Tracking People’s Daily — August 4, 2020

There have been no reports about the activities of the top leadership over the past two days, which, of course, implies that the annual Beidaihe meetings are underway.

Page 1 & 2: The first page carried mostly feature stories about poverty alleviation and calling on party workers to work in flood prevention and control.

On page 2, there’s a long official release about the BeiDou satellite navigation system, based on a press conference on August 3. The story essentially provides details that Beijing wants to showcase. It says that BeiDou has achieved 100% localization of core components. “Beidou-3 has two functions of navigation and positioning and communication and data transmission. It can provide 7 types of services including positioning and navigation timing, global short message communication, regional short message communication, international search and rescue, satellite-based enhancement, ground-based enhancement, and precise single-point positioning.” It adds: “At present, Beidou related products have been exported to more than 120 countries and regions, providing services to users above 100 million.”

Another story with data about the stimulus money (there could be some translation issues here; but this is what I could make out) that’s been pumped into the economy amid the pandemic. “Data shows that the 1 trillion yuan of anti-epidemic special treasury bonds have already been issued as on July 30. As of July 29, 510.5 billion yuan in anti-epidemic special national debt funds have been used for 24,199 projects, which have mainly been used for infrastructure construction and anti-epidemic related expenditures. In addition, as of mid-July, out of the 3.75 trillion yuan of new local government special bonds approved by the National People’s Congress, 2.24 trillion yuan have been issued and 1.9 trillion yuan has been spent for transportation infrastructure, municipal and industrial parks, as well as education and medical care…Up to now, more than 90% of the investment in the central budget has been issued, which has played a positive role in responding to the impact of the epidemic, expanding effective investment, and stabilizing the economic fundamentals.”

Page 3: A few stories to note:

  • A piece about Chinese assistance to Thailand amid the pandemic. The story says: “after the outbreak in Thailand, China promptly extended a helping hand to Thailand, shared its experience in fighting the epidemic, and provided urgently needed medical supplies…The advanced technology and equipment provided by China have played a unique role in Thailand’s fight against the epidemic.” Just a bit of data here to say how incredible it is that Beijing’s promoting its role in supporting Thailand. The country tops global recovery and has had just 3,298, cases with 58 deaths. So clearly they were doing something right anyway.
  • A story based on MoFA’s statement on US sanctions against XPCC. It says that this was “gross interference in China’s internal affairs and a grave violation of basic norms governing international relations.” And that US charges are “nothing but rumor-mongering and mud-slinging.”
  • Next Wang Wenbin’s remarks about US moves targeting TikTok and WeChat: “US (should) stop politicizing economic and trade issues, and stop practicing discriminatory and exclusive policies in the name of national security.” He said this with a straight face.

Page 17: Two stories to note. First, a report on US-Russia talks in Vienna covering space security and New START. It says that “judging from the statements issued after the meeting, the United States and Russia intend to continue discussions on space security issues in order to avoid and manage space-related emergencies. However, due to the different demands and obvious differences between the two sides, the consultation failed to achieve concrete results.”

It adds: “Prior to this consultation, both the United States and Russia took actions on the issue of space weapons. In December last year, the United States approved the establishment of the sixth largest service-the Space Force. The United States has also assessed the feasibility of deploying missile detectors and interceptors in space. The US Space Command recently stated that Russia conducted a non-destructive space-based anti-satellite weapon test on July 15 this year. This shows that Russia is continuing to develop and test space-based weapon systems. In response, the Russian side stated that the move did not violate international law and was aimed at testing its own weapons. Russian President’s Press Secretary Peskov stated that Russia’s goal is still to fully realize the demilitarization of outer space and ‘not deploy any outer space weapons’.”

On NewSTART, it says: “The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will expire in February 2021. The Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Medvedev, recently reiterated that Russia intends to unconditionally extend the validity period of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. However, due to the position of the United States, he believes that the prospect of renewing the contract is very slim.”

The story ends with this: “Russian experts generally believe that Russia and the United States have huge differences on major security issues involving Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. The prospects for improving Russia-US relations are not optimistic.”

Next a short report on the completion of the left line of the Karnaphuli Tunnel Project in Bangladesh, which is being built by the China Communications Construction Company Limited.