But he also called for "cyber sovereignty" with each country respecting the right of others to manage the internet according to their own priorities.
One of China's leading civil rights lawyers, Pu Zhiqiang, was put on trial Monday for seven tweets he wrote criticizing government policy and lack of democracy. "All countries should step up communication and exchange, improve dialogue and consultation mechanism on cyberspace, and study and formulate global Internet governance rules, so that the global Internet governance system becomes more fair and reasonable and reflects in a more balanced way the aspiration and interests of the majority of countries", Xi said.
"Countries should prevent and fight together against crimes in cyberspace, such as terrorist attacks, pornography, drug dealing, gambling. We should encourage countries to develop their own Internet services suitable for their own environments", he added.
Security experts say China is the biggest source of hacking attacks aimed at governments and companies.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for global cooperation regulating the Internet. "The Internet is just like water in Wuzhen, interconnected and clear, but needs joint management and governance", Ma said.
Major Internet players such as Facebook, Microsoft, and China's Alibaba attended the conference. "Under the guise of sovereignty and security", said Roseann Rife, Amnesty's East Asia research director, "the Chinese authorities are trying to rewrite the rules of the Internet so censorship and surveillance become the norm everywhere".
"Cyberspace is not a place beyond the law".
The policy is one facet of Beijing's strict limits on freedom of expression, and rights groups say it uses state security as a pretence to crack down on political dissent. Many other countries were represented by locally based diplomats. They were also concerned that organisers might repeat last year's attempt to get participants to sign on to a declaration embodying China's vision.
"Indeed, we do not welcome those that make money off China, occupy China's market, even as they slander China's people", Lu Wei, the head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said last week.
While Facebook and Twitter, among others, are blocked in China, that was not the case in Wuzhen where attendees enjoyed unfettered access to websites.
The official Global Times newspaper on Wednesday dismissed "news and information freedom" as a "detail, a small corner" of the "vast field of internet freedom".
While nurturing a positive and uplifting cyber culture, the country will facilitate the growth of the cyber economy and promote the integration of the Internet with economic and social progress, Xi said.
Beijing has long emphasized a need for "a new global Internet governance system", said David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong.
Chinese Leader Calls for Global Governance of Cyberspace Michael Mitchell Dec 20, 2015Tweet