UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - China called on Saturday for a worldwide crackdown on the use of the Internet by religious extremists and terrorists to stamp out their ability to communicate their ideas and raise funds.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks during the annual gathering of the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly in New York.
“As new developments emerge in the global fight against terrorism, the international community should take new measures to address them,” Wang said.
“In particular, it should focus on combating religious extremism and cyber terrorism, resolutely eliminate the roots and block channels of spreading terrorism and extremism,” he said.
Wang added that countries should “crack down hard and effectively on the use of the Internet and other new means of communication by terrorists to instigate, recruit, finance or plot terrorist attacks.”
The militant Islamist group Islamic State that has taken over large swaths of Syria and Iraq, also known as ISIL and ISIS, has been using social media to disseminate videos of beheadings of Western hostages and to recruit foreign Jihadist fighters to help it establish a caliphate in the Middle East.
China, which human rights groups have criticized for restricting access to many websites, launched its own campaign to clamp down on online rumor-mongering and “clean up” the Internet. The crackdown led to an exodus of users from Twitter-like microblog platforms after authorities detained hundreds of outspoken users.
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Dan Grebler