China's glorious five year plan will see 'online environment cleaned up'

National realtime pollution monitor planned for actual environment


China has finished talking about its 13th five-year plan, and while the full text and tactics won't be revealed until next year, broad brush-strokes have been supplied that offer lots of insights into matters technological.

Internet of Things advocates might be the happiest of all who consider the plan: China pledges to create “A nationwide realtime online environmental monitoring system” alongside “an emission permit system [for] all companies with stationary pollution sources.” In other words the power stations and factories of China will be be measured all the time. And not like a Volkswagen diesel engine: the monitoring scheme is goal number 18 in the plan, but modernisation of governance is the second.

The third item in the plan is improvement of competition across key industries, among them telecoms. The Internet Plus plan gets the green light, along with previously-announced plans to increase internet speeds across the Middle Kingdom while also cutting prices. The nation's "cybereconomy” agenda also includes spreading electronic supply chains.

Goal 12 calls for “Online cultural building to be enhanced, positive culture in cyberspace encouraged and the online environment cleaned up.” Whether that plan will be good for anyone expressing dissenting opinions online is anyone's guess.

Elsewhere, the plan calls for improved education, the removal of the profit motive from the nation's health services, and a “national population basic information database” which could be a census-like creation or could be turning the NSA green with envy.

Announcing the plan, China's president Xi Jinping said it will not just be good for China, but by keeping the country growing will also be good for any other nation that fancies doing business in the Middle Kingdom. In industries The Reg cares about most that can probably be taken with a pinch of salt, as China's hardening attitudes to western technology vendors are well known.

The release of the plan's outline came at the end of the Plenary session at which it was debated. The full plan formally debuts in early 2016. ®

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