's Internet Development Speech on CCTV

Government officials should learn to be Internet-friendly and change their mindset to communicate better with its people, Professor Shi Anbin, Associate Dean of Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, said on CCTV News on April 20.

Appearing on CCTV’s Dialogue program following President Xi Jinping’s Internet development speech, Professor Shi said Chinese officials should regard the Internet as a governing tool.

“I would call it ‘Governing with the Internet,’ not just ‘Internet Governance,’” he said. “President Xi’s meeting serves as a chance for officials to change their mentality of communicating with the public.”

Shi, a professor of communication, cited the Communist Party’s tradition of using mass language rather than bureaucratic rhetoric to communicate with its people. He added that the Internet has now become an important channel for the public to convey its opinion to government administrators.

Xi’s meeting focused on how China can better play its role in the global governance of Internet, the associate dean said. The Chinese president encouraged “constructive” criticism to be posted on the Internet and told government officials to engage with the public on digital platforms.

“China is emerging as a strong competitor in the global Internet landscape. Among the Top 10 Internet companies worldwide, six are from U.S. and the rest four come from China,” added Shi. “The world is entering into an age of Chi-America Co-governance on Cyberspace, where the two players should work together to achieve real global Internet governance.”

Talking about the prospects of China’s Internet development, Professor Shi advocates for an open Internet environment featuring the spirit of law.

“Law is the universal language, and it provides a guideline for both Internet users and administrators,” he said. “As China is now on becoming the destination for more and more foreign Internet companies, it needs to speed up legislation of a cyber-law and improving legal supervision.”

(by Shen Xiaobo)