Xi & Trees - Covid Outbreak: Stick to 'People First, Life First' - Wang Yi's S. Asia Visit - 10 Clears & Two Establishments - New Zhong Sheng Series: US & NATO Expansion to Blame for Ukraine Crisis
Here are the stories and pieces that I found noteworthy from the Tuesday, March 29, 2022, edition of the People’s Daily.
Page 1: The top of the page has two Xi Jinping-related stories. The first one is a brief report about Xi leading the Politburo during their meeting on Monday in observing a moment of silence to mourn the victims of China Eastern Airlines plane crash. There’s no other information about what they discussed.
The second is a long feature piece about Xi Jinping planting trees for the past 10 years. This idea of planting trees is used as a metaphor to talk about the importance of man’s harmonious existence with nature and the importance of consistency in policy and struggle. In addition, the piece emphasises the challenges related to deforestation in China. In doing so, the piece makes the case for the idea of cultivating an ecological civilisation and argues that green is one of the basic strategies under the new development concept. So how dedicated is Xi to tree-planting and greening? The piece reminds us that in 2020, despite the pandemic, Xi wore a mask and engaged in the activity. Anyway, you get the drift of the article.
Third, a long article talking about the current COVID outbreak. The key point that the article emphasises in the effort to control the pandemic is adherence to the principle of “people first, life first.” In doing so, the article repeatedly emphasises the importance of strict control.
The piece takes off from the March 17 Politburo Standing Committee meeting. The piece begins, however, by saying that “the highly contagious omicron variant quickly spread to 28 provinces in China. Since March, the number of local infections has exceeded 70,000, and the number of medium-high risk areas once exceeded 600...China’s epidemic prevention and control work is facing severe challenges.” 具有强传染性的奥密克戎变异株迅速蔓延至我国28个省份。3月份以来，本土感染者累计突破7万，中高风险区一度超过600个……我国防疫抗疫工作面临严峻挑战.
The piece talks about the PSC meeting and Xi’s personal command of the fight against the pandemic.
“On March 17th, the Politburo Standing Committee held a meeting to analyse the epidemic situation, and made arrangements for strict epidemic prevention and control. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that ‘we should always adhere to the people first, life first, adhere to scientific, accurate and dynamic zero-COVID, and stop the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible.’ ‘We should make overall plans for epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, take more effective measures, strive to achieve the greatest prevention and control effect with the least cost, and minimise the impact of epidemic on economic and social development’.” 3月17日，中共中央政治局常务委员会召开会议，分析新冠肺炎疫情形势，部署从严抓好疫情防控工作。习近平总书记指出，“要始终坚持人民至上、生命至上，坚持科学精准、动态清零，尽快遏制疫情扩散蔓延势头”“统筹好疫情防控和经济社会发展，采取更加有效措施，努力用最小的代价实现最大的防控效果，最大限度减少疫情对经济社会发展的影响”.
Later the piece says:
“The essence of the ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy is speed and accuracy. We should focus on early, small and basic measures; do not pursue zero infection, but rather act as soon as a case is identified to put it out, and maintain the bottom line that there should be no large-scale rebound of the pandemic. Fast and accurate ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ is the ‘magic weapon’ to control the epidemic situation in China.” “动态清零”的精髓，一是快速，二是精准。立足抓早、抓小、抓基础，不追求零感染，但发现一起就扑灭一起，守住不出现疫情规模性反弹的底线。快速和精准的“动态清零”，正是中国控制疫情的“法宝”.
After this the piece warns that studies have shown that given China’s population and national condition, i.e., the presence of a large elderly population, if strict prevention and control is not carried out in time, China’s medical system will face the danger of breakdown, potentially leading to unimaginable consequences. The rapidly increasing cases in Jilin, Shanghai and other places have offered a strong warning. 严谨的科学研究推演证明：以中国14亿多人的总人口基数、庞大老年人群体的现实国情，如不及时从严防控，最终将形成规模性反弹，中国医疗体系面临击穿危险，后果不堪设想。吉林、上海等地迅速增高的病例，已发出了强烈警示.
At the PSC meeting on March 17th, it was emphasised that all localities and departments should unify their thoughts and actions with the decision-making and deployment of the CPC Central Committee, and that the Party and government should share the responsibility, make concerted efforts, be responsible for guarding the soil, do their duty to guard the soil and improve their epidemic prevention. It is necessary to strengthen organisational leadership, overcome apathy, war-weariness, a psychology of relying on luck or becoming relaxed, and pay close attention to the work of epidemic prevention and control with the spirit that time and tide wait for no one. General Secretary Xi Jinping has profoundly pointed out that epidemic prevention and control is 国之大者. 3月17日的中共中央政治局常委会会议强调，各地区各部门各方面要把思想和行动统一到党中央决策部署上来，党政同责，齐抓共管，做到守土有责、守土尽责，提高防疫本领。要加强组织领导，克服麻痹思想、厌战情绪、侥幸心理、松劲心态，以时不我待的精神抓实抓细疫情防控各项工作。习近平总书记深刻指出，疫情防控是“国之大者”.
The next bit emphasises the importance of early detection and precision to deal with the current outbreak. Also, it says that the current outbreak was caused by imported cases. Then there’s much more detail about the way the policy is unfolding, such as vaccination and the creation of makeshift hospitals.
The piece then argues that epidemic prevention and control is not an isolated policy, but a complex operating system, and therefore, it is important to avoid ‘simplification’ and ‘one size fits all’ approaches. Inadequate implementation of epidemic control work will either lead to negligible impact or intensification of measures bit by bit, all of which will adversely affect people’s normal lives. 疫情常态化防控不是孤立的政策，而是一套复杂的运行体系，坚决防止“简单化”“一刀切”。防控工作千头万绪，执行不到位，要么形成防控“空挡”，要么导致“层层加码”，影响百姓正常生活.
On managing the economic impact of the zero-Covid policy, the piece says that the Party has managed the situation well over the past two years. It adds:
“The year 2022 is an important year for China in the drive to build a modern socialist country and march toward the second centenary goal. The Party will convene its 20th National Congress. At present, the pandemic remains the biggest uncertainty affecting the world economy. The external environment is becoming increasingly severe, and China’s domestic economic development is facing the triple pressure of shrinking demand, supply shock and weakening expectations. The situation is further complicated by frequent clusters of outbreaks in many places. ‘We need to maintain strategic focus, seek progress while maintaining stability, balance epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, take more effective measures, maximise the prevention and control effect at the lowest cost, and minimise the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development.’ At the PSC meeting on March 17, General Secretary Xi Jinping used three Chinese characters ‘最’ to demonstrate China’s determination and confidence in coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development. The more complex changes one faces, the more important it is to maintain stability in terms of the fundamentals of development. The expected GDP growth target for this year is around 5.5 percent. The sudden escalation of the epidemic situation has undoubtedly increased the pressure on steady growth. Multiple pressures are piling up. The key is to strengthen overall planning and coordination, ensure that stability is the top priority and progress is made while maintaining stability, and firmly seize the initiative in economic development.” 2022年，是进入全面建设社会主义现代化国家、向第二个百年奋斗目标进军新征程的重要一年，我们党将召开二十大。当前，疫情仍是影响世界经济的最大不确定因素。外部环境更趋严峻，国内经济发展面临需求收缩、供给冲击、预期转弱三重压力，多点频发的聚集性疫情让形势变得更为复杂。“要保持战略定力，坚持稳中求进，统筹好疫情防控和经济社会发展，采取更加有效措施，努力用最小的代价实现最大的防控效果，最大限度减少疫情对经济社会发展的影响。”习近平总书记3月17日在中共中央政治局常委会会议上的讲话，用三个“最”字表明我国坚决打好统筹疫情防控和经济社会发展之战的决心和信心。越是面对复杂变局，越要稳字当头，牢牢稳住发展的基本盘——5.5%左右——这是今年我国的预期经济增速目标。陡然升级的疫情形势，无疑增大了稳增长压力。多重压力叠加，关键要强化统筹协调，确保“稳字当头、稳中求进”，牢牢掌握经济发展的主动权.
The next bit offers an example of Jilin, saying that despite the work done for epidemic prevention there, the province, which is key for agricultural production, is preparing for spring ploughing to ensure the safety of grain production. The piece also argues that “‘precise prevention’ ensures an ‘uninterrupted chain’.” “精准防”确保“不断链”. In other words, targeted epidemic control will ensure that industrial activity and supply chains do not remain disrupted, at least for long.
Finally, a report (English report) about the State Council’s notice that includes care expenses for children under the age of 3 as part of the special additional deductions for individual income tax. The State Council said on March 28 that starting from Jan 1, the individual taxable income of such parents can be reduced by a total of 1,000 yuan ($156) per month for each baby. The deduction can be applied in full by one parent or can be split evenly.
Page 3: First, there’s a Zhong Sheng commentary on the war in Ukraine. This seems to be the first in a series of commentaries. The piece basically says that the US bears an “unshirkable responsibility” for the war. It begins by saying that “behind the crisis lies the shadow of US hegemony. The US-led NATO’s eastward expansion is at the root of the Ukrainian crisis, and the United States is the initiator/originator of the Ukrainian crisis.” 乌克兰危机背后藏着美式霸权的影子，美国主导的北约东扩是乌克兰危机的根源，美国是乌克兰危机的始作俑者.
The article argues that “great powers should play a constructive role” amid the crisis. “However, instead of taking concrete actions to resolve the crisis, the United States, which bears an unshirkable responsibility for the occurrence of the crisis, has tried to position itself as a ‘guardian of peace’ and a ‘guardian of the rule-based international order’, and is deliberately crafting the political narrative of ‘democracy against authoritarianism’ and ‘justice against evil’. In doing so, it is attempting to shift the crisis, play up group confrontation and incite ideological conflicts with the aim of creating new contradictions and curbing the development of other countries. The Ukrainian crisis has made the world more aware of the essence of American hegemony and the destructive influence of the Cold War mentality.” 大国更是应发挥建设性作用。然而，对危机的发生负有不可推卸责任的美国，不是采取切实行动化解危机，而是一方面极力把自己包装成“和平卫士”和“以规则为基础的国际秩序”的“守护者”，一方面处心积虑编织所谓“民主对抗威权”“正义对抗邪恶”的政治叙事，企图通过渲染阵营对抗、挑动意识形态冲突，达到转嫁危机、制造矛盾、遏制他国发展的目的。乌克兰危机让世人进一步看清了美式霸权的本质和冷战思维的破坏性影响.
The author calls NATO’s eastward expansion an “insatiable goal” and a “cancer cell” that’s at the root of the crisis. “NATO is the product of the Cold War. In the 1990s, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, NATO lost its reason for existence. However, NATO under the leadership of the United States has been constantly expanding its sphere of influence. Under the guise of ‘consolidating democracy’, ‘extending stability’ and ‘promoting common values’, NATO repeatedly broke its promise, expanded eastward five times, pushing its boundaries eastward by more than 1,000 kilometres, deploying a large number of advanced offensive strategic weapons, and promising membership to Ukraine and other countries – the tip of the knife was essentially approaching the approaching the borders of Russia. American geostrategic theorists have even declared that ‘An expanded and democratic Europe must be an endless historical process, and should not be restricted by geography arbitrarily smeared in politics.’ It has long been clear to sensible American experts that NATO expansion would be ‘the most fatal mistake of American policy in the entire post-cold War era.’ This prescient assessment was right on target.” 北约是冷战的产物。上世纪90年代，苏联解体、冷战结束，北约已失去存在的理由。然而，美国领导下的北约却不断扩张势力范围。在“巩固民主”“延伸稳定、推进共同价值观”等幌子下，北约一再违背承诺，五次东扩，将边界向东推进1000多公里，部署大量先进的进攻性战略武器，并向乌克兰等国家许下加入北约的诺言，“刀尖”抵近俄罗斯边境。美国地缘战略理论家甚至宣称：“一个扩大和民主的欧洲必须是一个没有尽头的历史进程，不应受在政治上任意涂抹的地理的限制。”对于北约东扩，有理智的美国专家早已看得很清楚：“这将是整个冷战后时代美国政策的最致命错误。”这一预见性判断可谓一语中的.
The next paragraph says that “NATO, as a military bloc, has long been a tool of American hegemony. NATO led by the United States has created turbulence around Russia for a long time by launching ‘colour revolutions,’ opening one Pandora’s box after another.” The piece then quotes a French scholar to say that the bombing of Serbia and wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya led to Russia feeling encircled. We then get a quote from Mearsheimer, and a paraphrased comment from Alice Weidel from Alternative for Germany basically saying that western hardliners stuck to the outdated Cold War mentality, arrogantly denied Russia’s status as a great power, made a promise to Ukraine about joining NATO, which they knew could not be fulfilled.
The piece ends by saying that “as the initiator and biggest promoter of the Ukrainian crisis, the United States should reflect on its disgraceful role, completely abandon the Cold War mentality and hegemonic behaviour, and truly do something practical for global and regional peace and stability.” 作为乌克兰危机的始作俑者和最大推手，美国应好好反思自己的不光彩角色，彻底摒弃冷战思维和霸权行径，真正为全球和地区和平稳定做点实事。
Also on the page is an interview with Wang Yi about his recent visit to the Indian subcontinent. Wang says that:
“The trip to South Asia came at a time when the spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis has been constantly spreading and world peace and development are facing new challenges. We deeply believe that all countries in South Asia are eager to safeguard the rare peace and tranquillity in the region and accelerate the economic recovery after the pandemic. The countries are also paying more attention to China’s position and role, and hope to strengthen strategic communication and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China. The visit consolidated the traditional friendship between China and South Asian countries, enhanced mutual understanding, deepened strategic mutual trust, defined the key cooperation directions and important areas, and consolidated the broad consensus of unity, cooperation and common development under the new circumstances.” 此次南亚之行，正值乌克兰危机外溢效应不断蔓延，世界和平与发展面临新的挑战。我们深切感受到南亚各国都强烈期盼维护好本地区难得的和平安宁，加快推进疫后的经济复苏，各国更加重视中国的地位和作用，希望与中国加强战略沟通、深化互利合作。访问巩固了中国同南亚国家的传统友好，增进了相互理解，深化了战略互信，明确了重点合作方向和重要领域，凝聚了新形势下团结协作、共谋发展的广泛共识。
“The more turbulent the international situation is, the more we should hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win; uphold the neighbourhood diplomacy philosophy of sincerity, mutual benefit and tolerance; share a common destiny with neighbouring countries; and promote the building of a community of Asian destiny. China is willing to work with neighbouring countries to actively implement the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and the leaders of other countries through practical actions, support each other’s core interests and major concerns, work together to promote development and revitalization, improve people’s livelihood, jointly safeguard regional security and development environment, coordinate to meet the challenges of international changes, and open up a more stable, prosperous and better future for the region.” 国际形势越动荡，我们越要高举和平、发展、合作、共赢的旗帜，秉持亲诚惠容的周边外交理念，与周边国家同呼吸共命运，推动构建亚洲命运共同体。中方愿同周边邻国一道，以实际行动积极落实习近平主席同各国领导人达成的重要共识，支持彼此的核心利益和重大关切，携手促进发展振兴和民生改善，共同维护地区安全和发展环境，协调应对国际变局影响挑战，开辟本地区更稳定、更繁荣、更美好的未来.
On his engagement at the OIC meeting, Xinhua English has a good summary of Wang’s comments:
“During his trip, Wang attended the Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the first time for a Chinese foreign minister to be invited for such a meeting, during which China and Islamic countries reached important consensus on a wide range of issues. The two sides agreed to deepen strategic communication and coordination, continue to work in solidarity in fighting against COVID-19, deepen cooperation in vaccine production and medicine research and development, jointly build the Belt and Road with high quality, and strengthen communication and coordination on implementing the Global Development Initiative, Wang noted. The two sides also agreed that it is of great urgency to promote a just settlement of regional hotspot issues and that the Palestinian question should not be forgotten or marginalized, he said, adding they both believe it is necessary to guide and promote the overall unity of developing countries, advocate true multilateralism, abandon the Cold War mentality, resist bloc confrontation and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.”
On Pakistan: “Wang also mentioned that he has reached important new consensus with the Pakistani government and military leaders on deepening strategic cooperation between the two countries under the current international and regional circumstances. China and Pakistan will carry forward their all-weather friendship, and their traditional friendship is unbreakable and rock solid, Wang said, adding the two countries also agreed to deepen all-round cooperation, and China welcomes Pakistan's deeper participation in China's new development pattern. The two countries vowed to safeguard international equity and justice, as well as agreed to practice true multilateralism, firmly oppose acts of bullying by powers, and resist the resurgence of the Cold War mentality.”
On Afghanistan: “Wang said that his visit to Afghanistan has three main objectives, including renewing the traditional friendship between the two peoples, observing the administration of the Afghan interim government, and promoting mutual understanding and building a foundation of mutual trust with the Afghan side through face-to-face exchanges, Wang said.”
PD adds: “We have noticed that the Afghan interim government has actively responded to the concerns of the international community and achieved some visible results in governing the country. It is hoped that the Afghan interim government will continue to be inclusive and steady in governance, and make efforts in a direction that is in line with the interests of the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community. On the premise of respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan, China is willing to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with Afghanistan in an orderly manner based on the principles of improving and improving people’s livelihood, enhancing the independent development ability of Afghanistan and paying attention to actual results without making empty promises. China also emphasizes that security is the foundation and prerequisite of development, and hopes that Afghanistan will fulfill its promise, take more effective measures and resolutely crack down on all terrorist forces including the ETIM.” Wang also mentions the Taliban’s desire to have Afghanistan as part of BRI and its committment to not let Afghan territory be used for terrorist attacks against other countries, particularly China.
On India: China and India are partners rather than rivals, and should help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other. This is a strategic judgment made by China after careful consideration, and India has repeatedly expressed its agreement with this view. It is true that there are boundary issues left over from history between China and India, which sometimes affect and challenge bilateral relations. At the same time, we firmly believe that as mature and rational neighbours, we should place the boundary issue in its appropriate position in our bilateral relations and not let it define or even hinder the overall development of bilateral relations. We propose that China and India should take a long-term view of bilateral relations, take a win-win view of each other's development and participate in the multilateral process in a cooperative manner. This constructive thinking can stand the test of time and conform to the historical logic of Sino-Indian exchanges.
“During this visit, I had an in-depth exchange of views with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval. Both sides believe that the continued stagnation of Sino-Indian relations is not in the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is not conducive to regional peace and stability. We should adhere to the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries that ‘the two countries are not threats to each other but opportunities for each other's development’, properly solve practical problems of common concern, handle and manage differences over the years, and promote the steady and sustainable development of bilateral relations. Restoring peace and tranquillity along the border areas is in line with the common aspirations of the two countries. It is necessary to achieve regular management and control on the basis of disengagement on the ground, take effective measures to implement the important consensus reached so far on lowering military levels, confidence-building measures and not using force in the areas along the Line of Actual Control. Both sides believe that China and India share similar or similar positions on major international and regional issues, and should strive to understand and support each other so as to provide more positive energy in the turbulent world. During our meeting, NSA Doval used a metaphor. He said that just as rocks can't stop rivers from rushing forward, differences between the two sides should not change the positive trend of bilateral relations. I believe that, in the face of the complicated and ever-changing international situation, India and China should not only work together to remove the stones that hinder our bilateral relations, but also meet each other halfway, so that the trickle of India-China friendship can converge into the mighty trend of the times, break through various obstacles and rush in the right direction.” 中印是伙伴而不是对手，应相互成就而不是相互消耗，这是中方深思熟虑后做出的战略判断，印方也多次表示认同这一看法。中印之间确实存在历史遗留的边界问题，时而对双边关系带来影响和挑战。同时我们坚定认为，作为成熟理性的两大邻国，我们应把边界问题置于双边关系适当位置，不应用边界问题定义甚至阻碍双边关系的整体发展。我们提出中印要以长远眼光看待双方关系，以共赢思维看待彼此发展，以合作姿态参与多边进程，这一建设性思维经得起时间检验，符合中印交往的历史逻辑。此访期间同印度外长苏杰生、国家安全顾问多瓦尔深入交换意见。最突出的感受是，双方都认为，中印关系继续停滞不前，不符合两国人民根本利益，不利于地区和平稳定。应坚持两国领导人“中印互不构成威胁，互为发展机遇”的重要共识，妥善解决共同关注的现实问题，处理管控好多年来存在的分歧，助力双边关系平稳可持续发展。恢复边境地区的和平安宁符合两国的共同愿望，要在现地脱离接触基础上实现常态化管控，采取有效措施落实好在实控线地区降低军事水平、建立信任措施、不以武力相威胁等迄今达成的重要共识。双方都认为中印在重大国际和地区问题上有着相近或相似立场，应努力相互理解、相互支持，为动荡不定的世界提供更多正能量。会见中，多瓦尔国家安全顾问打了一个比喻。他说正如山石不能阻挡溪流顺势而下，双方的一些分歧也不应改变两国关系发展的大势。我认为，面对当前复杂多变的国际地区形势，印中双方不仅要共同努力搬开双边关系中的石头，还应相向而行，使印中友好的涓涓溪流汇聚为浩荡的时代潮流，冲破各种阻碍，朝着正确的方向奔涌.
After a brief response on his visit to Nepal, Xinhua English has Wang saying this:
“Noting the spillovers of the Russia-Ukraine conflict have been rippling across the globe, Wang said the general consensuses of relevant countries are as follows. Disputes should be settled peacefully through dialogue, and neither war or sanctions are good ways. The purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter should be upheld, and the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded. All countries should advocate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, safeguard the right of all countries to pursue an independent foreign policy, oppose political pressure and forced side taking, he continued, adding it is necessary to maintain the hard-won peace, stability and development in the region, resist the temptation to introduce bloc confrontation and create turbulence and tension in Asia.”
Two other stories on the page to note. First, Wang Yi will be hosting the third meeting of foreign ministers of the countries neighbouring Afghanistan in Tunxi, Anhui Province, from March 30 to 31. Foreign ministers or representatives of Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will attend the meeting.
Later, Wang will chair the ‘Afghanistan's neighbors + Afghanistan’ foreign ministers' dialogue. Acting Foreign Minister of the Afghan Interim Government Amir Khan Muttaqi will be invited to attend the dialogue. The foreign ministers of Indonesia and Qatar will be invited as guests, the spokesperson said. By hosting this third foreign ministers meeting, China hopes to build further consensus among Afghanistan's neighboring countries on the Afghan issue, discuss the ‘neighbors' plan’ to jointly promote the stability of the situation in Afghanistan, support the Afghan people, and convey the voices of Afghanistan's neighbors to the international community, the spokesperson said.
India, of course, is not invited to this meeting. So much for Wang talking about respecting India’s traditional role in the region, during his visit to Delhi. Also, do note that neither Russia nor Indonesia are Afghanistan’s neighbours.
The other report is about East Asian foreign ministers visiting China. Xinhua reports:
“At the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, and Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin will each visit China between March 31 and April 3, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Monday, noting that Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes will visit China on April 4. The spokesperson told a regular press briefing that Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar are all important members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as friendly neighbours of China and important partners in the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.”
Page 9: I am not doing a detailed breakdown of the pieces on the page because I’ve run out of time. But, there are three articles on the page, all based around the theme of the first of the 10 clears. Recall that the 10 clears, which were part of the history resolution, are essentially a summation of Xi Jinping Thought.
The editorial note on the page informs that today’s pieces focus on the idea that “the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and that the Party is the highest force for political leadership, so the whole Party must strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’, ‘four self-confidences’ and achieve the ‘two safeguards’.”
The lead piece on the page by Wang Junwei, from the Central Party History and Literature Research Institute, has five mentions of the Two Establishments - 两个确立. Wang calls this “the most important political achievement since the 18th Party Congress, reflecting the Party’s profound historical wisdom, high historical awareness, and firm historical confidence.” “两个确立”是党的十八大以来最重要的政治成果，体现了我们党深邃的历史智慧、高度的历史自觉和坚定的历史自信.
He also says that Xi is worthy/deserving of being the Party core, the people’s leader and commander of the armed forces. He has been tested by history, practice and struggle.习近平总书记是经过历史检验、实践考验、斗争历练的当之无愧的党的核心、人民领袖、军队统帅。
Zhang Leigang’s piece on the page emphasises the importance of the Two Safeguards 两个维护. Zhang argues that these are the “common will of the whole Party in its revolutionary forging since the 18th Party Congress, and it is the highest political principle and fundamental political rule that must always be adhered to.” “两个维护”是党的十八大以来全党在革命性锻造中形成的共同意志，是必须始终坚守的最高政治原则和根本政治规矩。
Page 17: On the international page, one of the stories is about residents in Busan, South Korea, rallying for the closure of a US military lab. Another piece talks about a meeting at the sidelines of the UNHRC, with the theme “American Concept of Human Rights and its Harm to Global Human Rights Governance.”