China must strengthen internet security to counter hostile foreign forces that are using online platforms to spread rumors that threaten the country’s stability, People’s Daily reported Sunday, citing Wang Xiujun, deputy director of the State Internet Information Office.
These overseas interests are using the internet to “penetrate and destroy [us]” under the pretext of internet freedom, Wang was quoted as saying.
Political security is a fundamental part of internet security and winning the struggle for ideological penetration will decide the future of the party and country to a great extent, Wang said.
Her comments coincide with a crackdown on online freedom of expression that has intensified since president Xi Jinping took the helm last year.
Last year, Beijing unveiled new measures to fight online rumor-mongering. Offenders could face three years’ jail if their posts draw 5,000 visitors or get reposted more than 500 times.
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