Discover more from Tracking People's Daily
New Infrastructure Development Plan - IPR Guidelines - Rural Rejuvenation - Xi Thought: BRI & Emphasising Importance of Party Leadership - China-Pak-Russia Envoys in Afghanistan
Here are the stories and pieces from the September 23, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: There’s a lot of content on the front page today, which flows on to other pages. So you might not see other page numbers mentioned in the tracker today. Anyway, to begin with, is it just me or is Xi Jinping writing a lot more letters lately? Today, we first have a report (English report) about Xi sending greetings to farmers and people working in agriculture and rural areas on the eve of the fourth Chinese farmers’ harvest festival. He spoke about how the harvest has been good despite it being a rough year owing to floods and COVID-19. He also emphasised the role of rural vitalization in realizing national rejuvenation. The piece ends by calling on Party committees and governments at all levels to implement the major policies, decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas.
Accompanying this report about the letter, we have a very, very long piece about Xi’s comments over time regarding 三农 - San Nong or Three Rural, which refers to work related to agricultural development, stability in rural areas and farmers incomes. I mean this is literally just a collection of Xi’s comments, visits and meetings, which is useful for folks researching the domain.
Next, we have a report (English report) telling us that senior officials of the Ministry of Education visited physicist Chen Ning Yang on his 100th birthday at Tsinghua University, presenting him with a flower basket on Xi’s behalf and conveying Xi’s greetings. Chen won the Nobel in 1957.
Moving on, Wang Yi spoke about Xi’s UNGA speech. As per the PD report, he emphasised Xi’s comments with regard to the pandemic, and the commitments that Xi had reiterated.
The next bit is about Xi’s proposed Global Development Initiative. This entails prioritizing development, having a people-centered approach, ensuring benefits for all, focusing on innovation-driven development, maintaining harmony between man and nature, and being committed to results-oriented actions. Wang Yi called this “an important declaration of China's efforts to revitalize the global partnership for development of the United Nations.” He added: “We welcome all countries to join the global development initiative, deepen the complementarity of their development strategies, advance cooperation in key areas, and open up a brighter future for global development.” --- I am not sure what this means tangibly.
On the coal power projects, the report reiterates that China “will not build overseas coal power projects.” 习近平主席还宣布，中国将大力支持发展中国家能源绿色低碳发展，不再新建境外煤电项目.
The next bit in the report is about aspects of Xi’s speech related to the building of a new type of international relations and his criticism of Cold War mentality, creation of small circles, interference in internal affairs and so on. The final point is about the UN being the “core” institution underpinning the international system. The argument is that a weakened UN will lead to “small and medium-sized countries” bearing the brunt.
The report then says “at present, under the pretext of returning to multilateralism, some countries often claim to uphold the ‘rules-based international order’. In fact, they are imposing their own will and standards on others and replacing universally accepted international laws with rules formulated by a few countries.” 当前，个别国家打着重回多边主义的旗号，动辄声称维护“基于规则的国际秩序”，实际上是把自己的意志和标准强加于人，用少数国家制定的规则取代普遍接受的国际法则. --- I guess we’ll be hearing more about true and faux multilateralism more this week as the Quad meets too.
Next, we have a report about the State Council’s weekly meeting. The meeting adopted the 14th Five-Year Plan for New Infrastructure Development. This English report offers details. The report says that during this period “a well-calibrated layout will be made for the development of new infrastructure, underpinned by information networks and technological innovation.” Li Keqiang said: “Advancing new infrastructure development will help mobilize effective investment, sustain growth, readjust the structure and enhance people's wellbeing.” The PD report talks about five aspects of the infrastructure plan:
Accelerating information infrastructure: This covers fiber optic networks, mobile communication networks, space-based information infrastructure, and developing IoT infrastructure.
Developing integrated infrastructure: This refers to building a “multi-tiered industrial internet platform”; smart infrastructure in transportation, logistics, energy, and urban utilities; digitizing agriculture, telemedicine, etc.
Facilitating deeper integration among universities, research institutes and high-tech enterprises
Encouraging investment from diversified channels, i.e., private sector and overseas investors. It also says “China will take an active part in the formulation of relevant international rules and standards.”
Improving security supervision systems
In addition to this, the PD report talks about the need to maintain “continuity and stability in macro policies.” It also talks about the need to fine-tune and ensure implement cross-cyclical adjustment, maintain stable and reasonable expectations and strengthen the linkage of fiscal, financial and employment policies.
“We will continue to implement macro policies around the main players in the market to protect employment and people’s livelihood, and continue to deepen reform and opening up and optimize the business environment. We will make more use of market-oriented measures to stabilize commodity prices and ensure the supply of electricity and natural gas in winter. We will study and introduce measures to further boost consumption, make better use of non-government investment to increase effective investment, maintain steady growth in foreign trade and foreign investment, and ensure that the economy operates within a reasonable range.” 继续围绕保就业保民生保市场主体实施宏观政策，持续深化改革开放、优化营商环境。更多运用市场化办法稳定大宗商品价格，保障冬季电力、天然气等供给。研究出台进一步促进消费的措施，更好发挥社会投资作用扩大有效投资，保持外贸外资稳定增长，确保经济运行在合理区间.
The last point in the report is about reservoir safety. The report says that local governments in the northern regions should take the opportunity at present to carry out reinforcement work related to high-risk reservoirs in this regard. It also talks about revised and improved technical standards related to reservoirs, taking into account overall requirements for water supply, irrigation, flood control and discharge, and ecology, to enhance our ability to cope with extreme weather disasters.
Next, we have a report (English report) about Li Zhanshu speaking to Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg’s President of the Chamber of Deputies. Li said China will work with Luxembourg to “uphold mutual respect and consolidate mutual political trust.” On the EU, Li said that “China will work with the bloc to advance important political agenda through consultation, explore ways to deepen practical cooperation, strengthen coordination in international affairs, and make greater contribution to world peace and prosperity.” The report says that Etgen expressed the hope that bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, finance, equipment manufacturing and other fields will be strengthened.
Finally, on the page, we have the full Guidelines for Building a Powerful Country with Intellectual Property Rights (2021-2035). The document begins by providing a “strategic background.” This says that since the 18th Party Congress, the IPR system has significantly improved. It mentions development of core patents, new plant varieties, IC layouts, etc. But now going ahead in the new era, IPR will be a “strategic resource for national development and a core element of international competitiveness.” The guiding ideology section talks about Xi Thought; 19th Central Committee plenaries and supply side reform. The idea is that stronger IPR regulations and systems are not just critical for growth and innovation, competitiveness but also international cooperation.
The document talks about four working principles:
Law-based governance, with the aim to safeguard social fairness and justice and the legitimate rights and interests of rights holders.
The process must be reform-driven and led by quality. So, this talks about the need for improving market-oriented allocation of factors, ensuring that IPR guarantees stimulate innovation. This is useful to note. It’s not the principle of IPR protection that is important. In other words, there is nothing inherently good about protecting IPR. Rather it is value-generation in terms of high-quality development that is important.
Focus on overall plans. This I guess underscores what I’ve argued above. This says: “Adhere to strategic guidance and overall planning, highlight key areas and major needs, and promote the deep integration and development of intellectual property rights with economy, science and technology, culture and society.”
Plan and promote the reform and development of intellectual property rights with an international perspective.
Then we have two periodic goals.
First, by 2025, significant achievements shall have been made in the building of a powerful intellectual property nation, the protection of intellectual property shall be more strict, there will be high level of social satisfaction, the market value of intellectual property will have been further highlighted, brand competitiveness will have been significantly improved, the added value of patent-intensive industries shall have accounted for 13% of GDP, the added value of copyright industries shall have accounted for 7.5% of GDP, the total annual import and export of intellectual property use fees will have reached 350 billion yuan, and the number of high-value invention patents per 10,000 people will reach 12.
Then by 2035, IPR competitiveness will be world leading and the IPR system will be complete, and “a world-class intellectual property power with Chinese characteristics” would basically have been established.
The next section of the document talks about specific actions that need to be taken to build an intellectual property system oriented to socialist modernization. There are four points
The first point discusses the role of legislative changes. It mentions a bunch of amendments that we should look out for along with potential new legislation. It promises revisions to Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law and regulations on the protection of new plant varieties. It talks about potential new regulations with regard to geographical indications and designs and regarding integrated circuits, and new regulations with regard to IPR related to big data, artificial intelligence, and genetic technology. It also talks about improving protection of trade secrets, improving the legal system for regulating the abuse of intellectual property rights, and improving legislation on anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition related to intellectual property rights.
The second point is about the management system. It talks about strengthening the central government’s authority over IPR protection and focussing on regional coordination and overall planning of foreign-related matters in IPR protection. It also talks about focusing on the national regional coordinated development strategy, formulating and implementing the regional intellectual property strategy, development of strong provinces and cities in intellectual property, and promoting the coordinated regional development.
The third point here talks about improving patent and trademark review policy to be oriented towards strengthening protection.
The fourth point is about devising and strengthening IPR rules in emerging fields and specific fields. This talks about IPR rules related to the Internet, data algorithms, artificial intelligence, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, folk literature and art, and TCM.
The next section is about an IPR system that supports a world-class business environment.
The first point here is about building a “judicial protection system that is fair and efficient, and has scientific jurisdiction.”
The second point is about effective law-enforcement and supervision when it comes to IPR.
The third point talks about “coordinated IPR protection in which the government fulfils its duties, law enforcement departments exercise strict oversight, judicial organs administer justice impartially, market entities conduct standardized management, industry organizations self-regulate themselves, and the general public acts in good faith and abiding with the law.” In this, it also talks about building a network of “intellectual property protection centers and overseas intellectual property dispute response and guidance centers.”
The next section talks about an IP market operating mechanism that encourages innovation and development. The next section is about building a public service system for intellectual property that is convenient and beneficial to the people. The next section is about building a humanistic and social environment that promotes high-quality development of intellectual property rights. This bit talks about engendering certain social values of “respecting and protecting intellectual property rights” and “resisting infringement and counterfeiting.” Along with this, it talks about the need to “cultivate intellectual property related cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence in the new era.” Also, it talks about courses and training related to IPR in colleges and universities.
The next section talks about participating in global intellectual property governance. At one point, this talks about establishing a “foreign risk prevention and control system for intellectual property rights. Strengthening cooperation with IPR review agencies of various countries and promoting the sharing of review information. Creating a preferred venue for international IPR litigation. Improving the internationalization of IPR arbitration. Encourage high-level foreign institutions to carry out IPR services in China.” 建设知识产权涉外风险防控体系。加强与各国知识产权审查机构合作，推动审查信息共享。打造国际知识产权诉讼优选地。提升知识产权仲裁国际化水平。鼓励高水平外国机构来华开展知识产权服务.
Page 4: A report (English report) about Propaganda chief Huang Kunming speaking at an event in Beijing calling for “continuous efforts for in-depth study of the Party history and theory.” He wants the application of learnings from the campaign “to everyday work, such as addressing the problems that affect ordinary people the most and promoting the country’s high-quality development.”
Next, a report (English report) about Wang Yi speaking to his counterpart from the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wang said that “China firmly supports the UAE to safeguard sovereignty, security and stability, and supports the UAE to independently explore a development path in line with its national conditions. China appreciates the valuable and firm support given by the UAE on issues involving China’s core interests and major concerns, and is willing to work with the UAE to uphold the basic norms of international relations such as non-interference in internal affairs, and jointly defend the international equity and justice.” This is useful if you note that the UAE is set to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2022 to 2023. Wang said that “China is glad to see the UAE play a more active role in safeguarding regional and world stability.” He also spoke about vaccine cooperation.
Al Nahyan reportedly said that the “UAE always upholds the basic norm of non-interference in internal affairs, and firmly adheres to the one-China policy.” He also thanked China for the pandemic-related support that was provided.
Page 5: We have the 47th piece in the Xi Thought Q&A series. The first question is about BRI and why it is a Garden of Hundred Flowers (百花园). Basically, this is about how BRI is not just about China’s development but global development and prosperity of all countries. After a lot of old Silk Road talk, we get this:
BRI “conforms to the historical trend of economic globalization, the requirements of the times of the reform of the global governance system, and the strong desire of people of all countries to live a better life. It is a right choice for the future.” 这一倡议顺应经济全球化的历史潮流，顺应全球治理体系变革的时代要求，顺应各国人民过上更好日子的强烈愿望，是面向未来的正确抉择.
We are told that BRI works on the principles of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.” The piece reiterates key components of BRI, which is important for people to keep in mind. This is not just about infrastructure, although infrastructure is a critical component.
“The initiative aims to promote policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties. Its core purpose is to promote infrastructure development and connectivity, strengthen coordination of economic policies and synergy of development strategies, promote coordinated and interconnected development, and achieve common prosperity.” -- 这一倡议致力于推动政策沟通、设施联通、贸易畅通、资金融通、民心相通，其核心内涵是促进基础设施建设和互联互通，加强经济政策协调和发展战略对接，促进协同联动发展，实现共同繁荣.
Towards the end of the piece, we see an attempt to push back against the criticism of BRI. It says that BRI “has brought tangible benefits to all participants and has been recognized and welcomed by more and more countries and regions. However, there are some discordant voices in the international community, some have falsely called it the ‘Chinese version of the Marshall Plan’, and some have smeared it as ‘neo-colonialism’. Facts can't be distorted, and justice shall prevail. Although the Belt and Road Initiative originated in China, its opportunities and outcomes belong to the world. The Belt and Road Initiative is an economic cooperation initiative, not a geopolitical or military alliance. It does not target or exclude anyone. It is an open and inclusive process, not a closed-door clique or a ‘China club’. It is a sunlit pathway for China to share opportunities and seek common development with the rest of the world. It is not a trap. It does not demarcate by ideology or engage in zero-sum games…” 共建“一带一路”，让所有参与方获得了实实在在的好处，受到越来越多国家和地区的认同和欢迎。但国际上也出现了一些杂音，有的妄称这是“中国版马歇尔计划”，也有的将其抹黑为“新殖民主义”。事实不容扭曲，公道自在人心。“一带一路”倡议虽然源于中国，但机会和成果属于世界。“一带一路”是经济合作倡议，不是搞地缘政治联盟或军事同盟，不针对谁也不排除谁；是开放包容进程，不是要关起门来搞小圈子或者“中国俱乐部”；是中国同世界共享机遇、共谋发展的阳光大道，不是这样那样的所谓“陷阱”，不以意识形态划界，不搞零和游戏.
The next question is about why is CCP leadership the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics? This reiterates the Party’s historical narrative and says that CCP leadership is “the fundamental guarantee” for doing the party and the country’s work well. Without this, “political stability, economic development, national unity, and social stability” will all be damaged. This is the key point that the next few paragraphs elaborate. We are told that:
“Marxism holds that socialized mass production will inevitably lead to the transformation of the means of production into social ownership and lay a material foundation for the arrival of socialism. At the same time, it will inevitably lead the proletariat to form its own party organization-the Communist Party, which will provide political guarantee for the realization of socialism. In other words, socialism is the lofty cause of the Communist Party, and the establishment, improvement and consolidation of the socialist system cannot be separated from the leadership of the Communist Party.” 马克思主义认为，社会化大生产必然导致生产资料转变为社会所有，为社会主义的到来奠定物质基础；同时，也必然导致无产阶级结成自己的政党组织——共产党，为社会主义的实现提供政治保证。也就是说，社会主义是共产党的崇高事业，社会主义制度的建立、完善和巩固都离不开共产党的领导.
Then, we are told that:
“In today’s China, the Party, the government, the military and the people - east, west, north and south - the Party leads everything, and there is no political force greater than the CPC. In the various undertakings related of reform, development and stability, internal affairs, foreign affairs and national defense, and governance of the Party, state and military, the CPC has always been at the core of commanding the overall situation and coordinating the efforts of all parties...General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, ‘We must recognize that the biggest national condition of China is the leadership of the Communist Party of China. What is Chinese characteristics? This is Chinese characteristics’.” 当今中国，党政军民学，东西南北中，党是领导一切的，没有大于中国共产党的政治力量或其他什么力量。在改革发展稳定、内政外交国防、治党治国治军各项事业中，我们党始终处于总揽全局、协调各方的核心统领地位...习近平总书记指出: ”一定要认清，中国最大的国情就是中国共产党的领导。什么是中国特色？这就是中国特色.”
The next paragraph argues that CCP leadership “is the greatest strength of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. The advantages of the system are reflected in the attributes of the system. The reason why the Chinese system ‘works’ is that the Party’s leadership is the most decisive and creative factor in the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. Among the 13 significant advantages of our national system and national governance system (anyone has a list of these 13?), the first one is the advantage of adhering to the centralized and unified leadership of the Party and ensuring that the country always advances along the socialist direction. This advantage is a fundamental advantage, and has an overarching significance, running through the other significant advantages, which are closely related to the party's leadership system and cannot be separated from the fundamental guarantee of the Party's leadership.” 党的领导这个最本质特征，体现在党的领导是中国特色社会主义制度的最大优势。制度优势反映制度属性，中国制度之所以“行”，是因为党的领导在中国特色社会主义制度中是最具统领性决定性创造性的因素。在我国国家制度和国家治理体系13个方面显著优势中，第一位的是坚持党的集中统一领导、确保国家始终沿着社会主义方向前进的优势。这一优势是带有统领性的根本优势，贯穿于其他方面显著优势中，同时其他方面的显著优势都同党的领导制度密切相关，都离不开党的领导这一优势的根本保证
It adds that only by ensuring Party leadership, can one “ensure the stability and continuity of major policies, better leverage the significant strengths of China's state system and governance system in all areas, and better advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” 只有坚持党的领导，才能有效协调党和国家事业各领域重大关系，确保大政方针的稳定性和持续性，更好发挥我国国家制度和国家治理体系各方面的显著优势，更好推进中国特色社会主义事业不断向前发展。
Then there’s a comparison drawn with the West, which has witnessed “chaos, political strife, social disintegration, racial discrimination.” In contrast, China has experienced economic stability, social stability and rising living standards. The author ends this bit by saying that “adhering to the Party's leadership” is the secret of the “governance of China.” The last couple of paragraphs reiterate the points while saying that Party leadership is key to the goal of national rejuvenation.
Wang Like, former member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Jiangsu Provincial Committee, former secretary of politics and law committee of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee, has been expelled from the Party and removed from his post for serious violations of CPC discipline and laws.
Not in PD, but “Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end: Chinese FM Wang Yi at G20.” Also on Afghanistan, do note that special envoys of China, Russia and Pakistan on the Afghan issue jointly visited Kabul. When asked, the Chinese foreign ministry said:
“They met with the acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund, acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting Finance Minister Hidayatullah Badri and other senior officials. They held in-depth and constructive discussions on the recent developments in Afghanistan, especially on inclusiveness, human rights, economic and humanitarian issues, friendly relations between Afghanistan and other countries, especially neighboring countries, and the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. They expressed support for the fight against terrorism and drug-related crimes.
The Taliban side stressed that it attaches great importance to Afghanistan’s relations with China, Russia and Pakistan, and the three countries are playing a constructive and responsible role in consolidating peace and stability in Afghanistan. The three countries called on the international community to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, stressing that the US and its allies bear the primary responsibility for Afghanistan's economic and social reconstruction and should provide much-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance.
During the visit, the special envoys also met with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to discuss peace and stability in Afghanistan. During the visit, China said that it follows a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs and has always played a constructive role in the political settlement of the Afghan issue. Afghanistan should reach open and inclusive political arrangements, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, make a clean break with all kinds of terrorist organizations and live on friendly terms with neighboring countries.
Next, also not in PD, but here’s the Chinese foreign ministry on the issues plaguing Sino-US dialogue. This came in response to a PD question about media reports saying that Beijing had been “‘tough’ without the intention to have serious or substantive meetings.”
“The ‘two lists’ and ‘three bottom lines’, among others, are about the fundamental and substantive issues in China-US relations, which we expect serious treatment and earnest response from the US. However, we have not seen substantive response so far...Let me be clear about what we oppose: First, plotting gimmickry before and after the talks to provoke and smear China, and using megaphone diplomacy and even threat of sanctions in attempt to gain the so-called ‘position of strength’ through extreme pressure. The Chinese people don't buy such condescending and bossy moves. Second, interfering in China's internal affairs and undermining China's interests while expecting China to render help on issues of US’ concern. This approach won't work. Instead of reflecting on its own bullying rhetoric and actions, the US turned to accuse China and falsely criticize China's legitimate and justifiable moves to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests as being ‘tough’ and without the intention to have serious or substantive meetings. The US is trying to blame the innocent party for what itself is guilty of. How unreasonable it is when one asks others to swallow all the beat and scold!”