Party Watch Weekly Report 2|10 12.8.2018-12.14.2018
By David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan, Brock Erdahl, and Sandy Lu
The Politburo convened to discuss economic work in 2019 and to hear the work report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (see Senior Leaders section).The highly authoritativePeople’s Daily pen name, Ren Zhongping, was used to issue perspectives on the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening Up. The commentary emphasized that the success of reform is due to Party leadership (see Propaganda Work section).
Xi Jinping Sends Congratulatory Letter to Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70th Anniversary Symposium
12.10 Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to a symposium in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the letter, Xi emphasized that “the greatest human right is the people’s right to a happy life” and that “Chinese people are willing to work with people from every country to… establish a global human rights governance that is fairer, more reasonable, and more inclusive.”
Politburo member and Central Propaganda Department head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) read the letter to the symposium and gave a speech. He urged everyone to “conscientiously learn and implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’ important directives, tell a good story about China’s human rights, deepen theoretical research on human rights, promote exchanges in the field of human rights, and practically conduct well the different works that respect and safeguard human rights.”
Xi Jinping Presides over Politburo Meeting
12.13 The Politburo met to discuss plans for economic work in 2019. The meeting held that this year, “in the face of a complicated international environment and the arduous domestic tasks of reform, development, and stability… we have maintained sustained and healthy economic development and overall social stability, and have taken new steps toward achieving the first centenary goal.” The Politburo said that next year, “we will maintain economic operation within a reasonable range, further stabilize employment, stabilize finance, stabilize foreign trade, stabilize foreign investment, and stabilize expectations.”
The Politburo also heard the CCDI’s 2018 work report and discussed the plan for the work of constructing honest Party conduct and clean government for 2019. The Politburo agreed to hold the 3rd plenary session of the 19th CCDI from 11 to 13 January, 2019 and highlighted four “musts” for next year’s anti-corruption work: “[we] must adhere to arming our brains with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” “innovating the system and mechanism for discipline inspection and supervision,” “vigorously reducing the [existing problems] and effectively containing the increase,” and “constantly keeping in mind the requirement that it takes a good blacksmith to make good steel.”
Zhong Sheng: The Legitimate Rights and Interests of Chinese Citizens Are Inviolable
12.9 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 denounce Canada’s detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) at the behest of the United States. It described the arrest as “a serious violation of the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens” as well as “lawless, unreasonable, and callous.”
The article linked Meng’s detention to “all kinds of unfair tricks to pressure the Chinese company Huawei” but warned those employing such tricks “are doomed to be hoisted by their own petard.” It also warned that “China will not cause trouble, but it is absolutely not afraid to get into trouble. Nobody should underestimate China’s confidence, determination, or strength.”
The article ended with a call for Canada to “rectify its mistake, immediately stop violating the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, and give a proper justification to the Chinese people” to “avoid paying a heavy price for this incident.”
Commentator: Uphold the Sanctity of the Law, Safeguard Legitimate Rights (On Retired Military Personnel)
12.10 A People’s Daily commentator article addressed protests by Chinese veterans this year against the lack of job prospects for retired soldiers and inadequate services. The commentator article asserted the importance of upholding the legitimate rights and interests of retired military personnel and providing them with guaranteed services, emphasizing that the Central Committee and Xi Jinping attach great importance to this issue. Xi Jinping has repeatedly made important speeches and directives on the subjects of preferential policies for retired military personnel, supporting their employment and entrepreneurship, and the introduction of the “Veterans Protection Law.”
The commentator wrote that, while the overall situation is good, there are still some places where policies are inadequately implemented and there is insufficient support for veterans. Of the veterans that have demands, the “overwhelming majority are able to express them in a rational and legal manner” and all relevant departments must conscientiously study them and implement the policies to address them.
However, some people have “crossed a line, engaged in illegal and criminal activities to the extent that they have gathered crowds and made disturbances (聚众闹事) and violently assaulted police, have demonstrated an organized and violent tendency, have threatened Party and government organizations, ignored Party and state law, deviated from fairness and justice, disturbed social order, gravely harmed the image of retired military personnel, harmed the collective and individual interests of the people, have become a prominent factor affecting the social stability of certain localities, and have given rise to widespread and intense dissatisfaction among the people.”
The commentator urged veterans to recognize that China is a socialist country ruled by law, and that only by upholding legal authority and the sanctity of the law can social stability be maintained and can the country endure.
Xi Jinping Talks Belt and Road Published by Central Party Literature Press
12.12 A compilation of Xi Jinping’s remarks on the Belt and Road Initiative, beginning with his 2013 speech in Kazakhstan, has been published by the Central Party Literature Press. Commenting on the Initiative itself, Xinhua said the Belt and Road is becoming “China’s plan to participate in global open cooperation, improve the global economic governance system, promote common global development and prosperity, and promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind.”
Commentator: Adhere to a Path of Progress in Human Rights that Accords with National Conditions
12.13 A People’s Daily commentator article discussed the State Council’s recently published white paper on China’s progress in human rights since the start of Reform and Opening Up. It argued that China has “successfully walked along a path of progress in human rights that accords with its national conditions” over the last 40 years and, in the process, “created a new experience and new miracle for human rights protection in the history of the development of human civilization.”
The article elaborated that China’s progress in human rights “not only makes Chinese people enjoy ample human rights but also makes an important contribution to the development of humanity and provides a China experience and China program for protecting human dignity and enriching the cultural diversity of human rights.” It concluded with a call to “closely unite around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, always act as a proponent, practitioner, and promoter of human rights, and adhere to a path of progress in human rights that accords with national conditions.”
Ren Zhongping: Producing Major Historical Changes: Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening Up (Part I)
12.14 A People’s Daily commentary under the highly authoritative pen name Ren Zhongping (任仲平), standing for “importantPeople’s Daily commentary” (人民日报的重要评论), commemorated the 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up. The expansive 8,000 character commentary, which reviews the history of reform and opening, mentions Deng Xiaoping only three times and Xi Jinping thirteen times. Part II is forthcoming.
The commentary compared the contemporary reform and opening up period to the failed 100 Days’ Reform of 1898, saying that reform and opening up succeeded in the next century because of the “persistence and guidance of the Party.” “For 40 years, it is precisely because of the Party’s strong leadership that reform and opening has always had a stable institutional framework; it is precisely because of the Party’s strong leadership that China is capable of correctly handling the relationship between reform, development, and stability… Those who believe they have even a little understanding of the course of China’s reform and opening up will all agree with this conclusion: ‘that insisting on the leadership of the Party, and comprehensively and strictly ruling the Party, is the key to and foundation of the success of reform and opening up.
The commentary concluded that the “China moment” in world history has already begun. “[We will] continue to advance bravely down the path of reform and opening up to create history… Socialism with Chinese characteristics has ushered in a brighter future.”
United Front Work
Editorial: Writing a New Chapter in the Prosperity and Development of Guangxi
12.10 People’s Daily published an editorial celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The article highlighted Guangxi’s developmental achievements since 1958 and stressed its geographical advantage for the Belt and Road.
According to the editorial, the regional GDP of Guangxi in 2017 is 832 times of its GDP in 1958 and opening up will further release Guangxi’s development potential and allow it to play a bigger role in the Belt and Road construction.
The article also mentioned cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), saying that “as long as Guangxi unswervingly adheres to CCP leadership, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the correct path of solving ethical issues with Chinese characteristics, and the path of reform and opening up, Guangxi will certainly have an even more splendid tomorrow.”
Wang Yang’s Remarks After Hearing Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Work Report
12.10 Politburo Standing Committee member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) listened to a report from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Party committee and government. At the meeting, Wang emphasized that the Guangxi government and Party committee must become “even more tightly united around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core and take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristic for a New Era as a guide.”
Congratulatory Message from the Central Party and Government for the 60th Anniversary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
12.10 A congratulatory message from the CCP Central Committee, National People’s Congress Standing Committee, State Council, CPPCC National Committee, and Central Military Commission was delivered to their direct subordinates in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The message noted that the establishment of the autonomous region in 1958 is a great achievement in the history of China’s ethnic groups and that it starts a new chapter in the history of Guangxi in which cadres of every ethnic group in Guangxi together being “the master of their house” under the Party’s leadership. The message also noted that all the ethnic cadres of Guangxi should take Deng Xiaoping Theory, the “Three Represents,” the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide. The message concluded, “long live the unity of all ethnic groups in the country!”
Penetrate the Grassroots Through Preaching
Protestant Church in China Website
12.10 A meeting on preaching the sinicization of Christianity was held in Dunhua, Jilin by the China Christian Council and National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Jilin. Over 500 people participated in the meeting. A local preacher read from the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians and gave a sermon on patriotism and Christianity. After the sermon, the chairman of China Christian Council and National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in Dunhua read a proposal released by the 10th national meeting of China’s Christians related to Christian practice of the core values of socialist to the audience.
Seventh National Religious Group Joint Conference Held in Beijing
United Front Work Department
12.10 The Seventh National Religious Group Joint Conference was held in Beijing. The conference was attended by the main leaders of various national religious groups and the heads of China’s YMCA and YWCA National Councils. United Front Work Department Vice Minister and National Religious Affairs Administration head Wang Zuoan (王作安).
According to the article, all the attendees agreed on the need to “increase the levels of legalization (法治化), institutionalization, and regulation of the groups’ self-management, allow regulations and the system to play their roles in guiding the behaviors of religious personnels and masses, setting rules, and protecting rights and interests, and provide an institutional guarantee for resolving outstanding issues in today’s religious domain.”
Islamic Association President Attends Academic Seminar “Confucian Culture and The Sinicization of Islam”
China Islamic Association Research Department
12.13 An academic seminar on “Confucian Culture and the Sinicization of Islam” was organized by the Central Institute of Socialism and organized by the Jining United Front Work Department, Jining Ethnic and Religious Affairs Office, and Confucius Research Institute of China. The seminar was attended by the China Islamic Association head Yang Faming (杨发明) and more than 60 other participants. At the seminar, Yang gave a keynote lecture entitled “Thoughts on Persevering with the Direction of the Sinification of Islam.”
Li Shulei Meets Philippine Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman
12.11 Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Deputy Secretary and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) Deputy Head Li Shulei (李书磊) met with Philippine Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Chairman Dante Jimenez. Li said during the meeting that the Chinese side is willing to “reinforce experience exchange on anti-corruption and deepen practical cooperation on fugitive repatriation, asset recovery, and other fields… with the Philippines.” Jimenez praised China’s achievements on comprehensive strict governance of the Party and its anti-corruption battle and expressed willingness to reinforce anti-corruption cooperation between the Philippines and China.
CCDI and NSC Release Measures for Administration of Branches
China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Newspaper
12.12 The CCDI and NSC released measures for the administration of their branches stationed in Party and state organs at the central level. The measures regulate the kinds of measures and procedures that these branches can and should put in effect while conducting supervision, inspection, and investigation work. For instance, the measures stipulate that these branches can issue documentation for their personnel to investigate and freeze the assets of case-related units and personnel. They also establish a strict scope of authority and procedure for investigation and a review and approval mechanism for new measures.
China and Australia Sign Anti-Corruption and Law Enforcement Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding
12.13 CCDI Deputy Secretary and NSC Deputy Director Li Shulei (李书磊) met in Beijing with Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin and signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cooperation in anti-corruption and law enforcement. Li said during the meeting that China is willing to reinforce cooperation with Australia, and Colvin expressed the same. This marks the first time the NSC has signed an anti-corruption law enforcement cooperative document with a Western country since its establishment.
Xi Jinping Emphasizes Deepening Reform of the National Supervision System
12.13 The Politburo held its 11th collective study session on deepening reform of the national supervision system. Xi Jinping emphasized during the session the importance of “continuing the deepening of the Party’s discipline inspection system and the state’s supervision system.” He stressed that establishing a centralized national supervision system with a high level of authority and efficiency, as well as listing it as the first article of the plan to deepen reform of Party and state institutions (深化党中央机构改革方案), is to “build a supervision system that is led by the Party, provides comprehensive coverage, and with high [level of] authority and efficiency in order to form a cooperative force of supervision that mainly focus on internal Party supervision and connect with other [kinds of] supervision.”
International Liaison Work
12.6-12.8 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) went to Norway and individually met with Minister of Finance and Progress Party leader Siv Jensen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide.
12.8 Tibet Autonomous Region Party Committee Executive Deputy Secretary Ding Yexian (丁业现) led a CCP delegation to Austria to meet with Austria-China Friendly Association President and former President of Austria Heinz Fischer.
12.9-11 Song Tao went to France for several days and met with multiple prominent French politicians while there.
On December 9, Song met with the President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Renaud Muselier and National Assembly First Vice President and La République En Marche (LREM) national commission member Carole Bureau-Bonnard.
On December 10, Song met with foreign policy advisor to the President of France Philippe Étienne, French Communist Party National Secretary Fabien Roussel, and LREM General Delegate Stanislas Guerini.
12.9-10 The International Department and Germany’s Koerber Foundation jointlyheld the 169th Bergedorf Round Table in Beijing. This year’s theme was "EU-China Relations in a Changing Global Order".
12.10 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with European Green Party Co-Chair Reinhard Bütikofer.
12.11 Guo Yezhou met with a six Southern African political parties cadre study group led by Chama Cha Mapinduzi National Executive Committee Secretary for Party Ideology and Publicity Humphrey Polepole.
12.11-14 On 11 December, International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with an Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) cadre study group led by EPRDF Central Secretariat Deputy Secretary Melese Alemu Hirboro.
On 14 December, Song Tao also individually met with cadre study group.
12.12 Guo Yezhou met with an Ivorian Rally of the Republicans (RDR) cadre study group led by RDR Deputy Secretary-General David Soro.
12.12 Guo Yezhou met with Great Britain-China Center Chairman Martin Davidson.
12.13 Song Tao and Guo Yezhou met with an American Foreign Policy Council delegation led by former Commander of the United States Pacific Command Timothy J. Keating.
Guo Yezhou also individually met with the delegation on the same day.
12.13 Guo Yezhou met with a South African Communist Party (SACP) high-level cadre study group led by SACP First Deputy General Secretary Solly Mapaila.
12.14 Kou Wei (寇伟) was appointed chairman of State Grid Corporation of China.