eg Chinese Voices
No. 32 | 13.02.2022
The mascots of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon are seen in Beijing on this picture taken on Jan 12, 2022. [Photo/IC]
The importance of the Sino-Russian strategic relationship
Yu Bin
Yu Bin (于滨) is a senior researcher at the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University and a professor of political science at Wittenberg University.

Context

With the US in an increasingly full-scale standoff with China, the US military presence in Ukraine, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the horizon, the February 4 meeting in Beijing between Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin drew much attention in China and beyond. During this meeting, Xi stressed "the commitment between China and Russia to deepening back-to-back strategic coordination and upholding international equity and justice side by side in the face of profound and complex changes in the international situation". In his article, Yu Bin compares and analyzes the differences between US foreign policy toward Russia and China, explaining why it is so important to uphold Sino-Russian relations.

Key Points

  • The US's tough stance toward China stems not only from the so-called bipartisan consensus, but also from a rather entrenched, racially-charged social subconscious.
  • The US establishment has never given up on its efforts to bring Russia back into the Western orbit. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, every US President has begun the presidency with a "reset" of relations with Russia, accompanied by stagnation, regression, and deterioration of US-China relations.
  • The policy consideration of the US establishment is to weaken and divide the Sino-Russian relationship as much as possible and thus return to a dominant position in the trilateral game between the three countries.
  • Some US politicians have pointed out that the Sino-US competition is a struggle between two civilizations and two races, something the US has never confronted before. The rivalry with the Soviet Union during the Cold War was, in a way, a "fight within the Western family."(Kiron Skinner)
  • The US academic and policymaking communities have always "valued Russia over China". The top US National Security and Foreign Affair policymakers included many experts on the Soviet Union, such as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Condoleeza Rice. However, US experts on China have never risen to the top of the policymaking hierarchy.
  • In the face of US suppression and decoupling tactics, China and Russia need to remain vigilant. Russia and China have largely excluded ideological factors from their bilateral relations and are, in fact, defending the modern system of sovereign states based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Summary

According to Bin, one of the fundamental reasons for the US to treat China and Russia differently is based on the level of "threat" each country poses to the US. China is seen as a long-term, comprehensive, and strategic threat to the US, whereas Russia is regarded as a short-term, regional, and security-related "problem." The US is not likely to give up efforts to undermine Sino-Russia relations. Therefore, It is extremely important to continue to upgrade economic relations between the two countries, as well as to strengthen ties between the two peoples.

Ambassador Qin Gang on the Winter Olympics and Xinjiang issue in interview with NPR
Qin Gang
Qin Gang (秦刚) is the eleventh Chinese Ambassador to the US, assuming his new post on July 28, 2021, and served as China’s Vice Foreign Minister.

Context

On January 27, Qin Gang, Chinese Ambassador to the US, was interviewed by NPR's "Morning Edition" about the Beijing's Winter Olympics, Xinjiang and Taiwan, US-China relations, and other issues. The interview was conducted by NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Key Points:

  • To ensure a simple, safe, and splendid event, the Beijing Winter Olympics include a "closed-loop" pandemic prevention mechanism for athletes and personnel, green energy for all venues, advanced ice-production technology, and near-zero carbon emissions.
  • If you want to know whether a country has freedom and human rights, then you have to ask the people of that country. Surveys by both Harvard Kennedy School and Edelman show that over 90 percent of the Chinese people are satisfied with their government.
  • In the case of Xinjiang, people who break the law are brought to justice and some face imprisonment. For those who are influenced by extremist ideology, the Chinese government has set up education and training centers to provide language, legal, and vocational skills training, enabling them to earn decent livelihoods and preventing them from being drawn into extremism and separatism.
  • The Uyghur population has more than doubled in size over the past 40 years; the average life expectancy in the past 60 years has increased from 30 to 72. The so-called "genocide" or "forced labor" are lies constructed for political ends.
  • The Chinese public has extensive access to information with over one billion internet users, which the Chinese government regulates to protect the public interest. The government consults the public before every major decision and has multiple channels for collecting and listening to public opinion and criticism.
  • The Taiwan issue is the "biggest tinderbox" between the US and China. If the Taiwan authorities continue to push for "Taiwan independence" with the support of the US, it is likely to draw the two major powers into military conflict.

Summary

According to Qin Gang, Sino-US relations are in a challenging moment. The Chinese people, including their leaders, believe that this relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships, and China is willing to actively promote the improvement of relations between the two countries. The "One China" principle is the political foundation of this relationship and avoiding war and conflict is the greatest common denominator between US and China. Both sides should work together to deter the forces of "Taiwan independence" and promote peaceful reunification across the Taiwan Strait.

Why China’s shrinking population won’t impact economic prospects
Lin Yifu
Justin Lin Yifu (林毅夫) is dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics, Dean of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and a Professor and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University. He was senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank.

Context

In 2021, the number of China's newborns was 10.62 million, a net increase of just 480,000, the lowest since 1962. Many economists believe that China's demographic advantage, one of the important driving forces of China's growth in the last 40 years, might end soon, and this will negatively impact China's long-term growth. In a recent interview, Justin Lin Yifu argues that the population decline will not impact China's economic prospects.

Key points

  • The general decline in the population growth rate is not the major factor in economic growth; rather, it is the growth or decline of the working-age population that contributes to or detracts from economic growth. It could take 15 years before a declining birth rate would lead to a shrinking working-age labor force.
  • What is important for economic growth is not the quantity of the labor force, but the quality of the labor force. In the long run, China can elevate the quality of the workforce through education, thus mitigating the negative impact of a declining workforce.
  • Extending the age of retirement is another way to solve the worker shortage. In China, the retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women, while 65-years old is the common age of retirement globally.
  • In 15-20 years, China's economy will mainly depend on capital-intensive and technology-intensive industries that require fewer workers than labor-intensive industries.

Summary

In addition to population pressures, there are other factors that affect China's economy in 2022. In the upcoming months, many countries will have to bear the brunt of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes. Lin asserts that China is better equipped than other developing countries to mitigate the risk of capital outflow due to its advantages in the management of short-term capital flows and massive foreign currency reserves. As a catch-up economy, China still has huge room for growth. For example, the government can implement a proactive fiscal policy to improve both digital and urban infrastructure, and also use a looser monetary policy to leverage private investment in upgrading industries and innovation. Lin believes that these moves will stabilize China's growth in 2022.

Documentary released on CPC’s “zero tolerance” approach to corruption
The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection(CCDI)
The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection(CCDI) is China’s top disciplinary agency that inspects the CPC’s policy, strengthens the Party construction, and organizes anti-corruption work.

Context

In January, a five-episode anti-corruption documentary "Zero Tolerance," which was co-produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and state-media CCTV, went viral on the internet. Since the 18th Communist Party Congress in 2012, President Xi Jinping's launched the anti-corruption campaign. The documentary highlighted 16 detailed cases showing CPC's "zero tolerance" attitude toward and determination to fight against corruption. One typical case is about Zhou Jiangyong (周江勇), former member of the CPC Standing Committee of the Zhejiang province and former Party Secretary of Hangzhou, headquarters of tech giant Alibaba. One notable description is that he "colluded with capital and supported its disorderly expansion. "

Key points

  • As a senior cadre promoted after the 18th Communist Party Congress, Zhou served as a top-level official (一把手 yī bǎ shǒu) in Zhoushan, Wenzhou, and Hangzhou cities in Zhejiang, but was gradually corrupted by power.
  • Zhou engaged in family corruption, using his public power to help his brother Zhou Jianyong(周健勇) with his businesses. Zhou Jiangyong used power to obtain free land for the company that his brother founded. By trading power for money, they received over 7 million yuan as their profitable reward.
  • After he became Party Secretary of Zhoushan city, Zhou Jiangyong helped various businessmen get project contracts by using his brother as a "firewall" to evade supervision. Between 2013-2017, Zhou Jianyong received more than 90 million yuan in "kick-backs" from Shi Shihong, a businessman.
  • With Zhou Jiangyong's help, his brother co-founded a tech company and invested in a mobile payment business for subway transport projects. Some companies bought shares of the tech company at obviously inflated prices, while Zhou Jiangyong helped these companies acquire low-priced land and preferential policies.
  • In August 2021, Zhou Jiangyong was placed under investigation after many people reported his corrupt offences to the government. He was expelled from the Party and public offices on January 26.

Summary

The documentary says that CPC realizes that the biggest challenge for the comprehensive and long-term leadership of the Party is the oversight of power. The public power should belong to the people and ensure the people's happiness. Xi Jinping was also cited as saying, "The struggle between the corruption and anti-corruption efforts will continue to exist for a long period to come… we must know the difficulties and move forward".

The beginning of Marxism in China: from the Nanchang Uprising to the Jinggang Mountain Revolutionary Base
Shi Zhongquan
Shi Zhongquan (石仲泉) is the former deputy director of the Party History Research Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Context

From the Nanchang Uprising (南昌起义 nánchāng qǐyì) in 1927 to the establishment of the revolutionary base in Jinggang Mountain (井冈山 jǐnggāngshān) between 1927 and 1929, the Communist Party of China (CPC) gradually explored a revolutionary path different from the urban armed uprisings of the 1917 Russian Revolution. This new path was defined by the Chinese reality and marked the opening chapter of Marxism in China. In 1924, under the guidance of the Comintern, the Kuomintang (KMT) and CPC cooperated to launch the Chinese Great Revolution (1925–1927大革命dà gé mìng) to overthrow imperial powers and Beiyang warlords (北洋军阀 běiyáng jūnfá). However, in 1927, the Kuomintang defected and the Communists were massacred. In his article, Shi Zhongquan explains in detail how, after the failure of the Chinese Great Revolution, the devastated CPC found another way forward, leading to a major turning point in the Sinicization of Marxism.

Key points

  • The Nanchang Uprising of August 1, 1927 was the beginning of CPC's armed resistance to the KMT and the Communists' independent leadership of the Chinese revolution. This led to the creation of the first people's army (人民军队 rénmín jūnduì).
  • After the Chinese Great Revolution(1925-1927) and its defeat, and drawing on the historical experience of peasant uprisings in ancient China, the idea of "going to the mountains" was discussed within the Party and gradually became a practice. After the failed Autumn Harvest Uprising, led by Mao Zedong in October 1927, Mao turned towards Jinggang Mountain on the border between Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. There, Mao's idea of an "armed independent regime of workers and peasants" (工农武装割据 gōngnóng wǔzhuāng gējù) was formed.
  • In the Jinggang Mountain, the theories of the people's army and of military guidance were also developed. They emphasized the Party's political and ideological leadership over the army, advocated the implementation of a democratic system in the army, and established the "three main rules of discipline" (三大纪律 sān dà jìlǜ) and "eight points of attention" (八项注意 bā xiàng zhùyì) – a military doctrine that included a number of rules demanding high standards of behavior and respect for civilians during wartime. This can be regarded as the prototype of Sinicized Marxist military theory.
  • In April 1928, the base area launched a full-scale land revolution and formulated the Party's first land law, the Jinggang Mountain Land Law (井冈山土地法 jǐnggāngshān tǔdì fǎ), which was groundbreaking for agrariam reform with Chinese characteristics.
  • In Jinggang Mountain, Mao Zedong reiterated that proletarian ideology must be the foundation of the CPC. That is, all CPC members must be equipped with proletarian ideology. This was an important step in the Sinicized Marxist theory of party-building.

Summary

The Jinggang Mountain revolutionary base was the first to be led by the CPC, lasting 15 months and opening up a new direction for the Chinese revolution. Other revolutionary bases led by Fang Zhimin in northeastern Jiangxi, He Long in western Hunan and Hubei, and Li Wenlin in southwestern Jiangxi contributed to the creation of Sinicized Marxism. It is the crystallization of the collective wisdom of the whole Party, with Mao Zedong as its main creator along with contributions of Zhu De, Chen Yi, Zhou Enlai, and other older-generation revolutionaries.

(Chinese Voices will continue to interpret the historical context and developmental logic of Marxism's Sinicization)

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