On April 9, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the "Opinions on Constructing a More Perfect Market-Oriented Allocation System for Factors". This is the first factor-based market-oriented configuration document issued by the central government. The data was officially included in the scope of production factors for the first time.
After the "10.24 speech", the blockchain has been elevated to a strategic level. This time the data is included in the production factors. What is the inevitable connection between the two? As a necessary means to solve data confirmation and pricing transactions, how does blockchain participate in the construction of the data element market? When data becomes a factor of production, how far are we from the full digitization of the factor market?
On April 11, Babbitt invited Li Ming, Chairman of the Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technical Committee of the IEEE Computer Association, Meng Yan, Vice President of the Digital Asset Research Institute, and Gao Hang, Chairman of Shuqin Technology, respectively The far-reaching significance of analyzing data from the perspective of participation and standard setting is incorporated into the factors of production.
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The following is the full text record:
Q1. Before data is included in production factors, production factors are usually attributed to the six elements of land, labor, capital, organization, technology, and information. After the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee, it was proposed to participate in the distribution as a new kind of production factor. With the release of the "Opinions", data is included in production factors for the first time in human history. What is the background of this era and what does this mean?
Meng Yan: At the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou in 2016, a G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative was adopted, which gave a very brilliant definition of the digital economy, like this: using digital A series of economic activities with knowledge and information as key production factors, modern information network as an important carrier, and effective use of information and communication technology as an important driving force for efficiency improvement and economic structure optimization.
It can be seen that as early as that time, some experts proposed to use digital information as a key production factor. It can also be said that this has become the consensus of the times. However, the implementation of consensus as a policy is still a long way from thinking. The decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee may be the first in the world ’s major economies to clearly upgrade data to factors of production . I think it will have a role in promoting the development of the digital economy around the world. Especially now that the epidemic is spreading, many people are worried about the global situation after the epidemic. Intensified international competition is a high probability event. Then the development of the digital economy has a higher strategic position, and the elementalization of data will also become a must for the military. Ground.
As for the consequences, I will briefly make two points here.
The first is the change in the mode of economic growth . The scale of data and its utilization level are developing rapidly at a large exponential speed. If data can be used as a factor of production, it is equivalent to adding new fuel to the economic engine, and the economic growth mode and even the model will change.
The second is the change in the pattern of wealth distribution . The production factor market is actually a place for ordinary people to make money. Simply put, we spend money on the commodity market and make money on the factor market. How much money we can make depends on how much and what factors of production we can provide to the market. It turns out that most people can only provide labor to earn wages or invest to earn interest. Now that data has become a factor of production, we can obtain more wealth by creating, collecting, and processing data.
Li Ming: From the perspective of development history, information technology completed the staged infrastructure construction in the early system integration stage, and completed the information system construction in the software development stage. When both hardware and software were completed, the era of big data came. Gradually, we found that hardware and software paved the way for the development of data, and the real value is data. Because data has the characteristics of low marginal cost, large combined value, and multiple data-based service scenarios, it can further amplify the value of data by strengthening the attributes of data production factors , accelerate the process of digital transformation, and accelerate the development of the digital economy .
Gao Hang: The 330 opinion is a milestone event. This is a document issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. It is not an opinion issued by the General Office or a certain ministry. He represents the national policy. Guiding Opinions, Opinions on Deepening the Reform of State-owned Enterprises in 2015, this is a national policy and a major event in the history of the digital economy industry. Like the 1024 blockchain speech, I think these events will prove in the future that its historical status will be as epoch-making as the information highway plan proposed by the Clinton government in 1993 . Q2. The "Opinions" mentioned the application of big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, Internet of Things and other technologies in the element market. Blockchain is absent. What do you think is the reason?
Meng Yan: Simply put, the time has not come yet . At present, there are still many ways to go for the marketization of data elements. A large amount of valuable data cannot be collected. Even if it is collected, it cannot be released when it is released, transparent and open, and interconnected. Therefore, these problems should be solved first.
As for the blockchain, the relevant responsible leaders and official articles recently mentioned the blockchain's social governance function when referring to the blockchain. An article published by the Commission for Discipline Inspection a few days ago, "The Power of Change Contained in Blockchain," is representative of such views. I think it reflects the thinking of the decision-making layer on the key direction of blockchain application after the epidemic.
However, if you think about it for a little longer, you will find that if the blockchain is fully applied in social governance, its role in the data element market must be core .
Li Ming: Because there is still a lot of room for development in blockchain technology and there is not enough basic scientific theory support, it is necessary to further improve the componentization, interoperability and other technical systems , closed-loop service systems , supervision and auditing and other ecological systems . At the same time, further real business scenarios need to be found. The current scenarios are far-fetched and fail to maximize the value of blockchain.
Gao Hang: The current practical results of the blockchain have not formed a large enough volume. There are many theories and ideas that need to be verified. Compared with the big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and Internet of Things industries, the scale is smaller. Many, the comments did not mention that blockchain is normal.
Blockchain is a horizontal infrastructure, a collaborative network, a consensus mechanism, and an evolution of production relations. Big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things are vertical industries. Especially data as the most basic production factor is because of the development of blockchain theory, it will follow the trend. The efficient circulation of digital production factors on the blockchain infrastructure can produce more advanced digital commodities and realize a larger digital economy. No mention of blockchain, does not affect the importance of blockchain . Q3. The central bank's digital currency is "ready to come out", and the "10.24 speech" will raise the blockchain to a strategic level, and the data will be included in the production factors. What is the inevitable connection between the three?
Meng Yan: The nineteenth Central Political Bureau held nineteen learning sessions, six related to the digital economy, and three directly focused on the digital economy. Things are already clear, and the decision-makers are actively promoting the national digital economy transformation and upgrading. The few things listed in the question are just the specific actions behind this strategy, and more signals will be released in the future. There is no doubt about this direction, and other countries will follow up. I suggest that everyone focus on finding their own position.
Li Ming: We have entered the digital age and need to jointly accelerate the construction of the digital economy from different angles. First of all, data is the core element of the digital economy, and it is an important part of the active digital economy to maximize the value of data. Secondly, from the perspective of the technical attributes of the blockchain, a new generation of information technology such as blockchain is a tool for processing data. By processing data, the value of the data is maximized to accelerate the development of the digital economy. After all the elements have entered the digital world, the exchange system of the digital world needs to be established, so DCEP caters to the needs of the development of the digital economy .
Gao Hang: At least on three levels, the blockchain has evolved from the bookkeeping system , from the cooperative network operation , and from the economic nature to the three levels. It has an extremely important impact on the digital society, digital government, and digital economy. It can even be said to be the most critical underlying logic. Therefore, to develop the blockchain industry and promote the core technology of the blockchain will rise to a strategic level. And DCEP also meets the needs of this development, because in the process of pure digital production factor resource allocation and exchange, the granularity is smaller, the order of magnitude is larger, and the performance requirements are higher. Traditional payment and settlement will be difficult to meet This demand.
In the current national policy, the inclusion of data in production factors is also a requirement of the development of the times. Before the 330 opinion, many experts and scholars have suggested that data be the most important means of production. The development of Internet companies also proves this. The system-wide recognition of the value of the basic means of production data of the data will further promote the development of the industry. The three will advance together, and we will usher in a more explosive digital economy era.
My view on the relationship between the three is basically the same as that of Director Li. The inevitable result of this stage of development. Q4. Articles 6 and 8 of the "Opinions" mentioned the mention of accelerating the cultivation of the data element market (including promoting the open sharing of government data, enhancing the value of social data resources, strengthening data resource integration and security protection.) And improving the element market Operating mechanism (including perfecting factor market trading platform, perfecting factor transaction rules and services, improving factor transaction supervision level, and enhancing factor emergency allocation capability). Blockchain technology is a necessary means to solve data confirmation and pricing transactions. In your opinion, which of the above points are most suitable for blockchain entry?
Meng Yan: The most suitable for blockchain is digital currency and digital assets . Therefore, the data that can be confirmed and easy to be digitalized is the most suitable area for blockchain to enter, such as copyright, warrants, and securities. There are still many difficulties in the capitalization and factorization of the data that represent information that can be shared, which requires a lot of research and exploration. Another blockchain infrastructure is digital identity . This direction has extremely wide and important applications, especially in social governance. As far as I know, the relevant departments have started research.
Li Ming: Data confirmation is the most basic application of blockchain. All traceability, transaction and other applications must be based on data confirmation. The development of technology has a scientific law, and its application of power confirmation and trading is iterative spiral development. The development of power confirmation can accelerate the formation of the trading ecology, and the expansion of the trading ecology forces more perfect power confirmation technology and service capabilities. Therefore, the blockchain can accelerate the process of digital transformation based on data from aspects such as deposit and verification, transaction and exchange, credit service and traceability.
Gao Hang: Confirmation of authority, certificate registration, cross-domain connection, and data incentives are the clearest entry points at present. Blockchain will be involved in all these links, and it is the most suitable for the blockchain to cut in and is indispensable. Are working with each other. But in these cut-in work, we must also realize that the blockchain is a part of it. He needs to integrate with other links to complete the relevant project construction beautifully. Just talking about blockchain, or if your team only has the delivery capabilities of blockchain, without the comprehensive IT capabilities of cross-domain integration, it is difficult to complete some large-scale infrastructure construction. Q5. After this data is included in the production factors, will it provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the large-scale application of blockchain?
Meng Yan: I might be more conservative. "Large-scale applications" will not soon appear , because there are too many things to study and adjust theoretically, technically and mechanically. Over the past decade, big data and cloud computing have achieved great development, but big data transactions have not been successful. There are still many deep-seated problems, and not all can be solved when they encounter blockchain. But in general, the blockchain provides the most reliable and lowest-cost infrastructure to date for the capitalization of data, so if we remain patient and solve the problem seriously, we will see the blockchain develop greatly.
Li Ming: All technologies have their own objective development laws. Capital and policies can promote and accelerate the development of technology to a certain extent, but they also require an engineering practice process to gradually improve the technology system, service system and ecosystem.
At the same time, the blockchain is only one of the tools for processing data. In the future, it will need to be integrated with new generation information technologies such as AI, big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. From the aspects of collection, carrying, processing, utilization, and security, data processing technology will be formed. Ecology to maximize the value of data.
From a larger perspective, the new generation of information technology including blockchain is only a stage in the technological development process. In the future, the new generation of information technology will also need to form a larger technical system with bioengineering, quantum computing and other technologies to achieve Greater value. Therefore, each technology is only a technical component of the iterative development of the technical system. At a specific time, it uses its technical characteristics to complete the unique value, and promotes the iterative development of technology.
Gao Hang: I am more optimistic. Shuqin has always focused on blockchain + big data. In fact, a blowout has already appeared in the market. From the perspective of digital infrastructure, there are still very few blockchain companies. With the expansion of demand, it is indeed a very good historic opportunity for blockchain companies with strong comprehensive capabilities. In the second half of last year, the market situation in the first quarter of this year is corresponding. To add, blockchain is a very good single weapon. Q6. Data becoming a factor of production will lead to data assetization, which will lead to the development of a new form of assets-digital assets. For digital assets, Meng previously proposed a research and analysis framework based on contract theory, which regards digital assets as contract equity and tokens as certificates of digital asset equity. Now, is this framework complete enough?
Meng Yan: As a framework for understanding digital assets, it is not enough as a theoretical framework for tokens.
First, all assets are defined by some form of contract, which is no problem. Therefore, there is no problem in grasping the key point of contracts to understand assets and grasping the key point of algorithm contracts to understand digital assets. However, the pass as a certificate of digital asset equity is only one type of pass, and there are some types of pass, which are not a fight for digital asset rights. The most fundamental feature of assets is to be able to bring economic benefits to the holders, but the token is not necessarily aimed at this goal. Some tokens may be your personal identity and qualification certificates, and some tokens are only to help you control or use a certain smart device. We have found in practice that the importance of such tokens is much more important than originally expected.
However, in most cases today, people are concerned about the use of digital assets as a token, ignoring other categories. Q7. If the central bank digital is launched smoothly, can the central bank digital currency be used to pay for digital assets in the future? How to calculate the price of digital assets?
Meng Yan: Yes, this is one of the important uses of digital currency. The exchange of digital assets with digital currency can ensure that the two-way transaction of the whole process leaves traces, and the verification and supervision costs are extremely low. The central bank's digital currency has been set up as a payment tool from the beginning. The payment flow is online, and the goods flow is offline. In a sense, it is a central bank version of Alipay. If it stays at this level for a long time, its advantages are only prominent in the areas of central bank currency management and macroeconomic regulation and control, and people and industry and commerce have a limited sense of gain.
Many of our currency experts are demonstrating all the benefits of digital currency for macro-control all day long, but what does the micro level mean for companies and people? Everyone is not very talkative, because there is no special advantage compared to WeChat Alipay. However, if there are a large number of compliant digital assets, including the digitization of commercial bills, organizing digital assets and digital currency in a smart contract-controlled transaction will stimulate endless innovation and have great significance for progress . Whether it is macro or micro, the significance is very great. So we ca n’t just care about one side of the coin and not the other. Digital assets cannot rise, and a new generation of digital economy cannot.
Regarding asset prices, of course, the main decision is market supply and demand. However, since the ins and outs of an asset are all recorded on the chain, some institutions, even authoritative institutions, may use algorithmic methods to configure assets. At this time, price may retire as a resource allocation mechanism. We will wait and see how it will develop. Q8. Teacher Meng Yan pointed out in a closed-door meeting recently that the addition of data and the development of digital currencies and digital assets will cause a drastic change in the factor market. How do you understand this dramatic change?
Meng Yan: In a nutshell, I think it will lead to the digitization of the factor market , which is a far more profound thing than the digitization of the product market. To illustrate this point, I quote some of my statements at that closed-door meeting.
Microeconomics has a very basic market model. Basically, every introductory book on economics will introduce this model in the first two chapters. I call it a two-sector and two-market model. This model assumes that there is no government participation, socio-economic participation by two sectors, one is the household sector, one is the manufacturer sector or enterprise, and the two sectors conduct transactions in two markets. One of these markets is called the product market. In this market, the household sector pays for money and obtains products and services from the manufacturer. In this market, the household is on the demand side and the market is on the supply side.
But in fact, there is another market that is equally important or even more important, that is, the factor market. This factor market says that the family sector provides production factors in this market, and which production factors are included? Now our official division is 7 categories: labor, land, capital, knowledge, technology, management and data.
The role of supply and demand in the factor market is just the reverse. Enterprises use money or other notes of value in the factor market to purchase production factors. The household sector is the provider of production factors, that is, the enterprise is on the demand side and the family is on the supply side. Enterprises pay wages for labor, land rent for land, and profits for entrepreneurs, and interest for capital.
I think the addition of data and the development of digital currencies and digital assets will cause a drastic change in the factor market.
According to a well-known statement from Meituan CEO Wang Xing, he said that the Internet has a second half, and by 2018 the first half of the Internet is over. For the first half, I did not see his clear qualitative, but in my opinion, the first half of the Internet seems to mainly occur in the product market, which means that consumers we are more familiar with purchase products and services on the Internet. Consumers buy things on WeChat, Alipay, JD.com, and Taobao, mainly in consumer scenarios, including browsing news on the Internet, which is also a digital transformation of the previous media market. The development of the Internet has caused earth-shaking changes in the product market.
But looking back at the factor market, the change is not that great. We still go to work in a company from nine to five, and then form a fixed labor contract relationship. Even a series of laws and regulations of our entire society are based on this relatively static Relationship. Here I boldly put forward a hypothesis that in the second half of the Internet, which is a new stage of the digital economy, our focus is on the digitization of the factor market, which is characterized by companies directly using digital means, digital currencies, digital tokens on the Internet , Digital assets, purchase production factors directly from the family, including knowledge, technology, labor, land, data and all these production factors. Some Internet companies that have emerged in recent years, such as ByteDance, Pinduoduo, etc., all have the taste of "factor market digitization". However, only in the blockchain and token economy can the digitization of the factor market explode on a large scale.
The digitization of the factor market will bring about drastic changes in our production methods, lifestyles, and relationships between people. It will also cause drastic changes in the distribution of social wealth, and will inevitably result in drastic changes in social structures and even international economic relations.
I personally greet the arrival of this wave with anticipation and nervousness. Q9. As the most basic digital production factor, how should data be circulated? How to develop and use on the blockchain infrastructure?
Gao Hang: I have some experience on this issue, which is based on our project practice over the past year.
I make a metaphor, but it may not be rigorous. I often compare the digital economy to the adult body. What are the characteristics of a healthy human body? He needs a healthy heart, brain, and various important organs. Our urban brain, digital government, and various basic clouds, data pools, and data lakes formed for these are the core organs. Each organ needs basic nutrients to protect its own development and achieve different functions. At present, China is in great need to use its own institutional advantages to complete the construction of data high-speed rail , connecting the brain and heart, as well as various original isolated data islands and value islands. Form an overall main loop. Then through the blockchain to complete the construction of the whole body capillaries, and further fully activate the data resources of the whole body and the whole society, and various private domain data to form a rich cycle based on capillaries. Only then can we see the thinning development of the digital economy.
As a blockchain company, we must capture the construction direction, construction ideas, and development dynamics of the data high-speed rail. Lay capillaries along this direction to connect private domain data. This is the most important experience we have been able to develop in recent years.
Recently, there is news that Hangzhou will be established as a digital special economic zone, which is equivalent to building a Shenzhen in the bit world. A large part of this digital special economic zone lies in the advantages of the main organs and aorta. With the further development of the blockchain and the smooth flow of capillaries, the digital production factors will form a better cycle. Q10. Exploring the establishment of unified data standards and specifications and supporting the construction of multi-domain data development and utilization scenarios are very important for enhancing the value of data elements. In your opinion, how should a unified data standard be established?
Li Ming: Standards should be strengthened from the aspects of classification and ontology, assets, engineering, and services .
Classification and ontology of data: Data has become a new element, but what exactly is the data and what attributes does it need? It needs scientific theoretical research to lay the foundation for value;
Data asset classification: The current data is basically a technical term, and the next important work of data becoming "elements" is to clarify the important basic definitions of data assets, classification, etc., to lay the foundation for transactions and sharing;
Data engineering: Just like system engineering and software engineering, data engineering is used to study how to better use engineering methods to develop and operate data, and establish scientific methodologies to guide application practice;
Data services: How to use data to provide safe and reliable closed-loop services is the basic guarantee for the value of data. On the premise of ensuring data privacy, it fully strengthens data sharing and circulation, and establishes standardized data service processes and mechanisms. Q11. Regarding the relationship between blockchain and data, you mentioned earlier that blockchain is a technical system for data encapsulation. What is the difference between data standards and blockchain standards? Director Li personally participated in the formulation of a number of domestic and international blockchain standards. In terms of promoting the development of blockchain standardization, what other work does China have to do?
Li Ming: The standard is a means to provide consensus, reduce communication costs and use thresholds, and generate a convergence effect. We have no way to say what is the difference between data standards and blockchain standards, because only the standardization methods are the same, and other standardization objects, standard development stages, and standardization application degrees are different.
In terms of blockchain standardization, it is also necessary to strengthen the standards of blockchain concepts, componentization, interoperability, and application guidelines in the field. Activities such as platform construction and standards-based open source ecology.
Welcome more experts to join the standardization work. Q12. When the central bank digital currency has not yet been launched and the data has just been incorporated into the factors of production, Ms. Meng has envisaged digitizing all the factor markets, and blockchain will be the core infrastructure in the digital factor market. Enterprises can use digital currency or digital assets through the Internet and other digital means to directly purchase production factors such as knowledge, technology, labor, land, and data. In the view of Ms. Meng, what are the practical obstacles facing the premise of the realization of this vision?
Meng Yan: There are many obstacles. Technical, institutional, and legal are all very far apart. However, I think these obstacles are not fearful. As long as everyone has a consensus on development and quickly develops cooperation and actions, the seemingly serious obstacles can be overcome quickly.
But the most important obstacle now is precisely the question of ideology , or the question of cognition . Of these problems, only a small part is about the level of knowledge, and most of them are problems of dealing with bad interests. The artificial obstacles created by each other are more troublesome and difficult to solve.
In the early days of the Internet, most people just thought it was fun and useful. They didn't know that they could make a lot of money, so they did a lot of basic work with a kind heart. Now too many people are staring at the wealth effect of this matter, and I have encountered too many such problems in practice. When I was younger, I said that many projects have obvious opportunities to accomplish things because of interests, and they fall apart. To go further, at the policy level, in terms of cooperation between countries and regions, if many things are just inconsistent, you can quickly reach consensus through exchanges and discussions, but in fact, I think a lot of it is a game of interest. This obstacle is difficult to solve.
So you have to ask me what the main obstacle is. I think this is the elephant in the room. Usually few people talk about it, but I think this is really the main obstacle.
There is another obstacle. Recently, I have considered more about the impact of the reverse globalization caused by the epidemic on the development of the digital economy . It seems that everyone did not talk much about this issue today, but I believe that Director Li and President Gao have their own profound opinions on this.
Li Ming: The opportunity for restructuring is here! Opportunities and challenges always coexist, as is the challenge of boiling frogs in warm water.
Gao Hang: There are too many worrying things in the world of great competition. Bite your own destiny and work tirelessly. Although there are many retrogressions, the general trend is to further globalize, the globalization of the digital economy. The development of things spirals like this. Regression is also creating opportunities. Q13. What do you think of Meng Meng's vision as a practitioner of the blockchain industry, and how will it be implemented?
Gao Hang: From a practical point of view, there used to be many roads in the currency circle, and it has never been possible or feasible.
The most basic unit of economic activity in the digital economy is the digital factory . This factory can be very small, as small as a smart contract, or it can be very complicated. For example, the health code is a large digital factory. In this factory, the input production factors are data, computing power, human wisdom and algorithms, and the output is various digital commodities. Some of these digital goods have financial attributes and asset attributes, which may change many traditional rules. Just like the traditional economy, we have the difference between reality and reality, and the digital economy will have the difference between reality and reality. Digital factories are real, and digital finance is virtual. The current focus of Shuqin Technology is on how to make the digital factories effectively operate the infrastructure construction.
I think that the operation and development laws of the digital economy and the traditional economy are the same. All input factors of production to produce more advanced and complex products.
The health code during the epidemic is a digital commodity. Zhejiang's health code is the most advanced. In the taxi, the previous person is diagnosed, and the next person's health code will turn yellow. Behind, there are countless layers of digital factories in operation.
How to make the digital factory run better and have a better ecology. This is the most important practical direction we are currently focusing on. Shuqin's Shurong platform allows data to flow like oil. Our security network is to help establish the rules of the digital economy. The bottom of the blockchain we do is also working hard for this goal. Q14. The new infrastructure is in full swing, but the current new infrastructure is still not called "new", not only because the investment in the new infrastructure is low, but also the facilities are mainly physical facilities. After data is included in production factors, the digital economy is expected to become a true "digital economy", so will it accelerate the construction of "new" infrastructure?
Meng Yan: I believe the answer must be a big "yes".
But I want to say one more thing here. The construction of China's civil engineering infrastructure is still far from the developed countries, and the per capita is only 20% to 30% in Europe and America. Don't think that China is about to end the physical infrastructure construction cycle. The new digital infrastructure is not to compete with the traditional infrastructure, but to support each other , especially considering the digital transformation of the physical infrastructure that is being built and has been built. The integration of the Internet of Things and the blockchain itself is the earliest anticipated application scenario of the blockchain, and smart infrastructure will enable blockchain applications to obtain very good development conditions.
Li Ming: The factor of production is the concept of economics. Incorporating data into the factor of production can strengthen the asset attributes of the data, promote the independent and orderly flow of data, and improve the efficiency of data configuration.
The rapid allocation and sharing of data resources requires strong “new” infrastructure support. 5g in the new infrastructure can accelerate the flow of data, process data with big data, use artificial intelligence and consume data, and share data with the industrial Internet.
Therefore, data as a factor of production will promote the development of new infrastructure, and the development of new infrastructure will also promote the further creation of value of data, and the two parties work together to accelerate the development of the digital economy .
Gao Hang: The development of the digital economy will definitely accelerate the construction of "new" infrastructure and "soft" infrastructure, especially the construction of systems and rules. We will have a very great opportunity to take advantage of the new globalization process of the digital economy. Breaking through the monopoly of the West and establishing new rules are the biggest infrastructure for China's renaissance .