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Smart Technology to Make China’s Belt and Road Initiative Sustainable

In terms of scope, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is colossal as it involves connecting 70 countries all over land-locked Asia and, this time around, China is putting emphasis on sustainable development as the way forward. The country’s top economic planner revealed that they will promote the green development of the Belt and Road, strengthening international cooperation on the issue. To do that, they are deploying a host of applications using smart technology.

The BRI has a long-term goal of enhancing regional connectivity in Asia. The timetable is set to finish by 2049 to coincide with the centennial of the People’s Republic of China’s founding. The date target remains. What’s changed is the planners are incorporating green development this time around.

China aims to enhance cooperation in multiple areas with the countries along the Belt and Road by 2025 and form a green development pattern for the initiative by 2030. That’s according to a guideline issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and three other relevant departments.

To make such a sustainable approach to development, China hopes to deploy its green developers.  The cooperation on clean energy will be deepened as China encourages its solar and wind power companies to “go global.” That way, the guideline stipulates it will promote technological cooperation in areas including:

  • renewable energy
  • advanced nuclear power
  • smart grids
  • hydrogen energy

Meanwhile, new-energy vehicles and smart transportation plans will be promoted along the Belt and Road. Plus, the development momentum of China-Europe freight trains will be consolidated, and green logistics will be advanced, it disclosed.

For its part, China will continuously optimise the trade structure and vigorously develop trade in green products featuring high-quality, high-tech and high-added-value, it added. That means keeping an eye on key planetary issues. Collaboration on coping with climate change and green finance will also be stepped up, the guideline said.

Using smart technology is a logical choice for China as that would enable more efficient use of energy. Already, many of Chian’s mega-cities are transforming into smart cities to manage power consumption and make use of emerging technologies to the fullest.

By definition, SMART technology means “Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology”. As such, this technology is used to provide cognitive awareness to objects, by making use of advanced technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Big Data.

For instance, smart grid technology infuses a better generation of electric power and an efficient way for transmission and distribution of this power. Due to its versatility, it can be more easily installed and required less space as compared to traditional grids.

Digital transformation has indeed defined China’s growth. It has provided the means for the Asian nation to grow at an enormous pace. It’s no surprise smart technology has produced a massive change in just about every sector of China’s society. Where farmers rely on a slew of workers years ago, today they’re relying on less with smart agriculture.

Moreover, China is showing how digital adoption can change the way we do things in the world. The recent 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is one key example. There, smart technology has allowed an AI translator to allow people with hearing deficiencies to follow the games. The online icon can translate updates of the games into sign language in real-time as reported on OpenGov Asia.


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