is CERNET part of the Internet?

In 2001 I'd the pleasure of working with CNNIC in the IETF technical and ICANN
policy areas. At the time a bug in the UTF8 processing in the then-prevelant
version of IE yeilded packet sequences originating from the edge device, on a
IP block in the PRC (and elsewhere resolution was attempted of labels in the
Han Script input into in the IE navigation field) to IP addresses allocated to
Microsoft, to IP addresses allocated to an "IDN Solutions Vendor" in Silicon
Valley, and to IP addresses allocated to Verisign Registry. As there were a
non-trivial number of instances of IE with this bug operating in the PRC in
2001, the aggregate of these several packets per string per IE instance had
a non-trivial overseas bandwidth cost -- settled at the time in hard currency,
USD -- a scarce resource at the time.

I suggest that (a) substituting whatever one has as "the definition" of "the
Internet" for settlement free peering is suspect, and (b) the cost of overseas
bandwidth in the PRC is still non-negligible, and (c) the cost, when amortized
over cache instances, may be less than the cost of cost recovery, and offered
as "free", and (d) the cost of uncacheable traffic cannot be so amortized, and
(e) while USD are not a scarce resource in the PRC at present, settlements may
still be made in currency other then RMB.