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China pushing to build internet infrastructure for Belt and Road Initiatives

(Xinhua) Updated : 2016-11-21

WUZHEN - Chinese government is actively promoting internet infrastructure of Belt and Road countries, said officials and company representatives at the third World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, East China's Zhejiang province.

China-Pakistan cross-border cable project, a project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has been under construction since May.

"The CPEC is the shortest route that links China to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia," said Amir Azeem Bajwa, Major General of the Special Communication Organization of Pakistan. "We call it the 'digital Silk Road'."

There are 135 million mobile phone users in Pakistan, huge potential for telecom cooperation with China. Yang Xiaowei, general manager of the China Telecommunications Corporation, said at WIC that the company would cooperate with operators in the Belt and Road countries on a Pan-Asia network.

Chen Zhaoxiong, vice minister of industry and information technology, pointed out that China is working on unifying standards for cross-border e-commerce in Belt and Road countries to tackle technological challenges and expand new industries.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the information level of Asian Pacific and Africa are both below the global average.

In 2011, China's leading telecom company China Unicom initiated the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1), a 25,000 km submarine cable system which ventures to link 19 nations and regions across Asia, Africa and Europe.

In order to boost big data and cloud computing in the Middle East and North Africa, Aliyun, Alibaba's cloud computing subsidiary, set up a joint venture with Dubai's Meraas in May 2015. This joint venture will offer system integration services to help private companies and governments in the region to reduce IT spending.

"There are ample opportunities for Belt and Road countries to cooperate on information infrastructure, Internet applications, information content exchange, big data and intelligent manufacturing," said Yang Xiaoya, an official from ITU.