China-Cyprus Ties - Li-Mishustin Meeting - What Xi wants from the Youth - Chen Xi on Building a Team of High-Quality Cadres
Here are the stories and pieces from the December 01, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: A bunch of reports on the front page today. First, a report about Xi Jinping’s explanation on the history resolution being published in Qiushi. Second, Xi’s call with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. Xinhua English reports that, as per Xi:
“the two countries have successfully set an example of friendly relations between large and small countries. Politically, the two countries firmly support each other’s core interests and major concerns, and are friends of mutual trust, Xi said, adding that economically, the two countries have achieved fruitful cooperation in such fields as energy and telecommunications, and are partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road. Education, tourism as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have also become increasingly close.”
China and Cyprus have also established a “strategic partnership,” and Xi put forth four proposals:
Be committed to treating each other as equals, respect each other's social system and development path independently chosen by their peoples, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns.
Develop deeper and more concrete mutually beneficial cooperation, including BRI-focussed cooperation. Xi talked about more agricultural and food products being imported from Cyprus and Chinese enterprises “to take an active part in Cyprus' green economy and digital transformation.”
Xi wants “frank dialogue” with the EU. He hopes that “Cyprus can call on the EU to work with China to ensure a healthy and stable development of China-EU relations along the correct track.”
Advocate a fair and reasonable international order. Xi said democracy is a common value of all mankind, adding that democracy exists not just in only one form or has just one standard, and that no country should be allowed to monopolise the interpretation of democracy and then impose it on others.
Anastasiades, as per Xinhua, said that Cyprus “firmly adheres to the one-China policy, and firmly supports China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests.” He also talked about economic cooperation and said that Cyprus “appreciates China’s impartiality in international affairs…and is ready to actively promote dialogue and cooperation between the EU and China.”
The two sides also issued a joint statement, but in that, Cyprus “affirmed its steadfast adherence to the One-China Principle.” Some other highlights from the joint statement:
Both sides promised more people to people exchanges, student exchanges and to “push forward establishing a Cultural Center of China in Cyprus.”
Sister city agreements between Fuzhou and Lefkosia, Guangzhou, Weinan and Lemesos, Xi'an and Pafos, Ningbo and Larnaka.
Agreed to cooperation on matters of extradition and judicial assistance.
“Readiness to enhance communication and collaboration within the United Nations and other multilateral fora.”
“Both sides reiterated their commitment to practicing true multilateralism and safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”
Third, Xi’s letter (English report) to the UN meeting to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Xi called for a “comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel, and common development of the Arab and Jewish nations…”
He wants the “resumption of equal dialogue between Palestine and Israel on the basis of the two-state solution…the international community should continue to help the Palestinian people fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and effectively improve the economy, people’s well-being and humanitarian situation in Palestine...China, he stressed, attaches great importance to the Palestinian issue, and supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore the legitimate rights of their nation.
Fourth, a very, very long article about Xi’s engagement with youth/students. The piece talks about how since the 18th Party Congress, Xi has visited colleges and universities, written letters, and engaged with the youth to grow up to “serve the motherland.” The piece begins by emphasising political and ideological education. This references Xi’s comments at the National Conference on Ideological and Political Work in Colleges and Universities in December 2016. Xi had then spoken about taking moral education as the central link, run ideological and political work through the whole process of education and teaching, and realize the whole process and all-round education. The piece says that under the Party’s red banner, countless students have flourished.
It’s difficult to do a summary. The piece offers a lot of little stories about Xi’s visit to different educational institutions and his comments there or engagement with students. But some of the main themes of these engagements are:
Youth must be brave to shoulder the goal of national rejuvenation.
The Chinese Dream is the common ideal of the people of all ethnic groups and the youth must establish this lofty ideal as their goal.
“Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the right path that the Party has led the people to find through untold hardships to realize the Chinese dream.”
Be patriotic, have a sense of national pride and cultural self-confidence, and “inherit the genes of Chinese culture.”
Patriotism is not just about slogans, but about “closely linking one’s ideals with the future of the motherland and one’s life with the destiny of the nation.”
Don’t forget the original aspiration. In this bit, we get Xi talking about learning from role models. There’s a story about him talking about Jiao Yulu.
Xi wants the youth to become “socialist builders and successors with ideals, skills and responsibilities.”
There’s an interesting story about Zhang Guangxiu, a college student who became an official from Lushang village in Yantai in Shandong. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, but continued working. Apparently, Xi, who was then Vice President, had played a role in ensuring treatment for her in Beijing. The PD piece says that “she received treatment under the kind care of Xi Jinping and other central leading comrades in Beijing and returned to her village post in June 2013. 在习近平等中央领导同志的亲切关怀下，她到北京接受治疗后于2013年6月重回村官岗位.
Fifth, a long interview with Wang Yi talking about the FOCAC meeting. There’s little new here. Wang basically reiterates the key ideas and commitments from Xi’s speech. Sixth, a report (English report + Russian transcript and readout) about Li Keqiang’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Mishustin. Li said that China and Russia are each other’s “largest neighbours, development opportunities and global partners.”
Li added that:
China and Russia, both major economies and emerging markets. Both countries share a strategic consensus on upholding multilateralism and safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law. Li said China is willing to further enhance communication and coordination with Russia and inspire cooperation potential, jointly fight the pandemic, help maintain the safety and stability of international industrial and supply chains, and promote sustainable development, to play a bigger role in advancing a stable global economic recovery while safeguarding regional and global peace and stability.
He also called for:
strengthening connectivity cooperation, promoting trade and investment facilitation, further expanding market access to each other, and building a secure and stable industrial and supply chain system.
deepening cooperation in basic research, application of scientific research achievements and joint training of talents; strengthen cooperation in frontier industries such as big data and artificial intelligence, and promote high-quality and sustainable development of practical cooperation.
consolidating the stock of traditional energy cooperation, advancing cooperation across the entire industrial chain, ensuring the long-term and stable supply of oil, gas and electricity, exploring new directions for renewable energy cooperation, and forging a closer energy partnership.
As per Xinhua, Mishustin said that the two countries should jointly respond to external pressures and challenges on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, adding that Russia supports China in holding the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Russian readout of Mishustin’s comments are interesting. He dwells more on the challenges from the West rather than Li.
“Today, Russian-Chinese relations, our comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, are at their highest level in centuries, and they continue to grow dynamically...In January-October, bilateral trade grew by 31 percent to $110 billion, which is a very significant amount. By the end of 12 months, we expect to reach new record figures. We are determined to bring bilateral trade to $200 billion in the next three years, as the heads of states have instructed us...Russia-China cooperation is developing amid a complicated international situation. Regrettably, some of our foreign partners continue to take unfriendly actions towards us, using unfair competition and frequently violating the basic norms of the multilateral trade system. Both Russia and China have to deal with the challenge of illegal sanctions and political and economic pressure. The best response in this situation will be rallying efforts in the interests of joint development based on the principles of equality, mutual trust and respect, as well as the alignment of the projects underway in the Eurasian Economic Union with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”
Finally, Wang Yang presided over a meeting of the Chairpersons’ Council of the CPPCC National Committee. Xinhua reports that “the meeting heard reports from multiple special committees of the CPPCC National Committee on their work in 2021 and adopted democratic oversight reports concerning different topics, including adaptation to population aging, education, implementation of opening-up measures, and building of the cultural service system.” The PD report provides the details of the different committees that presented reports. But there are no details about what these reports contained.
Page 3: The joint communique from the Li-Mishustin meeting is available on the page. Next, we have a report about Wei Fenghe’s chat with Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.
Xinhua reports that Wei “expressed the hope that the two countries would join hands in opposing hegemonism and the Cold War mindset, handle disputes and disagreements with discretion, and safeguard the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese armed forces are willing to continue enhancing high-level communication with their Indonesian counterparts, improving cooperation mechanisms and multilateral coordination, working together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and advancing the relationship between the two militaries...”
Page 4: Confirmation of new party secretaries:
Shi Taifeng elected Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party Secretary
Wang Ning elected Yunnan Provincial Party Committee Party Secretary
Wang Junzheng elected as the Secretary for TAR
A short report about Yang Jiechi’s presentation at the Central Foreign Affairs Commission about the 6th Plenum outcomes. Another report about Zhang Qingli talking about the 6th Plenum outcomes to members of the CPPCC National Committee. Finally, a report on 6th Plenum propaganda in Jiangsu and Hebei. Highlight of all these are, of course, the “two establishments” and “two safeguards.”
Page 6: We have a post-6th-Plenum piece by Chen Xi today. The first section of the piece talks about the need to train and select high-quality professional cadres who demonstrate both ability and political integrity and are loyal and clean.
Chen talks about the importance of having the right kind of cadres. He quotes Mao from the 6th Plenum of the 6th Central Committee as having said that “Cadres are a decisive factor, once the political line is determined. Therefore, it is our fighting task to train large numbers of new cadres in a planned way.” He also says that since the 18th Party Congress, Xi has spoken about how continued success of the Party depends upon the ability to “cultivate reliable successors from generation to generation.”
He writes that under Xi, the Central Committee has implemented the Party’s organisational line in the new era, focused on improving the cadre management, selection and appointment systems, and strengthened control over Party organizations. He talks about the selection system being improved with “unhealthy tendencies in the selection and appointment of cadres” being addressed. In this regard, he talks about correcting the employment orientation that has been focussed on only votes, only assessment scores, only GDP growth, and only age or through popularity contests.
Chen then emphasises that “loyalty is the soul of political affairs and is the most important aspect of political integrity.” 忠诚是为政之魂，是最重要的政治操守. Ergo, “the first rule in selecting and employing cadres is whether they are loyal to the Party.” If one fails this test, then nothing else matters. After this, being “clean” is what matters. This is the “the basic bottom line.” The next quality that matters is “responsibility,” which is essential to the performance of duties and a “necessary quality.” These three qualities, for Chen, complement each other.
To build a socialist modern country, he says that “we must have a contingent of cadres who are politically competent and capable of leading the modernisation drive.”全面建设社会主义现代化国家，必须有一支政治过硬、具备领导现代化建设能力的干部队伍.
He further repeats that the definition of having high-quality professional cadres refers to both virtue/morality and ability. But in saying this, he adds that the first priority is one’s “political quality.” Cadres must be firm in their convictions, be loyal to the Party, and care about the people. They should always be closely aligned with the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core in terms of their political position, direction, principles, and path. They should also display good conduct, style and ability, abide by rules and discipline, be honest and self-disciplined. Specialisation is an important component of the concept of high quality cadres. The emphasis on specialisation is due to the fact that with the continuous advancement of reform, opening-up and socialist modernisation, there is a greater requirement for a high degree of specialisation and skills. This requires cadres to constantly improve their professional qualities. For leading cadres, this extends beyond professional knowledge to professionalism in thought, spirit and methods. 首先是政治素质要高，信念坚定、对党忠诚、心系人民，在政治立场、政治方向、政治原则、政治道路上始终同以习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致，同时具备良好的品行、作风、能力，遵规守纪、廉洁自律。专业化，是高素质的重要方面。突出强调专业化，是因为随着改革开放和社会主义现代化建设不断推进，各项工作专业化、专门化、精细化程度越来越高，需要广大干部不断提高专业素养。对领导干部来说，专业化不是光有专业知识就够了，还需要有专业思维、专业精神、专业方法，具备做好领导工作的综合素质和领导才能。高素质专业化，体现了对干部德与才辩证关系的深刻把握，为加强新时代干部队伍建设提供了有力指引.
In the next paragraph, Chen calls for strengthening ideological, political, practical and professional training and experience, and educating and guiding “the broad masses of cadres to consciously be firm believers and faithful practitioners of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.” 要切实加强思想淬炼、政治历练、实践锻炼、专业训练，教育引导广大干部自觉做习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的坚定信仰者和忠实实践者，牢记空谈误国、实干兴邦的道理，树立不负人民的家国情怀、追求崇高的思想境界、增强过硬的担当本领. He also talks about the importance of virtue and ability, and selecting cadres who want to do things and are “worthy of their positions.”
In this regard, he talks about having the incentive mechanisms in place. In the next paragraph, he talks about the right kind of training for cadre being a strategic imperative. The goal is to have a team of young, high-quality cadres who are full of vitality and who faithfully practice/implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. 要落实《决议》要求，增强责任意识，树立战略眼光，加强系统谋划布局，完善常态化、长效化工作机制，努力建设一支忠实践行习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想、数量充足、素质优良、充满活力的优秀年轻干部队伍.
I am summarising the key points he makes in the paragraph below. This wasn’t easy to grasp, particularly point number four; so if anyone’s got different interpretations or identifies errors/corrections, please do write to me.
In training, he emphasises politics first. Second, he talks about the need to place young cadres with good political quality, ability and sense of responsibility at the front lines of tasks related to reform, development and stability; at the forefront of major tasks and struggles; and in difficult and complex places and in key positions. Third, he talks about attracting talents from more sources. Fourth, having a “comprehensive, dialectical and developmental view on young cadres,” which entails not focussing on seniority but rather on political quality, performance and experience. In this, the political criterion is critical, and one should not assume that one’s position is safe even if one is selected. Practice will be the test of the stability of one’s position. Fifth, ensure strict management. 一是要加强政治历练。培养选拔年轻干部，首要一条是确保他们对党忠诚。要把理论武装作为管根本、保方向的基础工作来抓，把党性教育作为必修课，引导年轻干部增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力，打牢健康成长进步的思想政治根基。二是要优化成长路径。有计划地把政治素质好、有能力、有责任感的年轻干部放到改革发展稳定第一线，放到重大任务重大斗争最前沿，放到艰苦复杂地方和关键吃劲岗位去磨练，促进年轻干部在实践中茁壮成长、脱颖而出。尤其要重视基层历练，让年轻干部在基层多墩墩苗，摸爬滚打时间长一点，通过递进式培养、多岗位历练、一层层考验，使年轻干部经历更丰富、阅历更完整、能力更扎实。三是要拓宽来源渠道。坚持五湖四海，广开进贤之路，放眼各条战线、各个领域、各个行业，在更大范围内发现和选拔优秀人才，扩大年轻干部队伍“蓄水池”。四是要及时大胆使用。坚持用全面的、辩证的、发展的观点看待年轻干部，破除论资排辈、求全责备等观念，对政治素质好、工作表现突出、经过扎实历练的打破隐性台阶大胆使用，用当其时、用其所长。需要指出的是，培养选拔优秀年轻干部是从战略上来考虑的，着眼的是培养造就中国特色社会主义事业的可靠接班人，不能唯年龄是举，不是越年轻越好，必须突出政治标准，坚持好中选优，最主要的是看人选标准条件达不达标，不能降格以求。即使进了班子，也不是说就进了保险箱，要在实践中考验，不适应、不胜任的就要及时调整，做到能上能下。五是要严格管理监督。坚持从严管理没有特殊、没有例外，加强日常管理、“田间管理”，经常提醒教育、及时“修枝剪叶”，促进年轻干部严格自我要求、强化自我约束，努力成为可堪大用、能担重任的栋梁之才，不辜负党和人民期望和重托。在大力培养选拔优秀年轻干部的同时，要统筹用好各年龄段干部，让整个干部队伍都有干劲、有奔头、有希望.
The second section of the piece talks about recruiting people from different domains. This is critical to expand the Party’s class, mass and social bases. So he wants efforts to recruit members from communities like “industrial workers, young farmers, highly educated groups, college students, employees of non-public economic organizations and social organizations…” But in this process, he promises to “continue to give top priority to political criteria, strictly implement the political review system, and pay close attention to examining the motives and political qualifications of candidates for admission to the Party.”
“Through the process of deepening reform and opening up and developing a socialist market economy, there have been profound changes in the ideological understanding, value orientation, employment modes and lifestyles of Party members, particularly those young members who joined after the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. This has brought to the fore many new issues with regard to the education and management of Party members.” Given this situation, he calls for “theoretical arming” and Party spirit education. The aim is to “guide Party members to strengthen their ideals and beliefs” and carry forward the “spiritual pedigree of the Chinese Communists.” 在深化改革开放和发展社会主义市场经济条件下，党员队伍的思想观念、价值取向、就业方式、生活方式等都发生了深刻变化，尤其是80后、90后、00后青年党员不断增多，给党员教育管理工作带来许多新的课题。要适应社会环境新变化和党员队伍新情况，突出抓好党的创新理论武装和党性教育，引导广大党员坚定理想信念、树牢为民宗旨，大力弘扬以伟大建党精神为源头的中国共产党人精神谱系，把党的光荣传统和优良作风继承下去、发扬光大.
Chen also wants to continue to practice the 三会一课, organising life meetings, conducting “democratic appraisal”, carrying out theme day events and so on to ensure the improvement of members’ ideological and political consciousness. He also wants Party members in different domains to play a “vanguard and exemplary role.”
In the final section of the piece, Chen talks about ensuring the availability of outstanding talents, particularly with science and technology being key to future economic development and geopolitical competition. He talks about speeding up efforts to build within China major talent centers and innovation hubs.
“At present, China is in a period of greatest political stability, economic prosperity and innovation. Its economic strength, scientific and technological strength and overall national strength have increased significantly, providing rare historical opportunities and creating favourable conditions for accelerating the development of science, technology and human resources in China. We must seize the opportunity, build on the momentum, focus on building China as the world’s major talent center and innovation hub, and accelerate the formation of comparative advantages in talent competition” 现在，我国正处于政治最稳定、经济最繁荣、创新最活跃的时期，经济实力、科技实力、综合国力显著增强，为我国科技和人才事业加快发展提供了难得的历史机遇、创造了有利条件。必须抓住机遇、乘势而上，以建设世界重要人才中心和创新高地为抓手，加快形成人才竞争比较优势.
Doing so, he argues, requires delegating “power to employers based on their needs and actual conditions”; “easing restrictions on personnel, improving the personnel management system, deepening reform of the management of research funds and research projects”; “speeding up the establishment of a talent evaluation system based on innovative value, ability and contribution”; “giving full play to the role of national laboratories, national research institutions, high-level research universities and leading enterprises in science and technology, improve mechanisms for discovering leading talents and selecting project teams, and create a large number of first-class leading talents and innovation teams in science and technology;” training of top-notch scientists, particularly those working on research in chokepoint technologies/domains; but not just science and technology, Chen also wants philosophers, social scientists, literary masters and artists; he also wants to deepen international talent exchanges; and finally to ensure Party guidance over talent work.
A report that China has fully vaccinated 1.1 billion people against COVID-19. Yet, China remains largely closed and a recent study has warned of a “colossal outbreak” if China were to open up or shift from its zero tolerance policy.
A piece on racial tensions in the US.