Tracking People’s Daily — July 27, 2020

Page 1: A few pieces to note on the page. There are a couple of feature stories linked poverty alleviation and community governance. I’m not covering those. A commentary that comes following Xi’s visit to Jilin Province. It talks about Xi’s focus on high-quality development and then pivots to China’s economic growth, and where should one focus.

“Looking outwards, we have to face the deep recession of the world economy, the sharp contraction of international trade and investment, the turmoil of the international financial market, the restricted international exchanges, the countercurrent of economic globalization, the prevalence of protectionism and unilateralism in some countries, and the rise of geopolitical risks…Looking inwardly, China’s economy is in a period of tackling key problems in transforming development mode, optimizing economic structure, and transforming growth momentum. The prospects for economic development are promising, but it is also facing difficulties caused by intertwined structural, institutional and cyclical issues.”

And then this: “It is necessary to give full play to the advantages of the domestic super-large-scale market, take the satisfaction of domestic demand as the starting point and end point of development, accelerate the construction of a complete domestic demand system, and gradually form a new development pattern with the domestic cycle as the main body and the domestic and international double cycles mutually promoting each other.”

Next up, data points on electricity and natural gas consumption in China, all key markers of economic activity. “Since April, electricity consumption has achieved a positive year-on-year growth, and the growth rate has increased month by month, with a year-on-year increase of 6.1% in June…Natural gas consumption was relatively less affected by the epidemic. In the first quarter, it declined slightly year-on-year, and then recovered steadily. The year-on-year growth rate in the second quarter increased by about 4.5 percentage points from the first quarter.” Finally, a short piece about the new AG600 amphibious aircraft, codenamed Kunlong, which was tested successfully recently. A longer report is available on the next page.

Page 2: Just one piece that I’d like to cover on this page. That’s this one talking about the government funding for vocational education going up to 25.711 billion yuan this year. This comes after Li’s Work Report laid out the task of expanding the enrolment in higher vocational colleges by 2 million in this year and next year.

Page 3: A couple of commentaries on the page. First, this one which attacks Mike Pompeo, following his recent speech at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, covered here in my weekly newsletter. The commentary calls Pompeo a liar and accuses the US of Cold War thinking, ideological prejudice and argues that it is in a state of hegemonic panic. After all this, it states:

“It must be emphasized that as far as the social system is concerned, China has no intention to change the United States, and the United States cannot change China. The most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China…History and facts have fully proved that China’s choice of development path is completely correct, and it has the heartfelt and firm support of the Chinese people.”

The other bit to note is that it argues that actions of US politicians to “vilify” China are “nothing more than (and effort) to divert the attention of the American public, to escape the unprecedented political pressure brought about by a series of domestic issues, and to seek the maximization of personal interests without shame and bottom line in electoral politics.” I wonder if this is the thought process, then do they expect a shift after November? Is there still this hope in Beijing?

Anyway, another piece on the page informs of an event called The International Conference on ‘Against the New Cold War,’ which was held on July 25. It says that people from 49 countries including the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, India, and Canada registered to attend the conference, and about 700 people watched the live broadcast. The meeting issued a statement calling on the United States to abandon the Cold War mentality and other practices that are detrimental to world peace, supported the dialogue between China and the United States, and cooperate on the joint fight against the pandemic, climate change, and economic development and other global issues.

Next, with 100 days to go to the China International Import Expo, the propaganda around it has kicked in. This piece has foreign companies’ representatives and officials praising the Expo and eagerly awaiting the market access that it provides. For Beijing, this is as much economic as a political tool. And this bit in the piece informs how:

“People from various countries believe that the holding of the CIIE is an important measure for China to support trade liberalization and economic globalization, and to actively open its market to the world. It reflects China’s firm position in promoting the construction of an open world economy and building a community with a shared future for mankind.”

Page 8 & 16: This page is an advertorial by Huawei, talking about its smart city solutions in Shenzhen. On the 16th page, there are a few noteworthy pieces.

  • First, a report on the Edelman Trust Barometer trust and credibility survey, which says that trust in government in China has surged to 95 percent from 90 percent in January. Around the world, the survey says that looking at the overall situation in the world, people’s trust in the government reached 65%, an increase of 11 percentage points from January.
  • Next a report on Thailand’s remarkable epidemic control story. The country, the piece says, has had no cases for 62 consecutive days.
  • Then, a piece based on a report by the Global Association for Mobile Communications Systems, which shows that “as of 2019, there were nearly 500,000 5G mobile users in the Gulf countries; by the end of 2023, this number will reach 21.86 million, accounting for 21.2% of the total mobile users in the region; by 2025.”
  • Finally, a story about how the pandemic has led to many Americans losing their jobs and that’s led to them losing health insurance. The data is based on US-based consumer rights organization American Family’s new report. It says that between February and May this year, 5.4 million Americans lost their medical insurance, surpassing the 3.9 million during the international financial crisis.