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Qualities of Good Youth 好青年 in the New Era - Performance of Cos Listed on Beijing Stock Exchange - Pushing Back against US on Taiwan Conflict Narrative
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People’s Daily’s edition on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
Page 1: At the top of the page is another piece today around Xi Jinping’s views on and engagement with the youth. This one has some interesting comments to note.
The first section talks about ideals and beliefs, basically making the case that the youth must work for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Although not really new ideas, but two bits worth highlighting from this:
“In the mind of General Secretary Xi Jinping, the power of youth, the surge of youth, and the creation of youth have always been the majestic forces that have driven the Chinese nation forward bravely to stand tall among the nations of the world!” 在习近平总书记心中，青春的力量，青春的涌动，青春的创造，始终是推动中华民族勇毅前行、屹立于世界民族之林的磅礴力量！
Then there’s this reply from Xi Jinping to a letter written to him by a group of primary school students studying at Hou Kong Middle School in Macau in 2019. Xi wrote back to them that:
“The Chinese civilization is the only ancient civilization that has continued without interruption. Five thousand years of history is the source of our cultural self-confidence.” “Only by understanding the history of humiliation of the Chinese nation after the Opium War can we have a deeper understanding of the strong desire of the Chinese people for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” “中华文明是唯一没有断流的古老文明。五千年的历史是我们文化自信的源泉。”“了解鸦片战争以后中华民族的屈辱史，我们才能更深刻理解现在中国人民对中华民族伟大复兴的强烈愿望.”
Section two makes the point that the youth must shoulder responsibilities. There are examples cited of youth volunteering to deal with the pandemic in Wuhan, giving up opportunities in big cities to return to underdeveloped areas to aid with poverty alleviation, and young firefighters in Sichuan battling forest fires.
For folks reading in India, it is worth noting that one of the examples of this dedication of the youth that has been cited is that of “18-year-old martyr Chen Xiangrong” who “defended the dignity of his homeland with his life.” “清澈的爱，只为中国”，这是18岁的陈祥榕烈士写下的战斗口号。卫戍边疆安宁，这位年轻的军人用生命保卫了家国的尊严. Chen was among the four PLA soldiers who died in the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020.
Section three makes the point that being good youth in the new era also implies being prepared to deal with hardships. In this, we get the story of Xi Jinping as a 16-year-old going to Shaanxi and dealing with hardships to earn his chops. “Looking back on those days, he said: Difficulties and hardships can temper one’s will. The hard life of going to the countryside for seven years was great training for me. When I met any difficulties later, I remembered that I could still work under such difficult conditions at that time. Why not do it now?” 回望那段日子，他说：艰难困苦能够磨练一个人的意志。七年上山下乡的艰苦生活对我的锻炼很大，后来遇到什么困难，就想起那个时候在那样的困难条件下还可以干事，现在干嘛不干？
The rest of the section shares a few of Xi’s comments at different times basically calling on the youth to go to the grassroots and temper themselves with hard work.
The final section implores the youth to be prepared for struggles. In this, we get a criticism of either adopting a 佛系 (Buddha-like – essentially, this has negative connotations implying that people basically become apathetic and not engaging in a strenuous work life. But it’s complicated; and this wikipedia link provides useful information) mindset or lying flat 躺平 in favour of struggle, which tempers the brilliance of youth. 青春由磨砺而出彩，人生因奋斗而升华。选择“佛系”，就无法攀登事业的高峰；选择“躺平”，就难以领略极致的风光.
Next, there’s a report on Xi’s reply to a letter from students participating in a program at the China Agricultural University that dispatches students to the frontlines of agricultural production. Xinhua English reports:
Xi “encouraged the students to make greater contributions to rural revitalization. He also extended festival greetings to China’s young people as Youth Day falls on May 4. Xi said he was gratified to know that the students went deep into the fields and villages to get to know about people’s wellbeing and gain knowledge through serving rural revitalization. Replying to the students’ remarks that they had learned to seek truth from facts and maintain close ties with the people only when they went deep into China’s rural areas, Xi said that this is the spirit that Chinese youth in the new era should have. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has made plans for building up China's strength in agriculture, Xi said, hoping the students will closely integrate textbooks with practices in rural areas, and devote their youth and strength to speeding up rural and agricultural modernization and the construction of a modern socialist country.”
Next, there’s the third in the series of Zhong Yin commentaries on the youth. The keyword for this piece is struggle. A lot of this is repetitive of what you’ve already read above, but the big point is that “good youth in the new era” are those who “have ideals, dare to take responsibility, can endure hardships, and are willing to struggle.” 珍惜这个伟大时代，立志做有理想、敢担当、能吃苦、肯奋斗的新时代好青年... The piece also calls on the youth to obey the Party and contribute to national rejuvenation.
It also warns that: “The path of struggle will not be smooth, and is often full of thorns and ups and downs. Strong people always rise from setbacks and never get disheartened. We must be soberly aware that in the new journey of building a strong country and national rejuvenation, there will inevitably be arduous tasks, and there will inevitably be difficulties, obstacles and even turbulent storms. Consequently, we need to carry forward the spirit of hard struggle. The dream is before you and the road is at your feet. Those who master themselves are strong, and self-improvement will lead to victory. Adhere to hard work, do not covet comfort, do not fear difficulties, do not complain about others, and the vast number of youth will certainly be able to rely on hard work and sweat to open up their life and career prospects.” 奋斗的道路不会一帆风顺，往往荆棘丛生、充满坎坷。强者，总是从挫折中不断奋起、永不气馁。必须清醒认识到，在强国建设、民族复兴的新征程，必然会有艰巨繁重的任务，必然会有艰难险阻甚至惊涛骇浪，特别需要我们发扬艰苦奋斗精神。梦在前方，路在脚下。自胜者强，自强者胜。坚持艰苦奋斗，不贪图安逸，不惧怕困难，不怨天尤人，广大青年一定能依靠勤劳和汗水开辟人生和事业前程.
Moving on, there’s a brief report with data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which says that the total number of domestic tourist trips nationwide during the May 1 holiday was 274 million, an increase of 70.83% year-on-year and at 119.09% of the same period in 2019. It adds that domestic tourism revenue during the period was 148.056 billion yuan, an increase of 128.90% year-on-year and at 100.66% of the same period in 2019. 经文化和旅游部数据中心测算，全国国内旅游出游合计2.74亿人次，同比增长70.83%，按可比口径恢复至2019年同期的119.09%；实现国内旅游收入1480.56亿元，同比增长128.90%，按可比口径恢复至2019年同期的100.66%.
There’s another report with data from the Ministry of Transport informs that during the May 1st holiday, 270 million passengers are believed to have travelled across the rail, road, air and waterways.
Finally, there’s a piece on the Xi Jinping thought education campaign at key universities, such as Peking University, Renmin University of China, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, etc.
Page 3: Just one article to note: a report informing that the IMF recently released its economic outlook report for the Asia-Pacific region, predicting that the Asia-Pacific region will enjoy a growth rate of 4.6% in 2023, higher than the 3.8% rate in 2022. Among the countries in the region, the Chinese economy is expected to grow by 5.2%, and will be a key factor driving the growth of the region.
Page 4: A report informing that 30 individuals have been awarded China Youth May 4th Medals. In addition, 19 youth groups were awarded a collective honour for their work as role models in different sectors. These medals are people awarded to individuals aged between 14 and 40. The entire list is available on the page.
Another report informs that as of December 2022, there were 73.583 million Communist Youth League members and 4.093 million Communist Youth League organisations across the country.
Page 7: A report informing that “as of April 28, all 191 companies listed on the Beijing Stock Exchange have disclosed their 2022 annual reports. The annual report shows that in 2022, the companies listed on the Beijing Stock Exchange achieved a total operating income of 150.191 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 22.1%; they also achieved total net profit of 13.811 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 12.17%.” 截至4月28日，191家北交所上市公司全部披露2022年年报。年报显示，2022年，北交所上市公司共实现营业收入1501.91亿元，同比增长22.1%；共实现净利润138.11亿元，同比增长12.17%.
It adds that in 2022,
The average net profit of new energy-related industry companies was 374 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 53.90%
The average net profit of new material-related industry companies was 140 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 62.36%
Research and development expenditures of listed companies totalled 6.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 18.03%
Page 17: On the international page, there’s an article bylined Zheng Zongwen 郑宗文 on US-China ties.
“For some time, some American politicians, think tanks and media have been exaggerating the ‘China threat’ theory and even deliberately hyping the possibility of a conflict between the US and China over the Taiwan Straits in the next few years. These arguments view Sino-US relations through the outdated Cold War mentality and hegemonic logic, resulting in discord inhibiting the sound development of bilateral relations.” 一段时间以来，美国一些政客、智库、媒体不断刮起渲染“中国威胁论”的歪风，甚至刻意炒作美国和中国未来几年可能在台海问题上爆发冲突。这些论调以陈旧不堪的冷战思维和霸权逻辑看待中美关系，给两国关系良性发展制造了诸多不和谐的杂音.
“In deconstructing these irresponsible arguments of the US, it is not difficult to identify the old patterns. First, political figures make certain statements. For example, Mike Minihan, commander of the Air Mobility Command, sent a memo to his subordinates, saying that ‘there will be a war between the US and China in 2025’. Second, think tanks begin waving their flags. For example, large think tanks like the Rand Corporation and the Center for International Strategic Studies are fervently engaged in speculation and scenario building with regard to the outcomes of a so-called ‘Taiwan Strait war’. Third, the media then follow suit. Some media outlets have published articles playing up the ‘red alert’ and hyping up the ‘coming conflict’. These manipulations have an extremely insidious political purpose, which is to create a ‘chilling effect’ by exaggerating the prospect of war in order to firmly tie the entire West to the chariot of American containment against China, destroy China’s external development environment, and promote ‘decoupling and breaking of chains’ and a ‘New Cold War’ with China.” 解构美方这些不负责任的论调，不难发现其中的老套路。一是政客放风喊话，比如美空军机动后勤司令部司令米尼汉向下属发送备忘录，渲染“2025年美中将发生战争”。二是智库摇旗呐喊，比如美国兰德公司、美国国际战略研究中心等大型智库煞有介事搞所谓“台海战争”的兵棋推演，臆测中美冲突的结果。三是媒体跟风炒作，一些媒体刊登文章渲染“红色警戒”，炒作“即将到来的冲突”。这些操弄有着极其阴险的政治目的，那就是通过渲染战争制造“寒蝉效应”，将整个西方牢牢绑在美国对华遏制的战车上，破坏中国的外部发展环境，推动同中国的“脱钩断链”和“新冷战”.
“American politicians play up the rhetoric of conflict and confrontation between the United States and China, to the detriment of others without benefiting themselves. At present, the US economy is experiencing sluggish growth, inflation is high, and infrastructure development is languishing. In the three years since outbreak of COVID-19, US public debt has soared from $22 trillion to $31 trillion. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates aggressively since last year, which has greatly pushed up global financing costs and exacerbated the disorderly flow of international capital. This not only led to the bankruptcy or acquisition of some banks in the United States and Europe, but also aggravated the difficulties of emerging markets and developing countries. The credibility of the Federal Reserve has been severely undermined, and the hegemony of the US dollar has been constantly shaken. In the face of persistent domestic problems such as political dysfunction, economic imbalance and social disorder, chronic diseases such as rampant gun violence, widening gap between the rich and the poor, and deepening racial contradictions, as well as domestic discontent, instead of focusing on the economy and people's livelihood, American politicians are trying to shift contradictions outward and clinging to an imaginary war. The more the US beats the drums of war, the more contradictions will arise between its expanding fiscal hole, its expanding military expenditure and its declining military power, and the more the world will see through the ‘emperor's new clothes’.” 疫情3年美国公共债务由22万亿美元暴增至31万亿美元。美联储去年以来激进加息，大幅推高全球融资成本，加剧国际资本无序流动。这不仅导致美欧一些银行破产或被收购，也加重了新兴市场和发展中国家的困难。美联储的信用受到了严重削弱，美元霸权地位不断动摇。面对美国内政治失能、经济失衡、社会失序等顽症，面对枪支暴力泛滥、贫富差距拉大、种族矛盾加深等痼疾，面对国内民众的不满情绪，美国政客不仅不聚焦经济民生，反而试图向外转移矛盾，执念于一场臆想的战争。美国越是擂响战鼓，其财政窟窿不断扩大与军费开支膨胀、军事实力下降等诸多矛盾张力就越加凸显，其“皇帝的新装”就越会被世人所看穿.
The next paragraph basically argues that the US is clamouring for war but it is unlikely to win the support of other countries because their priority is development. It adds that the hegemonic actions of the US endanger world peace and development. The following paragraph is useful to note:
“At present, the US is continuing to add fuel to the fire and push the Ukrainian crisis to become prolonged and expanded. Some western countries have followed the US to impose sanctions on Russia, triggering a clear backlash effect, with many countries experiencing poor economic conditions, severe inflation and heavy burdens on their populations. Increasingly, people around the world are coming forward to criticise the selfish and self-serving hegemonic nature of the US. Brazilian President Lula said a few days ago, ‘We must convince those countries that provide weapons and encourage war to stop (such behaviour)’ and ‘the EU must start talking about peace’. French President Emmanuel Macron said that France will not be a vassal of the United States on the Taiwan issue, and neither France nor Europe should not be involved in this crisis.” 当前，美国不断拱火浇油，推动乌克兰危机向长期化、扩大化方向发展。一些西方国家追随美国对俄罗斯实施制裁，引发明显反噬效应，多国经济状况不佳，通货膨胀严重，民众承受沉重负担。越来越多的国际人士站出来批评美国自私自利的霸权本质。巴西总统卢拉日前表示，“我们必须说服那些提供武器、鼓励战争的国家停止（这样的行为）”“欧盟必须开始谈论和平”。法国总统马克龙表示，法国不会在台湾问题上当美国的附庸，法国或欧洲不应卷入这场危机。
“History has proved and will continue to prove that provoking confrontation and conflict between China and the United States is dangerous and misguided, while promoting win-win cooperation is the right path. China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and adheres to the foreign policy purpose of maintaining world peace and promoting common development. Observing the basic norms governing international relations and the three Sino-US joint communiques is the key to controlling contradictions and differences and preventing confrontation between the two sides, and it is also the most important protection and safety net for Sino-US relations. The Taiwan question is the core of China’s core interests; it is the basis of the political foundation of China-US relations; and the first red line that cannot be crossed. To get China-US relations out of the current predicament, the key lies in the fact that the US side must abandon the myth of a zero-sum game, put aside its obsession with blocking and containing China, and stop saying and doing things that undermine China-US relations.” 历史已经并将继续证明，挑动中美对抗冲突是危险歧途，推动中美合作共赢才是沧桑正道。中国坚定奉行独立自主的和平外交政策，始终坚持维护世界和平、促进共同发展的外交政策宗旨。遵守国际关系基本准则和中美三个联合公报，这是双方管控矛盾分歧、防止对抗冲突的关键，也是中美关系最重要的防护和安全网。台湾问题是中国核心利益中的核心，是中美关系政治基础中的基础，是中美关系第一条不可逾越的红线。中美关系要走出当前困境，关键在于美方必须摒弃零和博弈的迷思，放下围堵遏制中国的执念，停止破坏中美关系的言行。
The final paragraph basically reiterates that China’s policy is of peace, development, and win-win cooperation, but “no one should expect China to swallow the bitter fruit that harms its own sovereignty, security and development interests.” It ends by telling Americans to stop “trying to achieve ‘political replenishment’ by selling war anxiety, digging pits and setting traps for China's development.”在实现中华民族伟大复兴的道路上，中国始终高举的是和平、发展、合作、共赢的大旗，阔步前行的是构建人类命运共同体的大道。中国身正不怕影子斜，骨硬不怕邪霸压，中国永远不会称霸，同时任何人都不要指望中国吞下损害自身主权、安全、发展利益的苦果。美国一些势力企图通过贩卖战争焦虑来实现“政治充值”，给中国发展挖坑设陷，阻挡中华民族伟大复兴进程，这个图谋决不会得逞。
Also on the page is a report informing that a Chinese representative criticised US policies at a regular meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The Chinese representative said that the Inflation Reduction Act comprised “trade-distorting and discriminatory subsidy measures”. “The green coat is being used to gain an unfair competitive advantage for domestic enterprises.”
The report adds that the Chinese representative said that “the United States interprets the ‘free trade agreements’ arbitrarily, seriously undermining global trade rules, building ‘small yards and high walls’ in the field of key minerals, and disrupting the global supply and industrial chains. The relevant policies and measures of the US have led to a ‘race to the bottom’ when it comes to subsidies for electric vehicles, retarding the green transition of developing members and accelerating the fragmentation of global green economy governance.”
“The Chinese representative pointed out that the total amount of industrial subsidies provided by the ‘Chips and Science Act’ can reach more than $110 billion. The Chinese representative pointed out that the Chip and Science Act of the US provides industrial subsidies amounting to more than US $110 billion. The US interferes with market resource allocation through subsidies, which reflects its double standard of ‘being strict with others’ and ‘lenient with itself’ on industrial subsidies. The Chinese representative said that the US chip subsidy policy is closely coordinated with export control measures, forming a ‘combination of blows’ that seriously disrupts the global semiconductor supply chain and reflects the ‘Cold War mentality’ and ‘bullying’ practices of the US in the trade arena. This not only seriously harms China's interests, but also the vital interests of all parties including those of the US and its allies. The Chinese representative called on the WTO to strengthen supervision over the US' violation of WTO rules, and WTO members should jointly safeguard the stability and resilience of the global semiconductor supply and value chains.”在2日于瑞士日内瓦举行的世界贸易组织补贴与反补贴措施委员会春季例会上，中国与会代表对美国歧视性补贴政策和措施提出批评，呼吁世贸组织对此类补贴措施进行有效监督。中方代表在发言中指出，美国出台的《通胀削减法案》中存在贸易扭曲性、歧视性补贴措施，该法案借绿色之名，行保护主义之实，通过一系列政策设计，为巨额补贴披上绿色外衣，为本国企业攫取不正当竞争优势。中方代表说，美国任意解释“自由贸易协定”，严重破坏全球贸易规则，在关键矿产领域构筑“小院高墙”，扰乱全球产业链供应链。美国的相关政策和措施催生电动汽车补贴“逐底竞争”，迟滞发展中成员绿色转型进程，加速全球绿色经济治理的碎片化。中方代表指出，美国出台的《芯片与科学法案》提供的产业补贴总额最高可达1100多亿美元，美国通过补贴来干预市场资源配置，体现了其在产业补贴问题上“严以待人”“宽以律己”的双重标准。中方代表表示，美国芯片补贴政策与出口管制措施密切配合，形成“组合拳”，严重扰乱全球半导体供应链，体现了美国在贸易领域的“冷战思维”和“霸凌”行径，不仅严重损害中方利益，也伤及包括美国自身及其盟友在内的各方切身利益。中方代表呼吁世贸组织对美方违反世贸组织规则的做法加强监督，世贸组织成员共同维护全球半导体供应链价值链的稳定和韧性。
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