Speech by Dean Honghua Men at the Opening Ceremony of International Conference of “Mutual Learning among Civilizations and Value Consensus -Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace”

September 17, 2022

Dear Experts,

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening!

Welcome to the International Conference on Dialogue of Internet Civilization with the theme of “Mutual Learning among Civilizations and Value Consensus.” The conference is co-hosted by the Institute for Cyberspace International Governance, Tongji University, together with the Institute for China & the World Studies, the National Modernization Institute, and the School of Political Science and International Relations, Tongji University.

As one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, the Internet, being highly globalized in nature, has turned the world into a “global village,” profoundly changing people's life, and strongly promoting social development. However, opportunities always go around with challenges. On the one hand, the antagonism in online public opinion, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, cyber-attacks, Internet hegemony, and arms race in cyberspace, etc. are always threatening individual and national security; and on the other hand, while the development of digital economy provides dividends for sharing the digital era, the global digital divide is also widening due to the unbalanced development of digital economy. The booming Internet has created digital, networked and intelligent growth momentum and development opportunities for mankind, but such problems as unbalanced development, inadequate rules and inequitable order have become more evident in the field of the Internet. Against such a backdrop, promoting the establishment of a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system has increasingly become a broad consensus in the international community.

Cyberspace is a common space for human activities, a secure, stable and prosperous cyberspace is increasingly significant to the peace and development of a nation and the whole world. With the opportunity of hosting this conference, we launched a global initiative for Mutual Learning among Civilizations and Value Consensus. We call on all of us to stay open and inclusive and draw on each other's strengths, to promote equal-footed, diversified and multi-dimensional exchanges and mutual learning, to be broad-minded and strive to remove all barriers to cultural communicaitons, to be inclusive and always seek nourishment from other civilizations, and to let all civilizations flourish and promote the common progress of global civilizations through communications and mutual learning. We also call on all of us to follow the truth and assume public responsibility, to say no to cyber pollution and purify the cyberspace, and to give play to the key role of multilateralism to jointly combat false information and foster a sound network environment in which digital civilization is shared by all. Our global initiative has received positive responses from Chinese and foreign scholars attending this conference, and I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the experts here.

Jointly building of a community with a shared future in cyberspace is in line with the theme of peace and development in our times, which is not only an inevitable choice to achieve healthy, secure and sustainable development of the global Internet, but also an integral component in the mission of creating an open, healthy and secure digital ecosystem. It is the common expectation of all countries to create a harmonious and friendly Internet for all mankind. To this end, we invite more than 20 famous experts and scholars from universities and think tanks at home and abroad to join us in the discussion, and we are honored to provide a new platform for Internet civilizations in the world to engage in dialogue and exchanges on an equal footing to facilitate mutual learning. This conference has a  lot of topics for discussion, and our guests are expected to offer valuable ideas and suggestions for the theoretical research and practical development of global cyberspace governance from multiple perspectives.

It is always a pleasure to greet friends from afar. The pandemic restricts our travel, but it cannot prevent us from thinking and communicating. It is hoped that ideas and insights are exchanged at this conference. In the age of Internet, we can maintain our communication and friendship even though we are thousands of miles apart. I look forward to hosting you at Tongji University and discussing academic topics with you again when the pandemic is over, which I believe will occur in the new future.

I am eager to hear your perspectives and visions, and I wish and strongly believe this conference a complete success! Thanks a lot!