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Xi Meets Eritrea’s Afwerki - Understanding Correct View on Political Achievements - Zhong Yin on Building Quality Talent Resources - Wang & Qin Meet Peter Szijjarto
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People's Daily's edition on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
“China views and develops bilateral relations with Eritrea from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is a reliable friend of Eritrea, Xi said. In face of the current international situation, which is full of instability and uncertainty, a sound China-Eritrea relationship not only serves the common and long-term interests of the two countries, but is also of great significance to regional peace and international fairness and justice, Xi said, pledging to advance China's strategic partnership with Eritrea. China appreciates Eritrea's long-standing adherence to an independent foreign policy, firmly supports Eritrea in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions, firmly supports Eritrea in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and opposes external interference in Eritrea's internal affairs and the imposition of unilateral sanctions, the Chinese president said. Xi said China is ready to share experience with Eritrea on national governance, jointly oppose unilateralism and bullying, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing countries.”
The report adds:
“China supports Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Eritrea, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation on infrastructure construction, telecommunications, agriculture, mining and fisheries, and will continue to send medical teams and senior agricultural experts to Eritrea, Xi said. He thanked Eritrea for providing support and assistance to China during its recent evacuation of Chinese citizens in Sudan, which again demonstrated the profound friendship between the two countries. He called for more measures to enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. Xi said that no matter how the situation develops, mutual respect, understanding, support and help have always been the key features of China-Africa friendships. He noted that China-Africa cooperation plays a leading role in South-South cooperation and in international cooperation with Africa. ‘Africa is a promising land. Under the new circumstances, it is more important than ever for China and Africa to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to overcome difficulties together,’ Xi said. China is ready to work with Africa to carry forward traditional friendships, consolidate strategic mutual trust, create new opportunities for Africa with China's high-quality development and modernization, deepen practical cooperation with Africa, and build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future, Xi said.”
“Afwerki said that China is a great country. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the country has grown into a world power, making outstanding contributions to peace and development of humanity, he said. He noted that China has always held the moral high ground, put forward its own solutions to global challenges, upheld international fairness and justice, and encouraged developing countries to seek independence and development. Afwerki said that any attempt to contain or suppress China's development is bound to fail. The evolution of international order is at a critical stage, and African countries still face hegemonism and unfair and unjust treatment. The international community expects and believes that China will make greater contributions to human development and progress, and to international fairness and justice. Eritrea hopes to strengthen cooperation with China and believes that the Eritrea-China strategic partnership will help Eritrea achieve national economic and social development, Afwerki said.”
Afwerki also met with Premier Li Qiang. Xinhua’s report says that Li “called for further efforts to synergize economic and social development strategies, enhance communications over the formulation of industrial development plans and industrial park construction, and support the development of key industries, among others. Li also encouraged the two sides to deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, the maritime and fishing industries, water resources, energy and ore development, and foster new cooperation growth points in the digital, green and blue economies. China will continue to provide assistance within its own capacity for Eritrea's social and economic development. The two sides should practice closer coordination in regional and international affairs, stay committed to true multilateralism, resolutely oppose power politics and bullying, and defend the common interests of China and Eritrea and developing countries at large.”
At the top of the page is a report on Xi’s letter replying to a letter from Central Asian students at China University of Petroleum. Xi’s core point was to ask the students to “take an active part in promoting friendships between China and Central Asian countries, carry forward the Silk Road spirit, tell Chinese stories and Central Asian stories well, act as envoys of friendship and bridges of cooperation, and contribute to building an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.”
Next, there’s a report on Qiushi publishing Xi’s speech to the Politburo during the fourth group study session in late March. The theme of this session was the study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. You can read my full breakdown of the report from back then.
Moving on, there’s a very long feature article on how Xi Jinping is educating and guiding cadres on establishing the correct view of political achievements. If you would like to get a sense of what this bit of having the correct view on political achievements is about, then you can read my breakdown of a front page commentary from May 11, which discussed the issue.
The article today says that in recent times, there have been several changes in leadership positions. Xi Jinping has repeatedly urged everyone to establish the correct view of political achievements. The key point he makes in the article is for cadres to not rush to get immediate results without respecting rules and regulations. Essentially, he cautions against impetuousness and rushing to get results and working to get results in a “down-to-earth” manner. 近年来，各地领导班子陆续进行了换届，不少党员、干部走上了新的领导岗位。党的二十大，开启了全面建成社会主义现代化强国、实现第二个百年奋斗目标新征程。习近平总书记一再叮嘱树牢正确政绩观，“不要有大干快上的冲动，也就是不能不按规律办事，急功近利、急于出成绩。要把这种浮躁心理、急躁心态都压下来，扎扎实实、踏踏实实地搞现代化建设.”
There are lots of quotes from Xi in this piece. The first part of the article focuses on ensuring popular legitimacy and public support. This is expressed in standard formulations like “the original aspiration and mission of the Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation” or “the people’s yearning for a better life is our goal” or “国之大者 (matter of greatest national importance) is the happy life of the people”.
The second section is about implementing the new development concept. The key point made is that going forward, “development must be high-quality development, and the new development concept must be fully, accurately and comprehensively implemented.”
An interesting section here says:
“Practice tells us that the development effect that one achieves is based on the kind of political achievement concept that is in place. Whether the outlook on political achievements and development is right or not determines the effectiveness and even success or failure of development. One of the most important aspects of our party leading the people in governing the country is to answer the important question of what kind of development to achieve and how to achieve it. Forging ahead on a new journey and building a new era, the key to creating achievements that can stand the test of practice, people and history lies in establishing and practising the concept of political achievements that conforms to the new development concept. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that ‘it is necessary to establish a correct view of political achievements, properly handle the relationship between stability and progress, establishment and destruction, virtual and real, standard and basic, near and far, adhere to bottom-line thinking, strengthen risk awareness, and consciously integrate the new development concepts throughout the entire process of economic and social development.’ This is a profound change in the concept of development, and it is a correction and sublimation of the concept of political achievements.” 实践告诉我们，有什么样的政绩观，就会有什么样的发展效果。政绩观、发展观是否对头，决定着发展的成效乃至成败。我们党领导人民治国理政，很重要的一个方面就是要回答好实现什么样的发展、怎样实现发展这个重大问题。奋进新征程、建功新时代，要创造经得起实践、人民、历史检验的实绩，关键在于树立和践行符合新发展理念的政绩观。习近平总书记深刻指出：“要树立正确政绩观，处理好稳和进、立和破、虚和实、标和本、近和远的关系，坚持底线思维，强化风险意识，自觉把新发展理念贯穿到经济社会发展全过程。”这是一次发展理念的深刻变革，这是一次政绩观的校正和升华.
After this the discussion is on how Xi has called for a shift away from the GDP and quantity towards focussing on qualitative indicators as being the key for assessing developmental outcomes.
The third section of the article discusses issues like maintaining strategic determination, the importance of taking responsibility and refraining from formalism and bureaucracy. The fourth section calls on everyone to strengthen the tempering of Party spirit, ideals and beliefs, and persevere in using Xi’s thought to cast souls.
Finally, there’s a report on Zhao Leji’s visit to Morocco. Zhao held talks with Alami, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, and Mohamed Hanine, the first vice speaker of the Moroccan House of Councillors. Xinhua reports: Zhao said that China-Morocco ties “have developed by leaps and bounds and are in its best shape ever.”
“China thanks Morocco for abiding by the one-China principle and providing China with valuable support on issues covering Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and human rights, he said. China is willing to deepen cooperation with Morocco within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), actively implement the outcomes of the first China-Arab States Summit and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), tap the potential for cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges, and promote mutual learning between the two civilizations and people-to-people connectivity, Zhao said. China stands ready to work with Arab states, including Morocco, to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era so as to create a better future for the China-Arab strategic partnership, he added.”
Later, the report adds: “President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), providing China's solutions to development and security problems and promoting the progress of human civilization, Zhao said. China appreciates Morocco's support for the GDI and its participation in the Group of Friends of the GDI, he said, welcoming Morocco to join the GSI and the GCI. Zhao said the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, is ready to strengthen regular exchanges with the Moroccan parliament to share the experience on governance and create a sound legal environment for practical cooperation. For his part, Alami said the two countries remain committed to upholding justice and providing mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns. Noting that China is one of Morocco's main trading partners, he called on the two sides to deepen pragmatic cooperation and jointly explore the African market for mutual benefit and win-win results.”
Page 3: There are articles previewing the China-Central Asia Summit. But there’s nothing terribly noteworthy in them.
There are also reports on Wang Yi and Qin Gang meeting with Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto. Xinhua’s report on Wang’s meeting says:
Wang “said he appreciated Hungary's friendly policy toward China, saying it is in line with the interests of Hungary and its people, the common interests of China and Europe, and the trend of the times. China's development and growth is a boost for peace forces and an enhancement of global stability factors, Wang said, adding that mutual respect, trust, understanding and support between China and Hungary have propelled bilateral ties into their best period in history. Noting that China supports European strategic autonomy, Wang said China is willing to work with Hungary and other EU countries to uphold genuine multilateralism, advance democratization in international relations, and make the global governance system more just and equitable. Hailing China's efforts to find a political settlement to the Ukraine crisis, Szijjarto said Hungary-China and EU-China cooperation are opportunities rather than risks. Szijjarto said Hungary welcomes China to increase investment in the country, adding that Hungary is willing to enhance cooperation with China in various fields and push bilateral relations to a new level.”
Xinhua’s report on Qin’s meeting says:
“Noting China and Hungary are good friends and partners who can stand tests, Qin said that bilateral relations have entered the best period in history under the joint leadership of the leaders of the two countries. Qin said China is willing to plan bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, maintain high-level exchanges with Hungary, deepen strategic mutual trust, expand friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation, increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges, firmly support each other's core interests and major concerns, and jointly address various risks and challenges. Qin noted that Hungary is the only guest of honor country at the third China-CEEC Expo, which will be held in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province. Hungary has sent a delegation led by Szijjarto to attend the opening ceremony of the expo, which fully demonstrates Hungary's support for China-CEEC cooperation and the great importance it attaches to bilateral ties. It is hoped that the European Union (EU) could establish an objective and correct perception of China and uphold a positive and practical policy towards China, Qin added.”
Also on the page is a brief report on the China-Pacific People-to-People Friendship Forum that was recently held in Fuzhou. Around 100 people, including envoys of Pacific Island Countries and members of the Pacific China Friendship Association, representatives of enterprises and overseas students participated in the event.
Page 4: There’s a report informing that the central leading group on the Xi thought education campaign held a symposium for some provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, central and state organs, financial enterprises and universities. Li Ganjie and Liu Jinguo presided over the meeting and delivered speeches.
“The meeting stressed that it is necessary to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the series of important speeches and instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping on theme education, take strengthening the Party's innovative theory as the top priority, adhere to the principle of understanding the original text by reading the original text, educate and guide Party members to thoroughly cleanse ideological roots, consolidate the foundation, deeply understand the decisive significance of the Two Establishments and achieve the two safeguards.” 会议强调，要深入学习贯彻习近平总书记关于主题教育的系列重要讲话和指示批示精神，把加强党的创新理论武装作为重中之重，坚持读原著学原文悟原理，教育引导党员、干部从思想上正本清源、固本培元，深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义，坚决做到“两个维护”.
The group called for using Xi’s thought to study new situations and solve new problems, establish the correct view of political achievements, promote the resolution of development problems through in-depth investigation and research, and pursue high-quality development. 要坚持学以致用、知行合一，扎实做好习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想深化、内化、转化工作，运用党的创新理论研究新情况、解决新问题。要树牢正确政绩观，扑下身子察实情、谋实招，以深化调查研究推动解决发展难题，真抓实干推动高质量发展。要坚持边学习、边对照、边检视、边整改，从思想根源上解决问题，务实抓好整改整治.
Also on the page is the second Zhong Yin commentary on population policy. The core point being made is that:
“At present, our country is in a critical period of transformation from a country with a large population to a country with a strong human resources. Giving full play to the potential and advantages of human resources is the biggest support for promoting China’s economy to maintain a medium-to-high rate of growth for a long time and move towards the middle- and high-end level. Efforts to improve the overall quality of the population and give full play to the dynamic role of population factors will certainly provide a solid human resource guarantee for building a socialist modern country in an all-round way and promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” 当前，我国正处于人口大国向人力资源强国转变的关键时期，发挥人力资源的潜力与优势是促进我国经济长期保持中高速增长、迈向中高端水平的最大支撑。着力提高人口整体素质，最大限度发挥人口因素的能动作用，必将为全面建设社会主义现代化国家、全面推进中华民族伟大复兴提供坚实人力资源保障.
In order to improve the quality of human resources, the next paragraph calls for focussing on China’s “own advantages and favourable conditions.” First, it argues that China has the world's largest vocational education system, with some 10 million high-quality technical and skilled personnel being trained every year. It says that China today has more than 200 million skilled workers and more than 60 million highly-skilled personnel.
Second, it says that the average life expectancy in China today is over 78 years, and the country ranks with middle- and high-income countries when it comes to key health indicators. Third, around 240 million people in the country have received higher education; the average education period for the newly added labour force is around 14 years; and China ranks first globally in terms of the total number of R&D personnel. 着力提高人口整体素质，首先要看到自身优势和有利条件。建成世界上规模最大的职业教育体系，中职、高职学校每年为国家培养约1000万高素质技术技能人才，技能劳动者总量超过2亿，高技能人才超过6000万……如今，越来越多技能人才在各行各业勇挑重担、发挥作用，成为我国人口素质不断提高的生动缩影。今天的中国，人均预期寿命超过78岁，主要健康指标居于中高收入国家前列，接受高等教育的人口超过2.4亿，新增劳动力平均受教育年限达14年，研发人员总量稳居世界首位.
“With the improvement of population quality, the demographic dividend will gradually transform into a talent dividend, and the advantages of China’s population resources will be effectively brought into play, thereby further promoting the transformation of economic development mode, the upgrading of industrial structure, the improvement of total factor productivity, and promoting the sustained, coordinated and healthy development of population and economy and society.” 随着人口素质的提高，人口红利逐步向人才红利转变，人口资源的优势将得到有效发挥，从而进一步促进经济发展方式转变、产业结构升级、全要素生产率提高，推动人口和经济社会持续协调、健康发展.
The next paragraph is more specific on what needs to be done for all this:
“It is necessary to deepen the reform and innovation of education and health, take the construction of a strong country through education as a strategic project for the high-quality development of the population, and comprehensively improve the scientific, cultural, health, ideological and moral quality of the population. It is necessary to establish and improve the fertility support policy system, vigorously develop the inclusive childcare service system, significantly reduce the burden of family childbirth education, promote the construction of a childbirth-friendly society, and promote the long-term balanced development of the population. It is necessary to strengthen the development and utilisation of human resources, stabilise the labour participation rate and improve the efficiency of human resources utilisation. It is necessary to implement the national strategy of actively responding to the ageing population, promote the construction of the basic elderly care service system, vigorously develop the silver-haired economy, accelerate the development of a multi-level and multi-pillar old-age insurance system, and strive to achieve a sense of security, a sense of worthiness and a sense of happiness for the elderly. It is necessary to better coordinate the relationship between population, economy, society, resources and environment, optimise the regional economic layout and land space system, optimise the population structure, safeguard population security, and promote high-quality population development. It is necessary to improve the promotion mechanism of lifelong learning for all and build a lifelong learning system with more flexible methods, richer resources and more convenient learning.” 要深化教育卫生事业改革创新，把教育强国建设作为人口高质量发展的战略工程，全面提高人口科学文化素质、健康素质、思想道德素质。要建立健全生育支持政策体系，大力发展普惠托育服务体系，显著减轻家庭生育养育教育负担，推动建设生育友好型社会，促进人口长期均衡发展。要加强人力资源开发利用，稳定劳动参与率，提高人力资源利用效率。要实施积极应对人口老龄化国家战略，推进基本养老服务体系建设，大力发展银发经济，加快发展多层次、多支柱养老保险体系，努力实现老有所养、老有所为、老有所乐。要更好统筹人口与经济社会、资源环境的关系，优化区域经济布局和国土空间体系，优化人口结构，维护人口安全，促进人口高质量发展。要完善全民终身学习推进机制，构建方式更加灵活、资源更加丰富、学习更加便捷的终身学习体系。
Next, there’s a report on the Organisation Department and the Ministry of Justice jointly holding a video training session as part of the Xi thought education campaign. The report says that more than 100,000 people in charge of relevant ministries and commissions across central and state agencies and relevant law enforcement departments of provinces, cities and counties attended the session.
Finally, new appointments by the State Council.
Cong Liang is now the deputy director NDRC
Wang Gang has been appointed as Vice Minister of Transport
Cao Shumin has been appointed as director of National Radio and Television Administration
“The forum, themed ‘Open Cooperation for a Shared Future’, will host more than 150 events, including 55 parallel forums, attracting guests from more than 80 countries and regions, as well as nearly 200 foreign government departments, international organizations and institutions. Nearly 120 top experts in various fields will deliver keynote speeches during the forum, according to a media conference held by the organizers. This year's forum will see the publication of news of a number of cutting-edge sci-tech achievements, research reports, plans for major international cooperation projects, as well as policies and measures, including an annual report on the transformation of China's sci-tech achievements, and the top 10 international technology innovation transfer projects.”
Page 17: On the international page, this exchange from yesterday’s MoFA press conference has been reproduced:
CCTV: According to reports, informed sources say that the G7 Hiroshima Summit may issue a separate statement on economic security, which will stress the importance of countering economic coercion, maintaining supply chain resilience, ensuring fair competition, and ending dependency on China in semiconductors, critical minerals and other sectors. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: No one is more qualified than the US to be called out for economic coercion. Japan surely knows this best from its experience with the Plaza Accord of the 1980s. If G7 members truly care about economic security, they should ask the US to stop bludgeoning and curbing other countries in the name of national security, stop bullying others and coercing allies to form exclusive blocs, stop disrupting the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains, and stop dividing the world into two markets and systems, which is the world’s No.1 economic threat right now. The US has been browbeating relevant countries into economic decoupling from China, imposing sci-tech blockade on China, and suppressing Chinese companies. This is not about fair competition, but a serious violation of market principles and WTO rules. If G7 members truly care about economic security, they should ask the US not to try to avoid default by keeping raising the debt ceiling, to correct its aggressive adjustment of monetary policies and not to shift domestic risks to the rest of the world. If G7 members truly care about economic security, they should immediately find out who’re responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline blast and hold them accountable to safeguard the security of important transnational infrastructure. We urge the US, Japan and other G7 countries – all members of the club of the rich – not to harm the interests of the many for the selfish interests of the few in the world of nations. We hope they will follow the trend of our times for inclusiveness and openness and think of tangible ways to contribute to world peace, stability and development. Japan must not be complicit in economic coercion as G7 chair.”
There’s nothing in the paper so far about special envoy Li Hui’s visit to Russia and Ukraine.
Also noteworthy was this exchange, although it’s not in PD today.
Global Times: According to reports, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on May 12 after the informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers (Gymnich) that foreign ministers gave broad backing to the EU’s planned re-calibration of its strategy on China while continuing also to see Beijing both as a partner on global issues and an economic competitor. Borrell stressed that the EU, while sticking to the triptych of rival, partner and competitor, has to compete with China. He said that de-risking means to review economic relations with China and the aim is not to “de-couple” the European and Chinese economies but to rebalance the relationship. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: China always views its relations with Europe from a strategic height and long-term perspective. We see Europe as a comprehensive strategic partner and follows a Europe policy featuring stability and continuity. While appreciating the EU’s statement of not subscribing to zero-sum game, we see its perception of China — the triptych of rival, partner and competitor — as self-contradictory. In fact, China and Europe have broad common interests with cooperation and consensus far surpassing competition and disagreements. We hope the European side will not be biassed by ideological difference, rise above external disruption, uphold strategic autonomy, form its independent and objective perception of China, and adopt a positive and rational China policy. This best serves its interests. As the Chinese side has stressed repeatedly, the “de-risking” rhetoric is based on a false narrative.”
“China-Europe economic and trade cooperation enjoys a sound foundation, fruitful outcomes and enormous potential. The dependencies are mutual and our cooperation is mutually beneficial. China can be an important partner for the EU in the face of risks and challenges. We hope the European side will provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies and avoid politicizing economic and trade issues or approaching them from an untenable security angle. In a world of profound changes and fluid international landscape, the global significance and strategic influence of relations between China and Europe, two constructive forces and sources of stability, has become even more pronounced. Just as State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang said during his recent trip to Europe, China and Europe need to keep an open mind and respect and support the development paths independently chosen by the people of all countries around the world. We need to view history correctly and progressively, jointly reject a new Cold War, and lead by example in promoting coordination and sound interaction between major countries. We need to stay committed to win-win cooperation, oppose decoupling and supply chain disruption, and keep global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded. As we mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU, we stand ready to work together with the EU to fully resume exchange at all levels, revitalize dialogue and cooperation across the board, ensure the sound and steady growth of our relations, and inject new impetus into world peace, stability and prosperity.”
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