Beijing: President Xi Jinping will head a newly formed body aimed at protecting China from cyber attacks.
Xi will head Internet Security and Informatisation Leading Group, said a statement released after the first meeting of the body here today.
Xi, who presided over the meeting, stressed that internet security and informatisation is a major strategic issue concerning the 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," Xi was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Premier Li Keqiang is also a member of the group.
President Xi is also the chief of powerful army and the ruling Communist Party of China.
The US last year accused Chinese military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defence contractors. But China had rebutted the accusation.
China has the world`s largest number of internet users but it still lags behind in development of internet technologies, Xi said during the meeting.
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 said.
By the end of 2013, China reported about 618 million internet users, but only 28.6 per cent of them live in the countryside.
"We should be fully aware of the importance and urgency of internet security and informatisation," Xi said.
China has to balance its needs of developing IT technologies and safeguarding internet security, he said, describing the two issues as "two wings of a bird and two wheels of an engine".