- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Sandy Lu
Weekly Report 1|1 9.30.2017-10.6.2017
China’s Agricultural Development Strategy Choice (Policy Explanation)
10.2 The People’s Daily released an interview with Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu (韩长赋) to explain the significance of the “Opinions on Innovating Systems and Mechanisms to Advance Green Agricultural Development” (关于创新体制机制推进农业绿色发展的意见), jointly released by the General Offices of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council. Han explained that this is the first time the government has set forth the overall goal of promoting green development in the agriculture sector. The “Opinions” sets short-term goals to be met in 2020 and long-term goals to be met in 2030. Immediate steps include accelerating the development of ecological monitoring and early warning systems, setting up a subsidy system for green agriculture, establishing a system to support the innovation of green technology for agriculture, and promoting new laws to support green agricultural development. Han stressed that achieving food security is the bottom line for green agricultural development.
The Implementation of the Eight-Point Guideline Shows Progress
10.4 According to an article published in the People’s Daily, the Party has made efforts toward implementing the “Eight-Point Guideline” (八项规定). The guideline regulates the work ethic of Party members, demanding they simplify travel arrangements, make their documents and presentations concise, report only necessary news, refrain from publishing work in their own names, and pursue frugal lifestyles. As of August 2017, disciplinary units on each level have reported 184,300 violations of the guideline, addressed 250,200 Party members, and punished 136,100 people. Since 2013, 52.2 percent of violations occurred in 2013, 19.31 percent in 2014, 15.03 percent in 2015, 9.69 percent in 2016, and 3.77 percent occurred between January and August in 2017. The numbers of reported infractions have decreased over time. The number of people who held leadership positions and were held responsible for violation of the guideline has increased from around 6,010 people in 2015 to around 6,770 people in 2016. In the first half of 2017, there were over 3,960 people who were held responsible. In the past five years, the Party Central Committee also issued over 60 Party Regulations such as the “Regulations on Frugal Spending and Anti-Wasting for the Party and Government Organs” (党政机关厉行节约反对浪费条例) and the “Standards of Integrity and Self-Discipline of the Chinese Communist Party” (中国共产党廉洁自律准则). The article concludes by stressing that the upcoming 19th Party Congress should be met by a strictly-ruled party.
Zhong Sheng: China-US Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue a Success People's Daily
10.4 The commentary pen name “Zhong Sheng” (钟声), which stands for “Voice of China” and/or “Sounding the Alarm Bell” and authoritatively transmits the official positions of People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, lauds the 4 October inaugural China-US Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue in Washington, DC as a meaningful implementation of the four new high-level dialogues launched by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on 7 April 2017. The dialogue was praised as establishing a broad consensus and making law enforcement and cybersecurity a bright spot in China-US relations in the new period. The commentary states the China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world, that bilateral cooperation should become the only proper choice, and that candidness and not avoiding problems and differences guides the four dialogues. The first Diplomatic and Security Dialogue is said to have advanced mutual trust and cooperation platforms, the first Comprehensive Economic Dialogue is said to have continued utilizing cooperation and win-win as the guiding principles of bilateral trade, and the first Social and Cultural Dialogue is said to have created an action plan for 130 specific results. The commentary concludes that frequent contacts show China and the U.S. can avoid the Thucydides trap.
Placing Party Discipline in Front (Five Years of Advancing Strict Comprehensive Party Rule)
10.6 A People’s Daily article discusses achievements in Party discipline in the five years since the 18th Party Congress, paying particular attention to the introduction of the “four forms,” (四种形态) a four-tier system to measure political discipline. The four forms include criticism and self-criticism, minor disciplinary penalties, severe punishment and demotion, and prosecution. The article states that the “four forms” have proven to be the best way to ensure that small offenses are addressed at the earliest stage. The “four forms” have aided the party in dealing with the serious offences of Zhou Yongkang (周永康), Bo Xilai (薄熙来), Guo Boxiong (郭伯雄), Xu Caihou (徐才厚), Sun Zhengcai (孙政才), and Ling Jihua (令计划), as well as the lesser offences of 11,000 people in five years. The article states that the rise in corruption cases over the past five years is due to the proper implementation and normalization of the “four forms” in Party discipline work.
UNITED FRONT WORK
Business Workers Prefer to “Eat Less,” Still Subscribe to Party Papers and Journals
9.30 A commentary published in Tuanjie Bao (团结报), a publication of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang Central Committee, emphasizes the importance of authoritative newspapers and journals at a time when many work units are canceling their subscriptions, often out of financial concerns. The author asserts that as a business manager, he has heard from his peers regarding their universal disappointment in their work unit’s decision to end subscriptions. While recognizing that traditional publications cannot compete with the sheer volume of Internet publications and social media feeds such as WeChat, the author asserts that online publications lack a concentrated focus. In contrast, traditional papers and journals were said to have the positive benefit of careful curation that focuses reader attention on proper topics, and contributes to readers’ cultural sophistication and technical skills. They are also said to have a high degree of credibility in their transmission of positive energy, discussions on politics, and news of the general situation, offering the most authentic “news banquet” of credible information. The author concludes that because papers and journals are an important source of support for workers on the cultural and ideological front, it is the demand of workers that they “prefer to eat less, and still read papers and journals” (宁可少吃饭，报纸杂志也要读). The article encourages readers to quickly subscribe to Party papers and professional journals.
Disciplinary Units Release Notices to Reinforce Inspections during Holiday
Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI)
10.2 To prevent the recurrence of the “four forms of decadence” (四风) during the holiday period for Mid-Autumn Festival and China’s National Day, multiple disciplinary units in various bodies passed down disciplinary requirements as reminders to implement the spirit of the “Eight-Point Guideline” (八项规定). The bodies that released these notices include the Ministry of Science and Technology (科技部), the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (国家民委), the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (国资委), the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (全总机关), and the State Power Investment Corporation (国家电力投资集团公司). The four forms of decadence are formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance, which were identified at the 4 December, 2012 Politburo meeting as target problems for the eight-point guidelines to address. The Eight-Point Guideline regulates the work ethic of the Party members, which includes members simplifying their arrangements while traveling, making their documents and presentations concise, reporting only the necessary news, refraining from publishing in their own names, and following thrifty and frugal lifestyles.
The CCP has Repatriated 3,339 Personnel and Recovered 9.36 Billion RMB. Forty-six Economic Fugitives on China’s Red List have been Arrested
Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI)
10.3 The Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) released figures showing that since 2014, the Party has successfully retrieved 9.36 billion RMB in illicit money and repatriated 3,339 personnel, including 628 government officials. Out of the one hundred wanted economic fugitives on China’s Red List (百名红通), 46 have been arrested. According to the article, the fact that the Politburo Standing Committee has held three special briefs on this issue, and that Xi has mentioned the importance of international cooperation on anti-corruption nearly 80 times over the past five years shows that the Party Center places great importance on this subject. The Party decided to establish the Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group (中央反腐败协调小组国际追逃追赃工作办公室) on 27 June 2014 to coordinate work between the CCDI, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Justice, and People’s Bank of China. The article reminds readers that, under the framework of the United Nations Convention against Corruption Preamble, China has signed extradition treaties with 48 countries, treaties on judicial assistance in criminal matters with 59 countries, and cooperation agreements on financial intelligence exchange with 42 regions and countries.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
Politburo Standing Committee Attends Martyr’s Day Commemoration Ceremony
People's Liberation Army Daily
10.1 Xi Jinping attended a Martyr’s Day ceremony on 30 September in Tiananmen Square in Beijing along with the full Politburo Standing Committee. The holiday, first celebrated in 2014, serves to commemorate those that died in the Second Sino-Japanese War before National Day and is celebrated on 30 September. Also in attendance was the President of the Supreme People’s Court, the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the Vice Chairmen of the CPPCC and the Central Military Commission.
The State Commission for National Defense Mobilization Issues Plan for National Defense Transport Infrastructure Work during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period
People's Liberation Army Daily
10.4 The State Commission for National Defense Mobilization (国家国防动员委员会) issued a plan to lay out the fundamental principles for transport infrastructure work for national defense purposes during the 13th Five-Year Plan (十三五规划) period. The main principles include system improvement, innovation, comprehensive development, reinforcement of the rule of law, high-efficiency, and benefiting both military and civilian sectors. The plan proposes measures such as integrating the national defense transportation system with the country’s comprehensive traffic network, upgrading technology and equipment, and integrating digital resources to strengthen traffic control and ensure data security as some of the major missions during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.
State Council Holds National Day Reception to Celebrate the 68th Anniversary of the PRC
9.30 On September 30th, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang (李克强), Zhang Dejiang (张德江), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Liu Yunshan (刘云山), Wang Qishan (王岐山), and Zhang Gaoli (张高丽) attended a reception held by the State Council to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Premier Li Keqiang mentioned in his speech that the Party, with Xi Jinping at its core, has made significant achievements in promoting socialism with Chinese characteristics, improving the standard of living of the people, and developing innovative start-up industries since the 18th Party Congress. He then mentioned that China has shown its successes in its military modernization through its celebration of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Liberal Army (PLA), the vitality of “one country, two systems” through celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, and mobilizing the PLA to assist the disaster relief work in the Macao Special Administrative Region. At the end of his speech, he called for unity and hard work to realize the “Two Centenary Goals” (两个一百年) and the China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Two Centenary Goals are: 1) to realize a moderately prosperous society by 2020, which includes the doubling of China’s year 2010 GDP and per-capita income, and 2) to become a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious.
Zhang Gaoli: Accelerate Civil Military Integration
10.2 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli penned an article in the People’s Daily discussing China’s civil-military integration. The launch of a Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development (CCIMCD) directly responsible to the Politburo in January 2017 and the release of a civil-military strategy in August 2017 reveals Beijing’s plan to harness civilian technology to accelerate China’s military modernization. In his article, Zhang emphasizes the importance Xi Jinping places on achieving civil-military integration as a major national development strategy. The article lays out efforts to be taken to improve civil-military integration, including: accurately grasping strategic thought on civil military integration, consciously using strategic thought on civil-military integration to lead the work of the overall situation, and gathering strength to carry forward civil-military integration to achieve practical results. Zhang concludes the article by emphasizing the importance of civil-military integration in the 19th Party Congress.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
China’s Ecological Civilization Pilot Area Enters Accelerated Phase
10.3 The Economic Daily published an update on the Ecological Civilization Pilot Area project, where a series of ecological reforms dictated by the CCP Central Committee are being implemented. The article reported that the project is advancing smoothly in three pilot areas: Guizhou, Jiangxi, and Fujian. The aim of the reforms is to address China’s environmental problems by establishing a long-term mechanism to protect the environment. By 2020, the pilot area is expected to take the lead in implementing the project nationwide. The National Development and Reform Commission will work with all three provinces to jointly promote the national program.
The Acting Points for Promoting the Establishment of Local Think Tanks
10.2 An article in Study Times, the paper of the CCP Central Party School, points out the eight acting points for the promotion of local think tanks, such as academies of social sciences, government development research centers, and Party schools. The first point is to make sure the circulation of documents is implemented and that messages are fully delivered. The second is to reinforce the coordination between different think tanks to maximize their efficacy. According to the article, a “central kitchen” for think tanks can be established by local-level departments, such as propaganda departments and Party committee general offices, to assign key issues to the most relevant think tank. Third, a comprehensive think tank system should be established. Fourth, an evaluation system needs to be set up to ensure funding is distributed appropriately and legally. Fifth, appropriate competition between think tanks should be encouraged to increase the research quality. Sixth, exchanges and training should be held to cultivate talents. Seventh, the qualities of platforms such as websites and WeChat accounts should be ensured to share the research results. The last acting point addresses the organizational structure of think tanks, such as the research, international exchange, communication, and other relevant departments that should all be facilitating think tank growth.
10.2 The Standing Committee of the 11th CPPCC Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regional Committee decided to revoke the membership qualifications of committee members Wang Fengshan (王凤山) and Yan Xiuqin (闫秀琴). Wang was placed under investigation for suspected serious discipline violations in August 2017.