Tracking People’s Daily — September 28, 2020

Manoj Kewalramani
8 min readSep 28, 2020


Page 1: No Xi Jinping on the front page today. But two pieces based on his speech at the Xinjiang work symposium over the weekend (check the details out in my weekly newsletter, which was published yesterday). The first is a report, which reiterates the key points from Xi’s speech and then quotes people from the region appreciating them. But here’s the operative bit. “On the morning of September 27, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Party Committee held an (enlarged) meeting of the Standing Committee to convey and study the spirit of the third Central Xinjiang Work Symposium, especially the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech. The meeting pointed out that various departments in Xinjiang and the majority of party members and cadres should study, publicize and implement the spirit of the Third Central Xinjiang Work Symposium, especially the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech as a major political task at present and in the future, with a high sense of political responsibility and a sense of mission. They should go all out to do a good job in implementing various tasks.”

Next, a commentary drawing from Xi’s Xinjiang speech. It says that Xi’s speech has “a lofty purpose, profound ideology, and rich connotation. It is highly political, ideological, and theoretical. It is a programmatic document guiding Xinjiang’s work in the new era.”

Then this: “long-term peace and stability is the fundamental goal of Xinjiang’s work. It insists on fostering a sense of community of the Chinese nation, adheres to the direction of the sinicization of China’s religion, adheres to the promotion and cultivation of core socialist values, adheres to the people’s livelihood, promotes high-quality development…Practice has proved that the party’s strategy of governing Xinjiang in the new era is completely correct and must be adhered to for a long time.”

It seems that Beijing’s already gearing up for the National Day and Golden Week. There was a joint banquet held (English version) by a number of different bodies, including the UFWD, HKMAO, and TAO. Wang Yang spoke at the event basically saying that the Party’s leadership had united all ethnic groups in the fight against Covid and that one-country two systems persists in HK. On Taiwan, he criticised “separatists” and those seeking “independence,” but stated that “We unswervingly implement the CPC Central Committee’s major policies on Taiwan work, and are willing to conduct dialogue and communication with Taiwan’s political parties, organizations and individuals on the basis of the ‘1992 Consensus’.”

Next, Zhao Leji chaired a meeting (English version) about inspection work. The piece says that as per Zhao, the “essence of disciplinary inspection is the political supervision of higher-level Party organizations over lower-level Party organizations in fulfilling the functions and responsibilities of CPC leadership. Disciplinary inspection should not be turned into general business inspection or work supervision and should not be generalized or simplified.” He further “demanded a focus on the oversight of the leading officials and the ‘vital few’, and people and matters that erode the very foundations of the Party’s governance and undermine the interests of the public.”

Page 3: A couple of pieces to note. First, a piece using opinions by experts abroad to argue for an open economic order. Of course, this has been mixed with Xi’s comments to make it sound like China is on the same page as these voices. So in the piece you end up having such elements: “David Hinch-Levy, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering, believes that economic globalization still conforms to the laws of economic development in various countries, and is an objective need and general trend. Nobel Prize winner Eric Maskin believes that economic globalization has always been a powerful force to promote the prosperity of the world economy, and it is very important to adhere to economic globalization.” It’s unclear if any of these people were interviewed by People’s Daily or if these are quotes/comments taken from different contexts.

Second, an interesting article, which has rich and tricky language that machine translation and I am going to struggle with. So take the translation with a pinch of salt. Yet you get the gist of the article. Essentially, it is talking about the influence that Wall Street, Silicon Valley and American continue to have on the world. But most importantly about how US prosperity is linked to global prosperity. In doing so, the piece calls for a re-thinking of the notion of America First.

“Some US politicians’ unethical, selfish and hegemonic political manipulations are essentially harmful to others and themselves. The United States’ status as the world’s number one economic and technological power has been formed as the leader of economic globalisation for a long-term. The United States took advantage of its dominant position in the formulation of global economic and trade rules after the Second World War, arbitrarily grabbing the greatest benefits of economic globalization…The economic and technological advantages do not give the United States the right to “knock the neck” of other countries, but require it to assume more responsibility for upholding international economic and trade rules.” The piece talks about why there should be no American exceptions in the world, Timothy Geithner praising China’s policies after the 2008 financial crisis, and Chinese economic success to argue that whether it is economic development or technological innovation, China is taking a sunny road of open cooperation, and the US should too return to the path of co-existence and cooperation.

Third, Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General, talks about 5G and data. Interestingly, he says “in recent years, geopolitical factors have continuously intervened in discussions in the field of information and communication, which has increased the resistance to the development of the digital economy. Therefore, it is urgent to establish basic norms generally recognized by the international community. China proposed the ‘Global Data Security Initiative’ to inject new wisdom into global digital governance.” This is what one gets when one gets seats at major multilateral bodies. You can shape the narrative.

He also adds: “5G is not a standard for any country or manufacturer, but a fifth-generation mobile communication technology standard approved by the ITU. Countries should follow the generally recognized principles of free trade and market competition, encourage free and healthy competition in the construction of 5G markets, promote 5G applications, and promote global development. Houlin Zhao said that as the only developing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has always spoken out on behalf of developing countries. China’s initiative to jointly build the “Belt and Road” initiative has been welcomed by countries and regions along the route…In the field of information and communication technology development, China has gone through a process of learning, participation, independent innovation, and leading. ‘Nowadays, in the discussion of relevant ITU standards, China’s technical strength is already in the first square. The international community expects China to play a greater role in the United Nations system’.”

Next, a report about Guo Shengkun speaking to Uzbek Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov (English version). I didn’t know that Guo was the Chinese chairman of the China-Uzbekistan intergovernmental committee of cooperation, as Xinhua put it. Anyway, they talked about cooperation in the post-COVID world.

Page 4: The page has details about the remains of Chinese soldiers from the Korean war being returned. And then a piece based on the monthly report by the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on the investigation and punishment of violations of the eight central regulations. These include formalism and bureaucratic problems, problems with implementation of major decisions and deployments of the Party Central Committee, non-accountability, hedonism and extravagance, etc.

Page 9: Luo Wendong from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Xi Jinping Research Center for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era writes about China’s Covid war. He essentially talks about why the People’s War was the right approach to tackling COVID; how Xi led the fight, and how the people responded to the call by the leadership, and then this:

This is in “stark contrast to the fact that some Western developed countries are confined to capital and emphasize financial interests, advocating that the new crown pneumonia epidemic is treated as an ordinary flu and relying on herd immunity to treat it, which has delayed the treatment of a large number of patients.”

Page 10: Zhang Yijiong, executive deputy head of UFWD, has written a piece on China’s new Tibet policy. Zhang writes:

  • “The party’s strategy for governing Tibet in the new era is based on adhering to the party’s leadership…To strengthen the party’s overall leadership over Tibet’s work, it is necessary to strengthen the party’s political construction, insist on arming the minds of party members and cadres with Xi Jinping’s thoughts on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, deepen the educational achievements on the theme of “not forgetting the original intention and keeping in mind the mission”, and strictly observe political discipline.”
  • “Historical experience shows that economic development cannot naturally bring about long-term stability. We must adhere to the bottom line thinking, strengthen the awareness of risks, strengthen the education and guidance of the masses, and widely mobilize the masses to participate in the struggle against secession. In-depth investigation of various hidden dangers, resolutely solve the problems affecting stability in the embryonic state, resolutely hold the bottom line of avoiding systemic risks, and maintain the good situation of harmony and stability in Tibet.”
  • “Deepen positive publicity and education, further clarify to the masses of all ethnic groups that ‘unity and stability are a blessing, and splitting turmoil is a curse’, gather an ideological consensus to maintain unity and stability and oppose splitting, guide the masses to consciously participate in the struggle against separatism, and consciously adopt reasonable and legal methods.”
  • “It is necessary to do a good job of all work with the main line of forging the consciousness of the Chinese nation community…To achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, all ethnic groups need to embrace each other like pomegranate seeds, unite and work together, prosper and develop together, and continuously forge the sense of community of the Chinese nation.”
  • To do this, he advocates that “it is necessary to vigorously cultivate and practice the core values ​​of socialism, carry out in-depth education in the history of the party, the history of New China, the history of reform and opening up, and the history of socialist development, and carry out education in the history of the relationship between Tibet and the motherland. The consciousness of the Chinese nation’s community should be incorporated into the entire process of national education, cadre education, and social education, guiding the people of all ethnic groups to establish a correct view of the country, history, nation, culture, and religion, and continue to strengthen their understanding of the great motherland, the Chinese nation, and the Chinese culture. The identification of the Communist Party of China and socialism with Chinese characteristics as cultural identity is the deepest level of identity, and efforts should be made to strengthen the identity of all ethnic groups with Chinese culture, and let people of all ethnic groups understand the long history and splendid culture of the Chinese nation in various ways…Promote the popularization of the national common spoken and written language, promote exchanges and integration of various ethnic groups…”
  • “Tibetan Buddhism is a product of the sinicization of Buddhism and has played an active role in the formation of a unified multi-ethnic state in my country. At present, the field of Tibetan Buddhism is generally good. The vast majority of temples, monks and nuns abide by the law, support the Communist Party of China, and support the socialist system. They have made positive contributions to the maintenance of the unity of the motherland and national unity, but they are not yet complete in some aspects.”
  • To promote the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism, he further argues that it is important to “guide the religious believers to change their habits and customs, popularize modern education and science and technology, open up the people’s horizons, and help them establish a good life belief and form a healthy and civilized lifestyle. Support the deepening of the interpretation of the canon and doctrine, take the socialist core values ​​as the guide…(to ensure that these) conform to the interpretation of Chinese excellent traditional culture.”