Party Watch Weekly Report 2|14 1.12.2019-1.18.2019
By David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, James Gannon, Ann Listerud, and Sandy Lu
Qiushi released the speech Xi Jinping gave to the Politburo’s November meeting, which discussed prioritizing political correctness in the selection and promotion of Party leaders. He told the gathering that “creating a contingent of loyal, clean, and responsible cadres,” is crucial to the longevity of CCP rule (see Senior Leaders section). The Organization Department held a national meeting in Beijing this week where Organization Department Head Chen Xi stressed many of the same points (see Organization Work section).At the Central Conference on Political and Legal Work, Xi Jinping stressed “adherence to the Party’s absolute leadership over political and legal work” (see Senior Leaders section).
Wang Yang laid out the priorities for united front work in 2019 at the National United Front Ministers Conference (see United Front Work section).The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection held its third plenary session (see Party Discipline section).
Xi Jinping: Strive to Create a Contingent of Loyal, Clean, and Responsible Cadres
1.15 Qiushi, the Party’s theoretical journal, printed Xi Jinping’s speech at the November Politburo collective study session, where he discussed how the lessons of history can help the Party “create a contingent of loyal, clean, and responsible cadres” in order to improve governance and ensure the longevity of CCP rule. According to Xi, history shows that “whether or not a party or a nation can consistently cultivate outstanding leaders determines to a high degree whether that party or nation rises or falls, lives or dies.”
In his speech, Xi explained four things the Party must do in order to cultivate outstanding Party leaders, stressing that political correctness should be prioritized when selecting and promoting officials.
First, it must “strictly enforce ethical standards.” “For us communists,” he said, “the most important thing is to cultivate political morality… When selecting cadres, the first thing to look at is whether they are politically clear-minded and resolute.” Xi said that “some politically two-faced people put on a good show… but they are not without trace. As long as we are more attentive, pay closer attention, observe from more angles and more directions, we will be able to suss them out... We must be on high alert for people who vow solemnly about the ‘four consciousnesses’ and bombastically declare their positions in public, but in private disrespect the center, do not implement Party line, guidelines, or policies; people who again and again affirm the ‘four confidences’ and their belief in Marxism, but on major issues of principle, their attitude is ambiguous, and their position is unsteady; people who spout off about the country’s future destiny, but are filled with discontent and resent the organization when it comes to matters of personal reputation and status.”
Second, the Party must “insist on fair employment.” “We are employing people for a cause, we cannot simply rely on personal affinities and preferences when selecting cadres… We must choose the person that is best for the development of the cause, and the person that is most suitable.”
Third, the Party must “broaden employment horizons.” “To bring outstanding talent to the cause of the Party and the people, (we) must expand horizons, break free of old patterns… Many cadres work hard, and maintain high standards for themselves, but when major challenges arise they don’t have their own opinions, they only ever wish everything were peaceful, and their working ideas follow this line of thought; they seek a steady state of mind and they lack the spirit of struggle.” To solve this problem, Xi suggested “selecting cadres who have been honed in major struggles” and “putting cadres who have no practical experience through the exercise of major struggle.”
Fourth, the Party must “encourage the enthusiasm of cadres.” “The goal of comprehensive strict governance of the Party is to promote the development of a cause. Strict management is not about managing cadres to death, (and) it is not about making the entire contingent of cadres a pool of stagnant water…” “Strict management cannot be used as an excuse to evade responsibility or slack off.”
Xi’s speech was further publicized and explained in a Qiushi editorial.
Xi Jinping Attends Central Conference on Political and Legal Work and Gives an Important Speech
1.16 Xi Jinping attended the central conference on political and legal work that was held from 15 to 16 January in Beijing and gave a speech. His speech emphasized the need to “adhere to the Party’s absolute leadership over political and legal work and developmental thought that centers around the people.” Xi stressed that “the institutional reform of political and legal organs must be advanced” and that “a high-quality contingent for political and legal work must be built.”
At the end of the conference, Politburo member and Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) praised Xi’s speech for having provided “a grand blueprint for the development of the political and legal undertaking in a new era” and stressed that learning and implementing its spirit must be treated as the “prime political task.” Member of Politburo Standing Committee and Central Committee Secretariat Wang Huning (王沪宁) and Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正) attended the meeting.
People’s Daily started a commentator series (part 1 and part 2) to further publicize Xi’s speech.
United Front Work
United Front Studies Xi Jinping’s Important Speech at the “Letter to Taiwan Compatriots” 40th Anniversary Celebration
1.15 The United Front Work Department (UFWD) held a study session on Xi Jinping’s important speech at the “Letter to Taiwan Compatriots” 40th anniversary celebration. UFWD Head You Quan (尤权) told the gathering that Xi’s speech “clearly indicates the historical trend of the inevitable reunification of the motherland.” In addition, the document, which lays out Xi’s vision of “peaceful reunification,” should “guide Taiwan work in the new era.”
National United Front Ministers’ Conference Held in Beijing
1.18 The National United Front Ministers’ Conference was held in Beijing this week. Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) told the gathering that the “current tasks of reform, development, and stability have never been more important” and “the work of uniting the people’s will, wisdom, power, and understanding is even more arduous.”
Wang’s speech laid out the priorities for united front work this year:Constructing socialist political parties with Chinese characteristics and making efforts to demonstrate the superiority of China’s new type of party system.Building a sense of a Chinese community and working to construct ethnic relations characterized by equality, unity, mutual aid, and harmony.Resolving outstanding problems regarding religion and maintaining religious harmony.Maintaining the healthy development of the “non-public economy.”Strengthen the unity and guidance on non-Party intellectuals and members of new social classes, and expand the inclusiveness of the united front.Strengthening ideological and political construction.
Communiqué of the Third Plenary Session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
1.13 The 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection adopted a communiqué during its third plenary session, which reflects the basic points laid out in Xi Jinping’s speech to the assembly, found here.
After noting the achievements of 2018 and importance of 2019 to the realization of the first of the Two Centenary Goals, the communiqué emphasized that “discipline inspection and supervision work must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guide,” “resolutely defend General Secretary Xi Jinping’s position as the core of the Party Central Committee and whole Party,” “resolutely defend the authority and centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee.”
The communiqué called for all discipline inspection and supervision organs to: 1. “Unremittingly pursue the study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” 2. “Resolutely eliminate formalism and bureaucratism,” 3. “Innovate the discipline inspection and supervision system and mechanisms to practically transform systematic advantages into effectiveness of governance,” 4. “Focus on exploring innovation and realizing breakthroughs in daily and long-term supervision,” 5. “Continue deepening political inspections and improve the strategic organization of inspection tours,” 6. “Consolidate and develop the overwhelming victories of the anti-corruption fight,” 7. “Continue to bring corruption and conduct problems that are close to the masses under control,” and 8. “Strictly and practically strengthen the construction of discipline inspection and supervision teams.”
People’s Daily helped to further publicize the main points of Xi’s speech and the communiqué through a four-part commentator series (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4).
China and Denmark Sign Anti-Corruption Memorandum of Understanding
1.14 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) announced that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on anti-corruption had been signed by CCDI Deputy Secretary Li Shulei (李书磊) and Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman Jørgen Steen Sørensen. The CCDI-NSC reported that the MOU lays out a plan for future anti-corruption cooperation between the two sides, and will promote institutionalized exchanges and cooperation in the field of monitoring and anti-corruption.
According to the CCDI-NSC, Sørensen “positively evaluated China’s determination and effectiveness in fighting corruption,” and “expressed willingness to strengthen exchanges on anti-corruption experiences” between the two countries.
Tianjin Government Deputy Secretary-General Placed Under Investigation for Serious Discipline and Law Violations
1.16 The CCDI and NSC released a short announcement saying that Tianjin municipal government deputy secretary-general and member of its General Office’s Party Leadership Group Mu Huaiguo (穆怀国) has been placed under disciplinary and supervisory investigation for serious violations of discipline and law.
Former Shaanxi Provincial Party Secretary Zhao Zhengyong Put Under Investigation
1.16 The CCDI and NSC website announced on 15 January that former Shaanxi provincial Party Secretary Zhao Zhengyong (赵正永) has been placed under CCDI and NSC investigation for serious violations of discipline and law. According to an article published by the CCP news, Zhao is the second “centrally managed official” (中管干部) and the first provincial ministry level (正部级) official to be investigated since the start of 2019.
Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in December 2018
1.16 The CCDI and NSC released figures for violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines (中央八项规定) in December 2018.
The month saw 9,350 investigations, 13,411 punished individuals, and 9,748 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary action. The most common violations were granting subsidies and benefits, sending and receiving gifts or money, and dining out with public funds.
The cumulative figures for 2018 were 65,055 investigations, 92,215 punished individuals, and 65,558 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.
Central Military Commission
CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia Attends CMC Discipline Commission Meeting
1.15 The Discipline Inspection Commission of the Central Military Commission (CMC) held an meeting in Beijing this week. CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia (张又侠) attended the meeting and emphasized the need “to conscientiously carry out the spirit of the 19th CCDI’s third plenary meeting.” Zhang pointed out that Xi Jinping has “led the Party and the military to battle against all kinds of corruptions and unhealthy conducts” and that Xi has “saved the Party and the military and won their hearts.” He also emphasized that the “fundamental task of political supervision must be made a priority.” CMC Discipline Inspection Commission Secretary Zhang Shengmin (张升民) delivered a work report at the meeting.
PLA Daily Commentator: Write a New Chapter for the Military’s Political and Legal Work in a New Era
1.17 PLA Daily issued a commentator article promoting the study and implementation of Xi Jinping’s important speech at the Central Political and Legal Work Conference. The article stressed that “a modernized country must be a country that rules according to law, and a modernized military must be a military that rules according to law.” It emphasized that “the military’s political and legal work is a matter of the Party’s absolute leadership over the military and the purity, consolidation, security, and stability of the military.” The article urged the military to “defend political security,” “attach great importance to the ideological battle online,” “comprehensively and thoroughly purge the poisonous influence of Guo Boxiong (郭伯雄), Xu Caihou (徐才厚), Fang Fenghui (房峰辉), and Zhang Yang (张阳),” and “accelerate the comprehensive deepening of reform in the political and legal fields.”
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
He Lifeng: Promote the Creation of a Strong Domestic Market, Vigorously Push Forward High-Quality Economic Development
1.16 Qiushi published an article by Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Vice Chairman and National Development and Reform Commission Chairman and Party Secretary He Lifeng (何立峰).
In the article, He stated that promoting the creation of a strong domestic market means “thoroughly carrying forward the proper meaning of supply-side structural reform,” “satisfying the requirements of the people’s need for a good life,” “vigorously supporting the stabilization of social expectations and boosting market confidence,” and “fully manifesting the active choice of great power responsibility.”
He also called for “concentrating efforts on the eight characters of ‘consolidating, strengthening, upgrading, and free flowing’” (“巩固、增强、提升、畅通”八个字) as well as “focusing on resolving prominent problems restricting the high-quality development of the domestic market, especially institutional mechanisms and structural issues.” These included “strengthening the rectification of weak spots in scientific and technological infrastructure,” “accelerating the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries,” “cultivating growing and emerging industries,” “promoting effective investment through the coordinated development of urban and rural areas,” and “adhering to the supply side to actively expand new points of growth for consumers.”
Commentator Series: Profoundly Grasp Working for a Successful Economy Under the New Situation for Understanding Development Necessities (Part Four)
China Economic Daily
1.12 The final installment of the commentary series discussed in last week’s report was published with the title, “Responding to Social concerns and Proactively Guiding Expectations.” The article opens describing the relationship between societal expectations and economic trends, as the former affects investment and consumption. Thus, in the interest of stabilizing and enhancing the economy it is important to stabilize expectations.
The recent Central Economic Work Conference stated the requirement to “respond to social concerns in a timely manner and actively guide market expectations.” Good expectations lead to orderly and positive economic behaviors, while expectations of instability will breed pessimism and fear leading to market players making short term decisions leading to greater aggregate risk. Therefore, market guidance to ensure a virtuous cycle of expectations and development is an important part of modernizing the national governance system.
The article cites Xi Jinping’s expression of unwavering support for developing the private economy last year as a positive example. The basic positive trend and need to guide China’s economy towards high quality development remains unchanged. The article urges the need to continue to push forward comprehensive and deepening reforms. Only by eliminating all kinds of interference and distortions of expectations by not taking in the long term perspective, and by firmly developing confidence and expectations, can the task of successful reform and development be completed.
International Liaison Work
1.15 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a Czech Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) delegation led by KSČM Leader and Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Deputy Speaker Vojtěch Filip.
National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Dongming (王东明) also met with the delegation on the same day.
1.16 International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a Palestinian Fatah cadre study group led by Fatah Central Committee member and International Foreign Affairs Commission head Rawhi Fattouh.
1.16 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with the Vietnamese Ambassador to China Đặng Minh Khôi.
1.16 Wang Yajun met with a Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) cadre study group led by CPP Central Committee member and Ministry of Planning Secretary of State Rin Virak.
1.17 Li Jun met with an Iraqi Sadrist Movement (SM) cadre study group led by SM Executive Party Director Abdul Fattah Kadhim Taher al-Zubaidi.
1.17 International Department Head Song Tao met with Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz.
National Organization Department Meeting Held in Beijing
1.14-1.15 The Organization Department (OD) held a national meeting in Beijing. At the meeting, OD Head Chen Xi (陈希) emphasized the department’s need to “provide a strong organizational guarantee for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and striving for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.”
Chen described “political quality inspections” as being “the highest priority in cadre work.” He also called for “vigorously cultivating and recruiting loyal, clean, and responsible cadres of a high calibre,” “taking the spirit and ability of struggle as important content for education and training, an important aspect of assessment and inspection, an important basis for recruitment and appointment, and an important limit on management and supervision,” and “urging leading cadres to maintain the Communists’ strength of character, integrity, virtue, and courage.”
1.14 Lu Xi (卢希) was elected a member of the standing committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
1.14 Dai Junliang (戴均良) was appointed head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s discipline inspection and supervision team.
1.16 Mo Gaoyi (莫高义) was appointed head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervision Commission’s Propaganda Department.
1.16 Xing Zhihong (邢志宏) was appointed chief economist of the National Bureau of Statistics.