Tracking People’s Daily — September 23, 2020
Page 1: After a speech commemorating the 7th anniversary of the UN, today’s top story is about Xi’s speech (English version + Xinhua’s English report) to the UNGA. He defended China’s record in combating COVID-19, and told countries to “put people and life first and enhance solidarity.” And then added:
“Seventy-five years ago, China made historic contributions to winning the World Anti-Fascist War and supported the founding of the United Nations. Today, with the same sense of responsibility, China is actively involved in the international fight against COVID-19, contributing its share to upholding global public health security. Going forward, we will continue to share our epidemic control practices as well as diagnostics and therapeutics with other countries, provide support and assistance to countries in need, ensure stable global anti-epidemic supply chains, and actively participate in the global research on tracing the source and transmission routes of the virus. At the moment, several COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are in Phase III clinical trials. When their development is completed and they are available for use, these vaccines will be made a global public good, and they will be provided to other developing countries on a priority basis. China will honor its commitment of providing US$2 billion of international assistance over two years, further international cooperation in such fields as agriculture, poverty reduction, education, women and children, and climate change, and support other countries in restoring economic and social development.”
He then pitched some of his key agenda points, saying that the pandemic had underscored:
- The need for building a community with a shared future
- That economic globalization is an indisputable reality and a historical trend
- Saying yes to multilateralism and no to unilateralism
- The need for a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life.
“China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures. We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” he said.
And then this: “What’s important is to address them through dialogue and consultation. Countries may engage in competition, but such competition should be positive and healthy in nature. When in competition, countries should not breach the moral standard and should comply with international norms. In particular, major countries should act like major countries. They should provide more global public goods, take up their due responsibilities and live up to people’s expectations.”
And then this: “China is the largest developing country in the world, a country that is committed to peaceful, open, cooperative and common development. We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game.” (Of course!)
Education and Culture: “Xi stressed the socialist orientation in running schools, noting that the fundamental mission of education is to cultivate virtues and morality and it should play a key role in fostering and practicing core socialist values. Xi called for efforts to develop students’ sense of patriotism, social responsibility, and innovation, as well as the ability to put ideas into practice.Xi asked colleges to focus on the strategic needs of the country and accelerate their efforts to make breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields…He also demanded improving education on patriotism, collectivism, and socialism to enhance people’s confidence in the socialist path, theory, system, and culture for stronger ideological and spiritual solidarity among all Chinese people.” One key aspect of this cultural domain is that Xi wants to continue to blend traditional culture and revolutionary culture to develop advanced socialist culture.
Page 3: A report about the “warm response” that Xi’s UNGA received. As usual, it quotes a bunch of foreigners to say that the speech was really good. Next, a report about a new event. This is really interesting. So the International Liaison Department and the Guizhou Provincial Committee are jointly hosted on the 22nd an event titled “The Story of the Communist Party of China-The Practice of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era in Guizhou.” The theme was China’s battle against poverty. It connected with “more than 200 leaders from 16 countries, including more than 70 political parties and party organizations from Latin America.” Song Tao, who heads ILD, said “under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, we are fully confident that we will achieve the goal of lifting all rural poor people out of poverty by the end of this year. The Communist Party of China is willing to unreservedly share the experience and practices of poverty eradication with political parties from all over the world, including Latin American countries.”
Finally, a commentary that talks up China’s credentials as an upholder of multilateralism.
Page 6: Two reports. First, the Taiwan Affairs Office warning the DPP to refrain from going further on the road of seeking independence. This was in the context of US State Department’s Keith Krach’s recent visit. Second, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission have recently exposed 6 typical cases involving criminal gangs. These cases are:
- A case involving Fu Tiegang, the former secretary of the Tongliao Municipal Party Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Xin Jinshan, former member of the Standing Committee of the Tongliao Municipal Party Committee and Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee, providing a “protective umbrella” for criminal organizations that “had monopolized the sand and gravel industry in Tongliao City through violent means, opened casinos, organized prostitution…”
- The case of Hu Gaoping, former deputy secretary and director of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province, for providing a “protective umbrella” to a criminal group that used its “economic strength and family clan power to run rampant in the countryside, arbitrarily assaulting others, illegally occupying agricultural land, illegally absorbing public deposits, and seriously disrupting local social order.”
- Li Huanan, former deputy secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of Guangdong Province and secretary of the Political and Legal Committee, acted as a “protective umbrella” for Zhang Wei’s criminal organization. This organisation “used financial platforms to lure victims to borrow or raise funds, obtained debtor or guarantor’s real estate by forcing debtors to default, filed false litigation and other methods, and used soft and hard violence to illegally grab huge amounts of wealth.” Li Huanan’s crime in supporting the Zhang Wei organisation was to allow them to manipulate “the courts and cadres of the public security system, and facilitating him to win false lawsuits.”
- Zhuo Yicai, former deputy director of the Public Security Bureau of Ya’an City, Sichuan Province, acted as an “protective umbrella” for Dong Yi’s criminal organization. Dong Yi’s organisation carried out illegal debt collection and ran casinos apparently, while Zhuo facilitated this process.
- Li Zenghu, the former secretary of the Party branch in Sang Village, Fengcheng Town, Wenshui County, Luliang City, Shanxi Province, was someone who not only provided “protection umbrellas” but also ran criminal organisations apparently.
- The last case involves Xu Runqi, former party secretary, director, and second-level inspector of the Weifang City Natural Resources and Planning Bureau of Shandong Province, and Zang Chuankui, former party secretary and chairman of Weifang Binhai Tourism Group Co., Ltd., who acted as “protective umbrellas” for Wang Lei’s criminal organization. Among the many things that Wang Lei did, he organized a “maritime patrol team” to impose charges on local fishermen, violently drive out fishermen who did not pay, and carried out illegal and criminal activities such as provoking troubles and extortion. The two officials mentioned above aided all this in exchange of bribes.
The piece ends by saying that “the National Supervision Commission and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection emphasized that we must fight a protracted battle around the normalization of the eradication of crime. Persist in the compaction of responsibilities, resolutely correct formalism and bureaucracy, and promote the implementation of various measures to normalize the eradication of evil.”
If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of the ongoing campaign against criminal gangs and protection umbrellas, I recommend this essay by Sheena Chestnut Greitens.
Pages 7 & 17: One piece on either page that I’d like to highlight. First, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has shared that so far, more than 500,000 5G base stations have been built and opened nationwide. Second, on page 17, there’s a commentary about the US policies, which China believes are impeding people-to-people ties and talent exchanges.
It argues that that “some US politicians desperately exaggerated the so-called “stealing of American sensitive technology and intellectual property rights” and “threatens the security and interests of the United States”, just to make excuses for their hysterical suppression of Chinese students studying abroad.”
“Out of US domestic politics and the need to suppress and contain China, some US politicians have used a series of politicized manipulations, which have a serious negative impact on normal cultural exchanges and educational cooperation between China and the United States. These actions run counter to the so-called democracy and freedom concept that the United States advertises, run counter to the mainstream public opinion in China and the United States, and run counter to the current trend of international talent exchanges.”