Center for Advanced China Studies
Weekly Report 2|32 6.1.2019-6.7.2019
David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, Sandy Lu, and Daniel Shats
Official media continued to focus on the trade conflict with the United States, blaming the US for escalating tensions (see Propaganda Work).Official media also propagated the key takeaways from Xi’s speech at last week’s meeting on the “remaining true to our original aspiration and keeping our mission firmly in mind” education campaign, intended for the entire party this June (see Propaganda Work).United Front Work Department Head You Quan led a CCP delegation to Lithuania and Iceland to discuss BRI, China-EU relations, and trade (see United Front Work).
Central Committee and State Council General Offices Publish Opinion on Improving Administrative Adjudication System and Strengthening Related Work
6.2 Xinhua reported that the CCP Central Committee and State Council General Offices released an opinion on improving the administrative adjudication system and strengthening related work (关于健全行政裁决制度加强行政裁决工作的意见) as well as a notification requiring all regions and departments to conscientiously implement the opinion.
The opinion called for “placing emphasis on doing administration adjudication work well in disputes over natural resource rights, intellectual property rights and compensation, government procurement, and other areas.” It advocated “strengthening administrative adjudication mediation work” via “probing the establishment of ‘one-stop’ dispute resolution service platforms in areas with many administrative adjudication disputes.”
Xi Jinping Issues Important Directive on Garbage Classification
6.3 Xi Jinping issued an important directive on garbage classification (sorting). He stressed that “garbage classification is related to the living environment of the masses and economical usage of resources and is an important embodiment of the civilizational level of a society.”
Xi stated that “the key points in carrying out garbage classification are strengthening scientific management, creating effective mechanisms, and promoting good habits.” He also indicated that 46 major cities will need to establish garbage classification systems by 2020 and all cities at the prefecture-level and above will need to do so by 2025.
People’s Daily further publicized Xi’s directive with a commentator article.
Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin
6.5 Xi Jinping conducted a state visit to Russia this week, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and commemorated 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two leaders signed statements announcing that China-Russia relations were being upgraded to “a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era,” and pledging to jointly safeguard global strategic stability.
Xi Jinping said that in response to rising global instability, the two countries should “enhance strategic communication and collaboration” on core interests, including economics, trade, investment, energy, science and technology, aerospace, agriculture and finance. He also emphasized the need to promote regional integration, including joint construction of the Belt and Road with the Eurasian Economic Union, and stated that China and Russia would continue to defend the international system this is based on international law.
Putin reiterated the benefits of China-Russia cooperation and the need to strengthen the relationship, and announced that Russia was willing to provide China with sufficient oil and natural gas, and to increase exports of soybeans and other agricultural products to China.
PD Editorial: Strive for the Party’s Historic Mission for a New Era
6.1 People’s Daily published an editorial supporting and elaborating on Xi Jinping’s “remaining true to our original aspiration and keeping our mission firmly in mind” education campaign. At the education work conference on this theme, Xi stated that “to seek happiness for the Chinese people and to revitalize the Chinese nation is the original aspiration and mission of the Chinese Communists,” and provided guidance and encouragement to Party members to pursue this foundational mission.
Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the editorial emphasized the importance of remembering the Party’s history and maintaining the tradition of continuous self-revolution to meet the difficult challenges of the new era and achieve the China Dream. It also underscored the urgent need to strengthen the Party, study Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and consolidate the Party’s class foundation and mass line.
Wu Yuehe: Stand on the Side of Justice and Resolutely Counter Hegemonic Behavior
6.1 People's Daily published a commentary in support of China’s recently announced retaliatory policies against the United States, which include raising tariffs on US goods and establishing a list of “unreliable entities”: foreign companies, organizations and individuals that defy market norms, violate contracts, or seriously harm Chinese business interests in pursuit of non-economic goals.
The article specifically cited the US’s export restrictions on Chinese high-tech companies and its undermining of China’s industrial and supply chain security as valid justifications for “decisive action,” in accordance with China’s Foreign Trade Law, Anti-Monopoly Law, and National Security Law. It contrasted China’s “fair and reasonable” and “law-abiding” behavior with the United States’ protectionism, unilateralism, and escalation of trade frictions, and warned that American politicians were wrong to believe China would suffer more from the trade war than the US. As the article put it, “for the United States, what is really dangerous at the moment is not the trade deficit problem, but the cognitive deficit problem.”
White Paper “China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations” Released
6.2 PRC State Council Information Office published a white paper titled “China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations.” The white paper contains three main parts, stressing that the trade friction initiated by the US has damaged both countries’ interests and the world economy, the US is the one that’s backtracking, and that “China is committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit.”
In detail, the white paper reiterated that “China is willing to work together with the US to find solutions” but emphasized that “China will not compromise on major issues of principle.” It highlighted how the tariff has harmed the United States’ own interests through increasing production costs, driving up domestic prices, impacting US economic growth and people’s livelihoods, and creating barriers for US exports to China. It criticized US actions as “undermining the authority of the multilateral trading system,” “threaten(ing) global economic growth,” and “disrupt(ing) global industrial and supply chains.”
The full text of the white paper is available in English.
PD Commentator: Earnestly Implement the Main Requirements of the Education Campaign
6.3 A PD Commentator Article discussed implementing General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech at last week’s education work conference themed “remaining true to our original aspiration and keeping our mission firmly in mind.” The article focused in on elucidating the meaning of “defending the original aspiration,” “undertaking the mission,” “finding the gaps,” and “grasping implementation.”
“Defending the original aspiration” was explained as wholeheartedly remembering the CCP’s fundamental goal of “serving the people” and remembering its objective for struggle is the people’s yearning for a beautiful life; it entails never forgetting that the Party comes from the people, rooted in the people, and that the victorious advancement of the Party has the inexhaustible origin of strength in the support of the masses. The Party will never split from the people, scorn the people, or ignore the people’s suffering.
“Undertaking the mission” was explained as remembering the Party’s historical mission of undertaking and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, actively and with a long-term vision dealing with risks and challenges to selflessly overcome all difficulties.
“Finding the gaps” was described as finding discrepancies with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the CCP Central Committee’s strategic decisions, the Party’s constitution and regulations, the masses’ new expectations, advanced models, maintaining high standards, the “four consciousnesses,” “four confidences,” and “two defenses,” the masses’ viewpoints and feelings, virtue cultivation, and upright work style.
“Grasping implementation” was explained as transforming Xi Jinping Thought into practical actions that advance reform, stable development, and party building, turning the original mission into the agenda of party cadres, an innovative spirit, industrious work, putting down the roots of Party line policies, solving the intense problems reported by the masses, and ceaselessly advancing the masses’ sense of gain, happiness, and security.
For 98 years, the article said, the Party has remained faithful to its original mission and intentions, and today through the opening of the educational campaign it will better pursue victory after victory.
In the following days, People’s Daily continued to publish Commentator Articles to stress the importance of “building the Party based on ideology” and implementing the goals set by the education campaign with “high standards” and for Party Committees (Party Leadership Groups) to take on the responsibilities to lead and supervise the implementation of the campaign (PD Commentator articles part 1, part 3, part 4, part 5).
Zhong Sheng: US Bears Full Responsibility for Serious Setback in Consultations
6.3 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 emphasize that the white paper published on 2 June, which is titled as “China's Position on the Economic and Trade Consultations,” has introduced clearly the Chinese government’s principles and stance regarding the trade consultations between China and the US.
Zhong Sheng stated that during the consultation process, China has always adhered to being equal, mutually beneficial and honest. It criticized that United States’ current “stupid and distorted econmic and trade policy” is torturing the bilateral economics that used to be mutually beneficial.
Wu Yuehe: Science is Not About Selfish Indulgence
6.4 People’s Daily published a commentary highlighting the study abroad warning issued by the Ministry of Education on 3 June. The commentary stated that the warning is “unusual” and reflects the increasingly complicated situation of education exchange and cooperation between China and the US under the ongoing trade fraction.
The commentary stated that some Chinese personnel have experienced difficulties in obtaining US visas. It criticized the US for politicizing some of the normal educational exchanges and cooperation between China and the US, suppressing them in the name of a “China threat” and “Chinese infiltration,” tarnishing the Confucius Institute for being a tool of China to expand political influence and propagate China’s values in the US, and framing Chinese students and scholars for conducting “non-traditional espionage” activities.
The commentary assured that Chinese students and scholars are not a security threat to the US and emphasized that “educational exchange and cooperation are an important component of China-US relations” and that “China is the United States’ largest source of international students.”
Zhong Sheng Series - Clearly Seeing the True Colors of US Politicians
6.4-6.7 People’s Daily launched a new Zhong Sheng series on the US-China trade war. Each article focused on “clearly seeing the true colors of US politicians.”
The first article accused some US politicians of forgetting the insights of Adam Smith and using “Washington’s ‘hegemonic hands’ to restrict the market’s ‘invisible hand.’” It asserted that past generations of Americans would be disappointed in the US today as “national policy is being driven by zero-sum, antagonistic thinking, the foundation for participating in the global industrial division of labor has vanished, and the US is no longer the defender of the global order.”
The second article accused some US politicians of hypocrisy for claiming to “seek a relationship grounded in fairness, reciprocity, and respect for sovereignty” while “readily brandishing the big stick of tariffs.” It argued that the reason for this is that “the US cannot stand to see others also do well” and US politicians hope that the country will always be able to “sit idle and enjoy the fruits of others’ work.” Such ideas, it warned, are a “public hazard” that “are doomed to meet much resistance and disdain.”
The third article accused some US politicians of believing “they can delineate the borders of science and exclusively enjoy the fruits of innovation.” It added that “by unscrupulous launching a ‘scientific and technological Cold War’ and erecting a ‘digital Iron Curtain,’ some American politicians’ true colors of inconsistency, contradiction, and hypocrisy have been laid bare” before lamenting these actions not only “shut [the US’] own door but also block everyone’s road. The injured, after all, are all countries in the global supply chain.”
The fourth article accused some US politicians of “engaging in free trade in name and carrying out trade protectionism in reality.” After declaring that “what is most important is not what is said but what is done,” it asserted that “the so-called free trade of the US today is nothing more than a unilateral game futilely attempting to continue exploiting the multilateral trade system, insinuating itself into other countries’ confidence, and realizing selfish interests.”
Wu Yuehe: Friendliness Brings Harmony, Hostility Brings Differences
6.5 After calling attention to the study abroad warning issued by the Ministry of Education,People’s Daily published another commentary propagating the travel warnings respectively issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) on 4 June.
The MFA warning alerted Chinese citizens that US law enforcement has been “harassing” Chinese people entering the US. It urged Chinese citizens and Chinese enterprises in the US to “improve safety awareness” and “promptly seek assistance from the Chinese embassy and consulates in the US for emergencies.” The MCT warning focused on public security issues of the US and advised Chinese tourists to be aware of the recent shootings, robberies, and stealings in the US.
The commentary stressed that “only friendliness can produce fortune” and that “if the China-US trade friction further escalates, it is inevitable that the US tourism industry’s revenue will decrease to a greater extent due to a decline in Chinese tourists to the US.”
United Front Work
You Quan Leads CCP Delegations to Lithuania and Iceland
5.30-6.2 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) led a CCP delegation to Lithuania, where he met with Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis, Social Democratic Labour Party Chairman Gediminas Kirkilas, and Chancellor of the Government Algirdas Stončaitis, respectively. Meetings with each leader centered on discussion of the Belt and Road Initiative, Lithuania’s role in supporting China-EU relations, and how Lithuania can support China’s core interests.
On 4 June, You met with Iceland’s President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson to discuss China and Iceland’s cooperation in energy, humanities and Arctic affairs. Both sides expressed an interest in strengthening bilateral relations and increasing cooperation in the aforementioned areas. You also separately met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson and Permanent Secretary of State Sturla Sigurjónsson as well as toured Svartsengi Power Station and religious sites.
Zhong Jixuan: Reinforce Political Supervision and Firmly Safeguard CCP Central Committee Authority and Centralized and Unified Leadership
6.1 Qiushi published an article under the byline Zhong Jixuan (钟纪轩), which is likely connected to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)’s propaganda department, to urge discipline inspection and supervision organs to implement the CCP Central Committee’s opinion on reinforcing the Party’s political construction and give full play to their role in conducting political supervision.
The article listed out four requirements for discipline inspection and supervision organs and stressed that Xi has set “guaranteeing the obedience of the whole Party to the Central Committee” as “the primary task” for political construction. The four requirements listed are to deeply learn and understand Xi’s important discourses on political construction, strengthen political supervision and take on the fundamental political responsibilities of the “two defends,” consolidate political and mass bases for the Party’s governance, and strictly reinforce the political construction of discipline inspection and supervision organs.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
National Development and Reform Commission Article inQiushi
6.1 Qiushi Journal published an article penned by the National Development and Reform Commission’s (NDRC) Party Leadership Group to reassure readers that “China’s overall economy is stable” and that China has ways and measures to resolve difficult economic problems and “maintain a favorable developmental posture.”
To demonstrate the stable growth of the Chinese economy, the article highlighted the fact that China’s GDP increased 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period of last year. It added that, in the first four months of 2019, 4.59 million jobs were created in urban areas, foreign-exchange reserves had remained above 3 trillion USD, and the RMB exchange rate had remained stable.
To resolve current difficulties in economic development, the article stated that China has been focusing on making progress while ensuring stability (稳中求进), seeking high-quality development, conducting supply-side structural reform, forming a strong domestic market, promoting reforms, opening up, and innovation, and seizing great opportunities.
Lastly, the article listed out 8 measures that China should carry out to “maintain a favorable developmental posture.” The measures are namely taking flexible macro policy, “increasing enterprises’ and industries’ vitality and competitiveness,” “enhancing the ability to drive development with innovation,” “forming a strong domestic market,” fighting the Three Tough Battles, optimizing urban-rural development, “deepening reforms and expanding opening up actively and stably,” and “focusing on resolving the prominent issues related to people’s livelihood.”
NDRC Holds Two Meetings to Consider New Regulations on Rare Earth Production and Exports
Xinhua/National Development and Reform Commission
6.4-6.5 On 4 June, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) held a forum for experts on the rare earth industry to promote the “high-quality development of the industry.” The experts lauded recent progress in ecological protection and technological development in the industry, but identified a number of problems in the industry, including illegal production and “black mine” smuggling, persistent environmental damage, and under-utilization of rare earths in high-end applications.
The experts also pointed out that rare earths are a non-renewable scarce resource, and recommended that supervision and regulation be strengthened, including cracking down on illegal activities, strengthening export controls, establishing a review mechanism for the entire exporting process of rare earths, and promoting research and technological development in the industry.
On 5 June, the NDRC held a symposium of rare earths industry representatives to hear their recommendations for the industry. Industry representatives pointed out many of the same outstanding problems as the experts, as well as an increased risk of proliferation of mining and smelting and separation technologies. They also suggested cracking down on illegal practices to protect precious resources, improving intellectual property rights to prevent technology outflow, and promoting the development of green technology and high-end applications for the rare earths industry.
International Liaison Work
6.2 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a Southeast Asian ruling parties cadre study group in Chongqing.
6.3 The International Department-affiliated Silk Road Think Tank Association and Chongqing Municipal People’s Government jointly hosted the Belt and Road Forum for Interconnected Land-Sea Development in Chongqing. Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Chen Min’er (陈敏尔) and International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) both delivered speeches at the forum. National political party leaders, think tank experts, and business community representatives from more than 30 countries took part in the forum. The participants adopted theChongqing Initiative.
6.5 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) cadre study group led by SPP Vice President Marko Đurić.
6.5 Wang Yajun met with European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General Jean-Christophe Belliard.
6.3 Cai Zhenhong (蔡振红) was appointed the deputy director of the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives' board of directors.
6.6 Wei Haisheng (魏海生) was appointed deputy head of the Central Institute for Party History and Literature Research.