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Officials from China, Germany call for partnership in cybersecurity

Zhou Wa
Updated: Dec 17,2014 9:42 AM     China Daily

China and Germany can still cooperate further to tackle cybersecurity and other challenges posed by new media, according to media officials and leaders from the two countries attending the fourth China-Germany Media Dialogue on Dec 16.

At the opening ceremony, Cai Mingzhao, minister of the State Council Information Office, said China and Germany should enhance the cooperation in media technologies and apply new Internet technologies to empower media influence and promote cybersecurity.

Cai said Chinese media has developed considerably since the reform and opening-up, as traditional media have been strengthened and new media has developed at a fast pace.

“The China-Germany all-around strategic partnership brought new opportunities to the media cooperation between the two countries,” he said, calling on the two sides to deepen cooperation in journalism, communication technology, media management and operations to promote understanding between the two peoples.

Chinese media have accelerated the merging of traditional and new media, with the engaged use of new media, including websites, microblogging and mobile terminals.

According to an industry report by the China Internet Network Information Center, 632 million Chinese went online by the end of June, 527 million of them through their smartphones.

The number of Chinese surfing the Internet with mobile devices has for the first time exceeded those using computers to go online, the report said.

In the first half of this year, mobile Internet users increased by 14.42 million to 83.4 percent of all of China’s Internet surfers.

China and Germany face similar challenges in the merging of traditional and new media, and should cooperate more in this area, said German Ambassador to China Michael Clauss.

The fast development of Internet technology has brought the worldwide challenge of cyberattacks, said Shi Anbin, the associate dean of Tsinghua School of Communication and Journalism.

Shi cited the example of the case of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed US government surveillance activities based on secret documents.

Protecting people’s privacy and intellectual property online also forms a challenge both countries face, said Huang Yong, vice-director of the Xinhua News Agency’s international news department.

In Germany, netizens are annoyed by wrong information, breaches of privacy and online photographs when they use new media.

In both China and Germany, regulation lags behind developments in new media, said Christiane Wirtz, Deputy Government Spokeswoman in Germany.

“Despite China and Germany having different views on how to regulate journalism, the differences are not obstacles,” Wirtz said. “On the contrary, they inspire the two sides to know more about each other.”

In Germany, “social media is also used more frequently by reporters to dig out news”, said Wolfgang Grebenhof of the German Association of Journalists. He suggested that reporters should be better-trained to use new media to make accurate reports.