Tracking People’s Daily — October 5, 2020

Manoj Kewalramani
3 min readOct 5, 2020

Page 1: We’re still in holiday mode in China, so the paper’s a much slimmer one. First, Xi Jinping exchanged (English version) congratulatory messages with Bangladesh’s President on Sunday. He told President Abdul Hamid that he wants to better align the two countries’ strategies and jointly promote the construction of the Belt and Road. Premier Li Keqiang exchanged congratulatory messages with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The piece has Hamid thanking Xi for the support in dealing with COVID-19. “I am deeply grateful for China’s continued support in the economic and social development of Bangladesh. I believe that the close and friendly relations between the two countries will continue to deepen in the future,” Hamid reportedly said.

Here’s more: “Hasina said in her message that the tried-and-tested friendship and cooperation between the two countries gave birth to Bangladesh-China strategic cooperative partnership. The cooperation between Bangladesh and China has been strengthened, unleashing the enormous potential for maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and even the world.”

Page 3: A few stories to note. First, a story about Chinese companies executing projects overseas amid the pandemic. This tells you a bit about BRI project execution, but of course, only from a positive perspective. Some of the projects mentioned are Gazprom’s deep crude conversion unit (DCC) project in Omsk Oblast. This was to be completed in 2020. The extension of a new hospital in Sfax in Tunisia, a power plant in Bali, a hydel power station in Argentina, and so on. The piece basically talks about measures taken to ensure execution, such as temperature checks, and has people from said countries praising the work ethic of Chinese companies.

Next, a commentary on the recent UNGA session, basically saying that the world is at a crossroads. It must, in the post-COVID scenario, choose multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism. It says that “China’s magnificent international thought and firm responsibility as a major power have won praise from all parties.” The piece then reiterates that China advocates for multilateralism and peaceful settlement of disputes and so on, and the world must reject ideological Cold War and unilateralism.

Third, a Xinhua story about Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong saying that while ASEAN and China are in the process of settling their difference directly and peacefully through the COC, outside powers should contribute to peace in the region and avoid inflaming the disputes. He even says this: “I think one should appreciate this 2016 Declaration in which the Chinese government commits itself to respecting and upholding the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all states under the international law in the South China Sea.”

Finally, a Zhong Sheng commentary that criticises the US’ human rights record in the context of black minorities. It calls racial discrimination the “original sin” of American society. The piece recounts the George Floyd case and others. It also says that “African Americans and Hispanics have suffered a disproportionate blow in the novel coronavirus pandemic, and discrimination against Asian groups has increased significantly due to the epidemic, which has further deepened all parties’ concerns about the systemic racial discrimination in the United States.”

Here’s more: “Relevant data show that at least 7,750 protests broke out in 2,000 locations in 50 U.S. states and Washington, DC; as of early July — an estimated 15 to 26 million Americans participated in the protests. At protests all over the United States, what people are clamoring for is no longer just a symbolic expression of political elites, but more fundamental changes…Reality shows that real change is still far away from American society. Although a large number of polls show that most of the American public today is dissatisfied with the racial status of this country, some American politicians who are keen on chanting human rights slogans are not willing to face up to the racial discrimination problems in their country, but let the scars fester.”

The piece also talks about the challenges of white supremacy, hypocrisy of politicians, and more than once says that minorities are “unable to breathe.”