High-Quality Social Credit System - Wang Yi Speaks to Ignazio Cassis & Josep Borrell - Zhong Sheng: US Using Ukraine as 'Geo-strategic Pawn' - Ren Ping Commentary - New Provincial Chiefs
Here are the stories and pieces that I found noteworthy from the Wednesday, March 30, 2022, edition of the People’s Daily.
“The August 1 Medal, conferred by the CMC chairman, is the highest honour in the Chinese military. It is granted to those military personnel who have made outstanding contributions to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and to advancing the modernisation of national defense and the armed forces. Priority consideration will be given to model figures who emerge on the country's great journey of strengthening its armed forces under Xi's leadership, the military authorities said. The CMC general office has issued guidelines for the medal nomination, urging military units at all levels to select model figures in the building of a world-class military in the new era.”
Next, there’s a report (English report) about Li Keqiang’s and Zhao Kezhi’s comments at an inter-ministerial joint conference focussed on combating human trafficking. The Ministry of Public Security has launched a 10-month special operation to crack down on the abduction and trafficking of women and children starting from March 1. I find it fascinating that even when it comes to this issue, PD has Li talking about adherence to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era, while Zhao talked about the 4-4-2 formulation.
Third, a report about Wang Yang speaking at the 70th Chairperson's Council meeting of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC. Out of all the business transacted at the meeting, I thought this was interesting:
Mu Changchun, Director of the Digital Currency Research Institute at the People’s Bank of China, presented a report on the application of digital currencies. Also, the meeting reviewed and approved a draft decision on removing Shen Deyong from the position of the Standing Committee member of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC and director of the Social and Legal Affairs Committee, and revoking his membership. The decision on revoking Liu Yanping’s membership of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC was also reviewed and approved.
Fourth, there’s another long piece today about Xi Jinping’s focus on greening China. This not only talks about tree-planting but also about the different environmentally friendly policies that have been adopted during his reign. Essentially, however, this is a piece about Xi Jinping and his focus on and leadership of all of this. For instance, the piece has 50 mentions of Xi Jinping.
Finally, there’s a new guideline on building a high-quality social credit system. The document starts by stating that “a perfect social credit system is an important guarantee for an efficient connection between supply and demand, a solid foundation for the optimal allocation of resources, and an important part of a good business environment, which are of great significance for promoting the efficient and smooth circulation of the national economy and building a new development pattern.” 完善的社会信用体系是供需有效衔接的重要保障，是资源优化配置的坚实基础，是良好营商环境的重要组成部分，对促进国民经济循环高效畅通、构建新发展格局具有重要意义.
The guiding ideology section talks about adhering to Xi Jinping Thought of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era, adherence to the system concept, coordinate development and security, cultivate and practice socialist core values, solidly promote the deep integration of the concept of credit, credit system and credit means with all aspects of the national economic system, give further play to the important role of credit in improving resource allocation efficiency, reducing institutional and transaction costs and preventing and defusing risks, and provide support and guarantee for improving the overall efficiency of the national economic system and promoting the formation of a new development pattern. 指导思想。以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，深入贯彻党的十九大和十九届历次全会精神，坚持系统观念，统筹发展和安全，培育和践行社会主义核心价值观，扎实推进信用理念、信用制度、信用手段与国民经济体系各方面各环节深度融合，进一步发挥信用对提高资源配置效率、降低制度性交易成本、防范化解风险的重要作用，为提升国民经济体系整体效能、促进形成新发展格局提供支撑保障.
The guideline talks about improving domestic circulation by using a sound credit mechanism. In this context, it calls for:
Strengthening the integrity of scientific research and intellectual property protection. This includes improving awareness, investigating and dealing with plagiarism, forgery, and tampering, and fraud, along with enhancing the system of punitive damages for IPR infringement and punishments for “illegal and untrustworthy behaviours” such as trademark squatting and irregular patent applications.
Promoting quality and brand credit building. In part, this talks about strengthening the protection of Chinese time-honoured brands and geographical indications, and cultivating a large number of benchmark enterprises that operate in good faith and keep promises.
Improve the credit system in circulation and distribution. This includes accelerating the construction of an online and offline traceability system for important products, improving the credit mechanism of market players and improving the level of enterprise contract performance. Implement the tax declaration credit commitment system to enhance taxpayers’ awareness of integrity. Crack down on cheating of subsistence allowances, social insurance benefits and government-subsidised housing in accordance with the law. We will establish a list system for serious trust-breaking subjects in the social insurance field. We will promote the disclosure of information on charitable organisations, establish lists of abnormal activities of charitable organizations, prevent deceitful and fraudulent donations, and enhance the credibility of charitable organizations. Punish dishonest behaviours such as wage arrears of migrant workers according to law, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of migrant workers. 完善流通分配等环节信用制度。准确评判信用状况，提升资源配置使用效率。加快建设覆盖线上线下的重要产品追溯体系。健全市场主体信誉机制，提升企业合同履约水平。实行纳税申报信用承诺制，提升纳税人诚信意识。依法打击骗取最低生活保障金、社会保险待遇、保障性住房等行为。建立社会保险领域严重失信主体名单制度。推进慈善组织信息公开，建立慈善组织活动异常名录，防治诈捐、骗捐，提升慈善组织公信力。依法惩戒拖欠农民工工资等失信行为，维护农民工合法权益.
Create an environment for honest consumption and investment. This includes the use of credit to release consumption potential, cracking down on counterfeiting, illegal advertising, false propaganda, barring market entry for repeat offenders, ensure that government fulfils obligations in good faith to ensure better cooperation between government and social capital, investment promotion and boosting investor confidence, and establish and improve the accountability system for government breach of trust.
Improve the credit system for ecological and environmental protection. This includes deepening the reform of the system of disclosing environmental information in accordance with the law, and encouraging relevant enterprises and institutions to disclose environmental information in accordance with the law. It also calls for focusing on the requirements of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, improving the national carbon trading market system, and strengthening credit supervision in registration, trading, settlement and verification. 深化环境信息依法披露制度改革，推动相关企事业单位依法披露环境信息。聚焦实现碳达峰碳中和要求，完善全国碳排放权交易市场制度体系，加强登记、交易、结算、核查等环节信用监管.
Strengthen the credit construction of various entities. This includes
The next section talks about creating a good credit environment to support the mutual promotion of domestic and international dural circulation.
Optimise import and export credit management.
Strengthen the international two-way investment and foreign cooperation credit construction. This includes implementing the Foreign Investment Law and the negative list; protecting legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors; increasing international cooperation with regard to IPR, etc.
Actively participate in international credit governance. This includes actively implementing multilateral and bilateral economic and trade agreements reached with other countries; advancing the revision of laws and regulations in accordance with the requirements of further opening up and China’s needs; provide high-quality services to jointly build the Belt and Road, and contribute Chinese wisdom and solutions to promote the building of a more just and reasonable international governance system.
The fourth section talks about promoting the real economy of financial services with a solid credit foundation.
This talks about encouraging inclusive finance, supporting MSMEs and individual businesses. Also, it talks about strengthening the sharing and integration of public credit information and financial information. In addition, the document talks about encouraging banks to develop new credit products in special domains such as service manufacturing, strategic emerging industries, agriculture, rural areas and farmers, ecological environment protection, and foreign trade.
Strengthen the integrity of the capital market. This talks about consolidating information disclosure responsibility of relevant entities and enhancing market transparency; establishing a credit commitment system for capital market administrative licensing; strictly implementing a compulsory delisting system; and strengthening the protection of investors’ rights and interests.
Give full play to the role of credit in financial risk identification, monitoring, management and disposal, and establish and improve the risk prevention and resolution mechanism of ‘early detection, early warning and early disposal’. Support financial institutions and credit reporting and rating agencies to use big data and other technologies to strengthen tracking, monitoring and early warning, and improve market-based risk sharing, mitigation and compensation mechanisms. Adhere to ‘strict supervision and zero tolerance”, strictly, quickly and severely investigate and deal with major illegal cases such as fraudulent issuance, false statements, market manipulation, insider trading, etc., and intensify the crackdown on embezzlement and misappropriation of fund properties. We will improve the debt default disposal mechanism and severely punish the evasion of debts according to law. Strengthen the punishment of dishonesty in peer-to-peer lending. Improve the market exit mechanism, allow insolvent enterprises to go bankrupt, restructure or liquidate in accordance with the law, and explore the establishment of a compulsory exit system for enterprises. 强化市场信用约束。充分发挥信用在金融风险识别、监测、管理、处置等环节的作用，建立健全“早发现、早预警、早处置”的风险防范化解机制。支持金融机构和征信、评级等机构运用大数据等技术加强跟踪监测预警，健全市场化的风险分担、缓释、补偿机制。坚持“严监管、零容忍”，依法从严从快从重查处欺诈发行、虚假陈述、操纵市场、内幕交易等重大违法案件，加大对侵占挪用基金财产行为的刑事打击力度。健全债务违约处置机制，依法严惩逃废债行为。加强网络借贷领域失信惩戒。完善市场退出机制，对资不抵债失去清偿能力的企业可依法破产重整或清算，探索建立企业强制退出制度.
The next section talks about improving credit databases and information sharing; establishing a comprehensive credit evaluation system and promoting credit classification and supervision in areas such as food and drug, engineering construction, tendering and bidding, production safety, fire safety, health, ecological and environmental protection, price, statistics, financial capital, etc.; fostering credit service institutions; and building a culture of sincerity.
Page 3: First, a report about the newly-built international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The Nigerian president commissioned this recently. This is a Chinese built project. Xinhua tells us that the terminal is designed to handle 20 million passengers in a year while creating 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, Buhari said at the commissioning ceremony in Lagos.
Wang said that China and the EU, as two major forces in a multipolar world, should maintain regular strategic communication, keep enhancing mutual understanding, constantly expand cooperation consensus, and jointly address various global challenges. He called on the two sides to make good preparations for high-level exchanges so as to provide strategic guidance for bilateral cooperation and send a positive signal to the world. Borrell said the EU remains committed to improving bilateral relations with China. He reiterated the EU’s adherence to the one-China principle, noting that the EU as a whole and all member states will not and should not deviate from this position. On the Ukraine crisis, Borrell said it has brought severe impact on the EU as well as on the world, and the EU is calling for an early ceasefire. For his part, Wang said China is ready to work with the international community to continue to call for a ceasefire and peace talks, avoiding a large-scale humanitarian crisis, and opening the door to peace.
What’s interesting about this is that the PD report does not include the two sentences on Ukraine. It ends at Borrell’s comments on the one-China principle.
“Wang said that it is deplorable that the situation in Ukraine has developed to this point, adding that China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has always decided on its position and policy according to the merits of the matter itself. Noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping recently gave the most authoritative elaboration of China's basic position during a video summit with the leaders of France and Germany, Wang said that all of China's measures are taken based on the ‘four musts.’ He also said that China is committed to promoting peace talks, and has started to encourage Russia and Ukraine to conduct face-to-face negotiations from the next day after the outbreak of the conflict. The Chinese side has always maintained that only by strengthening the efforts of the international community to promote peace talks can space be explored for diplomatic negotiations and settlement of the conflict, adding that China will continue to contribute to this in its own way. Sanctions have never been an effective way to solve problems, said Wang, adding that the unlimited escalation of sanctions will not only worsen the difficult recovery of the global economy after the outbreak of the pandemic, but also further expand and complicate contradictions. He urged that normal international economic and trade exchanges between non-parties to the conflict should not be affected, and the legitimate rights and interests of various countries should be earnestly safeguarded.”
Cassis is quoted as having said: “Switzerland also believes that diplomacy is the only correct way to deal with it, and it stands for resolving differences through dialogues and negotiations. Switzerland maintains dialogue with Russia and Ukraine, and it does not support the exclusion of Russia from multilateral institutions, he said, adding Switzerland will continue to uphold its status as a neutral country and provide goodwill services for diplomatic mediation and the promotion of peace talks.”
The report adds that Wang said that China had “helped Ukrainian neighboring countries resettle the displaced Ukrainian people.” — I don’t know what the evidence is for this.
Wang “added that the short-term goals of China and Switzerland in dealing with the situation in Ukraine are the same -- to achieve a cease-fire and end the conflict as soon as possible and to avoid a humanitarian crisis. In the long run, all parties should address each other’s legitimate concerns and explore ways to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework…Noting that China appreciates Switzerland’s repeated commitment to permanent neutrality and its role as a bridge-builder in international affairs, Wang said China expects Switzerland to play its unique role, and it stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Switzerland. Cassis said he agreed that the European security framework should be rebuilt. Switzerland attaches great importance to China's status as a major country and its international influence, Cassis said, adding Switzerland is willing to explore ways to strengthen cooperation with China and jointly play a constructive role in seeking a diplomatic solution.”
Fourth, there’s a report about Xia Baolong attending a symposium themed “China and Russia: Common Development and Modernisation” and commemorating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development. The First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Melnikov and Boris Titov, the Russian Chairman of the CRFCPD, attended the meeting.
Fifth, there’s the second in the new series of Zhong Sheng commentaries. This one says that throughout the “Ukraine crisis,” the US has supplied a large number of weapons, wielded the stick of sanctions, wantonly smeared other countries, and tried to take advantage of the chaos to shift the crisis. “American actions are the embodiment of American hegemony, oppression and bullying.” 提供大批武器，挥舞制裁大棒，大肆抹黑他国，试图趁乱渔利、转嫁危机。美国的种种行径，是美式霸权、霸道、霸凌的体现.
The article says that instead of focussing on promoting peace talks and working to realise a ceasefire, the NATO summit and the US in particular sought to shift blame, called for supplying weapons and talked about imposing tougher sanctions. “This practice of adding fuel to the fire is creating greater obstacles when it comes to achieving a political solution to the crisis, and will bring greater evil consequences for the world and for regional peace and development. America’s actions do not accord with how a great power should behave; rather they reflect the inertia of a hegemonic country to serve its hegemonic goals by creating crises.” 这种火上浇油的做法，是在为政治解决危机制造更大障碍，将给世界和地区和平与发展带来更大恶果。美国的种种行径，不是大国应有的样子，而是一个霸权国家通过制造危机服务于自己霸权目标的惯性使然.
The next paragraph says that the US “lured” Ukraine into conflict with Russia by dangling the offer of NATO membership. And once the crisis broke out, it has been talking about maintaining peace, while intensifying military aid to Ukraine. The next paragraph says that the US is using Ukraine as a “geo-strategic pawn (地缘战略棋子) to serve multiple goals, such as containing Russia, suppressing the trend of European strategic autonomy and maintaining its crumbling hegemonic position in Europe.” 北约五次东扩、将战略边境逼近俄罗斯家门口的做法表明，美国不仅无意把自己往冲突大火中添加的那块“巨大的木头”拿掉，还要一再火上浇油，其目的就是继续利用乌克兰充当地缘战略棋子，为美国遏制俄罗斯、压制欧洲战略自主趋势、维护其在欧洲摇摇欲坠的霸权地位等多重目标服务.
“For America’s European allies, the conflict at their doorstep, the influx of refugees and the reality of energy shortages are all the real costs of the war, while the United States, which is rich in oil and gas resources and far away on the other side of the ocean, will only profit from the chaos.” 对美国的欧洲盟国而言，家门口的冲突，难民潮的涌入，能源短缺的现实，都是战争带来的实实在在的代价，而坐拥丰富油气资源、远在大洋彼岸的美国，只会乱中牟利、赚得钵满盆满.
The next paragraph pushes back against American criticism of China. It says: “China has always played a constructive role in upholding justice, seeking peace and taking a long-term view on the Ukrainian issue. China supports all efforts conducive to easing tensions and political settlement. China is opposed to any action that is not conducive to a diplomatic solution, but throws fuel on the fire and escalates the situation. The US slanders and smears against China are nothing but an attempt to deflect conflicts and take the opportunity to suppress and contain China. 中国在乌克兰问题上主持公道，谋求和平，着眼长远，始终发挥建设性作用。凡是有助于缓和局势和政治解决的努力，中国都支持；凡是不利于推动外交解决而是拱火浇油使局势升级的行动，中国都反对。美国对中国的各种诬蔑抹黑，无非是为了转移矛盾、趁机打压遏制中国.
The next paragraph then pushes back against the use of sanctions, calling them self-serving and abusive, while arguing that they won’t help in conflict resolution, will adversely affect people around and will create a “lose-lose” situation.
Finally, while this is not in PD, do note that “a meeting of the ‘China-U.S.-Russia +’ consultation mechanism on the Afghan issue will be held during the third foreign ministers meeting among the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan in Tunxi, Anhui Province. It will take place from March 30 to 31, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.”
Page 4: Hubei, Qinghai and Ningxia have just got new Party secretaries.
Wang Menghui replaces Ying Yong as secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the CPC.
Xin Changxing replaces Wang Jianjun, as secretary of the Qinghai Provincial Committee of the CPC.
Liang Yanshun replaces Chen Run'er as Party chief of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Page 5: There’s a page-long Ren Ping commentary today. The title is a quote from Xi Jinping about the times being the examiner/tester, the Party, officials, administrator being the respondents/test takers and the people being the graders/assessors. 时代是出卷人，我们是答卷人，人民是阅卷人.
I am not doing a detailed breakdown of this piece. Essentially, to me, this is an expression of support for the Party’s overall leadership, the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the current policy direction in general; it talks about being prepared for struggle, drawing wisdom from history, and it makes the case for Xi Jinping’s continued leadership.
For instance, the article emphasises the significance of the Five Roads and Five Strategic Advantages that Xi Jinping spoke about during the Two Sessions.
It says that:
“since the 18th Party Congress, historic achievements have been made in the cause of the Party and the country. The most fundamental reason for this is the scientific guidance and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era and the fact that General Secretary Xi Jinping, as the core of the Party Central Committee and the core of the whole Party, has been at the helm. “The Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the Party Central Committee and the core of the whole Party, and established the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This is of decisive significance for advancing the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” 党的十八大以来，党和国家事业取得历史性成就、发生历史性变革，最根本的原因在于有习近平总书记作为党中央的核心、全党的核心掌舵领航，在于有习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想科学指引。党确立习近平同志党中央的核心、全党的核心地位，确立习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的指导地位，反映了全党全军全国各族人民共同心愿，对新时代党和国家事业发展、对推进中华民族伟大复兴历史进程具有决定性意义.
And therefore, it calls for the need to “deeply understand the decisive significance of the ‘Two Establishments’, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’, the ‘four self-confidences’, and achieve the ‘two safeguards’.”
On Page 6, there’s a piece commemorating the 150th birth anniversary and the life of Zhang Lan, the Chairman of the China Democratic League. The piece ends by saying that he was a “pioneer of cooperation between democratic parties and the Communist Party of China.” In the new era, “members of democratic parties should follow the example of Mr. Zhang Lan and other predecessors and inherit and carry forward the fine tradition of multi-party cooperation, unite more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era, deeply understand the decisive significance of the ‘Two Establishments’, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’, the ‘four self-confidence’, achieve the ‘two safeguards’...” 张澜先生一生经历了旧民主主义革命、新民主主义革命、社会主义革命和建设等历史时期，见证和参与了中国近现代波澜壮阔岁月中的无数次重大历史事件，为争取民族独立、人民解放和实现国家富强、人民幸福立下了不朽功勋。他是民主党派同中国共产党合作的先驱者，他的名字将永远刻在多党合作的历史丰碑上。在中国特色社会主义新时代，民主党派成员应以张澜先生等前辈先贤为楷模，继承和发扬多党合作优良传统，更加紧密团结在以习近平同志为核心的中共中央周围，深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想，深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义，增强“四个意识”，坚定“四个自信”，做到“两个维护”，不忘合作初心，继续携手前进，坚持好发展好完善好我国新型政党制度，为全面建设社会主义现代化国家、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦不懈奋斗。这也是对张澜先生最好的纪念与告慰。
On the international page, the lead piece argues that the “United States has always pursued hegemonism, unilateralism and interventionism, frequently using force to cause a large number of civilian casualties, and abusing unilateral sanctions to cause humanitarian crises. The international community generally believes that sanctions are not the fundamental and effective way to solve problems. The implementation of all-round and indiscriminate sanctions not only seriously impacts the lives of ordinary people in relevant countries, but also makes the world economy worse.” 美国一贯奉行霸权主义、单边主义、干涉主义，频频动用武力导致大量平民伤亡，滥用单边制裁引发人道危机。国际社会普遍认为，制裁不是解决问题的根本有效办法。实施全方位、无差别制裁，不仅给相关国家普通民众生活带来严重影响，也令世界经济雪上加霜.