Launched in 2015, China intends to expand and accelerate the 'Digital Silk Road'

The Digital Silk Road (DSR) or Digital Silk Road was first proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2015, containing cooperation programs in technology and communication fields such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and quantum computing for the countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China aims to expand and accelerate the Digital Silk Road among the member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

"China wants to join hands to cooperate with BRI member countries in developing the digital economy, building remote areas, and also developing markets, so every year we hold meetings on e-commerce for China and BRI members," said the Vice Chairman of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Wang Yong in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, on Tuesday, as quoted from

Wang Yong conveyed this during the opening of the Digital Silk Road Development Forum at the World Internet Conference held on April 15-16, 2024.

The forum is jointly organized by the Shaanxi provincial government and the World Internet Conference (WIC), a Beijing-based body to promote China's vision of the cyber world.

The theme of the forum is "Connectivity and Shared Prosperity" and discusses three topics: "Digital Connectivity and Cooperation in Building the Silk Road," "Silk Road in International E-commerce Cooperation," and "Digital Villages and Sustainable Development."

According to Wang Yong, China wants to share the benefits of its digital economic development with BRI members. This can promote mutual connectivity and strengthen the digital supply chain while maintaining an open, fair, and non-discriminatory digital business environment.

"As a responsible major country, China is willing to cooperate with other countries to further promote the use of our technology and oppose technological blockades that may separate development. China hopes the 'Digital Silk Road' can become a platform for exchanging technological information so that digital technology can benefit more countries and more people," Wang Yong said.

Around 800 people participated in the forum from organizations and companies from nearly 50 countries and regions, including the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Intel, SAP, Nokia, ZTE, AS Intel, Micron Technology, Qualcomm, Chinese e-commerce platform operators PDD Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, PC giant Lenovo Group, and insurance company Pingan Group.

By the end of 2022, China had signed memorandums of understanding on the development of the Digital Silk Road with 17 countries and e-commerce cooperation with 30 countries, according to a white paper released by the Information Office of the State Council of China. Several Chinese e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo have also launched cross-border platforms, such as Lazada and Temu, to help more Chinese products "go global."

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) itself was launched in 2013, involving massive Chinese investments and infrastructure development in 152 countries across Europe, Asia including Indonesia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. (IN)

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