Tracking People’s Daily — September 7, 2020

Page 1: First up, let’s begin with the fact that tomorrow there will be a grand ceremony in Beijing to commend role models in China’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.” Xi Jinping will be in attendance. If you haven’t noted, there’s a six part official documentary series (English snippet) that’s just begun airing on China’s COVID-19 success. This is followed by a long official timeline of events related to the pandemic that’s been published in PD. There’s also a long piece under the Ren Zhongping byline, essentially weaving a back-and-forth story around Xi’s remarks and the system’s response to the pandemic.

Next, a commentary based on Xi’s remarks at last week’s anniversary of the end of WWII. This one talks about socialism with Chinese characteristics and links it to the century of humiliation.

It says: “Looking back to the history of humiliation of the Chinese nation since 1840, the fundamental reason is that it has not found a development path that will strengthen the country and enrich the people…Practice fully shows that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a historic choice made by the Chinese people since 1840, especially since the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, after all attempts by the Chinese people to save the country have hit a wall. It is the Chinese Communist Party and people who have gone through untold hardships and paid a huge price to make fundamental achievements. History tells us that adhering to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is related to the future of the country, the destiny of the nation, and the well-being of the people; the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics pioneered by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China is correct and must be persisted for a long time and never wavered.”

Finally, there’s a new book that’s been published with excerpts of Xi’s speeches on Preventing Risks and Challenges and Dealing with Emergencies.

Page 2: Two pieces to note — both around Xi’s WWII anniversary speech. This one talks about different activities around the country on September 3. Some of these are really interesting. So there is a comment by a police chief from a city in Liaoning Province, an academic in Shandong; reports about new military recruits in Nanjing and so on responding to Xi’s speech. The other one is about PLA units reacting to Xi’s speech and saying that they support the Party’s rule. Interestingly, reactions from units along the Lebanon-Israeli border and Gulf of Aden are also reported. A bit of showcasing the PLA’s global role.

Page 3: Three pieces to note here. First, a piece with positive reactions to Xi’s speech at the 2020 China International Trade in Services Global Service Trade Summit. Goodness, that was a rather dull speech, which really said nothing. Next, a report on Wei Fenghe’s visit to Moscow for the SCO defense ministers’ meeting. He said: “Affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the international situation has become more unstable and uncertain, and the urgency and importance of building a community with a shared future for mankind have become more prominent. Countries around the world should strengthen unity to fight the epidemic, resist unilateral bullying, resolve conflicts, and insist on win-win cooperation, so that the world can help each other and overcome difficulties together.”

Finally, a report on an event held about telling Tibet’s story well. It says that “experts and scholars from China, Nepal, Germany, Japan and other countries jointly conducted in-depth online exchanges and discussions on topics such as the status quo of international communication related to Tibet and innovative expression methods.” The piece quotes Wang Yanzhong, director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying that the “construction of a new type of Tibetology discipline system, academic system, and discourse system based on China’s position should be strengthened.”

Liu Kai, president of Tibet University for Nationalities, said: “Grasping the trends and laws of information dissemination in the all-media era, jointly telling the story of China’s Tibet, spreading the voice of China’s Tibet, and presenting the good situation of the sustained and healthy development of Tibet’s economy and the harmony and stability of the society are the due meaning of international communication related to Tibet.”

Page 4: One piece to note on the page, i.e., this one about Xi Jinping’s command over the security forces and how he led them in the fight against COVID and how they responded. I think the last line in the piece tells you the objective: “This is the passionate narration of the story of the people’s army strengthening the army in the new era, and it is also destined to be the epic chapter of the Chinese story in the new era.” This is about narrative setting.

Here’s some excerpts: The busy schedule records the figure of President Xi commanding the battle against the epidemic, demonstrates the responsibility of leaders of major powers, and witnesses the vital importance of the people in the hearts of leaders.” And then this: “The whole army resolutely implemented the decisions and orders of the Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, acted upon the orders, bravely shouldered heavy responsibilities, lived up to the heavy trust and fulfilled the mission, and made outstanding contributions to winning the People’s War, the overall war, and the deterrence war for epidemic prevention and control.”

And then this: “The whole army resolutely responded to President Xi’s order, with one hand training and preparation, the other handing epidemic prevention and control, strengthening the overall military training under epidemic conditions, focusing on emergency response training under epidemic conditions, innovating training models under epidemic conditions, and actively preventing and controlling epidemic conditions.”

Page 7: Zhang Rongchen from the Central Party School has a piece talking about the importance of being problem-solving oriented given the challenges that China faces. He writes “at present, all tasks in our country are facing more difficult and complex challenges than ever before. We must deeply understand and accurately grasp the profound changes in the external environment and the new situations, new problems and challenges facing my country’s reform, development and stability. On January 21, 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping, at the opening ceremony of the seminar on the prevention and resolution of major risks by the main leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial level, insisted on the bottom line thinking, to prevent and resolve politics, ideology, economy, technology, society, external environment; make in-depth analysis of major risks in areas such as party building and put forward clear requirements.”

He adds: “Adhering to the problem orientation requires us to work hard, overcome difficulties, and take a role in advancing the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics…In the face of the people’s ever-increasing needs for a better life, we must always adhere to the people-centered development thinking and earnestly resolve the problems in development…we must always dare to face up to the problem, overcome shortcomings, and be brave to scrape bones to cure poison, to remove decay and to grow muscle. It is precisely because our party has continuously promoted the party’s self-revolution with the courage to face up to the problem and the inward self-consciousness of the blade, that has made the Communist Party of China a vigorous Marxist ruling party that can stand the test of various storms.”

Also this piece by Wu Nan from the Communications University of China. Wu writes that “at present, as the development of media integration advances in depth, traditional media should strengthen the construction and innovation of communication means, adhere to the mobile-first strategy, and continuously strengthen content construction, and firmly occupy the commanding heights of public opinion guidance, ideological guidance, cultural inheritance, and service to the people.”

He adds: “it is necessary to continue to use positive propaganda to become popular, to gather strength, and to cultivate a positive, healthy, and upward-looking online public opinion ecology. In terms of strengthening public opinion guidance and forming continuous resonance with the audience, mainstream media may wish to add more innovative content to achieve a benign interaction with high output and high dissemination. For this reason, when developing mobile communication content construction, mainstream media should be based on the multi-dimensional needs of the masses, starting from the characteristics of social interaction psychology, new media contact habits and usage behavior, enrich the supply of social and cultural products, and improve the quality of communication content.” All of this is of course towards the end of “shaping souls.” Wu also has some praise to offer for the work that mainstream media in China did on the pandemic, saying that the coverage created “an atmosphere of strong confidence, gathering people’s hearts, warming people’s hearts, and building a unified public opinion.”

Page 9: The theory page has two pieces on Sino-US ties. First by Le Yucheng, deputy minister of foreign affairs. Let me say that the piece doesn’t inspire confidence that things are going to improve. Based on this piece, it appears that Le believes that the US is basically at fault, with some politicians in Washington driving the relationship into the ground to achieve political objectives. There’s zero reflection about Beijing’s role in worsening ties.

I mean, when you keep writing stuff like this — “China has always adhered to the path of peaceful development, devoted itself to economic development and poverty eradication…China will not be aggressive, let alone bullying others” — while doing what you are in the SCS and on the LAC, something’s clearly wrong.

Here’s the key points he makes:

  • Respecting each other’s core interests is the political basis for the development of Sino-US relations. Taiwan, Hong Kong-related, Tibet-related, and Xinjiang-related issues are related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as China’s core interests and concerns. China has no room for compromise on these major issues and does not allow any interference from outside forces.
  • At present, a small group of politicians in the United States are distorting history, denying history, spreading all kinds of fallacies to slander China, and pushing Sino-US relations into a dangerous situation.
  • The so-called “failure to engage with China” regaining the Cold War mentality is a denial of the history of Sino-US relations, a denial of the achievements of Sino-US exchanges in the past 40 years, and the efforts made by people from all walks of life in the two countries to promote the development of Sino-US relations. And the denial of hard work.
  • Some US politicians viciously attacked the Chinese Communist Party, elevating the differences between China and the United States to a contradiction between “freedom” and “authoritarianism,” and advocating the establishment of a new “liberal and democratic alliance” to deal with China. This is an attempt to revive the Cold War in the 21st century and regain “McCarthyism”. The Communist Party of China has the firm support and support of 1.4 billion Chinese people. Any attempt to break the flesh and blood between the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people is futile. We do not export ideology, nor do we intend to engage in institutional competition.
  • Some U.S. politicians have proposed that everything from the news media to diplomatic agencies and personnel must be “reciprocal” with China, and even use this as an excuse to take unilateral measures. This is a deliberate misinterpretation and abuse of relevant principles of international law. The original intent of reciprocity is the overall balance of rights and obligations of both parties, and it is by no means only forcing equal numbers on issues of concern to oneself. (What on earth does this mean?)
  • The current contradictions and problems between China and the United States are essentially the struggle between multilateralism and unilateralism, between fairness and justice and hegemony and power, and between the world for the public and the priority of the United States.

He ends with a tired and worn out prescription of saying that China and the US should go back to business as normal: “Based on the principle of mutual respect, continue to accumulate political mutual trust. Adhere to non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, respect each other’s territorial sovereignty, social system and development path, and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns.”

The other piece is by Dai Changzheng, Dean of the School of International Relations, University of International Business and Economics. Dai basically argues that a systemic, ideological confrontation is being constructed. He adds “the Chinese people respect the freedom of the people of all countries to choose development paths, social models, and political systems, and oppose any country’s practice of imposing its own will on others. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the choice of history and the people, and has received the heartfelt support and support of 1.4 billion Chinese people. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is closely related to the development and progress of contemporary China. It can be said that the ruling of the Communist Party of China is a great blessing for China, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. The leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system are the fundamental guarantee for the unity and unity of the Chinese people to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Finally, a piece by Fan Yongpeng, Vice Dean of the Chinese Research Institute of Fudan University, which argues that China’s successful effort in curbing the spread of Covid-19 is due to the nature of the Chinese governance system. Fan writes: “The prevention and control of the epidemic demonstrates that my country’s national system and national governance system adhere to a national game of chess, mobilize the polarities of all parties, and focus on major tasks. In a short time, it will concentrate a large number of advantageous resources to overcome key and difficult problems in epidemic prevention and control, and gather from all directions to fight the epidemic The combined force of the struggle will ensure the life safety and health of the people to the greatest extent. Some foreign scholars commented that the Chinese system’s strategic, overall, forward-looking and ability to mobilize national resources are unmatched by other systems.”

Page 16: Here’s what was covered on the international page.