China contributes to openness by launching World Computer Congress
Editor's note: David Lee is a consultant and author based in Beijing who focuses on energy, health, international politics and international development. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
The World Computer Congress 2019 (WCC 2019) took place in Changsha, the capital city of central China's Hunan Province, to big fanfare on Tuesday. The three-day event focuses on key topics such as the IT ecosystem, internet security, and artificial intelligence algorithms (AI algorithms), with nine forums to share insights on global computing trends and inspire business thinking.
Critics may be quick to point out that the world doesn't lack high-profile conferences. Many industry events have been held for people to talk about computer science. It's also worth mentioning that a separate World Computer Congress (WCC) did exist for some time, organized by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). Then, what's new about China's big computer science gathering?
It's worth noting that several key takeaways are coming out of Changsha, which is now the permanent seat of WCC.
Changsha, Hunan Province, China. /VCG Photo
Changsha, Hunan Province, China. /VCG Photo
First of all, in the remarks of a leading speaker at the opening ceremony of WCC 2019, China's computer industry is arriving at a crossroads, where openness is the key to a brighter future. By launching a new global industry fanfare, China is contributing to openness and exchange. Particularly in computer science, real progress can only be made through free flow of information.
The message for openness is all the more important in today's world burdened by unsubstantiated claims about security threats. To reflect industry concern, Foxconn Technology Group founder Terry Gou has recently offered an alternative version of G2 – the U.S. and China – that defines the contemporary global order as "one world, two systems." That is, the U.S. and China each promotes distinct technological, and other, standards, and the rest of the world has to choose from either of them or to accommodate both.
Considering how ugly the Huawei game the Trump administration is playing, signs do point to "one world, two systems." China does not fear this ominous trend, but it is going out of the way to promote openness against all odds. A new national-level computer science congress serves exactly the purpose for openness, for the benefit of the global industry, and the entire humanity, who should not be held hostage to Machiavellian stratagems by the Trump administration.
Secondly, China shows its methodological approach in advancing its influence in the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry by launching the computer science congress following the World Internet Conference (WIC), seated in Wuzhen, next to Shanghai, China's financial center, and Hangzhou, a rising hi-tech center where Alibaba is headquartered.
It'll be interesting to observe how WIC and WCC complement each other. Both events share overlapping, cross-cutting themes and synergies are there to be pursued.
Thirdly, China is again strategically in choosing rather low-key Changsha in central China to host the emerging WCC. Changsha hosts China's National University of Defense Technology, a leading hi-tech institution that pioneers computer science research and is known for its cutting-edge supercomputing expertise.
More importantly, Changsha's effort in shaping the hi-tech game and attracting domestic and international investment is representative of many like-minded emerging Chinese inland cities. In the case of Changsha, multiple industry leaders are setting up national or regional headquarters in the city, where four to five new mobile internet companies are registered on a daily basis.
As Changsha offers the new frontier for China's new sortie into global computer science, and the national strategy is to attract international resources to help develop the vast hinterlands.
With the three-day WCC drawing to a close, it's expected to be another global success just like the WIC as another representation of China's new contribution to the global hi-tech industry.
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