WUZHEN, China (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday the country will not close its door to the global internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of internet development.

Chinese magazines featuring China’s President Xi Jinping on the cover are seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

Xi’s comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s publicity department at the country’s largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.

“The development of China’s cyberspace is entering a fast lane…China’s doors will only become more and more open,” said Xi in the note.

Cyber sovereignty is the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.

China’s Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation in the past year, formalizing new rules that require firms to store data locally and censor tools that allow users to subvert the Great Firewall.

In June, China introduced a new national cybersecurity law that requires foreign firms to store data locally and submit to data surveillance measures.

People look at Xiao Qiao robots during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

Cyber regulators say the laws are in line with international rules, and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. Business groups say the rules unfairly target foreign firms.

China has…

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