The “Digital Beibu Gulf” [Digital Gulf of Tonkin] Construction Plan was recently launched, to be compiled and implemented by CAC, NDRC, and MIIT, as one part of the just released (and updated) 14th Five-Year Implementation Plan for the Beibu Gulf Urban Cluster.

The Beibu Gulf Urban Cluster Plan has three developmental directions (Sec 3). Too much for here, but here’s one in particular: the Beibu Urban Cluster/Digital Beibu plan is designed to expand the transportation corridor linking BRI countries in Southeast and South Asia. In effect linking the two components of BRI, land (Silk Road Economic Belt) and maritime (21st-Century Maritime Silk Road) and developing an ocean exit and key hub linking southwest China to ASEAN. That’s the plan talking, not me.

The term Digital China does not appear in the NDRC notification or plan itself, but Digital China language tracks are all over it.

The Digital Beibu Gulf will promote the interconnection of transportation facilities (Sec 4) & the accelerated development of China’s digital economy [Ch 16] in line with CEWC reaffirmation of national guidance for “in-advance” design and construction of New Type Infrastructure.

New Type Infrastructure categories, subcategories, and projects specifically highlighted in the plan include: 5G, Internet of Things, data centers, the construction of a new national-level Internet backbone direct connection point at Nanning, and a dedicated channel for international Internet data in Hainan.

Another focus of the Digital Beibu plan is the digital transformation of the petrochemical, steel, and equipment industries in the Beibu urban cluster through a cloud-based smart solution for data 上云用数赋智.

Also noted: expanding business applications for Smart Ports and Smart Shipping, promoting the China-ASEAN Digital Economy Industrial Park, advancing the Hainan Free Trade Port 链上海南 Blockchain Pilot Zone, and the Western Guangdong Data Valley 粤西数谷 Big Data Ind Park. And more…