This is a daily thread that I’ve decided to do in order to track the key reports and commentaries from the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper People’s Daily. The objective is to gain insights into the regime’s priorities and narratives, which I believe is important in order to develop effective policy responses.

Big Picture: There were two really contentious issues that the paper covered today, i.e., criticism of US on Hong Kong and the spending of stimulus money that Li Keqiang promised in his NPC work report. From an Indian perspective, nothing about the LAC was discussed. In saying that, there’s been commentaries and pieces in Global Times and on social media covering India. More on that in my weekly Eye on China newsletter:

Page 1: A lot of coverage about the Hainan free trade port. There was a masterplan released recently. I know I am covering People’s Daily but Xinhua has details on this in English:

Beyond that, a few points and pieces stick out for me.

Page 2 & 3: Page 2 has a the SPC and SPP work reports.

Page 3: International commentators appreciating China’s anti-poverty efforts and a commentary criticising the US for threatening sanctions with regard to Hong Kong. Below is a sample of some of the high decibel rhetoric (Google translated):

“The world today is no longer what some American politicians imagined, operating according to the logic of a zero-sum game. The international system has its own rules and justice, and the world today cannot easily be controlled by the hegemonic will of the United States. In recent years, U.S. diplomacy has repeatedly staged “extreme pressure” and used various means of “withdrawing group” and “disrupting supply”, but no country or international organization will truly succumb to the United States. Instead, the international credibility and influence of the United States are constantly being eroded.”

Page 4: Big focus on Hong Kong here, with criticism of the US.

Page 7: A report on schools being reopened in Beijing. This one covers the opening of primary and middle schools. This is significant in terms of the return to normalcy in China. It’s striking how the epidemic has vanished from the headlines completely.

Page 8–18 carry the text of the newly passed Civil Code. It’s something that I’ve not delved into at all. But I’ll try and cover it in my weekly Eye on China.

Page 20: There’s this piece celebrating the works of popular sci-fi writer Ye Yonglie who passed away recently.

This paragraph struck me (Google translated):

“Ye Yonglie’s work integrates the future with history, and embodies the patriotic feelings of Chinese intellectuals. He and other science fiction writers such as Zheng Wenguang and Tong Enzheng of the same generation left us a valuable tradition of science fiction. They were all born before the founding of New China, and studied and grew up under the Red Banner. They injected their strong wishes for the motherland into science fiction. Their science fiction also has some things in common. One is to create science-fiction science fiction and make science the main line of fantasy.”