HOW DSR IS BEING IMPLEMENTED
Under the guidance of PRC government agencies and financial institutions, PRC telecommunications, Internet, and advanced technology companies—whether central state-owned enterprises (SOEs), provincial SOEs, or otherwise—serve as implementing forces in advancing DSR. The overseas activities of these entities are guided and enhanced by a growing suite of PRC government policy, diplomatic, and financial support measures, especially in key emerging markets where PRC companies are competing with Western information and communications technology (ICT) firms. Further analysis may demonstrate that the implementing forces effectively constitute a Corps of Engineers for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
PRC government efforts to support DSR construction are ramping up and increasingly focused on driving progress in key sectors, such as telecommunications. PRC government agencies and financial institutions—such as the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), China Development Bank, and the Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT)—are introducing new policies to support PRC companies in their implementation of DSR initiatives.
The country’s three key central state-owned telecom operators—China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom—play an important role in the development of OBOR by focusing on building multiple transnational land and submarine cable systems.
Other PRC telecommunications companies are involved in ICT projects in OBOR countries and beyond. These include CITIC Telecom, HyalRoute Communications Group, Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable Co., as well as Internet giants Baidu, Alibaba, Huawei, and ZTE.
Beijing has also formed DSR industry alliances known as State-Industry Innovation Alliances (SIIAs) that bring together and seek to increase coordination among various stakeholders, from PRC government and military to foreign firms.
PRC financing and construction of digital and other technical infrastructure under DSR spearheads Beijing’s offensive to export technological standards in ICT, cybersecurity, AI, robotics, smart technologies and applications, new energy technologies and explosives, power grids, and transportation systems.