No. 07 | 08.08.2021
China as the US’s “imagined enemy”: The inevitable primary contradiction of the world
Beijing Cultural Review (Wénhuà Zònghéng)
The Beijing Cultural Review ( Wénhuà Zònghéng) is a Chinese bimonthly magazine offering high-quality commentary. The magazine is devoted to recasting China’s history and culture, re-evaluating mainstream Western values, and explaining China’s views on global issues.
When China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng met with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Tianjin, he declared: “We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy” of portraying China as an “imagined enemy.” This article argues that the dramatic shift in China’s diplomatic style to a more confrontational tone is in direct response to the US’s full-scale strategy of containing China. Since the 1990s, China has tried to avoid a head-on conflict with the United States. Now, although China has no desire to export its institutional model and ideology, its rising power poses a substantial challenge to US hegemony. If the US were to lose its dominance, it would also lose large-scale control of the world’s resources, which the US ruling elite will not tolerate, forming the primary contradiction of the world today.
Cross-border security laws create a catch-22 for Chinese companies hoping to list overseas
Liu Yang
Liu Yang is an associate professor at Renmin University of China Law School and a researcher at RUC’s National Academy for Development and Strategy and its Law and Technology Institute. His main research area is international law.
Since July, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has been conducting cybersecurity reviews of several Chinese internet companies that have recently gone public in the US. In response, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended accepting applications from Chinese companies for IPOs. In this article, Liu Yang points out how security laws in the US and China may be incompatible with each other. For example, the US’s Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA), enacted in December 2020, requires US-listed foreign companies to disclose additional information to the SEC, such as audit reports, audit transcripts, and original transaction records. But providing such information to the US government might violate China’s Cybersecurity Law and Data Security Law, and it might endanger China’s national security. Liu Yang thus lays out the dilemma facing Chinese companies hoping to go overseas: compliance with the security laws of one country could constitute a national security risk to the other.
Understanding rural-urban relations in China since 1949
Kong Xiangzhi
Kong Xiangzhi is a professor at the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University of China, director of the China Cooperative Research Institute, and editor-in-chief of the Chinese Cooperative Economic Review. His research focuses on agricultural policy and the rural cooperative economy.
As China begins to implement its rural revitalization plan, Kong Xiangzhi asserts that a balanced philosophy of governance and development is essential to healthy rural-urban relations. Pre-reform, these relations were characterized by a tilt towards industry and the city away from agriculture and the countryside. Indeed, peasants have made great contributions to pave the way for China’s industrialization and urbanization. After 1978, the CPC introduced reforms in the land system, farm product pricing, and labor management, significantly increasing peasant incomes and easing tensions in the rural-urban relationship. The 21st century has seen a substantial improvement in this relationship. Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has found a path for integrated development. The key is to break the rural-urban divide at the county level. This can be done by strengthening the comprehensive service capabilities of counties and townships for the countryside; building interlinked, complementary functions through counties, towns, and villages; and narrowing rural-urban gaps in development and income.
China should develop sports for the masses in addition to pursuing Olympic gold
Beijing Cultural Review ( Wénhuà Zònghéng)
The Beijing Cultural Review ( Wénhuà Zònghéng) is a Chinese bimonthly magazine offering high-quality commentary. The magazine is devoted to recasting China’s history and culture, re-evaluating mainstream Western values, and explaining China’s views on global issues.
Since setting its “gold medal-oriented” target for the Olympics in the 1990s, China has adopted a “dual-track” (双轨 shuāngguǐ) competitive sports system in which government planning and marketization coexist. For sports where China has a history of medaling, such as table tennis, swimming, and weightlifting, the government expands investment and selects the best athletes from mass competition. For events in which China has low chances of medaling, such as equestrian sports and rowing, the government reduces investment but allows private organizations such as sports clubs and associations to operate. Some local-level sports bureaus promote officials and provide financial support based on an “Olympics first” principle or by using a points system that awards points according to medals. The article asserts that such mechanisms have led to the incomplete development of mass sports. As a result, resource distribution among sports has become imbalanced. At the recent Olympic Games, for example, almost all of China’s gold medals were awarded to individuals or pairs rather than teams. To address the problem, the article suggests that sports authorities should change their gold medal-oriented mentality and boost the development of mass sports.
How Mao’s Sanwan Reorganization shaped the revolutionary army and grassroots Party work today
Wang Zhigang
Wang Zhigang is a senior researcher at the Kunlunce Research Institute. Kunlunce is an independent institute founded by retired military veterans, academics and entrepreneurs.
The sole purpose of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is to serve the people wholeheartedly under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The origin of the Party’s absolute leadership of the army dates back to 29 September 1927, when Mao Zedong led the Sanwan Reorganization (三湾改编 sān wān gǎibiān) in Yongxin County, Jiangxi province. This reshuffling moved Party members deeper down into the army’s hierarchy, establishing the principle of political work in the army. Through this principle, “Party branches were organized on a company basis” (支部建在连上 zhībù jiàn zài lián shàng), such that Party work could be carried out among the army’s most basic units where soldiers fought, trained, and lived. Wang notes that the Sanwan Reorganization planted in the army a revolutionary gene, transforming it into the people’s army with high ideals and discipline. Officers and soldiers thus understood why they had joined the army and for whom they were fighting, laying the ideological and organizational foundations for the victory of the revolution. This practice of grassroots-level Party work would eventually spread to all facets of life in the socialist construction.

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