Ukraine Position Paper - Lei Feng Spirit - Li Xi's CCDI Work Report - Military Financial Work Guideline - Wang Optimistic on EU Ties - 'Major Decisive Victory' in COVID Fight
Let’s begin with the much-anticipated position paper on the Ukraine crisis.
My brief take: This paper presents a challenge for my vocabulary, which I acknowledge failing — for twice in a week, I am describing such a document as a nothing-burger. The paper is basically a compilation of 12 points, which have been part of Beijing’s public positions on the war. No one who reads this can come away with the idea that China is in any way a neutral mediator. It clearly views the conflict in Ukraine as a product of what it says is Cold War mentality and an outdated European security architecture. Also, if one goes by this document, there appears to be very little interest for Beijing to get directly involved in any kind of a peace process. The concerns reflected in this document are around escalation and spillover effects. The document indicates that Beijing would like peace talks to be about a new European security architecture rather than the war itself. This will also have implications for the Indo-Pacific region. For Russia, there are two notes of caution. First, “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.” Second, “the threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed.” Anyway, let’s look at the paper:
While the document says that “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld” it also adds that:
“The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. All parties should, following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and bearing in mind the long-term peace and stability of the world, help forge a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. All parties should oppose the pursuit of one's own security at the cost of others' security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.”
Few other key points to note:
“Ceasing hostilities. Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control. All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire.”
“Resuming peace talks. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported. The international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace, help parties to the conflict open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible, and create conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiation. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.” — So there is no clear dialogue mechanism that China is proposing. It appears that Beijing continues to be wary of getting directly involved.
The document also says that:
“Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed.” And it adds that “Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction" against other countries, so as to do their share in deescalating the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for developing countries to grow their economies and better the lives of their people.”
In the context of sanctions, it also says:
“All parties should earnestly maintain the existing world economic system and oppose using the world economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes. Joint efforts are needed to mitigate the spillovers of the crisis and prevent it from disrupting international cooperation in energy, finance, food trade and transportation and undermining the global economic recovery.”
I also think point 12 is interesting. “Promoting post-conflict reconstruction. The international community needs to take measures to support post-conflict reconstruction in conflict zones. China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role in this endeavor.” — Comment: Beijing’s already positioning to get in for building contracts. If this is something it desires, would it make sense to provide weapons to Russia and alienate Ukrainians and Europeans further?
Let’s now turn to the People’s Daily’s edition of Friday, February 24, 2023.
Page 1: First, there’s a report on Xi Jinping calling on cadres to adhere to the Lei Feng spirit. This was a meeting held to inherit the Lei Feng spirit from generation to generation, by commemorating the 60th anniversary of the revolutionaries of the older generation, including Mao Zedong, writing inscriptions for Lei Feng. Xinhua English summarises the first bit well:
“Lei Feng has become a household name in China, and his deeds resonate with the public, Xi said, adding that his spirit has nurtured the minds of Chinese people from generation to generation. It has been proved that no matter how times change, the spirit of Lei Feng will always be relevant, Xi said. Xi underlined the importance of earnestly grasping the contemporary connotations of the Lei Feng spirit, and of giving full play to the exemplary role of Party members and officials. Xi urged redoubled efforts to guarantee and support volunteer services, continue fostering and expanding volunteer teams dedicated to learning from Lei Feng, and promote such activities throughout society, especially among the youth, thus creating a mighty force for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts.”
Cai Qi spoke at the meeting. He “stressed the importance of studying in depth Xi's important expositions on carrying forward the Lei Feng spirit to guide Party members, officials and the general public to pursue lofty ideals, practice core socialist values, and more firmly support the Two Establishments and resolutely achieve the Two Safeguards, consciously integrate personal pursuits into the struggle for the cause of the Party and the people, and contribute to Chinese-style modernisation.” 新征程上深化拓展学雷锋活动，要深入学习习近平总书记关于弘扬雷锋精神的重要论述，深刻把握雷锋精神的时代内涵和实践要求，引导党员、干部、群众树立崇高理想追求，践行社会主义核心价值观，激发爱党爱国爱社会主义巨大热情，更加坚定拥护“两个确立”、坚决做到“两个维护”，自觉把个人追求融入为党和人民事业奋斗中，为中国式现代化建设添砖加瓦.
Next, there’s the full guideline on promoting the development of the rural medical and health systems. I am not doing a detailed breakdown. Rather, I am sharing below the working principles and objectives.
The working principles in the document are:
Uphold and strengthen the party's overall leadership over rural medical and health work; place the protection of people’s health as a strategic priority in development; adhere to the public welfare nature of rural basic medical and health services
Persist with strengthening county-level overall planning of medical and health resources
Persist with putting the development of human resources/talents in an important position
Deepen the reform of institutional mechanisms. In this, the document talks about reform of medical care, medical insurance, medical education, innovating and improving the rural medical and health management system, addressing issues related to doctors’ incomes, etc.
The objectives outlined are: By 2025, significant progress will be made in the reform and development of the rural medical and health system. The functional layout of rural medical and health institutions will be more balanced and reasonable; the infrastructure conditions would have been obviously improved; intelligent and digital applications would have been gradually popularised; the characteristics and advantages of TCM would have been further brought into play; the ability to prevent and treat diseases and health management would have been significantly improved; and the ability to deal with major epidemic situations and public health emergencies in rural areas would have been continuously enhanced; rural medical and health personnel would have developed and grown, the quality and structure of personnel would have been obviously optimised, the level of treatment would have been improved, and social security issues such as old-age care would have been effectively solved. 目标任务。到2025年，乡村医疗卫生体系改革发展取得明显进展。乡村医疗卫生机构功能布局更加均衡合理，基础设施条件明显改善，智能化、数字化应用逐步普及，中医药特色优势进一步发挥，防病治病和健康管理能力显著提升，乡村重大疫情和突发公共卫生事件应对处置能力不断增强。乡村医疗卫生人才队伍发展壮大，人员素质和结构明显优化，待遇水平得到提高，养老等社会保障问题有效解决。
Next, there’s a report on the NPCSC meeting to prepare for the upcoming two sessions. Xinhua English has the report:
“Lawmakers reviewed a draft decision on adjusting the application of some provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law for the military during wartime. In preparation for the first session of the 14th NPC, lawmakers deliberated a draft report on the work of the NPC Standing Committee, the draft agenda of the first session of the 14th NPC, the draft name list of the presidium and secretary-general, and the draft name list of members invited to sit in on the session as non-voting participants. They heard a report on the election of the 14th NPC deputies delivered by Yang Zhenwu, secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee. A total of 2,977 deputies to the 14th NPC have been elected, and they are broadly representative, according to the report. Lawmakers also reviewed a report on the qualifications of the 14th NPC deputies delivered by Wu Yuliang, chairman of the Credentials Committee of the NPC Standing Committee.”
Finally, there’s a report on the new guidelines on “Strengthening Military Financial Work in the New Era.” The document calls for “focus on comprehensively strengthening military governance to achieve high-quality development, and strive to build war-oriented finance, performance-oriented finance, service-oriented finance, information-based finance and clean finance, striving to create a military finance in a new era that integrates with modern logistics and matches the building of a world-class military.” 《意见》指出，要坚持以新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，全面贯彻党的二十大精神，深入贯彻强军思想，深入贯彻新时代军事战略方针，紧紧围绕全面加强军事治理，以实现高质量发展为主题，着力建设打仗型财务、绩效型财务、服务型财务、信息型财务、廉洁型财务，努力打造与现代化后勤相融合、与建成世界一流军队相匹配的新时代军队财务。
In addition, it calls for adhering to the correct direction with regard to the Party Committee's financial management, improving the quality and efficiency of fighting/preparing for conflict, promoting the reform and innovation of financial management, creating a clean and honest industry atmosphere, and building a strong and capable team of talents, and comprehensively standardising the organisation, leadership, operation mode, supervision and management of military financial work in the new era.《意见》聚焦坚持党委管财正确方向、提升向战为战质量效益、推进财务管理改革创新、纯正清正廉洁行业风气、打造精武强能人才队伍，对加强新时代军队财务工作的组织领导、运行方式、监督管理等作出全面规范。
It adds that it is necessary to “promote the effective transformation of financial resources into combat effectiveness,” “focus on serving the officers and men of the armed forces and promote all-round progress and excellence in community-level construction,” and focus on “strict financial supervision.” 《意见》强调，要着眼保障向战为战，促进财力向战斗力有效转化；着眼强化战略管理，促进战略管理链路顺畅运行；着眼服务部队官兵，促进基层建设全面进步、全面过硬；着眼严格财会监督，促进不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐一体推进，更好履行新时代军队财务的职能任务.
Page 3: The entire page is dedicated to Li Xi’s work report, which was shared at the second plenum of the 20th CCDI in January. I am going to do a brief summary below.
Summary of the first section of the report:
He said that the 20th Party Congress provides fundamental guidance for doing a good job in discipline inspection and supervision in the new era and on the new journey, and the plans outlined must be comprehensively and systematically grasped accurately and fully implemented.
He talks about the process of “self-revolution” as being the second answer to break the dynastic cycle. Then this bit below is worth keeping in mind:
“Deeply understand the decisive significance of Two Establishments and unswervingly shoulder the great political responsibility of the two safeguards. A strong leadership core and scientific theoretical guidance are the foundations for our Party to create great historical achievements. The Two Establishments is a major political achievement of the Party in the new era, a decisive factor in promoting historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country, and the greatest certainty, confidence and guarantee for the Party to deal with all uncertainties. Discipline inspection and supervision organs are the loyal guardians of the Party and the people. They shoulder important missions and responsibilities in resolutely safeguarding the position of General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core of the Party Central Committee and the entire Party, and resolutely safeguarding the authority and centralised and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. Therefore, we must continuously improve political judgement, comprehension, and execution, further deepen the political, ideological, theoretical, and emotional identification of the Two Establishments, and more consciously enhance the four consciousnesses and strengthen the four self-confidences and achieve the two safeguards, and always maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core in terms of thought, politics, and actions. 深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义，坚定不移担负“两个维护”重大政治责任。坚强的领导核心和科学的理论指导是我们党创造历史伟业的根本所在。“两个确立”是党在新时代取得的重大政治成果，是推动党和国家事业取得历史性成就、发生历史性变革的决定性因素，是党应对一切不确定性的最大确定性、最大底气、最大保证。纪检监察机关是党和人民的忠诚卫士，在坚决维护习近平总书记党中央的核心、全党的核心地位，坚决维护以习近平同志为核心的党中央权威和集中统一领导上肩负重大使命、重大责任，必须不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力，更加深化对“两个确立”的政治认同、思想认同、理论认同、情感认同，更加自觉增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，始终在思想上政治上行动上同以习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致.
After this, he makes the following points:
Adhere to the correct political direction and unswervingly use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to guide all discipline inspection and supervision work.
Study the Party constitution, respect it, and unswervingly perform the duties entrusted by the constitution. He added that the 20th Party Congress “made appropriate revisions to the Party Constitution in accordance with the new situation and new tasks…”
Remain sober and determined to solve the unique problems of large parties, and unswervingly promote the improvement of the comprehensive and strict Party governance system.
Discipline inspection and supervision organs are born from and fight for the Party, and always fight against all people and things that undermine the unity of the Party and damage its advanced purity. It is extremely important to dare to struggle and be good at struggle...At present, the anti-corruption struggle has achieved an overwhelming victory and has been fully consolidated, but the situation is still grim and complicated, and the task of eradicating the breeding ground for corruption is still arduous. It is necessary to deeply understand the long-term, complex, and arduous nature of the party's work style and clean government construction and the anti-corruption struggle, and understand the lofty spiritual ideals of General Secretary Xi Jinping…” 纪检监察机关因党而生、为党而战，始终同一切破坏党的团结统一、损害党的先进纯洁的人和事作斗争，敢于斗争、善于斗争是极其重要的品格...当前，反腐败斗争取得压倒性胜利并全面巩固，但形势依然严峻复杂，铲除腐败滋生土壤任务依然艰巨。要深刻认识党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争的长期性、复杂性、艰巨性，认真学习领悟总书记“我将无我、不负人民”的崇高精神境界、“得罪千百人、不负十四亿”的强烈使命担当和“虽千万人、吾往矣”的大无畏气概，强化斗争精神和斗争本领养成，坚守对党的大忠大义，增强斗争的大智大勇，在重大政治原则和大是大非问题上勇于交锋、敢于亮剑，顶得住、有办法，赴汤蹈火、在所不辞...
After this, Li Xi puts forward 8 points with regard to the task in 2023.
First, strengthen political supervision. “The strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core is the fundamental guarantee for us to overcome all difficulties and risks and challenges, and it is the fundamental creed that must be firmly grasped in the discipline inspection and supervision work in the new era and new journey.” 以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强有力领导是我们战胜一切困难和风险挑战的根本保证，是新时代新征程纪检监察工作必须牢牢把握的根本信条. He talks about implementing the Central Committee’s policy deployments and “show no mercy” to those who engage in forming political gangs, cliques and interest groups within the Party, resolutely eliminate the “two-faced people”, deal with those who engage in “pseudo-loyalty” and resolutely oppose individualism, de-centralism, liberalism and departmentalism, eliminate political hidden dangers and safeguard political security. 严明政治纪律和政治规矩，及时发现、着力解决“七个有之”问题，对在党内搞政治团伙、小圈子、利益集团的人决不手软，坚决清除同党离心离德的“两面人”、结党营私的“小团伙”、阳奉阴违的“伪忠诚”，坚决反对个人主义、分散主义、自由主义、本位主义，消除政治隐患，维护政治安全. “The fundamental task of political supervision in the new era and on the new journey is to promote Party members and cadres’ deep understanding of the decisive significance of the Two Establishments and resolute implementation of the two safeguards in order ensure that the major decisions and deployments of the Party Central Committee and the important requirements of General Secretary Xi Jinping are fully implemented to the letter.” 新时代新征程政治监督的根本任务就是推动党员干部深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义、坚决做到“两个维护”，确保党中央重大决策部署和习近平总书记重要要求不折不扣落到实处.
Second, promote the improvement of the system of intra-party laws and regulations. Under this, he talks about the need to promote a national anti-corruption legislation, constantly improve and perfect the system of discipline inspection and supervision laws and regulations, and improve the supervision and assessments systems.
Third, deepen political inspections, with the Two Safeguards being the “fundamental task.” Formulate the central inspection work plan (2023-2027), clarify the overall thinking, objectives, tasks and main measures of the inspection work in the next five years. This would entail routine inspections, special inspections and inspections that look back, i.e., at past actions.
Fourth, implement the spirit of the eight-point central regulations and correct the four winds. This relates to hedonism, extravagance, formalism and bureaucratism, or work style improvement. Li talks about paying “close attention to recurring and stubborn problems” that recur frequently. In terms of formalism and bureaucratism, Li warns about one-size-fits-all implementation; paralysis, laxity, prevarication and perfunctory implementation; “mechanical implementation and barbaric operation of policy initiatives and work deployment”; mis-reporting data, image-building projects, and arbitrary, blind and illegal decision-making, etc.
Fifth, strengthen discipline education. Under this, he talks about the need for cadres to enhance discipline awareness and the goal of compliance with rules and discipline to be engraved in the heart and minds of cadres. For this, Li says that the theory study groups of Party committees, party schools and cadre colleges at all levels must take Party Constitution, Party rules and Party discipline learning as compulsory courses. 要推动党委（党组）理论学习中心组和各级党校（行政学院）、干部学院把党章党规党纪教育作为必修课，促进党员干部增强纪律意识，把遵规守纪刻印在心. Combine positive guidance with negative warning. Use typical cases and familiar examples to carry out warning education and urge and guide the Party committees of relevant units where major violations of discipline and law occur to hold special democratic life meetings. 督促各级党组织严肃党内政治生活，坚持和完善民主生活会、组织生活会、党内谈心谈话制度，用好批评和自我批评武器，增强党内政治生活政治性、时代性、原则性、战斗性. He also calls for strict punishments for “political swindlers” and “political brokers.” In this context, he talks about the “buying and selling of official positions,” officials courting favours for positions, canvassing and bribery, etc. 严明组织纪律、换届纪律，坚决惩治跑官要官、买官卖官、拉票贿选等行为，严肃查处为提拔重用而投机钻营的领导干部，严惩“政治骗子”和政治掮客，规范审慎回复党风廉政意见，严把政治关、廉洁关，确保全国和省级人大、政府、政协换届风清气正.
Sixth, win the protracted battle against corruption. Li talks about having a “zero-tolerance attitude” towards corruption. Li says: “resolutely investigate and punish corruption in which political and economic problems are intertwined, and resolutely prevent leading officials from becoming spokespeople or agents of interest groups and powerful organisations. Resolutely prevent political and business collusion and the infiltration of capital into the political sphere from damaging the political ecology and the environment for economic development.” 严查重点问题，坚决查处政治问题和经济问题交织的腐败，坚决防止领导干部成为利益集团和权势团体的代言人、代理人，坚决防止政商勾连、资本向政治领域渗透等破坏政治生态和经济发展环境. “Deepen the rectification of corruption in finance, state-owned enterprises, political and legal industries where power is concentrated, capital-intensive, resource-rich, and grain purchases and sales; resolutely rectify the problems of ‘revolving door’ 旋转门 and ‘escape resignation’ 逃逸式辞职 (this roughly refers to people resigning and exiting early to evade responsibility and then returning to engage in businesses that they have facilitated.) of politicians and businessmen, and resolutely clean up industrial, systematic and regional corruption that causes great risks and hidden dangers.” 突出重点领域，深化整治金融、国有企业、政法等权力集中、资金密集、资源富集领域和粮食购销等行业的腐败，坚决纠治政商“旋转门”、“逃逸式辞职”问题，坚决清理风险隐患大的行业性、系统性、地域性腐败. Finally, “seriously investigate and deal with the problem of leading cadres’ spouses, children, and their spouses and other relatives and staff around them who use their influence to seek personal gain and corruption.”严肃查处领导干部配偶、子女及其配偶等亲属和身边工作人员利用影响力谋私贪腐问题。There is much more in this about dealing with problems that affect the masses, dealing with village tyrants, street tyrants, and mining tyrants, dealing with supervision and inspection of key projects, major funds, and state property, dealing with “protective umbrellas” and bribery, etc.
Seventh, reform of the discipline inspection and supervision system.
Eighth, building a team of high-quality discipline inspection cadres
Translating and summarising such reports is taxing work. If you believe that the effort is helpful for you in your personal study or professional work, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription.
Page 4: The foreign affairs related reports are published here. First, there’s an interview with Wang Yi on his trip to Europe and Russia. Key points from the interview:
The first question is about Wang’s broad message to other parties.
The first part of his message was that China is now open for business and that’s good for everyone.
Wang communicated that China’s “central task” after the 20th Party Congress is to “comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese-style modernisation.” “This not only provides the most important stability for today's turbulent world, but also injects the strongest positive energy into the cause of world peace and development.” “Chinese-style modernisation benefits China and the world. China adheres to high-quality development and promotes high-level opening up, which provides new opportunities for China to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the world. China has achieved a major and decisive victory in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. With its social vitality and strong economic recovery, China will continue to be a major engine for the world economy. This is good news for the world economy and good news for the development of all countries.” 中共二十大成功召开，确定了以中国式现代化全面推进中华民族伟大复兴的中心任务。我们将在以习近平同志为核心的党中央领导下，万众一心迈上新时代新征程，这不仅为当今动荡世界提供了最重要的稳定性，也将为世界的和平与发展事业注入最强劲的正能量。中国式现代化造福中国，惠及世界。中国坚持高质量发展，推进高水平开放，为中国同世界各国加强合作提供了新机遇。中国已取得新冠疫情防控重大决定性胜利，社会活力迸发，经济强劲复苏，将继续成为世界经济的主要引擎。这是世界经济的福音，各国发展的利好.
The second part of the broad message was that China is not interested in rocking the boat or getting aggressive; it has made a “strategic choice” of adhering to the path of peaceful development. 各方关心中国的外交取向，我重点阐述了中方坚持走和平发展道路的坚定决心和历史自觉，这是中国从历史、现实和未来的深刻思考中作出的战略抉择. This was, of course, in the context of the increasing framing of China as a strategic and systemic rival and actor of interest even for NATO.
The second question is about the US. Wang criticises Washington on the balloon controversy. He says that it was a “farce” perpetrated by the US. He says that he told Blinken “not to do such absurd things again out of domestic political needs. The US side should show sincerity, face up to and resolve the damage this incident has caused to China-Us relations. If the US insists on using this issue to escalate the situation, China will stand with it to the end.” 在同美国务卿布林肯非正式接触时，我明确告诉美方，不要出于国内政治需要再做这样的荒唐事了。美方应拿出诚意，正视并解决此事给中美关系造成的损害。如果美方执意借题发挥、扩大事态，中方必将奉陪到底. He added that China urges the United States to abandon its obsolete mindset of a zero-sum game, perceive China in an objective and impartial manner and return to a rational and pragmatic policy towards China.
On Europe, he says that “friendship is the keynote of China's policy towards Europe, and cooperation is the general goal of China’s policy towards Europe.” 友好是中国对欧政策的主基调，合作是中国对欧政策的总目标。He added:
“China-EU relations have always been global and strategic, and the choices made by the two sides affect the direction of the world. If China and the EU choose dialogue and cooperation, there will be no confrontation between camps; if China and the EU choose peace and stability, there will be no new Cold War; if China and the EU choose openness and win-win results, there will be hope for global development and prosperity. This is the responsibility that China and Europe should shoulder under the new historical conditions.” 中欧关系始终具有全球性和战略性，双方作出的选择影响世界的走向。如果中欧选择对话合作，阵营对立就不会形成；如果中欧选择和平稳定，新的冷战就打不起来；如果中欧选择开放共赢，全球发展繁荣就有了希望。这就是中欧在新的历史条件下应当承担的责任.
He also added, and this is important: “At present, the international community is facing unprecedented challenges, and the Ukraine crisis has spilled over into the whole world. China and the EU should eliminate external interference, properly manage differences and strengthen exchanges and cooperation. This will provide valuable stability to the volatile international situation and is of great significance to the political settlement of the Ukrainian issue.” 当前国际社会面临前所未有挑战，乌克兰危机外溢波及全球。中欧排除外部干扰，妥善管控分歧，加强交流合作，将为动荡的国际局势提供宝贵的稳定性，对推动乌克兰问题政治解决也具有重要意义. — In other words, the problem is the United States of America.
Then Wang offers this assessment:
“In my contacts and exchanges, I feel that European countries have high expectations for China’s development and China’s role in the world. They are all ready to promote the warming of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation, and look forward to the resumption of face-to-face exchanges at all levels and the activation of dialogue and cooperation in various fields. I believe that China-EU relations will show a positive momentum of development this year.” 我在接触交流中感到，欧洲国家都对中国的发展充满期待，对中国在世界上的作用寄予厚望，都愿推动中欧全面战略伙伴关系和经贸互利合作回暖升温，都期待全面重启各层级面对面交流，全面激活各领域对话合作，我认为中欧关系今年会呈现一个积极发展态势.
Each subsequent paragraph deals with specific engagements with France, Germany, Italy and Hungary. Nothing new there from what was covered over the week.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the European Union. China and the EU have agreed to make good preparations for this year's China-EU leaders' meeting, give full play to the role of the five China-EU high-level dialogues on strategy, economy and trade, green development, digital development, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain, and the legal and standardised international economic and trade environment.” 今年是中国欧盟建立全面战略伙伴关系20周年，中欧双方同意筹备好今年中欧领导人会晤，发挥好中欧战略、经贸、绿色、数字、人文5个高层对话的支柱作用，共同维护多边主义和自由贸易，共同维护全球产业链供应链稳定，共同维护法治化、规范化的国际经贸环境.
Xinhua English summarises his comments on the Russia visit well. “As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia shoulder their due responsibility of promoting a multi-polar world and opposing unilateral and bullying actions, Wang said. He said the results of his visit to Russia can be summarised as three points.
First, both sides reaffirmed the goals of bilateral relations set by the two countries' heads of state. Under this, he says: “The two sides reviewed the implementation of the consensus reached by the heads of state and agreed to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen strategic coordination and safeguard the common interests and legitimate rights and interests of the two countries.” 双方梳理了元首共识落实工作，商定继续保持高层交往，深化战略协作，维护好两国共同利益和各自正当权益。
Second, efforts were made to push ahead practical cooperation in various areas. “The two sides agreed to resume normal personnel exchanges between the two countries, promote the implementation of key cooperation projects in various fields as soon as possible”
Third, they coordinated over regional and international issues of common concern. “The two sides agreed to deepen coordination and cooperation on multilateral cooperation platforms such as the United Nations, BRICS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, conduct effective communication on international and regional hotspot issues such as the Korean Peninsula and the situation in Afghanistan, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and their respective surrounding areas.” 双方同意深化在联合国、金砖国家、上海合作组织等多边合作平台的协调配合，就朝鲜半岛、阿富汗局势等国际地区热点问题开展有效沟通，共同维护好亚太地区以及各自周边地区的和平稳定.
The final question is about the Ukraine war. Wang talks about the position paper, and offers this assessment:
“I feel that although the positions of all parties are different and even sharply opposed, they all accept that disputes should be finally resolved through dialogue and negotiation, understand that a regional security structure should be built to achieve peace, appreciate China’s objective position and calm attitude, and expect China to play a more active role in the political settlement of the Ukrainian issue.” 一路走来，我感到各方立场虽不尽相同，甚至尖锐对立，但都接受最终应通过对话谈判解决争端，都理解应构建地区安全架构实现和平，都赞赏中方秉持的客观立场和冷静态度，都期待中方为政治解决乌克兰问题发挥更积极作用.
He later adds that the root cause of the turmoil and conflict in the world today is that the “purposes and principles of the UN Charter have not been truly observed.” In this regard, he basically pushes back against “hegemony” and “bullying”.
Next, there’s a report with Wang Wenbin’s comments on the inauguration of the center for disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation between China and Pacific Island countries. He said:
“The launch of the center for disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation is another major step China has taken toward the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and to deepen practical cooperation with PICs. The center will continuously contribute to capacity-building and speed up development progress in PICs. In recent years, China-PICs relations have grown rapidly, which have yielded fruitful outcomes in various areas and brought tangible benefits to the people. Last year, during his visit to South Pacific island countries, State Councilor Wang Yi announced that China will continue to strengthen the six cooperation platforms covering emergency supplies, climate action, poverty reduction, disaster prevention, agriculture, and application of Juncao technology, all tailored to PICs’ needs. So far, the first four of these platforms have been launched, and the demonstration center for agriculture cooperation and Juncao technology will soon be put into use. China will continue to act in line with the principles of equality, mutual respect, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, steadfastly deepen China-PICs comprehensive strategic partnership, and build an even closer China-PICs community with a shared future.”
Finally, there’s a brief article talking about positive assessments of China’s economic development by international financial institutions.
Page 6: A report on China’s COVID-19 management, which argues that China has achieved a “major decisive victory” in dealing with COVID-19. Liang Wannian, head of the National Health Commission's expert panel on COVID-19 control, said that the country has withstood the impact and test of the recent outbreak, with its people achieving herd immunity. Although COVID-19 remains an international health emergency, China has set an example of a highly populous nation successfully pulling through a pandemic. Liang said the decisive victory is the result of the power of China's political system, as the CPC and Chinese government have always prioritized people and the saving of lives, which is the fundamental principle of the nation's epidemic response.
The officials said
Since the optimisation and adjustment of prevention and control measures in November 2022, more than 200 million people have been diagnosed and treated, and nearly 800,000 severe patients have been effectively treated.
The country's COVID-19 death rate remains the world's lowest, and there was no resurgence of cases during the Spring Festival travel rush
Li Dachuan from the NHC talked about the response in terms of medical capacity. Li said: “In a short period of time, the number of fever clinics in Grade II and above medical institutions increased from 7,337 to 16,000, and the number of intensive care beds increased from 198,000 to 404,000. At the same time, 16 national medical teams have been set up, with a total of more than 2,400 medical personnel being dispatched to support provinces at any time. 二级以上医疗机构发热门诊短时间内由7337个扩充至1.6万个，重症病床由19.8万张扩充至40.4万张，同时，组建16支国家医疗队，总计2400余名医务人员随时调派跨省支援
Around 92.95% of the country has received full vaccinations and more than 241.68 million people aged over 60 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far, accounting for 96.1 percent of the population of that age group.
Page 9: There are a bunch of articles on the page basically making the case for China to continue remaining connected with the world, arguing that this benefits China and the world at large. I think this is an important part of domestic discourse that one must keep in mind, particularly in a world where there is so much talk about isolationism and being against globalisation. It’s also worth noting that the key threats highlighted are “Cold War mentality and frequent local conflicts.”
Page 17: On the international page, we have the full report: “Rising Economic Polarization in the United States: Truth and Facts.” And there is a Zhong Sheng commentary reiterating the key points from this report. This is part of a series of reports that Beijing has published criticising the US.
The report concludes:
“Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere is an important sustainable development goal of the United Nations. Development is fundamentally for the common prosperity of the people, which should become a consensus and common action of all countries. In the United States, the world's number one capitalist country, polarization between the rich and the poor is crying out for attention. The yawning wealth gap has become a chronic malaise of American society, leaving an indelible stain on the country's democracy and human rights record. The United States should face up to the grim reality of the ever-widening wealth gap at home, reach out to the people at the bottom, and take earnest measures to solve the problem.”