Chinese president calls for unity on AI challenges and cyber development

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Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed an audience on Nov. 8 at the World Internet Conference Summit in Wuzhen, China calling for international cooperation on risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI). 

Xi’s speech, pre-recorded and broadcast at the conference, stressed the need for “deepened” exchanges and cooperation to “jointly advance the building of a community with a shared future in cyberspace to a new stage.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping addressing the World Internet Conference Summit 2023. Source: CCTV

“As the internet becomes a new driving force of development, a new frontier of ensuring security, and a new platform for mutual learning between civilizations,” he continued, “the building of a community with a shared future in cyberspace is a natural choice in answering the call of the times and a common aspiration of the international community.”

The Chinese head of state stressed that the “fruits of internet development” should benefit more countries and greater numbers of people.

While one of the main points of the speech was stressing the importance of international cooperation, he also said that:

“Cyber sovereignty as well as each country’s internet development and governance mode should be respected.”

implement its Global AI Governance Initiative. The government proposed this initiative a month prior focusing on an open and fair AI development environment. 

“We should uphold the principle of common security and avoid bloc confrontation and arms race in cyberspace.”

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His remarks come a week after the United Kingdom’s inaugural AI Safety Summit, at which China was an attendee. 

At the conference a spokesperson from the Chinese government similarly stressed the importance of international cooperation, saying it calls for “global cooperation to share AI knowledge and make AI technologies available to the public on open-source terms.”

China has been at the forefront of the global race to develop and deploy high-level AI systems. The country has been facing direct competition with the United States, who is one of the world’s leaders in chip manufacturing and major companies deploying AI models.

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