Centenary Preparations - Xi's Rénmín Lǐngxiù - Historical Timeline - Ren Zhongping on Party Defying Naysayers - CCDI Data

Here are the stories and pieces from the People’s Daily’s June 28, 2021, edition that I found noteworthy.

Page 1: The front page today is all about the Party centenary, with Xi at the core. The lead story is a collation of Xi’s comments about the Party’s connection with the people. This is really, really long, and after a bit of context setting in the beginning, it’s just Xi’s remarks over the years. This is the core argument that’s being made in the piece.

“Our party has its roots in the people and its bloodline in the people. The hundred-year history of the Party is a history of practicing the Party’s original mission. The Party and the people share the same heart, breath and destiny.” 我们党根基在人民、血脉在人民. 党的百年历史,就是一部践行党的初心使命的历史,就是一部党与人民心连心、同呼吸、共命运的历史. 

Of course, we also have a reference to Xi being 人民领袖 Rénmín lǐngxiù or People’s Leader, and remarks about how he so deeply cares for the people and loves them and actively works to address the people’s problems. 习近平总书记是从人民中走出来的、对人民怀有深厚感情和强烈责任感的人民领袖,无论是在基层、地方工作,还是在中央工作,都始终把人民挂在心头、念在心里. 无论是打赢脱贫攻坚战,还是打赢疫情防控阻击战,无论是推进健康中国、平安中国、美丽中国建设,还是解决人民最关心最直接最现实的利益问题,习近平总书记始终心系百姓、情系人民.

Next, a short report informs us that tomorrow morning Xi will be presenting the July 1 Medal to outstanding Party members at a ceremony to be held in the Great Hall of the People. He’ll also be delivering a speech.

Third, another really, really long piece by the Central Party History and Literature Research Institute this time. And this is going to be a series. So we have the first part today. Basically, this is a timeline of key events starting from 1840 to 1921 to set the context and then we have a somewhat year-by-year brief of key events. It ends with meetings of 1959 to “correct the ‘leftist’ mistakes in the ‘Great Leap Forward.’” Just a sense of how long this is; it starts on the front page and takes up all of pages 5, 6 and 7.

Finally, a Ren Zhongping commentary about, guess what, the centenary. Interesting quote this by Xi in the commentary: “As long as our party always stands at the forefront of the trend of the times, stands at the forefront of tackling difficulties and stands among the overwhelming majority of the people, it will always be invincible!” “只要我们党始终站在时代潮流最前列、站在攻坚克难最前沿、站在最广大人民之中,就必将永远立于不败之地!”

Anyway, the piece is broken down into different sections. Each section is somewhat self-sufficient. There is, however, a theme connecting all of them, which is about how the CCP-led China has defied the odds and the naysayers. Foreign journalists get a lot of heat. A message to journalists today perhaps. 

The first part offers a celebratory broad sweep of the Party’s historical narrative. Here’s a flavour of the content for you: “From 1921 to 2021, from Shikumen to Tiananmen Square, from a small red boat to a mighty ship, the red fire 100 years ago became a prairie fire on the road of revolution, construction and reform, illuminating the bright future of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” “1921—2021,从石库门到天安门,从小小红船到巍巍巨轮,一百年前的红色火种,在革命、建设、改革的道路上已成燎原之势,照亮中华民族伟大复兴的光明前景. 

In the next part, the author basically goes through different moments and times in the Party’s history to make the broad point that the Party has proven to be more resilient than anyone, particularly commentators and doubters at the time, thought. At one point, the author talks about how the Party after the Zunyi Conference, “became the mainstay of the national resistance; liberating the whole of China, and burying the Chiang Dynasty.” Not quite, but this isn’t about getting the facts right.

The third section is about development and prosperity and the Party’s role in it. There’s also a long bit about how after 1840, the “Chinese nation” had been sinking and had been forced to sign “unequal treaties.” It then talks about how “‘at that time, China was a fat sheep to be slaughtered.’ The Communist Party of China led hundreds of millions of people to save the country, build it up, enrich it and strengthen it, creating a miracle of rapid economic development and long-term social stability that is rare in the world, and creating a huge change that has shaken the world. Back then, Dr. Sun Yat-sen had conceived a vision for China's construction in his book ‘A Strategy for the Founding of the Nation (建国方略), which some foreign journalists considered to be a complete ‘pipe dream.’” This is contrasted with how railways connect the Qinghai-Tibet region, highways link the country, ports open into the seas and technology has taken China to Mars, making sure that “socialist China stands tall in the east.”

The fourth part is about how the Party-state system evolved and thrived. At one point, there’s a jab at the US in this.

“We do not ‘import’ foreign models, nor do we ‘export’ Chinese models, nor do we ask other countries to ‘copy’ China's practices, but rather create more opportunities for the world by promoting China’s development, and explore the development of human society by deepening our own practices…(we) consistently follow the path of peaceful development, and become recognized by the international community as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a maintainer of international order.” 从为世界反法西斯战争胜利作出重要贡献,到倡导和平共处五项原则;从全面发展同各国友好合作,到推动构建总体稳定、均衡发展的大国关系框架;从打造区域命运共同体,到加强同广大发展中国家团结合作……我们不“输入”外国模式,也不“输出”中国模式,不会要求别国“复制”中国的做法,而是通过推动中国发展给世界创造更多机遇,通过深化自身实践探索人类社会发展规律并同世界各国分享,始终不渝走和平发展道路,成为国际社会公认的世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者.

Part five is about the Party’s evolution while having stuck to Marxism and having sinicised Marxism. Basically it says that the key to the Party’s resilience lies in its adaptability, or ability to undergo “self-revolution” and innovate in theoretical and practical areas.  

Part 6 is about the long march spirit and the notion of struggle and how this is perennial for the Party. It says that “no party in the world has suffered like our Party. After so many difficulties and obstacles and having experienced so many life and death tests, and made so many tragic sacrifices...generations of Chinese Communists have firmly adhered to the lofty ideals of communism. They have tempered the character and qualities of not fearing powerful enemies, not fearing risks, daring to fight, and being brave to win.”

Part 7 is about the future, and it offers this warning/direction for cadres: “No matter what storms we encounter, the fundamental issue of adhering to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics should be consistent, never change course because of various noises, always grasp the right direction to forge ahead.” 无论遇到什么风浪,在坚持中国特色社会主义道路这个根本问题上都要一以贯之,决不因各种杂音噪音而改弦更张,始终把握正确方向砥砺奋进.

Basically, there’s a reiteration that the road ahead will not be easy.

“To create history, we must engage in a struggle of the present times. Each generation has its own fortunes, and each generation has its own mission. The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is in a critical period. Based on the new development stage, implement the new development concept, build a new development pattern, and promote high-quality development, the questions of the test of today are before us, and our answer sheets are being written. Take scientific and technological self-reliance as the pillar of the national development strategy, accelerate the construction of a strong manufacturing country and a strong quality country, and comprehensively promote rural revitalization…” 创造伟大历史时间,我们要进行今天的奋斗. 当今世界正经历百年未有之大变局,中华民族伟大复兴正处于关键时期. 立足新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局、推动高质量发展,时代的考题已经列出,我们的答卷正在写就. 立足新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局、推动高质量发展,时代的考题已经列出,我们的答卷正在写就。把科技自立自强作为国家发展战略支撑,加快推进制造强国、质量强国建设,全面推进乡村振兴……落实好“十四五”规划和2035年远景目标纲要,除了奋斗,别无他途.

Page 3: As has been the norm, there’s a piece on the page about foreigners congratulating the CCP. One useful datapoint shared by ILD’s Guo Yezhou this week was that the CCP has “regular contacts with more than 560 political parties and political organizations from over 160 countries and regions around the world.” I am not quite sure why this matters in the grand scheme of things, but it seems like a number that one might want to reference somewhere. 

Anyway, the only piece worth noting, not so much for its content, but for the fact that PD’s editors thought this was something they wanted to do, is an article about Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president, who died recently. I plead ignorance when it comes to China-Zambia relations, but the piece refers to Kaunda as “an old friend of the Chinese people” and then says this, which is relevant to foreign policy today:

“In the overall layout of China’s diplomacy, developing countries are the foundation, and Africa, as the continent with the highest concentration of developing countries, is the ‘foundation of foundations’ for China's diplomacy.” 在中国外交的整体布局中,发展中国家是基础,非洲作为发展中国家最为集中的大陆,更是中国外交“基础中的基础”. 

Page 4: We have a report about the first centenary press conference that took place yesterday. Qu Qingshan, President of the Central Party History and Documentation Research Institute, talked about the work done on history documentation since the 18th Party Congress. This work, Qu said, has “clarified the great contribution that our party has made to the Chinese nation, the Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions that it has contributed to solving human problems, and it has profoundly clarified the bright prospects for the development of the party and the people.”

He added that after the institute was founded in 2018, it has worked on three priority areas. Useful to note the order; Xi’s above the Party.

  • in-depth study and implementation of Xi Jinping's thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era and the editing, research, translation and propaganda of the important works of General Secretary Xi Jinping

  • focus on the party's history and theoretical research

  • the study and education of Party history and the propaganda and education of the ‘four histories’

Page 8: A few reports about cemetery celebrations. So we have an art exhibition supported by the Propaganda Department and the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. The theme is “Do not forget the original aspiration and remember the mission -- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.”

We also have a piece about the “red resources” in the capital. This is a product of Xi taking the Politburo to the Peking University Red House on Friday.

Finally, a short report based on the CCDI’s monthly data on the national investigation and handling of violations of the spirit of the eight central provisions. 

  • A total of 7,894 violations were investigated and dealt

  • 11,316 people (including 33 prefecture-level cadres and 655 county-level cadres) were criticized and educated

  • 7,300 people were handed disciplinary and political sanctions

  • 3,800 cases of formalism and bureaucratism were investigated and dealt with, and 5,799 people were criticized, educated, and assisted.

  • 4094 cases of hedonism and extravagance were investigated and dealt with nationwide, and 5,517 people were criticized, educated and assisted

And that about wraps up the People’s Daily for today. There’s no Theory or International page today.