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PLA Mobilisation Order - Ideological and Propaganda Work Review - Henan Party Secretary Interview - Fu Cong on Nukes - Wang Xiaohong on Public Security Agenda
Here are the stories and pieces that I found noteworthy from the Wednesday, January 5, 2022, edition of the People’s Daily.
Xinhua English reports:
The entire rank and file of the armed forces are required to resolutely implement the plans and instructions of the Party leadership and the CMC. It adds that the changing landscape of national security and combat circumstances must be accurately understood. The armed forces must closely follow the evolution of technology, warfare and rivals, redouble their efforts to better combine training with combat operations, and strengthen systematic training and the use of technologies to develop an elite force that is capable of fighting and winning wars. All officers and soldiers should uphold the spirit of fearing neither death nor hardship, and conduct training in a vigorous, well-designed and safe manner to boost their commanding and fighting capability and foster excellent conduct.
Interestingly, the text begins with: 我命令: I order.
Good thread this on the order:
Next, two exchanges of letters between Xi Jinping and the leaders of Tajikistan and Ukraine. First, in his letter to Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Xi said (English report) that over the past 30 years, “ties have developed by leaps and bounds and reached the highest level in history.” He added that “the two countries have taken the lead in building a community of development and a community of security, setting an example of jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind. The two sides enjoy deepening strategic mutual trust, firm mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and booming cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that their high-quality Belt and Road cooperation has also achieved fruitful results.”
Second, in his letter to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, Xi said (English report) that China-Ukraine relations have maintained a sound and steady momentum of development since the establishment of diplomatic ties 30 years ago, noting that the two countries have deepened political mutual trust, carried out fruitful cooperation in various fields and strengthened people-to-people and cultural exchanges, which have improved the well-being of the two peoples. — No talk about principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty or core interests here.
Third, although this isn’t in PD today but I noticed it in Xinhua English, Xi also sent a letter to Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov on the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties, Xi said that (English report):
“since the establishment of diplomatic ties 30 years ago, China and Kyrgyzstan have always upheld the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, as well as win-win cooperation, and achieved rapid development of bilateral relations. The two countries, he added, have reached a new height of their comprehensive strategic partnership, and set a good example for the international community in fostering a new type of international relations. The development of China-Kyrgyzstan relations not only benefits the two countries and their people, but also contributes to peace and stability in Central Asia.”
Xi also called for taking the 30th anniversary as a new starting point to enhance their strategic mutual trust, deepen Belt and Road cooperation, and lift the China-Kyrgyzstan comprehensive strategic partnership to new levels.
Next, there’s the fifth in the commentary series based on Xi’s new year speech. This one focuses on China’s foreign policy. After a listing of diplomatic activities and events from last year, China’s vaccine diplomacy, the piece says that “in the face of the ups and downs of the pandemic and the accelerating global changes, China upheld the concept of a community of common destiny for mankind, advocated true multilateralism, solidly promoted the construction of BRI, fulfilled its commitment to make vaccines a global public good, vigorously safeguarded national sovereignty, security and development interests, and made positive contributions to promoting world peace and development.” 这一年，面对跌宕蔓延的全球疫情，面对加速演进的全球变局，中国秉持人类命运共同体理念，倡导真正的多边主义，扎实推进共建“一带一路”，履行将疫苗作为全球公共产品的承诺，有力维护国家主权、安全、发展利益，为促进世界和平与发展作出了积极贡献.
There’s also a discussion about the history resolution. In this regard, the piece says that the resolution makes it clear that the Party “will continue to contribute wisdom and strength to the progress of human civilisation.”
Looking ahead, the outlook for the year doesn’t appear to be too positive, with multiple crises evident, such as the continued pandemic, a weak global economic recovery, the challenges related to climate change, and several regional hotspot issues. The commentary then calls for working with “all peace-loving countries and people to promote the common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind, promote the building of a community of common destiny for mankind, and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.” 新征程上，我们将继续同一切爱好和平的国家和人民一道，弘扬和平、发展、公平、正义、民主、自由的全人类共同价值，推动构建人类命运共同体，建设持久和平、普遍安全、共同繁荣、开放包容、清洁美丽的世界.
After this, there’s a call to ensure a successful Winter Olympics.
There are two broad points covered. First, the meeting adopted the List of Items Requiring Administrative Approval Stipulated by Laws, Administrative Regulations and State Council Decisions. All provinces, cities and counties have to compile their own lists by the end of the year. Also, “the essential information elements covered by the lists should be broadly unified across the country to see that the same approval item will be processed according to the same standards across different regions. The list compiled by a locality should not go beyond the scope of the list made by its higher authorities.”
Second, “to foster a market climate of honesty, good faith and fair competition, category-based management of corporate credit risks will be pursued in accordance with laws and regulations. Well-calibrated regulatory measures including oversight conducted through the random selection of both inspectors and inspection targets and the prompt release of results will be adopted to see that regulation will not stand in the way of honest businesses while making those of bad faith pay the price.”
A sound system of indicators for categorizing corporate credit risks will be formulated. Information will be collected in a timely manner involving business registration, record filing, administrative approval, administrative penalties and inclusion in the catalogue of business anomalies and the list of entities with serious acts of bad faith. On that basis, enterprises of all forms of ownership will be categorized according to their levels of credit risks on an equal basis.
The results of categorization will be used to make regulation more effective and to guard against behaving irresponsibly and arbitrary law enforcement. The proportion and frequency of sampled inspections will be reduced for enterprises with low risks, while those with high risks or with poor credit records will face targeted, increased random checks and on-site inspections.
Inter-agency coordination will be intensified
Risk monitoring and early warning will be enhanced. Big data analysis, monitoring of key indicators and other methods will be employed to identify anomalies and risks of enterprises as early as possible, alert the enterprises concerned as appropriate and front-load regulation and supervision, to defuse latent risks.
The key aspect to understand when going through this piece is that it is essentially about how propaganda units have performed and tools (officials in the propaganda departments, government departments publishing white papers, book publishing, academia, news media, literature, art, mass media, archeology, etc.) have been used to further the leader’s cause. It also should offer a preview of what to expect in terms of the direction of policies in the media and cultural space.
The piece talks about the adoption of the history resolution, and then says that the ideological and propaganda units must insist on studying, propagating and explaining Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era as the primary task. The goal is to ensure that this is the political backbone, ideological anchor, and action compass of Party members, officials, and the masses. 宣传思想战线坚持把学习宣传阐释习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想作为首要任务，在学懂弄通做实上持续用力，使之成为广大党员干部群众政治上的主心骨、思想上的定盘星、行动上的指南针，推动党的创新理论落地生根.
The piece talks about the publication of the Q&A on Xi Jinping Thought in February - 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想学习问答. This Q&A series was published in PD last year. Apparently, the collection has set records in terms of circulation. In addition, the piece mentions other books, which provide learning material for cadres and masses:
The Study Outline of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy
The Study Outline of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law
A compilation of Xi’s discourses on the importance of family, family education and virtues
Another one on upholding the people’s position as masters
Also, the piece mentions the guidelines for strengthening the construction of new era schools of Marxism and the establishment of the second batch of seven research centers on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and revision of ideological and political courses textbooks.
The piece then moves to the history learning campaign. Here, it provides data on meetings and outreach. In this regard, it talks about the publication of Xi’s On the History of the Communist Party of China. In addition, there’s a broad overview of the campaign activities. This is followed by a positive appraisal of the media’s propagation of Xi Thought, and then the propaganda effort around the Party centenary, and the work done in the cultural domain, i.e., literature and art.
“Over the past year, literary workers and artists have released excellent works eulogising the Party, the motherland, the people, and heroes, recording the great achievements and displaying brilliant achievements for the Party's centenary celebration.” 一年来，文艺工作者不断推出讴歌党、讴歌祖国、讴歌人民、讴歌英雄的精品力作，为党的百年大庆记载伟业、展示辉煌.
This is followed by brief sections different aspects. For instance, the bit on journalists talks about them cultivating and practicing the four powers, There’s praise for articles like: 中国没有辜负社会主义 - roughly, China has not failed socialism; and 社会主义没有辜负中国 - Socialism has not failed China. Also, the declaration pieces in PD get special mentions. I presume, these were the ones around late September, early October. This is followed by one on the use of cultural relics and stories of martyrs. There’s one bit that talks about activities like elocutions, reading contests, and online events, etc, targeting the youth.
What also gets a mention is the China Internet Civilization Conference. Public opinion struggle is essentially the main battlefield, the piece says, while listing actions taken last year. These include actions taken in domains like online gaming, entertainment, punishment of illegalities and unethical deeds by artists, and dealing with online rumours. Basically, these steps are being seen as positive actions that were taken last year. So do not expect the constraining of the cultural environment to ease up anytime soon.
Finally, a report telling us that the Central Committee has issued regulations on the work of the Party’s discipline inspection commissions. The full regulations are published on pages 5 and 6. The page 1 report says that “discipline inspection organs must resolutely regard ‘two safeguards’ as the highest political principle and fundamental political responsibility, and through effective political supervision, they must ensure that the decision-making arrangements of the Party Central Committee are implemented.” 各级纪检监察机关要认真履行党章和《条例》规定的任务职责，坚决把“两个维护”作为最高政治原则和根本政治责任，以强有力的政治监督确保党中央决策部署贯彻落实到位.
Page 2: There’s an interview with Lou Yangsheng, Henan Party Secretary. Lou starts by talking about how Henan is a big province and it must keep in mind Xi’s call of maintaining stability. He then hits all the buzzwords: pursuing innovation-driven growth, rejuvenating the province to science education and high-quality talents, pursuing digital transformation, new urbanisation with people as the core, rural revitalisation, green and low-carbon transformation, etc. He talks about the 10 major strategies – some of which the above list refers to – that Henan has listed, explaining that 28 different areas of work based on these have been identified and different localities have been asked to put together their targets and tasks.
The next question is about the work done in Henan with regard to food security. Here, Lou once again gives a nod to Xi, before telling us that despite the challenges of last year, annual grain output in the province was at 130.8 billion jin, which remained above the output generally over the past five years. In 2022, he talks about maintaining the area kept for sowing at around 160 million mu.
The next question is about high-quality economic development. Lou says that “In the first 11 months of 2021, the investment in high-tech manufacturing increased by 31.8%, and the added value of high-tech manufacturing and strategic emerging industries increased by 22.7% and 14.4% respectively, contributing 35.8% and 47.5% to the added value of regulated industries, with 1.335 million new market players and a total of 8.482 million.” 结构调整成效明显。2021年前11个月，高技术制造业投资增长31.8%，高技术制造业、战略性新兴产业增加值分别增长22.7%、14.4%，对规上工业增加值贡献率达35.8%、47.5%，新增市场主体133.5万户、总量达848.2万户. He also says that the preliminary estimate of provincial GDP is close to 6 trillion yuan.
Finally, with regard to the six guarantees and six stabilities, Lou talks about supporting market entities. He also says that the province will place high priority on employment. He talks about building vocational study institutes and education with the aim of technological progress and industrial development. In 2022, the province plans to increase the number of skilled personnel by 2.4 million and train 800,000 highly skilled personnel. He says that the government will strive to create 1.1 million new urban jobs and ensure the return of 150,000 people to their hometowns to start businesses. Along with this, he talks about ensuring the provision of subsistence allowances and improvement of healthcare systems.
Page 3: The only noteworthy piece on the page is this briefing (English text) by the Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of the Foreign Ministry, Fu Cong, after the P5 statement on nuclear weapons the other day. He talks about the key highlights from the joint statement, and then says this:
“China has contributed important wisdom to the conclusion of a positive joint statement. During the consultation process of the statement, apart from nudging all parties towards the stress that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’, China also pushed for the inclusion of important contents such as reiterating that nuclear weapons are not targeted at each other or any other state. The Chinese side believes that the five nuclear-weapon states should further strengthen communication on strategic stability and conduct in-depth dialogues on reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies and a wide range of topics including anti-missile, outer space, cyberspace and artificial intelligence. China stands ready to continue to strengthen communication and coordination with the other four states, enhance strategic mutual trust and play a leading role in building a world of lasting peace and universal security.”
Some other bits that are not covered in the text. SCMP reports:
Fu said that China will continue to upgrade its nuclear arsenal and urged the United States and Russia to take the first steps to reduce their larger stockpiles. “China will continue to modernise its nuclear arsenal for reliability and safety issues,” Fu Cong said.
Fu said the “assertions made by the US that China is vastly increasing its nuclear capabilities” are “untrue”, adding: “China has always adopted a no-first use policy and we maintain our nuclear capabilities at the minimal level required for our national security.” He said Beijing would be happy to join talks on arms controls once the US had reduced its nuclear stockpile “to our level”.
Also, Xinhua reports: “China hopes that the P5 could further their efforts on this basis, abandon the policies of nuclear deterrence based on the first-use of nuclear weapons, make commitments of mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and jointly negotiate and conclude an international legal instrument in this regard.”
At this moment, let me share this Global No-First Use initiative that my colleagues at the Takshashila Institution have been working towards. Do check it out.
Page 4: A report about measures for resettlement and monthly pension for veterans issued jointly by 11 departments. The support, the report says, is being drawn based on certain factors, i.e., it must be in line with the level of economic development, linked with military and local reforms and matched with service contributions.
The story says that the promulgation and implementation of the measures marks the formal establishment and operation of the new resettlement system for retired military personnel who receive monthly pensions…It will help to enhance the respect of military personnel's occupation, improve the stability of service, encourage and guide retired military personnel to integrate into society through employment and entrepreneurship, and contribute their wisdom and strength to social and economic development.《办法》的颁布施行，标志着逐月领取退役金这一新的退役军人安置制度正式建立运行，对妥善安置、合理使用退役军人，服务国家经济社会发展、国防和军队建设具有十分重要的意义，必将有利于增强军人职业的尊崇感、提高军人服役的稳定性，必将有利于鼓励引导退役军人融入社会就业创业，为社会经济发展贡献智慧和力量.
Second, a report about Huang Kunming’s visit to Jiangxi. He talked about the need for propaganda and cultural units to understand and propagate the spirit of the 6th Plenum; he also talked about history, the two establishments and adherence to Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
Page 9: The lead piece on the theory page is by Wang Xiaohong, who is set to take over Zhao Kezhi’s job. He is already the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security’s Party Committee. I am doing a quick summary of the piece below.
Wang writes that “public security organs must be guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implement the spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference, adhere to the overall national security concept, adhere to the general tone of the work of seeking progress while maintaining stability, take people’s safety as their task, and take political security as the foundation.” He also talks about it being their jobs to safeguard the ‘two establishments’ and ensure the “resolute realisation of ‘two maintenances’.”
In the first section of the piece, Wang talks about the importance of maintaining political security. This includes regime and system security. Therefore, he calls for anti-infiltration, anti-subversion, anti-terrorism and anti-separatism campaigns to safeguard the security of state power, system, and ideology. In this context, he warns about colour revolutions, issues of extremism and separatism linked to religious belief and ethnic minorities, terrorism, capital security, securing the Olympics and effective implementation of national security laws in HK and Macau.
In the next section, he talks about diffusing risks at source. He talks about keeping in mind the changed principal contradiction in society and shifting balance of power around the world, which can lead to new challenges. He specifically then talks about:
Persisting with the Fengqiao Experience in addressing risks, conflicts and disputes
Being aware of and addressing financial and economic risks. Here, he talks about “early detection, early warning, early prevention and early response” to avoid spillovers.
He promises to “clean-up and purify cyberspace.” This includes a whole range of issues: rumours, harmful information, crimes related to personal information, online gambling, malicious marketing, illegal and criminal activities, critical information and infrastructure security, etc.
Protecting the legitimate interests, rights and demands of the masses. This covers addressing public complaints.
The next section deals with ensuring people’s peace; this deals with organised crime, telecom and online fraud, pandemic containment, and, in general, overall law enforcement. The last section discusses improving mechanisms, systems and institutions and professional capacity of public security officials. Here, Wang begins by talking about the need to ensure Party’s centralised and unified leadership over the security architecture, and then talks about the importance of maintaining public support and proximity.