Tracking People’s Daily — August 28, 2020
Page 1: First, a really long piece about the attention that Xi has paid to development in Tibet. It basically talks about speeches, meetings and visits, and how those laid groundwork for development in the region.
Second, a commentary about innovation. It argues: “It is necessary to give full play to the significant advantages of China’s socialist system that can concentrate its efforts on major issues, and fight for key core technologies; relying on China’s ultra-large market and complete industrial system to create unique advantages that are conducive to the rapid large-scale application and iterative upgrade of new technologies , Accelerate the transformation of scientific and technological achievements into actual productivity, improve the level of the industrial chain, and maintain the safety of the industrial chain…”
Next up, Li Zhanshu’s been on a law enforcement inspection in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces from Sunday to Wednesday. He spoke about soil pollution during that time. PD says that he “conducted research on pollution prevention and control of agricultural land and construction land, soil sampling monitoring, comprehensive land utilization, corporate pollutant discharge and implementation of responsibilities.” The report is generally positive.
Finally, there’s a report about Li Keqiang and Wang Yang’s remarks about work needed to ensure social assistance to the poorest and weakest in society amid the pandemic and floods. Nothing particularly interesting, other than calls to do a good job.
Page 2 & 3: Chinese officials and scholars talk about Xi Jinping’s recent speech on economic and social development. This is par for the course. On page 3, the first story is about Russian agricultural exports to China, and Russian companies talking about the importance of the Chinese market. Russian agricultural exports to China increased by 35% year-on-year as of July.
Next, a commentary on the UNSC rejecting the US’ request to extend the sanctions on Iran. It says: “The international community recognizes that the U.S. withdrawal from the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue and exerting extreme pressure on Iran is the source of the current tension in the Iranian nuclear situation. The US’s treachery, “withdrawal” and breach of contract have already undermined multilateralism and the authority of the Security Council, and undermined the international nuclear non-proliferation system. Now they are returning to exercise the rights granted to the parties by the agreement. This practice ignores world justice and the authority of international law.”
Finally, a report on Wang Yi’s visit to the Netherlands. Wang met with his Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and PM Mark Rutte. As per PD, Wang spoke about the importance of working together and multilateralism, while Rutte said that “the Dutch side is willing to have a candid dialogue among friends on a wide range of issues with the Chinese side to enhance mutual understanding and friendship. The three parties in Europe, China and the United States should strengthen communication and coordination, rather than drift away from each other. The argument for decoupling is not in the interests of any party and cannot be realized at all. The Dutch side looks forward to cooperation among major forces in the world to jointly cope with the various challenges facing the world today.”
More from MoFA on the Netherlands visit. Wang spoke about linking BRI with the Port of Rotterdam; completing talks on the China-EU investment agreement within this year; and inviting Dutch firms to invest in China. But there were other dimensions to the visit, i.e., issues of human rights, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, which have been raised by the Dutch foreign minister and lawmakers; these got no coverage in PD, of course. Also, something that’s not been covered is Wang’s visit to Norway, which came overnight.
Reuters reports: Speaking during a visit to Norway, Wang said that, while China was the first country to report the existence of the virus to the World Health Organisation, “it does not mean that the virus originated in China…Where did the virus first start and how it started…should be left to scientists and medical experts … It should not politicised or stigmatised…Who is patient zero? It is still unknown,” said Wang.
The Norway visit is the first by a Chinese FM in 15 years. Sorry, everytime I read about China-Norway ties I think about Liu Xiaobo and salmon exports. And keeping these in mind, here’s what Wang said:
- China and Norway are thousands of miles apart and their national conditions are very different, as long as they continue to respect each other and treat each other as equals and take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns, the relationship between the two countries can be stabilized and the political foundation of the relationship between the two countries can be further consolidated.
- China attaches great importance to the export of Norwegian seafood to China and is willing to establish communication channels with Norway to provide more convenient arrangements under the premise of ensuring food safety. The two parties will work to establish a maritime cooperation and dialogue mechanism, and negotiate and sign a blue partnership document.
- Finally on multilateralism, he said that Norway plays a unique role in international affairs. Both China and Norway are beneficiaries and supporters of globalization, multilateralism and free trade, and have consistently opposed unilateralism and protectionism. China congratulates Norway on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2021 to 2022, and is willing to establish a multilateral consultation mechanism with Norway to intensify cooperation in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other multilateral frameworks, as well as peace mediation, development assistance and other issues, and fully implement it.
Page 4: First, remarks by Zhao Kezhi, Minister of Public Security, and Guo Shengkun, secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee. Zhao spoke about the importance of “strengthening the four self-confidences and achieving the two upholds, deepen the reform of the public security law enforcement supervision and management mechanism, and do a solid job of maintaining security and stability in the second half of the year. And strive to create a safe and stable environment for the successful convening of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Party and to ensure the completion of a decisive victory to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and a decisive battle against poverty.”
Guo said: “Political and legal institutions at all levels must unify their thinking and actions with the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s precepts, and strive to write a new chapter in the political and legal undertakings in the new era.”
Finally, it feels like we’re in 2013 again, with a frugality-linked anti-corruption drive claiming the scalps of officials. In July 15,799 Chinese officials were punished for violating frugality rules, as per a statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission. The punished officials include 44 at the prefecture or equivalent level, and 903 at the county or equivalent level. Among them, 9,327 were found guilty of bureaucratism or the practice of formalities for the sake of it. In the meantime, authorities also investigated 4,595 cases of hedonism and extravagant conduct, such as giving or accepting gifts, awarding unauthorized allowances or bonuses, and misusing public funds for banquets, and penalized 6,472 officials.
Page 9 to 15: There are lists here of commendations linked to the fight against COVID-19 that spread across multiple pages.