The top-level design of the Digital China strategy can deconstructed using the “ends, ways, and means” nomenclature of war colleges.

The structure and intent of Digital China can be outlined and described using the familiar “ends, ways, and means” nomenclature from Western strategy construction, a framework also familiar to Chinese scholars who study grand strategy. Like other national-level developmental strategies, Digital China is built on an evolutionary process of designing, implementing, evaluating, modifying, and integrating countless party decisions, objectives, missions, projects, and priority areas of action—to name just a few—over months, years, or decades. For a strategy as grand as Digital China, these individual inputs can number in the hundreds to thousands if viewed comprehensively from the national to the local level. Digital China’s success will be ultimately measured against its ability to meet the strategy’s highest order “ends” (goals or objectives) through the effective implementation of its “ways” (courses of action) using the “means” (resource requirements) made available to it.

David Dorman and John Hemmings, “Digital China: The Strategy and Its Geopolitical Implications“, Issues and Insights, February 21, 2023.