Discover more from Tracking People's Daily
Xi on Basic Research & Tech Self-Reliance - Wang Yi in Russia - Qin Gang in Indonesia - More Support for Enterprises - Report on 26th AU Summit - Demand for Nord Stream Blast Probe
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People’s Daily’s edition on Thursday, February, 23, 2023.
Page 1: The main story on the page is about the third group study session of the Politburo. Speaking at the session, Xi Jinping said that “strengthening basic research is an urgent requirement for achieving self-reliance and self-improvement in high-level science and technology; it is the only way to build a world-class scientific and technological power.” 中共中央总书记习近平在主持学习时强调，加强基础研究，是实现高水平科技自立自强的迫切要求，是建设世界科技强国的必由之路.
Gong Qihuang, PKU President and academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, spoke at the meeting.
Xi then said:
“At present, a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is advancing by leaps and bounds. Interdisciplinary integration is growing. The paradigm of scientific research is undergoing profound changes. The integration of science and technology with economic and social development is accelerating. The application cycle of basic research is significantly shortened, and international competition in basic research is moving to the forefront. To cope with international scientific and technological competition, achieve high-level self-reliance and self-improvement, promote the construction of a new development pattern, and achieve high-quality development, it is urgent for us to strengthen basic research and solve key technical problems from the source and the bottom.” 当前，新一轮科技革命和产业变革突飞猛进，学科交叉融合不断发展，科学研究范式发生深刻变革，科学技术和经济社会发展加速渗透融合，基础研究转化周期明显缩短，国际科技竞争向基础前沿前移。应对国际科技竞争、实现高水平自立自强，推动构建新发展格局、实现高质量发展，迫切需要我们加强基础研究，从源头和底层解决关键技术问题.
Xi then stressed efforts to strengthen the forward-looking, strategic and systematic layout of basic research. He added:
“We must adhere to the ‘four orientations’**, adhere to being goal-oriented and pursuing free exploration pursuing the principle of ‘walking on two legs’, combine the work on cutting-edge science and technology with the country’s major strategic needs and economic and social development goals, coordinate frontier questions raised in light of the law of science development with theoretical questions drawn from major applied research, and sum up key scientific questions in basic research.” 要坚持“四个面向”，坚持目标导向和自由探索“两条腿走路”，把世界科技前沿同国家重大战略需求和经济社会发展目标结合起来，统筹遵循科学发展规律提出的前沿问题和重大应用研究中抽象出的理论问题，凝练基础研究关键科学问题.
**Note: “four orientations” was something that Xi had put forward at the symposium of scientists on September 11, 2020. These call on scientists to focus their efforts on “facing the frontier of world science and technology, the main battlefield of the economy, the major needs of our country, and the lives and health of our people.”
Xinhua English summarises the next bit well:
“He also called for strengthening the feasibility studies and the selection and evaluation of major basic research projects, fully respecting scientists’ advice, and grasping the general trends to make an early start. Xi noted that it is necessary to strengthen the country’s strategic strength in science and technology; promote strategic, frontier and market-oriented basic research in an organized way; and give full play to the role of national laboratories, national research institutions, high-level research universities and leading sci-tech enterprises. The country will optimize the layout of basic disciplines, support the development of key, emerging, less-popular, and weak disciplines, and promote interdisciplinary integration and research, so as to build a high-quality discipline system with comprehensive and balanced development, he added.”
The next paragraph deals with financial support for basic research. Xi says that:
“It is necessary to steadily increase the financial input for basic research, encourage enterprises to increase investment through various means such as tax incentives, encourage social forces to set up multiple inputs such as science funds and scientific donations, improve the funding efficiency of the National Natural Science Fund and its joint funds, and establish and improve the basic research input mechanisms combining competitive support with stable support. It is necessary to optimise the basic research support system of the national science and technology plan, improve the organisation, declaration, evaluation and decision-making mechanisms of basic research projects, implement graded management and international and domestic peer reviews, organise collaborative research on major scientific issues, and encourage free exploratory research and non-consensus innovative research.” 要稳步增加基础研究财政投入，通过税收优惠等多种方式激励企业加大投入，鼓励社会力量设立科学基金、科学捐赠等多元投入，提升国家自然科学基金及其联合基金资助效能，建立完善竞争性支持和稳定支持相结合的基础研究投入机制。要优化国家科技计划基础研究支持体系，完善基础研究项目组织、申报、评审和决策机制，实施差异化分类管理和国际国内同行评议，组织开展面向重大科学问题的协同攻关，鼓励自由探索式研究和非共识创新研究.
He further urged efforts to handle the relationship between the new system for mobilising resources nationwide and the market mechanism well, and efforts to improve the evaluation and incentive system, the achievement application and transformation system and the salary system in response to the long cycle of basic research. He also called for long-term and steady support for a batch of innovation bases, competitive teams and key directions for basic research. This is needed to create original innovation sources and basic research pioneers. 要处理好新型举国体制与市场机制的关系，健全同基础研究长周期相匹配的科技评价激励、成果应用转化、科技人员薪酬等制度，长期稳定支持一批基础研究创新基地、优势团队和重点方向，打造原始创新策源地和基础研究先锋力量。
The next paragraph says that “it is necessary to jointly build a system of national laboratories with Chinese characteristics, develop research centers for basic disciplines, advance the deployment of new research information platforms, and form a strong backbone network for basic research. It is necessary to make plans for the layout of major scientific and technological infrastructure facilities that are forward-looking, strategy-oriented, and application-oriented, strengthen supervision during and after the construction of facilities, improve full life cycle management, and comprehensively improve the level of openness and sharing and operational efficiency. It is necessary to fight the tough battle for the localisation of scientific and technological equipment, operating systems, and basic software, encourage scientific research institutions, universities and enterprises to carry out joint research, improve the level of local substitution and application scale, and strive to solve major basic research problems with China's independent research platforms, instruments and equipment as soon as possible.” 习近平强调，要协同构建中国特色国家实验室体系，布局建设基础学科研究中心，超前部署新型科研信息化基础平台，形成强大的基础研究骨干网络。要科学规划布局前瞻引领型、战略导向型、应用支撑型重大科技基础设施，强化设施建设事中事后监管，完善全生命周期管理，全面提升开放共享水平和运行效率。要打好科技仪器设备、操作系统和基础软件国产化攻坚战，鼓励科研机构、高校同企业开展联合攻关，提升国产化替代水平和应用规模，争取早日实现用我国自主的研究平台、仪器设备来解决重大基础研究问题.
After this, Xi turns to talents. He urged “support for various basic research talent programs to be strengthened, adding that strategic scientists should be trained and used, young sci-tech talent should be supported to play a key role, and leading sci-tech and innovative talent teams should be continuously expanded.”
He added: “It is necessary to improve the differentiated evaluation and long-term support mechanisms for basic research talents, grant leading scientific and technological talents greater rights to control human resources, financial resources and choose technical routes, and build an evaluation system that conforms to the laws of basic research and the laws of talent growth. It is necessary to strengthen the construction of research and study style, and guide scientific and technological personnel to abandon grandiosity and impetuousness, and get rid of the phenomenon of sitting on the sidelines.” 要完善基础研究人才差异化评价和长周期支持机制，赋予科技领军人才更大的人财物支配权和技术路线选择权，构建符合基础研究规律和人才成长规律的评价体系。要加强科研学风作风建设，引导科技人员摒弃浮夸、祛除浮躁，坐住坐稳“冷板凳”.
Finally, he reiterated the need to focus on key plans, such as the Middle School Talents Plan 中学生英才计划, Strong Foundation Plan 强基计划 and Plan for Training Top-notch Students in Basic Disciplines “基础学科拔尖学生培养计划”, the Double First Class University Plan 双一流, etc.
“To overcome the challenge of common development, mankind needs international cooperation, openness and sharing more than ever before. It is necessary to build an international cooperation platform for basic research, set up a global scientific research fund, make national science and technology programs more open to the outside world, and expand and deepen joint scientific research with foreign countries on such global issues as climate change, energy security, biosecurity and the use of outer space. It is necessary to plan ahead and deeply participate in global science and technology governance, participate in or initiate the establishment of international science and technology organisations, and support domestic universities, research institutes and science and technology organisations to connect with the international community. It is necessary to enhance openness, trust and cooperation in the international scientific and technological community, make new and greater contributions to the progress of human civilization with more major original innovations and breakthroughs in key core technologies, and effectively safeguard our country's scientific and technological security interests.” 习近平强调，人类要破解共同发展难题，比以往任何时候都更需要国际合作和开放共享。要构筑国际基础研究合作平台，设立面向全球的科学研究基金，加大国家科技计划对外开放力度，围绕气候变化、能源安全、生物安全、外层空间利用等全球问题，拓展和深化中外联合科研。要前瞻谋划和深度参与全球科技治理，参加或发起设立国际科技组织，支持国内高校、科研院所、科技组织同国际对接。要努力增进国际科技界开放、信任、合作，以更多重大原始创新和关键核心技术突破为人类文明进步作出新的更大贡献，并有效维护我国的科技安全利益。
Xinhua English captures the final bit well: “He urged efforts to carry forward the scientific spirit of pursuing truth and scaling new heights, widely publicize the advanced models and actions in basic research and other sci-tech fields, and guide the majority of sci-tech workers to carry on the tradition of the older generation of scientists who committed themselves to the country and cared for the people. Xi called for strengthening the country's ability to popularize science, pushing forward the campaign to improve the scientific literacy of the public, spreading scientific knowledge widely, showing scientific achievements online and offline through multiple channels, and fostering a social trend of promoting science. Efforts should also be made to inspire young people's curiosity, imagination and desire to explore, and cultivate young people with the potential to become scientists, he said. Xi urged officials at all levels to gain sci-tech knowledge, carry forward the scientific spirit, take the initiative to solve problems and relieve burdens for sci-tech workers, and put into practice a series of strategic plans on sci-tech innovation made by the CPC Central Committee.”
At the top of the page is a report on Xi Jinping’s instruction for all-out efforts in the search and rescue of the missing and treatment of the injured after a coal mine collapsed in Alxa League in Inner Mongolia. Xi is reported to have instructed that:
“It is necessary to find out the cause of the accident as soon as possible, seriously investigate the responsibility, and draw inferences from others to eliminate management loopholes. At present, the Two Sessions are just around the corner. With a sense of responsibility, all regions and relevant departments should comprehensively investigate all kinds of potential safety hazards, strengthen preventive measures, pay close attention to the implementation of work, better coordinate development and security, and earnestly safeguard the safety of people’s lives and property and the overall social stability.” 要尽快查明事故原因，严肃追究责任，并举一反三，杜绝管理漏洞。当前全国两会召开在即，各地区和有关部门要以时时放心不下的责任感，全面排查各类安全隐患，强化防范措施，狠抓工作落实，更好统筹发展和安全，切实维护人民群众生命财产安全和社会大局稳定.
Two other reports on the page. First, a report on Xi’s letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva over the heavy casualties caused by heavy rains. Second, a report on the State Council’s Executive Meeting. Xinhua English has the report:
Li Keqiang heard a report on the handling of suggestions from NPC deputies and proposals from CPPCC members. Last year, offices and departments under the State Council handled 8,721 suggestions from NPC deputies and 5,865 proposals submitted by CPPCC National Committee members, accounting for 94.8 percent and 95 percent of the total number of suggestions and proposals, respectively. The meeting pointed out that over the past five years, relevant departments adopted more than 18,000 suggestions and proposals and subsequently introduced over 7,800 policy measures.
The other part of the report talks about the support provided for market entities so far, and then adds:
“The meeting stressed that currently economic growth is stabilising and rebounding, but it still faces many challenges. Small, medium and micro enterprises as well as individual industrial and commercial businesses continue to face difficulties. It is necessary to closely combine the rectification of illegal charges related to enterprises with the implementation of the policy of helping enterprises, optimising the business environment and stimulating market vitality. There is still room for some of the tax and fee cuts in the package of policies and follow-up measures to stabilise the economy that have been introduced, and they need to be fully implemented. Resolutely stop arbitrary charges, fines and levies, and improve the long-term supervision mechanism. Take measures to boost market expectations and consolidate the momentum of economic growth stabilisation and recovery.” 会议强调，当前经济增长正在企稳回升，但仍面临诸多挑战，中小微企业、个体工商户经营仍较困难，要把整治涉企违规收费与落实助企纾困政策、优化营商环境、激发市场活力紧密结合起来。已出台的稳经济一揽子政策和接续措施中的一些减税降费政策仍有发挥效应的空间，要深入抓好落实。坚决制止乱收费、乱罚款、乱摊派，健全长效监管机制。多措并举提振市场预期，巩固经济增长企稳回升势头.
Page 2: Two reports to note. First, a report informing that the combined GDP of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, a major economic zone in China, reached 10 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in 2022, 1.8 times that of 2013. Xinhua said that “the GDP of both Beijing and Hebei exceeded 4 trillion yuan each in 2022, two times and 1.7 times that of 2013, respectively. Tianjin's GDP at 1.6 trillion yuan last year was 1.6 times that of 2013, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics said in a report on Monday.”
Second, a report (China Daily’s English report) informing that in 2021, the strength of China's R&D personnel increased 1.8-fold, compared with 2012, to reach 5.72 million. The number of R&D workers per 10,000 employed people increased from 43 in 2012 to 77 in 2021. The number of highly cited scientists on the Chinese mainland rose from 111 in 2014 to 1,169 in 2022. The number of high-tech companies increased from 49,000 in 2012 to 330,000 in 2021, and the country had 683 companies listed among the world's top 2,500 R&D spenders in 2021.
“He said that the current international situation is complicated and grim, but the China-Russia relationship, which has stood the test of the drastic changes in the world situation, is mature, tough and as stable as Mount Tai. Although crises and chaos often emerge, challenges and opportunities exist at the same time. This is the dialectics of history. The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era has never targeted a third party, has never targeted any third party, nor does it tolerate any third party interference or coercion. This is because China-Russia relations enjoy a solid political, economic and cultural foundation, as well as calmness and sobriety from reviewing past experiences, and because the multi-polarization of the world and the democratisation of international relations that we jointly support conform to the development trend of the times and the wishes of most countries. China is willing to work with Russia to maintain strategic focus, deepen political mutual trust, strengthen strategic coordination, expand practical cooperation, safeguard the legitimate interests of the two countries, and play a constructive role in promoting world peace and development.” 王毅说，当前国际形势复杂严峻，但中俄关系历经国际风云考验，成熟坚韧、稳如泰山。危机和乱象虽时常出现在我们面前，但挑战和机遇并存，这就是历史的辩证法。中俄新时代全面战略协作伙伴关系从不针对第三方，也不受第三方干扰，更不接受第三方的胁迫。因为中俄关系有着坚实的政治、经济和文明基础，有着总结历史经验后的从容和清醒，更因为我们共同支持的世界多极化和国际关系民主化符合时代发展潮流，符合大多数国家愿望。中方愿同俄方一道，保持战略定力，深化政治互信，加强战略协作，拓展务实合作，维护两国的正当利益，为促进世界和平与发展发挥两国的建设性作用.
On Ukraine: “During an in-depth exchange of views on the Ukrainian issue with Putin, Wang appreciated Russia's reaffirmation of its willingness to solve problems through dialogue and negotiations. Wang said China will, as always, uphold an objective and fair position and play a constructive role in solving the crisis through political means.”
“International relations are complicated at present, and the situation hardly improved after the collapse of the bipolar system; quite on the contrary, tensions spiralled. In this regard, Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena, as we have repeatedly stressed, is very important for stabilising the international situation. We also cooperate in every other area – in humanitarian projects and international organisations, including, of course, the United Nations, the UN Security Council, of which we are permanent members, BRICS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We have a lot of joint work to do together. And of course, we are expecting the President of the People's Republic of China in Russia – we have agreed on his visit earlier. We know he has a domestic political agenda to attend to, but we assume that once the issues on that agenda are dealt with (the National People's Congress, which is planned by the relevant congress of Chinese deputies, where major personnel issues are to be resolved), we will proceed with our plans for personal meetings, which will give an additional impetus to our relations.”
Separately, Wang met with Sergei Lavrov. Xinhua’s report says:
“He said that in the face of profound changes in the international landscape, China and Russia have always maintained strategic resolve, adhered to the general direction of building a multipolar world, advocated and practiced true multilateralism, opposed unilateral and bullying actions in any form, firmly safeguarded their respective sovereignty, security and development interests, actively explored and followed the development path in line with their national conditions, and constantly tapped the growth potential of cooperation in various fields. No matter how the international situation changes, the Chinese side hopes that its relations with Russia, which are categorized as a new type of relationship between major powers, will develop with sound momentum, Wang said. He noted that 2023 is the first year for China to fully implement the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress. China will adhere to an independent foreign policy, pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, and provide new opportunities for the world with its new development, he said. Wang said the process of Chinese modernization will open up new prospects for and further enrich its cooperation with other countries, including Russia.”
The report adds:
“Lavrov said Russia is ready to strengthen coordination with China in the international arena, firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests, promote the development of the international order in a more open, reasonable and just direction, which is also the historical responsibility of the two countries. The two sides agree to continue to strengthen coordination in the United Nations and other international multilateral mechanisms, jointly defend the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and firmly oppose hegemonism and bloc confrontation. Both sides also held in-depth discussion on the Ukrainian issue. Wang underscored that the more complicated the situation is, the more important it is not to give up peace efforts. Wang expressed the hope that all parties could overcome difficulties, continue to create conditions for dialogue and negotiations and seek an effective way to a political settlement.”
“The two sides discussed the current international strategic situation and expressed their willingness to jointly practice true multilateralism, oppose all forms of unilateral bullying, and promote democracy in international relations and a multi-polar world. Both parties believe that peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region should be firmly maintained and that the introduction of Cold War mentality, bloc confrontation and ideological conflict should be opposed.”
Next, let’s look at Qin Gang’s visit to Indonesia. First, Xinhua says that after a meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, Qin said that China and Indonesia have agreed to deepen strategic synergy and promote cooperation on trade and investment.
“Both countries will deepen their strategic synergy, speed up the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway and other flagship projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, and ensure their completion or inauguration on schedule, Qin said. They will also continue to promote the construction of key projects including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor and ‘Two Countries, Twin Parks’ to create a new benchmark for high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road, he added. … China, which is the largest trading partner in a decade and second largest source of foreign investment for Indonesia, is willing to further expand the import of commodities and quality agricultural and aquacultural products from Indonesia, the Chinese foreign minister said. He added that China will encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Indonesia, expand cooperation in the fields ranging from infrastructure, green development to digital economy and healthcare, create highlights of marine cooperation and speed up the restart of aquaculture cooperation. The two sides will strengthen cooperation in tourism, education, culture, youth and sports, and boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Qin said, adding that he believes that with increasing direct flights, Chinese visitor arrivals in Indonesia will resume and even surpass the pre-COVID level. Both sides will stay committed to their collaboration as major countries, continue to push for alignment and cooperation between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and foster a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home in the region, Qin said. The two countries, together with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will fully and effectively carry out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), accelerate negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), and jointly safeguard the peace and stability there, he said. The two sides will enhance cooperation on the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, deepen communication and collaboration under multilateral frameworks including the Group of 20 (G20) and BRICS, and jointly safeguard and practice real multilateralism.”
Qin also met with President Joko Widodo. Xinhua’s report on this says:
“Widodo said Asia is the center of global economic growth and should not be an arena of power struggle. Indonesia is willing to work with China to maintain regional peace and stability, and to facilitate the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, Widodo said. He said Indonesia appreciates China's support for ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) centrality and will address the Myanmar issue in line with the five-point consensus.”
It adds: “Qin said China is willing to import more bulk commodities and quality agricultural and fishery products from Indonesia, and encourage outstanding Chinese enterprises to participate in Indonesia's major infrastructure projects. Changes unseen in a century have seriously affected the Asia-Pacific region. Situations of great complexity call for stronger unity and cooperation between China and ASEAN to safeguard regional peace, stability, development and prosperity, he noted. The Chinese side fully supports Indonesia playing its role as the ASEAN rotating chair to lead and push the construction of the ASEAN Community with a shared future and East Asia cooperation to reap greater fruits, Qin said, adding that the Chinese side will continue its support for ASEAN centrality and solving the Myanmar issue in ‘the ASEAN way’.”
While we are on the subject, do check out this new paper by Hoang Thi Ha, Senior Fellow and Co-coordinator of the Regional Strategic and Political Studies Programme, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, on how Southeast Asia is responding to GSI.
It concludes: “few Southeast Asians in the foreign policy-security establishment think that China’s military is an asset for global peace and security, as found in the SSEA annual survey. Military cooperation also ranks as the lowest option in foreign policy preferences towards China, according to a recent public opinion survey in Indo-Pacific states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Second, while Southeast Asian countries would, in principle, agree with China that development guarantees security, their explicit support for the GDI and caution towards the GSI indicates the dichotomy between their appreciation of China’s importance as an economic partner and their reservation about China’s role as a security provider.”
Also on the page is an article by Li Qinfeng, China’s Ambassador to the Central African Republic. He predominantly talks about health cooperation between the two sides. Li starts with Xi’s letter to the 19th Chinese medical team dispatched to the Central African Republic, which was reported earlier in February. He says that the letter sparked strong reactions with President Faustin-Archange Touadéra “immediately calling for a special symposium, vowing to work with his Chinese brothers to push forward the high-level development of bilateral medical and health cooperation.”
He adds that “in the hearts of the people in the Central African Republic, the members of the Chinese medical team are the most beautiful angels in white, and are like the nearest and dearest family members to them.” 在中非共和国民众心中，中国医疗队队员是最美丽的白衣天使，是他们身边至亲至爱的家人.
Li also writes that “this year marks the 60th anniversary of China sending medical teams abroad. Over the past 60 years, China has dispatched 30,000 medical team members to 76 countries and regions in Africa, Asia, America, Europe and Oceania, treating 290 million patients.” He adds: “Over the past 45 years, China has sent 19 batches of 286 medical teams to the Central African Republic.”
Page 6: I am not summarising this, but much of the page is dedicated to excerpts from a new book of Xi’s discourses on exercising rule-based governance over the Party.
Page 10: A report informing that a ceremony marking the commencement of major projects was held in Zhejiang. A total of 268 projects with a total investment of 680.8 billion yuan ($98.73 billion) have been started. Among them are ten projects with an investment of more than 10 billion yuan, with a total investment of 160.3 billion yuan and there are 63 projects in mountainous island counties with a total investment of 131.3 billion yuan and an annual planned investment of 30.9 billion yuan.
Page 17: On the international page, the lead report is about the 36th AU Summit. If you are interested, here’s the formal, post-summit press release. That said, this was actually quite a useful report to read. It says that the summit called for speeding up the construction of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The report informs:
“The African Continental Free Trade Area was officially launched in January 2021. It is of great significance for expanding trade among countries in the region, realising complementary advantageous industries and enhancing the autonomy of economic development. A report released by the World Bank and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area in June last year predicted that from 2022 to 2035, African countries are expected to create 18 million new jobs and help 50 million people escape extreme poverty. According to the implementation of the first ten-year plan (2014-2023) of the African Union's "Agenda 2063, Africa has made great progress in accelerating the construction of the African Continental Free Trade Area and promoting sustainable economic and social development. AU Coommission’s Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said that 54 AU member states have signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement. As of November 2022, 44 member states have deposited their instruments of ratification. 非洲大陆自贸区于2021年1月正式启动，对扩大区域内国家间贸易、实现优势产业互补、增强经济发展自主性具有重要意义。世界银行与非洲大陆自贸区秘书处去年6月发布的报告预测，从2022年至2035年，非洲国家有望新增1800万个就业岗位，帮助5000万人摆脱极端贫困。根据非盟《2063年议程》第一个十年规划（2014年至2023年）的执行情况，非洲在加速非洲大陆自贸区建设、促进经济社会可持续发展方面取得很大进步。法基表示，54个非盟成员国签署了非洲大陆自贸区协定。截至2022年11月，44个成员国已交存批准书.
The report also informs that “at present, the first two stages of the three-stage negotiation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement have been basically completed. Among them, the second phase involves negotiations on intellectual property rights, investment and competition policies.” The piece quotes Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, Secretary-General of African Continental Free Trade Area, as saying that out of the nearly 5,000 products traded in Africa, 88.3% have a single set of trade rules. This will promote the African continent to become a more attractive investment destination and accelerate the process of industrialization. 目前，非洲大陆自贸区协定三阶段谈判中的前两阶段已经基本完成。其中，第二阶段涉及知识产权、投资和竞争政策的谈判。非洲大陆自贸区秘书长瓦姆凯莱·梅内透露，《原产地规则议定书》在非洲经济史上首次达到88.3%的一致性，“在非洲贸易的近5000种产品中，已有88.3%的产品拥有一套单一的贸易规则。这将推动非洲大陆成为更具吸引力的投资目的地，加速工业化进程.”
One of the key next steps is negotiating a “Digital Trade Protocol.” This will establish a framework to promote intra-African digital trade by eliminating cross-border digital trade tariffs, adopting common electronic certification and electronic trust mechanisms and technologies, and protecting source codes, the report says.
Next, there's a report on a protest outside the Japanese embassy in the Philippines with “comfort women” survivors calling on Japan to “reflect on its history of aggression.” The report says that “in a recent report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Japanese government made no mention of the forced recruitment of ‘comfort women’ during World War II, sparking outrage among people in the countries that had been victimised.”
Finally, there’s a report that talks about the need for an investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline explosion. This report essentially discusses Jeffrey Sachs’ views expressed to the UNSC.
“The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, 2022, constitutes an act of international terrorism and represents a threat to the peace,” Sachs told the UN Security Council in a briefing. “It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to take up the question of who might have carried out the act in order to bring the perpetrator to international justice, to pursue compensation for the damage parties, and to prevent future such actions.”
Reuters reports that Russia had called for a UNSC meeting, wanting a decision for an independent inquiry into the blasts. Denmark, Germany and Sweden told the UNSC that their investigations into the explosions had not yet concluded.
Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said that:
“Recently, we have come across a lot of details and relevant information concerning the Nord Stream incident, which are alarming…Faced with such detailed materials and comprehensive evidence, a simple statement of ‘utterly false and complete fiction’ is obviously not enough to answer the many questions and concerns raised around the world. Finding a way to dodge today’s meeting does not mean that truth can be concealed. We expect convincing explanations from relevant parties. Such a request is entirely legitimate and reasonable. It is increasingly clear that what happened to the Nord Stream pipelines was by no means an accident, but rather a deliberate act. From the perspective of physical conditions, it is hard to imagine that any non-state actor would be capable of carrying out such destruction alone … China supports speeding up the investigation, so as to swiftly find out the truth, he said … An objective, impartial and professional investigation into this matter, releasing the findings and pursuing accountability as soon as possible are not only for the sake of the incident itself, but also bear on the security of global transboundary infrastructure. Moreover, they are also closely related to the interests and concerns of every country.”
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