Telecommunications is booming in China. In an attempt to upgrade the quality of the national infrastructure, the government of the People's Republic has made telecommunications one of the priority sectors in the current five-year plan. This has meant increased funding and a loosening up of decades-old regulations that gave authority over all telecom development to the national Ministry of Posts Telecommunications. This new focus on telecommunications has brought dozens of foreign telecom firms into China, looking to ink joint-venture deals and do business with the wide variety of government entities and government-owned organizations that work in this sector.
In this regard, telecommunications is a microcosm of the changes taking place in China as a whole. The trends, which can be seen throughout the country, include political authority going from the center toward the provinces and municipalities, double-digit rates of economic growth, an influx of multinational corporations bringing billions of dollars in foreign investment, and the expansion of high-tech industries. With these changes, however, have come concerns about the political impact of this economic reformation. This report examines China's economic rebirth, and the political ramifications, vis-a-vis telecommunications development. It focuses the roles of the Chinese central, provincial and local governments, and foreign MNCs on the telecommunications industry in China and analyzes the actions of these players in terms of both economic and political liberalization. It concludes with recommendations for the Chinese governments, the US government and American telecom companies.
-- Author's foreword.