- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Sandy Lu
Weekly Report 1|5 10.28.2017-11.03.2017
Party propaganda focused on transmitting the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. New propaganda work tasks heavily focus on Xi Jinping’s personal authority and the supremacy of “Xi Jinping Thought,” the latest addition to the CCP’s guiding ideology.
Party mouthpiece People’s Daily made clear that Chinese foreign policy after the 19th Party Congress will actively seek to position China as a leader of world peace, globalization, and economic development under the 19th Party Congress concept of a “community with a shared future for mankind.”
The CCP International Department’s liaison work focused on the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, emphasizing bilateral strategic partnerships and shared socialist identity to promote a shared vision for the region.
Xi Jinping Pens Letter to Tibetan Family near China-India Border
10.30 The People’s Daily published an open letter from General Secretary Xi Jinping to a family of Tibetan herders in Yumai Township, Lhünzê County, Tibet, a disputed territory on the China-India border. In the letter, Xi expresses his gratitude for their dedication to defending the border and guarding the motherland, and expresses hope that others living in the border areas will follow their example. According to the South China Morning Post, the same family had been featured in a 2015 Chinese National Geography report that praised them for helping maintain control of the disputed territory: “Yumai would be occupied by India already if the family had decided to leave.” Without referring to rising tensions along the China-India border, the open letter emphasizes Xi’s resolve to defend China’s claim to the territory.
Xi Jinping at CCP’s Birthplace: Stay True to the Party’s Original Aspirations
People’s Daily Foreign Edition
10.31 Xi Jinping led the full CCP Politburo Standing Committee on their first collective trip, which was to Shanghai and Jiaxing, Zhejiang. In Shanghai, the Standing Committee paid homage to the birthplace of the CCP in 1921 and vowed that the new leadership would be resolute in their political faith. The standing committee then visited the “red boat” at Jiaxing’s South Lake--where the first CCP members finished their first Party congress after being interrupted by police in Shanghai--and Xi gave an important speech. Xi stated that only if the Party stays true to their original aspirations, keeps its mission in mind, and fights forever, can the Party be forever young; only if the entire Party, nation, and each ethnic group unites as one, can the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation be attained.
Li Keqiang Presides over State Council Executive Meeting
10.31 State Council Premier Li Keqiang hosted a State Council Executive Meeting on 30 October that passed the “Guiding Opinions on Deepening the ‘Internet Plus Advanced Manufacturing’ Plan on Developing Industrial Internet” (深化“互联网+先进制造业”发展工业互联网的指导意见) and the “Decisions of the State Council regarding Abolishing the ‘Provisional Regulations of the PRC on Business Tax’ and Revising the ‘Provisional Regulations of the PRC on Value-Added Tax’ (Draft)” (国务院关于废止〈中华人民共和国营业税暂行条例〉和修改〈中华人民共和国增值税暂行条例〉的决定（草案）) to accelerate the processes of economic transformation and the institutionalization of tax reform. The meeting pointed out that in order to construct a modernized economic system, supply-side structural reform needs to be combined with the “Made in China 2025” (中国制造2025) and the “Internet Plus” (互联网+) plans to promote the combination of industry and new-generation information technology. “Made in China 2025” is a plan released by the State Council in 2015 to enhance China’s industry, and “Internet Plus” is a plan aiming to integrate the usage of the internet with various industries to maximize efficiency.
National People’s Congress Standing Committee Holds Deliberations at Bimonthly Meeting
10.31 The 30th meeting of the 12th National People’s Congress Standing Committee held its second session in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with Zhang Dejiang (张德江) presiding over the session. The meeting continued deliberation on draft revisions to the law on unfair competition and E-commerce, began first deliberations on rural land contracting law to potentially extend rural land contracts to meet the new requirements for the development of rural production capacity, reviewed a draft amendment to the Criminal Law that would punish people who disrespect China’s national anthem with prison terms of up to three years, and deliberated on other matters of national importance. The law regarding China’s national anthem was added as an annex to Hong Kong’s basic law, although the three-year prison term punishment does not appear to apply to the region.
Zhong Sheng Series: Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind | Articulating China’s Approach to International Relations
10.30-11.3 The People’s Daily International Department launched a series of “Zhong Sheng” (钟声) articles that discuss the concept of “Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind” (推动构建人类命运共同体), an important theme of the 19th Party Congress which emphasizes how the CCP can contribute to human progress. Zhong Sheng is a commentary pen name that stands for “Voice of China” and/or “Sounding the Alarm Bell” and authoritatively transmits the official positions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs.
The first article explains that Xi’s call at the 19th Party Congress to build a community with a shared future for mankind reflects China’s global vision. After years of focusing on its own development, China has entered a new era as a formidable global power with unique wisdom to contribute to the world. The article discusses how China, as a country that embraces a foreign policy of self-determination (独立自主), safeguards world peace and defends international justice, and can transform international politics. China will persist in remaining open to the outside world, resisting the current global trend toward protectionism, and playing a crucial role in promoting cooperation over economic development. China will also contribute to a more equitable system of global governance by promoting consensus on global governance norms and the “democratization” of international relations. The article concludes that this approach to international relations reflects the Party’s long-held mission to not only contribute to China’s development, but also to make contributions to the world.
The second article declares that China’s “new era” is an opportunity for the entire world. Rather than concentrating on relations between China’s government and other foreign governments, this article emphasizes people-to-people ties. In order to be open to the world, a country must first be open to the people, and particularly the talent, from all over the world. The article states that it is China’s mission to obtain the support of all the people of the world.
The third article discusses how China can promote “lasting peace” by abandoning the Cold War mentality and promoting dialogue instead of confrontation. It states that the post-World War II international order has brought about world peace, but that the road to achieve lasting peace is still long. Only by abandoning the Cold War mentality and great power politics, persevering on the road to peaceful development, and genuinely and sincerely constructing world peace can long-lasting peace be achieved.
The fourth article discusses global security governance, emphasizing that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. The article says that in recent years, China has advocated for a new global security concept in forums such as the CICA Summit in Shanghai, the United Nations, and the 86th General Assembly of Interpol. This new approach emphasizes developing a consensus among all nations on global security through pursuing common security, cooperation, and development.
People’s Daily Commentary Series on Implementing the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress
10.29 The People’s Daily published a series of commentator articles instructing people how to implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. The first article instructs Party members to adhere to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era as the long-term guiding ideology for the Party. In order to do this, Party members must study Xi’s four “deep studies” (深刻学习领会): deeply study the implications of socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era in order to understand China’s new historic direction, grasp the Party’s new historic mission, and strengthen the four confidences; deeply study recent changes in society’s “major contradictions” in order to understand historic changes and adapt to the demands of the current period; deeply study the new objective of comprehensively constructing a modern socialist nation in order to understand strategic plans for the development of the new era socialism with Chinese characteristics; and deeply study the new demands of party building in order to stand by and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. The article declared Xi’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to be the soul of the report to the 19th Party Congress, a major theoretical innovation of the Party, and the latest achievement in the sinicization of Marxism.
Click here for the second article, third article, fourth article, fifth article, and sixth article in the series.
CCP Central Committee Releases Decision on Earnestly Studying, Disseminating, and Implementing the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress
11.2 The CCP Central Committee released its decision on earnestly studying, disseminating, and implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, intended to unify the thinking of all people across the country on the 19th Party Congress. The Central Committee declared the 19th Party Congress was a very important meeting held at a critical time for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Xi Jinping’s speech profoundly answers a series of theoretical and practical problems in adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. Therefore, earnestly studying, disseminating, and implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress will affect the overall work of the party, the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the fundamental interests of an overwhelming majority of people.
In propaganda work regarding the 19th Party Congress, the Central Committee resolved to focus on the following key areas:
Discussing how Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a guiding principle that the Party must adhere to for a long time.
Explaining that in the past five years since the 18th Party Congress, the Party has made historic achievements and brought about historic changes.
Explaining how socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era.
Discussing important political conclusions of the 19th Party Congress, including Xi’s conclusion that China’s principal contradiction has evolved in the new era into the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever growing need for a better life.
Implementing the major policy decisions of the 19th Party Congress.
Ensuring the new central leadership with Xi Jinping as the core receives the endorsement of the entire nation.
Ensuring Xi Jinping, as the leader of the Party, receives the endorsement of the entire nation.
UNITED FRONT WORK
CPPCC Standing Committee Meets in Beijing
10.31 Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声) presided over the 23rd meeting of the 12th Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which met to study and implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. New Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning (王沪宁) attended the meeting and gave a special report to the body. Wang told them that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a program of action for the Party to unite and lead people of all ethnicities to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. During group discussions at the meeting, Standing Committee members expressed their full support for the resolutions adopted by the 19th Party Congress as well as the new central leadership with Xi Jinping at the core.
CCDI Follows “Four Forms” to Discipline 814,000 People from January to September
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
10.29 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) released data on 29 October showing that from January to September 2017, the CCDI had received 2.025 million reported cases of disciplinary violations and punished 338,000 people. During the same period, the CCDI has used the “four forms” to address 814,000 people. The “four forms” is a four-tier system to carry out political discipline. It includes criticism and self-criticism, minor disciplinary penalties, severe punishment and demotion, and prosecution. According to the data, 58.2 percent of the 814,000 people were disciplined with the first form, and 32.1 percent were disciplined through the second form.
19th CCDI Holds Meetings to Promote the Spirit of 19th Party Congress
10.30 The 19th CCDI Standing Committee held its first meeting on 29 October. Politburo Standing Committee Member and CCDI Secretary Zhao Leji (赵乐际) emphasized that the CCDI Standing Committee needs to become a strong battle group that is loyal to the Party, follow the strategic plans laid out at the 19th Party Congress, and fulfill the supervisory responsibilities assigned by the Party Constitution. The CCDI held another meeting on 30 October to promote and study the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. Zhao urged CCDI members to study the 19th Party Congress Report, the Party Constitution, the CCDI work report, and Xi’s important speech at the First Plenum of the 19th Party Congress. Politburo and CCP Central Committee Secretariat member and CCDI Deputy Secretary Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) attended both meetings.
Nationwide Pilot Programs for State Supervision System Reform Begins
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
10.30 According to an article on the CCDI website, the “Regarding the Program for the Nationwide Pilot Program for State Supervision System Reform” (关于在全国各地推开国家监察体制改革试点方案) released by the CCP Central Committee General Office marks the official beginning of the nationwide pilot projects for deepening the supervision system reform mentioned at the 19th Party Congress Report. The General Office first released the plan for conducting pilot programs for reforming the state supervision mechanism in Beijing, Shanxi, and Zhejiang in November 2016. By April 2017, all three localities had completed setting up supervision commissions at all levels. Some of the most important reforms made in this process were integrating the units with similar supervision functions into one supervision commission and improving the work of “leading people’s thought.” The article emphasizes that the National Supervisory Commission, which will be established to oversee the supervision work under this reform, will not become a “super-institution”--it will be supervised by the People’s Congress.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
Central Military Commission Holds Promotion Ceremony for Zhang Shengmin
11.2 The Central Military Commission promoted Zhang Shengmin (张升民) to the rank of general in a ceremony on 2 November in Beijing. During the 19th Party Congress, Zhang Shengmin was appointed to the Central Military Commission after serving as the anti-corruption chief of the People’s Liberation Army.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
Firmly Advance Comprehensively Deepening Reform with People at its Center
11.1 A People’s Daily commentary piece states that since the 18th Party Congress, the CCP Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core was said to have solved many difficult problems that had remained unsolved for a long time and completed many great tasks that remained unfinished, winning the approval of the masses. Even so, the piece states that some people continue to make noise that reform is not undertaken from the people’s standpoint, that the masses do not receive much benefit from reform, and that reform has not touched issues of substance; according to the piece, these views are all wrong. As a result of a series of symbolic, crucial, and leading reform measures that have taken root, the masses are said to feel grateful, and the people’s livelihood has been upgraded. Supply-side structural reform, huji (hukou) system reform, public hospital reform, city and countryside eldercare, the “universal two-child policy” and other reform measures all have had real benefits for the masses, the piece states.
However, the commentary also states that now that the easy parts of reform are completed, the difficult parts remain. For instance, while focusing on benefiting people, it is often impossible to make sure that everyone benefits equally. To address this kind of issue requires the Party to reinforce propaganda and lead the people to think long-term, and to make sure society can tolerate bold reforms. The piece also criticizes a part of society that judges China’s comprehensive deepening of reform through a Western lens and denies that non-Western style reform is truly reform at all. In conclusion, the piece emphasizes that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the only way to realize, secure, and develop the masses’ fundamental interests.
National Lawyer Profession Party Committee Established, Provincial-level Committees to Follow
11.1 People’s Daily reports on 1 November that, with the approval of the Central Organization Department, the Ministry of Justice Party Group established the “CCP National Lawyer Profession Committee” (中国共产党全国律师行业委员会) in charge of guiding Party building work within the lawyer community. According to data provided by the article, as of late 2016, around 31 percent of practicing lawyers are Party members. Ministry of Justice Vice Minister and National Lawyer Profession Party Committee Secretary Xiong Xuanguo (熊选国) stated that every provincial-level lawyer’s association must consult the CCP National Lawyer Profession Committee as a model to establish provincial-level CCP lawyer profession committees, as a step towards setting up lower-level committees. The overarching goal is to advance the consolidated management over the profession’s Party organizations and members.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
Entering the New Era, An Unprecedented Increase in the Chinese Communist Party’s International Influence: Interview with Song Tao
11.1 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) said in an interview with the People’s Daily that the congratulatory telegrams for the 19th Party Congress received this year demonstrate three differences from the past. The amount of messages received increased nearly 80 percent, showing that international society has placed extreme importance on the 19th Party Congress. Besides political parties, many international organizations, foreign non-governmental organizations and think tanks also sent in their congratulations, showing that the Party’s influence and charisma have now reached multiple parts of international society. The majority of the telegrams also praised the domestic and foreign policies of China, as well as its governance ideas, demonstrating the Party’s growing leadership role in the international society. Song said that the International Department would prepare for the “CCP in Dialogue with the World” Meeting (中国共产党与世界政党高层对话会), which is scheduled at the end of November, and visit key countries and regions to promote and exchange ideas on the spirit of the 19th Party Congress.
10.29 Song Tao (宋涛) met Sounthone Xayachack, head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s National External Relations Committee and a special envoy of the Party’s General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachith. Song said Sounthone’s visit had shown the friendship between the LPRP and the CCP. He introduced the spirit of the 19th Party Congress to Sounthone, and Sounthone congratulated the CCP again for the success of the 19th Party Congress. Both sides agreed to continue working closely in the future and raise the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Lao to a new level. International Department Assistant Minister Wang Yajun (王亚军) also attended the meeting.
10.30 Song Tao met with Communist Party of Vietnam External Relations Chairman Hoang Binh Quan. His visit was said to demonstrate the CPV’s goodwill in deepening its comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership with China. Song said the CCP is also willing to deepen the bilateral relationship between the two parties. Hoang Binh Quan praised the achievements China has made in the past five years and believed that a new chapter for the China-Vietnam relationship would begin.
10.30 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with a Vietnamese Party cadre training class in Beijing. Li Jun spoke with them about the achievements of the 19th Party Congress, including the Party’s judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The leader of the training class congratulated the Chinese side on the successful Party Congress, and expressed desire to learn from China’s development experience.
10.30 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a European Union delegation to introduce the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and exchange views on China-EU relations.
10.30 Xi Jinping met with the special envoy of the LPRP General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachith in Beijing. The envoy extended her government’s congratulations on the successful completion of the 19th Party Congress. Xi explained that the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era is not only important for China’s development, but also for the world. He said that both China and Laos have sought independent development paths that suit their own national conditions. China and Laos’ communist parties should therefore utilize their relationship to make contributions to the development of socialism.
10.30 Xi Jinping met with Hoang Binh Quan, the special envoy of CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Xi emphasized that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and that the construction and reform of socialism in Vietnam has also entered a key period. The CCP and CPV, as ruling parties of socialist countries, should firmly work together and establish a community with a shared future with strategic significance. Hoang Binh Quan expressed that Vietnam believes China will be able to achieve the great goals proposed by the 19th Party Congress under the leadership of the Party with Xi at its core, and it looks forward to promoting further development in Sino-Vietnamese relations.
10.31 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with Johnny Francisco Araya Monge, the leader of Costa Rica’s National Liberation Party and mayor of the country’s capital San José. Li Jun introduced the spirit of the 19th Party Congress to Johnny Araya Monge and expressed the willingness to deepen the traditional relationship between the two parties and countries.
10.31 International Department Assistant Minister Wang Yajun met with a delegation from the EU-China Friendship Group in the European Parliament led by its group Chairman Nirj Deva. Wang introduced the main spirit of the 19th Party Congress to the delegation and exchanged views with them on China’s relations with Europe and China-European cooperation under the One Belt One Road framework. Mr. Nirj Deva said the group would continue contributing to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Europe.
11.1 The International Department held a thematic briefing to explain the spirit of the 19th Party Congress to foreign senior diplomats, cross-nation business councils, and business representatives in China. More than 260 senior diplomats and 140 representatives from international organizations, foreign business councils, and multinational corporations attended. International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) attended the briefing and answered questions.
11.1 Song Tao met with CPV External Relations Chairman Hoang Binh Quan in Hanoi as a special envoy of General Secretary Xi Jinping. Song thoroughly explained the significant guiding role of Xi’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in China’s international work and the profound impact it brought to the world. He expressed that many countries, especially developing countries, think Xi’s thought has contributed Chinese wisdom and a Chinese plan to international society to solve humanity’s problems and build a new path for civilized development. China will set constructing a socialist community with a shared future between China and Vietnam as a goal to deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the two parties. Hong Binh Quan said in the meeting that Vietnam viewed the 19th Party Congress as a historical event that demonstrates China’s big country status and the responsibilities it takes in international affairs. Vietnam will actively implement the critical consensus reached by the leaders of the two parties and contribute to promoting a healthy and stable China-Vietnam relationship.
11.1 Song Tao met with CPV Politburo Member and Central Inspection Commission Head Tran Quoc Vuong in Hanoi. Song introduced the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, emphasizing that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era was the long term guiding ideology that the CCP must adhere to. He further explained the requirements of Party building in the new era and that the most important characteristic of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CCP, and stated that the new CCP Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core places high importance on party-to-party relations between the two countries; he expressed the CCP’s willingness to consolidate the traditional friendship and promote mutual political trust between the two states. Tran stated his party would earnestly study the political theories and conclusions of the 19th Party Congress and study the CCP’s experiences and methods for strictly governing itself and governing China.
11.2 Song Tao met with CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to convey a message from Xi Jinping. Xi extended thanks to the CPV’s congratulations on the CCP’s 19th Party Congress, expressed that the bilateral relationship is a community with a shared future of strategic significance, and stated China’s willingness to advance the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership. Nguyen Phu Trong thanked Xi for his message, expressed his high evaluation of the significance of the 19th Party Congress, and congratulated Xi on his reelection as General Secretary and the inclusion of his theory into the CCP guiding ideology.
11.2 Song Tao met with LPRP General Secretary and Laos President Bounnhang Vorachith to explain the circumstances of the 19th Party Congress and to deliver General Secretary Xi Jinping’s oral message. Xi thanked the central committee of the LPRP and Bounnhang Vorachith for his congratulations on the 19th Party Congress and Xi’s reelection for a second term as CCP General Secretary, and emphasized that in accordance with the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, China’s Party and people will advance the construction of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Xi emphasized that China is willing to cooperate with Laos through the continuation of the “16-character policy” and the “four good” spirits (good neighbors, good friends, good comrades, good partners). Bounnhang Vorachith expressed his country’s high approval of the CCP’s 19th Party Congress and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and expressed willingness to improve party-to-party and bilateral relations.
10.30 Xu Jia’ai (徐加爱) was appointed head of the discipline inspection group stationed at the People’s Bank of China.
10.30 Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng (韩正) will no longer serve as Secretary, Standing Committee Member, and Member of the Shanghai Party Committee. Politburo member and new Shanghai Party Committee Secretary Li Qiang (李强) will serve concurrently as Secretary, standing committee member, and member of the Shanghai Party Committee.
11.3 Xiao Jie (肖捷) was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the State Council. He has served as Minister of Finance since 2016.
11.3 Chen Xiaodong (陈晓东) was appointed Assistant Foreign Minister.
Image Source: Xinhua