Reading the 13th Five-Year Plan: Reflections on China’s ICT Policy
China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP) is the first chance for the Xi-Li administration, which assumed leadership at the 18th Party Congress, to solidify a new course. Notably, ICT is the highest priority sector in the 13th FYP. This article highlights the ascent of the Internet in China’s national strategy. It illustrates why and how ICT development—accelerated by the spread of high-speed Internet—is tasked to underpin China’s rise as a global power and its internal transformation. More important, drawing on the geopolitical economy approach that emphasizes the economic roles of states in sustaining and animating the capitalist world order on the one hand, and the digital capitalism literature that deems the political economy of ICT as an increasingly primary dimension of global capitalism on the other, this article sets up a conceptual framework for interpreting this key policy document and China’s ICT policy in general.