China's President has used an address to a world internet conference, hosted in the city of Wuzhen, to defend the country's right to set its own limits on internet freedoms. In comments that were live-tweeted by the state news agency Xinhua, Xi Jingping said: "Freedom is what order is meant for, and order is the guarantee of freedom. We should respect internet users' rights to exchange ideas and express their minds and we should also build good order in cyberspace in accordance with law as it will help protect the legitimate rights and interests of all internet users."

Delegates at the conference centre had access to a host of sites from which China's 670m internet users are blocked, including Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia.

The conference was being held as a prominent civil rights lawyer stood trial in Beijing in what is being described as a landmark freedom of speech case. Pu Zhiqiang faces eight years in prison for publishing posts that criticised the Communist Party on a social networking site.