Xi on PRC@UN - SoEs & Innovation - Financial Street Forum Highlights - NPCSC Legislative Affairs Committee on Rule of Law - Wang Yi meets Mullah Baradar in Doha
Before I begin today, I want to point out something from yesterday’s edition. There was a piece bylined Liu He. Alas, what I missed was 刘鹤 (the vice premier) vs 刘赫 (the author of the piece). And as I realised, I went...
Anyway, here are the stories and pieces from the October 26, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: It’s basically all Xi Jinping on the front page today. First, we have the report about Xi attending a “commemorative meeting marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People's Republic of China's lawful seat at the United Nations.” The report is based on Xi’s speech (available on Page 2); full English text is available on Xinhua.
As per the report Xi said that over the past five decades, China’s “peaceful development” had “benefited mankind.” He added that “China will stay committed to peaceful development and will always be a builder of world peace; adhere to the road of reform and opening up and always be a contributor to global development; adhere to the road of multilateralism and always be the defender of the international order. China is willing to uphold the concept of cooperation, co-construction and sharing with other countries, carry forward the common values of all mankind, practice true multilateralism, stand on the right side of history, stand on the side of human progress, and make unremitting efforts to achieve sustainable and peaceful development of the world and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.” 习近平强调，新中国恢复在联合国合法席位以来的50年，是中国和平发展、造福人类的50年。中国将坚持走和平发展之路，始终做世界和平的建设者；坚持走改革开放之路，始终做全球发展的贡献者；坚持走多边主义之路，始终做国际秩序的维护者。中国愿同各国秉持共商共建共享理念，弘扬全人类共同价值，践行真正的多边主义，站在历史正确的一边，站在人类进步的一边，为实现世界永续和平发展、为推动构建人类命运共同体而不懈奋斗.
That’s actually quite a good outline of the speech as a whole. In the first half, Xi talks up about China’s achievements and positive contributions. In this, some of the points he mentions are interesting to note. For instance,
He argues that China is an economic powerhouse that has contributed to “the development of China and humanity.”
He says that China has “followed an independent foreign policy of peace, stood firm for fairness and justice, and resolutely opposed hegemony and power politics. The Chinese people are a strong supporter of other developing countries in their just struggle to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese people are committed to achieving common development.” -- BRI and pandemic diplomacy get mentions here.
He talks about China’s support to the UN and says that China has “blazed a path of human rights development that is consistent with the trend of the times and carries distinct Chinese features, thus making major contribution to human rights progress in China and the international human rights cause.” --
In the second part, he outlines action points. Here, he begins warning:
changes unseen in a century are accelerating, and the force for peace, development and progress has continued to grow. It falls upon us to follow the prevailing trend of history, and choose cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games. We shall be firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.
He then says:
China advocates “peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity...” He then talks about the uniqueness and equality of civilisations. But he also gives us this framework for assessing development paths: “Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.”
He then talked about building an “open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.”
In the next point, he talks about his proposed Global Development Initiative, but the rhetoric is honestly about China’s domestic situation. For example, he says:
“Development is meaningful only when it is for the people’s interest, and can sustain only when it is motivated by the people. Countries should put their people front and center, and strive to realize development with a higher level of quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security. It is important to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. It is also important to strengthen the people’s capacity for development, foster a development environment where everyone takes part and has a share, and create a development paradigm where its outcome benefits every person in every country more directly and fairly.”
The next bit touches on specific transnational issues. He mentions terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity, saying that “only with more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation, can these issues be addressed effectively.” He also says that “Climate change is Nature’s alarm bell to humanity. Countries need to take concrete actions to protect Mother Nature.” -- The more Chinese documents and comments from leaders that I read, I wonder why there is this thought among some in the US that DC needs to jettison or make a trade-off with other objectives to seek China’s cooperation in climate change?
Finally, he talked about practising “true multilateralism.” Here he says:
“International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception. Countries should respect the United Nations, take good care of the UN family, refrain from exploiting the Organization, still less abandoning it at one’s will, and make sure that the United Nations plays an even more positive role in advancing humanity’s noble cause of peace and development. China will be happy to work with all countries under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to explore new ideas and new models of cooperation and keep enriching the practice of multilateralism under new circumstances.”
Among the senior cadres, Wang Huning, Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi were at the meeting.
Next, we have a report about Xi meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Xinhua English has the details. This sounds quite a bit like complaining to the referee, but I guess, it’s meant for folks back home
“Xi said history has proven time and time again no matter how powerful a country is, it cannot dictate other countries by way of hegemony and, still less, dominate the world. In face of regional hotspot issues, we must abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect the people’s will of the involved countries, and resort to a political settlement, he added. Xi said there is only one system, one order and one set of rules in the world, and all countries should act within this framework, rather than do whatever suits them. For major countries, they should respect each other, coexist peacefully and work for mutual benefit on a win-win basis, which serves the common interests of the international community.”
He spoke about pandemic cooperation and “fair and reasonable distribution of vaccines globally to help make vaccines global public goods” -- Of course, Xi’s definition of public goods is not what economics teaches us.
On climate change, he stressed on the need to “implement the Paris Agreement, abide by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, faithfully implement their respective responsibilities of emission reduction, and help developing countries accelerate economic transformation. China will honor its words with deeds as it has announced nationally determined measures to respond to climate change.”
Guterres’ comments reported in PD are interesting. He calls the day the PRC joined the UN as a “day of justice” (正义的一天). He thanked China for its support of the UN and added that “unilateralism is totally unacceptable.” He also apparently said that Xi’s Global Development Initiative is “of great and positive significance to promoting equal, balanced and sustainable development of the world.”
Next, we have a report about Xi and Belgium’s King Philippe exchanging congratulatory letters (English report), marking the 50th anniversary of ties. Finally, we have a report (English report) about Xi congratulating CCTV for launching its CCTV Olympic Channel. He wants the channel to “promote healthy life concept, follow development of mass sports and youth sports and contribute to boosting China’s sports powerhouse building.”
Page 2: We have a story featuring positive reactions to Xi’s speech. It quotes the Russian ambassador to China and a number of diplomats from African and South American countries. Then we have a PD commentary on Xi’s speech, which adds little new to be honest.
But it does say that the passing of Resolution 2758 led to “restoring all rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and recognizing the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate representatives of China in the United Nations. Since then, the Chinese people have been truly represented in the United Nations, the universality, representativeness and authority of the United Nations have been enhanced, the international community’s adherence to the One-China principle has been greatly consolidated and developed, and the force for world peace and development has never been stronger.” 971年10月25日，第二十六届联合国大会以压倒性多数通过第2758号决议，决定恢复中华人民共和国在联合国的一切权利，承认中华人民共和国政府代表是中国在联合国的唯一合法代表。自此，中国人民在联合国有了真正代表，联合国的普遍性、代表性和权威性得到切实增强，国际社会坚持一个中国原则的格局得到极大巩固和发展, 世界和平与发展的力量得到空前壮大.
Page 3: Like we had a piece about the development of western regions, today we have a long piece on Xi’s focus on development in the northeast. Once again, Xi’s quote gets that special treatment that it got yesterday.
Page 4: State Councilor Wang Yong spoke about SoEs pursuing innovation. He wants central SoEs to “deepen institutional reform, integrate and optimiSe innovation resources, improve their technological innovation capacity, step up efforts to tackle key and core technologies, build strategic national scientific and technological forces, and speed up the realisation of self-reliance in science and technology. Focus on the leading role, promote the financing of large, medium and small enterprises and the integration of innovation chain's industrial chain, upgrade the modernisation level of industrial chain and supply chain, support the innovation and development of various market players and drive more employment. We will deepen cooperation between central and local governments, promote the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation with green development, and promote coordinated development between regions and the implementation of major national strategies. We will improve policies to support innovation and effectively turn innovation achievements into advantages for enterprise development, so as to provide strong support for enterprises to grow stronger, better and bigger and strive to become world-class. 王勇指出, 创新是赢得未来的关键。国资央企要进一步深化体制机制改革, 整合优化创新资源，提高企业技术创新能力, 加强关键核心技术攻关, 着力打造国家战略科技力量，加快实现科技自立自强. 着眼发挥引领带动作用，促进大中小企业融通和创新链产业链融合发展, 提升产业链供应链现代化水平，支持各类市场主体创新发展和带动更多就业. 深化央地合作, 推动科技创新与绿色发展深度融合, 促进区域协调发展和国家重大战略落实落地. 完善创新支持政策，把创新成果有效转化为企业发展优势，为企业做强做优做大、争创世界一流提供有力支撑.
Page 7: We have a report covering the end of the Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum 2021. Some of the comments from the forum that the report highlights are:
RMB exchange rate will remain basically stable at a reasonable and balanced
Support small and micro businesses and develop inclusive finance
PBoC’s Yi Gang is quoted as saying that “the socialist market economy system and mechanism are the source and fundamental guarantee of China's economic resilience.”
Yi Huiman, Chairperson of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said that accelerating the building of a multi-tiered equity market system to meet the financing needs of enterprises of different types and at different stages of development was an inherent requirement to make finance more adaptable to the real economy.
Xu Ming, who heads the national and Beijing stock exchange, said that the latter will closely focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Chen Yulu, PBoC Deputy Governor, said that China’s clean energy consumption in 2020 will increase by 1 percentage point compared with 2019, indicating that China is still sticking to the main tone of green development in the face of the epidemic. Up to now, China’s outstanding green loans are nearly 14 trillion yuan, and the stock of green bonds is nearly 1 trillion yuan, both of which rank among the highest in the world.
Zhao Zhengping, a member of the CSRC Party Committee, backed promoting fintech innovation and digital transformation.
“Vigorously developing the fintech industry and promoting the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation and capital market are necessary for Beijing to build itself into an international scientific and technological innovation center, improve the functions of the national financial management center and promote high-quality economic development of the capital,” said Yin Yong, member of the Standing Committee of Beijing Party Committee.
Page 6: A long piece reviewing work following the passing of the Cryptography Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Page 10: A long piece on the theory page by the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Committee. It calls Xi’s recent comments on the work of people’s congresses as a “programmatic document,” which was “full of the power of Marxist truth.” Another interesting comment is that the piece talks about laws needing to be highly consistent with the Party’s ideas and people’s will. 法律是党的主张和人民意志的高度统一，必须把发展全过程人民民主要求贯彻到立法各环节，使立法活动和立法工作成为践行和体现全过程人民民主的生动实践.
It also tells us that Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, more than 190 draft laws have been publicly solicited for comments, and about 1.1 million people have put forward more than 3 million opinions and suggestions, which we have carefully studied and adopted and given feedback. (I don’t have a frame of reference, but doesn’t that sound like a rather small number?) The establishment of grassroots legislative contact points is an innovative measure to deepen democratic legislation and open the door to legislation. At present, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has more than 20 grassroots legislative contact points throughout the country, which has stimulated local people’s congresses to set up more than 4,700 legislative contact points. 党的十八大以来，共有190多件次法律草案向社会公开征求意见，约110万人次提出了300多万条意见建议，我们都认真研究采纳并作出反馈。设立基层立法联系点，是深化民主立法、开门立法的一项创新举措。目前，全国人大常委会法工委在全国设有20多个基层立法联系点，辐射带动地方人大设立立法联系点4700多个，发挥了民意“直通车”的重要作用。通过不断完善民主立法的方式和机制，更加广泛地凝聚立法共识，进一步夯实立法的实践基础和民意基础.
Also, it says:
The leadership of the Party is the greatest political advantage and the most fundamental guarantee for developing whole-process people’s democracy and promoting the development of socialist rule of law. To do a good job in legislative work in the new era, we must adhere to the highest political principle of the Party’s leadership, take Xi Jinping’s Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era as the guide, learn, understand and implement Xi Jinping’s Thought of Rule of Law, strengthen ‘four consciousnesses’, ‘four self-confidences’ and achieve the ‘two safeguards’, promote the institutionalization of the party's leadership, under the rule of law, in order to ensure that the Party takes charge of the overall situation and coordinates all parties. 加强党对立法工作的集中统一领导。党的领导是发展全过程人民民主、推进社会主义法治建设的最大政治优势和最根本保证。做好新时代立法工作，必须坚持党的领导这一最高政治原则，以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，学懂弄通做实习近平法治思想，增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”，推进党的领导制度化、法治化，确保党总揽全局、协调各方.
And we learn:
“By the end of September 2021, there were 286 effective laws, more than 600 administrative regulations, 1 supervisory regulation and more than 12,000 local regulations in China. On our new journey, based on the new development stage, implementing the new development concept, building a new development pattern to promote high-quality development, it is necessary to give full play to the guarantee role of the rule of law in consolidating the foundation, stabilizing expectations and benefiting the long-term.” 截至2021年9月底，我国现行有效的法律286件、行政法规600余件、监察法规1件、地方性法规1.2万余件。新征程上，立足新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局、推动高质量发展，需要有效发挥法治固根本、稳预期、利长远的保障作用.
One final story to highlight; this is outside of PD.
Wang Yi met with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the acting deputy prime minister of the Afghan Taliban’s interim government, in Doha. I thought this meeting was interesting that Wang went and met him, amid reports of rifts and Baradar having been sidelined. Wang said, as per Xinhua, that:
Afghanistan is at “a critical stage of transforming from chaos to governance” and faces “a historic opportunity to truly master its own destiny, achieve reconciliation and tolerance, and advance national reconstruction.”
Wang expressed his hope that the Afghan Taliban will further demonstrate openness and tolerance, unite all ethnic groups and factions in Afghanistan to work together for peaceful reconstruction, and effectively protect the rights and interests of women and children.
He wants the Taliban to “adopt a friendly policy toward its neighboring countries.”
He added: “China urges the United States and the West as a whole to lift sanctions, and calls on all parties to engage with the Afghan Taliban in a rational and pragmatic manner to help Afghanistan embark on a path of healthy development.”
He promised to “continue to provide humanitarian aid.”
He said that ETIM “not only poses a real threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity, but also jeopardizes the domestic stability and long-term stability in Afghanistan.” Also, “he hopes and believes that the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with the ETIM and other terrorist organizations, and take effective measures to resolutely crack down on them.” -- So I guess that he is saying that this has not happened yet.
Baradar said that:
“Taliban is willing to strengthen the efforts to protect the rights and interests of women and children, and will not deprive them of the rights to education and work. For now, women in medical institutions, airports and other places have resumed their work, and girls in primary and secondary schools in many provinces have returned to school, but they still face difficulties such as lack of facilities and funds.” -- Message for the guys in charge in Kabul?
“The Afghan Taliban, which attaches great importance to China’s security concerns, will resolutely honor its promise and never allow anyone or any force to use the Afghan territory to harm China.” -- So no break from terrorism in general, I guess?