Over time, China has identified that ICT is a powerful tool for economic and social betterment. On the other hand, China also sees the net as a threat. Efforts to control what can and cannot be done or accessed online could begin to impact everyday users and stifle the creativity within the China online community and cause growing resentment. In recent years, the two conflicting mindsets are reflected in government policy, action and public statements. China has become more inclined to ICT, while at the same time pulling the reins to eliminate any area that could possibly threaten the state interest.
Though the concern about net threat remains, information technology has long been viewed as an important component of grand scheme for modernization of China. IT industry has become a pillar in economic growth in China. The success of China's IT industry and its prospects for future growth are closely linked to measures taken by government.
Technology Transfer. In the 1980s, China recognised that much of the technology it needed to improve existing plants, was usually the propriety knowledge of foreign corporations hence it made great efforts to attract foreign businesses and foreign capital and permitted joint ventures and even foreign-owned subsidiaries to operate in China.
Torch Plan. In 1995, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) started the Torch Plan which was a high tech development program. Under this plan, the Chinese government is to fund academic institutions, new small companies and to build parks to facilitate resarch and development.
High-tech zones. To attract foriegn investors, high-tech startups, in designated areas, could enjoy five years of significant tax breaks.
Seed money. Funding of IT-related projects and its related companies.
R&D Tax Incentives. China maintains a number of preferential policies for high-tech investments, including tax holidays and refunds.
-->Beijing Declaration on ASEAN-China ICT Cooperative Partnership for Common Development
Beijing, 12 May 2005
In May 2005, Republic of China and ASEAN ICT committee have come together to discuss on ICT development and cooperation as their common goal and agreed that:
- ICT is significant in national economical growth and social development.
- Relieves the problems of digital gap and natural disaster by setting up ICT infrastructure that promotes comprehensive ICT applications.
- both sides are determined to hasten the pace of ICT development which results in a information society
- deems ICT as one the main areas of cooperation between ASEAN and China with reference to the treaty signing on Cooperation in ICT in Oct, 2003
- The bilateral and multilateral joint efforts between the ASEAN and China's ICT authorities coupled with ICT seminars in various nations
Technological Cooperation and Product Trade
- ASEAN and China believe in the technical cooperation and product trade. It promotes the growth of ICT products trade volume and the broadening trade scope.
Human Resources Development
- ICT officials have covered on technology, management, and regulation and information security.
- ICT infrastructure is still under construction which was under ASEAN and China's authorities' approval
Their joint-effort cooperation yields beneficial prospects and considered to be meaningful, comprehensive and substantive. Upon agreement between ASEAN and China, ICT authorities have begun to implement projects and ICT activities to make it happen. It is seen as great significance to the ICT development and cooperation in the region. ASEAN and China establish as two ICT parties that aim for common development, promoting mutual understanding and yield win-win results. IT is seen as a long term continued agreement that aims for better ICT technology enhancements.
ASEAN and China focusing in a few areas:
ICT Infrastructure Development
- ICT infrastructure is the foundation for building an information society and also, boosting economic growth and improve people's standard of living. They should work on infrastructure construction, including fixed, mobile and satellite networks as well as Internet. Furthermore, it is important to promote information flow at national and regional scale.
- Promoting universal service and ICT development in less-developed and impoverished area by implementing user friendly and appropriate ICT applications to narrow down the digital gap between countries.
Human Capacity Building
- An important aspect for building an information society. On job training and constant upgrading of technical and managerial positions should be emphasized by IT authorities. They should work on developing ICT human resources, improve information flow among countries and involves active involvement between governments, companies and individuals
Network and Information Security
- Another important component of the information society, and boost the user's confidence in using ICT. There are obstacles and problems surfacing in this aspect and ICT authorities are further revising and improving network and information security to minimise any risks encountered.
Trade and Investment Facilitation
- A feasible tool to boost rapid economical growth. They should increase the possibilities of exchanges and cooperation among countries in areas of E-commerce, E-governance and promote mutual recognition arrangements for ICT expertise certification and telecom equipment certification, improve trade and investment environment
Intergovernmental Dialogues and Exchanges
- They encountered difficulties in their ICT development strategy and policy as well as market regulation. To resolve this, it needs more dialogues and exchanges at national and regional level. ASEAN and China have to promote exchanges of ICT development strategy and policy and explore effective market regulation model in an active and practical method.