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China Watch: Weekly Report


Weekly Report 2|44 8.31.2019-9.6.2019
David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, Sandy Lu, Daniel Shats

[Wang Yang meets with united front delegations from Vietnam, Laos, and North Korea]

Highlights

Xi Jinping spoke at a young and middle-aged cadre training program at the Central Party School where he discussed risks and challenges facing the CCP (see Senior Leaders section). 
 
The Central Committee issued new regulations on propaganda work (see Propaganda Work section). 
 
Wang Yang met with united front delegations from North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos to discuss cooperation on united front work (see United Front Work section). 

Senior Leaders

Persist With and Strengthen the Party’s Total Leadership Over Rural Work
Economic Daily
 
9.2  The CCP Central Committee recently issued new regulations for the Chinese Communist Party’s rural work. According to an official from the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, the regulations proposed that the Party’s rural work abide by six principles: maintaining the party’s total leadership over rural work to ensure that rural reform and development proceed in the right direction; centering the people, respecting the principal status and pioneering spirit of rural residents and guaranteeing their material interests and democratic rights; consolidating and improving the rural basic management system; continuing to walk the socialism with Chinese characteristics path of rural revitalization, including revitalization of industry, talent, culture, ecology and organizations; building close flesh-and-blood ties between the party and rural residents to promote close unity of the rural masses around the Party; and conducting rural work based on local conditions and gradually implementing policies. 
 
The regulations clarified the rural work leadership system of central planning, provincial responsibilities, and local implementation, and clarified the main responsibilities of the Party Committees at every level, the setup and function of the Rural Work Leading Group, and the functions of party committees’ rural work departments. 
 
People’s Daily further publicized the regulations in a commentator article.
 
Xi Jinping Gives Important Speech at Opening Ceremony of Central Party School Young and Middle-Aged Cadre Training Program
Xinhua
 
9.3  Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony for a young and middle-aged cadre training program at the Central Party School (National Academy of Governance). In his speech, he stressed that party cadres, especially young cadres, must undergo strict ideological refinement, toughen their political experience and practice, develop a spirit of struggle, strengthen their struggle capabilities, and tenaciously struggle to realize the two centenary goals and the China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 
 
The speech emphasized the common theme of struggle as a constant presence in the history of Marxism and the development of a socialist country. Xi said that the formation of the CCP, the establishment of the PRC, the implementation of Reform and Opening Up, and the promotion of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era were all born from struggle. The Party must continue to struggle to succeed in the arduous task of maintaining reform, development and stability in today’s era of unprecedented global change. He said the Party must struggle to succeed against “every risk and challenge that endangers CCP leadership and our country’s socialist system,” “every risk and challenge that endangers our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” “every risk and challenge that endangers our country’s core interests and major principles,” “every risk and challenge that endangers our people’s fundamental interests,” and “every risk and challenge that endangers our country’s realization of the two centenary goals and the China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
 
Politburo member and Central Party School President Chen Xi (陈希) presided over the ceremony and gave a speech. Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Huning (王沪宁) also attended. 
 
People’s Daily further publicized Xi’s speech with commentator articles (Part 1Part 2Part 3).
 
Hu Chunhua: Further Advance Poverty Alleviation Efforts in Deeply Impoverished Regions 
Chinese Government Portal
 
9.3  Politburo member and State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development head Hu Chunhua (胡春华) attended a national meeting in Sichuan province on advancing poverty alleviation efforts in deeply impoverished regions. During the meeting, he gave a speech and emphasized that the tasks of poverty alleviation in deeply impoverished regions remain arduous and that they are the key to success in the battle against poverty. He stressed that focus must be placed on achieving the “three guarantees” (三保障) [compulsory education, basic medical care, and housing security] and water security.

Propaganda Work
 

Central Committee Issues Regulations on the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Work
Xinhua
 
8.31  The Central Committee issued new regulations on the CCP’s propaganda work. The notice of the new regulations pointed out that propaganda work is the “fine tradition and political advantage” that helps the CCP “lead the people to continuously seize victories in revolution, construction, and reform” and that the regulations reflect the importance that the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core attaches to propaganda work.
 
The regulations stipulate that propaganda work is an “extremely important task of the Party,” and a tool for “upholding the party line, strengthening the Party’s political construction, strengthening the Party’s ideological and political leadership, and consolidating the Party’s foundation among the masses and the foundation for its rule.” It also facilitates the Party’s “work on arming with theory, guiding public opinion, ideological education, cultural construction, and civilizational cultivation” that aims for “mobilizing and organizing Party members, cadres, and the masses to achieve the objectives for which the Party advocates and struggles.” Propaganda work should “establish political consciousness,” and “firmly establish self-confidence in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, theoretical self-confidence, system self-confidence, [and] cultural self-confidence.” It should also “resolutely safeguard the core position of Xi Jinping in the Central Committee and the CCP” as well as “promote the unity of all people in ideals and convictions, values, and morals.”
 
The regulations stipulate seven main responsibilities of party committees regarding propaganda work as well as sixteen discrete responsibilities for party committees’ propaganda departments at all levels. Party committees are now required to deliver an annual report to the Central Committee about the propaganda work under their jurisdiction. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, National Supervision Commission, and local discipline inspection units at all levels are required to carry out propaganda activities as well. In order to correct an overall weakness in grassroots propaganda work, the new regulations assign propaganda duties to enterprises, rural areas, schools, residential communities, social organizations, and other grassroots units. Grassroots organizations at all levels from village committees to universities are to set up propaganda units. 
 
Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) publicized the new regulations with a Qiushi article. 
 
PD Commentator: Absolutely Do Not Permit Violence to Kidnap Hong Kong’s Future
People's Daily
 
8.31  People’s Daily published a commentator article addressing Hong Kong’s protest movement and escalating violence. 
 
After asserting that “the central government firmly supports the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and police in handling violent conduct in accordance with the law,” the article argued that “the greatest demand of the popular will [in Hong Kong society] is seeking stability and peace and the most pressing task is stopping the violence, controlling the chaos, and restoring order.” It urged Hongkongers to be “firm in saying ‘no’ to violence” as “this is the bottom line of a rule of law-based society and the consensus of a civilized society.”
 
The article accused “violent extremists and the opposition faction” of using protests against Hong Kong’s now withdrawn extradition bill as a “pretext” to “seriously challenge national sovereignty” and cited the popular protest movement slogan “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” as evidence of this. It concluded with a warning to so-called “‘oppose China, create chaos in Hong Kong’ forces,” namely: “Be sure to not misjudge the situation, mistake restraint for weakness, or underestimate the central government and whole nation’s formidable and resolute determination to defend national sovereignty, security, and unification and to safeguard Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity!”
 
Yang Jiechi: Under the Guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, Spare No Effort in Pushing Great Power Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics Forward
Qiushi
 
9.1  Qiushi published an article by Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) on “thoroughly studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, comprehensively grasping the historical orientation of China’s development and development trends of the world, and continuing to spare no effort in pushing great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics forward to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and promote the creation of a community of shared future for mankind.”
 
The first section of the article summarized the “glorious achievements” that Chinese diplomacy has made “under the Party’s guidance” since the founding of New China. It listed a series of eight achievements: 1) “We have consistently adhered to the party’s leadership and walking the socialist path”; 2) “We have consistently pursued an independent foreign policy of peace”; 3) “We have consistently been proponents of the basic norms of international relations with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the core”; 4) “We have consistently opposed hegemonism and power politics”; 5) “We have consistently been firm in standing together with the multitudes of developing countries”; 6) “We have consistently safeguarded national sovereignty, security, and development interests”; 7) “We have consistently linked the safeguarding of our own interests with promoting the common development of mankind”; and 8) “We have consistently adhered to seeking truth from facts, keeping up with the times, and blazing new trails in a pioneering spirit.” 
 
The second section argued that China “has set out on a new path of great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.” It offered eight recommendations: 1) “To accurately grasp the development trends of China and the world in a new era, advance the important conclusion that the world is facing profound changes unseen in a century”; 2) “To adhere to promoting the creation of a community of shared future for mankind, specify the goals and orientation of external work in a new era”; 3) “To advocate and promote the joint building of the ‘Belt and Road,’ found a new model of all-around external openness and new platform for international cooperation in a new era”; 4) “To deepen and expand the overall external strategic layout, develop a network of global partnerships”; 5) “To actively provide Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach, thoroughly lead the way in transforming the global governance system”; 6) “To firmly defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests, safeguard reform-based development and national rejuvenation”; 7) “To strengthen exchange and mutual learning with all the world’s countries, firmly hold the high ground of international justice”; and 8) “To persevere with diplomatic authority residing at the party center, strengthen the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over external work.”
 
The third section calling for “thoroughly implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and making an all-out effort to do external work well during the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge.” It made a series of six recommendations: 1) “To thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, firmly grasp the correct orientation of external work”; 2) “To closely center party and national work around important nodes, be better at serving national development and national rejuvenation”; 3) “To comprehensively deepen the overall external strategic layout, create a more advantageous external environment”; 4) “To make a plan taking the general domestic and foreign situations as a whole, continuously strengthen awareness of the ‘overall situation’ in external work”; 5) “To adhere to bottom line thinking, guard against and resolve risks and challenges in the external environment”; and 6) “To strengthen organizational guarantees, form an external work contingent that is loyal to the party, country, and people.”
 
Ren Zhongping: Reembark on the Path of a New Long March 
People’s Daily
 
9.2  The highly-authoritative People’s Daily pen name, Ren Zhongping (任仲平), standing for “important People’s Daily commentary” published an article on the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Education Campaign. The article is divided into eight parts: 

The first part stressed the importance of the education campaign and emphasized that the CCP will lead the “ship of China” to conduct long march after long march to strive and lead China into a better future.The second part pointed out that China is at a “critical stage” for development and national rejuvenation. It stated that, at the 70th anniversary of New China’s establishment, China is “becoming wealthier and stronger”; however, the external environment is becoming more and more uncertain and intraparty problems in ideology, politics, organization, and work conduct remain. It stressed that whether or not China can keep moving forward and grasping strategic opportunities, “the CCP’s capability and willingness to take on responsibility is key.” The education campaign fulfills the urgent need to arm the Party with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, push forward party building in a new era, and to maintain the “flesh and blood connection” between the Party and the people The third part attached great importance to learning, stating that learning has equipped the CCP members with Marxism, strengthened the Party’s “shared visions” and “collective will,” and allowed the Party to proactively address new issues that come with development. It stated that the “ideological secret code” for China’s development in a new era is Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which is “the Marxism of modern China and the 21st century,” and that the fundamental mission of the education campaign is to study this thought.The fourth part emphasized that the education campaign is designed to resolve problems for the anti-corruption battle and that the Party should continue to reflect on its original aspirations and fulfill its missions through continuous self-revolution. The fifth part quoted Xi Jinping stressing that “people are the firm foundation of the republic” and that “people” is a keyword for the education campaign. It emphasized that “those who win the people’s hearts have the power.” The sixth part praised the Chinese leadership for understanding national development and global governance at a macro level. It asked “what other political parties in this world have ever proposed a hundred-year plan” and said that the “two centenary goals” of the CCP embodied people’s desire for a better life and are “the most important and realistic missions and responsibilities of modern CCP members.” The seventh part highlighted the CCP’s education training for its members and cadres. It stressed that the education campaign is a “new mobilization in a new era” and that it has strengthened the understanding of what the CCP is and what it does. The last part ended the article with a quote from Friedrich Engels, saying “a party which knows what it wants and how to get it, which genuinely wants it and is possessed of the required tenacity, is bound in the long run to prove invincible” (Letter to August Bebel, 12 October 1983). 

 
Ren Lixuan: Wild Winds and Heavy Rains Cannot Overturn the Sea: Trade Frictions Incited by Some Americans Cannot Obstruct China’s Development
People’s Daily
 
9.6  Ren Lixuan (任理轩), a pen name for the People’s Daily’s propaganda and theory department, published an article affirming the resilience of China’s economy and economic policies in the face of trade pressures from the United States. It quoted Xi Jinping as saying “the Chinese economy is a sea, not a small pond. A sea has times of still winds and quiet waves, and also times of wild winds and heavy rains. If there weren’t wild winds and heavy rains, then it wouldn’t be the sea. Wild winds and heavy rains can overturn a small pond, but can’t overturn the sea.” 
 
The article said that although “some Americans” provoke trade frictions and make trouble for the Chinese economy, this will only “arouse the Chinese people’s vigorous fighting spirit, make [them] see the Chinese economy’s advantages and development direction ever more clearly, [and] unswervingly push the Chinese economy to stride toward high-quality development.” It asserted that China’s “strong economic momentum is endogenous” and will not change due to trade frictions, reiterated China’s official stance that “there is no winner in a trade war, we do not want to fight, [but we] are not afraid to fight, and will be forced to fight if necessary,” and assured that China will “persist in walking the road of peaceful development” without abandoning its legitimate rights or sacrificing its core interests.
 
The article also insisted that “China’s economy has a lot of leeway, and has the confidence, capability and qualifications to neutralize the negative consequences of US-China trade frictions.” It noted that when the 2008 global financial crisis shocked global demand for Chinese exports, China was not ruined, but rather seized the opportunity to implement systemic adjustments, reducing its dependence on investment and exports and transitioning to a more domestic consumption-driven economy. It suggested that US tariffs today could similarly accelerate the pace of China’s transformation, and that the government would assist Chinese enterprises in getting through the “temporary” difficulties.
 
The article further argued that “China’s economic transformation has already entered the fast lane, and will not be reversed by trade frictions” and that “China’s open doors will only open wider, and will not be closed by trade frictions.” It noted the negative effects of tariffs in US history, such as the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that contributed to the Great Depression, as well as studies concluding that current US tariffs on China will ultimately be paid for by US enterprises and consumers. It contrasted such policies with China’s, saying that China has made itself more open and attractive to foreign investment, and touting its Belt and Road Initiative as an endeavor to “build a community of shared future for mankind” that will “defeat unilateralism, protectionism and hegemonism.” 

United Front Work
 

Wang Yang Delivers Speech at CPPCC Activity in Wuhan
Xinhua
 
9.3  Wang Yang participated in and delivered a speech at a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee activity in Wuhan, Hebei Province devoted to “explaining and propagating work on major and specialized projects.”
 
In his speech, Wang praised the CPPCC’s explanation and propaganda activities as an “innovative step in the CPPCC National Committee system’s study and implementation of Xi Jinping’s important thoughts on strengthening and improving CPPCC work and an important platform allowing the CPPCC to play the role of a specialized consultative body and to strengthen ideological and political guidance in a new era.” He stressed that in this “crucial period for realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the CPPCC’s tasks of rallying public support and building consensus are even more arduous. The CPPCC has put forward greater new requirements for adhering to and improving the explanation and propaganda system.”
 
Non-Party Members Discuss “Welcoming the Anniversary, Remembering Original Aspirations, Bravely Advancing Together”
People’s Daily
 
9.4  A conference of non-party members on the topic of “Welcoming the Anniversary, Remembering Original Aspirations, Bravely Advancing Together” met in Beijing. United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) attended and gave a speech. You praised the non-party faction for “carrying on the glorious tradition of being of one mind with the party, patriotism for the people, sincere cooperation and dedication to one’s work” and for becoming an important force in the great journey of China “standing up, prospering and becoming strong.” He stressed that non-party members should take the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration of Cooperation, Continue Advancing Hand in Hand” educational campaign as an opportunity, and work hard to be “good advisers, good helpers and good colleagues to the Party.”
 
Wang Yang Meets with United Front Delegations from North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos
Xinhua 
 
9.4  Politburo Standing Committee member and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) met with the foreign delegations participating in a seminar for united front organizations from China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos. After noting that all four nations are socialist countries, that past generations of their leaders held common ideals and convictions, and that their traditional friendship is a precious treasure that they all cherish, Wang stated that “the CPPCC is ready to work together with North Korean, Vietnamese, and Laotian united front organizations to implement bilateral consensuses reached by the highest party and national leaders, to direct their efforts toward enhancing mutual political trust, to promote pragmatic cooperation, to deepen friendly exchanges, and to make greater contributions to the development of bilateral relations.”

Party Discipline 
 

Central Committee Releases Revised “CCP Accountability Regulations”
Xinhua
 
9.4  CCP Central Committee recently released a revised version of the “CCP Accountability Regulations” and issued a notice requiring all departments in all regions to follow. The notice pointed out that the revised regulations “comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th Party Congress,” “treat firmly safeguarding General Secretary Xi Jinping’s status as the core of the Party Central Committee and the whole Party as the fundamental principle and primary mission,” and “focus on improving the politicalness, accuracy, and efficacy of the Party’s accountability work.” 
 
The revised version expanded the regulations from 13 to 27 articles, adding focuses on “adhering to the Party’s leadership,” “strengthening Party building,” following “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” reinforcing the “four consciousnesses” (四个意识), consolidating the “four confidences” (四个自信), and defending Xi Jinping’s core status among other points.
 
Zhao Leji Attends and Gives a Speech at 19th Central Committee Work Meeting on Fourth Round of Inspection
Xinhua
 
9.6  Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Leading Group for Inspection Work head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) attended a work meeting of the 19th Central Committee for the fourth round of inspection. Zhao gave a speech at the meeting and pointed out that “the Party’s inspection is a political inspection” and that central inspection work should be complemented by daily supervision, institutional reforms, and the themed education campaign.
 
Politburo member and Central Leading Group for Inspection Work deputy head Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) presided over the meeting while Politburo member and Central Leading Group for Inspection Work Deputy Head Chen Xi (陈希) divided up the work for the inspection. The fourth round of inspection is set to be conducted on 37 central and state organizations, including United Front Work Department, International Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others.

International Liaison Work
 

9.2  International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with an Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly study group made up of representatives from six political parties, including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Golkar Party, and Great Indonesia Movement Party.
 
9.2  International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the 2016-2020 seventh training class for Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) leading cadres, which was led by Sóc Trăng Provincial CPV Committee Standing Committee member and Provincial Inspection Commission Head Nguyễn Văn Thống.
 
9.3 Guo Yezhou met with a Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya) delegation led by National Assembly First Vice President and PNDS-Tarayya Secretary of Communication Iro Sani.
 
9.3-9.4  On 3 September, Politburo member and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen (王晨) met with a Malaysian Barisan Nasional ruling parliamentary coalition study group led by House of Representatives Deputy Speaker and Democratic Action Party Deputy Secretary-General Nga Kor Ming (倪可敏).
 
International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) also met with the delegation the following day. 
 
9.4  Song Tao and International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Shisuikai faction delegation led by House of Representatives member and LDP Diet Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Yohei Matsumoto.
 
Wang Yajun also individually met with the delegation the same day.
 
9.4  Guo Yezhou met with US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies Senior Adviser Scott Kennedy
 
9.4  Guo Yezhou met with a People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) high-level cadre study group led by MPLA Politburo member.
 
9.4  Qian Hongshan met with the new Estonian Ambassador to China Andres Unga.
 
9.4  Wang Yajun met with a Cuban female cadre study group led by Federation of Cuban Women Secretariat Head Anielka Fernández.
 
9.5  Guo Yezhou met with a Tanzanian Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM/Party of the Revolution) cadre study group led by CCM Deputy Secretary General Abdalla Juma Sadala.
 
9.5  Qian Hongshan met with a Kazakh Nur Otan Democratic People's Party young cadre study group led by Zhas Otan (Nur Otan’s youth wing) Executive Secretary Zhanat Chukeyev.
 
9.5-9.6  On 5 September, Song Tao and Guo Yezhou met with a New Zealander delegation led by New Zealand National Party Leader Simon Bridges.
 
Politburo member and Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) also met with the delegation the following day.
 
9.6  Guo Yezhou met with Workers Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon.
 
9.6  Qian Hongshan met with Hungarian National Assembly First Officer Márta Mátrai.

Organization Work
 

9.2  Xia Wenbin (夏文斌) was appointed president of the University of International Business and Economics.
 
9.2  Zhou Naixiang (周乃翔) was appointed chairman of China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
 
9.3  Yang Hua (杨华) was appointed general manager of Sinochem Group.
 
9.6  Peng Gang (彭刚) was appointed vice president of Tsinghua University.

The latest from CACR:Weekly Report 2|43 8.24.2019-8.30.2019

 

Why China's GDP Numbers Have Xi Jinping Worried by Ann Listerud

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