Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that he wishes to not just break the physical boundaries but also go beyond the digital boundaries. The Chinese President was addressing at the inauguration of the Belt and Road Forum in 2017, to provide the world with China’s global infrastructure project. On several occasions, China’s President has mentioned the Digital Silk Route.
China’s digital cable network
China is building a digital highway. Part of the mega-plan also to emerge as an internet superpower by 2050, which is one of the key pillars of China’s ambitious strategy. The Belt and Road Forum has progressed incredibly in the past two years. China is enthusiastically funding digital initiatives as well. One of the prominent parts of the project is to connect Pakistan with Djibouti using an underwater digital cable which will be 6,200 km-long. China Construction Bank has invested in the project. After the construction of the digital highway is complete, it will connect Gwadar port to Beijing’s first naval base which was opened in 2017.
Another digital project which was completed by China in 2018 linked Brazil with Cameroon with the help of an underwater cable. This particular digital project was financed by the Export and Import Bank of China. Both projects are part of the Huawei Marine Networks which is a collaboration between China’s Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems of Britain. Earlier the joint venture constructed the Brazil-Cameroon link and is now building the Pakistan and Djibouti link.
China’s plan for a digital cable network has been clearly mentioned in the documents drafted in 2015. It serves as the blueprint for China’s digital expansion. According to the document, the plan not just focuses on China’s involvement in the planning and construction of the digital cable network but also the expansion of the Chinese technological companies. The plan has majorly benefitted the Huawei, which is currently the leading company with more than 1K, 5G technology patents.