Discover more from Tracking People's Daily
G20 Summit - Xi's in Qiushi on Ideals and Beliefs - Xi's Core Status = Party's 'Common Will' & 'Inevitable Choice' - Wang-Blinken Meeting - Ren Lixuan on Xiaokang
Here are the stories and pieces from the November 1, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: The front page today leads with Xi Jinping’s participation in the G20 summit. Let me begin by offering a brief breakdown of his remarks earlier, which were covered in PD on Sunday. The full English version of the remarks is available.
Xi began by speaking about the pandemic, saying that it calls for “solidarity and cooperation.” He wants a “science-based approach,” and said that “stigmatization of the virus and politicization of origins tracing run counter to the spirit of solidarity against the pandemic.” He then proposed a Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative. This includes:
support vaccine companies in conducting joint R&D and production with developing countries. Provide more vaccines to developing countries to meet the global vaccination target for 2022 set by WHO (by the end of 2021, at least 40% of the population in all countries will be vaccinated, and 70% of the population will be vaccinated by the middle of 2022.)
make an early decision at WTO on waiving intellectual property rights on vaccines
encourage vaccine companies to transfer technology to developing countries
ensure smooth trade in vaccines and related raw and auxiliary materials
treat different vaccines equally and advance mutual recognition of vaccines in accordance with the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing
provide financial support for global vaccine cooperation
On this, he also added that “China is conducting joint vaccine production with 16 countries, with an initial capacity of 700 million doses per year.”
The next bit in the speech is about economic cooperation. He talked about macroeconomic policy coordination, WTO reform, BRI and stable and safe industrial supply chains. He wants to push for the scheduled conclusion of the 16th General Quota Review of the IMF.
“China supports the early launch of negotiations on the 20th replenishment process of the International Development Association, and maintains that the relevant Voting Rights Review should faithfully reflect the changes in the international economic landscape and raise the voice of developing countries. China welcomes the IMF’s decision on the new allocation of Special Drawing Rights totaling 650 billion US dollars, and stands ready to lend the new allocation to low-income countries that are seriously affected by COVID-19.”
Then he talked about taking a “people-centered approach and mak(ing) global development more equitable, effective and inclusive.” Within this conceptualisation, he said that “advanced economies should fulfill their pledges on official development assistance (ODA) and provide more resources for developing countries.”
He then said that he wants the G20 to “foster an enabling environment for innovation-driven development. Forming exclusive blocs or even drawing ideological lines will only cause division and create more obstacles, which will do no good but only harm to scientific and technological innovation.” He also said that it was important to:
“quicken the development of new types of digital infrastructure, promote deeper integration of digital technologies with the real economy, and help developing countries eliminate the digital divide. China has put forth the Global Initiative on Data Security. We may discuss and develop international rules for digital governance that reflect the will and respect the interests of all sides, and actively foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for digital development. China attaches great importance to international cooperation on digital economy, and has decided to apply to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. China stands ready to work with all parties for the healthy and orderly development of digital economy.”
Then he spoke about COP26:
“The G20 needs to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, push for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and support a successful COP26…”
“Developed countries need to lead by example on emissions reduction, fully accommodate the special difficulties and concerns of developing countries, deliver on their commitments of climate financing, and provide technology, capacity-building and other support for developing countries. This is critically important for the success of the upcoming COP26.”
And finally, he spoke about the importance of being credible when one commits, adding that:
“We will promote institutional opening-up that covers rules, regulations, management and standards, and step up protection of intellectual property rights. We will continue to foster a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards, and ensure a fair and equitable market order for both domestic and foreign companies.”
He said that the world should “adopt comprehensive and balanced policies, and balance environmental protection and economic development, as well as addressing climate change and safeguarding people's livelihood. Major economies should strengthen cooperation in this area.”
“China would successively release implementation plans and supporting measures for major areas and industries to achieve carbon peaking, and establish the ‘1+N’ policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality. China would continue to promote the transformation and upgrading of energy and industrial structures, promote the research, development and application of green and low-carbon technologies, support qualified localities, industries, and enterprises to take the lead in reaching the peak, and make positive contributions to the global efforts on addressing climate change and promoting the energy transformation.”
Next on the page, we have a report about Xi’s latest article in Qiushi, which is a collection of Xi’s quotes over the years talking about strengthening ideals and beliefs, which provide calcium for the spirit. The basic point here is that one must be firm in their ideals and beliefs when it comes to Marxism and socialism with Chinese characteristics. These ideals and beliefs are the “political soul” of the Party.
“The firmness of ideals and beliefs comes from the firmness of thoughts and theories. To know the truth, to grasp the truth, to believe in the truth, to defend the truth, is the spiritual premise of firm ideals and beliefs. Chinese Communists are firm in their ideals and convictions because we pursue truth, because we follow laws, and because we represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. The name of our Party ‘Communist Party’ affirms the lofty ideal of communism. In order to realize this lofty ideal, we must firmly believe in socialism with Chinese characteristics.” 理想信念的坚定，来自思想理论的坚定。认识真理，掌握真理，信仰真理，捍卫真理，是坚定理想信念的精神前提。中国共产党人的理想信念坚定，是因为我们追求的是真理，是因为我们遵循的是规律，是因为我们代表的是最广大人民根本利益。我们党取名为“共产党”，就是认定了共产主义这个远大理想。为了实现这个远大理想，就必须坚定中国特色社会主义信念.
The article, PD says, also points out that there is an “objective standard” to assess whether Party members and leading cadres have firm ideals and beliefs. This includes:
whether one can adhere to the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly
whether one can endure hardships first and enjoy later
whether one can work hard and be honest
whether one spares no effort in struggle, dedicating all energy and even life
The next paragraph also underscores the importance of having “political determination in the face of major political tests,” and shouldering burdens while withstanding “the temptation of power, money, beauty.” -- So much of this is like channeling a religious guru.
Next, we move into campaign mode ahead of the 6th Plenum. So PD is launching a new series, highlighting key choices in the new era. These are “major strategies and decisions that General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally planned, arranged and promoted.” The piece tells us that these decisions fully demonstrate “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s great political courage, strong sense of historical responsibility and profound feelings for the people, as a Marxist politician, thinker and strategist.”
Today’s column begins with Xi’s July 1 speech before going back to the 19th Party Congress. The theme of the column is about the Party’s leadership being the central feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We get the line from Xi about the Party leading everything.
The next part of the column tells us that at the 19th Party Congress, Xi had emphasised the importance of not only “persisting” but also “strengthening” the “overall leadership” of the Party. Inspections, the piece says, have been key in achieving these goals. Along with this, there have been institutional arrangements, such as expressly stating in the constitution that Party leadership “is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.” The Party’s leadership is also one of the 8 clears/unequivocals (Bā gè míngquè, which you can find here) that are integral to Xi Thought. And the piece says that Party leadership is the first of Xi’s 14-point basic policy.
“The Party leads everything means that the Party’s leadership must be comprehensive, systematic and holistic, including all aspects of the work of the Party and the State, such as reform, development, stability, internal affairs, foreign affairs and national defense, governance of the Party and the State and the military, as well as all departments and fields of the Party, the government, the military and civilian studies-- east, west, north, and south.” “党是领导一切的”，就意味着党的领导必须是全面的、系统的、整体的，既包括改革发展稳定、内政外交国防、治党治国治军等党和国家工作的各个方面，也包括党政军民学、东西南北中各个部门和各个领域.
The next bit talks about how well Xi has functioned as the core of the Party and how he has strengthened its leadership. It also tells us how much power and authority he has centralised:
“Not merely auditing, but also comprehensively deepening reform, advancing law-based governance, finance and economics, foreign affairs, national security, military-civilian integration, cyberspace and information technology, in all important areas concerning national rejuvenation, the CPC Central Committee has set up top-level organizations, with General Secretary Xi Jinping personally in charge.” We are then told that these arrangements “have played a vital role in promoting historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country.” 不只是审计，全面深化改革、全面依法治国、财经、外事、国家安全、军民融合、网信……在事关民族复兴的重要领域，党中央都组建顶层机构，习近平总书记亲自挂帅. 事实证明，党中央的这些决策和议事协调机构，在推动党和国家事业取得历史性成就、发生历史性变革的进程中，发挥了至关重要的作用.
Then we are told that China’s governance system is complex, with many institutions playing their roles; at the core of this system is the Party and all institutions must uphold the Party’s leadership. But “the Party’s leadership does not mean that it should be in charge of everything, or that it should hold everything in its hands.” After this, we get Xi’s analogy of chess and the Party being the commander. 但党领导一切并不是说党要包揽包办一切，并不是事无巨细都抓在手上。习近平总书记曾形象地描述这个体系的运行：“在国家治理体系的大棋局中，党中央是坐镇中军帐的‘帅’，车马炮各展其长，一盘棋大局分明.” The example that follows this is Xi listening to work reports of key central bodies, starting from January 2015. This is followed by a statement that “strengthening the Party’s leadership over all areas and aspects of work is the primary task of deepening the reform of Party and state institutions.”
The point being made here is that Party control must be strengthened but each institution or organ has a responsibility to fulfil. Then we are told that this institutional arrangement was key to the success with regard to poverty alleviation and containing COVID-19.
We are then told that the core is crucial for any country or political party. It says that all party members must enhance their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the Central Committee, and to uphold the authority of the Central Committee in terms of ideological and political actions. It adds that “history and practice have repeatedly proved that having a mature and stable leadership core that can ensure the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee is critical to the success or failure of the Party’s cause and its future and destiny. 一个国家、一个政党，领导核心至关重要。全党必须牢固树立政治意识、大局意识、核心意识、看齐意识，自觉在思想上政治上行动上同党中央保持高度一致. 一个国家、一个政党，领导核心至关重要。历史和实践反复证明，有没有一个成熟稳定的领导核心，能否确保党中央权威和集中统一领导，关乎党的事业成败，关系党的前途命运.
After this, we are told that Xi was given the title of core at the 6th Plenary of the 18th Central Committee. Then at the 19th Party Congress, his position was enshrined in the Party constitution. “This is the common will of the whole Party, a choice made by history and the people, a solemn choice, and the inevitable choice. It is a good thing for the Party, the country, the people, and the Chinese nation. Every Chinese must support this core, and every Party member must follow it.” 这是全党的共同意志，是历史和人民的共同选择、郑重选择、必然选择，是党和国家之幸、人民之幸、中华民族之幸。每一个中国人都要拥护这个核心，每一个党员都要跟定这个核心.
After this, we get a bunch of paragraphs emphasising the need to uphold the leadership of the Central Committee. Then we are told that the fundamental reason that the Party has been able to “overcome a series of major risks and challenges and promote the historic achievements” has been because of the maintenance of Xi’s position as the core and the centralised and unified leadership of the Central Committee. This is followed by an emphatic declaration to Party cadres that their futures are in their own hands, and that the Party needs to persist in self-revolution. This will entail:
Tackling the four winds - so dealing with issues of official conduct, formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.
Tacking corruption - since the 18th Party Congress, the CCDI has Commission has investigated 453 centrally managed cadres (zhōng guǎn gànbù). Discipline agencies have filed 3.805 million cases, investigated and dealt with 4.089 million people, and punished 3.742 million people.
Dealing with issues of political discipline, which will get more strict
Strengthening theoretical arming of the mind, with Xi Thought at the heart of this.
Finally, we also have a commentary on the page about strengthening the leadership of the Party as being critical to achieving future success.
Page 2: The page is dedicated to G20-related reports. So we have a story of folks appreciating Xi’s speech. We have an interview by Wang Yi summarising key points from China’s perspective. This is largely a reiteration of the points made in Xi’s speech. I like how Wang ends the interview, with a nod to the boss.
“Guided by Xi Jinping’s thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and Xi Jinping's diplomatic thought, we will adhere to openness, tolerance, win-win cooperation, practice genuine multilateralism, deeply engage in G20 cooperation, make new contributions to global solidarity in dealing with the pandemic, promote the recovery and development of the world economy, improve global economic governance, and make unremitting efforts to promote the construction of community of shared future for mankind.” 我们将以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想和习近平外交思想为指引，坚持开放包容、合作共赢，践行真正的多边主义，深入参与二十国集团合作，为全球团结抗疫、促进世界经济复苏发展、完善全球经济治理做出新的贡献，为推动构建人类命运共同体而不懈努力.
We will continue to sustain the recovery, avoiding any premature withdrawal of support measures, while preserving financial stability and long-term fiscal sustainability and safeguarding against downside risks and negative spill-overs.
We will support increasing vaccine distribution, administration and local manufacturing capacity in LMICs, including through technology transfer hubs in various regions, such as the newly established mRNA Hubs in South Africa, Brazil and Argentina, and through joint production and processing arrangements. We will work together towards the recognition of COVID-19 vaccines deemed safe and efficacious by the WHO and in accordance with national legislation and circumstances, and to strengthen the organization’s ability regarding approval of vaccines, including optimizing procedures and processes, with the aim of broadening the list of vaccines authorized for emergency use (EUL), while continuing to protect public health and ensuring privacy and data protection.
We recall and reaffirm the commitment made by developed countries, to the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 and annually through 2025 to address the needs of developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and stress the importance of meeting that goal fully as soon as possible.
We look ahead to Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics 2022, as opportunities for competition for athletes from around the world, which serves as a symbol of humanity’s resilience.”
Then we have a report on Wang Yi’s meeting with Antony Blinken (English report). As per the report, Wang told Blinken that bilateral relations have suffered due to the wrong China policy pursued by the United States.
“The United States has wantonly interfered with China’s internal affairs, Wang stressed, noting that the current U.S. Congress has introduced more than 300 anti-China bills, and the United States has included more than 900 Chinese entities and individuals in various unilateral sanctions lists, which severely disrupted the normal bilateral exchanges. Moreover, the United States is also patching up various small circles to suppress China on a global scale, and even exerting pressure on many small and medium-sized countries, Wang said, adding that these practices are not in line with the interests of the peoples of the two countries, not in line with the expectations of the international community, not in line with the development trend of the times, and hence China voices its clear opposition.”
Then he said:
“The urgent task at the moment is that the two sides must earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and make political preparations and provide necessary conditions for the next phase of exchanges, Wang stressed. Wang expressed the willingness to establish regular contacts with Blinken to exchange views timely and in a frank manner on how to manage and control differences between the two sides, properly resolve problems that arise, so as to enhance understanding, eliminate doubts, avoid misjudgments and explore cooperation. The Taiwan issue is the most sensitive issue between China and the United States, Wang said, adding that if it is handled wrongly, it will cause subversive and overall damage to bilateral ties. Wang pointed out that recently, the situation across the Taiwan Strait has become tense again, and the United States has repeatedly stated that this was caused by China’s change of the status quo, yet this is not a fact at all but a serious misleading to the international community...The crux of the current situation across the Taiwan Strait is because the Taiwan authorities have repeatedly tried to break through the one-China framework, and the United States' connivance and support for "Taiwan independence" forces is also to blame...”
He wants the US to pursue “a real one-China policy, instead of a fake one.” The two men also spoke about climate change, energy supply, Iran nuclear issue, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar, and Afghanistan.
The US readout of the call was very brief. It said that:
“Secretary Blinken underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Secretary affirmed the areas where our interests intersect and where we can work together, including the DPRK, Burma, Iran, Afghanistan, and the climate crisis. He also raised concerns about a range of PRC actions that undermine the international rules-based order and that run counter to our values and interests and those of our allies and partners, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, the East and South China Seas, and Taiwan.”
While this is not in PD, Wang also met with other foreign ministers.
First, let’s look at the Wang-Lavrov meeting. Xinhua reports Wang as saying that China is ready to work with Russia to uphold multilateralism and oppose “small circles,” “false democracy” and “new Cold War.” Other key points that the two sides agreed upon:
Better coordinate anti-COVID-19 measures, curb the cross-border spread of the pandemic, and provide convenience for personnel exchanges and trade amid regular efforts to prevent and control the disease.
Strengthen communication and coordination and jointly safeguard the norms of international relations and the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries.
Deepen BRICS cooperation under China’s presidency.
Improve China and CSTO cooperation; coordinate on Afghanistan and the Iran nuclear deal.
They “expressed grave concerns” over AUKUS, calling it a “typical military group, and the attempt of the three countries to forge a ‘small circle’
They pushed back against the Leaders’ Summit for Democracy, saying that it was a “typical move against democracy to label other countries as ‘authoritarian’ just because they choose different paths to achieve democracy.”
Second, Wang met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Xinhua reports:
“As permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, China and France should stay highly alert to words and deeds on the global stage that try to create confrontation and spark a ‘new Cold War,’ firmly safeguard multilateralism, oppose hegemonism, unilateralism and protectionism, and show a sense of responsibility as major countries, Wang stressed.”
“With regard to China-Europe relations, Wang expressed the hope that France will use its role as the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) next year to ensure that mutually beneficial cooperation remains as the keynote of China-Europe relations and push for their sustained, sound and steady development.”
Interesting to note that Wang Yi and India’s S. Jaishankar have not met despite both being in Rome.
Page 4: This has coverage on food security and the new Food Conservation Action Plan. If you are interested, here is Reuters’ brief report on this.
Page 10: The lead piece on the theory page is bylined Ren Lixuan.
The piece basically talks about the journey to building a moderately prosperous society, and heaps praise on the Party’s leadership of society in achieving this goal, while emphasising its significance.
The author reiterates the Party’s narrative of history, arguing that each period of development - the Mao, Deng and Xi era - built on earlier effort towards achieving this goal. He then talks about how Xiaokang has been achieved by the people and for the people. The argument is that the Party has worked for the people, and that this achievement is a matter of glory and struggle. The argument is that the Party doesn’t have any “special interests of its own” and doesn’t represent “the interests of any interest group, any powerful group, or a privileged class.”
There’s also an argument in the piece that China’s development has benefited not just the Chinese people but also the world. For instance, China’s poverty reduction has helped reduce global poverty. China’s market expansion has helped global economic growth, etc.
Finally, going forward, the author says that it is important to:
uphold the Party’s leadership, remain people-centered in one’s approach,
stick to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics,
keep in mind the “foreseeable and unforeseeable risk factors” which are increasing,
be prepared for and have the courage to struggle,
gather “the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation to unite as one,” and
unite behind the Central Committee with Xi at the core.
Page 17: Two pieces to note on the page. First, MoFA’s comments (English report) on the US intelligence report on COVID-19 origins. Second, we have a report compiling critical comments about AUKUS. This has comments from folks in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, DPRK, Russia and Thailand.