Tracking People’s Daily — Dec. 9, 2020

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 my country’s economic and social development have been deployed with a global perspective and a broad pattern…The 13 meetings covering each of the major issues were personally determined by General Secretary Xi Jinping after careful planning, in-depth investigation, repeated research, and careful deliberation, demonstrating the top-level design of the Party Central Committee for China’s economic development in the new era.”

Next, Xi Jinping exchanged letters with his Nepali counterpart Bidya Devi Bhandari, as the two sides jointly announced (English version) the new height of Mount Everest. Xi said: “This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nepal. Hailing the joint efforts, Xi said both sides have enhanced mutual political trust, steadily advanced the building of the Belt and Road Initiative, and are turning the vision of a cross-Himalaya connectivity network into a reality. He called on China and Nepal to push forward their strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity, and work together to build a closer community of shared future benefitting both countries and peoples.” Bhandari said: Mount Everest is “an important symbol of the China-Nepal traditional friendship.”

Page 3: A few pieces to note. First, here’s foreigners, former diplomats and researchers, praising Xi Jinping’s thought on rule of law. Next, the 2020 BRICS Partnership Forum on New Industrial Revolution was held in Xiamen yesterday. This is interesting that there are 21 shortlisted projects for Promoting BRICS Industry Innovation Cooperation. I have not been able to locate the details of these projects. But it would be interesting to see where India and China are cooperating.

Third, you’ve got a Zhong Sheng commentary critical of the US government’s new travel restrictions on CCP members. It says, “this is a violent act of some extreme anti-China forces in the United States that have escalated political suppression of China out of strong ideological prejudice and deep-rooted Cold War mentality.” Here’s more: “Some American politicians vainly tried to discredit the Communist Party of China and suppress its members. They are enemies of the 1.4 billion Chinese people…At present, some American politicians are trying to decouple the United States from China, which accounts for one-fifth of the world’s population. This behaviour is decoupled from the world and decoupled from the future.”

The piece also contrasts these “some American politicians” with “people of insight in China and the United States” who “know that certain extreme anti-China forces in the United States cannot be allowed to politicize and weaponize ideology, and they cannot make historical, directional, and strategic mistakes in the development of Sino-US relations.”

Page 4: There’s more of the official reactions to US sanctions. First, here’s MoFA (English version) on Pompeo’s criticism of the HK national security law and sanctions targeting Chinese lawmakers. SCMP reports that “the 14 individuals targeted by Pompeo on Monday include Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top lawmaking body; and Cao Jianming, chief prosecutor of the government’s Supreme People‘s Procuratorate. The sanctions bar the officials from entry into the US, and are authorised by US President Donald Trump’s executive order concerning Hong Kong in July, which instituted many changes in Washington’s treatment of Hong Kong as distinct from China.” In response, Hua Chunying said: the “move by the U.S. side severely violates basic norms governing international relations, interferes in China’s internal affairs and harms China-U.S. relations. The Chinese government and people express strong indignation to and strongly condemn the outrageous, unscrupulous, crazy and vile act of the U.S. side.” Here’s another report which says that Zheng Zeguang, the Deputy Foreign Minister, summoned the Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy Robert Forden in China on December 8 to lodge a solemn protest against the US State Department’s declaration of sanctions against 14 vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.” Zheng also said that “China will take reciprocal countermeasures and continue to take all necessary measures to firmly defend the country’s sovereignty, security, and development interests. China urges the US to immediately correct its mistakes, revoke relevant decisions, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and interfering in China’s internal affairs.” As SCMP reports, Zheng accused the US of being the “largest black hand” behind the chaos in Hong Kong, and of creating trouble for China through the excuse of human rights and democracy. HKMAO called it “hysterical political bullying.” The Liaison Office called it “political bullying that seriously violates international law and the basic norms of international relations.” The HK government said: “The SAR government strongly condemns these irresponsible actions and urges the US government to immediately stop interfering in our internal affairs.”

Page 6: Remember that call by Xi Jinping for entrepreneurs to be patriotic and for the United Front work in the private sector. Well here’s something that’s been going on in Chongqing. “Since June 3, the Chongqing United Front System has launched the Hundred-Day Visit to Private Enterprises to organize and mobilize relevant leaders and members of the united front at the city and district levels to carry out visit services to private enterprises and help the high-quality development of Chongqing’s private economy.” The report says that more than 18,000 cadres participated in the exercises, visiting 102,000 private market entities and key enterprises in the area affected by the pandemic. Often these were surprise visits to ensure that goals related to the six stabilities and six guarantees were being met. The details are scant in PD, but this is another interesting thread to follow for anyone interested in UFWD work.

Pages 9–12: There’s a set of pieces across these pages with comments made at the 2020 China Brand Forum. I’ll highlight just one which has broad significance.

Guo Weimin, member of the Ministerial Conference of the Central Propaganda Department and deputy director of the State Council Information Office: “Chinese brands are an important window for the world to understand China and an important component of national image and cultural soft power. In the face of efforts by some international forces to discredit, attack and suppress, Chinese companies have taken active actions to tell the story of China’s fight against the epidemic in a variety of ways, spread China’s new development concepts, and use facts and truths to fight back and make positive contributions. Chinese enterprises should consciously build their own image and integrate them into the overall image of the country, and give full play to their advantages to help enhance the image of the country.”

He added: “It is necessary to actively influence foreign partners, so that foreign entrepreneurs and friends from all walks of life can better understand China. It is necessary to promote people-to-people bonds, organically connect corporate development with local people’s livelihood and welfare, and demonstrate the global responsibility and moral responsibility of Chinese companies.”