China joins the rest of the world in promoting the development of the digital economy

By He Yin, People’s Daily

Innovation is an important force driving global development and a decisive factor in addressing the common challenges to humanity. It serves as a source of development at critical moments.

Digital technology, a pioneer in the global sci-tech revolution and industrial reform, is seeping into every aspect of social and economic development, placing profound impacts on production, people’s life, and social governance.

The G20 should shoulder responsibilities in the digital era, quicken the development of new types of digital infrastructure, promote deeper integration of digital technologies with the real economy, and help developing countries eliminate the digital divide, said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Session I of the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit.

He also stressed at the 28th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting that APEC economies need to commit themselves to innovation-driven development, harness the power of the digital economy as a new growth engine, and spread the fruits of digital technologies to more people in the region.

Eliminating the digital divide is a pressing task facing the whole world.

A visitor to the fifth China International Import Expo plays an extended reality soccer game at the exhibition booth of Qualcomm, on Nov. 5, 2022. (Photo by Weng Qiyu/People’s Daily Online)

“The Light of Internet” Expo held at the 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit displayed how digital technology has contributed to agriculture, industry, governance, and social life, and at the fifth China International Import Expo, multinational corporations presented the vitality of the prospering digital economy to the world through a number of new technologies, services, and applications.

EliminateHowever, according to the International Telecommunication Union, there are still nearly 3 billion people who have no internet access, and most of them are from the developing world.

China, working to implement the Global Development Initiative together with relevant parties and taking digital connectivity as a major field of cooperation, will help enhance the construction of digital infrastructure, narrow the global digital divide and promote common development.

Improving global digital governance is a common aspiration of all parties.

Facing the opportunities and challenges brought about by digitalization, the international community should enhance dialogue and communication, and deepen practical cooperation to build a cyberspace that is fairer and more equitable, more open and inclusive, safer and more stable, and more vibrant.

The vision of building a community with a shared future in cyberspace proposed by Xi conforms to the trend of digital development and that of human society. It responds to cyber risks and challenges, manifests the aspiration of the Communist Party of China to contribute to human progress and world harmony, and expresses the sincere hope of China to enhance cooperation with the rest of the world on cyber development and governance.

China believes that to effectively address the risks and challenges to data security, the world must uphold multilateralism, balance security, and development, and ensure fairness and justice. It proposed a Global Initiative on Data Security and actively participates in digital economy governance cooperation under international and regional multilateral mechanisms, winning high recognition from the international community.

China is a major country in the digital economy, as well as an important promoter of the healthy and orderly development of the digital economy. According to a research institute, China’s digital economy reached 45.5 trillion yuan ($6.46 trillion) as of 2021, ranking second in the world for years and accounting for 39.8 percent of the country’s GDP. Besides, China is the largest country in the world in terms of total e-commerce transactions and mobile payment volume.

So far, China has signed a memorandum of understanding on building a Digital Silk Road with 17 countries and advanced the Silk Road E-commerce bilateral cooperation mechanism with 23 countries.

It has formulated and is implementing a joint China-Africa Partnership Plan on Digital Innovation in Africa, set up a China-ASEAN Information Harbor, and established dialogue mechanisms on e-commerce cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries and Central Asian countries.

A man manufacturers 5G products at a digital workshop of a tech firm in Ganzhou, east China’s Jiangxi province, May 31, 2022. (Photo by Zhu Haipeng/People’s Daily Online)

Besides, it offers cloud services for African, Middle East, and Southeast Asian countries, as well as other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. It actively promotes cooperation in the digital economy under the G20, APEC, BRICS, WTO, and other multilateral frameworks.

By joining international cooperation on the digital economy and vigorously enhancing information infrastructure, China has made important contributions to the development of the global digital economy.

The Internet is shared by all people in this world. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of humanity to develop, use, and manage the internet well and make it better to benefit the world.

China is willing to work with countries around the world to blaze a global digital development path that features joint building and sharing of digital resources, a vibrant digital economy, efficient digital governance, flourishing digital culture, effectively guaranteed digital security, and mutually beneficial digital cooperation, so as to accelerate the building of a community with a shared future in cyberspace and contribute to world peace and the progress of human civilization.

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