'Digital China' adds data, km of high-speed cables
In today's China, it does not take long for one to see the thriving internet sector.
In any city, people use their mobile phones every day to shop, order food, hail a car, pay utilities and do many other things.
In all, China has 700 million internet users, more than 4 million websites, the world's most extensive 4G network and a huge online marketplace. Its retail transactions combined are larger than anywhere else.
The country's internet industry began to develop in the 1990s, but the pace notably picked up the past two decades.
Take internet infrastructure for example. In 2017, China added 7.05 million kilometers of fiber-optic cable, extending its total length in the country by 23.2 percent.
The watershed event: a speech President Xi Jinping made on April 19, 2016, on the work of cybersecurity and the growth of the information age.
The speech and many others made by Xi since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 showed the strategic thinking on building China's cyber strength.
A State plan to develop a "digital China" over the next decade was issued. Substantial progress is aimed at the five years that began in 2016.
Three principles have been made clear.
First, China's cyberspace development should adhere to the people-centered development philosophy. Xi has said that internet-based services should be expanded to reach more people, that costs should be lowered and that most people should benefit.
Second, Xi said big data was the next stage of digital development. He has ordered a study of big data's development and its implications for society. He said China should examine its gains and shortfalls in this particular area and push for a national big data strategy.
Third, building a "community with a shared future in cyberspace". Xi has called for global efforts to make the internet－a common homeland for humanity－more beautiful, cleaner and safer.
Remarkable advances have been made, such as in government e-administration. Across the country, nearly 32,000 government websites have been set up to bring public services online. Mobile apps are being used for the public and government to interact. The internet reaches many areas.
Life is easier for online trainer Zhang Fan. Using a new camera and software system, he can monitor the progress of each student in his virtual class and have the computer design individualized teaching plans.
Business is in bloom for tea farmers in southern Guangdong province. Like many living in remote mountains, they use the internet to sell local products to customers across the country.
China's digital economy grew to 27 trillion yuan ($4.3 trillion) in 2017, making up 32.9 percent of the GDP. With the expansion of good roadways and the internet, e-commerce has become a big driver of rural consumption.
Developing a "digital China" is good for boosting the people's sense of fulfillment and is needed to speed up China's modernization.
Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, China's cyber strength will continue to push for the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.