BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping will head the central Internet security and informatization leading group, according to a statement released after the first meeting of the group on Thursday.
Xi presided over the meeting, stressing that Internet security and informatization is a major strategic issue concerning a country's security and development as well as people's life and work.
"Efforts should be made to build our country into a cyber power," he said.
Premier Li Keqiang and Liu Yunshan, who are both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, are the group's deputy heads.
The group is designed to lead and coordinate Internet security and informatization work among different sectors, as well as draft national strategies, development plans and major policies in this field, Xi said.
Members of the group adopted the group's work rules and its working plan for this year at the meeting.
China has the world's largest number of Internet users but it still lags behind in development of Internet technologies, the president noted.
The digital gap between rural and urban areas remains large and the average bandwidth enjoyed by each Chinese is far less than that in some developed countries, he added.
By the end of 2013, China reported about 618 million Internet users, but only 28.6 percent of them live in the countryside.
"We should be fully aware of the importance and urgency of Internet security and informatization," Xi said.
China has to balance its needs of developing IT technologies and safeguarding Internet security, the president said, describing the two issues as "two wings of a bird and two wheels of an engine."
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