China has referenced blockchain and digital currency technologies in its latest five-year plan.
The 14th iteration of the five-year plan, which is a guiding document for the country’s future social development and economic growth from 2021 to 2025, places significant emphasis on ‘new infrastructure.’
In a chapter called ‘accelerating digitalisation development and building a digital China,’ the government pledged to ‘strengthen the innovative applications of key digital technologies’ and ‘accelerate digital industrialization,’ mentioning the term ‘blockchain technology’ for the first time in a five-year plan.
‘We will foster and strengthen emerging digital industries, such as AI, big data, blockchain technology, cloud computing, and cybersecurity,’ the document said.
A content table of the chapter elaborates on China’s blockchain technology targets for the next five years, including the development of smart contracts, multiple-consensus algorithms, asymmetric encryption, and distributed fault-tolerance mechanisms.
The plan also describes the application of blockchain in China, especially developing blockchain as a service platforms using consortium blockchain for fintech, supply-chain management, governmental affairs, among other fields of application solutions.
Improving the development of digital government is a core goal of the 14th five-year plan. China aims to build smart cities and establish national public-data resource systems, ensuring the security of public data and at the same time enabling the sharing of data across governmental departments, management levels and regions.
According to a joint report by Tsinghua University, Huobi Research Institute, and Blockchain Service Network (BSN) titled ‘The Blockchain Industry in China-2020 Annual Report,’ around 60 blockchain-based applications were in use in Chinese government affairs in 2020.
Finally, the plan mentions the continued development of China’s digital yuan, saying that its government ‘will steadily advance research and development of digital currencies.’ A number of provincial governments in China have already announced plans and trials of the new digital currency.