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Digital Silk Road to connect China with Arab nations

By Hou Weiping ( Updated: 2015-09-10 21:50

China is reinforcing the role of the Internet in the strategic Belt and Road Initiative, and vows to build an "online Silk Road" which will connect and benefit both China and Arab countries, a meeting was told on Thursday.

Connectivity is the key to "One Belt One Road", and connectivity to the Internet is the top priority, said Lu Wei, head of the Cyberspace Admistration of China, when delivered a keynote speech at an Online Silk Road Forum.

The forum, part of the ongoing China-Arab States Expo, began in Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

Lu said a project will be launched to transform Ningxia into the hub city of cross-border e-commerce and a base of the Online Silk Road, equipped with a series of new technologies such as cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things.

"Ningxia is a fortress on the Silk Road and also the pivot of culture communication between Arab countries and China. We sincerely wish for comprehensive cooperation on the Internet to be launched to build an online Silk Road and online Silk Road Ningxia key control project which will benefit people both in Arab countries and China," Lu said.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to a trade and infrastructure framework connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, covering many Arab countries. It was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 as a way of reviving ancient trade links between Asia and Europe. The routes pass through at least 60 countries and regions with a combined population of 4.4 billion.

China hopes to join with Arab countries to create a network cultural resource center, said Lu.

"Through the use of the Internet, we want to showcase the culture of China and Arab countries, expand cooperation in various aspects including academia, education, medicine, culture and media and let the Internet join us from heart to heart," Lu added.

It is the first time the Online Silk Road Forum has been held in Yinchuan.

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