Korean War Spirit - Pudong's Innovation Development - Reform 'Promoters & Doers' & the Three Distinctions - 热地Essay on Tibet's Future

Here are the stories and pieces from the August 10, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.

Page 1: Let’s begin with a commentary that talks about the spirit of the Korean war or rather resisting US aggression and aiding Korea. The piece tells us that after the formation of the PRC, the Chinese people were very “eager for peace and tranquility.” Alas, the “imperialist aggressors” imposed war on them. The narrative is that China won the war, and then we get this:

“This battle brought peace to the country and the mountains, fully demonstrating the iron will of the Chinese people to defy violence; this battle brought out the spirit of the Chinese people, fully demonstrating the tenacity of the Chinese people; this battle made the whole world look at China with fresh eyes and fully demonstrated the firm determination of the Chinese people to safeguard world peace; in this war, the combat effectiveness of the people’s army shocked the world, fully demonstrating the iron backbone of daring to fight. this battle proved once again that justice must prevail over might and that peaceful development is an unstoppable historical trend.” 这一战,拼来了山河无恙、家国安宁,充分展示了中国人民不畏强暴的钢铁意志;这一战,打出了中国人民的精气神,充分展示了中国人民万众一心的顽强品格;这一战,让全世界对中国刮目相看,充分展示了中国人民维护世界和平的坚定决心;这一战,人民军队战斗力威震世界,充分展示了敢打必胜的血性铁骨;这一战,再次证明正义必定战胜强权,和平发展是不可阻挡的历史潮流.

The piece also tells us that irrespective of the times,

  • We must sharpen the national character of defying violence and resisting power.

  • We must bring together all national forces and strength with one heart and one mind.

  • We all have to forge the national bloodline of being prepared to sacrifice life and not fretting death.

  • We must inspire the national wisdom of maintaining integrity, innovating and forging ahead bravely.

Towards the end the piece talks about the struggles that the Party and China are facing at present and will face in the future on the road to national rejuvenation. It says that:

“The various struggles we face are not short-term but long-term; these are likely to accompany us through the whole process of achieving our second centenary goal.” 我们面临的各种斗争不是短期的而是长期的,至少要伴随我们实现第二个百年奋斗目标全过程. I thought this was interesting, in that it conveys a view that the challenges China faces in the external environment are structural and not momentary.

The final bit talks about keeping the Korean war spirit in mind because “we are (now) fighting a great struggle with many new historical characteristics,” and it calls on everyone to unite behind the CCP with Xi as the core.

Next, there’s a feature piece about development in Tibet. It begins with Xi’s recent visit and then talks about infrastructure development, healthcare, education, etc. At one point in the piece we get a paragraph about the development philosophy guiding actions in Tibet. This puts national unity as the first prong, followed by people’s livelihood and then a tangible sense of improvement in their lives as third. 推动高质量发展,西藏坚持所有发展都要赋予民族团结进步的意义,都要赋予改善民生、凝聚人心的意义,都要有利于提升各族群众获得感、幸福感、安全感. - There’s much more on Tibet later.

Then there’s another feature piece on the page; this one takes you through the exhibition at the CPC history museum that opened up around the time of the July 1 anniversary. This is followed by another long piece; this one’s about innovation and science and technology development in Pudong. This is useful for folks following this space; it lists of key developments that are taking place in Pudong.

The piece talks about the developments taking place at the Zhangjiang Science Park. It begins by talking about the Xihe laser facility or the Shanghai Superintense-Ultrafast Lasers Facility. This is part of the photon science complex in Zhangjiang. The piece tells us that the Xihe laser is a breakthrough project. It tells us that in 2017, researchers invented a laser amplification system capable of amplifying and outputting 10-petawatt lasers, setting a world record. In 2019, researchers broke the record as the peak power reached 12.9 petawatts. Also, one petawatt equals to 1 quadrillion watts which is about 50,000 times the planet’s total power consumption.

It talks about the State Key Laboratory of High Field Laser Physics research being published in Nature, with the work being declared “a milestone in the development of compact X-ray FELs.” 

Leng Yuxin, deputy director at the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, says that the Xihe laser device can “detect and image the movement of active ingredients in organisms and reveal the mystery of life; it can potentially lead to the development of a laser proton knife for cancer treatment, produce antimatter and explore the origin of astrophysics and the universe.” 未来, “xi河”激光装置还可以探测和成像生物体内活性成分的运动, 揭示生命的奥秘; 开发用于癌症治疗的激光质子刀; 产生反物质, 探索天体物理学和宇宙的起源.

The piece says that in Pudong, such large scientific facilities are forming clusters. At present, there are 10 such large scientific facilities built and under construction in Pudong. The piece tells us that the aim of the research work in Zhangjiang is to ensure interdisciplinary research work. 

It mentions: 

  • Zhangjiang Robot Valley: The aim is to push innovation through incubators, building industrial chains and supporting business services. It talks about the mega ABB robotics factory in the region. This has been set up with an investment of $150 million, and is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2022.

  • Zhangjiang AI island: This, the piece says, is home to around one-third of all of the AI enterprises in Shanghai, with the scale of industry at 91 billion yuan in 2020.

  • The piece talks about integrated circuits and biomedicine. On IC, it says that the Pudong is home to enterprises covering  design, manufacturing, packaging and testing, equipment and materials. 

“According to reports, two of the top five global foundry companies are headquartered in Zhangjiang; 6 of the top 10 global semiconductor equipment manufacturers have set up headquarters and R&D centers in Zhangjiang; 7 of the top 10 chip design enterprises in China have set up their headquarters and R&D centers in Zhangjiang. In 2020, the scale of the integrated circuit industry in Pudong will be 147.1 billion yuan, with an increase of 20.5%, accounting for one-sixth of national value.”

  • We are also told that Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Baidu, COMAC among other enterprises have joined Pudong’s large enterprise open innovation center plan.

  • We are also told about the Pudong Intellectual Property Protection Center. Since 2017, more than 10,000 enterprises have come to consult, and 977 applicants have filed applications.

Page 3: First, a report about a new report published by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China, the Taihe Institute and the Intellisia Institute about the US’ handling of COVID-19. The report is titled “America Ranked First?! The Truth about America’s Fight against COVID-19.” 

Xinhua English has a report on this too, which touches on the key highlights. The key points being made are:

  • Partisan struggles undermined the fight against the pandemic

  • US efforts ran “contrary to science and common sense”; this also includes criticism with regard to origin tracing

  • It talks about the Fed’s “extraordinary” measures to increase money supply. “In fact, the United States in a year and a half printed nearly half of all the dollars for more than 200 years. Countries around the world had to bear the burden of inflation, instability, and ‘bubble’ pressures that they should not have suffered.”

  • CASS’ Wei Nanzhi speaking in PD talks about how Americans have even “questioned the effectiveness of American democracy.”

  • The report talks about how the pandemic has exacerbated social and economic inequalities in the US.

  • It talks about tracing “terrorism”, vaccine “nationalism” and so on.

Also on the page, we have a report based on Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health’s, interview with ABC. He talked about the failure to get enough people vaccinated leading to the current surge of cases in the US. It quotes him as saying that:

“Our political polarization is incredible. We really don't need to be polarized in dealing with a virus that is killing people. We should do everything we can to save lives.”

Page 5: The 17th piece in the series on Xi Thought today begins with a question about how one should understand the task of becoming reform promoters and doers. The piece says that reform is a continuous process. 

“Reform is forced by problems, and it is deepened by solving problems constantly. When old problems are addressed, new problems will arise; so reform can neither be accomplished overnight nor can it be completed once and for all.” It adds that comprehensively deepening reform is a process in which it is “inevitable to touch upon deep-rooted vested interests and social relations.” Therefore, these reforms will “encounter increasing obstacles, turbulence and maelstroms.” Therefore, what is needed is greater “courage” and “sense of responsibility” and what is needed are “reform promoters and doers who are realistic and pragmatic.” 何为改革促进派?何为改革实干家?习近平总书记明确指出:“拥护改革、支持改革、敢于担当的就是促进派,把改革抓在手上、落到实处、干出成效的就是实干家。”改革由问题倒逼而产生,又在不断解决问题中得以深化。旧的问题解决了,新的问题又会产生,因而改革既不可能一蹴而就,也不可能一劳永逸。改革开放初期,我们成功“杀出一条血路”,离不开广大党员干部特别是各级领导干部对改革的支持拥护和贯彻落实。今天,随着全面深化改革向纵深推进,不可避免触及深层次利益格局和社会关系,遇到的阻力越来越大,面对的暗礁、潜流、漩涡越来越多,更需要敢于啃硬骨头、敢于涉险滩的勇气与担当,需要求真务实的改革促进派、实干家.

The piece says that at present, “vast majority of party members and cadres support reform,” but “we should also see that in the process of comprehensively deepening the reform, some party members and cadres are clamouring for reform, but their actual actions are slow, and there are also instances of inaction and chaos.” 但也要看到,在全面深化改革的进程中,一些党员干部嘴上改革叫得响,实际行动慢半拍,存在不作为、乱作为等现象.

  • This is followed by three specific criticisms. First, the kind of people who prefer inaction or work passively or carry out only perfunctory action. In making this point, the idiom used is 当一天和尚撞一天钟 -Dāng yītiān héshàng zhuàng yītiān zhōng- loosely translated as “Go on tolling the bell as long as one is a monk.”

  • Second, those who engage in “selective reform,” which essentially is about benefiting one’s local region, department or unit while not being concerned about negative externalities. 

  • The third set of people are the “obstruction factions,” who resist reform irrespective of how critical it is. 

The piece then says that these people behave this way because they are “anaemic” in thought, suffer from “calcium deficiency” when it comes to their spirit and are “weak” in action, and the decision-making arrangements for implementing the comprehensive deepening reform are not in place. 有的抱着“当一天和尚撞一天钟”的态度,只要不出事,宁愿不做事;有的搞“选择性”改革,对本地区本部门本单位有利的干劲十足,不利的则雷声大雨点小;有的在关键时刻和大是大非面前当“骑墙派”,甚至成为“梗阻派”. 出现此类现象的根本原因在于这些党员干部思想上“贫血”、精神上“缺钙”、行动上“乏力”, 贯彻落实全面深化改革的决策部署不到位.

It says that in implementing reforms “determination is more important than understanding, and responsibility is more important than methods.” It talks about how leading cadres should basically take the responsibility and lead with actions. 

The piece also talks about the “three distinctions” that must be kept in mind while carrying out reform. This is something that Xi had said during the fifth plenary of the 18th Central Committee. Roughly, these are:

  • First, distinguish the mistakes made by cadres in promoting reform due to lack of experience or because they are pioneering something from violations of laws and regulations that are knowingly committed

  • Second distinguish between mistakes made in terms of exploration which has not been explicitly restricted by higher authorities from the violations of discipline and law in terms of cadres going their own way despite something being restricted by higher authorities

  • Third, distinguish between unintentional negligence from violations of discipline and law for personal gain, with the aim of protecting cadres who work with integrity, and are bold and enterprising.

把干部在推进改革中因缺乏经验、先行先试出现的失误和错误,同明知故犯的违纪违法行为区分开来;把上级尚无明确限制的探索性试验中的失误和错误,同上级明令禁止后依然我行我素的违纪违法行为区分开来;把为推动发展的无意过失,同为谋取私利的违纪违法行为区分开来. 

My thoughts: This sounds well and good, but it would really be interesting to see how all of this has been implemented. There is such mixed messaging here, and so much discretion that is required for this stuff to support grassroots innovation. Add to this the fact that political loyalty is the top criterion for a cadre in moving up the ranks. Very messy all this.

The next question is about reform and how one should understand the view that China’s door will open wider and wider going ahead. This says that “history has proved that only by adhering to open cooperation can we obtain more development opportunities and greater development space; self-imposed closure will only result in losing the world, and ultimately losing oneself.” 历史已经证明,只有坚持开放合作才能获得更多发展机遇和更大发展空间,自我封闭只会失去世界,最终也会失去自己.

The piece talks about CIIE, BRI and China’s expanding trading relationships. The piece says that China has “successively established 21 pilot free trade zones to implement high-level trade and investment liberalization and facilitation policies.” It talks about the RCEP and China’s contribution to global GDP growth. 

At present, the world economy is facing a downturn, the global market is shrinking, international exchanges are limited, protectionism and unilateralism are prevalent in some countries, and the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the whole world and has had an unprecedented impact on all countries and the global order. At this moment, many are wondering whether China’s economy will continue to remain open. To these, who wonder all such things, the piece says:

“If China’s economy is to develop, it must dare to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If you never dare to go to the ocean to experience the wind and rain and see the world, one day you will drown in the ocean.” 中国经济要发展,就必须敢于到世界市场的汪洋大海中去游泳,如果永远不敢到大海中去经风雨、见世面,总有一天会在大海中溺水而亡. 

Basically, the policy of opening up must continue. Of course, the piece does not delve into what this means qualitatively.

Page 6: So we have a piece “commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.” The piece is bylined 热地 (Wikipedia link on him) - a Tibetan politician who in 2019 was awarded the title “Outstanding Contributor to National Unity.”

He writes that “the peaceful liberation of Tibet was the inevitable trend of social and historical development in Tibet, the common aspiration of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, and a shining example of the Communist Party of China’s application of Marxist basic principles to solve China’s ethnic problems.” 西藏的和平解放,是西藏社会历史发展的必然趋势,是西藏各族人民的共同愿望,是中国共产党运用马克思主义基本原理解决我国民族问题的光辉范例.

He says that developments over the past 70 years have meant that “people of all ethnic groups have lived an unprecedented and incomparably happy life, and Tibet's social history has achieved a great leap.” Of course, they have. 各族人民过上了前所未有的无比幸福的生活,西藏社会历史实现了跨越式发展.

He adds:

“Today's new Tibet enjoys unprecedented social stability. The central leadership has not wavered in its characterization of the Dalai clique and its approach to the struggle; it has continued to carry out the anti-secession struggle in depth; it has continued to strengthen the grassroots foundation; and the social situation has remained stable and positive. The freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups is guaranteed in accordance with the law, and the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism is being promoted in an orderly manner. The exchanges and interactions among various ethnic groups are unprecedentedly extensive and close, and all ethnic groups work together for unity, progress and common prosperity and development. The Chinese nation's sense of community has been firmly established, and the cohesion and centripetal force of the Chinese nation have been greatly enhanced.” 今日的新西藏,社会稳定形势之好,前所未有. 坚持中央对达赖集团的定性和斗争方针毫不动摇,持续深入开展反分裂斗争,不断夯实基层基础,社会局势持续稳定向好. 各族群众的宗教信仰自由依法保障,藏传佛教中国化有序推进。各民族交往交流交融空前广泛、密切,各民族共同团结进步、共同繁荣发展,中华民族共同体意识不断铸牢,中华民族凝聚力向心力极大增强.

He then lists economic development indicators and policies with regard to poverty alleviation, environmental protection and rural revitalisation.

He adds that his decades of experience and work have led him to summarise the state of Tibet’s development as follows: “under the wise leadership of the Communist Party of China, Tibet has moved from darkness to light, from backwardness to progress, from poverty to prosperity, from autocracy to democracy, and from closure to openness.” 还是用我几十年工作实践和亲身体会总结出的5句话来概括:在中国共产党的英明领导下,西藏是从黑暗走向光明,从落后走向进步,从贫穷走向富裕,从专制走向民主,从封闭走向开放.

He then has some key points that must be adhered to in the new era:

  • “We must adhere to the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to guide all work in Tibet.” As part of this, he calls to “resolutely forge the consciousness of the Chinese national community, fully implement the party’s strategy for governing Tibet in the new era, and earnestly use the party’s innovative theory to arm the mind, guide practice, promote work, and continuously enhance political judgment, political understanding, and political execution. This is the fundamental principle for us to do all our work, and there must be no slacking or deviation!”

  • The “party’s overall leadership over all work in Tibet must be upheld and strengthened.” He says that the Party’s first generation leadership under Mao made a “far-sighted and wise decision, by marching into Tibet and carrying out peaceful liberation.” It “expelled the imperialist forces in Tibet, completely shattered the feudal serfdom, and created a new socialist Tibet in which the people were the masters of the country.” He then mentions each of Deng’s, Jiang’s and Hu’s eras before coming to Xi. He says that Xi has “pioneered a series of important strategic ideas such as ‘to govern the country, we must govern the border, and to govern the border, we must first stabilize Tibet,’ and formed the Party's strategy for governing Tibet in the new era.”

  • Third, “we must persist in safeguarding the unity of the motherland and opposing ethnic divisions.” He writes that:

“In the decades since the Dalai clique launched an armed rebellion and fled abroad, not a single day has it stopped its activities to split the motherland, and not a single thing has been done for the benefit of the motherland and the people. The 14th Dalai Lama and his political clique are the general representatives of the old Tibetan secular feudal system, and they have fundamental conflicts of interest with the vast working people, who constitute the vast majority of the Tibetan population, and irreconcilable contradictions with the demands of Tibetan social development and progress and the development trend of human society. The essence of our differences and struggles with the Dalai clique is not the question of autonomy, the question of religion or ethnicity, or the question of so-called human rights; rather it has always been a pointed struggle between unity and division, progress and retrogression. The Dalai clique’s attempt to split the motherland and restore the old system is very clear to the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, and they will never agree to it...I often say that as long as Western anti-China forces exist, and as long as the Dalai separatist group exists, the anti-secession struggle in Tibet will never cease...In accordance with the requirements of the Central Committee, we must constantly enhance and improve the fighting spirit, the will to fight and fighting ability, and continue to be vigilant at all times and be fully prepared from all aspects, and be ready to win any pointed and complex struggle.” 必须坚持维护祖国统一、反对民族分裂。达赖集团发动武装叛乱、叛逃国外几十年来,没有一天停止过分裂祖国的活动,没有做过一件对祖国、对人民有益的事。十四世达赖及其政治集团是旧西藏政教合一封建农奴制度的总代表,他们与占西藏人口绝大多数的广大劳动人民存在着根本利益冲突,与西藏社会发展进步的要求和人类社会的发展潮流存在着不可调和的矛盾。我们与达赖集团之间分歧和斗争的实质,根本不是什么自治不自治的问题,不是宗教、民族问题,也不是所谓的人权问题,而始终是统一与分裂、进步与倒退的尖锐斗争。达赖集团分裂祖国、复辟旧制度的图谋,西藏各族人民看得非常清楚,也是绝不会答应的。他们的目的,过去没有实现,现在没有实现,将来永远也不会实现。我经常讲,只要西方反华势力存在一天,只要达赖分裂主义集团存在一天,西藏的反分裂斗争就绝不会停止,反分裂斗争这根弦到任何时候都不能松!我们必须按照中央要求,不断增强和提高斗争精神、斗争意志、斗争能力,继续从各方面提高警惕、充分准备,随时准备打赢任何一场尖锐复杂的斗争.

  • Fourth, “we must adhere to the main line of ethnic work in the new era, and constantly consolidate and develop the great unity of all ethnic groups.” This bit talks about “casting a firm sense of the Chinese national community, focus on strengthening national unity and progress in education, guide the people of all ethnic groups to establish a correct view of the country, history, ethnicity, culture, religion, and constantly enhance the identity of the people of all ethnic groups to the great motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Communist Party of China, and socialism with Chinese characteristics…”

  • Fifth, “we must adhere to the direction of Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism and the management of religious affairs in accordance with the law.” The emphasis here is on implementing the party’s basic policy on religious work.

  • Sixth, and do note that this comes sixth, “we must persist in promoting high-quality economic and social development.”

  • Seventh, “we must insist on ecological protection first and continue to build ecological safety barriers.”

  • Eighth, “persist in developing high-quality cadres and various types of talent across all ethnic groups.” This talks about the need “to continue to ensure the selection of minority cadres and various talents for prominent positions and striving to build a team of high-quality cadres and various talents of all ethnic groups who are absolutely loyal to the Party, brave and adept at struggle, united and pragmatic, clean and incorruptible...”

  • Ninth, “we must persist in strengthening party building in an all-round way and consolidating the grassroots foundation.” 

Page 9:  The lead piece on the Theory page is by Xie Chuntao from the Central Party School. Here are the core points he makes:

  • The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics

  • It is important to ensure the Party’s leadership over all work; and all domains of national governance. In this, he writes, “the ‘two safeguards’ have been established as the highest principle of Party leadership and the highest political principle and fundamental political rule of the Party. Maintaining the core position of General Secretary Xi Jinping in the Party Central Committee and the core position of the whole Party, maintaining the authority and centralized leadership of the Party Central Committee is to adhere to and develop the Marxist doctrine of party building, and to ensure that the Party gives full play to its leading role of overseeing the overall situation and coordinating all parties.” He then lists out several regulations that have been enacted since the 18th Party Congress, which essentially work towards this end.