Xi Jinping has again sought to rally support for “cyber sovereignty” in a message to China’s annual World Internet Conference on Sunday. In a letter read out to the conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, by Communist Party publicity chief Huang Kunming, Xi said developments online were raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China was “willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships.”
The letter underscores Xi’s previous cyber sovereignty calls to the conference in which he has promoted the idea that all countries have the right to regulate the internet within their own borders. But the letter was a departure from last year when Xi delivered the message via a video link and 2015 when he pressed his point in person, according to the South China Morning Post. Xi’s presidency has coincided with extraordinary growth and tighter censorship online in China.