- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl
Weekly Report 1|8 11.18.2017-11.24.2017 (Thanksgiving Edition)
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh agreed to establish a strategic partnership.
Former Deputy Director of the Central Propaganda Department and Director of the Office of the Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group Lu Wei is under investigation for serious violations of Party discipline. He was proclaimed to be the first “tiger” to fall after the 19th Party Congress.
Xi Jinping Meets with Djibouti President, Both Agree to Establish a Strategic Partnership
11.23 Xi Jinping met with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh in Beijing this week. The two leaders agreed to establish a strategic partnership between China and Djibouti, and to make efforts to comprehensively deepen bilateral cooperation. During the meeting, Xi pointed out that Guelleh was the first African head of state to visit China since the 19th Party Congress, underscoring the strategic importance of the relationship. Xi welcomed Djibouti to participate in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative and other infrastructure projects, and voiced China’s support for Djibouti playing a larger role in international affairs and safeguarding peace and stability in Africa. Guelleh assured Xi that Djibouti is willing to actively participate in the OBOR Initiative and other infrastructure projects. He also expressed appreciation for China’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, counter piracy operations, as well as the long-term stability and development of Africa. Xi emphasized that China has always stood firmly with developing countries and seeks to be a reliable partner for countries at any stage of development.
Firm Cultural Self-Confidence Promotes Cultural Prosperity
11.20 People’s Daily published an article highlighting a speech by Wang Meng (王蒙), the famous Chinese novelist who served as Minister of Culture from 1986 to 1989, about the inspiration he draws from the 19th Party Congress, specifically highlighting Xi’s insistence on “firm cultural self-confidence.” Wang discusses how traditional culture and revolutionary culture have historically been framed as opposed. However, Wang asserts that the revolutionary ideas of “arduous struggle” (艰苦奋斗) and “self-reliance” (自力更生) are themselves rooted in Chinese traditional culture. Therefore, developing firm cultural self-confidence is key to achieving socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Wang also criticizes Chinese society’s approach to traditional culture. First, Wang criticizes the failure to distinguish between the essential and useless aspects of traditional culture. For example, while the virtue of filial piety is worthy of passing on, Wang believes the study of the “24 Stories of Filial Piety” (二十四孝) should be abandoned. Second, he attacks the overconsumption and marketization of traditional culture, specifically the phenomenon of “first start a rumor, then build a temple” (先造谣、再造庙) in which fake historical sites are created for monetary gain, calling it cheating and deception. Third, he says that cultural self-confidence does not signify that Chinese society should be closed off to the world; rather, it means that Chinese society should face the future without forgetting its roots.
Strategic Significance of Asia-Europe Cooperation Increases
11.20 China’s Senior Official Ambassador to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Xie Bohua (谢波华) penned an article in People’s Daily extolling the strategic significance of Asia-Europe cooperation in the new era, saying Asia and Europe are inextricably linked as a community of common interests and a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind. His article says that Asia and Europe are two poles in a multipolar world that must work together to achieve global stability. He says that Xi’s call to build a community of common destiny at the 19th Party Congress provides a new guide for promoting a “new type of comprehensive partnership relations between Asia and Europe” (亚欧新型全面伙伴关系).
Zhong Sheng: Build a Community of Common Future for Mankind
11.21 This week the People’s Daily continued its Zhong Sheng series, which explains the concept of building a community of common future for mankind. The seventh article in the series discusses how China, as a socialist society with Chinese characteristics, can be a global leader in environmental protection. The article names global warming as the chief environmental threat of our time. At the 19th Party Congress, Xi set the goal of becoming a leader in guiding international cooperation over climate change and leading the construction of a “global ecological civilization.” The article points to China’s achievements in developing alternative energy and promoting international cooperation in the energy field through OBOR as evidence that China’s is equipped to lead such cooperation.
UNITED FRONT WORK
OBOR Forum for Overseas Chinese Explores Ways to Coordinate with the Motherland
11.24 The Overseas Chinese and “One Belt One Road” Building Discussion Forum was held in Chengdu, with representatives from almost 30 countries and regions in attendance. The forum was hosted by the China Zhi Gong Party, which has been an active agent for organizing overseas Chinese and local influencers in the OBOR region to better understand China and support cooperation and consensus. Deputy Secretary of the Zhi Gong Party Central Committee Yan Xiaopei (闫小培) expressed hope that the forum would realize joint cooperation between overseas Chinese and relevant Chinese departments and enterprises, in order for overseas Chinese to improve their participation in OBOR through linking facilities and people’s sentiment, communicating policies, free-flowing trade, and the flow of capital. The overseas delegates and representatives of various levels of Zhi Gong Party organizations explored their respective experiences, perceptions, and understandings related to OBOR building. Nordic Investment Bank Chief Representative for China and East Asia Shao Xuemin (邵雪民) stated his bank was prepared for multifaceted cooperation with China and OBOR countries.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Holds Public Lecture on Studying and Implementing the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
11.20 Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡), the Deputy Secretary of the CCDI, delivered a speech at a public lecture on studying and implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. During his speech, he focused on the theme of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era. He also emphasized all levels of discipline inspection organs and all discipline inspection cadres must regard studying and implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress as their most important political task and use unyielding determination and tenacity to push comprehensive strict governance of the Party toward deep development.
4,353 Investigations into Violations of the Eight-Point Guideline in October 2017
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
11.20 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection reported that in October 2017, 4,353 individuals were investigated, 6,190 were punished, and 4,346 received Party and governmental disciplinary punishments for violations of the Eight-Point Guideline across China. As of 31 October, 37,824 individuals were investigated, 53,195 were punished, and 37,289 received Party and governmental disciplinary punishments nationwide in 2017.
Chongqing Daily Commentator Article: Defend Xi’s Core Status; Sun Zhengcai Deceived the Party Center
11.20 Chongqing Daily published a commentator article on comprehensively implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress in Chongqing. The commentary states thoroughly studying and implementing the spirit is the foremost political and strategic task of the present and future. It also emphasizes the Party must resolutely defend Xi Jinping’s core leader status and strictly maintain political discipline and etiquette among Party members. The commentary criticizes former Chongqing Party Secretaries Bo Xilai (薄熙来) for attempting to establish an “independent kingdom” in the city and Sun Zhengcai (孙政才) for being lazy, bullying those below him and hoodwinking those above, and passively carrying out the Party center’s decisions.
The Fight against Corruption Does Not Stop: Another “Tiger” Caught Less Than One Month After the 19th Party Congress
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
11.21 Lu Wei (鲁炜), formerly a deputy director of the Central Propaganda Department and director of the Office of the Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group (the Cyberspace Administration of China), is suspected of serious violations of Party discipline. An investigation against him is currently being carried out. A commentary on the CCDI’s website portrays Lu as the first tiger to be caught since the conclusion of the 19th Party Congress. It also states this news makes the importance of comprehensive strict governance of the Party to Xi Jinping as the core clear and praises the effectiveness of the anti-corruption campaign.
Yang Xiaodu Meets with South African Minister of Public Service and Administration Muthambi
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
11.21 Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) met with South African Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi at the Great Hall of the People. Yang said the CCP will obtain a decisive victory in its fight against corruption and called for a new international anti-corruption order. Muthambi stated South Africa hopes to deepen its cooperation with China, including in anti-corruption measures.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
Li Zuocheng Meets with the Pakistani Army Chief of General Staff
11.18 Li Zuocheng (李作成), CMC member and Chief of the Joint Staff Department, met with the Pakistani Army Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Bilal Akbar. He recounted how Xi Jinping expounded on creating a community with a shared future for mankind at the 19th Party Congress and expressed China’s commitment to creating a community with a shared future for China and Pakistan. The Pakistani side indicated it is ready to work with China to strengthen strategic communication and coordination, deepen practical cooperation, and jointly respond to regional security challenges.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
First Meeting of 19th Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform Deliberates and Passes Measures
11.20 Xi Jinping gave a speech in his capacity as head of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform at the first meeting of the 19th Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. Xi emphasized that major achievements have been made over the past several years and that prospects looked positive for reform on the “new journey,” and ordered all regions and departments to carry out the spirit, deployment, and requirements of reform in their resolute advancement of reform. The meeting reaffirmed the importance of many undertakings and deliberated or passed numerous measures toward related reform goals, including on the establishment of a mechanism for the State Council to report the situation of state assets administration to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, strengthening the work of poverty alleviation teams dispatched to impoverished villages and regions, improving environmental protection of rivers and lakes, implementing the Party’s educational policies and persisting in operating socialism-oriented schools, and improving the training of general practitioner doctors. The meeting concluded that incomplete reform tasks set by the 18th Party Congress must be rapidly address. In attendance at the meeting was Li Keqiang, Zhang Gaoli (张高丽) Wang Yang (汪洋), and Wang Huning (王沪宁).
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
First Silk Road NGO Forum Held in Beijing
11.21 The first Silk Road NGO Forum opened in Beijing this week. The forum was attended by International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛), who opened the ceremony by reading a letter written by Xi Jinping. Xi wrote that building a cooperative network of NGOs along the Silk Road is an important factor in enhancing cooperation and friendship between Silk Road countries and building a community of common future for mankind. Song emphasized that Xi’s letter to the forum is an indication of the great importance he attaches to NGO cooperation, and hoped that NGOs from each country could advance One Belt One Road (OBOR) construction.
11.17-11.20 International Department Minister and China’s special envoy to North Korea Song Tao (宋涛) held a series of meetings with leading members of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Both sides exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and the Korean Peninsula crisis and expressed their wish to strengthen inter-party and bilateral ties. Song also visited the Hoech’ang Chinese People’s Volunteer Army Martyr’s Cemetery.
11.18 International Department Deputy Minister Li Jun (李军) led the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Foreign Propaganda Group on a trip to Russia. The group met with leaders from Russia’s political parties at a conference. The Russian side said it looks forward to strengthening inter-party interaction and linking development strategies.
11.19 Li Jun met with the President of Panama’s Panameñista Party, Jose Varela. He expressed appreciation on behalf of the CCP for the Panameñista Party’s contributions to the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Panama. Varela reiterated the Panameñista Party’s support for the One China principle. Both expressed a wish to further develop China-Panama relations.
11.19-11.21 Executive Vice President of the Central Party School He Yiting (何毅亭), led the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Foreign Propaganda Group on a trip to Mongolia. The group met with members of the Mongolian People’s Party, chairman of the Democratic Party, and head of the government’s cabinet secretariat respectively. He indicated the CCP attaches great importance to China-Mongolia relations and further developing the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership. The Mongolian side expressed its expectation that bilateral exchange and cooperation will strengthen.
11.20 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业州) met with Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper Task Force Head Richard Maude in Beijing. Both sides exchanged opinions on China-Australia relations and international and regional conditions.
11.21 International Department Deputy Minister Xu Lüping (徐绿平) met with the Mauritius Militant Socialist Movement leader and the Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth in Mauritius. Xu expressed China’s wish to further develop inter-party exchange and cooperation and bilateral relations as well as make a major contribution to creating a community with a shared future for China and Africa. Pravind expressed his hope Mauritius will become a gateway and hub for China-Africa cooperation under the framework of the OBOR Initiative.
11.21 Li Jun met with a delegation from a Japanese civic group dedicated to upholding and developing the Murayama Statement in Beijing. The two sides exchanged opinions on China-Japan relations.
11.21-11.23 He Yiting (何毅亭) led the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Foreign Propaganda Group to introduce the 19th Party Congress to South Korea, where he met with various officials and political party representatives to disseminate the spirit of the Congress. He also presented his South Korean counterparts with a new book published by the Central Party School’s publishing house, Xi Jinping’s Seven Sent-Down Youth Years (习近平的七年知青岁月).
11.23 International Department Assistant Minister Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with Demetris Syllouris, President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus. Wang introduced the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and China-Europe relations. Syllouris emphasized that Cyprus is ready to actively partake in OBOR construction.