Tracking People’s Daily — Oct. 12, 2020

Page 1: Two pieces based on Xi’s speech at the Party School. I covered this in my weekly newsletter. The first is a report, which has different officials reacting to the speech. The next one is a commentary, which says: “We are in a promising new era. Only by keeping our original mission in mind, bravely taking actions, and being good at overcoming difficulties can we seize opportunities, respond to challenges, win initiative and win the future.”

Next, the new comprehensive reform plan for Shenzhen to push high-quality development of the special economic zone has been published in PD. Xi will be visiting Shenzhen on Wednesday, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the SEZ there. When you read through, this envisions a reimagination of the city. But let’s see how it works out. Broadly, Xinhua says that the plan “gives local authorities in Shenzhen a more direct and greater say in businesses, such as carrying out market-based economic reform, improving market and legal environments for global businesses, building a high-level open economy, providing service for people’s livelihood, bettering the ecological environment, and urban space.”

The plan has three phases. “In 2020, a number of major reform measures will be launched in important areas such as the market-oriented configuration of factors, the optimization of the business environment, and the overall utilization of urban space. The first batch of comprehensive authorization lists will be formulated and implemented to ensure that the pilot project makes a good start. In 2022, important progress will be made in all aspects of system construction, and a batch of major system achievements that can be replicated and promoted will be formed, and the pilot projects will achieve initial results. In 2025, reforms in important areas and key links will achieve landmark results, basically complete the pilot reform tasks, and set an important demonstration for the construction of the national system.”

So what reforms are we talking about? Well there are too many points to list, but here some that I thought were interesting.

  • The approval matters concerning the conversion of agricultural land, other than permanent basic farmland that can be authorized by the State Council, to construction land shall be entrusted to the Shenzhen Municipal Government for approval.
  • Improve the residence permit system, encourage the expansion of the scope of public services, improve service standards based on actual conditions, and steadily promote the full coverage of the permanent population of basic public services.
  • Support the development of internal closed pilot tests of digital renminbi, and promote the R&D application and international cooperation of digital renminbi.
  • Support the construction of a data platform in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, study and demonstrate the establishment of a data trading market or rely on existing trading venues to carry out data transactions.
  • Carry out pilot projects for the legal protection of new types of intellectual property rights…and establish a punitive compensation system for intellectual property infringement.
  • Support the exploration of the establishment of standards for the identification of “high-tech and high-end talents” for foreigners, and provide qualified foreigners with R visas and facilitate entry and exit. Provide convenience for qualified foreign high-level talents to apply for permanent residence.
  • Under the premise of complying with relevant national policies and regulations, support Shenzhen to introduce high-quality overseas educational resources and carry out high-level Sino-foreign cooperation in running schools.

Page 3: A report with positive coverage in foreign media about China’s climate change pledges. Next, a report on Yang Jiechi’s visit to Algeria. Xinhua English has all the details.

Page 9: A piece by Ren Lixuan on the historic nature of the current scenario for China. Ren writes “from a comprehensive, dialectical, and long-term perspective, we will find that crises and opportunities always coexist, crises breed new opportunities, and changes indicate new situations.”

“The historical intersection between the overall strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the great changes in the world unseen in a century has created important historical opportunities for our country to grow from prosperity to strength and build a modern and powerful socialist country, and it also injects greater strength into world peace and development. On the whole, my country’s development is still in a period of important strategic opportunities at present and in the future, but there are new developments and changes in opportunities and challenges.”

Then the piece talks about the different strengths of CCP model, centralised leadership, organisational capacities, economic strength, spiritual strength, and so on. And then it talks about sticking to reform and the party’s leadership as a guarantee to progress.

Page 19: One story that I found interesting on this page was about an AI competition, sponsored by Alibaba and Tsinghua University. The Security AI Challenger program essentially invites people to enhance algorithms by testing them against adversarial data. You can check out the project page here.

Page 17: Here’s what was covered on the international page.