Wang Yi on Law on Foreign Relations; Balloon report starting to leak; More signs big stimulus not imminent; Prigozhin mutiny
If precedent holds the Politburo should meet by Friday June 30 for its monthly meeting. If, like last month, there again is no announcement of a meeting then that would be an interesting signal of a reversal of the general trend towards slightly more transparency about the timing of these meetings. We still have no idea why there was no announcement of the May meeting, while there was a report on the May Politburo Study Session.
Summary of the Essential Eight:
Wang Yi on the new Law on Foreign Relations - The Thursday People’s Daily has a long piece from Wang Yi on the significance of the new Law on Foreign Relations. I have included a long translated excerpt and I hope someone will publish a full translation soon. Wang Yi writes that “the enactment of the Law on Foreign Relations is a major achievement in implementing Xi Jinping Diplomatic Thought in the form of law…an important measure to strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee in foreign affairs…and a key initiative to improve the construction of China's foreign-related rule of law system”. Wang Yi also writes about its importance as part of the legal toolbox for foreign struggles. In general I do not think there are a lot of surprises in this document and it appears to be another example of the effort to codify in law existing policies, as part of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law.
Diplomacy appears to have worked on Europe - Politico has another report that the statement that will come out Friday from the European Council summit will be a win for the PRC.
PRC spy balloon reports starts to leak - The Wall Street Journal has some details of what is in the suppressed report on the spy balloon incident, which of course was going to eventually start leaking. The Wall Street Journal reports that “while the balloon took in data during its eight-day passage over Alaska, Canada and a swath of contiguous U.S. states, the craft didn’t appear to send that information back to China” but a Pentagon spokesperson says it “did not collect information” while it was over the US, so there appears to be a bit of a contradiction. Either way, I doubt the pressure to release more of the report will abate. It is remarkable that the PRC was able to exercise leverage over the US to force it to not release a report about a spy balloon that flew over the US. You have to give the PRC side credit, they played a weak hand expertly against the Biden Administration.
Blinken’s comments hurt some feelings - US Secretary of State Blinken’s China-related comments Wednesday have drawn a reaction. But state media is still playing up the Kuliang Forum and Xi’s comments about the importance of US-China people-people ties. The PRC side really does not seem to like Blinken but they do want Treasury Secretary Yellen and Commerce Secretary Raimondo to visit.
Will Godot arrive before a big new stimulus? - Zhu Min joins the list of people cautioning against hope for any kind of large-scale stimulus, even as economic indicators and confidence weaken and at least one influential economist is arguing the government needs to step up with much more fiscal stimulus.
Prigozhin mutiny - Good pieces in The Economist and the Financial Times about how the weekend mess may be viewed by policymakers, and why something similar is extremely unlikely to be possible in Xi’s PRC.
National Ecology Day and progress on renewables - The NPC explains that the new annual National Ecology Day will fall on August 15th because that is the date of Xi’s scientific assertion “绿水青山就是金山银山 green waters and the green mountains are gold mountains and silver mountains”. However, as the China Media Project discussed in 2021, Xi was not the first official to use that term. Regardless, it is now his term, and as the NPC explainer stated “this proposition is the core concept of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization”.