Discover more from Tracking People's Daily
Zhongguancun Forum - US 'Benefitting from Ukraine War' - Chen Wenqing in Russia - China-Africa Ties & GSI - Dual-Gigabit Internet Guideline - China-US Talks
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People's Daily's edition on Friday, May 26, 2023.
Page 1: At the top of the page is a reaction story, with comments from the recipients of Xi Jinping’s recent letter to the Macau University of Science and Technology. Actually, there are reactions of people other than the recipients too. For instance, there’s a comment by Huang Zhujun, who is CPPCC NC member. Needless to say the reactions underscore that folks are ecstatic and inspired.
“Xi stressed that Beijing should fully leverage its strengths in education, science, technologies and talent, coordinate sci-tech and institutional innovation, continue to promote pilot reforms in Zhongguancun, further accelerate the construction of a world-leading sci-tech park, and strive to take the lead in the innovation of cutting-edge technologies and the development of advanced and sophisticated industries.”
He also mentioned that a new round of sci-tech revolution and industrial transformation is evolving today, and this necessitates “international cooperation, openness and sharing more than ever in order to address common development problems.” And this is something that “deeply touched” Qi Xiangdong, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and chairman of Qi Anxin Group, as per the reaction story published in the paper.
Baidu’s Robin Li is quoted as saying that “innovative capabilities cannot be bought, they can only be built by ourselves. At the same time, we must adhere to open cooperation and work together with the world's top AI institutions and organisations to promote global economic growth and meet common challenges.” “创新能力是买不来的，只能自建。与此同时，我们也要坚持开放合作，与全球顶尖人工智能机构和组织通力协作，促进全球经济增长，应对共同挑战。”百度公司董事长兼首席执行官李彦宏表示，习近平主席的贺信更加坚定了我们在实现自身发展的同时惠及更多国家和人民的信念.
The piece also informs of Beijing’s innovation capacity. It says that in 2022, Beijing ranked first in the country in terms of the number of invention patents per 10,000 people; more than 300 multinational corporations have set up regional headquarters and R&D centres in Zhongguancun…” 2022年万人发明专利拥有量居全国第一，300多家跨国公司在中关村设立了地区总部和研发中心……多年来，北京市特别是中关村始终走在科技创新的前沿，开放合作格局不断完善.
Also on the page is a report on Ding Xuexiang’s speech at the Zhongguancun forum. He said that in the decade of the new era, China has placed scientific and technological innovation at the core of the country’s overall development, made remarkable achievements in promoting the development of scientific and technological undertakings, and entered the ranks of innovative countries. 新时代十年，中国把科技创新摆在国家发展全局的核心地位，推动科技事业发展取得显著成就，进入创新型国家行列.
He then talked about key priorities.
China “will focus on the forefront of science and technology, the main battlefield of the economy, the major needs of the country, and the health of the people, and accelerate the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy to provide strong support for high-quality economic and social development.” 丁薛祥强调，中国将坚持面向世界科技前沿、面向经济主战场、面向国家重大需求、面向人民生命健康，加快实施创新驱动发展战略，为经济社会高质量发展提供有力支撑.
China will focus on “improving the scientific and technological innovation system, optimising the allocation of innovation resources, strengthening the construction of basic scientific and technological capabilities, and improving the overall effectiveness of the national innovation system. Adhere to the combination of goal orientation and free exploration, strengthen basic research, gather strength to tackle key problems in science and technology, and comprehensively enhance innovation capabilities.” 完善科技创新体系，优化配置创新资源，加强科技基础能力建设，提升国家创新体系整体效能。坚持目标导向和自由探索相结合，加强基础研究，集聚力量进行科技攻关，全面增强创新能力.
China will “promote the deep integration of industry, universities and research led by enterprises, increase support for enterprise innovation, improve the transformation level of scientific and technological achievements, and accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system. Deepen the reform of the scientific and technological system, increase diversified scientific and technological investment, strengthen the legal protection of intellectual property rights, form a basic system to support innovation, and stimulate the vitality of innovation and entrepreneurship of various talents.” 推动企业主导的产学研深度融合，加大企业创新支持力度，提高科技成果转化水平，加快建设现代化产业体系。深化科技体制改革，加大多元化科技投入，加强知识产权法治保障，形成支持创新的基础制度，激发各类人才创新创业活力.
He then put forward a three-point proposal for global cooperation.
First, improve global innovation governance, give full play to the role of international organisations and multilateral mechanisms, and work together to create an open, fair, just, and non-discriminatory environment for technological development
Second, promote all-round international scientific and technological cooperation, strengthen exchanges and interactions between governments, scientific and technological circles, and industrial circles, and promote the smooth flow of elements such as talents, technology, capital, and data.
Third, strengthen research cooperation on global issues, support researchers from various countries to carry out joint research and development, and jointly release research results that promote global sustainable development.
Comment: All of this sounds good, but the challenge is that there’s a big and widening gap between words and actions. For instance, read through this article by Dyani Lewis in Nature from Thursday.
Next, there’s a Zhong Yin commentary on the Xi thought education campaign. This one makes the point that the value of learning is in guiding practice, “and practicality is a distinctive feature that distinguishes Marxist theory from other theories.” The piece argues that:
“To persist in learning in order to enhance wisdom and improve practical ability, we must carry forward the excellent style of study of integrating theory with practice, fully grasp the practical requirements of the series of new ideas, new concepts and new strategies within Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, truly understand the truth power and practical power of scientific theory, and turn this thought into a powerful ideological weapon to transform the subjective and objective worlds.” 坚持以学增智、提升实践能力，就要发扬理论联系实际的优良学风，全面把握习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想一系列新理念新思想新战略的实践要求，真切感悟科学理论的真理力量和实践伟力，把这一思想变成改造主观世界和客观世界的强大思想武器.
The author further asks cadres to: “closely focus on the central task of the Party in the new era and on the new journey, enhance the ability to promote high-quality development, serve the masses, prevent and resolve risks, strengthen the spirit of struggle and the cultivation of struggle skills, focus on strengthening the ability to prevent risks, meet challenges and resist oppression, perform our duties and responsibilities for the Party and the people with a sense of responsibility and accountability without ever resting easy, and promote high-quality development with a new atmosphere and new actions to achieve new results, and rely on tenacious struggle to open up new horizons for the development of our cause.” 坚持以学增智、提升实践能力，就要紧紧围绕新时代新征程党的中心任务，增强推动高质量发展、服务群众、防范化解风险本领，加强斗争精神和斗争本领养成，着力增强防风险、迎挑战、抗打压能力，以时时放心不下的责任感、积极担当作为的精气神为党和人民履好职、尽好责，以新气象新作为推动高质量发展取得新成效，依靠顽强斗争打开事业发展新天地。
“At present, China’s development field is constantly expanding, the division of labour is increasingly complex, the form is more advanced, and international and domestic linkages are closer, which puts forward higher requirements for the Party’s ability to lead development. Whether analysing the situation or making decisions, solving development problems or solving problems involving the interests of the masses, professional thinking, professional competence, and professional methods are required…” The author calls on cadres to use Xi’s thought to “fill in knowledge gaps in a timely manner, make up for shortcomings in quality, and strengths and weaknesses, and continuously improve the level of specialisation.” It also calls on cadres to “study and master all aspects of knowledge, especially improve their political ability, strategic vision and professional level in grasping the new development stage, implementing the new development concept and building a new development pattern, and strive to become experts in their work fields.” 现在，我国发展领域不断拓宽、分工日趋复杂、形态更加高级、国际国内联动更加紧密，对党领导发展的能力和水平提出了更高要求。无论是分析形势还是作出决策，无论是破解发展难题还是解决涉及群众利益的问题，都需要专业思维、专业素养、专业方法。没有金刚钻，揽不了瓷器活。坚持以学增智、提升实践能力，就要深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想，及时填知识空白、补素质短板、强能力弱项，不断提高专业化水平。广大党员干部要以时不我待的精神，抓紧学习掌握各方面知识，特别是要提高把握新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局的政治能力、战略眼光、专业水平，努力成为所在工作领域的行家里手，使各项工作更好体现时代性、把握规律性、富于创造性。“我们的干部要上进，我们的党要上进，我们的国家要上进，我们的民族要上进，就必须大兴学习之风，坚持学习、学习、再学习，坚持实践、实践、再实践。”以主题教育为契机，从习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想中汲取奋发进取的智慧和力量，把所学所悟转化为解决各种复杂问题、应对各种风险挑战的能力，转化为锐意进取、担当有为的精神状态，转化为奋进新征程、建功新时代的务实行动，就一定能够在推进中国式现代化的伟大实践中书写新辉煌、创造新业绩.
Also on the page is an article telling us about the implementation of the Xi thought study campaign in Hunan.
Finally, there’s a report on the release of the guideline for shoring up the construction of a national water network in order to safeguard water security. I am not doing a detailed breakdown. Xinhua reports:
The document “guides the country's work in national water network construction throughout the 2021-2035 period. By 2025, China will develop a batch of major projects concerning the national water network and strengthen efforts to shore up the weak links in water resources allocation, urban and rural water supply, flood control and drainage, water ecological protection, and smart water networks, said the guideline. The intelligence level of the water network projects will improve, and the country's capacity to guarantee its water security will also be enhanced by then, per the guideline.”
Page 2: Quite a few reports to note. First, Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting pointed to four areas of China-Central Asia cooperation.
While encouraging its companies to set up warehouses in Central Asian countries, China will open up its e-commerce platforms to Central Asian businesses.
China will carry out digital trade with Central Asian countries, promote the docking of rules, mutual recognition of standards and connectivity of digital infrastructure, share development experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data and 5G, accelerate the process of digital development, and jointly open up a new situation of digital trade cooperation.
China will promote cross-border infrastructure construction, strengthen cooperation in the fields of oil and natural gas, and promote cross-border pipeline construction; deepen cooperation in agriculture and expand the import of high-quality agricultural products from Central Asia.
China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan within the framework of the WTO and support Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to join the WTO at an early date.
Second, a report on the visit of Chen Wenqing, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, to Russia. Xinhua says that Chen “attended the 11th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues.” Representatives from 109 countries and international organisations attended the meeting.
“Chen stressed that the core ideas of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping are unity and cooperation. China will always keep in mind the interests of the world, promote common international security while persisting in safeguarding its own security, actively participate in improving global security governance, and make unremitting efforts to build a universally safe and better world, he said. Chen also attended the meeting of the heads of delegations of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the meeting of the heads of the delegations of the BRICS countries. He held bilateral meetings with Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin, and heads of delegations from some participating countries. The parties reached consensus on strengthening solidarity and cooperation and promoting the building of a new type of international relations.”
The report informs that Chen also met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, co-chairing the 8th meeting of the China-Russia law-enforcement and security cooperation mechanism. Chen said that “China is willing to work with Russia to formulate cooperation measures, practice the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, jointly implement the Global Security Initiative and better safeguard the security interests of the two countries and the international community.”
“Wang said that China is willing to work with Laos to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the top leaders of the two parties and countries, continuously deepen cooperation on safeguarding political security, crack down on transnational criminal activities, strengthen China-Laos Railway security, and promote law enforcement capacity building. Wang said China will constantly improve the quality and effectiveness of China-Laos law enforcement and security cooperation, and push forward the construction of a China-Laos community with a shared future to better benefit the two countries and peoples. Vilay expressed his readiness to strengthen law enforcement and security cooperation with China, and to build a Laos-China community with a shared future.” — Comment: Once should view such activities within the GSI framework.
Fourth, Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended a reception celebrating Africa Day on Thursday in Beijing. Xinhua reports that Qin said that “Africa has become an important force with global influence” and has a “rising international status.”
“He called on China and Africa to firmly safeguard each other's legitimate rights and interests and further strengthen mutual support on issues concerning each other's sovereignty, development and dignity. China and Africa should actively promote modernization programs with distinctive features, Qin said, calling on both sides to promote synergy among the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the African Union's Agenda 2063 and other development strategies of African countries, and help Africa accelerate industrialization, localization and economic diversification. Qin said China and Africa should jointly promote the reform of the global governance system, safeguard the common interests of developing countries and continue to pool the strength of developing countries. China and Africa need to jointly implement the Global Security Initiative, de-escalate hotspot issues in Africa and around the world, and jointly address non-traditional security challenges, Qin said, calling for improving the UN's efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa, and enhancing Africa's capacity to fight terrorism and maintain stability. Qin also called for further strengthening exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and accelerating the implementation of the Global Civilization Initiative in Africa.” —
Comment: Do note that when it comes to GSI, Qin referenced leveraging the UN system and enhancing Africa’s capacities to combat terrorism and maintain stability. As I have been arguing, Beijing’s approach in implementing GSI is to avoid direct intervention/engagement. Rather, it will focus on provision of facilities, equipment and training, use of UN or other local multilateral mechanisms, law-enforcement cooperation and perhaps even intelligence cooperation. And a lot of this will be welcomed by countries in the region.
“China is ready to work with Ethiopia to continue to firmly support each other on issues regarding each other's core interests and major concerns. As Ethiopia is at a crucial juncture of consolidating peace and focusing on development, China firmly supports Ethiopia's peace process and stands ready to deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields to help with the country's reconstruction, development, and revitalization, Qin said. China has already delivered two batches of emergency food aid to countries in the Horn of Africa, and is considering providing a new batch to help meet their urgent needs, he said. Qin thanked the Ethiopian government for supporting and assisting China's evacuation of Chinese nationals from Sudan and the rescue of Chinese nationals detained in Ethiopia. He expressed the hope that the Ethiopian government could take concrete and effective measures to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and personnel. Demeke expressed his appreciation for China's assistance to Ethiopia. He said that Ethiopia will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country. China's achievements in modernization are inspirational and will encourage African countries to speed up their independent development, Demeke added.”
Sixth, a one-line report informing that the first Forum on Promoting the Peaceful Reunification of China by Overseas Chinese in the Middle East was held in Dubai, UAE on May 25th.
Next, a report informing that ILD chief Liu Jianchao met with a delegation of senior cadres of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) in Beijing. The delegation was led by Agni Prasad Sapkota, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center).
Finally, a report on the 29th ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation, which was held in Shenzhen. Vice foreign minister Nong Rong attended the talks. Xinhua says:
“Nong said that the Chinese side hopes to work with ASEAN countries to explore new opportunities for cooperation in fields such as emerging industries, new energy, currency and finance, traditional and non-traditional security, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Nong said China also aims to enhance the synergy between the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, the Global Civilization Initiative and ASEAN's community building, and strive to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. Attendees from ASEAN countries expressed their willingness to join hands with China to promote the upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and deepen cooperation in the fields of green development, the digital economy, connectivity and sustainable agriculture. They also said they were willing to jointly push for the greater development of the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership, and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.”
Page 7: There’s a report on a new guideline to accelerate the construction of ‘dual-gigabit’ internet. This refers to the 5G network and a gigabit optical network. The document has been issued by 14 state organs, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The report says that over the past three years, China has built a total of 110 gigabit cities, the ‘dual gigabit’ network capability has continued to improve, the number of users has continued to grow, with 5G network coverage in key places being continuously optimised. As of the end of April 2023, China’s fixed Internet broadband access users with an access rate of 1000 Mbps and above reached 115 million, accounting for 19% of the total number of users, a net increase of 23.54 million since the end of 2022. 5G mobile phone users reached 634 million, a net increase of 73.08 million. 2021年3月，我国启动“双千兆”网络计划，提出用3年时间，基本建成全面覆盖城市地区和有条件乡镇的“双千兆”网络基础设施，实现固定和移动网络普遍具备“千兆到户”能力。3年来，我国共建成110个千兆城市，“双千兆”网络能力持续提升，用户数持续增长，重点场所5G网络覆盖持续优化。截至今年4月底，我国1000Mbps及以上接入速率的固定互联网宽带接入用户达1.15亿户，占总用户数的19%，比上年末净增2354万户。5G移动电话用户达6.34亿户，比上年末净增7308万户.
The guideline identifies six key tasks:
Promote the overall and intensive construction of dual gigabit networks
Deepen the joint access of dual gigabit networks
Strengthen the maintenance of rural communication poles and cables
Encourage cross-industry/sector openness and sharing, and carry out cross-industry sharing demonstration projects
Strengthen the support of digital technology and carry out the digital security upgrading
Optimise dual gigabit network construction environment
Page 15: The lead report on the international page essentially sends the message that the US is exploiting the war in Ukraine or “fuelling the fire” for its benefit. After mentioning criticism from some analysts and Brazilian President Lula and Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez, the piece argues that:
“Most of the military aid promised by the United States to Ukraine has flowed into the pockets of arms giants such as Lockheed Martin. Daniel Kovalik, a visiting law professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, criticized that American arms dealers make money by selling weapons to the world. They don't care about the outcome of the war at all, as long as they can sell weapons. ‘Continued war is the result they like’. 乌克兰危机全面升级后，美国许多军工厂全力提高产量。美国向乌克兰承诺的军事援助中，大部分订单流入洛克希德·马丁公司等军火巨头的口袋。美国匹兹堡大学客座法学教授丹尼尔·科瓦利克批评说，美国军火商靠向世界卖武器发财。他们根本不在乎战争结果如何，只要能卖武器就行，“持续的战争就是他们乐见的结果”.
The piece also quotes Douglas Macgregor, who was the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, as having said that “the Ukrainian crisis is a tool for the United States to make huge profits.” It adds that he “bluntly said that the US government can benefit from the production and transportation of weapons to the training of Ukrainian soldiers.” “乌克兰危机是美国攫取暴利的工具。”美国国防部前顾问道格拉斯·麦格雷戈直言，从为乌军生产、运输武器到训练乌军士兵，美国政府都能从中获利。
“The United States has always claimed that NATO is not directly involved in the Ukraine crisis. However, the recent Pentagon intelligence leaks revealed that there are more than 150 NATO military personnel in Ukraine, nearly 100 of which are American military personnel. ‘The United States is unwilling to end the conflict and hopes that the crisis in Ukraine will continue, because it has potential benefits to the United States.’ According to the survey report released by the RAND Corporation of the United States recently, while trying to weaken Russia's strength, a longer war will continue to exert pressure on European countries to further reduce their energy dependence on Russia and invest more money in national defence.” 美国一直声称北约没有直接参与乌克兰危机，然而不久前发生的五角大楼情报泄密事件显示，乌克兰境内有超过150名北约军事人员，其中近百名为美国军事人员。“美国不愿结束冲突，希望乌克兰危机持续，因为这对美国具有潜在益处。”美国兰德公司日前公布的调查报告认为，一场更长时间的战争在试图削弱俄罗斯实力的同时，还将继续对欧洲各国施加压力，使他们进一步减少对俄罗斯的能源依赖，并在国防上投入更多资金。
There’s also a report from Japan, which argues that the residents of Fukushima are protesting against the decision to release the wastewater from the nuclear plant into the ocean.
First, the Chinese side’s readout following the meeting between Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says that:
“The Chinese side has expressed key concerns on the U.S. China policies on economy and trade, and semiconductors, as well as issues concerning export control and outbound investments review…the two sides had candid, professional and constructive exchanges on bilateral economic and trade ties as well as related issues of common concern. They agreed to set up communication channels to maintain and strengthen exchanges on specific economic and trade concerns and issues concerning cooperation.”
The American side’s readout says: “The two had candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the U.S.-China commercial relationship, including the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation. Secretary Raimondo also raised concerns about the recent spate of PRC actions taken against U.S. companies operating in the PRC. This meeting was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship.”
Second, Xinhua reports that China and Bhutan held the 12th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the China-Bhutan Boundary Issues on Wednesday and Thursday in Thimphu.
The two sides “held frank and constructive discussions to take forward the implementation of the Three-Step Roadmap on speeding up border negotiations between the two countries. The two sides expressed satisfaction on the progress made in the implementation of the Three-Step Roadmap during the 12th EGM. The Chinese delegation was led by Hong Liang, director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Letho Tobdhen Tangbi, secretary of the International Boundaries of Bhutan. The two sides expressed their confidence in the Three-Step Roadmap and reiterated the importance of increasing the frequency of their meetings to make further progress in its implementation. They agreed to hold the next EGM in Beijing at an early date. The two sides also agreed to hold the 25th Round of China-Bhutan Boundary Talks as soon as possible at mutually convenient dates. The meeting was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere in keeping with the close ties of friendship and cooperation between China and Bhutan.”
Finally, I’d like to share a new podcast that I was on to discuss India-China ties.