Xi at He Luli's Funeral - New Round of Inspections ahead of Party Congress - Li Zhanshu on Implementation of Environmental Laws - Wang Yi's Pakistan Visit Wrap & Surprise Kabul Visit
Here are the stories and pieces that I found noteworthy from the Thursday, March 24, 2022, edition of the People’s Daily.
Page 1: First, a report (English report) on Xi Jinping’s letter to the fourth theory seminar between the CPC and the Cnist Party of Cuba. Xi said that “the CPC and the PCC are the leadership core of the socialist endeavour in their respective countries.”
“In the face of new situations and new tasks, Xi said it is an opportune time for the two parties to hold the theory seminar, which is of great significance for the two sides to explore the socialist development paths suited to their national realities. The CPC is willing to have an in-depth exchange of views with the PCC on major theoretical and practical issues, and to learn from each other regarding their experience of state governance, to promote the continuous development of Party building and the socialist cause in their respective countries, Xi stressed.”
Next, there’s a report on Xi Jinping attending the funeral of He Luli at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing. Xi Jinping, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang and others, the report says, attended the funeral. The report also says that PSC members, Wang Qishan, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had either visited He Luli when she was in hospital or offered their condolences to her family after her death.
Third, there’s a report about Zhao Leji’s remarks during a conference on national disciplinary inspection work, which also kick-started the 9th inspection round of the 19th CPC Central Committee. The meeting called for the need to consolidate and deepen political inspections under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and give full play to the important role of inspection in the Party’s quest for self-revolution, constantly improve the ability to identify and solve the Party’s problems, and take concrete actions to greet the 20th Party Congress. 会议深入学习贯彻习近平总书记关于巡视工作重要论述，通报2021年重点工作，部署2022年巡视任务，对巡视部分中央和国家机关党组织作出安排，强调要以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，巩固深化政治巡视，充分发挥巡视在党的自我革命中的重要作用，不断提升发现和解决党自身问题的能力，以实际行动迎接党的二十大胜利召开. — Much of Page 4 is also dedicated to the life of He Luli. There are pictures of of her with Xi, Jiang and Hu individually.
In his remarks, Zhao provided direction for the inspections saying it is important to
“adhere to the orientation of political inspections, strengthen political oversight of the ‘two safeguards’, focussing on the 国之大者, play a role in supervising and guaranteeing the implementation and promoting the improvement of development;
adhere to the inspection work policy, focus on identifying problems and promoting their solutions, and more effectively promote the integration of the policies related to ‘do not dare to be corrupt, cannot be corrupt, do not want to be corrupt’ and form a virtuous circle of supervision, rectification, and governance.
adhere to a people-centered focus in inspections
adhere to systematic planning and systematic promotion
adhere to conducting inspections as per regulations, discipline and laws
The next paragraph says that “it is necessary to identify problems and gaps according to political standards and political requirements, and urge the central government and state organs to take the lead in strengthening political construction, take the lead in enhancing the ‘four consciousnesses,’ strengthen the ‘four self-confidences,’ achieve the ‘two safeguards’, and take the lead in fulfilling their duties and missions.”
It is necessary to focus on functional responsibilities, combine the reality and characteristics of the inspected units, thoroughly identify and promote the resolution of outstanding problems in implementing the decision-making arrangements of the Party Central Committee, the strategic plan for comprehensively enforcing strict Party self-governance, the Party's organisational line for the new era, and inspection and rectification. It is necessary to strengthen organisational leadership, overall planning and coordination, make good use of existing oversight results and relevant professional forces, and rely on the inspected party organizations to carry out their work. The inspection team should highlight political construction, strengthen capacity building, educate and guide the inspection cadres to do things with Party spirit…” 赵乐际强调，要坚定稳妥做好中央第九轮巡视工作，高质量完成十九届中央巡视全覆盖任务。要对照政治标准、政治要求查找问题和差距，督促中央和国家机关带头加强政治建设，带头增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，带头履行职责使命。要聚焦职能责任，结合被巡视单位的实际和特点，深入发现和推动解决在落实党中央决策部署、全面从严治党战略部署、新时代党的组织路线和巡视整改等方面存在的突出问题。要加强组织领导和统筹协调，用好已有监督成果和相关专业力量，依靠被巡视党组织开展工作。巡视组要突出政治建设，强化能力建设, 教育引导巡视干部以党性立身做事，做到实事求是、“三严三实”、可亲可信可敬.
Here are all the organs that are going to be examined in the ninth round of inspections:
the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
the National Supervisory Commission
the General Office of the Central Committee
the Organization Department of the Central Committee
the Central Policy Research Office
the Office of the Central Comprehensive Deepening Reform Commission,
Office of the Central National Security Commission
Office of the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development
Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission
Office of the Central Secrecy Commission
General Office of the State Council
National Development and Reform Commission
Ministry of National Security
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Veterans Affairs
State Administration of Taxation,
Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council,
Research Office of the State Council
State Grain and Material Reserve Bureau
State Railway Administration
Civil Aviation Administration of China
State Post Bureau
National Council for Social Security Fund
China Academy of Engineering Physics
China National Railway Group Co., Ltd. and other units
Fourth, a report (English report) about Li Zhanshu meeting lawmakers from an inspection team under the NPCSC discussing the enforcement of the environmental protection law. China’s legislation on ecological and environmental protection has made progress in terms of quantity and quality, contributing to the fight against pollution, Li said. Underlining the environmental protection law as a fundamental and comprehensive legislation that plays a leading role in the field of ecological and environmental protection, Li said that problems discovered during the inspection should be solved under supervision. The inspection was led by Li and has seen four teams sent to eight provincial-level regions, and other regions were inspected by standing committees of people's congresses at the provincial level.
PD has some interesting additions to this. Li emphasised that the in-depth promotion of comprehensively governing the country according to law, the consciousness of studying the law and abiding by the law in all aspects has been continuously enhanced, and the implementation of the law has achieved remarkable results. At the same time, we should also see that many laws have not been fully and strictly implemented in practical work. 栗战书强调，随着全面依法治国深入推进，各方面学习法律、遵守法律的自觉性不断增强，法律实施取得显著成效。同时也要看到，在实际工作中不少法律还没有得到全面、严格实施.
He also added that “the study and publicity of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization should be carried out throughout the whole process of the inspection.” 栗战书强调，要把学习宣传习近平生态文明思想贯穿检查的各环节全过程.
Fifth, Wang Yang’s meeting (English report) with Khalid Hilal Al Ma'awali, chairman of the consultative council of Oman. Finally, there’s the full guidelines for building a higher level of public service system for fitness and physical activity.
Page 3: I didn’t find too much that was interesting on the page, so I am going to focus on Wang Yi’s trip to Pakistan and his meeting with different officials. In PD, there’s a report (English report) about Wang’s meeting with Pakistani President Arif Alvi.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi said that Pakistan and China have enjoyed friendly relations in the past decades, featuring solid unity, mutual support and mutual assistance, with bilateral cooperation increasingly enhanced in all fields. Pakistan will, as always, unswervingly pursue the one-China policy, support China's positions on its core interests in the issues of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the president stressed. Pakistan and China have identical views on international and regional issues, and Pakistan opposes any attempt of all external forces to contain China's development, he said. The building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has yielded fruitful results which have significantly improved the livelihood of the Pakistani people, the president noted. Pakistan hopes to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with China in automobile, textile, medicine, agriculture and information technology sectors.
The China-Pakistan friendship has withstood the test of evolving international landscape and is rock-solid, noting that mutual trust and mutual support are the most distinctive features of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan. Stressing that China has always been a long-term and most reliable strategic partner of Pakistan, Wang said the Chinese side firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and national dignity. Wang added that China also staunchly supports Pakistan's development, revitalization and prosperity, and firmly supports Pakistan in playing a more important role in the international and regional arena. China stands ready to work with Pakistan to advance cooperation in traditional fields, expand cooperation in emerging fields such as information technology, e-commerce and digital economy, increase investment in social and livelihood projects in Pakistan, and carry out more ‘small but beautiful’ cooperation projects, he said.
He added that due to the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world, the once-in-a-century pandemic and constant spillover of the Ukraine crisis, peace and development in today’s world are faced with greater insecurity and instability. China is ready to strengthen strategic communication, unity and coordination with developing countries including Pakistan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation so as to inject more stability into the region and the world, and make more contributions to world peace, security and development.
While in Pakistan, Wang Yi also met with Pakistan PM Imran Khan. The Chinese readout of the meeting begins with talking about development cooperation and then goes to this:
“The two sides spoke highly of the strategic significance of China-Pakistan relations, saying that in the face of the turbulent international situation, China and Pakistan should further strengthen solidarity and coordination and continue to serve as a stabilizer for the region and the world at large. The two sides fully recognized the positive role of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Dialogue and the Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Afghan Issue Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan. Imran Khan said, China-Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation is conducive to stability in Afghanistan and its role as a hub in regional connectivity. Pakistan is ready to work with China to jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan. The two sides exchanged views on the Ukraine issue, saying that China and Pakistan have jointly made voices of calling for peace and promoting peace talks. The two sides maintain that Ukraine should become a bridge for communication between the East and the West, rather than the forefront of the major-power rivalry. At present, it is imperative to prevent the spillover of the Ukraine crisis. The United States, Europe, and NATO should conduct dialogues with Russia, and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture in accordance with the principle of indivisible security, so that Europe can be free from war and other regions and countries will not be implicated.”
Wang also met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Xinhua’s report informs that:
“Wang said China appreciates the Pakistani military for its proactive effort and significant contribution over the years in consolidating and strengthening the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, safeguarding the security and smooth progress of the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and ensuring the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan. Wang also said that the Pakistani military has played a role of stabilizer and ballast in building a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.”
They talked about Afghanistan, and then I thought this was interesting. “Bajwa said that Pakistan is highly concerned about the spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis, appreciates China’s stance of upholding justice and balance and promoting peace talks, and stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China in this regard. Noting that the Ukraine crisis has taught the world that conflicts are to occur when one pursues exclusive or absolute security and seeks one's own security over others' insecurity, Wang said that in the 21st century, military blocs and clan rivalries have long lost people's support and are doomed to fail.” — (Quick thought: It’s worth noting that none of the Pakistani leaders have said anything about NATO’s expansion or criticism of bloc politics. President Alvi perhaps comes the closest in talk about the latter based on these readouts.)
While in Pakistan, Wang also met with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Somalia.
The Chinese readout of the meeting with Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says:
“Faisal said that Saudi Arabia is proud of its close relations and high-level strategic cooperation with China and is appreciative of China's support for its major development strategies. Saudi Arabia is ready to jointly implement the important consensus between leaders of the two countries, deepen the alignment with the Belt and Road Initiative, and expand practical cooperation in various areas to complement each other's advantages. Saudi Arabia and China adhere to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and support multilateralism. Both countries advocate that the international agenda should serve the interests of most countries instead of individual countries. Saudi Arabia stands ready to strengthen communication and collaboration with China so as to play a leading role in safeguarding the common interests of the international community and international fairness and justice.”
“As to the Ukraine issue, the two sides agreed that all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected and their reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously. It is imperative to prevent any humanitarian crisis, maintain the peace talk process and resolve conflicts through dialogue and negotiation. Both sides emphasized that all countries have the right to make independent judgements, withstand external pressure, and disagree with the simple logic of "black or white" and "friend or foe". The two sides also exchanged views on the Yemen issue. Faisal briefed on the current situation in Yemen. Wang Yi said that China understands Saudi Arabia's reasonable and legitimate concerns and stands ready to play a constructive role in addressing the Yemen issue by political means.”
The Chinese readout of the meeting with Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry covers several areas, including climate change, development cooperation, BRI, Covid, etc. On Ukraine, it says:
“The two sides exchanged views on the Ukraine issue, and agreed to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and stay committed to a comprehensive solution to the current crisis. Shoukry said, Egypt opposes some countries exerting pressure on China and stands for strengthening cooperation rather than escalating confrontation.” — (Isn’t it strange that one of the world’s great powers wants a regional power like Egypt to say that it opposes pressure on China.)
The Chinese readout with Somali Foreign Minister Abdisaid Muse Ali says:
“Wang Yi said, Somalia is an important country in the Horn of Africa with a sound endowment for development. Due to geopolitical and other factors, Somalia’s national development has been disrupted, and the improvement of people's livelihood has a long way to go. China supports various factions in Somalia in strengthening coordination, focusing on development and revitalization and maintaining political and social stability. China and Somalia are good friends and old friends. We have always supported Somalia in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, never interfered in its internal affairs, never sought geopolitical interests and never participated in the major-power rivalry. We are ready to continue to contribute to Somalia's peace, stability and development.”
One other report to note is this one by Zhang Jun, China’s envoy at the UN.
“We call on Israel to halt the expansion of settlements, stop the eviction of Palestinians, stop the demolition of Palestinian homes, and create conditions for the development of Palestinian communities in the West Bank, as called for in council resolution 2334,” China’s permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun told the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The ambassador said that “settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory violate international law, disrupt the contiguity of the occupied Palestinian territory, squeeze the living space of the Palestinian people, and affect the prospects for achieving the two-state solution.” On the security situation, Zhang said that China is concerned about the recent deterioration of the security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and deeply saddened by the casualties on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides caused by the violence, especially Palestinian children. “The protection of children in conflict settings is not an empty slogan, but an unshakable moral responsibility and an international obligation that must be fulfilled. We call for a thorough investigation of the recent violence and for effective accountability,” he said. The ambassador noted that China calls on all parties concerned to refrain from provocative words and deeds, to refrain from incitement to violence, to jointly uphold and respect the historic status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem, to make every effort to prevent the situation from escalating out of control, and not to allow the conflict in Gaza last year to repeat itself, with the upcoming month of April, which will celebrate important holidays for both Muslims and Jews.
Finally, a report on China-Myanmar joint production of COVID-19 vaccines.
Page 5: The second in a series of commentaries around the 10 clears. I missed the first one yesterday unfortunately. This one focuses on the importance of maintaining the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
“To uphold the Party’s leadership, first of all, we should uphold the authority of the Party Central Committee and its centralized and unified leadership. This is the highest principle of the Party’s leadership, and one cannot be vague or waver on this at any time or under any circumstances. The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee pointed out: ‘The Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and is of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and for driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation.’ Embarking on the new road of rushing for the exam to achieve the second centennial goal, we must adhere to the leadership of the Party, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’, strengthen the ‘four self-confidences’ and achieve the ‘two maintenance’, keep in mind 国之大者, resolutely safeguard the authority of the Party Central Committee and centralized and unified leadership, and implement and embody the leadership of the Party in various fields such as reform, development and stability, internal affairs, foreign affairs and national defense, and governing the Party, country and army…” 万山磅礴，必有主峰。坚持党的领导，首先是坚持党中央权威和集中统一领导，这是党的领导的最高原则，任何时候任何情况下都不能含糊、不能动摇。党的十九届六中全会指出：“党确立习近平同志党中央的核心、全党的核心地位，确立习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的指导地位，反映了全党全军全国各族人民共同心愿，对新时代党和国家事业发展、对推进中华民族伟大复兴历史进程具有决定性意义。”踏上实现第二个百年奋斗目标新的赶考之路，必须坚持党的领导，增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，牢记“国之大者”，坚决维护党中央权威和集中统一领导，把党的领导贯彻和体现到改革发展稳定、内政外交国防、治党治国治军等各个领域；必须不断改善党的领导，不断提高党科学执政、民主执政、依法执政水平，让党的领导更加适应实践、时代、人民的要求.
Page 6: A report about the black box of crashed MU5735 being found.
Page 9: On the theory page, the lead piece is by Jiang Hui, the vice director of CASS. He talks about Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era being a new leap in the sinicization of Marxism and that it is important to use this thought to arm minds, guide practice, and promote work.
In a nutshell, the arguments he offers are that Xi Jinping thought is rooted in historical experience, scientifically answers the questions of the times, is informed by practice and is shaping practice, and adheres to China’s realities and its traditional culture.
Two bits worth noting from the piece:
First, a full listing of the 10 clears as the summation of the theoretical contributions of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
Second, the reference to other leaders’ contributions: “Facing the rapidly changing world and China, to promote the modernization of Marxism in China, we must combine the basic principles of Marxism with China's concrete reality. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era adheres to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of "Three Represents", and the Scientific Outlook on Development, combines the basic principles of Marxism with the reality of China in the new era, better unifies the adherence to Marxism and the development of Marxism, insists on using the ‘arrow’ of Marxism to hit the target of the ‘truth’ of China in the new era, and continue to write a new chapter of sinicization and modernization of Marxism.” 面对快速变化的世界和中国，推进马克思主义中国化时代化，必须把马克思主义基本原理同中国具体实际相结合。习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想坚持马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想、科学发展观，立足新的历史方位，从新的实际出发，把马克思主义基本原理同新时代中国实际相结合，更好把坚持马克思主义和发展马克思主义统一起来，坚持用马克思主义之“矢”去射新时代中国之“的”，续写了马克思主义中国化时代化新篇章.
Page 17: The entire international news page today is dedicated to a long feature about China continuing to be an attractive destination for foreign investors. There are comments from representatives of foregin enterprises basically talking up the Chinese market and investment ecosystem. The companies featured are Schneider Electric, Citigroup and Johnson Controls. The last segment talks about the Legoland Sichuan Resort.
Finally, on Wang Yi’s visit to the Indian subcontinent, it appears that after Pakistan the Chinese foreign minister has travelled to Kabul for a surprise visit today. Wang is also expected to be in India but there is no official confirmation of the visit. I think yesterday we got a bit of expectation setting ahead of the expected India visit. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs was, uncharacteristically I would say, directly critical of Wang’s comments about Kashmir at the OIC meeting in Pakistan.
“In response to media queries on reference to Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir made by Chinese Foreign Minister in his speech to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Pakistan, the Official Spokesperson Shri Arindam Bagchi said: ‘We reject the uncalled reference to India by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his speech at the Opening Ceremony. Matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India. Other countries including China have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgement of their internal issues.”
This is the line that annoyed the MEA from Wang’s speech:
“On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends. And China shares the same hope.”