Xi's Ethnic Policies - Li on Developing the Northeast - Yang Jiechi at BRICS Security Talks - China-Turkey Partnership - Xi Thought: Public & Private Sector + Core Technology Research - A New Struggle
Here are the stories and pieces from the August 25, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.
Page 1: Xi Jinping has been on a visit to Hebei Province. The visit so far has had no coverage in PD. This is standard. PD usually does round-ups after the visit ends and then commentaries around those.
So let’s begin with a really long piece on the page about China’s policies with regard to ethnic minorities. This covers all of Page 2. The article is basically a bunch of Xi Jinping’s quotes over time, put together under different themes. These talk about China’s diversity and unity being a strength; of course the emphasis is on unity of all ethnic groups. But there are some really interesting bits in there that have policy relevance. I am highlighting a few:
For instance, this is Xi from March 2014:
“To correctly understand and deal with ethnic relations, the most fundamental thing is to adhere to ethnic equality, strengthen ethnic unity, promote mutual assistance among ethnic groups and promote ethnic harmony.” He added that “firmly establish the ideological concept that Han Chinese cannot be separated from ethnic minorities, ethnic minorities cannot be separated from Han Chinese, and ethnic minorities are also inseparable from each other.” 2014年3月4日，习近平总书记在参加全国政协十二届二次会议少数民族界委员联组会时强调：“国家的统一，人民的团结，国内各民族的团结，这是我们的事业必定要胜利的基本保证。正确认识和处理民族关系，最根本的是要坚持民族平等，加强民族团结，推动民族互助，促进民族和谐。我们要坚持各民族共同团结奋斗、共同繁荣发展的主题，深入开展民族团结宣传教育，牢固树立汉族离不开少数民族、少数民族离不开汉族、各少数民族之间也相互离不开的思想观念，打牢民族团结的思想基础.”
In March 2018, to the delegation from Inner Mongolia at the NPC, he said: “Strengthening ethnic unity lies in adhering to and perfecting the system of regional ethnic autonomy.” 加强民族团结, 在于坚持和完善民族区域自治制度.
In September 2019, he said:
“To realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, it is necessary to take the consciousness of the Chinese nation community as the main line and take the cause of national unity and progress as the basic cause. We must fully implement the Party’s ethnic theory and ethnic policy, adhere to common unity and struggle, common prosperity and development, promote all ethnic groups to come together like seeds of a pomegranate…” 2019年9月27日，习近平总书记在全国民族团结进步表彰大会上指出：“各族人民亲如一家，是中华民族伟大复兴必定要实现的根本保证。实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦，就要以铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线，把民族团结进步事业作为基础性事业抓紧抓好。我们要全面贯彻党的民族理论和民族政策，坚持共同团结奋斗、共同繁荣发展，促进各民族像石榴籽一样紧紧拥抱在一起，推动中华民族走向包容性更强、凝聚力更大的命运共同体。”
On the Party’s leadership, he said in 2014:
“The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the fundamental guarantee for the success of ethnic work. It is also the fundamental guarantee for the unity of all ethnic groups. Without strong political leadership, it is unthinkable for a multi-ethnic country to achieve unity.” 中国共产党的领导是民族工作取得成功和各民族大团结的根本保证. 没有强有力的政治领导，一个多民族国家实现统一和团结是不可想象的.
In September 2019, during a speech at the Commendation Conference for the Progress of National Unity, Xi said:
“To do a good job in national work under the new situation, we must strengthen the party's leadership over national work. Party committees at all levels should put ethnic work on the important agenda, and take the understanding of ethnic work and the ability to engage in ethnic unity as the important content of investigating leading cadres. It is necessary to strengthen the research on basic theoretical issues and major practical issues in the ethnic field, innovate the discourse system of socialist ethnic theory and policy with Chinese characteristics, and enhance its international influence and appeal.” 2019年9月27日，习近平总书记在全国民族团结进步表彰大会上指出：“做好新形势下民族工作，必须加强党对民族工作的领导。各级党委要把民族工作摆上重要议事日程，把懂不懂民族工作、会不会搞民族团结作为考察领导干部的重要内容。要加强民族领域基础理论问题和重大现实问题研究，创新中国特色社会主义民族理论政策的话语体系，提升在国际上的影响力和感召力.
In July 2016, General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Ningxia, and said that:
“To build a well-off society in an all-round way by 2020, no region or nation can fall behind. We must conscientiously implement the decision-making arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, implement the new development concept, actively integrate into the national development strategy, further emancipate our minds, work hard, and strive to achieve economic prosperity, national unity, a beautiful environment, and people’s prosperity, and ensure that we can build a comprehensive well-off society simultaneously with the whole country.” 2016年7月，习近平总书记在宁夏考察时指出：“到2020年全面建成小康社会，任何一个地区、任何一个民族都不能落下. 要认真落实党中央决策部署，贯彻新发展理念，主动融入国家发展战略，进一步解放思想、真抓实干、奋力前进，努力实现经济繁荣、民族团结、环境优美、人民富裕，确保与全国同步建成全面小康社会.”
Another quote from Xi in the segment in the piece on core socialist values and cultural identity. “Cultural identity is the deepest level of identity, the root of national unity and the soul of national harmony. The problem of cultural identity has been solved, and the recognition of the great motherland, the Chinese nation and the socialist road with Chinese characteristics can be consolidated.” 文化认同是最深层次的认同，是民族团结的根本，是民族和谐的灵魂。文化认同问题得到解决，对伟大祖国、中华民族和中国特色社会主义道路的认同得以巩固.
“General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: ‘We should do a good job in patriotism education, bury the seeds of loving China in the hearts of every child, and let the socialist core values take root in the hearts of the next generation of the motherland. All ethnic groups should cultivate children’s awareness of being a member of the Chinese nation. Children should not only know which ethnic group they belong to, but they should first know that they are part of the Chinese nation; this is the kind of relationship between the moon and the stars…”习近平总书记指出：“要抓好爱国主义教育这一课，把爱我中华的种子埋入每个孩子的心灵深处，让社会主义核心价值观在祖国下一代的心田中生根发芽。各民族都要培养孩子们树立中华民族一员的意识，不要让孩子们只知道自己是哪个民族的人，首先要知道自己是中华民族，这是月亮和星星的关系。这件事一定要大张旗鼓做起来，持之以恒做下去.”
Next, we have a report about Li Keqiang underscoring “efforts to accelerate reform and opening-up, safeguard and improve people's livelihoods, and further promote the full revitalization of the northeast.” This was during a meeting of the leading group on revitalizing northeast China and other old industrial bases under the State Council. Han Zheng, the deputy chief of the group, also attended the meeting. Also present were Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua, Wang Yong and Xiao Jie. Xinhua English also has a detailed story on this. Here’s what Li wants:
continue increasing fiscal support from the central government and strengthen financial services
improve the business environment, stimulate the vitality of market entities, deepen the reforms of state capital and state-owned enterprises, promote sustained and sound development of the private sector, and attract more enterprises and talents to the region
development of coastal economic belts and focus on cross-border trade
accelerate the transformation and upgrading of equipment manufacturing and other industries
cultivate and expand emerging industries
focus on improving people’s livelihoods
greater emphasis on promoting employment
strengthen public services such as education, medicare, elderly care and childcare
renovation of old residential communities
Next, the National Committee of the CPPCC discussed strengthening ecological and environmental protection on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Xinhua English has a detailed report too. It tells us that PSC member Wang Yang “stressed efforts to consolidate the achievements of ecological and environmental protection on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, assess the impact of global climate change and human activities on the plateau in a scientific way, and take multiple measures to improve its resilience to climate change, so as to effectively protect the plateau, while providing long-term support for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation.”
Also noteworthy is this bit that is in the report based on the proposals of political advisors: “It is necessary to establish and improve a comprehensive observation network for the atmosphere, glaciers, snow cover, frozen soil, lakes, forests and grasses on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to their proposals.”
Finally, a piece on new energy vehicles in China. It tells us that from January to July this year, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China was 1.504 million and 1.478 million, respectively, exceeding the annual production and sales of 1.366 million and 1.367 million from last year, reaching a record high.
Page 3: Lots of pieces on the page. First, a report about the China-Turkey strategic partnership. It talks about the overall development relationship; it talks about the Emba Hunutlu power station as a “benchmark” project for China-Turkey cooperation. It then mentions the Port of Kumport in which the Chinese-funded enterprise consortium acquired 65% of stake in the port. It talks about the Ankara-Istanbul High-speed Railway Phase II and Ankara 500 MW Photovoltaic Industrial Park as key projects.
Other key points:
“Huawei has set up its second largest overseas R&D center in Turkey, and smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo and Transsion have also invested and set up factories in Turkey.”
“In 2020, China-Turkey bilateral trade in goods reached $24.08 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15.6%...As of the end of 2020, China’s total direct investment in Turkey has reached $1.92 billion. In 2020, direct investment in Turkey was $55.93 million, an increase of 338.3% year-on-year.” 2020年，中土双边货物贸易额达240.8亿美元，同比增长15.6%...中方在土投资稳步增长，截至2020年底，中方对土直接投资总额累计达19.2亿美元，2020年直接投资达5593万美元，同比增长338.3%.
There are 4 Confucius Institutes in Turkey; China and Turkey have concluded 25 pairs of friendly provinces and cities.
Next, Wang Chen attended the opening ceremony of the second meeting of the exchange mechanism between the National People's Congress and the Kenyan Parliament in Beijing.
It is necessary to unite against the epidemic, respect science, and oppose the stigmatization of the pandemic situation and the politicization of virus traceability
We must firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations as the core and the international order based on international law, and ensure that the vast number of developing countries participate in international affairs fairly
We must adhere to dialogue and consultation and political settlement of regional conflicts and hotspot issues, and respect the legitimate concerns of regional countries
It is necessary to comprehensively implement policies, address both the symptoms and root causes, practice a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable global security concept, firmly establish the Community of Shared Future for Mankind consciousness, promote the strengthening of global cooperation to meet non-traditional security challenges, oppose the abuse of the concept of national security, and implement discriminatory unilateral coercive measures against other countries.
“BRICS countries to fully accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, join hands to crack down on cross-border crimes, and enhance cooperation in fields including intelligence sharing, safety precautions, counter-narcotics, cracking down on cyber crimes, counter-terrorism and internet information security. He said the BRICS countries must be alert to infringements on the sovereign rights of other countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation.”
He also talked about:
establishing an early warning mechanism to prevent the risk of large-scale infectious diseases
the BRICS counter-terrorism action plan, which was adopted. Yang called for actively exploring “ways to fight terrorism and extremism, deepen cooperation in cracking down on cyber terrorism and stopping terrorism financing, and promote the building of a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace.”
On Afghanistan, he mentioned concerns about terrorism and added: “The international community should respect the wishes and choices of the Afghan people and encourage Afghanistan to establish an inclusive political structure in line with its own national conditions.”
Next, Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke at the launch ceremony and the first plenary meeting of the committee for future development of China-ROK relations. Wang also spoke to Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag. The conversation was largely around Afghanistan.
Xinhua reports that “Wang said complex conflicts of ethnic groups and religious sects, poverty and refugee issues need to be resolved and risks of a civil war triggered by regional conflicts must be avoided. He said that the international community now is gradually forming a consensus on Afghanistan that is to build an open and inclusive political structure, implement moderate domestic and foreign policies and thoroughly disassociate from all terrorist groups.” He added that the US should not simply walk away or manipulate sanctions on Afghanistan, adding that it is the “U.S. responsibility to properly handle chaos around the Kabul airport.”
The other part of the conversation was about China-EU ties. Wang said “all countries should adhere to true multilateralism, especially jointly safeguard the UN-centered international system and prevent the world from divisions.” He also spoke about the origins tracing issue anticipating the US intelligence assessment. He said that “the U.S. approach is anti-science, while the ‘conclusion’ is bound to serve its own political purposes and seriously interfere with international cooperation against the pandemic”...Wang also “voiced his hope that all countries will take a scientific and objective position on the issue of origins tracing and support more extensive origins tracing research in countries and regions where early cases have been found.”
Next, a report about Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi speaking to Moeed Yusuf, special assistant to the Pakistani Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning. He talked about deepening security and anti-terror cooperation. Xinhua says: Zhao hoped the Pakistani side to find out the truth of the Dasu attack, thoroughly investigate and punish the perpetrators and bring the absconding criminal suspects to justice, adding that Pakistan should reinforce security troops and measures to crack down terrorist forces in accordance with the law so as to ensure the security of Chinese nationals and programs in Pakistan.
Finally, a short report on the China-Africa Internet Development and Cooperation Forum being held by the State Internet Information Office of China. The idea here is to “build a higher-level cyberspace community with a shared future.”
Page 4: Just one report to note. Li Keqiang has signed an order, which says that the regulation on the registration management of market entities will go into effect on March 1, 2022. This regulation aims to standardize registration management of market entities, promote the construction of a law-based market, sustain a benign market order, protect the legitimate rights and interests of market entities, and optimize the business environment. The official report says that all of this will alleviate corporate burdens by optimizing registration procedures with fewer steps, simplified application materials and lower institutional costs.
Page 5: We have the 28th piece in the Xi Thought series. The first question today is about the public and private sector. In the first paragraph, we are told that anyone denying the role of either is basically doing a disservice to the socialist economic model.
The next bit tells us that adhering to public ownership as the mainstay is to adhere to the direction of socialism; and not wavering in consolidating and developing the public ownership of the economy. 坚持公有制为主体就是坚持社会主义方向，必须毫不动摇巩固和发展公有制经济. The piece tells us that the state-owned sector is an “important material and political foundation of socialism with Chinese characteristics” and an “important pillar” of the Party’s ability to rule and work towards rejuvenation.
“Without the important material foundation that state-owned enterprises have laid for China’s development over a long period of time, without the major innovations and key core technologies achieved by state-owned enterprises, and without state-owned enterprises’ long-term commitment to a large number of social responsibilities, there would be no economic independence and national security for China, no continuous improvement in people's lives, and no socialist China standing tall in the East of the world.” 如果没有长期以来国有企业为我国发展打下的重要物质基础，如果没有国有企业取得的重大创新成果和关键核心技术，如果没有国有企业长期承担大量社会责任，就没有我国的经济独立和国家安全，就没有人民生活的不断改善，就没有社会主义中国在世界东方的岿然屹立.
If the role of SoEs is reduced or corroded and if these are enfeebled and destroyed, then it would undermine the dominant position of public ownership, the leading role of state-owned economy, the leading position of the working class, the essential requirement of common prosperity, the ruling foundation and the ruling position of the party and thereby undermine the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 如果把国有企业搞小了、搞垮了、搞没了，公有制的主体地位、国有经济的主导作用、工人阶级的领导地位、共同富裕的本质要求、党的执政基础和执政地位就无从谈起，更谈不上坚持和发展中国特色社会主义了.
On the other hand,
“The private economy is the main form of economic organization of the non-public economy, an important achievement in the development of the socialist market economy, and an important force in promoting the development of the socialist market economy...the private economy has become the main space for entrepreneurship and employment, an important domain for technological innovation, and an important source of national taxation revenue.”
With that explanation provided, there’s then talk about maintaining the mainstay role of the public economy and not pursuing de-nationalisation or privatisation; “public sector enterprises must not only be run, but must be run well, the piece says. 国有企业不仅要办而且一定要办好. At the same time, “the status and role of the non-public economy in China’s economic and social development has not changed; private enterprises and private entrepreneurs are our own people; the private economy can only grow and cannot be weakened...rather, it must move to a broader stage.” 非公有制经济在我国经济社会发展中的地位和作用没有变，民营企业和民营企业家是我们自己人，民营经济只能壮大、不能弱化，不仅不能“离场”，而且要走向更加广阔的舞台.
So in the new era, stick to the two unwaverings; enhance the competitiveness, innovation, control, influence, and anti-risk capabilities of the state-owned economy; and with regard to the private sector, it is important to develop a “亲清政商关系” - my understanding of this is that it refers to a close yet clean government-business relationship. This should help explain more.
Quick Thought: This entire bit today only makes me more certain about the view that the approach to private sector being instrumental, which I wrote about yesterday.
The second question today is about improving core technology research.
“General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that it is necessary to adhere to self-reliance in science and technology, improve the new national system under the condition of socialist market economy, and lay a solid foundation for key core technologies. This reflects our party’s profound grasp and strategic plan of persisting in innovation-driven development and shaping new advantages in development in an all-round way, and is a major measure to accelerate the construction of a powerful country in science and technology.” 习近平总书记多次强调，要坚持科技自立自强，健全社会主义市场经济条件下新型举国体制，打好关键核心技术攻坚战. 这反映了我们党对坚持创新驱动发展、全面塑造发展新优势的深刻把握和战略谋划，是加快建设科技强国的重大举措.
The author says that the new nationwide system that’s being established is in line with China’s historic experiences and social realities. He quotes Xi as saying that the fact that China’s socialist system can bring together resources to focus on doing “great things” “is an important magic weapon.” And that this advantage must not be lost.
Then we are told:
“At present, China’s overall gap with developed countries in the development of core technologies is narrowing. Major innovative achievements are emerging. In some frontier technologies, China is beginning to enter the leading stage. On the whole, China’s scientific and technological strength is shifting from the accumulation of quantity to achieving a qualitative leap, from breakthroughs in specific domains to the improvement of system capability. However, the shortcomings of China's basic scientific research are still prominent, and there are obvious gaps when compared to advanced countries. There are still many institutional barriers in the chain of scientific and technological innovation, and the links between innovation and transformation are not close enough. We also need to see that a new round of scientific and technological revolution is taking shape, wherein science and technology competition is more intense. If scientific and technological innovation is not carried out, the driving force for development cannot be changed, and we will be at a disadvantage in the global economic competition. In order to make up for the shortcomings of scientific and technological development and grasp the first opportunities of the scientific and technological revolution, we must break through the institutional barriers, build a collaborative mechanism for key core technologies in line with the laws of the market economy, so that the hand of the market and the hand of the government can complement each other…” 建立健全关键核心技术攻关的新型举国体制，是实施创新驱动发展战略的必然要求。实施创新驱动发展战略，必须把重要领域的科技创新摆在更加突出的地位。当前，我国在发展核心技术方面同发达国家总体差距在缩小，重大创新成果竞相涌现，一些前沿领域开始进入并跑领跑阶段，科技实力正在从量的积累迈向质的飞跃，从点的突破迈向系统能力提升。但是我国基础科学研究短板依然突出，同国际先进水平的差距还很明显，科技创新链条上还存在诸多体制机制关卡，创新和转化各个环节衔接不够紧密。还要看到，新一轮科技革命方兴未艾，科技竞争更加激烈，如果科技创新搞不上去，发展动力就不可能实现转换，我们在全球经济竞争中就会处于下风。补齐科技发展短板、把握科技革命先机，必须突破体制机制障碍，构建符合市场经济规律的关键核心技术协同攻关机制，让市场之手和政府之手相互配合、优势互补，充分调动各类科技创新主体的积极性、主动性、创造性，形成集中力量攻克关键核心技术难关的强大创新合力.
The piece again emphasises independent innovation and says “we cannot be controlled by others in key core technology fields.” It talks about chips and core equipment such as lithography machines that are key dependencies. It then says that such technologies are chokepoint technologies and these cannot be bought by money as countries regard these as linked to national security; one, therefore, needs to focus on independent innovation. It calls for using China’s systemic advantages of focussing on “great things,” using the market size as a demand driver, and being demand-oriented and problem-oriented, realizing that science and technology innovation is the main ge-economic “battlefield.” It talks about the national laboratory system as the starting point and promoting interdisciplinary research.
Think of this in the context of the recent deliberations regarding changes to the law on science and technology progress. GT tells us that:
“The draft proposes establishing an investment mechanism for stable support of basic research and increasing the proportion of basic research funding in the total social research and development (R&D) funding, in order to enhance the capacity of original innovation for basic research. Moreover, the draft law also makes it clear that support for national strategic science and technology should be established and strengthened as the revision prioritizes promoting breakthroughs in key areas and core technologies. The support is expected to include helping national laboratories, science and technology research and development institutions, high-level research universities and leading enterprises in the science and technology field.”
Page 9: On the Theory page today, the focus of the three articles is on studying and understanding Xi Jinping's comments on being tenacious and unremitting in winning victories in the new great struggle. The lead piece is by the Party Group of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Some interesting bits here, apart from the usual points.
The piece tells us that every struggle has a direction, position and principle. I am paraphrasing some bits to summarise the argument. It says that in the new era, “we must always keep in mind the nature, purpose, and original mission of the Communist Party of China.” It calls for maintaining the position of keeping people at the center and “maintaining flesh-and-blood ties.” It is important to not be self-interested but focus on the people; and of course, to maintain the Party’s leadership. It also says that struggle in the new era too “is long-term, complex, and arduous.”
As part of this:
“Firmly grasp the leadership, management and discourse power of ideological work, resolutely oppose all words and deeds that weaken, distort and deny the leadership of the Party and China's socialist system, unswervingly promote the building of a clean and honest government and the anti-corruption struggle, resolutely remove all factors that damage the advanced nature and purity of the Party, remove all viruses that erode the healthy body of the Party, and ensure that the Party does not deteriorate, change color or taste.” 牢牢掌握意识形态工作的领导权、管理权、话语权，坚决反对一切削弱、歪曲、否定党的领导和我国社会主义制度的言行，坚定不移推进党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争，坚决清除一切损害党的先进性和纯洁性的因素，清除一切侵蚀党的健康肌体的病毒，确保党不变质、不变色、不变味.
The piece then says that the struggle is also related to “safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
“In the new journey, we should take a clear-cut stand against hegemonism and power politics, strictly guard against and resolutely crack down on all kinds of infiltration, subversion and sabotage activities, resolutely oppose all attempts and actions to split the motherland, undermine national unity and social harmony and stability, and earnestly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests.” 新的征程上, 要旗帜鲜明反对霸权主义和强权政治，严密防范和坚决打击各种渗透颠覆破坏活动，坚决反对一切分裂祖国、破坏民族团结和社会和谐稳定的图谋和行为，切实维护我国主权、安全、发展利益.
A struggle must also be carried out to comprehensively deepen reforms and eliminate stubborn obstacles. In terms of this, the piece says it is important to:
“dare to face deep-seated contradictions, make great efforts to adjust deep-rooted interests, resolutely break the fetters of ideology, resolutely break the fences of solidified interests, and resolutely remove institutional and institutional barriers that hinder the development of social productivity.” 必须以勇于自我革命的气魄、坚忍不拔的毅力全面深化改革，加强改革的系统性、整体性、协同性，敢于涉深水区、啃硬骨头，敢于面对深层次矛盾，下大力气调整深层次利益关系，坚决冲破思想观念束缚，坚决破除利益固化藩篱, 坚决清除妨碍社会生产力发展的体制机制障碍.
The piece then outlines over a few paragraphs the requirements for cadres and officials. These are being firm in ideals and beliefs but learning from practice. It includes carrying forward the “great party-building spirit, strengthening the awareness of struggle, and mustering the courage to fight…” Also, enhancing risk and crisis awareness while maintaining strategic determination.
“Be optimistic in strategy, but remain cautious in tactics. One should pay attention to overall planning, grasp strategic priorities, make correct strategic judgments and adopt scientific tactical decisions. One must adhere to the principle of rationality, benefit and restraint, grasp the intensity of the struggle; refrain from backing down on issues of principle, but be flexible on matters of strategy.” 在战略上保持乐观，在战术上保持谨慎, 注重总体谋划，把握战略重点，作出正确的战略判断，形成科学的战术决断. 坚持有理有利有节，把握斗争火候，在原则问题上寸步不让，在策略问题上灵活机动.
There’s a State Council briefing on the protection of critical information infrastructure.
There’s a long piece by the UFWD’s theory learning group on promoting unity