Party Watch Weekly Report 2|2 2.6.2018-2.12.2018
By David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan, Brock Erdahl, and Sandy Lu
Party propaganda focused on countering US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s recent criticisms of China and highlighting China’s contributions to the international order and economic globalization (see Propaganda Work section).The Catholic Church in China published a five-year sinicization work plan (see United Front Work section).The National Supervision Commission placed Interpol President Ministry of Public Security Deputy Head Meng Hongwei under investigation for receiving bribes and violating the law (see Party Discipline section).The Central Committee General Office released a notice on making an overall plan for regulating supervision, inspection, and evaluation work meant to “further improve work style and resolutely overcome formalism and bureaucratism” (see Party Discipline section).International Department Minister Song Tao led a CCP delegation to Japan, where he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe among others (see International Liaison Work section).
Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi Meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
10.8 Politburo member and Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) and State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) separately met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Beijing.
According to Xinhua, Yang told Pompeo that “We urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes and stop carrying out actions which harm China’s interests. China will continue to adopt the necessary measures and resolutely defend its sovereignty, security, and development interests.” He also reaffirmed “China’s principled stand on China-US trade relations, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and other issues” and exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula with his American interlocutor.
Xinhua reported that Wang told Pompeo that “the US should… stop its mistaken practice of unreasonably criticizing China and harming China’s core interests” before turning to specific issues in the China-US relationship. In regard to the trade war, he emphasized that “China is still willing to resolve the problem through negotiations, but they must be carried out on a foundation of equality, good faith, and seriousness.” Wang continued by stressing that China “has never interfered in other countries’ internal affairs. In this, we are open and aboveboard and have a clear conscience.” He also stated that “China urges the US to… use practical actions to safeguard China-US relations and the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”
Xi Jinping Presides Over Third Meeting of Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission
10.10 Xi Jinping presided over the third meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission. During the meeting, he stressed that “a highly effective and scientific natural disaster prevention system must be built to… provide a powerful guarantee for protecting people’s lives and property and national security.” He also emphasized that “planning and building the Sichuan-Tibet railway has great and profound significance to the country’s long-term peace and stability and Tibet’s economic and social development. ”
The meeting pointed out that “enhancing natural disaster prevention capabilities is a… major test for the Party’s governing capacity.” It emphasized that “the Sichuan-Tibet railway is needed for promoting national unity, defending national unification, and consolidating border areas’ stability.”
Politburo Standing Committee members Li Keqiang, Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) also attended the meeting.
Zhong Sheng: Starting Rumors Is None Too Clever
10.6 People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng (钟声) column, which authoritatively transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, to criticize US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s recent claims that China is attempting to interfere in American elections and denunciations of China’s domestic and foreign policies for “not only distorting facts but also confusing right and wrong and having factual, logical, and temporal mistakes.”
The column argued against nine “misconceptions” in Trump and Pence’s remarks, including China targeted specific voters in response to US tariffs, stole US intellectual property, threatened stability in the Taiwan Strait by establishing diplomatic relations with El Salvador and other countries, militarized the South China Sea, and caused developing countries to fall into a debt trap. It then contended that they were motivated to make these remarks to “shift focus” from domestic problems, “improve the current state of the election” by “playing the ‘China card’ and finding a ‘scapegoat,’” and “put pressure on China” to help with the trade war.
According to the column, the US “has pursued a ‘double standard’” in regard to interference in other countries’ internal affairs since the country “has been engaged in ‘peaceful evolution’ and ‘color revolutions’ in all parts of the globe, readily carried out sanctions and suppression against other countries, and used international law when it accords with the country’s interests and abandoned it when it does not.” The column also accused the US of “never having stopped getting involved in and interfering with China’s internal affairs since the establishment of New China” and pointed to issues such as Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and human rights as evidence.
Commentator Series on Xi Jinping’s Important Speech on the Revitalization of the Northeast
10.8-10.10 People’s Daily published a commentator series on studying and implementing Xi Jinping’s important speech at the symposium on thoroughly promoting the revitalization of the Northeast.
The first article emphasized the need for “resolute confidence” in “promoting the Northeast’s comprehensive revitalization in a new era.” It argued that this is necessary since the Northeast “is an important pole of growth for the national economy” and revitalization will help “promote strategic adjustments in economic structure and improve our country’s international competitiveness in industry.”
The second article discussed how the plan to revitalize the Northeast is related to China’s overall regional development strategy and the coordinated development of China’s new industrialization, informatization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization.
The third article explained that the key to revitalizing the Northeast is upholding and strengthening the leadership of the Party.
Zhong Xuanli: Settling Accounts on China’s Contributions to the World
10.10 People’s Daily published an article under the byline Zhong Xuanli (钟轩理), which represents the Theory Bureau of the Central Propaganda Department, to argue against recent “denunciations” and “false and unwarranted declarations” from the American president and vice president. The article featured three sections respectively highlighting China’s contributions to “promoting world development,” “advancing world peace,” and “defending the international order.”
The first section aimed to counter the idea that “China is carrying out an ‘economic invasion’ of the world.” It contended that this cannot be true since China’s development “has expanded markets, created employment opportunities, and contributed wisdom to the world and promoted world development.” This section also criticized the notion that the American trade deficit with China shows that the US has been a “victim” of “policies and practices contrary to free and fair trade.” It emphasized that “China never forced anyone to buy or sell anything and also did not deliberately pursue a surplus” and this “problem does not arise from ‘China not buying’ but from ‘the US not selling.’”
The second section sought to refute the assertion that “China is pursuing ‘geopolitical expansion’ and using so-called ‘debt trap diplomacy’ to enlarge its influence.” It maintained that the American conception of foreign policy, which “takes geopolitics as the guiding ideology of diplomacy and regards the world as a ‘big chessboard’ for playing the game of dividing up territory,” is at odds with China’s. This section insisted that “China is resolutely playing the role of defender of peace and security” while the US “has continuously used the pretense of ‘upholding peace’ to launch wars.” It added that China “has never initiated a trade dispute” while the US “has abused ‘national security’” by making it into “a tool for arbitrarily obstructing foreign companies from entering the US.”
The third section attempted to debunk the belief that “China ‘does not respect the international order.’” It disputed this characterization since “China has already been integrated into the international organization system to a high degree” and “more and more countries hope China will play a bigger role in global governance.” This section also contrasted Chinese and American actions, asserting the US now “constantly damages the international order and constantly ‘withdraws from the group,’ threatens to ‘withdraw from the group,’ and even ‘abandons the group.’” It end by proclaiming that “in today’s world… pursuing unilateralism and clinging to zero-sum thinking have no future.”
Zhong Xuanli: The Economic Globalization Trend Is Unstoppable
10.12 People’s Daily published an article under the byline Zhong Xuanli to criticize American “sophistry” in support of protectionism and unilateralism and promise China “will continue to advocate free trade and multilateralism, deepen unity and cooperation, and strengthen global governance.” The article contained three sections addressing different aspects of the relationship between economic globalization and China-US trade frictions.
The first section argued that “economic globalization already is an irresistible trend of development.” After briefly tracing the history of globalization, it proclaimed that “more unexpected changes” and “the thorough development of economic globalization” are inevitable due to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, quantum communications, and biotechnology.
The second section contended that “the US is increasingly becoming economic globalization’s ‘disruptor’” since it has “opened fire in all directions on a global scale, erected high tariff barriers, made the World Trade Organization into a mere figurehead, and challenged the rules and regulations of free trade.” It claimed that these actions will not only result in the US “being hoisted by its own petard” but also harm the whole world since they “repeat the disastrous policies of the 1930s and are bound to endanger economic and political security.”
The third section depicted China as “a resolute defender of economic globalization” and pointed to “China’s external openness, especially since joining the World Trade Organization” as evidence. It also disputed the American portrayals of Chinese trading practices, asking “If China practices so-called ‘predatory economics’ with its trading partners, how come so many countries and regions are willing to do business with China? If Chinese trading practices are ‘predatory,’ how come a majority of countries maintain a trade surplus with China?”
United Front Work
Five-Year Work Plan (2018-2022) to Impel Our Nation's Catholic Church to Persist in the Direction of Sinicization
Catholic Church in China Website
10.8 A five-year work plan to “impel our nation's Catholic Church to persist in the direction of sinicization” was published on the Catholic Church in China’s website.
The first four main sections of the document focused on “guiding ideology, main objectives and basic content,” “deepening the political, legal, and societal recognition of the Chinese Catholic Church,” “promoting the excellent cultural mixture of China and the Catholic Church,” and “constructing theology that possesses the Chinese Catholic Church's characteristics.” The “guiding ideology” section specifically referred to a need to “impel our nation’s Catholicism to adapt to socialist society.” The “constructing theology” section noted a need to “summarize the thought and experience of sinicization in the history of the Chinese Catholic Church.”
The later half of the document focused on “bringing forth new ideas with Chinese characteristics in the Church's organization and form of administration,” “investigating the expression of Chinese elements in ceremonies,” “advocating for Chinese aesthetics in chapel design and religious drawings and music,” and “organizational implementation." The “investigating” section noted that, through a pattern of trials, the sinicization of Catholic ceremonies should be steadily put into effect.
Han Zheng Meets with Macao Special Administrative Region Legislative Council Members
10.10 Politburo Standing Committee Member and State Council Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正) met a Macao Special Administrative Region Legislative Assembly delegation in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. At the meeting, Han stated that he hopes that the Legislative Assembly will “earnestly carry out the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important directives pertaining to Macao work, comprehensively and accurately implement the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, resolutely safeguard the authority of the Constitution and Basic Law, and resolutely and effectively defend national sovereignty.”
Ministry of Public Security Deputy Head Meng Hongwei Put Under NSC Investigation
10.7 The Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervision Commission (NSC) released a statement late night on 7 October saying that “Ministry of Public Security deputy head Meng Hongwei (孟宏伟) is currently under NSC investigation for violating the law.”
In the early morning of 8 October, Ministry of Public Security head and secretary of its Party Committee Zhao Kezhi (赵克志) held a Party Committee meeting, revealing that Meng was put under investigation for receiving bribes and violating the law. The meeting unanimously expressed support for the investigation and said that “this is a result that [Meng] brought on himself by obstinately clinging to his course.” The meeting also stressed the need “to firmly oppose corruption and thoroughly eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang (周永康).”
One Is Not Reliable if One’s Political Beliefs Are Not Firm
China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Newspaper
10.8 Fudan University School of Journalism Dean Mi Bohua (米博华) published an article in the China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Newspaper to refute responses to his 25 September piece, which covered political standards for Party cadres. Mi criticized one of the common responses, which is “there are no political problems as long as [one] is not against the Party and socialism,” for not making logical sense. He emphasized that “recognizing the nature and goals of the Party, supporting the Party’s guiding principle, following the Party’s constitution, and implementing the Party’s theoretical path and policy are the bare minimum prerequisites for Party cadres.” Mi maintained that “the problem of corruption is not only financial crimes such as embezzlement and receiving bribes; its deeper roots are the problems occurring in the political stance and beliefs of some Party cadres” and advocated “screening for and disposing of dissenters and degenerates.”
Zhao Leji: Conduct Inspection Work Well to Provide a Strong Guarantee for Winning the Poverty Alleviation Battle
10.9 Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Leading Group on Disciplinary Inspection (中央巡视工作领导小组) head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) attended the second Central Inspection Work Mobilization and Deployment Conference. During the meeting, he pointed out that “the primary mission of the Party’s inspection work is to… ensure the implementation of the Central Committee’s decisions and deployments and safeguard the core status of General Secretary Xi Jinping and centralized and unified authority of the Central Committee with real actions.” He placed special emphasis on inspections related to poverty alleviation work and called for “deeply discovering the general problems that are prone to occur in tackling poverty alleviation.”
Central Committee General Office Releases Notice on Overall Plan for Regulating Supervision, Inspection, and Evaluation Work
10.9 The Central Committee General Office released a notice on making an overall plan for regulating supervision, inspection, and evaluation work (关于统筹规范督查检查考核工作的通知) to urge all regions and departments to “further improve work style and resolutely overcome formalism and bureaucratism.” The notice pointed out that problems such as high frequency, duplication, and a focus on formality instead of actual results afflict supervision, inspection, and evaluation work. It stated that these problems had exhausted the local- and grassroots-level cadres and fostered formalism and bureaucratism.
The notice stated that, with the exception of supervision, inspection, and evaluation centrally planned by the Central Committee and State Council, no departments of central or state institutions can initiate the supervision, inspection, and evaluation of local Party committees and governments without the approval of the Central Committee at the beginning of each year. In order to firmly eliminate formalism, the notice also stated that the amount of supervision, inspection, and evaluation done on counties, townships, villages, factories, mines, enterprises, and schools should be reduced by more than 50%.
Three Key Questions About Poverty Alleviation Inspection Work
10.11 The CCDI-NSC website released an article answering “three key questions” about inspection work focused on poverty alleviation. The article explained that inspection work plays a special role in winning the battle against poverty and ensuring that the Party’s line, principles, and policies are being implemented.
The article also discussed why the CCDI had chosen certain targets for these special inspection tours related to poverty alleviation work. These tours have 26 targets, all Party leadership groups in provincial governments (Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Guangxi, Chongqing, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, and Xinjiang), central and state agencies (the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, National Health Commission, and State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development), and financial enterprises (China Agricultural Development Bank and Agricultural Bank of China). The article said that these organizations targeted had all taken on special responsibilities in the battle against poverty.
CBIRC Releases Measures for the Implementation of Eight-Point Guideline Spirit
China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Newspaper
10.12 The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) Party Committee recently released measures for the implementation of the spirit of the eight-point guideline (中国银保监会党委贯彻落实中央八项规定精神实施办法). The measures declare that “supervision institutions and their supervisees should follow the principle of ‘non-material interaction’ (零物质往来),” meaning receiving gifts, money, or securities is strictly prohibited, and that “supervision institutions are forbidden to abuse their supervision power to interfere with supervisees’ operation and management activities such as extending credit and settling claims.” The measures contain 38 articles covering issues such as improving investigation, simplifying meetings and documentation, regulating official visit activities, strictly supervising and managing discipline, and reinforcing inspection. A CBIRC leader stated that “[these measures] embody the CBIRC Party Committee’s firm determination and strong will to push forward in strictly ruling the Party in all respects.”
Central Military Commission
13 Private Company Scientists Join PLA Rocket Force Think Tank
10.6 In order to build an innovative civil-military integration system and strengthen the military with science and technology, 13 scientists from private companies joined a “think tank” of the PLA Rocket Force to focus on weapons, equipment, missiles, and network information system technology. The scientists, including experts from the field of new materials, energy and power engineering, and robotics, all came from private companies with a good reputation and strong research and development abilities. They will serve in the Rocket Force for 5 years.
International Liaison Work
10.6 Politburo member and Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) went to the Vietnamese Embassy in China to offer his condolences over the recent passing of former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Đỗ Mười.
10.9 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the Moldovan Ambassador to China Denis Jelimalai.
10.10 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with Sri Lanka Freedom Party Vice Chairman and Sri Lankan Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe.
10.9-10.10 On October 9, Guo Yezhou met with a Burkinabé People’s Movement for Progress (MPP) delegation led by acting MPP Chairman and Minister of State Simon Compaoré.
The following day Politburo member and Propaganda Department head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) also met with the MPP delegation.
10.10-10.11 On October 10, International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) led a CCP delegation to Hokkaido, Japan to participate in the eighth meeting of the China-Japan ruling parties exchange mechanism. While there, Song delivered a keynote speech and listened to speeches from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai and Komeito Party Deputy Chief Yoshihisa Inoue.
The following day Song traveled to Tokyo and separately met with LDP Leader and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, National Governors' Association President and Saitama Prefecture Governor Kiyoshi Ueda, Japan Business Federation Vice Chairman and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation President Kosei Shindo, and Komeito Party President Natsuo Yamaguchi.
10.11 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with a Sudanese National Congress Party cadre study group led by National Assembly Security and Defense Committee Chairman Al-Hadi Adam Hamid.
10.8 Zhao Jianguo (赵建国) was appointed deputy head of the National Government Offices Administration.
10.8 Cai Zhenhua (蔡振华) was appointed vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
10.8 Chen Shifei (陈时飞) and Yan Jiangying (颜江瑛) were appointed deputy heads of the State Drug Administration.
10.12 Zhao Yong (赵勇) was appointed deputy head of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.
10.12 Yang Ning (杨宁) was appointed deputy head of the General Administration of Sport.