Xi's Tech Focus - PLA Must Study July 1 Speech - Chinese Media's Social Responsibility Performance - Zhong Sheng Commentary on HK

Here are the stories and pieces from the July 9, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.

Page 1: Let’s begin with a report telling us that Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter (English report) on the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund and the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development. He called on the fund to focus on the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda, humanitarian issues and poverty alleviation. The ISSCAD, meanwhile, is used to share “national governance experience between China and other developing countries and training high-calibre government management talents for the developing countries.”

Next, today’s Xi Jinping’s “agenda” story is about how he has worked to promote scientific and technological innovation. It tells us that “innovation is the soul of a nation’s progress and an inexhaustible source of a country's prosperity.” 创新,是一个民族进步的灵魂,是一个国家兴旺发达的不竭源泉. That said, it also adds that “scientific and technological innovation should serve social development and the broad masses of the people.” 科技创新要服务于社会发展和广大人民.

The first part of the story emphasises the above through the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly vaccine development. It tells us that soon after CNY last year, work began on the Sinovac vaccine. It says that government departments acted promptly to support this in terms of funds and space allocation. This was to ensure that researchers “racing against time face no distractions.”

From here the piece goes back to February 2015, when Xi Jinping visited the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics. At that time, he had said that “core technologies do not come by the way of alms, we must rely on self-reliance.” He, therefore, wanted “scientific and technical personnel” to “establish strong innovation responsibility and self-confidence.” “核心技术靠化缘是要不来的,必须靠自力更生。”仔细了解产业化的成果之后,习近平总书记勉励大家,“科技人员要树立强烈的创新责任和创新自信”. 

The piece then talks about how the Xi’an institute has adopted an “innovative development model of ‘dismantling walls, opening up offices, professional incubation, and entrepreneurial ecology’.” This has led to some 400 tech companies being incubated there with a number of them emerging as unicorns. Isn’t it just such a fascinating change that the People’s Daily, which once lashed out at “capitalist roaders,” is today celebrating unicorns. I guess, this is what the leadership would describe as the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Anyway, we are also told that in 2020, China’s total R&D expenditure was around 2.4 trillion yuan, accounting for 2.4% of GDP. There’s an emphasis on using technology to address livelihood issues and add new momentum to high-quality development. Agricultural modernisation is discussed subsequently. 

Science and technology innovation ‘unlock’ the code of modern agricultural development in the black land. In space, the Gaofen-1 satellite regularly ‘visits’ the farm and transmits the collected data to the information center. In the field, the sensors monitor and extract various environmental elements in real time to achieve precise management of 10,000 mu of fields. 科技创新“解锁”黑土地现代农业发展的密码. 在太空,高分一号卫星定期“光顾”农场,将采集的数据下传给信息中心. 在田间,传感器实时监测和提取各类环境要素信息,对万亩田畴实现精准管理. 

Anyway, moving on, we next have a short report about Xi sending a condolence message (English report) to Vladimir Putin with regard to the recent crash of a Russian passenger plane. Fourth, the General Office of the Central Military Commission issued a notice to make arrangements for the whole army to study, propagate and implement the spirit of Xi’s July 1 speech.

It says that the speech “is a political declaration that the Chinese Communists in the new era will not forget their original aspirations and keep their mission in mind. It is an action guide for our party to unite and lead the people to learn from history and create a future. It is an action guide for inspiring the entire party, the entire army and the people of all ethnic groups to build a modern socialist country in an all-round way. The unremitting struggle to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is of great political, theoretical, and practical significance.”通知指出,习主席“七一”重要讲话立足我们党百年华诞的重大时刻和“两个一百年”历史交汇的关键节点,回望光辉历史、擘画光明未来,是一篇马克思主义纲领性文献,是新时代中国共产党人不忘初心、牢记使命的政治宣言,是我们党团结带领人民以史为鉴、开创未来的行动指南,对于激励全党全军全国各族人民为全面建设社会主义现代化国家、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦不懈奋斗,具有重大的政治意义、理论意义、实践意义.

Here’s more:

“we should focus on understanding and grasping the fundamentals of adhering to the Communist Party of China's strong leadership, unswervingly casting the military soul under the banner of the party, and forging absolute loyalty to always listen to the party's command...further enhance political identity, theoretical identity, emotional identity, and enhance trust and support for the CPC Central Committee and Chairman Xi…”

This is followed by a commentary on the page along similar lines. 

“For more than 90 years, the People's Army has endured the smoke and fire of war, cutting through thorns along the way, making huge sacrifices, achieving one glorious victory after another. With blood and life, it has laid a solid foundation for the establishment of a new China in which the people are the masters of the country, completely reversing the passive situation in which the Chinese nation was backward and beaten. This has provided a strong backing for consolidating the new people's regime, establishing China’s status as a great power and maintaining the dignity of the Chinese nation. It also safeguarded the Communist Party of China's leadership and China's socialist system, and safeguarded national sovereignty, security and development interests.” 90多年来,人民军队历经硝烟战火,一路披荆斩棘,付出巨大牺牲,取得一个又一个辉煌胜利,以鲜血和生命为建立人民当家作主的新中国奠定了牢固根基,彻底扭转了中华民族近代以来落后挨打的被动局面,为巩固新生人民政权、形成中国大国地位、维护中华民族尊严提供了坚强后盾,为维护中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度,为维护国家主权、安全、发展利益,为维护我国发展的重要战略机遇期,为维护地区和世界和平提供了强大力量支撑. 

The piece says that the “fundamental principle and system of the party’s absolute leadership over the army” is “the political characteristic and fundamental advantage of the people’s army.” “On the way forward, the people’s army must firmly adhere to the party’s absolute leadership over the army, and regard this as the soul of the people’s army that can never be changed and the lifeblood of the people’s army...”

Here’s more:

“In the face of profound changes in the national security environment and the requirements of the times for a strong nation and a strong army, adhering to Xi Jinping Thought on building a strong army as a guide, resolutely implementing the fundamental principle and system of absolute leadership of the Party over the army, always focusing on preparing for war and fighting battles, forging elite troops that are ready to serve, able to fight and win, comprehensively improving the level of national defense and modernization, comprehensively improving the strategic ability to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests, and striding forward towards the Party's goal of a strong army in the new era, the people's army will definitely be able to push forward the cause of a strong army in the new era and better assume the mission and tasks of the new era entrusted to it by the Party and the people.” 面对国家安全环境的深刻变化,面对强国强军的时代要求,坚持以习近平强军思想为指引,坚决贯彻党对军队绝对领导的根本原则和制度,始终聚焦备战打仗,锻造召之即来、来之能战、战之必胜的精兵劲旅,全面提高国防和军队现代化水平,全面提高捍卫国家主权、安全、发展利益的战略能力,向着党在新时代的强军目标阔步前行,人民军队就一定能把新时代强军事业不断推向前进,更好担当起党和人民赋予的新时代使命任务. 

Page 2: A report about the central committees of the democratic parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce studying Xi’s July 1 speech. 

Page 3: Much of the page is dedicated to a long piece essentially talking about how the Party’s rule has benefited the people. This is marking the achievement of Xiaokang. The title of the piece talks about a “magnificent epic” that is the development of China under the Party. This is a feature piece that at times touches upon the lives and experiences of individuals and through them it makes the broad point about economic development and improvement of living standards under the Party’s rule.

For instance, there’s the story of the now 100-year-old Tang Rongfu. 

In the 1940s, he was a young farmer living in Fuping. He was unable to get by and even eat enough while working as a farm labourer. He then left Fuping and went to Shanxi. When he returned to Fuping in 1962, life was better. “The new regime under the leadership of the party had been struggling to uproot poverty from the region.” Then the story tells us that “today, thanks to the relocation policy for poverty alleviation, 100-year-old Tang Rongfu and his son Tang Jun are living in a brand new resettlement house. ‘I live in a new house, and my old father does not suffer terrible winters or heat anymore. He has pension insurance, subsistence allowance, and old age allowance’. Tang Jun said.”

Page 4: First, a report (English report) that tells us that over 100 major national and local media outlets in China have released 2020 social responsibility fulfilment reports. This was marked by the Central Propaganda Department and the All-China Journalists Association. The reports highlighted the practice of the media outlets in areas including serving the public, contributing to the country's cultural development, protecting people's rights and interests, and conducting business operations in accordance with the law.

PD’s version tells us that:

“In 2020, all media thoroughly studied and publicized Xi Jinping's new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, strengthened the four consciousnesses, strengthened the four self-confidences, and achieved two maintenance…” There’s a positive assessment of the media’s coverage and focus on key themes, such as the pandemic, poverty alleviation, etc, in terms of how the media “served the overall situation and faithfully fulfilled the duties and missions entrusted to them by the Party and the people...” 2020年,各媒体深入学习宣传贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想和党的十九大精神,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,自觉承担起举旗帜、聚民心、育新人、兴文化、展形象的使命任务,特别是在决胜全面小康、决战脱贫攻坚、抗击新冠肺炎疫情等重大主题、突发事件报道中,广大新闻工作者围绕中心、服务大局,忠实履行党和人民赋予的职责和使命,自觉履行社会责任,展现了新闻战线的良好形象,获得了社会赞誉.

The parameters for assessment as per the report were: “in terms of fulfilling political responsibility, front construction responsibility, service responsibility, humanistic care responsibility, cultural responsibility, security responsibility, moral responsibility, responsibility for safeguarding rights and interests, and lawful operations responsibility. 各媒体认真贯彻落实实施办法,从履行政治责任、阵地建设责任、服务责任、人文关怀责任、文化责任、安全责任、道德责任、保障权益责任、合法经营责任等方面,对2020年履行社会责任情况进行逐项报告.

Next, a report about Guo Shengkun, presiding over the national political and legal team education and rectification central supervision work report meeting. He heard reports from 16 supervision teams and then said that they had “grasped their political positioning, performed their duties conscientiously, and successfully completed their supervision tasks.” He emphasised the need to study Xi’s July 1 speech and focus on round two of the education and rectification work.

Third, we have a report (English version) about Hu Chunhua visiting an exhibition in Beijing featuring key policies and events in agriculture, rural areas and farmers over the past 100 years since the founding of the CPC. 

Fourth, a report (English report) about Sun Chunlan in Fujian, talking about efforts to further promote the reforms of medical service, medical insurance, and medicine in a coordinated manner. 

Fifth, a report (English report) about Wang Chen in Hubei, where he spoke about prevention and control of environmental pollution by solid waste and building a beautiful China. He said “building of environmental infrastructure is still lagging behind and solid wastes such as ardealite are still technologically hard to be dealt with.”

Sixth, Xi’s 58-year-old confidant Ding Xuexiang gets a special mention in this report about the opening of an exhibition at the National Museum. The exhibition was hosted by the Working Committee of the Central and State Organs. The piece says that 

“The exhibition focuses on implementing the spirit of the important speech delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the Party Construction Work Conference of the Central and State Organs. Through more than 2,700 pictures, 185 objects and more than 3,000 books, it vividly shows the remarkable achievements and profound changes made in Party building in Central and State Organs under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, particularly since the establishment of the Working Committee of the Central and State Organs.” 展览以贯彻落实习近平总书记在中央和国家机关党的建设工作会议上的重要讲话精神为主线,通过2700余幅图片、185件实物、3000余册图书,生动展现了党的十八大以来特别是中央和国家机关工委成立以来,在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,中央和国家机关党建取得的显著成绩和深刻变化.

Page 6: A report telling us that the English version of the official “A Brief History of the Communist Party of China” has been published in the UK. I’d love to get my hands on a copy, but can’t seem to locate it on Amazon. That said, if you haven’t yet, do check out Tony Saich’s From Rebel to Ruler. I am four chapters in, and have much admiration for how accessible the book is despite the complex nature of events and issues it deals with.

Second, we have a Zhong Sheng commentary criticising Joe Biden’s decision to extend a national emergency designation over Beijing’s tightening control on Hong Kong. The White House said that this was needed to “deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the situation with respect to Hong Kong.” The commentary calls this argument “ridiculous” and says that the new national security law is being accepted by people in the city, and “this reality makes those foreign forces who support anti-China chaos in Hong Kong feel more anxious.”

“It must be pointed out that such unrepentant and wrongful acts of intervention by the U.S. side, and this kind of arrogant performance of repeatedly interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs has always been firmly opposed by more than 1.4 billion Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots.” 必须指出,美方这种不思悔改、错上加错的干预行径,这种一再插手香港事务和中国内政的张狂表演,从来都是包括香港同胞在内的14亿多中国人民所坚决反对的.

The commentary then talks about the spirit of patriotism in Hong Kong, before making this remark.

“In extreme contrast to Hong Kong's high-spirited and enterprising atmosphere, some people in a few western countries are still busy dreaming of ‘chaos and disaster in Hong Kong’. They are very much ‘nostalgic’ for the troubles that persisted in Hong Kong in 2019. Recently, they have pieced together many photos of Hong Kong rioters holding foreign flags two years ago, confusing right and wrong to preach violence. They are digging up from the garbage dump of history, Hong Kong-related bills and executive orders that they have concocted and which violate international law and the basic norms of international relations, in an attempt to use the waste paper to make more noise.” 与香港这种昂扬奋进气氛形成极度反差的是,少数西方国家一些人还在忙着大做阴晦的“乱港祸港梦”。他们无比“留恋”2019年在香港出现的祸乱,近来在媒体平台上拼凑了不少乱港分子两年前手执外国国旗招摇、混淆是非宣扬暴力的照片. 他们从历史垃圾堆里翻捡出自己炮制的违背国际法和国际关系基本准则的涉港法案、行政命令,企图让那些废纸再闹出点动静.

The piece then argues that the NSL has been effective in Hong Kong, and it has also protected human rights. It reiterates the principle, “punishing the very few and protecting the majority.” The piece says that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are expanding recruitment in HK, which shows the effectiveness of the NSL.

Finally, Amb. Chen Xu spoke at a UNHRC discussion on Promoting Human Rights through Sport and Olympic Ideal. Of course, this is all about the 2022 Games.

Page 9: The lead piece on the Theory page is by Teng Wensheng, former director of the Central Policy Research Office. There’s nothing new in the argument here. Teng talks about the Party’s adaptation of Marxism; the tremendous effort and sacrifices that have gone in China’s development; the ability to learn from practice and all of this and more has led to a “miracle of rapid economic development and a miracle of long-term social stability.” 

“The great historical contributions made by our Party fully demonstrate that the CPC is a great, glorious and correct Marxist party.” 我们党所作出的伟大历史贡献充分说明,中国共产党不愧为伟大、光荣、正确的马克思主义政党.

Next, there’s a piece by Jiang Hongxin, Secretary of the Party Committee of Hunan Normal University. Jiang’s talking discourse power. He writes that:

“After more than 40 years of reform and opening up, the internationalization level of China’s higher education has continuously improved, and there are more and more international academic and scientific research cooperation institutions in Chinese universities. By the end of 2020, there were more than 2,300 Chinese-foreign cooperatively-run schools and projects in China. We should further enhance the quality and influence of these institutions and projects, and promote international exchanges and cooperation in international communication, cultural industry, inheritance and innovation of Chinese excellent traditional culture, etc. In the process of participating in cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, colleges and universities can continue to enhance their ability of foreign exchanges, take root in China and face the world, and build a number of cultural exchange brands with Chinese characteristics and international influence. Give full play to the role of high-level experts, encourage them to take the initiative to speak out by using important international conferences and forums, foreign mainstream media and other platforms and channels, maintain an open, confident, humble and modest attitude, explain and introduce to the world the excellent culture with Chinese characteristics, Chinese spirit and Chinese wisdom, and make efforts to create a credible, lovable and respectable image of China.”   经过改革开放40多年的发展,我国高等教育国际化水平不断提高,我国高校的国际学术和科研合作机构越来越多。截至2020年底,我国有中外合作办学机构和项目2300多个。应进一步提升这些机构和项目的办学质量和影响力,在国际传播、文化产业、中华优秀传统文化传承创新等方面推动国际交流合作走深走实。在参与中外人文交流的过程中,高校可以继续提升对外交往能力,扎根中国、面向世界,打造一批具有中国特色、国际影响的人文交流品牌。发挥高层次专家作用,鼓励他们利用重要国际会议论坛、外国主流媒体等平台和渠道主动发声,保持开放自信、谦逊谦和的态度,向世界阐释和宣介具有中国特色、体现中国精神、蕴藏中国智慧的优秀文化,以文载道、以文传声,努力塑造可信、可爱、可敬的中国形象.

Page 16: On the international page today, there’s a short report about Russia’s new national security strategy. It tells us that:

“The new version of the ‘National Security Strategy’ points out that Russia’s foreign policy is committed to stabilizing the system of international relations based on the principles of international law, deepening multilateral cooperation, and jointly solving international and regional issues under the framework of the United Nations and the Security Council. Russia will continue to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with China in the new era, jointly maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and continue to deepen cooperation with the SCO member states and the BRICS.”