Party Watch Weekly Report 2|10 12.8.2018-12.14.2018
By David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, and Sandy Lu
The next Weekly Report will be published on January 7th, 2019.
40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening Up Celebration
Ren Zhongping: The Common Undertaking of Hundreds of Millions: Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening Up (Part II)
12.17 The highly-authoritative People’s Daily pen name, Ren Zhongping (任仲平), standing for “important People’s Daily commentary” published Part II of its commentary on the 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up (see last week’s report for Part I). Xi Jinping was quoted as saying “reform will not stop, and opening will not stop. China will surely have a new and greater miracle that will impress the world,” and “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will certainly be realized in the process of reform and opening up.” The commentary stated that these are “declarations and commitments of a party full of self-confidence and a nation facing the future with confidence and determination.”
Xi Jinping: Speech at the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening Up
12.18 In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up, Xi Jinping delivered a major speech marking the occasion. The speech reiterated most of the themes of other recent addresses, such as his report to the 19th Party Congress. Most importantly, Xi repeated the imperative of “ensuring the Party’s leadership over all work and constantly strengthening and improving the Party’s leadership” throughout the speech.
Xi also discussed realizing China’s ambitions of great power status, saying “If we are such a big country, we should have ambitions.” He emphasized his position on Taiwan and other territorial issues, saying China has “the firm political determination and formidable capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity--the sacred territory of the motherland cannot be split!”
Xi repeatedly emphasized the role of Marxism in China’s reform process, saying that “for 40 years… we have insisted on the guiding role of Marxism” and that it is the historical responsibility of the Chinese people to continue developing Marxism in the 21st century.
Xi concluded by saying that the “entire Party and Chinese people of all ethnicities should be more closely united around the Party Central Committee, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics… and constantly realize the people’s yearning for a better life in the new era.”
Editorial: Create a New, Bigger Miracle for a New Era
12.18 People’s Daily published an editorial celebrating the 40th anniversary of the initiation of Reform and Opening Up, mentioning Xi Jinping three times but making no mention of Deng Xiaoping. The editorial praised Reform and Opening Up as “modern China’s most distinct characteristic and our Party’s most distinct flag in a new historical period.” It subsequently described “carrying out Reform and Opening to the end” as the “common aspiration of hundreds of millions of Chinese people and the key to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
The editorial stated that “recently, trade protectionism and unilateralism have increased to some extent internationally and a deglobalization trend has reared its head” before calling for China to understand “economic globalization is an irreversible major historical trend and opening is the fundamental way forward for realizing national prosperity, wealth, and power.” As a result, it advocated for “resolutely promoting a higher level of openness,” “constructing an open world economy,” and “building a community of shared future for mankind.”
Guo Jiping: Our Great Story of This Era
12.18 A commentary published under the People’s Daily’s pen name “Guo Jiping” (国纪平), which stands for “important commentary related to international affairs” (有关国际的重要评论), praised the achievements of 40 years of reform and opening up.
Guo Jiping stressed that China’s reform emphasized both self-reliance and win-win cooperation, both socialist system and the “invisible hand,” and both “crossing the river by feeling the stones” (摸着石头过河) and top-down design. “The rise of China and the revival of the Chinese people is no longer merely a nation regaining its past glory but the rise of a civilization and the success of a system.” The article stated that the “marvelous history of reform and opening up” has made China “more confident and more determined in moving forward” and that China will “unswervingly walk its own path,” continue deepening cooperation with each country, and “create new and greater miracles that will impress the world.”
Central Economic Work Conference Held
12.19-12.21 The annual Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing. Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang delivered important speeches at the conference. Politburo Standing Committee members Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), and Han Zheng (韩正) were all in attendance.
The meeting outlined a number of economic accomplishments made “under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core” over the past year. These included “having a good start in the Three Tough Battles, carrying forward supply-side structural reform, stepping up Reform and Opening, prudently responding to China-US trade frictions, continuing to improve the livelihood of the people, maintaining sustained and healthy economic development and overall social stability, and making new steps toward the realization of the comprehensive construction of a moderately prosperous society.” The meeting noted that these accomplishments “did not come easily.”
The meeting emphasized that China continues to faces challenges, including “worrisome changes amid steady economic performance, a complicated and grim external environment, and an economy facing downward pressures.” Yet, it also stressed that “these are problems of progress” and went on to affirm that China “is still in and will long be in a period of strategic opportunity.”
The meeting pointed out that “the principal contradiction in China’s economic performance is still based in supply-side structure.” As a result, it called for “unwaveringly adhering to supply-side structural reform as the mainline, adopting more means of reform, using more measures for marketization and the rule of law, and concentrating on the eight characters of ‘consolidating, strengthening, upgrading, and free flowing.’”
The meeting confirmed the need to pay special attention to seven tasks next year. These tasks are: 1. “Promoting high-quality development in the manufacturing industry,” 2. “Promoting the formation of a strong domestic market,” 3. “Making solid progress in the rural revitalization strategy,” 4. “Promoting the coordinated development of regions,” 5. “Accelerating the reform of the economic system,” 6. “Promoting comprehensive external opening,” and 7. “Strengthening guarantees of and improvements in the people’s welfare.”
Central Committee General Office Publishes Trial Provisions on Working Procedures for Party Leadership Groups to Discuss and Decide Party Members’ Punishment
12.16 The Central Committee General Office released trial provisions on working procedures for Party leadership groups to discuss and decide Party members’ punishment (党组讨论和决定党员处分事项工作程序规定(试行)) and sent out a notice requiring each region and department to conscientiously follow and implement. The provisions require Party leadership groups to hold collective discussions according to the procedures before making decisions and carrying out Party disciplinary punishment. The provisions will come into effect 1 January, 2019.
NSC Holds Its First Guest Supervisor Hiring Meeting
12.17 National Supervisory Commission (NSC) held a guest supervisor hiring meeting for its first 50 guest supervisors. Politburo standing committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) secretary Zhao Leji (赵乐际) entrusted Politburo member, CCDI deputy secretary, and NSC director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) to attend the meeting and issue letters of appointment.
During the meeting, Yang urged the guest supervisors to first effectively implement the duties of supervising discipline inspection and supervision organs, and then effectively assume the role of providing advice, consulting, and guiding public opinion. He also stressed that “discipline inspection and supervision organs should build a working platform, innovate [their] working mechanism, and strengthen the guarantee for services to create favorable conditions for guest supervisors to fully fulfill their duties.”
The full list of guest supervisors can be found here.
Former China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Party Leadership Group Deputy Secretary and General Manager Sun Bo Expelled from Party and Public Service
12.17 The CCDI and NSC filed an investigation against former China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Party Leadership Group Deputy Secretary and General Manager Sun Bo (孙波). The investigation stated that Sun violated political discipline, deviated from requirements set by the Central Committee, practiced fraud, and harmed the interests of the state-owned enterprise; throughout the investigation period, Sun concealed the truth and deceived the system.
In light of Sun’s violations, he has been expelled from the Party, expelled from the civil service, required to surrender is illegally acquired material gains, and will be prosecuted.
Former Sinochem Deputy General Manager Investigated
12.17 CCDI and NSC released a short announcement saying that former Sinochem Party leadership group member and deputy general manager Du Keping (杜克平) is currently under disciplinary and supervisory investigations for serious violations of discipline and law.
CCDI and NSC Hold a Meeting to Convey the Spirit of Central Economic Work Conference
12.21 Politburo member, CCDI deputy secretary and NSC director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) presided over a meeting to stress the importance of learning and implementing the spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference. Yang emphasized that “disciplinary inspection and supervision organs at all levels should be more closely united around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core” to “ensure that each critical decision of the Central Committee on economic work is being implemented and showing results.”
Deputy Head of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies Expelled from Party and Dismissed from Public Office
12.21 The CCDI and NSC announced that former Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Party Committee Secretary and deputy head of CASS’s Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies Li Chunhua (李春华) was expelled from the Party and dismissed from public office for serious violations of discipline and law. The announcement stated that Li had provided false information to the organization for personal files, failed to fulfill duties, and was involved in bribery.
Central Military Commission
Fourth Meeting of CMC National Defense and Armed Forces Reform Leading Group Held
12.18 Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chairman, and the executive deputy head of the CMC leading group for deepening reform on national defense and the armed forces Xu Qiliang (许其亮) presided over the fourth meeting of the leading group and gave a speech. The meeting made a few arrangements on the leadership, institutional setting, task assignment, and operational mechanism of the work to reform the institution. It also emphasized that “effectively implementing the policy and institutional reform should be treated as a political requirement.”
CMC vice chairman, and the leading group’s deputy head Zhang Youxia (张又侠) and members of CMC and the leading group Li Zuocheng (李作成) and Miao Hua (苗华) attended the meeting.
Wei Fenghe Meets Russian Deputy Defense Minister and Russian Armed Forces’ Chief of Main Directorate for Political-Military Affairs Andrey Kartapolov
12.20 Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) met with Russian Deputy Defense Minister and Russian Armed Forces’ Chief of Main Directorate for Political-Military Affairs Andrey Kartapolov in Beijing. Wei said during the meeting that “Sino-Russian relations are currently in their best period in history” and that “both sides have coordinated and cooperated closely on critical international security issues.” Wei also expressed the hope that China and Russia will continue developing their comprehensive strategic partnership. Kartapolov said that Russia cherishes its partnership with China and is willing to strengthen cooperation on all fields including political-military affairs.
International Liaison Work
12.15-18 At the invitation of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) led a CCP delegation to Australia. While there, he attended the 48th ALP National Conference, visited ALP Leader Bill Shorten and the main members of the Shadow Cabinet, and met with Liberal Party President Nick Greiner, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, and Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall.
12.17 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) and International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with a Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) delegation led by AKP Deputy Chairman Cevdet Yılmaz.
12.17 Song Tao and Li Jun met with a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party young Diet member delegation led by House of Representatives member Tsushima Jun.
12.17 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with a delegation of political parties of western Pakistan led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Secretary General and Senate Committee on Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Chairman Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.
12.18 Song Tao and Qian Hongshan met with Social Democratic Party of Germany General Secretary Lars Klingbeil.
Qian Hongshan also held working talks with Klingbeil on the same day.
12.18 Li Jun met with a Communist Party of Vietnam Central Propaganda Department (CPV/CPD) delegation led by CPV/CPD deputy head Bùi Trường Giang.
12.19 Qian Hongshan met with the Italian Ambassador to China Ettore Francesco Sequi.
12.19-12.21 At the invitation of the Government of Tonga, Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) led a CCP delegation to the Kingdom of Tonga. While there, he individually met with King Tupou VI, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Lord Fakafanua, and Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika.
12.18 Pei Jinjia (裴金佳) was appointed deputy head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
12.19 Shen Changyu (申长雨) was appointed secretary of the National Intellectual Property Administration’s Party leadership group.