Discover more from Tracking People's Daily
Xi Meets Macron & Von der Leyen - New Xi Thought Outline for Study Campaign - Iran-Saudi Deal in Beijing - Lashing out at Tsai's US Transit - Impact of 'Tech Hegemony' on Human Rights
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People’s Daily’s edition on Friday, April 7, 2023.
Page 1: The front page today is dedicated to the meetings between Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Let’s begin with the report on Xi’s meeting with Macron. The visit ended with deals in agrifood, science and technology, aviation, civil nuclear energy, sustainable development, and culture. Xinhua English has the detailed report too:
Xi “noted the profound historic transformation taking place in the world, and pointed out that China and France, as permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, major countries with a tradition of independence, and firm advocates for a multi-polar world and for greater democracy in international relations, have the ability and responsibility to rise above differences and obstacles, keep to the overall direction of a comprehensive strategic partnership that is stable, mutually beneficial, enterprising and dynamic, and practice true multilateralism for global peace, stability and prosperity.”
Xi added that “stability, a defining feature and valued asset of this relationship, should be cherished by both sides.” He called for holding a new round of meetings this year for the China-France strategic dialogue, the economic and financial dialogue, and the dialogue on people-to-people exchanges.
Xi added that “the two sides should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect each other's core interests, and properly handle and manage differences. They need to stay committed to mutual benefit and common development… China will work with France to deepen cooperation in such fields as agrifood, space, aviation, and civil nuclear energy, foster new cooperation areas including trade in services, green development, and innovation in science and technology, and support the joint development of a carbon neutrality center and joint cultivation of talents.”
France will be a guest country of honor at the China International Fair for Trade in Services 2024 and the seventh CIIE. He called for France to provide Chinese businesses with a “fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment.” Xi called for the two sides to maintain “close communication and coordination in multilateral mechanisms” and “counter global challenges like climate change and energy issues. China supports France in hosting the UN Ocean Conference 2025, and welcomes France's participation in the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.”
He added: “China-Europe relations bear on the wellbeing of both sides and the stability and prosperity of the world at large. China will keep its Europe policy stable in the long run, continue to see Europe as an independent force in a multi-polar world, and stay committed to a China-Europe relationship that does not target any third party, nor is dependent on or dictated by any third party.”
Xi promised to “resume exchanges and dialogues on all fronts, reinforce friendship and cooperation as the keynote of China-EU relations, explore a supply chain partnership featuring stability and mutual trust.”
Among other things, Xinhua’s report attributes the following to Macron:
France “respects and follows the one-China policy.”
France “wants to continue close communication and cooperation with China on issues like climate change and food security.”
“France is ready to work with China on the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will host. France commends China for its abiding commitment to the purposes of the UN Charter and its positive role in addressing regional and international hotspot issues, and looks forward to closer communication and coordination with China for durable peace and stability in the world.”
“France is committed to an independent foreign policy and to the strategic autonomy of Europe, and opposed to stoking confrontation, division and bloc rivalry...France will not pick sides. Instead, France calls for unity and cooperation to keep relations stable between major countries.”
Then there’s a lot on the Ukraine war.
“President Xi emphasized that China's position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. It is essentially about facilitating peace talks and political settlement. There is no panacea for defusing the crisis. Xi said it requires all parties to do their share and create conditions for ceasefire and peace talks through a buildup of trust.”
“China supports Europe in playing its role in the political settlement of the crisis. He said China stands ready to issue a joint call with France for the international community to stay rational, exercise restraint, and avoid taking actions that might cause the crisis to further deteriorate or even spiral out of control; to strictly abide by international humanitarian law, avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, and protect women, children and other victims of the conflict; to earnestly honor the pledge that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, oppose the use of biological weapons under any circumstances, and oppose armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other civilian nuclear facilities; to resume peace talks as soon as possible, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties, seek political settlement, and foster a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture; and to jointly address the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis in food, energy, finance, transportation and other fields, and reduce the negative impact of the Ukraine crisis on the world, especially on developing countries.”
“China is ready to stay in touch with France and play a constructive role in the political settlement of the crisis, Xi said. Macron shared France’s view on the issue, and commended China's important role in the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. France calls for the resumption of political negotiations and a settlement of the crisis through diplomatic means to achieve lasting peace in Europe. France hopes to increase communication and make joint efforts with China toward peace.”
On the issue of China’s possible role in the ending of the Ukraine war, here’s Guardian’s report covering the press conference between Macron and Xi.
“The Russian aggression in Ukraine has dealt a blow to [international] stability,” Emmanuel Macron told Xi, standing alongside the Chinese leader outside the Great Hall of the People before their meeting. “I know I can count on you to bring back Russia to reason and everyone back to the negotiating table.” However, hours later in Moscow, a government spokesperson said he saw no prospect for China to mediate in the Ukraine conflict and that Russia had “no other way” than to press on with its offensive. “Undoubtedly, China has a very effective and commanding potential for mediation,” the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said. “But the situation with Ukraine is complex. So far there are no prospects for a political settlement.”
Politico’s headline captures everything rather succinctly: “Macron fails to move Xi Jinping over Russia’s war on Ukraine”
You can watch the full press briefing here.
The two leaders also attended the closing ceremony of the fifth meeting of the China-France Business Council. Basically, the same key points discussed elsewhere are repeated in their comments. For instance, Xi’s call to maintain “openness and inclusiveness” and deepen mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.” “China will accelerate the development of the domestic market, while vigorously promoting high-level opening-up, and steadily expanding institutional opening-up in terms of rules, regulations, management, and standards. China is willing to share new opportunities brought about by Chinese-style modernization with countries around the world, including France.” The need to “adhere to independence”, not engage in decoupling and for Europe to “uphold an objective and correct understanding of China.”
Next, let’s look at the report on Xi’s meeting with von der Leyen. Xi said that “China has always regarded the EU as a strategic force in international affairs, and has always regarded the development of China-EU relations as the priority in China's diplomacy. It is willing to continue its good tradition, maintain close communication, enhance strategic mutual trust, focus on win-win cooperation, and jointly overcome interference and challenges to achieve a high-level operation of China-EU relations.” 习近平指出，中方始终将欧盟视为国际格局中一支战略性力量，一直把发展中欧关系视为中国外交优先方向，愿同欧方延续良好传统，保持密切沟通，增进战略互信，聚焦互利共赢合作，共同克服干扰和挑战，实现中欧关系高水平运行.
“China and Europe should strengthen communication, establish correct mutual understanding and avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment. The Chinese nation has a history of more than 5,000 years of civilization. It has always opposed military aggression, bullying the weak, and a strong country seeking hegemony. The development of China is to make the people of China live a better life. At the same time, China resolutely safeguards its sovereignty, security and development interests, and will never allow any forces to deprive the people of China of their right to pursue happiness. China and Europe should focus on cooperation, win-win results, support economic globalisation and trade liberalisation, conduct in-depth dialogue and communication on issues in economic and trade cooperation, and reach mutually acceptable arrangements through consultation. China is an important partner for Europe to address challenges such as energy and inflation and enhance competitiveness. The European side is welcome to continue to share China's development dividends.” 习近平强调，中欧双方要加强沟通，建立正确的相互认知，避免误解误判。中华民族有着5000多年文明史，历来反对穷兵黩武、恃强凌弱、国强必霸。中国的发展是为了让中国人民过上好日子。同时，中方坚决维护自身主权、安全、发展利益，绝不答应任何势力剥夺中国人民追求幸福的权利。中欧要聚焦合作，互利共赢，支持经济全球化、贸易自由化，就经贸合作中的问题深入对话沟通，通过协商达成双方均可接受的安排。中方是欧洲解决能源、通货膨胀等挑战，提升竞争力的重要伙伴，欢迎欧方继续分享中国发展红利. — Comment: Xi Jinping seems to be telling von der Leyen that that while we share common interests, you need us more than we need you.
Xi Jinping emphasised that the sound development of China-EU relations cannot be separated from independence, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation. China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and respects the right of people of all countries to independently choose their development paths. The development of bilateral relations between China and any country is not targeted at, not dependent on, and not subject to third parties. China and the EU should face up to differences, manage them and respect each other. It is hoped that the European Commission will focus on the fundamental and long-term interests of the EU, proceed from the overall situation of China-EU relations, and play an active role in the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations. 习近平强调，中欧关系的良好发展离不开独立自主、相互尊重、互利合作。中方坚定奉行独立自主的和平外交政策，尊重各国人民自主选择发展道路的权利。中国同任何国家发展双边关系都不针对、不依附、也不受制于第三方。中欧双方要正视差异，管控分歧，相互尊重。希望欧盟委员会着眼欧盟根本和长远利益，从中欧关系大局出发，为中欧关系健康稳定发展发挥积极作用.
As per Xinhua, von der Leyen said that “EU and China share a lot of consensus on global challenges such as climate change and political settlement of regional disputes. The two sides should work together to contribute to maintaining world peace and stability. The European side totally disagrees with ‘decoupling and breaking chains’, and hopes to strengthen exchanges and dialogue with China, restart the three dialogue mechanisms as soon as possible, and carry out more mutually beneficial cooperation.” 冯德莱恩表示，中国拥有悠久历史和深厚文化，欧中文明交流互鉴对双方和世界具有积极影响。欧中在应对气候变化等全球性挑战和政治解决地区争端问题上拥有很多共识，双方应该共同努力，为维护世界和平稳定作出贡献。欧方完全不赞同搞“脱钩断链”，希望同中方加强交往对话，尽早重启三个对话机制，开展更多互利合作. —
Brief Take: What Xinhua does not tell us is that the EU’s approach to supply chains is not decoupling but de-risking. She explained this in her speech at MERICS and the European Policy Centre recently. Let me share a brief breakdown of the strategy she outlined:
“...most of our trade in goods and services (with China) remains mutually beneficial and ‘un-risky'. But our relationship is unbalanced and increasingly affected by distortions created by China's state capitalist system. So we need to rebalance this relationship on the basis of transparency, predictability and reciprocity. We have to ensure that our trade and investment relations promote prosperity in China and in the European Union. The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, the so-called CAI – for which negotiations concluded in 2020 – aimed at such rebalancing. But we have to recognise that the world and China have changed significantly in the last three years – and we need to reassess the CAI in light of our wider China strategy. And we know there are some areas where trade and investment poses risks to our economic and national security, particularly in the context of China's explicit fusion of its military and commercial sectors. This is true for certain sensitive technologies, dual-use goods or even investment which comes with forced technology or knowledge transfers. This is why – after de-risking through diplomacy – the second strand of our future China strategy must be economic de-risking. The starting point for this is having a clear-eyed picture on what the risks are. That means recognising how China's economic and security ambitions have shifted. But it also means taking a critical look at our own resilience and dependencies, in particular within our industrial and defence base. This can only be based on stress-testing our relationship to see where the greatest threats lie concerning our resilience, long-term prosperity and security. This will allow us to develop our economic de-risking strategy across four pillars.”
First, “making our own economy and industry more competitive and resilient. This is particularly the case when it comes to health, digital and the clean-tech sector.”
Second, “better using our existing toolbox of trade instruments. Over the last years we have put in place measures to address security concerns, whether on 5G, the Foreign Direct Investment or export controls. We have given ourselves the tools to counter economic distortions, notably through the Foreign Subsidies Regulation, as well as a new instrument to deter economic coercion. We now need the unity at EU level for a bolder and faster use of those instruments when they are required and a more assertive approach to enforcement.”
Third, China's changing policies may require us to develop new defensive tools for some critical sectors. The European Union needs to define its future relationship with China and other countries in sensitive high-tech areas such as microelectronics, quantum computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotech, – you name it. Where dual-use purposes cannot be excluded or human rights might be implicated, there will need to be a clear line on whether investments or exports are in our own security interests. We need to ensure that our companies' capital, expertise and knowledge are not used to enhance the military and intelligence capabilities of those who are also systemic rivals.” She added that “Europe should develop a targeted instrument on outbound investment.”
Fourth, alignment with other partners. On issues that concern our economic security, we have much in common with our partners around the world.
Back to the PD report. Finally, on Taiwan, Xi called it the “core of China's core interests” and von der Leyen “reiterated that the EU has no intention to change its long-standing one-China policy, recognizes the People's Republic of China government as the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China, and hopes to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” 关于台湾问题，习近平强调，台湾问题是中国核心利益中的核心。谁要是在一个中国问题上做文章，中国政府和中国人民绝不答应；谁要是指望中国在台湾问题上妥协退让，那是痴心妄想，只会搬起石头砸自己的脚。冯德莱恩重申，欧盟无意改变长期奉行的一个中国政策，承认中华人民共和国政府是代表全中国的唯一合法政府，希望台海地区保持和平稳定.
“China and the EU should respect each other, promote political trust, strengthen dialogue and cooperation, uphold world peace and stability, promote common development and prosperity, and address global challenges together…China has all along viewed the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective and ensured stability and continuity in its EU policy, he said, adding that China hopes the EU will develop a more independent and objective perception of China and adopt a pragmatic and positive China policy. Xi said the two sides should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, work through dialogue and consultation to build consensus and overcome differences. It is important to respect each other's development paths. He said Chinese modernization and European integration are strategic choices China and the EU have made with the two sides' respective futures in mind. China and the EU should be each other's trustworthy and reliable cooperation partners on their paths to development.”
Xi added: “Playing up the so-called ‘democracy vs authoritarianism’ narrative and stoking a new Cold War will only bring division and confrontation to the world, Xi said, stressing the importance to maintain an open and trusting environment for cooperation. China and the EU should keep their markets open to each other, provide a fair and nondiscriminatory environment for businesses from the other side, and avoid turning economic and trade matters into political or national security issues. The two sides should build stable and trustworthy supply chains, and synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Gateway strategy in support of sustained and stable economic growth in China and the EU, Xi said.”
“Xi said China and the EU need to jointly uphold global stability and prosperity, and stand against hegemonism, unilateralism and attempts to decouple economies or sever supply chains. The two sides need to step up macroeconomic and financial policy communication and coordination, deepen their green partnership, and increase dialogue and cooperation on green financing, environment-friendly technologies and clean energy. China and the EU also need to help other developing countries, encourage multilateral institutions and private capital to contribute more to implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, and explore cooperation in Africa and other regions involving three or more parties, Xi added.”
Xinhua quotes von der Leyen as saying that the “EU sets its China policy independently” and “frank and constructive dialogue with China and continuous development of EU-China relations are crucial for peace and stability in Europe.”
“Macron noted that in a world full of uncertainties, the EU and China need to enhance dialogue and exchange with mutual respect, openness and humility. The two sides should work with each other to stay away from the trap of economic decoupling and severing supply chains, carry out mutually-beneficial cooperation on an equal footing, tackle pressing global challenges such as climate change, and keep deepening the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership.”
On Ukraine, this is interesting. “Xi said the pressing priority is to bring about a ceasefire and oppose actions that further inflame or complicate the situation. The Ukraine crisis is not an issue between China and the EU. China will continue to play a positive role in facilitating peace talks. China supports EU efforts to propose approaches and plans for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework, which serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the EU, Xi said.”
—Comment: Basically, Xi Jinping is telling the European side that Beijing can/will do little. It is interested in containing escalation. But beyond that, this is a problem for Europe to resolve. Also, I find the comment that the war is not an issue between EU and China troubling from Beijing’s perspective. If this is what the Chinese leadership really believes, then it is seriously mis-reading developments.
In her remarks after the meeting, von der Leyen said that she highlighted the issues of:
Trade imbalances and unfair practices that impede EU companies’ access to the Chinese market. Specifically, she mentioned “pressures to submit to technology transfer”, “excessive data requirements” and “insufficient enforcement of intellectual property rights.”
“We also count on China not to provide any military equipment, directly or indirectly, to Russia. Because we all know, arming the aggressor would be against international law. And it would significantly harm our relationship.”
“I expressed our deep concerns about the deterioration of the human rights situation in China. The situation in Xinjiang is particularly concerning. It is important that we continue to discuss these issues. And I therefore welcome that we have already resumed the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue.”
She also highlighted the importance of working together to “protect the climate and to protect our environment.”
Page 2: The entire page is dedicated to the contents of the second volume of the selected speeches of Xi Jinping, which has been recently published. This comprises speeches from 2017 to 2022. Both these are going to be useful for the Xi thought study campaign that is now underway.
Page 3: Along with this, a report on the page informs that a new book Outline for the Study of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has been published. This book contains excerpts from over 410 pieces of reports, remarks, explanations, speeches, talks, articles, congratulatory letters and instructions made by Xi between November 2012 and March 2023. The report says that this book must be used for the Xi thought study campaign.
Next, there’s a report on a circular issued by the Central Committee after the publication of the book. It says that Party organisations at all levels to unify their thinking, will, and action with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and use the thought to equip their minds and guide and enhance their work. It calls for Party members to carefully read the original works, learn the original text and understand the principles. It is necessary to:
systematically grasp the core essence, spiritual essence, rich connotation, and practical requirements of this thought, and continuously enhance political, ideological, theoretical, and emotional identification with the thought
profoundly grasp the world outlook, methodology and standpoints and methods running through this thought, know what it is and why it is, and constantly improve the level of Marxism
more consciously use this thought to guide action and solve practical problems
Use this thought to cast souls and deepen understanding of the decisive significance of the Two Establishments, strengthen the four consciousnesses and four self-confidences and achieve the two safeguards.
Also on the page is a commentary on the Xi thought study campaign. There is a lot of repetition of requirements outlined in Xi’s earlier comments. The key points are:
The key goal of the campaign is to “educate and guide Party cadres to undergo ideological tempering and spiritual baptism, strengthen their faith in Marxism, Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the realisation of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation Chinese dream, carry forward the great spirit of party building…” 要教育引导广大党员、干部经受思想淬炼、精神洗礼，坚定对马克思主义的信仰、对中国特色社会主义的信念、对实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦的信心，弘扬伟大建党精神，务必不忘初心、牢记使命，务必谦虚谨慎、艰苦奋斗，务必敢于斗争、善于斗争，筑牢信仰之基、补足精神之钙、把稳思想之舵.
Cultivate loyalty. “To temper character and strengthen loyalty, we must profoundly understand the decisive significance of Two Establishments, strengthen the political consciousness, ideological consciousness, and action consciousness of being loyal to the core, supporting the core, maintaining the core, and defending the core, and continuously improve political judgement, comprehension, and execution.” 对党忠诚，是中国共产党人首要的政治品质。锤炼品格强化忠诚，就要深刻领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义，增强忠诚核心、拥戴核心、维护核心、捍卫核心的政治自觉、思想自觉、行动自觉，不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力.
Promote development in a down-to-earth manner. Ensure that cadres have a “correct view of power”, and “enhance the sense of responsibility and mission, constantly improve the ability to promote high-quality development, serve the masses, prevent and resolve risks, and be brave in struggle and responsibility.” 奋斗创造历史，实干成就未来。实干担当促进发展，就要突出实践导向，牢固树立正确的权力观、政绩观、事业观，增强责任感和使命感，不断提高推动高质量发展本领、服务群众本领、防范化解风险本领，敢于斗争、勇于负责.
Educate and guide the majority of party members and cadres to firmly establish a people-centred development philosophy.
Rectifying Party style. This is “related to the life and death of the Party” and dealing with corruption via self-revolution.
Page 4: Today, we finally have coverage of Tsai ing-Wen’s transit via the United States. The page basically reiterates the statements issued by different institutions.
Statement by the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee: It says that the transit “seriously violated the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques, seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, and seriously damaged China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The National People's Congress of China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.” It further says: “We resolutely oppose any form of official exchanges between the US and Taiwan, and solemnly urge the US government and Congress to stop distorting and hollowing out the one-China principle, stop risky actions that cross the red line, and stop undermining the political foundation of China-US relations.” It adds that efforts to “undermine the reunification of the motherland will eventually be punished by law.”
Statement by the Taiwan Affairs Office: It said that it “strongly condemns” the visit and will “take firm measures to punish the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.” It accuses Tsai and the DPP as being driven by :”selfish, partisan interests” and acting as “pawns of the anti-China forces in the United States that are seeking to contain China”. “They cannot change the fact that Taiwan is a part of China, but will only push Taiwan towards dangerous and terrible conflict, bringing profound harm to Taiwan compatriots.” 历史车轮滚滚向前，岂是“台独”分裂势力所能阻挡！蔡英文和民进党当局顽固坚持“台独”错误立场，为了一党之私甘当美国反华势力遏华马前卒，改变不了台湾是中国一部分的事实，只会将台湾推向“兵凶战危”的险境，给广大台湾同胞带来深重祸害. The statement also accuses the US of hollowing out the one-China principle.
Also on the page is a Zhong Sheng commentary. It says that Tsai’s visit “violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, seriously damages China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, severely impacts the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” It calls the visit a “political performance.” 近日，中国台湾地区领导人蔡英文在“过境”窜美期间，与美国国会众议长麦卡锡为首的一众国会议员会面，搞所谓“政治秀”。这一提升美台官方往来和实质关系的政治挑衅，严重违反一个中国原则和中美三个联合公报规定，严重损害中国主权和领土完整，严重冲击中美关系政治基础，严重破坏台海和平稳定.
It says that during the visit, Tsai sought to project herself as a ‘peace-loving person’ and the responsible party in cross-strait relations’. This is nothing but self-delusion.” 蔡英文“过境”窜美期间，试图把自己包装成“爱好和平者”“两岸关系中负责任的那一方”，这是在自欺欺人.
It adds that the DPP authorities have stubbornly adhered to the separatist stance of ‘Taiwan independence’, have refused to accept the one-China principle, have openly proclaimed that ‘Taiwan Province is a democratic country’ and ‘People's Republic of China (PRC) has no jurisdiction over Taiwan Province’, have promoted ‘de-Sinification’ and ‘progressive Taiwan independence’, and have constantly provoked the mainland and have constantly stirred trouble on the Taiwan Strait issue, completely forgetting their ancestors, completely ignore the security and development interests of the people of the Taiwan Province, and have run counter to its commitment to ‘peace’ and ‘responsibility’. 民进党当局顽固坚持“台独”分裂立场，拒不接受一个中国原则，公然宣扬“台湾是民主国家”“中华人民共和国对台湾没有管辖权”，在岛内推行“去中国化”“渐进式台独”，在台海问题上不断挑衅大陆、滋生事端，完全是数典忘祖，完全是置台湾民众安全和发展利益于不顾，其行为完全与其标榜“和平”“负责任”等背道而驰.
It adds that during the visit, Tsai “spun” the “false narrative of ‘democracy versus authoritarianism’ and deliberately played up the systemic differences between Taiwan and the mainland. Such a dangerous practice of promoting ‘Taiwan independence’ under the guise of democracy further exposed her evil intention of seeking ‘independence’ by ‘pandering to the US and selling out Taiwan’. The differences in cross-strait systems are not an obstacle to reunification, let alone an excuse for divisions. DPP authorities distort cross-strait relations as a confrontation between so-called ‘democracy’ and ‘authoritarianism’, and they are looking for excuses for ‘Taiwan independence’. This is the real threat to the people of Taiwan! The future of Taiwan lies in the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and the eventual reunification of the motherland, and Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should work together to seek national reunification. DPP authorities are willing to act as servants of hegemony for their own political gains, resulting in a turbulence and tensions in the Taiwan Strait. This has made an increasing number of Taiwan compatriots realise that Taiwan-US collusion will bring disaster for Taiwan, and the deeper the collusion, the greater the damage. 蔡英文“过境”窜美期间，主动叼盘美方编织的所谓“民主对抗威权”虚假叙事，刻意渲染台湾与大陆之间的制度差异，这种假民主之名行“台独”之实的危险做法，进一步暴露其“媚美卖台”的谋“独”祸心。两岸制度不同，不是统一的障碍，更不是分裂的借口。民进党当局把两岸关系歪曲为所谓“民主”与“威权”的对抗，是在为“台独”寻找借口，这才是对台湾人民真正的威胁！台湾的前途在于两岸关系和平发展并最终实现祖国统一，两岸中国人应该共同努力谋求国家统一。民进党当局为谋取政治私利，甘做霸权仆从，造成台海局势动荡紧张，让越来越多台湾同胞认识到，台美勾连为祸台湾，勾连越深，祸害越大.—
Comment: This is an interesting paragraph because it exposes the core weakness of Beijing’s proposition for “peaceful reunification.” While it says that the “differences in cross-strait systems are not an obstacle to reunification,” what sort of an arrangement is Beijing offering Taipei to incentivise “reunification.” Beijing’s own actions over the past few years have completely undermined the proposition of One Country, Two Systems. How can it now assure the people of Taiwan that their way of life, governance system, and autonomy will be protected if they were to unify with the mainland? In February, Noema Magazine had a piece that talked about the possibility of establishing some sort of a commonwealth. This essentially implies viewing Taiwan from a “civilizational frame” rather than the perspective of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. The article explained: “If Wang (Huning) were to frame the link with Taiwan as shared civilizational kinship instead of unification under Beijing’s political system, it would open up a prospect for resolving the Taiwan dispute through the loose structure of a ‘commonwealth.’ This notion, long floated by a former deputy defense minister of Taiwan, Chong-Pin Lin, envisions a self-governing republic with privileged economic ties that pays only symbolic homage to the common heritage of the homeland, not unlike Canada or Australia in the British Commonwealth formed after the end of the empire.” But so far, I have not noted anything akin to this being floated.
The next paragraph says that the US is “hollowing out” the one-China principle and that it is evident that it aims to use Taiwan “as a pawn” to “contain China” and to “prevent China from achieving complete reunification.” 美国的根本目的是将台湾当作棋子，继续搞“以台制华”，企图阻挡中国实现完全统一和中华民族迈向伟大复兴。— Comment: This last bit is really interesting. Is Beijing now of the view that Washington will even hinder the possibility of “peaceful reunification.” If that is the view, then what are the options left for Beijing? That said, so far, the Chinese side has reacted very differently and I guess less provocatively from how it did in August 2022.
As an aside, earlier today, the Taiwan Affairs Office announced sanctions against Taiwan's Prospect Foundation and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. China Daily reported:
“The mainland has banned the leaders of the two organizations from entering the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, and prohibited relevant mainland organizations and individuals from cooperating with them, she said. Zhu said that under the instigation of the Democratic Progressive Party, these two organizations used the pretext of democracy, freedom, and cooperation, and under the disguise of "academic exchanges" and "seminars," have been peddling the idea of "Taiwan independence" in the international arena. They are trying their best to approach, attract and support anti-China forces, creating incidents that violate the one-China principle, and expanding Taiwan's so-called "international space", she added.”
In addition, it has also imposed further sanctions on Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the United States, prohibiting her and family members from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau. In addition, the sanctions also prohibit investors and firms related to Hsiao from cooperating with mainland organizations and individuals.
Moving on, there’s a report on Qin Gang hosting a meeting between the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Xinhua reports that “Qin witnessed the signing of a joint statement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The two countries announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with immediate effect.”
The report adds: “The improvement of Saudi Arabia-Iran relations provides a stronger guarantee for maintaining regional peace and stability, sets an important example for countries in the world to resolve conflicts through dialogue and consultation, and provides wonderful practice for advocating the Global Security Initiative, as well as for building a community with a shared future for humanity, according to Qin. Qin stressed that China firmly supports regional countries in upholding strategic independence, strengthening solidarity and coordination, shaking off external interference, and truly holding the future and destiny of the Middle East in their own hands. ‘We will continue to do our best to play the role of mediator with good will and reliability, provide the necessary support for both sides, and contribute to security and stability in the Middle East,’ Qin said.”
The joint statement after the talks says that embassies will be opened in Riyadh and Tehran and consulates in Jeddah and Mashhad. The two sides will also work on resuming flights and reciprocal visits of official delegations and the private sector. It also talks about facilitating visas.
Page 17: On the international page, there’s an article by Zhang Xinping from the Central South University’s Human Rights Center. Zhang writes that the US’ technological hegemony harms human rights and hinders development. This is not a new argument. Earlier in February, the Chinese government had issued a report titled “US Hegemony and Its Perils.” In that, technological hegemony was part of the many types of hegemonies that the US apparently practises.
Zhang writes that “in recent years, the US has extended its hegemonism to the field of science and technology. In the name of democracy, human rights, freedom and security, the US uses groundless accusations, ‘long-arm jurisdiction’, suppression and sanctions, and targeted technological blockades against other countries to put its own interests above those of other countries. The US’ pursuit of scientific and technological hegemony is a typical manifestation of its ‘America First’ philosophy. Its hegemonic actions of politicising, weaponizing and ideologising science and technology issues have severely damaged other countries’ ‘digital human rights’ and hindered global technological cooperation and progress.” 近年来，美国更是将霸权主义延伸至科技领域，打着所谓民主、人权、自由、安全等旗号，以无端指责、“长臂管辖”、打压制裁以及有针对性地对他国进行技术封锁等卑劣手段，达到将自身利益凌驾于其他国家利益之上的目的。美国推行科技霸权主义是其一贯奉行的“美国优先”理念的典型表现，其将科技问题政治化、武器化、意识形态化的霸权行径，既严重损害他国“数字人权”，也阻碍全球技术合作与进步.
Zhang then argues a few specific points:
The US engages in creating “small circles/cliques” under the guise of “network security” to create division and confrontation. In this, Zhang criticises the ‘chip alliance’ and ‘clean network’ initiatives. The author adds that the US has launched “various technological alliances with ‘democracy’ as the ideological bond and ‘cybersecurity’ as the goal, such as the Prague Proposal and the 5G Clean Path. In April 2022, the United States and 60 global partners issued a Declaration on the Future of the Internet. Its real intention is to delineate a ‘net within a net’ or a US-led ‘digital alliance’ in the global Internet. The United States has also pushed the private sector to strengthen technology blockade and build technology fences, trying to contain competitors by means of sanctions and bans, which has seriously hindered exchanges and cooperation, development and progress in the global scientific and technological field.” 受根深蒂固的零和思维和冷战思维影响，美国惯用分裂对抗方式处理国际关系，以所谓“网络安全”为由头，不停打造“芯片联盟”“清洁网络”等科技“小圈子”，给高科技打上民主、人权的标签，为对他国实施技术封锁寻找借口。美国借民主之名维护科技霸权，推出“布拉格提案”“5G清洁路径”等各类以“民主”为意识形态纽带、以“网络安全”为目标的技术联盟。2022年4月，美国与60个全球合作伙伴发布《未来互联网宣言》，其真实意图是在全球互联网中圈定一个“网中网”或美国主导的“数字联盟”。美国还力推私营部门加强技术封锁，修建技术围墙，试图以制裁和禁令等方式遏制竞争对手，严重阻碍全球科技领域的交流与合作、发展与进步.
Second, the US is “using the excuse of ‘public security’ to eavesdrop and violate privacy.” Zhang reminds us that this includes “the leaders of its allied countries.”
Third, Zhang argues that the US is imposing a “technological blockade under the guise of so-called ‘technological security,’ undermining others’ right to development.” 以所谓“技术安全”为幌子实施技术封锁，损害发展权. In this category, the actions that are included are the issuance standards and lists of “secure and trusted” systems and and building a technology ecosystem under the so-called ‘trustworthy’ standard; “frequent unwarranted harassment, monitoring and crackdown” targeting Chinese researchers; and export control regulations targeting China, particularly related to semiconductors
“Ignoring or denying the scientific and technological sovereignty, people's interests and development demands of other countries and regions, the US attempts to use its leading position in network resource allocation, hardware equipment and software application as a tool of hegemonic strategy to seize wealth, export ideology and squeeze and curb other countries' scientific and technological development space globally. This not only severely hinders the use of new technologies by other countries, it also widens the security and trust gap in the global digital space, undermines the global industrial chain layout and scientific and technological order, and violates the laws of global scientific and technological development.” 美国无视或否认其他国家和地区的科技主权、人民利益和发展诉求，企图以拒绝竞争的蛮横姿态将其在网络资源配置、硬件设备和软件应用等方面的领先当作霸权战略工具，在全球攫取财富、输出意识形态、挤压遏制他国科技发展空间，不仅严重阻碍其他国家使用新技术，而且使全球数字空间安全信任鸿沟进一步扩大，破坏了全球产业链布局和科技秩序，违背了全球科学技术发展的规律.
The piece ends by calling on the international community to “jointly resist US arrogance, prejudice, and technological hegemony and bullying behaviour…”
Tracking People's Daily is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.