Weekly Report 1|4 10.21.2017-10.27.2017
The 19th Party Congress approved the work report of the 18th Central Committee, reaffirming the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020.
The CCP’s top leadership was revealed at the 19th Central Committee’s first plenum. No clear successor was apparent in the makeup of the Politburo Standing Committee.
“Xi Jinping Thought” was added to the CCP Constitution alongside the theories of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. The inclusion of Xi’s name into the guiding ideology puts his theory on par with that of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, indicating his rapid accumulation of power since the 18th Party Congress
19th Party Congress Amends Constitution to Include Xi Jinping Thought
10.24 “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” was added to the CCP Constitution, alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the “Three Represents,” and the Scientific Development Concept. The inclusion of Xi’s name in his theoretical contribution to the CCP Constitution confirms Xi’s elevated status as the most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. According to Xinhua, the Party Congress acknowledged Xi as the main representative of the CCP, and recognized that Xi Jinping Thought was established to answer questions related to the further development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the current era. The Congress affirmed that a key part of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which was added to the CCP Constitution next to the path, theory system, and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. All Party members were mandated to have strong confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics (the four confidences/四个自信), and implement the basic theory, basic line, and basic policy. The Congress endorsed the inclusion of the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation into the CCP Constitution and reaffirmed the Party’s leadership over the Chinese military and entire country.
19th Party Congress Approves 18th Central Committee’s Work Report
10.24 The 19th Party Congress resolved to approve the work report of the 18th Central Committee, praising its achievements throughout the past five years. The resolution said that the work report was the crystallization of the wisdom of the entire Party and a program of action to unite the Chinese people in the goal of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. The resolution declared the report a guiding Marxist document. It reviewed the achievements of the Central Committee, including fighting corruption, punishing wrongdoing, and removing serious political dangers to the Party and the country, making the Party stronger. It states that the Party’s solidarity has been reinforced and its engagement with the people improved. It affirmed that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the latest achievement in Marxism and the collective wisdom of the Party and the people, and highlighted the 14-point basic policy that comprises the work during the new era. It reaffirmed the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 according to the requirements set at the 16th, 17th, and 18th Party Congresses, and reaffirmed the two-stage development plan from 2020-2035 and from 2035 to the century’s midpoint.
China’s Top Leadership Revealed at 19th Central Committee’s First Plenum
10.26 The CCP’s top leadership was revealed at the 19th Central Committee’s first plenum, which opened in Beijing on 25 October with 204 Central Committee members and 172 alternate members in attendance. The Central Committee elected its Politburo, Politburo Standing Committee, and General Secretary, approved the members of the Central Secretariat and appointed the Central Military Commission members according to the nominations by the Politburo Standing Committee; and approved the secretary, deputy secretaries, and standing committee members elected by 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) at its first plenum. Of note, the released list of Central Military Commission members reveals a reduction of the body from eleven to seven members, possibly demonstrating Xi’s increased control over the Commission.
The new Politburo Standing Committee members are: Xi Jinping (General Secretary), Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁/First Secretary of the Central Secretariat), Zhao Leji (赵乐际/Secretary of the CCDI), and Han Zheng (韩正). Against recent precedent, the new Politburo Standing Committee does not have an obvious successor to Xi Jinping according to age and retirement norms.
Politburo of the 19th CCP Central Committee Holds First Meeting
10.27 Xi Jinping presided over the first meeting of the 19th CCP Central Committee Politburo held on 27 October in Beijing. The body approved two sets of guidelines: the “CCP Central Committee Politburo’s Several Guidelines on Strengthening and Safeguarding the Centralized and Unified Leadership of the Party Center” (中共中央政治局关于加强和维护党中央集中统一领导的若干规定) and the “CCP Central Committee Politburo’s Detailed Guidelines for Implementing the Central Eight-Point Guideline” (中共中央政治局贯彻落实中央八项规定的实施细则). The meeting emphasized that the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Center (党中央集中统一领导) is the highest principle of Party leadership. Reinforcing and safeguarding this principle should be the common political responsibility of the entire Party. It was confirmed that the Politburo would take the lead in establishing political consciousness, big picture consciousness, core consciousness, and consciousness of keeping in line (政治意识、大局意识、核心意识、看齐意识), and comprehensively implementing the requirements of the 19th Party Congress to reinforce and defend this principle.
The Politburo stated that the Central Secretariat, CCDI, and the Party groups of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, State Council, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Supreme People’s Court, and Supreme People’s Procuratorate should report annually to the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee. The body also agreed that propaganda activities must be organized to bring the spirit of the 19th Party Congress into businesses, institutions, campuses, military camps, and the Internet to make it comprehensible to the people, to bring the Party and the people together, and to expand social consensus.
Composing a Magnificent Chapter in Socialist Modernization: 19th Party Congress Sets New Objectives and New Journey
10.24 A People’s Daily article discusses new objectives set by the 19th Party Congress, specifically highlighting the dream of becoming a modern socialist great power (社会主义现代化强国). Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the article declares that this dream should be achievable. The article defines a modern socialist great power as one in which material, political, spiritual, and social culture are elevated to achieve the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, with China becoming a country with comprehensive national strength and international influence and leadership. The article called upon local leaders to waste no time devising plans to accelerate the construction of a great power and achieve the goals set by the 19th Party Congress.
Including “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in the CCP Constitution Reflects Party’s Unified Thought
10.25 A commentary published under the “Wang Hailou” (望海楼) column, an important column directed at Chinese/foreign Chinese living abroad, discusses progress in ideological party building (思想建党) since the 18th Party Congress. It asserts that including “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in the CCP Constitution fulfills the needs of the era: the need for implementing development, the need for pushing the Sinicization of Marxism further, and the need for developing the theory system of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. The commentary states that Xi Jinping Thought has unified the thoughts and actions of the Party and provided a brand new option to nations of the world that wish to achieve rapid development while preserving their independence.
UNITED FRONT WORK
United Front Work Department Holds Press Conference at 19th Party Congress
10.23 United Front Work Department (UFWD) Executive Deputy Head Zhang Yijiong (张裔炯) and Deputy Head Ran Wanxiang (冉万祥) answered questions about the work of the UFWD at a press conference held at the 19th Party Congress. First, in response to a question about whether the Party had elevated the importance of united front work in the past five years, Zhang emphasized that Xi Jinping regards the UFWD as indispensable to the two-hundred year goal of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He said the role of the UFWD in helping the Party achieve its goals is to create great solidarity and unity across the nation. The fact that the heads of local UFWDs are also represented on local CCP standing committees indicates the great importance of united front work to Party objectives.
Second, Zhang explained the approach of the UFWD to ethnic issues in China, saying that the role of UFWD is to ensure the CCP’s goal of promoting unity among all ethnic groups and achieving common prosperity and development. It does this by ensuring equality among all ethnic groups, safeguarding the unity of all ethnic groups, implementing regional autonomy, supporting the accelerated development of ethnic minority areas, and protecting and promoting ethnic culture.
Third, an Associated Press reporter asked a question about the role of the UFWD in mobilizing overseas Chinese to protect the core interests of China. Zhang defended the UFWD against reports that it had successfully influenced media organizations and undermined national sovereignty in New Zealand and Australia. In response, Zhang emphasized that the UFWD respects the laws and interests of other countries, and the international work it does concentrates on building relations with overseas Chinese.
Fourth, Ran Wanxiang explained the significance of China’s multi-party system in which eight legally recognized parties cooperate under the leadership of the CCP. He stated that because the CCP is the vanguard of the Chinese working class and the Chinese people, multi-party cooperation ensures that all people are represented and reflected in the country’s leadership. He emphasized that the multi-party system is the embodiment of China’s consultative style of democracy.
Fifth, the panel was also asked how the UFWD planned to handle the growing “non-public economy.” Ran explained that as an important force in building a socialist market economy, the non-public economy is an important aspect of united front work. The role of the UFWD is therefore to organize the non-public economy and strengthen its ideological and political leadership.
Sixth, Zhang discussed the role of the UFWD in opposing the Dalai Lama by actively guiding the development of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet.
Change in Phraseology Reveals Discipline Determination
10.23 Xi Jinping emphasized in his report to the 19th Party Congress that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and that the Party must have new actions. The article notes a seemingly small change in discipline phraseology between the period of the 18th Party Congress and the 19th Party Congress. Shortly after the 18th Party Congress ended, Xi used the phrase “one needs to be tough to forge iron” (打铁还需自身硬). In Xi’s report to the 19th Party Congress, he utilized the phrase “one must be tough to forge iron” (打铁必须自身硬). The article states that the change of phrase from “needs” to “must” demonstrates of the Party center’s firm determination to strictly rule the Party.
19th Party Congress Approves 18th CCDI Report
10.24 The 19th Party Congress reviewed and approved the work report of the 18th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), demonstrating full endorsement of its work since the 18th Party Congress. The Congress issued a statement saying that the 18th CCDI, under the leadership of the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core, has successfully strengthened the political consciousness, big picture consciousness, core consciousness, and consciousness of keeping in line (政治意识、大局意识、核心意识、看齐意识); upheld confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of Socialism with Chinese characteristics; and advanced comprehensive strict governance of the Party. The Congress declared that the CCDI has delivered excellent performance and satisfaction to the Chinese people, and ordered the continued perseverance in the CCP’s guiding ideology, the implementation of the 19th Party Congress’ strategic plans, the four comprehensives, the four consciousnesses, the four confidences, and strict Party governance.
19th CCDI Holds First Plenum, Elects Zhao Leji New CCDI Secretary
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
19th Party Congress Press Center Held Interview on Building a Powerful Military with Chinese Characteristics
10.22 The press center of the 19th Party Congress held a group interview on 22 October regarding China’s development toward a powerful military with Chinese characteristics. Commander of an armored amphibious assault vehicle of a combined arms brigade in the 74th Army corps of the PLA Wang Rui (王锐) said, over the past five years, basic-level military loyalty toward the Party and Xi Jinping has increased, and the atmosphere of encouraging learning the Party’s thoughts on a strong army for a new era has also deepened. A staff officer of the Office of International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission Liu Fang (刘芳) said that China’s various overseas military operations have become more and more normalized. China is now the biggest troop contributor among the five permanent member states of UN Security Council and had just finalized its registration work for an 8,000-people peacekeeping troop to the UN last month.
Xi Jinping Addresses Meeting of Military Cadres: In Order to Achieve the Party’s New Era Strong Army Goal, Strive to Establish the People’s Army as a World Class Military
10.27 Xi Jinping addressed a meeting of military cadres and gave an important speech in which he discussed Xi Jinping’s “Strong Army Thought” (强军思想) for a new era. Xi Jinping explained that just as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, national defense and army building has also entered a new era. He emphasized the importance of achieving mechanization by 2020, making progress on informatization and improving strategic capabilities, achieving the full modernization of the Chinese military by 2035, and establishing the PLA as a world-class military by the middle of the century. He urged earnest study and implementation of the 19th Party Congress in order to unswervingly follow the road of strengthening the military with Chinese characteristics.
Deputy Minister of Justice Xiong Xuanguo: 19th Party Congress Report has Deepened the Implementation of the Rule of Law
10.23 Deputy Minister of Justice Xiong Xuanguo (熊选国) said in an interview with the Legal Daily that the 19th Party Congress Report has pointed out a direction for the country to push forward the implementation of the rule of law. The plan to establish the central leading group for advancing law-based governance (中央全面依法治国领导小组) laid out at the 19th Party Congress reinforces a unified leadership on the construction of rule of law in China. The Report has also clearly set the goals for China to become a country, government, and society with the rule of law by 2035, and to modernize its governance system and capability by the mid-21st century.
Bagatur: 19th Party Congress Spirit Should be Implemented to Promote Innovative Development in New Era Ethnic Works
10.24 19th Party Congress delegate and State Ethnic Affairs Commission Head Bagatur (巴特尔) said in an interview that ethnic works over the past five years had reached four “news.” The first is new energy injected into the ethnic works working system, with the creation of the leading small group on united front work and adjustments made in the committee system of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. Second is the new situation that all ethnic regions are heading to moderate prosperity together. Third is the new direction that the Chinese nation’s unity is moving toward. The collective awareness of being a Chinese nation has been reinforced. The last is the new phase of managing ethnic works according to law. For the first time in history, policy documents have been made regarding the unity of ethnic groups and the management of the floating minority population. Bagatur attributes these achievements to the correct guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Ethnic Works for a New Era, and asserts that learning and implementing the 19th Party Congress spirit should now be the primary political task to promote innovative development in ethnic works in the new era.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
Song Tao Encourages In-Depth Study of the 19th Party Congress and Xi Jinping Thought to Better Fulfill the Party’s International Work and New Historic Mission
10.26 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) addressed an general assembly of Party cadres, where he urged in-depth study of the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and Xi Jinping Thought in order to improve the Party’s international work. Song emphasized the importance of understanding the historical achievements of socialism with Chinese characteristics in order to to tell the story of the Communist Party of China more confidently and strengthen China’s international leadership. Furthermore, Song urged a deeper understanding of how the goals and tasks of Party work in the new era contribute to humanity’s common destiny. According to Song, understanding this will help strengthen relations with political parties in China’s neighboring nations, major powers, and developing countries, and help expand the Party’s “circle of friends.”
10.24 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with Venezuelan Ambassador to China Iván Antonio Zerpa Guerrero. Li introduced the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s report to the 19th Party Congress and expressed that the CCP places a high level of importance on developing a relationship with the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Guerrero congratulated his counterpart on the 19th Party Congress, and stated that the congress will have a far reaching influence on China and the world.
10.25 International Department Vice Minister Xu Luping (徐绿平) met with DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong. Ji Jae Ryong passed on Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un’s congratulatory telegram to Xi Jinping for his reelection as CCP General Secretary and Central Military Commission Chairman.
10.25 International Department Assistant Minister Wang Yajun (王亚军) Met with Minister Noriyuki Shikata, Japan’s Deputy Chief of Mission in China, in Beijing. Wang introduced the spirit and significance of the 19th Party Congress to his counterpart and discussed bilateral relations between both countries and ruling parties.
10.27 International Department Assistant Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with Russian Ambassador to Beijing Andrey Denisov to discuss the 19th Party Congress and China-Russia relations.
Image Source: Wall Street Journal