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Watching Xinwen Lianbo May 25 plus a bit more
Xi e-meets Bachelet, Li speaks at rarely big economic meeting, ETC.
Today’s 新闻联播 Xinwen Lianbo, China’s most important TV program, consists of 16 parts. See below.
At the end of the newsletter, you will read something more. Don’t miss it.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday met representatives of a meeting commending heroes and role models from the public security system.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, offered warm congratulations to the representatives and extended sincere greetings to police and auxiliary police officers from across the country.
Li Keqiang and Wang Huning, both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, were present.
Xi had cordial exchanges and posed for a photo with the representatives at the Great Hall of the People.
Guo Shengkun, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, made a speech at the meeting.
He called on the public security departments nationwide to thoroughly implement Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law, and meet the requirements of being loyal to the Party, serving the people, being impartial in law enforcement, and strict in discipline.
Solid efforts should be made to guard against risks, ensure security and maintain order, Guo stressed, to welcome the victorious opening of the 20th Party Congress with actual deeds.
A total of 982 groups and 1,485 individuals from the public security system were commended.
Xi didn’t make a speech.
Part 2 习近平会见联合国人权事务高级专员
President Xi Jinping in Beijing met via video link with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday.
President Xi welcomed Bachelet to China. He expounded on major issues regarding China's human rights development in the context of China's history and culture, and reaffirmed the principled position of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government in upholding and protecting human rights in all areas.
He stressed that, on day one of its existence, the CPC identified as its founding mission the pursuit of happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and has been working hard for the people's interests over the past century.
The people's aspiration for a better life is what we are striving for. After decades of strenuous efforts, China has successfully found a path of human rights development in keeping with the trend of the times and China's national reality.
We have been advancing whole-process people's democracy, promoting legal safeguard for human rights, and upholding social equity and justice. The Chinese people now enjoy fuller and more extensive and comprehensive democratic rights. The human rights of the Chinese people are guaranteed like never before.
President Xi pointed out that in terms of human rights protection, no one can claim perfection and there is always room for improvement. On the basis of equality and mutual respect, China is ready to actively conduct human rights dialogue and cooperation with all other parties to expand common understanding, reduce differences, promote mutual learning, seek progress together, and jointly advance the international human rights cause for the greater benefit of people across the world. At present, it is most important to work on the following four priorities:
First, putting people front and center. It is important to take the people's interests as the fundamental purpose and goal, make continuous efforts to address the most pressing and immediate issues that concern the people the most, and strive to deliver a better life to the people. That is the biggest human right. How a country is doing on human rights is essentially gauged by whether the interests of its people are upheld, and whether they enjoy a growing sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. That is the most important criterion for assessing the human rights conditions of a country. The people should become the true masters of their countries and the main participants, contributors and beneficiaries of human rights development.
Second, respecting different countries' paths of human rights development. Human rights have historical, specific, and practical contexts. With different national conditions, histories, cultures, social systems and levels of economic and social development, countries should and can only explore suitable paths of human rights development in light of national realities and people's needs. Any system or model blindly copied from another country regardless of the situation on the ground will not only look out of place, but also bring disastrous consequences. Should that happen, it is the people who will bear the brunt. There is no shortage of such examples, and lessons must be learned.
Third, following a holistic approach to all categories of human rights. Human rights are a rich and all-encompassing concept, and must be advanced with integrated and systematic measures. For developing countries, the rights to subsistence and development are the primary human rights. More efforts are needed to achieve development of higher quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security, so as to provide strong safeguards for the advancement of human rights.
Fourth, stepping up global human rights governance. The promotion and protection of human rights is a common cause for humanity and thus requires the concerted efforts of all. When it comes to human rights issues, there is no such thing as a flawless utopia; countries do not need patronizing lecturers; still less should human rights issues be politicized and used as a tool to apply double standards, or as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It is important to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, advocate humanity's common values, and steer global human rights governance toward greater fairness, justice, equity and inclusiveness. China will continue to support the UN in making positive efforts for the international human rights cause.
Ms. Bachelet expressed appreciation to China for receiving her visit despite the COVID challenge, the first visit to China by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 17 years. She very much values and cherishes this visit and will have extensive engagements and direct communication with the Chinese government and people across different sectors.
The High Commissioner is confident that this visit will give her a better understanding of China. She expressed admiration for China's efforts and achievements in eliminating poverty, protecting human rights, and realizing economic and social development, and commended China's important role in upholding multilateralism, confronting global challenges such as climate change, and promoting sustainable development across the world. The High Commissioner's Office would like to enhance communication and explore cooperation with the Chinese side to make joint efforts for the progress of the global human rights cause.
Ding Xuexiang (Member of the Politburo and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee), Yang Jiechi (Member of the Politburo and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee), and Wang Yi (in Guangzhou, State Councillor and Foreign Minister) were present at the meeting.
Part 3 【沿着总书记的足迹】河北：奋力书写“赶考”路上新答卷
[Following the footsteps of the General Secretary] Hebei: Strive to write a new answer sheet on the road to "embrace the test"
赶考 Embrace the test has been quoted by Xi. He said in the speech marking the CPC's 100th anniversary on July 1, 2021
Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey towards/embracing the test of realizing the second centenary goal.
But 赶考 embrace the test can actually be traced back to Mao Zedong in March 1949, when he departed Hebei for Beijing. He told Zhou Enlai, later China’s first premier 今天是进京的日子，进京赶考去 This is the day to enter the capital/Beijing, to embrace the test.
So much for Party history. This is the second episode of the series [Following the footsteps of the General Secretary] on CCTV’s Xinwen Lianbo - yesterday was on Tianjin and today is on Hebei.
Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has gone to Hebei Province nine times for visits, pointing out the direction for the high-quality development of Hebei in the New Era. Bearing in mind the General Secretary's wishes, the cadres and masses in Hebei adhere to the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era as a guide, and strive to write a new answer sheet on the road to "embrace the test", to take practical action to meet the victorious opening of the 20th Party Congress.
Hebei is located in the North China Plain, east of the Bohai Sea, surrounded by Beijing and Tianjin. Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has visited Hebei nine times, covering the rural fields and urban communities.
In December 2012, shortly after the closing of the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping came here to see the poverty in the villages and issued a mobilization order to the whole Party and the whole country to fight poverty. He said with deep emotion that the most difficult and heavy task of building a well-off society is in the rural areas, especially in the poor areas; without the well-off in the rural areas, especially in the poor areas, it is impossible to build a well-off society in all aspects.
…Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally commanded, deployed and supervised the battle, and China has launched a comprehensive war against poverty... 7,746 poor villages in Hebei were all be lifted out of poverty in 2020…
The establishment of Xiong'an New Area in Hebei is a major decision made by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core to promote the synergistic development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in depth.
During the planning and construction process, General Secretary Xi Jinping made many field visits and held important meetings, and devoted a lot of efforts to it.
After five years of construction, this “city of the future” is being transformed from a grand blueprint into a realistic model. Here, water, electricity, gas, heating, network and other municipal pipelines are all integrated in the underground integrated corridor. From urban governance to ecological monitoring, from community life to traffic and travel, everything can be digitally managed.
As an important part of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cooperative development, Xiong'an New Area has entered a critical period of undertaking the simultaneous promotion of the 北京非首都功能疏解 decommissioning of Beijing's non-capital functions and large-scale development and construction, and the first batch of three Central enterprises' headquarters have been officially located, and more than 100 branches of central enterprises have been set up in Xiong'an.
…The general secretary encouraged …to effectively build a firm 京津生态屏障ecological barrier between Beijing and Tianjin…
As Bill Bishop noted in Sinocism, Xinhua, CCTV, and People's Daily have all launched variations of the following the footsteps of the General Secretary series.
This is just a one-sentence notice/emphasis.
A long summary & commentary by Xinhua News Agency: "China's economic development will definitely have a brighter future" - General Secretary Xi Jinping leads the integrated promotion of high-quality development and high-level security
The piece is the headline of today’s People’s Daily. Manoj Kewalramani has summarized it in his Tracking People’s Daily substack.
Your Chinese phrase of the day 稳住经济大盘 Wen Zhu Jing Ji Da Pan = stabilizing the economy. And this is arguably the most-watched news by the market.
On May 25, the State Council held a national television and telephone conference on 稳住经济大盘 stabilizing the economy. Li Keqiang, Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Premier, made an important speech.
Han Zheng, Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Vice Premier of the State Council, presided over the meeting. Vice-Premiers Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua, Liu He, State Councilors Wei Fenghe, Wang Yong, Xiao Jie, and Zhao Kezhi attended.
Li Keqiang said that this year, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, all parties implemented the deployment of the Party Central Committee and the State Council with a strong response to the difficult challenges, especially the impact of factors beyond expectations, and have done a lot of productive work.
However, since March, especially since April, employment, industrial production, electricity, and freight indicators have significantly lowered. The difficulties in some aspects and to a certain extent are greater than the serious impact of COVID in 2020. Development is the basis and key to solving all problems in China, to do a good job in the prevention and control of COVID needs financial and material resources, and to protect employment and people's livelihood to prevent risks also needs development as support.
We are now at a critical point to determine the economic trend of the year, we must seize the window of time, and strive to promote the economy back to the normal track.
We should fully implement the new development philosophy, efficiently coordinate COVID prevention & control and economic & social development, firm up confidence, rise to the challenge, and put stabilizing growth in a more prominent position.
We should focus on protecting market entities to protect employment and people's livelihood and protect the resilience of the Chinese economy. We should strive to ensure that the economy in the second quarter achieves reasonable growth and that the unemployment rate falls as soon as possible, to keep the economy running in a reasonable range.
Li Keqiang said that all departments have a responsibility to stabilize the economy in front of the big picture, and they should have a stronger sense of urgency to ensure that the policy initiatives adopted at the Central Economic Work Conference and in the Government Work Report to be basically completed in the first half of the year.
In order to increase the strength of implementation, the State Council executive meeting has determined a slew of economic policies [see Part III of this Pekingnology newsletter] in 6 aspects and 33 articles. Their detailed, operational details shall be published by the end of May - anything that should be rolled out must be rolled out.
…Over the years, we insist on not flooding the market with money printing, so the macro policy still has room. We should continue to do a good job in preparing policies.
Li Keqiang said…local governments shoulder the responsibility of promoting local development and benefiting the local region. They should do their duty and implement the policies. Continuously solving dilemmas and multi-party problems is a test of the administrative capacity of governments at all levels. We should complete the task of economic and social development while doing the job of COVID prevention and control at the same time. We shall comprehensively grasp the situation and prevent an isolated, one-size-fits-all move.
We should work creatively and explore the policy potential according to local conditions. We should help market entities to alleviate difficulties, stabilize and expand the job opportunities, and these policy measures shall be rolled out as long as they are possible.
State-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign enterprises, and other types of market entities should be treated equally, to fully mobilize the enthusiasm and creativity of all parties. We should adhere to the market-based approach and reforms to solve problems. We should further open up the logistics and industry chain by unlocking blockages upstream and downstream, to promote the resumption of production.
We should promote solid protection of people's livelihood, timely distribute unemployment insurance, low-income insurance, assistance, and other funds to the masses to ensure that there is no return to poverty on a large scale.
The State Council on May 26 will send inspection teams to 12 provinces to carry out special inspections of policy implementation and support. The province-specific main economic indicators for the second quarter around the country will be published by the national statistics bureau in accordance with the law and truthfully. The State Council will publicly circulate the information from this.
The leaders of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the People's Bank of China gave a speech, respectively.
For more, read to the end of today’s newsletter.
Part 6 栗战书同约旦参议长举行会谈
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu held talks by video with Jordanian Senate President Faisal Akif Al-Fayez
Li said that under the personal care of President Xi Jinping and King Abdullah II, the two countries have consolidated mutual political trust and achieved fruitful cooperation in various fields. China appreciates that the Jordanian side adheres to the one-China principle and firmly supports the Jordanian side in exploring the development path and governance model that suits its national conditions.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jordan. China is ready to work together with the Jordanian side to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and to enrich the content of the strategic partnership between China and Jordan for the better benefit of the two countries and peoples.
Li Zhanshu pointed out that Jordan is an important partner in the construction of the "Belt and Road", and both sides can further explore the potential to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields such as trade and infrastructure construction. President Xi Jinping recently proposed the Global Security Initiative. This important initiative emphasizes that mankind is an indivisible security community, advocates genuine multilateralism and is open to global participation, and welcomes active support from the Jordanian side.
China has always supported Middle East countries, including Jordan, to unite and work together to solve regional security issues. China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Jordanian side, jointly safeguard the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, and jointly uphold the important principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations.
Li Zhanshu stressed that the interaction between legislative bodies is an important part of the relations between the two countries. The Chinese National People's Congress is willing to have close and friendly relations with the Jordanian parliament, share experience in legislative and supervisory work, and provide a fair and just, transparent, and equal legal environment for enterprises to invest and operate in each other's countries; and strengthen communication and cooperation in multilateral parliamentary organizations.
Jordanian Senate President Faisal Akif Al-Fayez said that the friendly relations between Jordan and China are based on mutual respect and are deep and strong. Jordan firmly adheres to the one-China policy and opposes any interference in China's internal affairs. The Jordanian Senate is willing to strengthen exchanges with the National People's Congress of China, jointly promote cooperation in various fields, and push the strategic partnership between the two countries deeper and more solid.
Wang Yang visits Gannan of Gansu Province
Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), recently visited 甘南 Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in 甘南 Gansu Province. He stressed the need to thoroughly study and understand and implement the Central Conference on Ethnic Affairs, the National Religious Work Conference, and the seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work, fully implement the Party's strategy for governing Tibet in the New Era, raise the political stance, more forward-looking plans, more solid actions to ensure national security and social stability, to ensure national unity and religious harmony, to ensure the improvement of people's livelihood and cohesion, to take practical action to meet the victorious opening of the 20th Party Congress.
From May 23 to 25, Wang Yang went deep into rural areas of Gannan, pastoral areas, schools, religious sites, and engaged with the people from ethnic groups and religions conducting in-depth exchanges, understanding the economic and social development of Tibetan-related prefectures and counties, the ethnic and religious work, and hosted a seminar(s) to listen to the views and suggestions.
Wang Yang pointed out that since the 18th Party Congress, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core…the various undertakings in Tibetan-related prefectures and counties in Gansu have made all-round progress. The general situation of social stability has continued to improve, the urban and rural areas have a new look, the environmental security barrier has become increasingly solid, and the target task of poverty eradication has been completed with high quality…The sense of happiness and security of the people of all ethnic groups has been enhanced.
Wang Yang stressed that the work related to Tibet is of great importance, and the contradictions, risks, and challenges on the way forward should not be underestimated. We should deepen the in-depth anti-secession struggle and rely closely on the masses of all ethnic groups to build a solid wall of national security. We should cast a firm sense of the Chinese national community as the mainline to solidly promote the cause of national unity and progress, 深化中华民族共同体历史研究和宣传教育 deepen the study, publicity, and education of the history of the community of the Chinese nation.
We should 推广普及国家通用语言文字 promote the popularization of the common national language and script, 尊重和保障少数民族语言文字学习和使用 respect and protect the learning and use of minority languages and scripts. We should promote inheritance, protection, and innovation of the cultures of various ethnic groups. We should promote tangible a wide range of ethnic exchanges and intermingling in a tangible, sensory, and effective manner.
We should adhere to the direction of the 宗教中国化 sinicization of religions in China, strengthen the management of religious affairs in accordance with the law, 健全藏传佛教寺庙管理长效机制 improve the long-term mechanism for the management of Tibetan Buddhist temples, strengthen the 党政干部、宗教界代表人士、宗教学研究“三支队伍”建设 "three teams" of Party and government cadres, representatives from religions, and scholars in religious studies to 引导藏传佛教更好与社会主义社会相适应 guide Tibetan Buddhism to better adapt to socialist society…
Part 8 韩正在福建调研
Han Zheng visits Fujian Province
From May 23 to 24, Han Zheng, Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Vice Premier, visited 宁德 Ningde, 福州 Fuzhou, 漳州 Zhangzhou of Fujian Province. Han stressed the need to thoroughly implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions, efficiently coordinate the prevention and control of epidemics and economic and social development, focus on stabilizing employment and prices, take precise and pragmatic measures to help companies solve practical difficulties, maintain the stability of the industrial chain supply chain, stabilize the macroeconomy, and continue to promote high-quality development…
Han Zheng went to 宁德时代新能源科技有限公司 Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL, a global leader in lithium-ion battery development and manufacturing), 上汽乘用车福建分公司 SAIC Passenger Vehicle Fujian Branch, 青拓集团 Tsingtuo Group, 星网锐捷通讯股份有限公司 Star-Net (SZ: 002396) and 高意科技有限公司 II-VI (Nasdaq: IIVI) to inspect the companies resumption of work and production, R&D innovation and intelligent production.
Han Zheng pointed out that Fujian conscientiously implemented the “四个更大” "four greater" important requirements put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping during his personal inspection and guidance, comprehensively implemented the new development concept, and promoted high-quality development to maintain good momentum, which deserves full recognition.
The next step is to further implement the innovation-driven development strategy, …To support the development of private companies’ innovation…enable private companies to better play an active role in science and technology innovation. We should unswervingly expand openness and implement the national treatment of foreign-funded enterprises, to create a market-oriented rule of law and international business environment, to ensure that all types of market players have equal development and fair competition.
Han Zheng came to 漳州古雷开发区 Zhangzhou Gulei Development Zone, listen to a report on the planning and construction of 古雷石化产业园区 Gulei Petrochemical Industrial Park. Han went to 古雷石化有限公司 Gulei Petrochemical Co., Ltd and 福海创石油化工有限公司 FuHaiChuang Petrochemicals Co., Ltd to inspect the petrochemical industry investment and construction, industrial safety, and other situations.
Han Zheng stressed the need to do a good job of planning major projects, promote the orderly implementation of projects, expand effective investment and promote industrial upgrading. Improve the standard management level of the project, and firmly guard the baseline of industrial safety. We should focus on opening up the blockage of the supply chain and the industrial chain blockage, to promote the free flow of production factors. We should implement the tax rebates and other policies to help enterprises to alleviate their difficulties and to help enterprises cope with rising raw material prices and other difficulties.
Han…walked into the 三坊七巷 San Fang Qi Xiang historical and cultural district, and examined the protection and restoration of the traditional district. Han Zheng…said we should protect the city's historical relics, cultural monuments, and humanistic heritage, guarding the city's "root" and "soul".
Huang Danian-type Teams of Teachers in China’s universities: Continuing the Endeavor, Serve the Country with Sincerity
A little explanation is in order otherwise you probably don’t understand this.
Jilin University Prof. Huang Danian was a geophysicist with a Ph.D. from the UK’s Leeds University. Huang returned to China in 2009 and made significant achievements in his field. Huang died from cancer at the age of 58 in January 2017. Huang generously helped his students while caring little about making money or becoming an official himself.
Huang was ordained as a national 时代楷模 model scientist-teacher posthumously. Other scientists and university teachers are encouraged to learn from his patriotism, devotion, and selflessness. Here is a China Daily report.
This segment basically said after five years of Huang’s passing, many teachers, at the encouragement of the Ministry of Education, modeled their careers on his good deeds.
If you have business in China, remember that the fifth or the tenth year is important in China, as you have seen above:
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jordan.
Yesterday (May 24), 268 confirmed cases were discharged from Shanghai's local hospitals, and 4,597 asymptomatic infected persons were released from medical observation.
Today, the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center's 方舱 Fang Cang/centralized isolation Hospital was officially closed. This is the first hospital in Shanghai to be opened and put into operation since the current COVID-19 outbreak and has treated 25,000 newly infected patients in the past two months.
Shanghai increased support for science and technology companies, especially small and medium-sized ones during the growth period. Since March, financial institutions (banks?) lent 1,824 those companies 29 billion yuan through the science and technology financial products/special lending facilities.
COVID numbers from the National Health Commission.
This is basically the same as the Xinhua report
The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 102 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 44 were in Shanghai and 41 in Beijing, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.
Five other provincial-level regions on the mainland also saw new local COVID-19 cases, including seven in Tianjin and five in Sichuan.
Shanghai also reported 343 locally-transmitted asymptomatic infections of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, out of a total of 418 local asymptomatic carriers newly identified on the mainland.
Following the recovery of 374 COVID-19 patients who were discharged from hospitals on Tuesday, there were 3,699 confirmed COVID-19 cases receiving treatment in hospitals across the Chinese mainland.
No new death from COVID-19 was reported on Tuesday on the Chinese mainland, according to the commission.
国内联播快讯 Roundup of Domestic News
Total logistics in China exceeded 106 trillion yuan in January-April
The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing announced today (May 25) that from January to April, the national total logistics reached106.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 3.6%. In April, transportation of energy and commodities maintained stable growth
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) issued initiatives to promote central enterprises to help small and medium-sized enterprises to alleviate their difficulties
SASAC, of the State Council, recently issued 27 measures to promote central enterprises to help relieve the difficulties of small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of payment, rent reduction, cost reduction, optimization of supply, financing, and extension of consumer loans for trucks in commercial use.
Statistical Bulletin of Transport Industry Development in 2021 released today
Today (May 25), the Ministry of Transport released the "Statistical Bulletin on the Development of the Transport Industry in 2021". 3.6 trillion yuan of investment in fixed assets in transportation was completed in 2021, an increase of 4.1% over 2020. Last year, China's high-speed rail mileage reached 40,000 km, highway mileage of 169,000 km, and the national port of 2,659 berths of 10,000 tons and above. The number of airports and cities open for regular flights increased to 248 and 244 respectively.
China National Light Industry Council today (May 25) released data showing that from January to April investment in the major sub-sectors of the light industry maintained double-digit growth. Six sub-sectors including agricultural and food processing, food manufacturing, wine, and beverages saw an investment growth rate of more than 20%.
The TV series 《三泉溪暖》 "Warm Creek at Three Springs (village)" airs tonight on CCTV1 starting tonight.
It is based on the construction of the party branch in Sanjianxi Village and tells the story of grass-roots party organizations and party cadres leading the villagers to build a rich, civilized, and beautiful countryside, showing the important achievements made in building a well-off society and implementing the rural revitalization strategy.
Sanjianxi is very similar to Three Springs (village) in Mandarin. President Xi Jinping said in his New Year's speech on the eve of 2019 that In Sanjianxi Village in Jinan City in Shandong province, I sat down with the family of Zhao Shunli to hear about their day-to-day lives.
International news from now on
On May 24, Russian forces struck multiple ammunition depots in Donetsk, which the Ukrainian side says is the scene of intense fighting.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian forces used high-precision air-based missiles to strike Ukrainian military targets such as command posts, personnel, and military equipment gathering points, and Russian forces also struck six ammunition depots in Donetsk. On the same day, the Russian military completed demining of the port of Mariupol and the adjacent Azov Sea coast.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on May 24 that Russian forces continued their offensive in eastern Ukraine, with the most intense fighting in Donetsk.
Hungarian Prime Minister Orban declared a state of emergency in the country at midnight of the same day to deal with the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
People in the international community criticized the U.S. and the West for abusive sanctions that seriously affect the global economy.
People in the international community criticized said that the U.S. and Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia indiscriminately, which has a serious impact on the global economy and social livelihood.
Putin says the Russian economy will remain open
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 24 that the Russian economy will remain open in the new situation and Russia will expand cooperation with countries interested in mutually beneficial cooperation with the Russian side.
The latest data from the Moscow Exchange on May 25 showed that the ruble once rose to 55.9 to 1 against the dollar, a new high since February 2018.
Confirmed COVID cases exceeded 523.78 mln
According to WHO statistics, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID cases reached 52,786,368 cases worldwide, and the cumulative number of deaths was 6,279,667 cases.
According to May 24 numbers via Reuters, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the United States reached 83,479,053 and the cumulative number of deaths was 1,003,645.
The number of new crown infections in children in the United States rose for 6 consecutive weeks
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association released a report on May 23 that says, as of the week of the 19th, the number of newly confirmed COVID cases among children in the United States is more than 107,000. Compared with two weeks ago, that’s an increase of 72%, the sixth consecutive week of the rise. Cumulatively, nearly 13.3 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID.
A shooting at an elementary school in Texas killed 21 children and teachers
A shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, South Texas, killed 21 people, including 19 children, on May 24. Texas Governor Tony Abbott said the suspect, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen, is dead. He was carrying a handgun and possibly a rifle onto the campus at the time of the incident. The preliminary investigation indicates that the shooter acted alone.
The Robb Elementary School shooting is the worst shooting at an elementary school in the U.S. in the last decade. 2012 saw the deadliest elementary school shooting in the U.S. when 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
According to the latest data released by the Gun Violence Archive website on the 25th, so far this year, gun-related violence in the United States has led to more than 17,000 deaths and 14,000 injuries. The data shows that this year, there are at least 212 shootings that caused more than 4 people dead or serious injuries.
You probably have seen this, but ICYMI
国际联播快讯 Roundup of International News
Venezuela rejects U.S. exclusion from Summit of the Americas
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a speech on May 24, once again criticizing the United States for excluding Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas. Maduro said that several countries have clearly opposed the U.S. practice of excluding Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from the summit, and this year's Summit of the Americas has become a meeting "against imperialist xenophobia".
The ninth Summit of the Americas will be held in the United States in early June. Mexico's president has recently said he will not attend the summit.
Large-scale sandstorms hit many countries in the Middle East
Recently, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other countries were hit by sandstorm weather. Due to strong winds and low visibility, many airports closed, flights were canceled, traffic was paralyzed, and the power supply in some areas was once interrupted.
Below is a partial translation of the purported minutes of the meeting on stabilizing the economy.
Please note, as far as I know, it has NOT been confirmed. Reuters didn’t and Bloomberg didn’t. (Well, the Financial Times just did.) Plus, the minutes appear to be directly transcribed from an unpublished audio recording with no proofreading, which means the Chinese text itself is riddled with apparent grammatical mistakes.
And please also note now I write this newsletter in a personal capacity, with my best effort, and at my own certainties. I’m making this available in English, mostly because the Chinese text has been circulating so widely on social media.
What I am basically saying is the quotes below are not based on any inside information - it’s totally open-sourced - and may likely include errors, despite my best effort.
I’m pretty confident that many of you take this newsletter very seriously, but that’s the end of the lengthy disclosures and warnings.
We did have a massive tax rebate in April. Local governments contributed their share, but it was mainly funded by the central government.
Excluding the tax rebate, the (central+local) government revenue in April declined 5.9%. Local revenue fell even more, down by 6.6%. In particular, the Yangtze River Delta region (Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, and perhaps also including Anhui), which are net contributors to the central government, registered even further drops. The biggest (provincial/municipal) decline in the Yangtze River Delta region was 32% and even smaller declines were more significant than the national average.
Local government revenue was also affected by the real estate market, with income from land sales declining by 29.8%…
Recently, a few provinces proposed in written reports to the State Council to borrow money.
I am here to tell you clearly, that before the government work report (delivered in March) this year, we already adjusted the budget by giving the biggest ever transfer payments to local governments. The number has been approved by the National People’s Congress. And we will continue to increase the tax rebates and tax cuts, mainly funded by the central government. We will also have to ensure there will be no problem with the budget for defense and compulsory education
So I'm here to give you a bottom line: except for a major natural disaster when there will be a Premier’s reserve fund, the rest of the money depends on your local governments.
(Unclear, but something like for a period of May) The growth of electricity generation, transportation, and new loans are negative. So judging from now, it would take a huge effort to reverse negative growth in May. Therefore, the essence of this meeting is there is no time to waste.
We must take a variety of effective measures to arrest the economic downturn, because now there is a danger of China's economy slipping out of the reasonable range. I have repeatedly said at meetings that, in such a large economy as China, once it slipped out of the reasonable range, pulling it back would not be possible without a huge endeavor and longer time. So now we hereby clearly ask all relevant departments and local governments to take measures to ensure stabilization and growth in June, achieveing some recovery.
I am hereby, at this meeting, to demand one economic goal from you - strive to ensure positive economic growth for the second quarter. The goal is not high. It is a far cry, a significant drop from the 5.5% growth target we proposed at the beginning of the year. But, from the facts on the ground, that’s what we must achieve. [FT reported this paragraph after its confirmation, not mine, which I don’t have.]
We have confidence in controlling inflation…Because we did not engage in flooding the economy with money two years ago when the pandemic had the most serious impact. We still have confidence in this. Now, in some developed countries, even developing countries, there is serious inflation. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict had no impact? (Yes, but) Some countries are energy-independent, why is there still such high inflation there, and that happened even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict. That has something to do with last year's stimulus and the quantitative easing/money printing. But we didn’t do that.
Now many local businesses face difficulties with declining revenue. We have a policy of tax reduction, but our main taxation is the value-added tax. When the businesses don’t have revenue, they can’t enjoy the tax reduction (in corporate tax?). So we do the tax rebates based on years of tax payments, to help them get over the difficulties.
…Do not put on shows. Sometimes I saw some places (holding a ceremony marking the) start of 100 or 200 projects all at once. This is unnecessary. Start when it’s legal/procedurally OKay to start. If you can do it according to the rules quickly, then do it. Why do you have to kick them off all at once?
Without energy security, industries face difficulties, and it will also lead to rising prices. China’s energy mix is still coal-based. Recently we are studying and deploying that for large coal mines, especially those that have met the conditions for production, we shall simplify the approval process as soon as possible.
If we have a bumper harvest of grain this summer, that will go a long way in stabilizing prices this year. The chain of the summer harvest, which has been formed over the years, must not be broken. We have started now from Hubei - from the south to the north - mechanical harvesting, using professional equipment. This has become a habit/practice over a number of the years. The local governments must guarantee that. Whatever issues you have, deal with them the way you should deal with them, but the harvest of wheat is equally big and nobody shall take it lightly.
Lastly and again, these quotes are based on unconfirmed but widely-circulated information on social media. And this newsletter is a personal product.