The Purple Mountain Laboratories based in Nanjing, capital city of east China’s Jiangsu Province, received a special guest earlier this month.
President Xi Jinping visited its 6G comprehensive lab and other facilities during an inspection tour and was delighted to learn that the research team had realized self-reliance in some key technologies.
“You must seize the opportunity, make new achievements, and focus wholeheartedly on doing this well,” Xi encouraged those in the lab. The lab, committed to pioneering basic research for the country’s major strategic needs, has scored a series of world-leading achievements in such fields as B5G/6G network and cybersecurity.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has been concerned about and consistently supported the growth of the country’s internet sector and information technology.
Shortly after assuming the Party’s top job in late 2012, Xi asserted that humanity had entered a historical stage of the age of the internet, which is a prevailing trend in the world.
He spoke of the significant role the internet can play in improving people’s lives and boosting development.
Back then, though the internet sector was thriving in China, prominent bottlenecks persisted.
In 2014, Xi convened the first meeting of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs. He personally headed the group that set the direction for the development of the internet sector.
Noting that China had the world’s largest number of internet users, Xi called for boosting the country’s strength in cyberspace.
At the meeting, Xi put forward the goals, which include making the internet infrastructure more accessible, elevating innovation capacity, developing the information economy, and ensuring cybersecurity.
In 2018, a national conference on the work of cyberspace affairs, the first of its kind in the history of the CPC and the country, was held in Beijing.
At the key meeting, Xi underscored the need of keenly grasping the historic opportunity for information technology development and enhancing the country’s strength in cyberspace through innovation.
GUIDING HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT
Under Xi’s guidance, a series of major decisions and measures involving cyber development were introduced and put into practice.
Xi stressed strengthening law-based governance of the cyberspace to make it clean.
“It is no easy job. But it must be done no matter how hard it is,” he said.
By adopting a problem-oriented approach and strengthening top-level design, China has put in place a system for integrated cyberspace management, with its online environment continuously improving.
Addressing a study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in October 2021, Xi emphasized improving the top-level design and system building of the country’s digital economic development.
Over the past decade, China’s information infrastructure has continued to accelerate, its momentum of digital economy development has been strong, and new advances have been made in independent innovation of core information technologies.
As for cybersecurity, Xi stressed that “without ensuring cybersecurity, we cannot safeguard national security; without promoting IT application, we cannot realize modernization.”
Guided by a holistic approach to national security, China has comprehensively fastened the line of defense for cyber and digital security and enhanced its system and capacity building for cybersecurity.
Delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second World Internet Conference in December 2015, Xi proposed to jointly build a community with a shared future in cyberspace.
“Cyberspace is the common space of activities for mankind. The future of cyberspace should be in the hands of all countries,” he said.
The vision of jointly building a community with a shared future in cyberspace has been continuously enriched and developed. China’s insight and proposals on global internet development and governance have been widely recognized by the international community.
DELIVERING BENEFITS TO ALL
In February, a surgeon in the eastern Zhejiang Province successfully removed the inflamed gallbladder of a patient residing some 5,000 km away in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The remarkable feat was made possible through the use of 5G-powered robotic surgery technology.
During the 30-minute surgery, a robot at the hospital in the city of Alaer in Xinjiang responded in sync to the instructions made from an operating platform in a top-notched hospital in Zhejiang.
This efficient surgery, demonstrating China’s efforts to coordinate medical resources between coastal and inland regions for more accessible high-quality medical services, also serves as an example of how information technology is transforming the lives of the country’s 1.4 billion people for the better.
So far, China boasts the world’s largest and technologically advanced network infrastructure with more than 2.05 billion users of Internet of Things smart devices.
Meanwhile, the scale of China’s digital economy surpassed the 50 trillion yuan (around 7 trillion U.S. dollars) landmark threshold in 2022, with “internet plus” services available in basically all aspects of everyday life.
By the end of 2022, the number of online shoppers in China topped 845 million, while a total of 363 million people had access to internet-based medical services.
Driven by information technology innovation and a booming internet sector, new realms of opportunity have emerged for Song Chunjiao, a villager from central China’s Hunan Province, and millions of other Chinese people.
After taking part in several training sessions organized by the local government, Song became a proficient live streamer and sold over 900,000 kg of local fruits, including pomelo and citrus, annually.
Running an e-commerce company of her own, Song also teaches other villagers how to sell local products via live stream. “They used to make ends meet by doing farmwork or odd jobs. Now they’re skilled in video filming and editing, as well as selling products online, and can make more than 5,000 yuan a month,” she said.
By 2022, more than 100 million job opportunities were created directly or indirectly through the live stream and short video industries.
In a recent survey by social media platform Sina Weibo, which polled nearly 10,000 college graduates, over 60 percent of the respondents indicated that they consider emerging online industries, such as livestreaming, as an option for their future careers.
“Now, with cell phones as our new farm tools and live-streaming as new farmwork, the villagers are expecting a more prosperous life,” Song said.