Xi reiterates dynamic zero-Covid is correct, calls for technology self-reliance and “development independence”; Spiritual Americans
Today’s Essential Eight summary:
Xi reiterates dynamic zero-Covid is correct - Xi inspected Wuhan, I assume on his way to Shenzhen for the Hong Kong July 1 ceremonies. The main themes of his visit from the propaganda readout are the correctness of the dynamic zero-Covid policy; the need for S&T self-reliance and “development independence”, and the importance of grassroots community organization in anti-epidemic work and urban governance. In his reported comments Xi said "Strive for a relatively good performance in this year's economic development 争取今年我国经济发展达到较好水平", which sounds to me like a tacit admission that 5.5% GDP growth this year is not going to happen.
Xi on technology self-reliance and “development independence” - One of the main themes of Xi’s Wuhan inspection tour is technological self-reliance and "development independence 发展独立性", which I think may be a new phrase from Xi? If so, perhaps another worrisome sign of where he thinks things are headed with the West and especially the US.
NATO calls the PRC a “systemic challenge” - NATO has issued its updated “Strategic concept”, the language about the PRC is not unexpected but does mark a significant shift. Xi’s joint declaration with Putin and the PRC’s choice to side with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine made any other description by NATO impossible.
96.7 million Communist Party members - The Party is growing under Xi. You can pick your dependency factor for each Party member, but even if conservatively you calculate that each Party member has 2 dependents then that is nearly 300 million people with a connection to CPC. And as the story in today’s Financial Times notes, Marxism is a growing and bankable major for PRC university students.
101 years of the CPC and the dynastic cycle - July 1 is the 101st anniversary of the founding of the CPC. There are several long commentaries in the People’s Daily and Xinhua in advance of the anniversary. Xinhua and People's Daily also each have long articles on the questions of the "dynastic cycle", the topic of Mao's 1945 conversation in a Yan'an cave with Huang Yanpei. Mao answered that the way to avoid the fall of a dynasty was "democracy". Xi added a second answer over the last few years, one that featured prominently in the 2021 Third Historical Resolution--self revolution 自我革命--aka a continuous struggle against corruption within the ranks. These two pieces are likely timed for the July 1 101st anniversary of the founding the CPC, but I will not be surprised if some may see signs about one or more tigers to fall before the 20th Party Congress.
More coal wanted - It is Han Zheng’s turn to push for more coal and its more efficient and cleaner use.
More from Zhang Weiwei about “spiritual Americans” - Fudan professor Zhang Weiwei was the discussant at the June 2, 2021 Politburo Study Session on "strengthening the country's international communication". Lately he has repeatedly attacked “spiritual Americans” inside China, for among other things “working as tools of Western “ideological hegemony” (意识形态霸权)”. His rhetoric is really quite nasty and jingoist, but given his access to top officials in Beijing he can not be dismissed as some crank.
Thanks for reading.