Page 1: If you thought that China is not going to market its success in poverty alleviation as part of external propaganda, then you were wrong. The lead story today is about Xi sending a letter of congratulations (English story) to the International Forum on Sharing Poverty Reduction Experience, which opened in Beijing. Here’s what the letter said:

“China is willing to work with all countries to promote international poverty reduction and build a community with a shared future for humanity, he said. Xi said he hoped that participants of the forum could conduct in-depth communications on poverty reduction experiences…


Page 1: Let’s begin with a story about the Chengdu-Kunming Railway, which is being upgraded. It’s fascinating to me how the story blended Xi Jinping’s folksy appeal into the narrative. The story begins with Li Heng, a post-90s generation citizen, who along with 19 others had written a letter to Xi. The letter apparently talked about how their fathers had helped build parts of the rail line and how these fellows today felt this sense of history in doing their job in the upgrade. Xi apparently had mentioned the letter while visiting Sichuan during the 2018 Spring Festival. Here’s what…


Page 1: A couple of stories to note. First, the phone call between Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron (Xinhua English version). In the English story, Xinhua reports that the two leaders reached an “important consensus.” Tricky to summarise this, so here’s the text:

“Calling ‘independence, mutual understanding, foresight, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes’ as the original aspiration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Xi noted that it is an important consensus of the two countries to uphold multilateralism, safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and maintain the international order…


Page 1: A couple of key pieces to note. First, a long piece about Xi Jinping’s personal leadership of China’s economic and social development through the period of the 13th FYP. Here’s a sample:

“Since the 13th Five-Year Plan, in the face of the complicated international situation and the arduous tasks of domestic reform, development and stability, especially the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, General Secretary Xi Jinping personally presided over 13 meetings from the Central Financial Leading Group to the Central Financial and Economic Commission. More than 20 major issues have been studied, and major strategic policies for…


Page 1: A couple of key stories to note on the page. First, let’s look at trade data. I am going to highlight the data from Xinhua English and People’s Daily. China’s “foreign trade expanded 7.8 percent year on year last month, with exports jumping 14.9 percent year on year in yuan terms. Imports dipped 0.8 percent from a year ago, the General Administration of Customs said. In the first 11 months, China’s foreign trade of goods totaled 29.04 trillion yuan (about 4.44 trillion U.S. dollars), up 1.8 percent year on year, accelerating from an increase of 1.1-percent …


Pages 1 & 2: A couple of reports to note on both pages. On the first page, there was a piece about the regional development strategy. If you’ve not been following, there’s been a focus in China to carry out coordinated development of large clusters. This piece talks about the achievements of this approach through the 13th-FYP period. Here are some data points from the report:

  • “In 2019, the regional GDP of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have reached 8.5 trillion yuan, 23.7 trillion yuan and 11.4 trillion yuan respectively.”
  • This perhaps is as close…

Page 1: The big story on the front page is about the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen SEZ, with Xi’s speech being the highlight. Along with the speech, do note that Xi and other leaders honoured Deng Xiaoping, laying flowers at his statue. In PD, there’s a picture of Xi laying flowers. And here’s what the story says: “In the afternoon, Xi Jinping came to Lianhuashan Park and presented a flower basket to the bronze statue of Comrade Deng Xiaoping. …


Page 1: A fair amount to note on the front page today. First, there’s a new set of regulations for the work of the Central Committee. This is significant, in that these rules will govern Central Committee functioning and bestow certain powers on the General Secretary. I’ll highlight a couple of these powers below, but I am not sure if these are any different from how things were already functioning. Broadly what matters is the impulse of centralisation of power and upholding Xi’s position, which as you will say below is basically explicitly stated.

So, the front page has a…


Page 1: Two pieces based on Xi’s speech at the Party School. I covered this in my weekly newsletter. The first is a report, which has different officials reacting to the speech. The next one is a commentary, which says: “We are in a promising new era. Only by keeping our original mission in mind, bravely taking actions, and being good at overcoming difficulties can we seize opportunities, respond to challenges, win initiative and win the future.”

Next, the new comprehensive reform plan for Shenzhen to push high-quality development of the special economic zone has been published in PD. Xi…


We’re still in holiday mode, so the paper’s a smaller edition. On the front page, there’s this story about consumption having become the driving force for the Chinese economy. It says that “last year, the contribution rate of consumption to economic growth was 57.8%…Last year, the Engel’s coefficient of Chinese residents was 28.2%, a decline for eight consecutive years.” Engel’s coefficient is the proportion of money spent on food in household expenses, and is seen as an indicator of a nation’s standard of living. …

Manoj Kewalramani

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