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CHINA: Party Watch Weekly Report 3|37

Party Watch Weekly Report 3|37

Center for Advanced China Research

Weekly Report 3|37 7.11.2020-7.17.2020
David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, Molly Henry, Elsa Katz, Sandy Lu, Logan Ma, Jared Rosen, Connor Swank

The Politburo Standing Committee met to discuss flood control and disaster relief (see Senior Leaders section).
Propaganda focused on attacking US positions on the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and the WHO (see Propaganda Work section). 
Senior Leaders

Politburo Standing Committee Convenes Meeting to Study Flood Control and Disaster Relief Work; CCP Central Committee General Xi Jinping Presides
7.17. A Politburo Standing Committee meeting held on 17 July focused attention on efforts to combat nationwide flooding and provide disaster relief. Xi Jinping pointed out that since June, authorities had achieved “positive results.” Xi emphasized that flood prevention and relief are “related to the safety of the people’s lives and property, food security, economic security, social security, and national security”  and directly tied to efforts to build a moderately prosperous society, winning the decisive battle against poverty, and wrapping up  the 13th Five Year Plan. Noting that China had entered the period of heaviest precipitation, Xi urged all relevant authorities to strengthen preparations. The meeting emphasized that the party center had attached high importance to flood prevention and relief, with Xi identifying it as a priority during a Politburo Standing Committee meeting in May. 
Propaganda Work
Zhong Sheng: Stop the Acrobatics of “Passing the Buck” and Shirking Responsibility
People’s Daily
7.11 A commentary under the Zhong Sheng (钟声) byline responded to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 9 July comments at the virtual Copenhagen Democracy Summit on forming a global alliance on the “China challenge.” The commentary said such an alliance was “empty bravado,” “a lunatic’s ravings,” and unable to succeed. It cited the G7 meeting’s refusal to refer to the pandemic as “Wuhan virus” at the US’s request, the international condemnation of the US decision to withdraw from the WHO, and negative public opinion of the US in many European countries, claiming that other countries were highly aware that the US failed to fulfill its obligations to the international community amid the coronavirus outbreak. The commentary alleged that Pompeo’s conduct has made the US more isolated, and his accusations against “China, which pushes for international cooperation and practices mutually beneficial, win-win [foreign policy],” damaged his reputation and credibility. In conclusion, the commentary “strongly advised” Pompeo and those of his faction to “abandon [your] delusions of stirring up popular sentiment, [and] the acrobatics of passing the buck and shirking responsibility, don’t continue further and further down this mistaken path.”
Central Propaganda Department One of Eight Departments to Publish Notice Seeking Launch of Civil Code Study and Propaganda Work
People’s Daily
7.14  On 13 July, central departments including the Propaganda Department, Organization Bureau, Political and Legal Affairs Commission, Cyberspace Administration of China, General Office of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, and National Legal Awareness Office published a joint notice launching a program of study and education about the national civil code. The notice called for study and propaganda activities on the civil code, “thorough study and propaganda of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important treatises on governing the country fully according to the law, especially the spirit of important directives on the civil code,” and study and propaganda on the the significance of the code’s implementation, its basic principles, and its content. It said that the program seeks “innovation of propaganda forms” to construct a “dense atmosphere” of respect, study, adherence, and use of the code. The notice called for departments to create multimedia news propaganda on Party- and media-affiliated websites, detailed “new media” plans, focused reports, authoritative interviews, various commentary series, and propaganda and activities for “modern platforms of dissemination” like social media. It also called for incorporating study of the civil code into compulsory legal classes for leading cadres and making study of the civil code a more substantial component of education on rule of law in elementary, secondary, and higher education.
Xi Jinping: CCP Leadership is the Most Essential Characteristic of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics
7.15  Qiushi published a collection of excerpts from speeches Xi Jinping has delivered from December 2013 to October 2019 related to the CCP’s leadership titled “CCP Leadership is the Most Essential Characteristic of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics” The collection includes eighteen excerpts varying in length. The first excerpt comes from Xi’s December 2013 speech at the Central Economic Work Conference and remarks on the essential nature of the CCP’s leadership: “The Party is one that assumes full responsibility over the situation and coordinates all sides. Economic work is the central work. The Party’s leadership of course gets full embodiment in the central work. Once it grasps the key-point of the central work, other work can unfold better.” All of the speeches reflect on the CCP’s leadership role in China and its development and emphasizes that CCP leadership is the key advantage of China’s governing style. The excerpts were further publicized in People’s Daily the following day.
Zhong Sheng: Muddying the South China Sea, Destined for Futility 
People’s Daily
7.15 A 15 July commentary by the Zhong Sheng byline accused the US of borrowing the South China Sea issue to sow dissent, running counter to the peace-loving efforts and aspirations of countries in the region. The commentary decried the US for “going against [its] public commitment of not taking sides on SCS sovereignty issues” as “extremely irresponsible” and criticized the US for inciting trouble in the area, placing sole responsibility for the region’s militarization on the US. The commentary also focused on how China’s claims in the area were well-supported and how its engagement with ASEAN has maintained stability and a trajectory of positive development. China, claimed the commentary, “has maintained the utmost restraint in safeguarding sovereignty” in the region. Meanwhile, US “efforts to destabilize the South China Sea will not prevail.” 
Zhong Sheng: Crude Meddling in Hong Kong’s Affairs is Doomed to Fail
People’s Daily

7. 16 A commentary by the Zhong Sheng byline criticized the signing of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, expressed “fierce condemnation and firm opposition” for the bill, and promised, “no matter how foreign powers pressure [China], [they will] be unable to sway China’s determination and will to defend national sovereignty and security, [and will to] defend Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.” The commentary accused the US of arguing for the “right” to “extend a black hand to Hong Kong [and] limit and contain China’s development” and the “freedom” to “trample on international legal norms and roughly interfere in China’s internal affairs.” The commentary emphasized that law for the governance of Hong Kong is based on the PRC constitution and Basic Law, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and argued that radical protesters threatened the “One Country, Two Systems” model while the new Hong Kong National Security Law would protect it. The commentary called the US’s focus on rights and freedoms “completely false” and driven by “extremely sinister motives.” It concluded, “China resolutely defends its rightful interests, and will apply firm and forceful countermeasures against the US’s mistaken conduct, all consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the US.”
Party Discipline
Tianjin City Infrastructure Construction Investment Group (TIIG Ent.) Party Committee Secretary and Chairman Li Baokun (李宝锟) Suspected of Severe Discipline Violations and Breaking the Law, Will Receive Discipline Inspection and Investigation
7.16  TIIG Enterprise Party Committee Secretary, company Chairman, Tianjin NPC Standing Committee Committee Member, Vice Chairman of the Ethnic and Religious Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the Municipal People's Congress Li Baokun became the subject of disciplinary investigations.
International Liaison Work
7.13  International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) participated in the opening ceremony for an online training seminar for Cambodian People's Party (CPP) cadres on “joining hands to promote restoring economic development and being of one mind in jointly building a community of shared future for China and Cambodia.” The opening ceremony also featured a speech from CPP Central Commission for Propaganda and Education Head Tak Sun Y
7.14  International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) and Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) participated in a videoconference on “the role of responsible political forces in safeguarding international security in the context of an epidemic.” Russian Security Council Deputy Chair and United Russia Chair Dmitry Medvedev both proposed and delivered a speech at the videoconference. Other participants included major political leaders from over 10 countries, such as Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, South Africa, and Vietnam
7.15  International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) participated in the opening ceremony of a three-day “experience exchange” activity between China and Indonesia on “normalized epidemic prevention and control and the resumption of work and production.” The opening ceremony also featured speeches from Yunnan Provincial Party Committee Deputy Secretary and Yunnan Provincial Party School President Wang Yubo (王予波) and Indonesian People's Representative Council Deputy Speaker and National Awakening Party Chair Muhaimin Iskandar.
7.16  Qian Hongshan held a videoconference with Portuguese Communist Party General Secretary Jerónimo de Sousa
7.16  International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) held a videoconference with Turkish Justice and Development Party Deputy Chair of Foreign Affairs Burhan Kayatürk
Organization Work
7.13  Guo Lanfeng (郭兰峰) and Wu Hao (伍浩) were appointed deputy secretaries-general of the National Development and Reform Commission.
7.17  Tang Dengjie (唐登杰) was appointed deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission


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