Tracking People’s Daily — July 03, 2020

Page 1: Three pieces on the page to note. First, the lead commentary about the new national security law in Hong Kong. While you read the excerpt, also check out the words not permitted in Hong Kong anymore, to understand what Beijing means by freedoms.

“After the promulgation and implementation of the law, Hong Kong residents shall enjoy freedom of speech, press and publication in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, The rights and freedoms, including freedom of association, assembly, demonstration, demonstration, will not be affected in any way. As an international metropolis, Hong Kong residents and legal persons have close contacts and contacts with other countries, regions and relevant international organizations. These normal exchange activities are protected according to law and will not be affected in any way.”

Also, this bit is interesting: “Needless to say, there is also a deep-rooted issue involved here, namely the issue of understanding and trust of some residents of Hong Kong to the country, especially the issue of understanding and trust of the rule of law in the Mainland.”

The other noteworthy piece for its messaging is about China issuing commemorative medals honouring veterans of the Korean war. Third, official data show that from January to May this year, a total of 632.4 billion yuan of export tax rebates have been handled for enterprises nationwide. This bureaucratic capacity to adapt, process and provide immediate support to enterprises is what helps Chinese businesses.

Page 2: A piece based on a new official notice by the State Council’s joint defense and control mechanism, which essentially calls for expanding Covid testing and making results available faster and their processing more efficient. A piece on the improving outbreak situation in Beijing, where cases have been in single digits for four days. Finally, a piece on the improving situation in Hubei. Here’s an excerpt:

“Since Wuhan conducted a citywide nucleic acid screening and key population screening outside the city on May 14, Hubei Province has screened more than 13.23 million people and found no confirmed case. 307 cases of asymptomatic infections were found, none of which were converted to confirmed cases, no positive cases were found in close contacts, no live virus was found in virus culture, and no positive was found in environmental samples.”

Page 3: Hong Kong dominates the page.

  • First, a story that has quotes from overseas Chinese groupings of different kinds supporting the legislation. It would be interesting to actually check the details of each of these entities quoted in the piece. For instance, the Netherlands China Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association, the China Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association in Brazil or the European Federation of Overseas Chinese and Chinese Youth.
  • Remarks by the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee on the US Congress clearing the Hong Kong Autonomy Act: “We strongly urge the US Congress and some politicians to immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs including Hong Kong affairs in any way. If the U.S. side sticks to its will, China will take all necessary measures to respond resolutely.” Similar comments were made by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC. And then the Foreign Ministry: “We urge the United States to understand the situation clearly, abide by the basic principles of international law and international relations, stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any way, stop deliberation and advancement, let alone sign and implement relevant negative Hong Kong-related bills, otherwise China will definitely and resolutely and forcefully resist all consequences.”

The other pieces on the page include:

  • A commentary criticising the US, particularly Mike Pompeo, for undermining multilateralism and arguing that China has, in contrast, supported multilateralism.
  • A piece on Belarus’ representative delivering a joint statement on behalf of 46 countries at the 44th session of UNHRC on Wednesday, supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang. English version here.
  • A piece on the UNSC resolution around cessation of hostilities amid the pandemic. The resolution does not apply to terrorist groups. The piece focuses on the Chinese representative Zhang Jun’s comments. Here’s part of what he said:

“He said that it was not easy to get this resolution. A country adheres to its unilateralist stance, ignores the general voice of the international community, backfires, violates its commitments, and breaks consensus. As a result, the consultation process on resolutions has been delayed, and the Security Council has been unable to take action. The country also ignored the Secretary-General and the appeals of various countries and refused to lift the unilateral sanctions against the countries concerned. In the epidemic situation, the suffering of innocent civilians was aggravated, and the humanitarian crisis in the countries and regions concerned was exacerbated.”

Page 4: Floods and new appointments for Hong Kong are featured here.

  • Chan Kwok-ki is the new secretary-general of Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR and Au Ka-wang appointed as director of the Immigration Department. English version here.
  • Positive propaganda on poverty alleviation. Expect more of this as we head to the end of the year.

Page 5 & 6: There are commentaries about creating employment in rural areas and ancient DNA, but here’s the one that caught my attention, talking about Beidou’s launch as an example of China’s innovative capacity. On page 6, we have a piece by Wang Yi, which serves as a curtain raiser for the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on July 6.

Page 16: A few pieces to note on the international page:

  • First, this one about the fraying transatlantic relationship. It says: “The conflicts and differences between the EU and the United States regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, defense spending, and digital taxes have become prominent. In the face of the increasingly strong unilateralism of the United States, Europe began to rethink the positioning of the US-European alliance and sought to play a more independent role on the international stage.”
  • Second, a report on the renaming of Europe Square in Goree island, Senegal, to Liberty and Human Dignity Square. This draws from the Black Lives Matters protests in the US, which had triggered a wave of global reactions. Here’s the ulterior motive in the PPD piece: “Also worrying is the “racist” thinking of the United States in handling foreign relations. The US Foreign Policy magazine commented that US foreign policy “long-term institutionalised racism” and extended its contempt for black lives to Africa. Saleh Booker, chairman of the US Center for International Policy, described the growing US military presence in Africa as “a white knee pressed against the neck of an African.” The violence of US military operations in Africa is even more alarming. In 2016 alone, the US military carried out 3,500 missions in Africa, resulting in a large number of civilian innocent lives.” This is an example of how seemingly disconnected events can be used to serve serve Party messaging. But what PPD ignores is that it is still the open nature of US society, with all its fissures and failings, that led to protests in the country, and in turn prompted these movements demanding change around the world.
  • A piece citing some study, perhaps this, says that Alzano Lombardo in the province of Bergamo in Italy likely had Covid cases in November 2019.
  • A report on the epidemic situation in the US.