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Standards Plan - SoEs as 'Red Engines' - Xi Thought in Textbooks - Cybersecurity Work Overview - Blockbuster Praise - 1911 Revolution Speech Commentary
Here are the stories and pieces from the October 11, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: There’s a lot of content on the front page that extends to other pages. So this page coverage will be long.
Let’s begin with the new national standardised development program 国家标准化发展纲要 that’s been issued by the Central Committee and State Council. The document tells us that strengthening standards-related work is important to promote high-quality development and build a modern socialist country in an all-round way in the new era. The Guiding Ideology section only mentions Xi Jinping Thought.
In terms of broad goals, there are two timelines. By 2025, the standards setting work will be transformed from being government-led to a greater interplay between the government and market; application of standards will be transformed from being industry and trade oriented to being focussed on the whole economy and society; and there will be greater international cooperation on the standardization work...the aim of all of this is to boost overall national competitiveness and promote high-quality economic and social development.
In essence, across sectors by 2025, a “standard system that promotes high-quality development has basically been established.” With regard to technologies, by 2025, the document hopes that “the ratio of standard research achievements in key technologies and applied science and technology projects has reached more than 50%...the average formulation period of national standards has been shortened to less than 18 months…” Also, by 2025, the document calls for establishing “international first-class comprehensive and professional standardization research institutions, several national quality standard laboratories and more than 50 national technical standard innovation bases.”
Xinhua English summarises the 2035 goal well: With improvements to be made in the standardized management system with Chinese characteristics, a market-driven, government-guided and enterprise-oriented standardized development pattern featuring mass participation and opening-up and integration will take shape in China by 2035.
The next section focuses on standardisation and technological innovation. It first talks about the need to strengthen standards-related research in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum information, and biotechnology. In addition, in areas with promising application prospects, such as new generation IT, big data, blockchain, health, new energy and new materials, the document calls for simultaneous work on research and application, aiming to accelerate the industrial use of new technologies. It also talks about focussing on formulating “key technological standards for smart ships, high-speed railways, new energy vehicles, intelligent and connected vehicles, and industrial robots, and improving technical safety standards in biomedical research, molecular breeding and unmanned driving. 加强关键技术领域标准研究。在人工智能、量子信息、生物技术等领域，开展标准化研究。在两化融合、新一代信息技术、大数据、区块链、卫生健康、新能源、新材料等应用前景广阔的技术领域，同步部署技术研发、标准研制与产业推广，加快新技术产业化步伐。研究制定智能船舶、高铁、新能源汽车、智能网联汽车和机器人等领域关键技术标准，推动产业变革。适时制定和完善生物医学研究、分子育种、无人驾驶等领域技术安全相关标准，提升技术领域安全风险管理水平.
The next paragraph talks about ensuring that standards are treated as an important output of science and technology plans. This is followed by a paragraph promising work to improve the mechanism of transforming scientific and technological achievements into standards.
The next bit talks about improving the level of industrial standardization. The five paragraphs in this subsection talk about:
the development of basic standards for core basic components, key basic materials and industrial technologies.
implementing high-end equipment manufacturing standardization, improving intelligent manufacturing, green manufacturing and service-oriented manufacturing standards, and forming a group of standards for industrial upgrading. This paragraph also mentions a number of key industries like cold chain for food, finance, logistics, e-commerce, etc.
smart transformation in food, medical care, emergency response, transportation, water conservancy, energy and finance; establishing standards and specifications for data property rights, transaction, cross-border transmission and security; promoting the standardization of the platform economy and sharing economy, and supporting the development of digital economy.
giving full play to the role of key technical standards as a link and driving force in industrial and technological collaboration.
ensuring standardization of new infrastructure, accelerating the development of a series of information infrastructure standards such as communications network infrastructure, new technology infrastructure and computing infrastructure.
The next subsection talks about standardisation in connection with green development. Among other things, this talks about “moving faster to improve standards for verifying and accounting carbon emissions by regions, industries, enterprises and products. We will formulate greenhouse gas emission standards for key industries and products, and improve the labelLing system for low-carbon products. We will improve standards for renewable energy, and formulate standards for ecological carbon sequestration, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage.” 加快完善地区、行业、企业、产品等碳排放核查核算标准。制定重点行业和产品温室气体排放标准，完善低碳产品标准标识制度。完善可再生能源标准，研究制定生态碳汇、碳捕集利用与封存标准.
It talks about pollution control-related standards, standards related to soil erosion, and standards in the context of responding to climate change. The latter touches on issues like mitigation, adaptation, monitoring and assessment of climate change. The next paragraph talks about natural resource utilisation and management. This is followed by a focus on green production standards, such as those related to green agriculture and those related to recycling, green product design, green packaging, green supply chains, comprehensive utilisation of industrial waste, green finance, eco-tourism, etc. The final paragraph is about green consumption standards.
The next subsection is about standardisation in the context of urban and rural development. In this, what caught my attention was that the urban development-related paragraph talks about “standardized development in urban design, preservation and inheritance of urban history and culture, and improvement of old residential areas...” In addition, it talks about standards with disaster prevention, intelligent urban infrastructure development, and housing standards and standards for real estate information, data and property services.
The next paragraph talks about governance standards. This covers a whole host of areas, from government services, openness of government affairs, financial expenditure, intelligent supervision, judicial functions, construction of digital society, etc, to formulation and implementation of standards in areas such as collection and use of credit information, data security and personal information protection and network security.
The next three paragraphs focus on standards in terms of public security, public services and overall quality of life. Public security relates to social order, law enforcement, anti-terrorism work, production safety, disaster prevention, food and drug safety, energy, water resources, epidemics and national emergencies, etc. Public services are education, healthcare, housing, social security, etc. Quality of life covers a healthy diet, sports, public parks, media, etc.
The following subsection talks about international cooperation. In this context, it refers to engaging with a number of forums. It talks about working with “members of the International Standards Organization to promote the formulation of international standards in areas like climate change, sustainable cities and communities, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, animal and plant hygiene, green finance and digital fields; share our standardization experience, actively participate in international standardization activities related to people’s livelihood and welfare, gender equality and quality education, and help the United Nations achieve its sustainable development goals. Support developing countries to enhance their ability to achieve sustainable development through standardization.” 联合国际标准组织成员，推动气候变化、可持续城市和社区、清洁饮水与卫生设施、动植物卫生、绿色金融、数字领域等国际标准制定，分享我国标准化经验，积极参与民生福祉、性别平等、优质教育等国际标准化活动，助力联合国可持续发展目标实现。支持发展中国家提升利用标准化实现可持续发展的能力.
The next paragraph talks about working on trade facilitation standards. The aim is to improve the consistency, linkage and even homogeneity between Chinese standards and international standards. In this context, the document promises to launch multilingual versions of Chinese standards and speed up the compilation of foreign language versions of Chinese standards. It also talks promoting standards-related exchanges and cooperation with other countries in science, technology, industry and finance, and promoting connectivity of policies, rules, and standards.
“Establish an international standardization working mechanism that is guided by the government, with enterprises being the main body, and linking industry and research institutes. Implement the project to promote the internationalization of standards, and promote the compatibility of Chinese standards with international standard systems. Promote the opening of the standard system and ensure that foreign-invested enterprises participate in the formulation of standards in accordance with the law.” 建立政府引导、企业主体、产学研联动的国际标准化工作机制。实施标准国际化跃升工程，推进中国标准与国际标准体系兼容。推动标准制度型开放，保障外商投资企业依法参与标准制定.
The next few paragraphs talk about reform and innovation when it comes to standardisation processes and systems. For instance, it talks about the need to establish a coordinated regional standardization work mechanism and incorporate regional development standard requirements into the construction of the national standards system.
Moving on, we have a commentary drawing from Xi’s speech on Saturday to mark the 110th anniversary of the Revolution of 1911. After a bit of history, the piece focuses on Xi’s comments that to realize national rejuvenation, the Chinese people must have a strong force to lead them forward, and that force is the CPC, and the path that must be followed is socialism with Chinese characteristics. It adds that in order to realise the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, China needs “not only a stable and united domestic environment, but also a peaceful and stable international environment.” -- I fail to see how Xi’s policies are fostering the latter.
The commentary then says:
“Drawing wisdom from history and pooling strength in our struggle, connecting the glorious past, the ever-changing present and the bright and magnificent future, and inspiring confidence and motivation and striving in our struggle for national rejuvenation, we will surely create historic achievements that belong to our generation.” 在历史中汲取智慧，在奋斗中凝聚力量，把苦难辉煌的过去、日新月异的现在、光明宏大的未来贯通起来，激发为实现中华民族伟大复兴而奋斗的信心、动力和干劲，我们就一定能开创属于我们这一代人的历史伟业.
The piece then outlines what needs to be done in the new era. It says that:
“we must uphold and strengthen the Party’s overall leadership, give full play to the Party's leading and core role of overseeing the overall situation and coordinating all parties, improve the Party’s scientific, democratic and legal governance, carry forward the great spirit of Party building, promote the new great project of Party building, and enhance the Party’s ability to self-purify, self-improve, and innovate so as to ensure that the Communist Party of China will always become the most reliable backbone of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation...We must unswervingly uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, continue to push forward the modernization of Marxism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen our determination to keep our ambitions unchanged and the road unchanged, firmly hold the destiny of China's development and progress in our own hands…We will modernize China's governance system and capacity to meet the people's new expectations for a better life and promote common prosperity for all. We must coordinate the overall strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with major changes unseen in the world in a century. We must seize historical opportunities, be more mindful of potential dangers, and always be prepared for adversity in times of peace. We must maintain the revolutionary spirit and revolutionary will, and have the courage to engage in great struggles with many new historical features...We must vigorously carry forward the spirit of patriotism, establish a high degree of national pride and national self-confidence, build a strong sense of the Chinese national community, closely rely on all Chinese sons and daughters to work together, adhere to great unity and solidarity, continuously consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic united front that condenses all the wisdom and the strength of the Chinese nation…”
The final paragraph calls for everyone to “unite more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core.”
The next story on the page offers a summary of party-building work in SoEs, over the past five years. We begin with a speech by Xi in October 2016 at the National Conference on Party Building in SoEs. The speech provided the outline for work. We are told that in 2018 and 2021, both the Organisation Department and SASAC held symposiums on party-building in SoEs. The piece then says that:
Over the past five years, the majority of state-owned enterprises have taken a more clear-cut stand about politics and have been firmly grasping the party building initiative. The more vivid the background of red genes, the stronger the role of red engines, which has effectively promoted the transformation of the party’s political advantages, organizational advantages and mass work advantages into innovative advantages and development advantages of enterprises.” 5年来，广大国有企业旗帜鲜明讲政治，理直气壮抓党建，红色基因底色愈鲜明，红色引擎作用更强劲，有力推动了党的政治优势、组织优势和群众工作优势转化为企业的创新优势和发展优势，企业综合实力显著提升，在经济社会发展大局中的战略支撑作用进一步凸显.
With specific examples, the next few paragraphs basically tell us that over the past five years “a majority of state-owned enterprises in various places have taken the study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era as their primary task.” It also talks about how these entities have backed the “two safeguards” through their actions. The piece also mentions the new high-temperature gas-cooled HTR-PM small modular reactor project at the Shidao Bay nuclear power plant in Shandong. It says that this was an example of the party organisations playing a key role in building linkages between CNNC and Tsinghua University.
The next part in the piece is about SoEs strengthening CPC leadership while improving corporate governance and exploring the establishment of a modern corporate system with Chinese characteristics. We are also told that all central enterprises, more than 90% of provincial enterprises and 80% of municipal and county-owned enterprises have implemented the “一肩挑” (Yì jiān tiāo) arrangement, relating to the board chairman and party secretary.
There are also specific examples of what Party committees in SoEs do. I guess it’s safe to assume that they’d increasingly desire similar roles in private enterprises too? I mean, there might be tussles, but somewhere along these lines is what one would assume we can see developments going.
“CRRC has clarified the decision-making authority of the Party committee, the board of directors, the managers and other governance bodies, and identified 59 major issues in four aspects, among which 34 items are checked by the Party committee and then decisions are taken by the board of directors or the managers. The 34 items include ‘revision of articles of association’, ‘business plan, investment plan and annual financing plan’, etc., involving the development direction, major strategies and major projects of the enterprise.” 中车集团厘清党委、董事会、经理层等各治理主体的决策权限，明确了4个方面59项重大事项，其中有34项内容由党委会前置把关，再由董事会或经理层决策。这34项内容包括“公司章程修订”“公司经营计划、投资方案和年度筹融资计划”等，涉及企业发展方向、重大战略、重大项目等.
This is followed by a focus on talents in SoEs, and while skill is discussed. This is one of the first examples in this regard. The China Mobile Party committee has “formulated implementation rules for highlighting political criteria in cadre inspection.” The aim is to test and verify “the political quality of cadres.” The CIC Party committee has “made the acceptance of the party and national policies as a prerequisite for the introduction of international talents.” The next bits talk about training of cadres and discipline, and the need to ensure Party building across the entire enterprise architecture. There’s data in this context regarding Party branches in COMAC Shanghai and China Aviation Development Corporation, for instance.
The final part of the piece talks about assessments of SoEs, with Party building becoming a key criterion for performance assessment.
Moving on, we now have a piece summarising the development of textbooks since the 18th Party Congress. The piece begins with a teacher excitedly talking about textbooks around Xi Jinping Thought. This paragraph captures the essence of the piece.
“in recent years, textbook-related work has been guided by Marxism and has promoted the inclusion of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in textbooks, classrooms and minds. The Guide to Incorporating Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into Curriculum Textbooks has been issued. We have compiled readers on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era for Students and Xi Jinping's important lectures on education to integrate Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the teaching materials of all subjects in a comprehensive and systematic way.” 记者了解到，近年来，教材工作始终坚持以马克思主义为指导，深入推进习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想进教材、进课堂、进头脑，颁布《习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想进课程教材指南》，编写《习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想学生读本》《习近平总书记教育重要论述讲义》，推动习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想全面系统有机融入各学段、各学科课程教材.
Also in recent years, the Implementation Plan for The Reform and Innovation of Ideological and Political Theory Courses in Schools in the New Era was issued. The aim has been to strengthen the integration of ideological and political courses and teaching materials in universities, primary and secondary schools, and improve ideological and political courses in a gradual manner throughout the education system.
Page 2: Just one piece to note, which offers a summary of the achievements of cybersecurity development since the 18th Party Congress. The piece talks about a bunch of laws that have been passed, such as the Cyber Security Law, the Data Security Law, and the Personal Information Protection Law. The formulation and promulgation of strategic plans, laws and regulations such as the National Cyberspace Security Strategy and the Regulations on the Security Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, etc. We are told that since the 18th Party Congress, 322 national standards have been formulated and issued, and 12 international standards have been issued, including China's technical contributions and proposals.
It says that there’s a national cybersecurity emergency plan, and several industries, such as finance, energy, communications, transportation, etc, have their own cybersecurity emergency plans. The piece mentions the Didi case, along with others, to say that work has been done to mitigate “national security risks that may be brought about by procurement activities, data processing activities and foreign listings.” We are told that there’s a cloud computing security assessment system. So far 56 cloud platforms have passed the security assessment of cloud computing services.
The next bit talks about privacy-related work. This discusses the use of spy cams and voyeurism and tackling crimes of that nature, through removal of products from the market and making APPs comply with privacy regulations. It also talks about telecom frauds and illegal collection and use of personal information by companies, which have been cracked down on.
Page 4: Two short reports on the page. First, Yan Jinhai was appointed deputy chairman and acting chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Friday. Second, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, hit out at Tsai Ing-wen’s Sunday speech.
He accused the DPP of “collusion with external forces.” “Their so-called ‘maintenance of the status quo’ is nothing but an attempt to hide the facts and deceive the world.” “The ‘independence’ provocation by the DPP is the source of tension and turbulence in cross-Straits relations and the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.”
“China advocates peaceful reunification and peaceful reunification of the motherland best serves the overall interests of the Chinese nation including Taiwan compatriots. We are ready to resolve differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits on the basis of the One-China principle.” He then talked about the 1992 Consensus to say that the DPP has denied it and this “undermines the foundation for dialogue.” “Secession by seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ has closed the door for cross-Straits dialogue. Isn't that a change of status quo! If that’s good, what is bad? If this is not ‘aggressive’, what is ‘aggressive’?” He then goes on to attack the DPP for attempting to sever “the flesh and blood ties between the Taiwan people and the Chinese culture and nation,” by pursuing a policy of “de-sinicization.” The argument he makes here is essentially that independence is being “packaged as ‘democracy and freedom’.”
On Page 5, there’s a commentary about video-game addiction among minors and policies related to that. The piece says that dealing with this is complex and it’s something that the government cannot do on its own. “It is necessary for families, schools and other parties to take active actions…Especially for parents, they should earnestly assume the legal responsibility of protecting minors, strictly implement relevant requirements, and guide their children to develop good habits when using the internet.” In this context, the piece talks about children using their parents’ id and encourages parents to take their kids outdoors.
On Page 11, we have a story about the blockbuster hit The Battle at Lake Changjin. A lot of space is spent talking about production values and the work that went into it. Then we have comments from director Chen Kaige. He says that Chinese war movies must “let the audience understand the value and significance of this war to China, and what role it has played in today’s peace.” We are also told that the movie created characters “respecting historical facts.” With this said, I am dropping this NYT story here too: “Chinese Journalist Detained After Criticizing Government-Sponsored Blockbuster”
Michael Hiltzik’s piece in the LA Times criticising WSJ’s opinion section for its lab-leak focus gets covered on Page 17.