Xi's Article on History in Qiushi - Sri Lankan Parties Celebrate CCP Centenary - Normalising the Fight against Gangs - Technology Self-reliance - G7, NATO & More

Here are the stories and pieces from the People’s Daily’s June 16, 2021, edition that I found noteworthy.

Page 1: One of the lead stories on the front page is about an article by Xi Jinping that will be published in Qiushi today about history, patriotism and loving the Party. The actual article is available on Qiushi. It is a collection of quotes from Xi’s speeches over the years about history. PD informs that:

“The article emphasises that history is the best textbook. It is necessary to understand the ins and outs of our party and country's cause, learn from the historical experience of our party and country, and correctly understand major events and important figures in the party and country’s history. This is very necessary for the correct understanding of the party and the country, and it is also very necessary for us to create the future.”

Then this:

“The article points out that it is a great blessing for China, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation to have the Communist Party of China in power.” 文章指出,中国有了中国共产党执政,是中国、中国人民、中华民族的一大幸事. 

And this: 

“without the leadership of the Communist Party of China, our country and our nation could not have achieved such achievements today, nor could they have such international status today.” 只要我们深入了解中国近代史、中国现代史、中国革命史,就不难发现,如果没有中国共产党领导,我们的国家、我们的民族不可能取得今天这样的成就,也不可能具有今天这样的国际地位.

And finally this:

“The article points out that patriotism education should be widely carried out, so that people can deeply understand why history and people have chosen the Communist Party of China, why we must adhere to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” 文章指出,要广泛开展爱国主义教育,让人们深入理解为什么历史和人民选择了中国共产党,为什么必须坚持走中国特色社会主义道路、实现中华民族伟大复兴.

Along with the publication of the article, there’s also a piece by the Qiushi editorial department. The editorial department’s piece basically expands on Xi’s comments. In its first section, the argument is that the Communist Party’s rule was the choice of history and the people. It says that while many political forces emerged in China in the early part of the last century, the CCP emerged in power because: 

the “CPC is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, an advanced party armed with advanced Marxist ideology, a party that represents the fundamental interests of the broadest Chinese people and has dared to fight and sacrifice...a party that has remembered its original mission and is brave in self-revolution, uniting and leading the Chinese people on the path to national independence, people's liberation, national prosperity and people's happiness.” 中国共产党之所以能够在各种政治力量、数百个政党中脱颖而出,之所以能够成为中国人民自觉而坚定的选择、始终赢得人民拥护和支持,最根本的就在于中国共产党是中国工人阶级同时是中国人民和中华民族的先锋队,是用马克思主义先进思想武装起来的先进政党,是代表中国最广大人民根本利益并敢于斗争、敢于牺牲的党,是牢记初心使命、勇于自我革命的党,团结带领中国人民走上了实现民族独立、人民解放和国家富强、人民幸福的康庄大道.

Ergo: “Facts have fully proved that the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the historical inevitability of the development of Chinese society in modern times.” 事实充分证明,中国共产党的领导是近代以来中国社会发展的历史必然.

The next bit is terribly verbose in making the point that the Party has led the reform of society and economy to “create an impressive history of the development of the Chinese nation and the progress of human society in the past 100 years.” 

The piece then comes to the operative bit, i.e., it is critical to uphold the leadership of the Party, and not just that, but also: “The ‘two safeguards’ is a major political achievement and valuable experience of our Party since the 18th Party Congress, and is a fundamental political guarantee to ensure the unity and consistency of the Party and to promote the continuous development and progress of the Party and the people.” 两个维护”是党的十八大以来我们党的重大政治成果和宝贵经验,是保证全党团结统一, 步调一致,推动党和人民事业不断发展和进步的根本政治保证.  

The piece talks about pandemic control as an example of the importance of having a strong core in Xi Jinping, and then the authors say this:

“On the way forward, the whole party must unswervingly implement the actions of maintaining General Secretary Xi Jinping’s position as the core of the CPC Central Committee and his position as the core of the whole party, safeguarding the authority of the CPC Central Committee and centralizing and unifying leadership, and unswervingly maintain a high degree of consistency with the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core in ideological and political actions.” 前进道路上,全党必须坚定不移地把维护习近平总书记党中央的核心、全党的核心地位,维护党中央权威和集中统一领导落实到行动中去,坚定不移地在思想上政治上行动上同以习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致.

The next section is about why Marxism works. It talks about Marxism’s “scientific” nature and its “vitality.” There’s a comment by Xi about how “Marxism has provided a powerful ideological weapon for China's revolution, construction and reform, enabling the great ancient Eastern country of China to create a miracle of development unprecedented in human history.” At the same time, there’s a discussion about how the Chinese experience has “enriched” Marxism. And finally, we have a comment about how Xi’s Thought is “contemporary Chinese Marxism and 21st century Marxism.”

The last section is about the strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The idea here is about how the Party has adapted socialism and imbued it with Chinese-ness, I guess. “The vivid practice and great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics fully prove that socialism has not failed China and China has not failed socialism.” 中国特色社会主义的生动实践和巨大成功充分证明,社会主义没有辜负中国,中国也没有辜负社会主义.

The section then talks about maintaining the “four confidences” and calls on cadres to “maintain the revolutionary spirit and fighting spirit, continue to push forward the great social revolution of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era...” 全党同志要按照习近平总书记的要求,保持革命精神、革命斗志,把新时代中国特色社会主义这一伟大社会革命继续推进下去,努力使中国特色社会主义展现更加强大、更有说服力的真理力量. 

While we are discussing the narrative about history, do check out this WSJ story: “China Repackages Its History in Support of Xi’s National Vision.” It’s really something. Here’s an excerpt:

“Past editions of ‘A Short History of the Chinese Communist Party,’ an authoritative text for general audiences, devoted hefty passages to Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward,’ a disastrous economic program that led to one of history’s deadliest famines. The revised version, published in February, excises the earlier edition’s conclusion about the program and its fallout: ‘This bitter historical lesson shouldn’t be forgotten.’ The new version also dropped detailed discussions of Mao’s mistakes in launching the Cultural Revolution, a series of purges against ‘counterrevolutionary elements’ that ravaged Chinese society and left as many as millions of people dead. Instead, it focuses mainly on China’s industrial, technological and diplomatic achievements during that decade. Also gone are well-known quotations from Deng Xiaoping, including his advice that China should ‘hide our light and bide our time,’ or keep a low profile while accumulating strength. Another was a remark he made in 1989 as he prepared to relinquish his last official leadership post: ‘Building a nation’s fate on the reputation of one or two people is very unhealthy and very dangerous.’ Meanwhile, chapters were added that describe Mr. Xi as a visionary statesman whose authority as the party’s ‘core’ leader must be upheld. ‘Amid ten thousand majestic mountains, there must be a main peak,’ reads the updated book, which devotes more than one-quarter of its 531 pages to Mr. Xi’s policies and achievements.

Anyway, back to PD’s front page. Next, we have the full text of the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Justice’s Eighth Five-Year Plan for Publicity and Education on the Rule of Law (2021-2025). There are many aspects to this, but the key goal is to carry out “study and publicity of Xi Jinping’s thoughts on the rule of law;” focus on publicizing the constitution with the goal being to “strengthen national identity”; promote the civil code, inner party regulations, laws and regulations related to modernisation of governance and promotion of high quality development.

The last piece on the page that I thought was worth noting was this one about electricity consumption of the whole society, which continued “to grow rapidly, reaching 672.4 billion kWh, an increase of 12.5% ​​year-on-year. This represents an increase of 18.7% over the same period in 2019.” The piece also provides an industry-wise breakdown of electricity consumption.

Page 3: First, we have a report about the 12th China-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Informal Meeting. Xinhua English reports (PD’s report is the same) that Wei Fenghe said “China is ready to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries in the field of national defense and military development, and continue to actively provide vaccines and other materials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic...On the South China Sea issue, Wei said the relevant parties should build consensus, manage differences, and advance cooperation to jointly uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea.” 

Second, we have Wang Yi’s speech as SCO marked its 20th anniversary. Wang’s proposal for the future is for the organisation to:

  • establish a new model of a community with a shared future 

  • release new momentum for win-win cooperation

  • write a new chapter of mutual learning between civilisations, and 

  • take up a new role in global governance

Xinhua English has him also saying that “We should inherit and carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, and strengthen the exchange of experience in state governance.” He added that the SCO should remain united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and making concerted efforts to crack down on the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, extremism and separatism. “We should speed up the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of the SCO countries and regional cooperation initiatives, and carry out more cooperation in high-tech fields such as digital economy and artificial intelligence.” 

Third, and this one’s got me really intrigued, Sri Lanka’s ruling and opposition parties apparently held an event celebrating the CCP’s centenary. ILD chief Song Tao was invited to speak at the event. We had PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in attendance. Dr. G. Weerasinghe, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, read out a congratulatory letter signed by the ruling and opposition parties.

Finally, we have Zhao Lijian’s comments about the G7 communique. PD doesn’t cover this, but there’s a lot that’s happened over the past 48-72 hours with regard to the G7, NATO, Russia and Taiwan. I did a full thread last night covering the operative bits from the different statements and communiques. You can check that out below.

Page 4: The National Supervision Commission and CCDI issued a document on normalising the struggle against “evil gangs” and “protective umbrellas.” These say that the effort launched by “combining the fight against black and evil with the fight against corruption” has see “deep digging into the ‘protective umbrella’ of the underworld, ‘breaking the umbrella and breaking the net,’ (which) has achieved significant results, and has accumulated a series of effective experience and practices…It is necessary to sum up and use these hard-won valuable experiences, and transform them into normalised measures and requirements…”《实施意见》指出,党的十九大以来,全国纪检监察机关坚决贯彻落实以习近平同志为核心的党中央关于开展扫黑除恶专项斗争的重大决策部署,将扫黑除恶与反腐败斗争和基层“拍蝇”结合起来,深挖黑恶势力“保护伞”,“打伞破网”工作取得重大成效,在斗争实践中积累了一系列行之有效的经验做法,深化了履行职责使命的规律性认识.

Going ahead, the document calls for  work to “actively cooperate with the education and rectification of the political and legal team, consistently regard ‘breaking the umbrella and breaking the net’ as an important part of rectifying corruption and unhealthy trends around the masses, as an important battlefield for comprehensively and strictly governing the party to the grassroots level, and consistently maintain a severely high-pressure situation. The attitude remains unchanged, the determination is not eased, and the scale of the effort must not weaken.” 积极配合做好政法队伍教育整顿工作,一以贯之把“打伞破网”作为整治群众身边腐败和不正之风的重要内容、作为全面从严治党向基层延伸的重要战场,一以贯之保持严惩高压态势,态度不变、决心不减、尺度不松,一以贯之践行“三不”一体推进,推动国家治理体系和治理能力提升,持续巩固党的执政基础,为全面建设社会主义现代化国家提供坚强保障.

Next, we have a report about Guo Shengkun speaking at a meeting of the political and legal education and rectification leading group. He basically talked about the outcomes of the first round of the national rectification campaign targeting the political and legal apparatus. Recall that on Friday, we had data from this first round that came out. Also recall that in mid-April we had a report about the 7 tigers that had been taken down as part of this campaign so far. Anyway, Guo talks about the need to “consolidate and deepen the first batch of achievements” and then talks about grasping “the laws and characteristics of the second batch of education rectification, pay attention to stratification and classification, highlight political loyalty, highlight the role of example, highlight the establishment of rules and regulations, strengthen the organic connection with the first batch of education rectification, and ensure the smooth start of the second batch of education rectification.” 要研究把握第二批教育整顿的规律特点,注意分层分类,突出政治忠诚,突出表率作用,突出建章立制,加强与第一批教育整顿的有机衔接,确保第二批教育整顿平稳起步、顺利开局. - I am not quite sure I understand what he means.

Page 6: A short report about how the Xiong’an New Area has started using the digital yuan for some salary payments. CoinDesk’s English report helped me understand this better. But essentially, in a statement Saturday, the Xiong’an government described the digital yuan pilot as the nation’s first “on-chain” payment being used for builders’ wages. Xiong’an said the Shijiazhuang branch of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the reform and development bureau of Xiong’an’s management committee were involved in guiding and supporting the project. The region is using the Blockchain Fund Payment Platform to pay the wages.

Page 13: The lead piece on the Theory page today is by Li Xiaohong, Party Secretary and Dean of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He’s again drawing from Xi’s recent speech to Chinese scientists and technology workers. He reiterates that “achieving a high level of self-reliance and self-reliance is the most essential feature of building a new development pattern and an inevitable requirement for building a modern socialist country in an all-round way.” 实现高水平的自立自强,是构建新发展格局最本质的特征,是全面建设社会主义现代化国家的必然要求. 

Liu talks about focusing on fundamental research and “resolutely winning the tough battle of key core technologies.” The aim is to address the issue of “chokepoints” and “strive to achieve independent control of key core technologies, and firmly grasp the initiative of innovation and development in our own hands.” “加强原创性、引领性科技攻关,坚决打赢关键核心技术攻坚战”,要求我们敢于走前人没走过的路,集中精锐力量破解“卡脖子”技术难题,努力实现关键核心技术自主可控,把创新主动权、发展主动权牢牢掌握在自己手中.

Liu then pledges the commitment of his institution. As a national strategic scientific and technological force, the Chinese Academy of Engineering will proceed from the urgent and long-term needs of the country, face up to the problems and face up to the difficulties, take it as its primary duty to thoroughly solve the problem of ‘chokepoints’ and create more ‘national heavyweights’, and play a strategic and academic leading role, so as to meet the urgent needs of the country...and fight the tough battle on key core technologies. 作为国家战略科技力量,中国工程院将从国家急迫需要和长远需求出发,直面问题、迎难而上,把彻底解决“卡脖子”问题、创造出更多“国之重器”作为首要职责,发挥战略引领和学术引领作用,急国家之所急、想国家之所想,打好关键核心技术攻坚战.