China will further tighten its internet regulations with a pledge on Sunday to strengthen controls over search engines and online news portals, the latest step in President Xi Jinping’s push to maintain strict Communist Party control over content.
Xi has made China’s “cyber sovereignty” a top priority in his sweeping campaign to bolster security. He has also reasserted the ruling Communist Party’s role in limiting and guiding online discussion. The five-year cultural development and reform plan released by the party and State Council, or Cabinet, calls for a “perfecting” of laws and rules related to the internet.
Xi has been explicit that media must follow the party line, uphold the correct guidance on public opinion and promote “positive propaganda”.