Is it a Star? Is it a Huge Balloon? It’s a Rare Glimpse of China’s Digital Silk Road
Patrice Flynn, PhD

The People’s Republic of China is well on its way toward building a Digital Silk Road that will facilitate seamless planetary e-commerce, surveillance, and telecommunications by 2030. China plans to use this universal digital system to enable social control, geolocation of its transnational infrastructure, and data reconnaissance. The West got a rare glimpse of the Digital Silk Road during the last week of January 2023 when a mysterious white balloon appeared over Canada and the United States. Instead of the West embracing the sighting as a moment of scientific discovery, the Pentagon shot down the smoking gun. This paper introduces the origins and aims of China’s Digital Silk Road and provides sample applications in nations that are official partners on China’s Silk Road. The balloon sighting offers valuable insights for policymakers, businesspeople, scholars, and citizens, who are curious about the new geopolitical and economic state of the world and China’s ascent on the global stage.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rcbr.v11n1a2