China’s government Wednesday called for the acceleration of a proposal to integrate the nation’s Internet, telecommunications and broadcast media.
The State Council, or Cabinet, decided at a meeting that integration was needed to meet the Chinese public’s “increasingly diverse” information needs, a statement summarising the meeting said.
However, it said the proposal should include strengthened efforts to ensure “information security” and that planning for such a project had entered a “crucial period.”
The meeting was chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.
China has the world’s largest telecoms and Internet markets by number of users.
The integration proposal was floated previously and has been described by state-run media as an effort to develop more seamless integration of voice, video, data and multimedia content.
The State Council statement called for the basic architecture of the project to be in place by 2015.
It gave few other details on the plan and did not indicate why it was advocating a renewed push now, saying only that China’s technical capabilities were increasingly sufficient for the task.
However, it came a day after Google announced it would no longer abide by the Chinese government’s requirements that it filter Internet search engine results in the country and may pull out of China altogether.
The Internet giant cited what it called recent cyber-attacks on its systems from within China that appeared aimed at obtaining information on rights activists worldwide, as well as rising Web censorship in the country.
The ruling Communist Party tightly controls the nation’s mass media outlets and blocks Web content that it deems politically objectionable in a vast Internet censorship system dubbed the “Great Firewall of China.”
It was not immediately clear what effect the Cabinet announcement would have in pushing forward the high-tech integration proposal.
State media have reported that the plan has been held up by a turf war among government ministries over who should have control over its development.