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Digital Silk Road: Create brand of the times in foreign exchange of Chinese culture

Updated: May 16, 2017 Source: Belt and Road Portal
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General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, in “Belt and Road” Summit held on 14, that innovation-driven development shall be upheld to build the Digital Silk Road of 21st Century.

Undoubtedly, the cooperation and communication General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed in building Digital Silk Road means deepening the integration of science and technology with the culture industry, highlighting the Chinese culture value in building Internet Silk Road, and creating a Chinese brand of digital exchange and cooperation with foreign countries. 

Digital Silk Road is the theme of the times endowed by modern mobile technology for building “Belt and Road”

China has become the biggest internet market with fast development of the internet industry. Over 600 million people access to the Internet in China and nearly 600 million use mobile phones to access the internet. The Internet has dominated cultural communication and consumption, and the internet culture is now the new growth point in China’s economy. The internet, on behalf of new media at this stage, is narrowing down the “information gap” between different regions and countries and has become the important media for people’s communication and become a bridge to interconnect the global society, which just represents the essence of “Belt and Road” initiative.

Xie Xinzhou, a professor of Peking University, believes that the internet enables people to go beyond the geographic, consanguineous and industrial bounds to communicate and interact based on personal interests and volunteer to form communities. Various interesting groups flourish in virtual space and break through the barrier of space-time structure and limit of social structure, forming new cultural groups and cultural phenomena. Meanwhile, the existing culture such as national culture, religious culture and other forms of culture formed in course of human development are also, with the help of new media, breaking through the regional limitation and spreading throughout the world. All these have broken the original cultural boundaries and accelerated shaping a new world cultural territory.

The Digital Silk Road is brand-new concept and theme of the times generated from modern mobile technology for “Belt and Road” initiative. Development and construction of Digital Silk Road reflects value spillover and achievements sharing of Chinese internet technological strength. In the regional cooperation for “Belt and Road” initiative, we shall fully utilize China’s existing internet technology and development advantages to strengthen the infrastructure of information highway in the countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative, and to make the technical standard for information transmission in Belt and Road as well as to train senior talents both in technology R & D and in platform operation for implementing the Belt and Road initiative. We should actively promote the Internet cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road in jointly building digital centers to achieve digital connectivity and interconnection between flows of information and materials on the Internet and mobile Internet. The culture information and products will be equipped with the Internet “wings” to occupy the commanding height of online cultural production, transmission and consumption. We shall safeguard security of information, economy and culture for the countries along the Belt and Road and enhance their soft strength in culture. 

Digital Silk Road is a Chinese Response to Digital Economy

The information society is a development era transformed from the industrial society, preceded by the primitive and farming societies in human history, and it generates a new economic model — the digital economy. Driven by the internet information technology, the production factors of social and economic development have been transferred from material factors such as land, mineral and natural resources to non-material factors such as data, information and cultural creativity. The Digital Silk Road is focusing on China’s practice of Internet plus, promoting the industrial upgrading of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road, and developing their new digital economy. 

Digital Silk Road includes digital silk road of “Belt and Road” plus communication media, digital silk road of “Belt and Road” plus life and service, and digital silk road of “Belt and Road” plus mode of production etc. To promote development of the Digital Silk Road, we must first jointly build and share the communication and promotion platform of the Internet Belt and Road, and implement the general strategy of integrated marketing and communication in order to spread to the world the value and achievements of Belt and Road. Secondly, we must jointly build and share the life and service platform of the Internet Belt and Road, and implement “cross-border e-commerce plan” to promote free circulation and convenience in products trade and to improve people’s life quality of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Finally, we must jointly build and share the intelligent manufacturing platform of the Internet Belt and Road to realize complementary advantages and rational division of labor in the countries and regions along the Belt and Road and to create comprehensive benefits by playing full role of comparative advantages. 

Digital Silk Road is an Accelerator in Promoting Communication of emotion among the Peoples of Countries Concerned

The ancient Silk Road was a way of introducing Chinese culture and it influenced and shaped the western society in imaging what the ancient China was like. The Belt and Road should also become a way of introducing Chinese culture. The Digital Silk Road, in particular, should play roles in promoting cultural exchanges and communication among peoples in the countries and regions along the Belt and Road in the historic course of shaping speech channels of China, displaying China’s image, transmitting Chinese voice and telling Chinese stories. Emphasis in implementing Digital Silk Road shall be laid on excavation and condensation of cultural resources and cultural values of Belt and Road, and on cultural resource development and utilization of worship, exhibition and interactive experience values.

The implementation of “Belt and Road” initiative is designed to achieve political mutual trust and economic integration, of which the essence is to achieve cultural tolerance and inclusion. The implementation process of “Belt and Road” initiative is actually the process of aggregation and connection of emotions and feelings in fostering community with a shared future, and is also the course of interaction in peace and circulation of values. China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have jointly declared the “Chang’an to Tianshan Corridor Road Network in Silk Road” as the world cultural heritage. It is a successful example of sharing cultural value cohesion and it is the joint construction of cultural resources worship value and cultural identity sharing of Belt and Road. We should further explore such shared value and make it the cornerstone of mutual trust and value highland in construction of Digital Silk Road.

The “Belt and Road” initiative needs a spiritual coordinate that will go beyond history and lead the future. This spiritual coordinate, based on the historical context and modern civilization of Chinese culture, going through continuous creative transformation and innovative development, endows Belt and Road with a brand-new spirit connotation and great spiritual power. What’s more, the Digital Silk Road is just an important function in this spiritual coordinate.

Editor: 曹家宁