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Xi Highlights 'Complex & Severe' Challenges at CNSC Meeting - China's NDB Agenda - Beijing's 2025 AI Ambitions - PLA Implements Xi Thought Campaign - Qin Gang Meets Elon Musk
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People's Daily's edition on Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Xi delivered a speech, stressing that it is necessary to fully implement the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, deeply understand the complex and severe/challenging situation facing national security, correctly grasp major national security issues, accelerate the modernization of the national security system and capabilities, ensure the new development pattern with the new security pattern, and strive to create a new situation in national security work. 习近平在会上发表重要讲话强调，要全面贯彻党的二十大精神，深刻认识国家安全面临的复杂严峻形势，正确把握重大国家安全问题，加快推进国家安全体系和能力现代化，以新安全格局保障新发展格局，努力开创国家安全工作新局面.
PBSC members Li Qiang, Zhao Leji and Cai Qi, who are deputy heads of the CNSC, attended the meeting. The meeting offered a positive appraisal of the CNSC’s work. It said that the Commission had promoted the continuous improvement of the national security leadership system, legal system, the strategic system and the policy system. The effective operation of the national security work coordination mechanism has been realised, and the national security system of local party committees now basically covers the whole country. The CNSC has resolutely defended national sovereignty, security and development interests. National security has been comprehensively strengthened. 会议指出，中央国家安全委员会坚持发扬斗争精神，坚持并不断发展总体国家安全观，推动国家安全领导体制和法治体系、战略体系、政策体系不断完善，实现国家安全工作协调机制有效运转、地方党委国家安全系统全国基本覆盖，坚决捍卫了国家主权、安全、发展利益，国家安全得到全面加强.
The meeting emphasised the current national security issues that China is facing have become considerably more complex and much more difficult. The national security front must establish strategic self-confidence, strengthen confidence in victory, and fully recognise its own advantages and favourable conditions. It is necessary to adhere to bottom line thinking (be prepared for worst-case scenarios) and extreme-case scenarios and be prepared to withstand high winds, choppy waters, and even turbulent storms. It is necessary to accelerate the modernization of the national security system and capabilities, give prominence to practical actions and clear orientation, pay more attention to synergy and efficiency, rule of law thinking, scientific and technological empowerment, and grassroots foundation, and ensure that all aspects of national security are interconnected and integrated. 会议强调，当前我们所面临的国家安全问题的复杂程度、艰巨程度明显加大。国家安全战线要树立战略自信、坚定必胜信心，充分看到自身优势和有利条件。要坚持底线思维和极限思维，准备经受风高浪急甚至惊涛骇浪的重大考验。要加快推进国家安全体系和能力现代化，突出实战实用鲜明导向，更加注重协同高效、法治思维、科技赋能、基层基础，推动各方面建设有机衔接、联动集成.
The meeting pointed out that it is necessary to ensure the new development pattern with the new security pattern, actively shape a favourable external security environment for China in order to better safeguard its opening up and push for a deep integration of development and security. It is necessary to promote the reform of the means and methods of maintaining and shaping national security, innovate theoretical guidance, improve the distribution of forces, and promote scientific and technological empowerment. It is necessary to improve the comprehensive response to national security risks and the real-time monitoring and early warning systems and effectively respond with a combination of measures.会议指出，要以新安全格局保障新发展格局，主动塑造于我有利的外部安全环境，更好维护开放安全，推动发展和安全深度融合。要推进维护和塑造国家安全手段方式变革，创新理论引领，完善力量布局，推进科技赋能。要完善应对国家安全风险综合体，实时监测、及时预警，打好组合拳。
The next paragraph calls for implementing the tasks outlined at the 20th Party Congress, efforts to safeguard political security and improve the security governance of internet data and artificial intelligence, further develop a monitoring and early warning system for national security risks, promote the construction of national security rule of law, and strengthen national security education. 会议强调，国家安全工作要贯彻落实党的二十大决策部署，切实做好维护政治安全、提升网络数据人工智能安全治理水平、加快建设国家安全风险监测预警体系、推进国家安全法治建设、加强国家安全教育等方面工作.
Two guidelines were approved at the meeting:
A guideline on speeding up building a national security risk monitoring and early warning system
A guideline on strengthening public communication regarding national security
At the top of the page is a brief report on the launch of the Shenzhou-16 manned spacecraft.
Next, there’s a report on responses of teachers, students and educators on Xi’s comments about education at the latest group study session of the Politburo. This was reported in yesterday’s paper, which I was unable to cover. There is a detailed Xinhua English story on the session. I’ll do a quick breakdown of that.
The report says that Qiu Yong, secretary of the CPC Tsinghua University Committee and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, gave a lecture on this issue and put forward suggestions about the work.
After this, Xi delivered a speech, talking about building China into a leading country in education. The key points he made:
China has established the largest education system in the world and joined the ranks of upper-middle level countries in terms of the overall level of modernization in education. According to estimates, China ranks 23rd in a global education index, up 26 spots from 2012 with the fastest progress in the world. This fully demonstrates that the path of socialist education with Chinese characteristics is completely correct, Xi said.
It is imperative to adhere to the Party's overall leadership over education, and focus on fostering virtue through education as a fundamental task. Education must uphold it as its target to cultivate talent for the CPC and the nation, as its mission to serve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, as its basic approach to promoting modernization in educational ideas, systems, rules, contents, methods and governance, and as its core role to play in supporting and leading Chinese modernization.
“It is necessary to use the (Xi Jinping) Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to cultivate soul and educate people, strengthen education about core socialist values, as well as guide students to develop firm ideals and convictions, follow the Party's instructions and path, and devote themselves to the nation and the people, Xi said. Reform must be furthered to explore new grounds in integrating the political education curriculum across all levels, from elementary schools to universities, and make relevant courses more targeted and appealing. Work should be done to let the internet play a more important and effective role in education, and to improve the political and ideological work of our schools in this internet age.”
“To develop a leading country in education, priority must be given to basic education…Work must be done to promote the popularization as well as safe and quality development of preschool education for the benefit of all, and promote high-quality, balanced and integrated development of urban and rural compulsory education. Basic education should not only help solidify students' knowledge foundation, but also arouse their interest in science and aspirations for exploring mysteries, thus nurturing their mindset for exploration and innovation. A scientific outlook on talent, personal career and education should be promoted in the whole society, and more work should be done to reverse the utilitarian trend in education so as to foster a healthy educational environment.”
“To develop a leading country in education, higher education is the key. Priority must be given to the building of world-class universities and superior disciplines, and the development of basic, emerging and interdisciplinary subjects must be strengthened. Innovation in research must be developed by following the frontier developments in science and technology of the world and responding to the country's strategic needs, thus to constantly improve the capability for original innovation and the quality of personnel.”
“Education in science and technology and engineering should be furthered. Greater efforts should be made to nurture China's top-notch and innovative talent on our own to provide support for achieving breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields. It is important to conduct systemic analysis of China's talent development trends and deficit in talent in all areas, and thereafter make dynamic adjustment of disciplines and programs for higher education in accordance with the trends of sci-tech development and the needs of the country's major strategies, so as to cultivate talented personnel of strategic importance and in urgent need and strengthen the role education should play in providing more support for and contributing to high-quality development.” He also talked about boosting vocational education.
On education system reform, Xi said: “It is imperative to enhance the development and regulation of textbooks, keep to the correct political orientation and values, and strive to make high-quality textbooks that cultivate souls and develop wisdom. Digital education is where our country can achieve breakthroughs in opening up new areas and forming fresh strength of educational development. More should be done to encourage digital education to support personalized learning, lifelong learning, expanding the reach of quality educational resources, and modern education.”
He talked about making “China an influential and important education hub in the world. It is important to participate in global education governance, vigorously promote the brand of ‘Study in China’, tell China's stories well, spread China's experience, make China's voice heard, and enable China's education to be more influential and have a greater say in the world.”
Moving on, there’s a report on Wang Huning’s comments at a three-day CPPCC study session for new cadres. Wang said that:
“Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is contemporary Chinese Marxism and 21st century Marxism, and is the guiding ideology that the Party and the country must adhere to for a long time. The CPPCC should take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the general outline for overseeing all work, and persist with deepening, internalising, and transformation, comprehensively study and implement the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, deeply understand the decisive significance of the Two Establishments, strengthen the four consciousnesses and four self-confidences, and achieve the two safeguards, and continuously consolidate the common ideological and political foundation for unity and struggle.” 他表示，习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想是当代中国马克思主义、21世纪马克思主义，是党和国家必须长期坚持的指导思想。人民政协要把习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想作为统揽各项工作的总纲，坚持不懈做好深化、内化、转化工作，全面学习把握落实中共二十大精神，深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义，增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，不断夯实团结奋斗的共同思想政治基础.
He called on members to learn and understand Xi Jinping’s important thoughts on doing a good job in the Party's united front work in the new era and on strengthening and improving the work of the CPPCC.
Next, there’s a report on Ding Xuexiang’s comments at the opening of the 8th annual New Development Bank meeting. He said that the bank has become a “vital emerging force among multilateral development institutions, with its influence steadily expanding across the world.”
Ding made five points for the bank to adhere to:
First, support the expansion of global development cooperation space, actively participate in GDI cooperation, promote member states to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in economic development, improve people's livelihood, scientific and technological innovation, and address climate change, and accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Second, promote the deepening of global development partnership, continuously expand the ‘circle of friends’, continue to invite more like-minded partners to join, create an BRICS exemplar for multilateral cooperation, strengthen coordination with other multilateral and bilateral development institutions, and mobilise more resources to support the accelerated development of emerging markets and developing countries.
Third, promote the construction of a modern infrastructure system, help developing countries to speed up the shortcomings of traditional infrastructure, strengthen the construction of new infrastructure, comprehensively improve the level of digitalization, networking and intelligence of infrastructure, and inject strong impetus into sustainable development.
Fourth, focus on innovation in investment and financing models, accelerate the expansion of financing channels, increase local currency financing, and strengthen cooperation with other multilateral development banks, commercial banks and other institutions.
Fifth, promote the improvement of the global economic governance system, firmly safeguard and practise true multilateralism, and help enhance the representation and voice of emerging market countries and developing countries in global affairs.
Finally, there’s a report on how different PLA services and units have been implementing the Xi Jinping thought education campaign.
Let me offer some excerpts:
For instance, the Party Committee of the 74th Group Army of the PLAGF “conducted discussions on topics such as ‘inspiring officers and soldiers to fight with determination and have the courage to win in battle’ and ‘focusing on war preparation/combat-readiness and improving training style’, in order to focus all their energy and work on fighting and actively promote the transformation of the thematic education campaign’s results into combat effectiveness.” 集团军党委围绕“激励官兵敢打必胜决心勇气”“聚焦备战打仗改进训练作风”等课题展开研讨，做到全部精力向打仗聚焦、全部工作向打仗用劲，积极推动主题教育成效向战斗力转化.
At a naval base in the Southern Theatre Command, Party Committee members went from ship to ship, “extending the thematic education classroom to the front line of training.” Meanwhile, at an Air force base in the Central Theatre Command, the focus was on research and tackling key issues to ensure the high-quality development of military construction through the transformation of learning into application. They discussed innovating operational command modes and strengthening the development of combat-oriented Party committee teams. The emphasis here was also on shifting and upgrading combat-effectiveness.
The Academy of Military Medicine of the Academy of Military Sciences conducted research on the operational efficiency of soldiers on the plateau and worked with a unit positioned in the southern region. The academy’s Party Committee members In the past few days, members of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of the have led expert teams to meet frontline troops to have an in-depth understanding of the needs of military medical service support, sort out the difficulties in scientific research capacity construction and key problems in military construction, and put forward solutions. 军事科学院军事医学研究院在主题教育中注重引导领导干部以学促干，聚力向战推动科研创新。赴高原开展军人作业效能调研，到驻南方某部开展项目建设对接……连日来，研究院党委常委分别带领专家团队奔赴一线部队，深入了解部队卫勤保障需求，梳理科研能力建设难点堵点和部队建设重点问题，并提出解决方案。
“Noting that Chinese modernization will create unprecedented growth potential and market demand, Qin said China's new-energy vehicle industry has broad prospects. China will continue to advance opening-up at a high level and create a better market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment for Tesla and other foreign companies, said Qin. Qin said a healthy, stable, and constructive China-U.S. relationship is in the interests of both countries and the world at large, adding that such a relationship is only possible when the two sides adhere to the right direction of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, avoid ‘dangerous driving’, and ‘step on the gas’ to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. The United States and China share intertwined and inseparable interests, Musk said, adding that Tesla opposes decoupling and is willing to continue to expand its business in China and share the country's development opportunities.” Comment: Full marks to Qin for the driving metaphors. Other reports also inform that Musk met with Commerce Ministry officials in China.
Next, there’s a report on NPCSC vice chairman Li Hongzhong meeting with a delegation of the Congolese Party of Labour led by its general secretary Pierre Moussa. Xinhua reports:
“China stands ready to work with the Congolese side to strengthen friendly exchanges between political parties and legislative bodies of the two countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and push the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries to a new level, Li added. Moussa said the Congolese side is willing to learn from the governance experience of the CPC, strengthen exchanges between political parties and legislative bodies of the two countries, and promote friendly cooperation between the two countries.”
Third, there’s a very brief report on NPCSC vice chairman Shohrat Zakir meeting with a visiting delegation from the New Azerbaijan Party.
Finally, a report informing that yesterday in Wuhan, there was an event called “Story of the Communist Party of China: The Practice of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Hubei.” The report says that more than 170 leaders or representatives of political parties from 28 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America attended the conference.
ILD chief Liu Jianchao spoke about Chinese-style modernization at the event. He said that “The Communist Party of China is willing to strengthen exchanges of governance experience with political parties around the world, respect and support the independent choice of development paths made by the people of all countries, and jointly paint a new picture of the modernization of human society in which a hundred flowers bloom.” 中国共产党愿同世界各国政党加强治国理政经验交流，尊重和支持各国人民对发展道路的自主选择，共同绘就百花齐放的人类社会现代化新图景.
Hubei Secretary Wang Menghui also spoke at the meeting. “General Secretary Xi Jinping personally commanded and deployed, leading us to win the battle of epidemic prevention and control in Wuhan and Hubei; achieve post-pandemic recovery and high-quality economic and social development; facilitate a historic turning point in the protection of the Yangtze River; and successfully win the battle against poverty on schedule. Every achievement in Hubei's reform and development has been made under the scientific guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. 习近平总书记亲自指挥、亲自部署，带领我们打赢了疫情防控武汉保卫战、湖北保卫战，实现疫后重振和经济社会高质量发展，推动长江大保护实现历史性转折性变化，如期打赢脱贫攻坚战。湖北改革发展的每一份成绩都是在习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的科学指引下取得的。
Also during the session, “grassroots party members from rural areas, communities, enterprises and universities in Hubei and a foreign friend living in Hubei told touching stories of Hubei's development and changes from the perspectives of poverty alleviation, ecological environment protection, scientific and technological innovation and BRI development.” 在故事分享环节，来自湖北农村、社区、企业、高校等5位基层党员和1位在湖北生活的外国友人从脱贫攻坚、生态环保、科技创新、“一带一路”建设等角度讲述了湖北发展变化的感人故事。
Page 3: A report based on a new publication by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade on the business environment for foreign-invested business in China. The story says that the CCPIT conducted investigations covering 600 enterprises across 26 provinces.
The report says that satisfaction rates of surveyed foreign-invested enterprises regarding indicators such as tax payment, access to financial services, municipal public infrastructure facilities, cross-border trade, resolution of commercial disputes, market access, human resource supply, access to business premises, and promotion of market competition were all above 80%. 一季度，受访外资企业对办理纳税、获取金融服务、市政公用基础设施报装、跨境贸易、解决商业纠纷、市场准入、人力资源供给、获取经营场所和促进市场竞争等指标的满意度均超过80%.
97% of the foreign-funded enterprises evaluated the foreign investment policies issued by the Chinese government since the fourth quarter of last year as ‘satisfactory’ or higher. 97%的外资企业对去年四季度以来中国政府出台的外资政策评价为“满意”以上.
More than 80% of the interviewed foreign-funded enterprises expect the profit margin of investment in China to remain steady or increase this year. Over 90% of the interviewed enterprises expect the profit margin of investment in China to remain steady or increase over the next five years. The Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Chengdu-Chongqing region are the main areas that are attracting foreign investment. 超八成受访外资企业预期今年在华投资利润率将持平或有所增加，超九成受访企业预计未来5年在华投资利润持平或有所增加。长三角、珠三角和成渝地区等地是吸引外商增资的主要地区.
“Wang said that relevant departments must enhance their capacity to deter such crimes with technological methods, step up efforts in crime prevention and the promotion of relevant knowledge, and ensure the number of such crimes and the public's financial loss are reduced to the minimum. Wang also called for improving the management of relevant industries so no room would be left for these crimes to occur.” Comment: You know, given the expansion of telecoms and cyber frauds in India too, perhaps this can be something that’s part of our experience sharing between the two countries. There’s a serious need for capacity enhancement in this regard.
Page 6: There’s a report on the closing of the 2023 Zhongguancun Forum. It says that more than 5,000 scientists, entrepreneurs, investors from 86 countries and regions around the world participated in the conference.
“According to incomplete statistics, during the main session of the forum, a total of 129 projects were signed, with a contract value of more than 81 billion yuan; 152 investment promotion projects were announced, with an estimated total investment of more than 143 billion yuan.”
The report also informs that during the forum, a new Implementation Plan for Accelerating the Construction of a Globally Influential Artificial Intelligence Innovation Hub in Beijing (2023-2025) 北京市加快建设具有全球影响力的人工智能创新策源地实施方案（2023—2025年 was released. Also published was a document with measures to promote the development of general AI innovation in Beijing (北京市促进通用人工智能创新发展的若干措施).
Under the plan, by 2025, Beijing should become a globally influential centre for AI innovation. Specific work goals include achieving an industry scale of 300 billion yuan, maintaining a growth rate of over 10%, and radiating an industry scale of over 1 trillion yuan. 到2025年，北京市人工智能技术创新与产业发展进入新阶段，基本建成具有全球影响力的人工智能创新策源地。具体工作目标包括，产业规模达到3000亿元，持续保持10%以上增长，辐射产业规模超过1万亿元等.
Page 7: Briefly to note the nature of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration; the big data centers in each region have come together to ink a Big Data Development Strategic Cooperation Agreement.
As per the deal, they will all share resources and enhance cooperation in the field of big data to drive high-quality development of the big data industry. The primary focus will be on “promoting institutional innovation, sharing data resources, facilitating cross-provincial services, optimising computing resources, promoting technological innovation, strengthening basic research, enhancing data security, building exchange platforms, and expanding application scenarios.” 天津市大数据管理中心、河北省大数据中心日前在天津共同签署《京津冀大数据发展战略合作协议》（以下简称《协议》），推动实施京津冀协同发展重大国家战略，以三地大数据领域合作，为合力打造中国式现代化建设的先行区、示范区贡献大数据力量。根据《协议》，三方将确定建立长期战略合作伙伴关系，遵循“资源共享、业务协同、优势互补”的原则，加强大数据领域合作，驱动大数据事业高质量发展。按照《协议》，京津冀三地将主要围绕推进制度创新、共享数据资源、推动跨省通办、优化算力资源、推动技术创新、加强基础研究、强化数据安全、搭建交流平台、拓展应用场景等9项内容开展合作.
Page 17: The lead story is the second in a series on how the US is benefitting from the war in Ukraine. This one basically argues that while Europe has restricted energy supplies from Russia, the US is exporting “high-priced natural gas to Europe.” Consequently, “Europe's energy independence and even carbon neutrality goals are facing new challenges.”
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