Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-11 0:58:01
The websites of Time and The Economist have been blocked in China. The New York Times, with several other Western media outlets, have voiced support to each other by accusing China of blocking Western websites.
It is reported that US trade officials for the first time added China's system of Internet control, known as the Great Firewall, to an annual list of trade barriers, saying China's online controls have "posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers."
It requires a sophisticated capability to impose online limits to a tiny number of foreign websites or their harmful content while at the same time retaining connectivity between China's Internet and the world so as to ensure the global flow of information. China has achieved this - it can communicate with the outside world, meanwhile, Western opinions cannot easily penetrate as ideological tools.
The Great Firewall is a system that filters and blocks harmful or unsafe information. It has caused some inconvenience when China and the outside world try to understand each other, but they have gradually adapted to this reality.
As the emergence and development of the Internet is accompanied by the economic and political evolution of Western society, the Internet has naturally inherited Western elements such as Western rules and order. The Great Firewall quelled Western intentions to penetrate China ideologically.
Western media have published major political reports that concern China in recent years, trying to direct the attention of Chinese society and set the discourse agenda for us. The Great Firewall has snuffed out such intentions.
History will positively assess the key role of the system. But it does not mean it will exist forever. As time goes by, it may not be needed when China and the West share an equal footing in terms of soft power.
Keeping its openness while exercising its own rights will be an equal principle for China's Internet development in the long term, because both concern the core interests of Chinese society.
The West controls the value orientation and agenda setting on the platform of the Internet. Western opinion's interference is aimed at making the Western-led rules and order dominate China.
The Chinese people should not be misled by the West. We need to realize the complex background when the Great Firewall emerged. The freedom of trade bears a great significance to world development, while it is the US that has set enormous impediments. So far, the Americans still ban China's Huawei from their market, claiming the Chinese company would harm US national security. They put their own national interests above all.
The Great Firewall should be designed to make China become more powerful rather than isolated and fragile. We cannot count on it for every external intrigue. But it can earn us time to empower ourselves with soft power and strength.