China's cyberspace authority said the country will step up efforts to develop a "civilised" internet to alter online behaviour and use it as a platform to communicate new party ideas and promote socialist principles.
Reuters reported that according to an article published by a local newspaper on 27 October, the head of China's Cyberspace Administration (CAC), Zhuang Rongwen, said such efforts were critical to building a "modern socialist country," given that China has over 1 billion population and it is the world's largest digital society.
The article was re-posted on the CAC's official WeChat account.
The newspaper which published the article on the front page is known as Study Times. The Central Party School, which educates the rising Communist Party officials, publishes the newspaper.
Zhuang suggested that the Party should harness the internet's potential to promote communication to "let the party's innovative theories fly into the homes of regular people".
He believes that the excellent role models should be more widely publicised and that young internet users should be guided to create healthy cyberspace habits rather than cyberbullying. Additionally, he said that internet companies should strengthen their self-discipline.
Chinese officials have been attempting to further strengthen its control over society and online in the recent past. For example, the regulators have launched a wide-ranging crackdown on technology and other sectors.
In September, Xinhua news agency reported that the State Council published guidelines, according to which the internet should be used to promote education about the Communist Party in power and its accomplishments.
The report noted that a firm stance should be taken against "historical nihilism," which is defined as any attempt to use the past to call into question the party's leadership or the "inevitability" of Chinese socialism, and excellent moral values should be promoted, for example, by publicising incidents featuring model workers.
It added that measures should be made to help young people use the internet "correctly" and "safely." Behavioural norms in cyberspace should also be improved by establishing ethics and rules that comply with socialist fundamental principles, the report highlighted citing State Council’s guidelines.
Additionally, the report stated that laws relating to cybercrime and kids' protection, for example, would be developed, revised and implemented more quickly.
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