" And which organizations in the west are pursuing an IPv6-based Internet? Are there multiple initiatives or one cohesive approach?"
The umbrella organization spearheading the adoption of IPv6 world wide would be the IPv6 Forum (www.ipv6forum.com) which includes the major western players. Also, according to this Google web page (http://www.google.com/ipv6/statistics.html#tab=per-country-ipv6-adoption) the US leads China in IPv6 availability in the Internet (2.75% vs .44% respectively). That's not exactly the same thing that's being discussed here but it does give you some concrete data on the relative levels of IPv6 deployment world wide.
China has a knack for doing two things. One is to master any new technology in about half the time we think they can. The other is to "show" a new technology, but it won't be "implemented" yet. Just because they show a gadget does not mean they have a lot of them.
One thing China has a harder time doing is innovating. They can catch-up very quickly by stealing a lot of intellectual property. Theyc an stamp out their own copies very quickly. But designing the next great thing from scratch may be a heavier lift for them than us.
Genius does not respect borders. I would not discount the possiblity of China getting ahead of the US in some technology. But it is more likely than not for the US to be competitive with a more creative technology base. We are good at inventing solutions to problems that don't exist yet, while other nations get by inventing solutions to problems they see already.
Propoganda is an invaluable tool in any war -- a battlefield or the cyberwars going on today, as shown by the many reports of IP theft against US businesses and government agencies. As you say, William, these stories could be well-placed misinformation.
"How far off do the experts think China's development of this next-gen Internet could be?"
With the secrecyand shroudness surrounding everything Chinese, I really doubt if any expert has get a valid timeline. Considering that this Next-Gen Internet is still in its research stage, I won't rule out at least a decade or its to become a commercial and business reality.
But the government also makes those changes without any regard or accountability to the public. The government will build a lead smelter next to a grade school and order the cops to beat on the protesting parents.
China is averaging about 50,000-75,000 incidents of civil unrest per year, usually defined as an unsanctioned march or protest. The budget for internal security exceeds defense, which is pegged at 2 percent of GDP per year.
They have a lot going for them. One of the main things that the US lacks is the ability to build what they want without worrying about privacy groups or amy civil society activist. China can adjust their "regulation" to whatever suits them.
The problem with China sories in general is that there is a very wide variation of assessments. The country is 10 feet tall and will conquer the world through a brutal combination of state-directed capitalism, neo-mercantilism and outright theft of intellectual property. Or the state is hanging by a thread, as domestic turmoil threatens to undo the legitimacy of the ruling government while abuse of power and pollution are at unhealthy levels.
I have a feeling that we are seeing more (mis)perception managment and less news. China will always appear to be ahead until reality calls them on it.
How far off do the experts think China's development of this next-gen Internet could be? And which organizations in the west are pursuing an IPv6-based Internet? Are there multiple initiatives or one cohesive approach?
I do not understand the rush. Why not learn from others mistakes. You stated China is using an evolutionary approach. They have to at the speed they are going. We are functional as is. Sit back, relax, and then when it's working, implement it with improvements.
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