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...

Chinese Flag

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]

Chinese Flag

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.

Currency 1

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]

Currency 1

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]

Jackson Kwok

PRC Influence in Australia

5 July 2017

In this analysis Jackson Kwok examines how China's state media and Australia-based Chinese-language news outlets have covered the ongoing debate about PRC influence in Australia.

Read the analysis 'What Does China Say About PRC Influence in Australia?'

Currency 1

Online Trading

人民日报, 3 July 2017

This commentary in the People's Daily predicts that trading platforms for second-hand goods are going to be the next big trend in China’s booming e-commerce industry. However, there are still significant obstacles facing the growth of the market for second-hand goods and consumer-to-consumer trading.

The e-commerce industry and the government still lack the necessary resources and technology to manage and supervise this kind of trading to ensure that consumers are protected, that a trustworthy relationship can be established between buyer and seller, and that trading is fair and ethical.

The author argues that the government should focus on improving its research in this field and create mechanisms for reducing the risks associated with the trading of second-hand goods. In particular, the article emphasizes the importance of the government’s role in providing logistical support and improving after-sale services.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '网络交易,分享从信任开始'
[Online trading - Sharing starts with trust]

Chinese Flag

Basic Law of Hong Kong

人民日报, 1 July 2017

This commentary published in the People’s Daily examines the implementation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong (香港基本法) and its success in guaranteeing the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong over the past 20 years. The author argues that the “One Country, Two Systems” (一国两制) principle embodied in the Basic Law provides a new approach to the development of global civilisation and presents an alternative to western political theories on international relations.

According to the article, the Basic Law demonstrates that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle is an effective solution for the vitality, stability and sustainability of Hong Kong and should be viewed as a new way of managing and sustaining relations between differing systems in order to improve the global community.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: '通过基本法凝聚社会共识'
[Consolidate social consensus through the Basic Law]

Chinese Flag

One Country, Two Systems

人民日报 海外版, 29 June 2017

This People’s Daily article, published on the day before the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, attempts to highlight the success of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ (一国两制) principle. The author argues that it has been essential to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and will continue to be a pillar of Hong Kong governance.

‘The past 20 years amply prove that thoroughly advancing the “One Country, Two Systems” is a necessary requirement in realising Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, that it meets the fundamental interests of the state and the nation, and that it aligns with Hong Kong’s overall and long-term interests.’

The article notes that further implementation will undoubtedly face obstacles given previous ‘inharmonious’ events in recent years such as the Occupy Central movement and riots in Mong Kok. In these circumstances, the Central Government must remain resolutely confident and determined in the One Country, Two Systems principle.

Read the original article in Chinese: “一国两制”具有强大生命力 [The “One Country, Two Systems” policy has powerful vitality]

Chinese Flag

Nationalistic Youth

人民观点, 12 June 2017

This commentary in People’s Daily argues that Chinese citizens born after the 1990s are highly patriotic and uniformly opposed to any foreign criticisms of China, especially as foreign countries face many of the same problems that China faces.

The articles cites a 2017 survey of university students in Beijing that found that 80-90% of them approve of the Chinese Communist Party and believe that the CCP’s vision to develop China into a strong nation that is confident in its own culture and institutions is within sight.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: “实现中国梦90后有担当” [To realise the Chinese Dream, the post-1990 generation is responsible]

Question Mark square_WhatChinaSays

US withdrawal from Paris accord

环球时报, 1 June 2017

An editorial in Huanqiu Shibao (环球时报) criticises President Trump over his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, but reassures audiences that even without the US, global action on climate change will progress: 'We believe that so long as China and the EU continue to implement the Paris Agreement, UN climate action will not collapse'.

The editorial argues that US withdrawal from the agreement would 'clearly prove to the world that the United States is selfish and irresponsible'.

Chinese officials have reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to the Paris accord, but the state media has stopped short of portraying China as the global leader in combating climate change, contrary to current discourse in the Western media.

Read the editorial in Chinese: ‘没有美国,巴黎气候协也会往前走’ [The Paris Climate Change Agreement will still move forward without the United States]

Chinese Flag

culture & soft power

新华网, 30 May 2017

This Xinhua commentary, published on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, calls for all Chinese citizens to celebrate and value traditional Chinese culture. It writes that 'without a cultural revival first, there can be no great rejuvenation of the Chinese people'.

The commentary argues that Chinese people should have confidence in their own traditional culture - a culture that not only has over 5000 years of continuous history and made indelible contributions to advancing human civilisation, but continues to influence other cultures. Both modern China and the world need traditional Chinese culture.

The commentary claims that by preserving traditional culture and mixing it with other cultures and modern values, this can strengthen Chinese soft power.

Read the original commentary in Chinese: “让传统文化在创新中获得更大张力” [Let traditional culture gain more force in innovation]

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)

Naval modernisation

新华社, 24 May 2017

This article in Xinhua discusses Xi Jinping's declaration to build a "strong and modern" navy as a component of building Xi's "Chinese Dream" (中国梦). The speech was given during an inspection of the PLA Navy Headquarters in Beijing on May 24.

Xi articulates the importance of innovation when modernising the navy, and pays particular reference to seizing "scientific and technological innovation", promoting both offshore and high sea forces. But Xi also notes that strengthening the PLAN requires ideological and political education. This includes adhering to the ideology that the military must "unswervingly uphold the absolute leadership of the Party over the military".

The article makes special note of purging the harmful influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, corrupt former senior Central Military Commission officials who had been purged as part of Xi's anti-corruption campaign.

Read the article in Chinese: ''习近平:努力建设一支强大的现代化海军"
[Xi Jinping: Strive to build a strong and modern navy]

Currency 1

The Belt and Road Forum

新华社, 14 May 2017

In this commentary, Xinhua lauds the success of the Belt and Road Forum, but argues that China must remain pragmatic. Behind the rhetoric of 'win-win cooperation and mutual gain', Beijing is aware of the extensive structural challenges that confront the OBOR initiative. Whether Beijing can translate rhetoric into practical solutions to these structural challenges will in large part determine the success or failure of the OBOR mega-project.

'Concrete action and real investment publicly declares China's firm confidence in pushing forward "One Belt One Road" construction, its bright attitude of solidarity with the countries and peoples involved, and its tireless quest to construct a community of common destiny for mankind.'

Read the original commentary in Chinese: ‘让务实举措助力“一带一路”行稳致远’ [Let pragmatic initiatives help the “One Belt One Road” initiative remain stable]

Jackson Kwok

North Korea

5 May 2017

In this analysis Jackson Kwok examines how China's state media has covered growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Read the analysis 'What Does China Say About North Korea?'