What China Says

Now more than ever it is important that Australians understand the diverse perspectives within the People's Republic of China. 'What China Says' points out articles from China’s state media and sources close to the PRC in both Chinese and English as well as Chinese-language media outlets to draw attention to Chinese positions on a range of issues.

What does China say about...

People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

The Onus On Japan To Face Its History

人民日报, 15 August 2017

This article in the People's Daily, published on the 72nd anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender, criticises Japanese politicians’ failure of reflection upon Japan's war responsibilities.

‘Denying history will only hinder the development of a healthy sense of national identity. And the efforts to maintain peace should be based on Japan’s facing up to the history.’

The article criticises Japanese right-wingers who present Japan as a victim rather than a villain and describe the war as self-defence rather than aggression. The author also notes that this year, a documentary about Unit 731 (a biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin in 1933) from Japan’s major broadcaster NHK sparked huge controversy in Japanese society. According to the article, Japan should make more efforts to uncover its war crime to the Japanese public.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '正视历史,方能走向持久和平'
[Facing up to history to establish a lasting peace]

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Chinese Textbooks in UK Schools

北京青年报, 15 August 2017

Maths textbooks used in Shanghai’s public primary schools will be available for use in British primary schools from September. In this commentary from Beijing Youth Daily, the author argues that British schools adopting Chinese maths textbooks is evidence of China’s rising soft power. According to the author, it also provides a great opportunity to review school autonomy in China and to explore the true value of traditional Chinese education.

The author notes that adoption of personalised development should be promoted in the process of China’s modern education reform while similar ideas can be found in ancient books.

‘We need a rational evaluation and continuing exploration of Chinese and Western education. And how to preserve traditional culture while establishing new spirit (返本开新) in the education reform is worthy of consideration.’

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '上海教材走红英国,教改不只是西天取经'
[Shanghai textbooks become popular in Britain. Education reform is not just about learning from the West.]

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The Great Earthquake In Sichuan

中国青年网, 09 August 2017

This editorial on China Youth Net, published on the day after Jiuzhaigou earthquake (九寨沟地震), reports the timely emergency response provided by the Fire Brigade and the medical rescue reinforcements. The author criticises that people should never publish false online video or news regarding the disaster as they put people into panic and mislead the rescue forces when carrying out rescue operations.

‘As disaster has already brought a heavy injury, people need to remain calm and rational.’

The author argues that when a disaster comes, one needs to stay wise, faithful and lawful. Meanwhile, the author also noted that it is the responsibility of the government and the media authorities to disclose the information at the first moment, leaving no opportunity for rumours to be spread.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '天灾面前,不要让谣言带来次生伤害'
[When facing natural disasters the scourge, do not let rumours bring secondary damage]

People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

South China Sea Code of Conduct

人民日报海外版, 08 August 2017

In this commentary from People's Daily Overseas, the author highlights that ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China adopt the framework for South China Sea Code of Conduct (南海行为准则) develops a common recognition of the regional rules, creating a good atmosphere for further cooperation.

‘China and ASEAN need to enhance mutual trust and seek common ground with diplomatic wisdom and strategic alliance. Only in this way, China and ASEAN can jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.’

The author notes that the adoption of the framework went through difficult negotiations against foreign criticisms and interference. And according to the article, to maintain and stabilise public security, China is willing to contribute to the development of overall China-ASEAN relations.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '共同维护南海稳定局面'
[Jointly Safeguard Peace and Stability in the South China Sea]

People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

China’s aspirations for its military

人民日报, 01 August 2017

This commentary in the People's Daily emphasises the importance of a powerful military to realising the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. “A military that has the confidence and ability to defeat all enemies helps guarantee the realisation of the Chinese dream (中国梦).”

According to the article, the strength of China’s national defence force is neither commensurate with its status as the world’s second largest economy nor conducive to China’s national security needs. China is currently at a critical stage where it will face more and more foreign pressure and resistance, and a world-class military is necessary to prevent China from entering another Hundred Years of Humiliation.

The author also notes that the People’s Liberation Army has significantly modernised and is up to world standards.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '以强军梦托起中国梦'
[Use the dream of a powerful military to support the Chinese Dream]

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SINO-US TRADE

环球时报, 22 July 2017

This commentary in Global Times reviews the “Hundred Days Plan (百日计划)” made by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump at US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. The author argues that the plan is a great success of improving positive consensus on Sino-American business relations and the economic ties between the two countries.

The author notes that China, in its process of economic transformation, has its great demand for energy minerals, agricultural products, and high-tech products.

‘United States should take practical measures to relax the export restrictions on China to provide more convenience for cooperation and cuts its trade deficit with China.’

Read the original commentary in Chinese: ‘推动中美贸易平衡发展需双方努力’
[The development of balanced Sino-American Trade need to be promoted on both sides]

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The Renminbi joining the SDR

人民日报, 21 July 2017

In this People's Daily article, the author attempts to highlight that China must make full use of the dividends of the RMB joining the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), deepen domestic financial reform and strive to improve the international financial pricing and transaction functions of the currency.

According to the article, RMB internationalisation needs a mature international financial market for foreign trade and capital export. The author also notes that overseas investment and RMB bond market development leverage the RMB internationalisation.

‘RMB internationalization is an important way for China to actively participate in global economic governance and increase the supply of global public goods. It is also an important system guarantee for China to resist external shock and realize economic and financial security.’

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '人民币国际化需强化金融交易功能'
[Financial transaction function of Renminbi needs to be strengthened]

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Liu Xiaobo’s Tragedy

环球时报, 17 July 2017

This commentary in Global Times, published after the funeral of Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, argues that extremists should stop the consumption of Liu’s death.

Opposed to the foreign criticisms, the author highlights the fair treatment that Liu received before and after his death and the appropriateness of his funeral. According to this article, it is impossible for China to obtain a fair evaluation from the West as the conflict between Chinese and Western ideologies is deeply rooted.

‘China's public opinion strategy should focus on how to unite the nation, and constantly enhance the confidence of Chinese society.’

The article criticises overseas dissidents as the disruptors of China's steady progress and Liu Xiaobo's personal tragedy can be seen as a failed political speculation.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '等待中国崩溃的人都将空耗人生'
[Those waiting for China to collapse are only wasting their time]

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Understanding the Social Chaos in Western Society

人民日报, 16 July 2017

An editorial in People's Daily criticises the social chaos in the western society. The author argues that the underlying cause of chaos is the serious imbalance of right-wing scholar's voices commenting on politics. From the author’s point of view, western society is full of biased ideological opinion and lack of effective checks and balances.

As mentioned by the author at the beginning of the article, those right-wing scholars are "silent (不语)" about the social chaos in western society, namely, "the rise of populism and trade protectionism, the frequent occurrence of violent events, and extremism. The commentary is mainly focused on the reason why these scholars "choose to neglect (视而不见)" or "make no comments (知而不语)".
 
According to this article, left-wing scholars are "being outnumbered" by right-wing scholars. The author argues that the left-wing scholars are either "too weak" or lack of systematic theory or solution to make a substantive impact.

 

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '西方左右翼学者话语权严重失衡'
[Western scholars are seriously imbalanced in the right to speak]

People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

China’s responsibility for Pyongyang

人民日报, 12 July 2017

This article, written in English by Liu Rui, published in the People’s Daily, discusses the pressure on Beijing, by Washington and Tokyo, to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile weaponry.

The article argues that the United States and Japan’s accusations of China not living up to its responsibility in efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula are “totally groundless.” The article also articulates that the United States “cannot escape its own duty for stabilizing the situation.”

The author argues for China’s long term promotion of peace concerning the Korean Penisula, stating that China has “always” been playing a “constructive role in seeking a solution.”

The article concludes by suggesting that the shunning of responsibility by the US and Japan to China is not remedying the situation, but worsening it.

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G20

人民日报,7 July 2017

On the first day of G20 Summit in Hamburg, the People’s Daily published this article focusing on the increasingly important role the G20 is playing in international relations and global politics.

The article suggests that the G20 could serve three functions: “a shock absorber for global risk,” “a power source of sustainable development,” and “a hub for a global governance system.” The author expresses hope that the G20 Summit will continue to lead the world economy to strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

The article also mentions that by establishing coordination between the "BRICS countries" (金砖五国) and pushing forward its "One Belt, One Road" (一带一路) initiative, China is playing a significant role in addressing the challenges of global economic recovery and growth.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '让G20继续引领世界'
[Let G20 continue to lead the world]

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Trade With North Korea

 环球时报,6 July 2017

This editorial in the Global Times (环球时报) defends China against accusations concerning its trade with North Korea. While trade in the first quarter of 2017 has risen, this data should be read within the greater context, the editorial states.

The editorial argues that Chinese trade with North Korea remains extremely limited, particularly for a bordering state. The trade that China does conduct is ‘normal trade concerning the livelihood of the North Korean people’. China sees this as a ‘manifestation of humanitarian principles’.

China has still implemented sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council targeting coal and other strategic materials. Yet the author reiterates Beijing’s official position that sanctions – while important – will not denuclearise the Korean Peninsula: ‘Intensifying sanctions cannot solve the North Korea nuclear problem; the sooner Washington faces this fact, the better’.

Read the original article in Chinese: ‘应客观解读中朝一季度的贸易数字’ [China-North Korea Q1 trade figures must be read objectively]