- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl
Weekly Report 1|14 1.20.2018-1.26.2018
The CCP propaganda apparatus has utilized the 2018 World Economic Forum to portray China as the new leading proponent of globalization, claiming that this year’s theme was directly inspired by CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping. It contrasted China’s collaborative approach to global governance with US President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy; an English language Xinhua commentary presented foreign readers with an imperative to choose between the two.
The Central Political and Legal Work Meeting stressed CCP leadership over political and legal work and the importance of deepening the reform of the judicial system.
Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform that encouraged further pushes towards reform and stressed the importance of combating formalism.
COVERAGE OF THE DAVOS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Liu He Attends 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and Gives Speech
1.24 Politburo member and Director of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Finance and Economics Liu He (刘鹤) addressed the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos. He told the crowd that the 19th Party Congress established a new central leading collective with Xi at the core and set Xi Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide for China’s development. China will focus on supply-side structural reform, preventing and solving critical risks, poverty alleviation, and pollution prevention and control. Liu emphasized that China would continue opening to the world, easing restrictions on market access, promoting Belt and Road construction, upholding the global governance concept of “discussing together, building together, and sharing together” (共商共建共享) and the multilateral trade system, and actualizing the building of a “new type of international relations” (新型国际关系) and a “community of shared future for mankind.”
Commemorating the First Anniversary of Xi Jinping’s Lecture on community with a shared future for mankind at the Davos World Economic Forum: A Guide for Human Progress and Change
1.26 After accounting President Xi Jinping’s speech at the World Economic Forum in 2017, an article credits this year’s Davos theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” as “resonating with the Chinese principal of community with a shared future for mankind,” (与构建人类命运共同体的中国理念同频共振.) The China in a new era will join hands with other countries and move towards a better future for mankind, the article says. In Davos, Xi stood up to guide a global economy that had gone astray and defended globalization. At the end of his speech, the audience applauded and praised the profound thinking of the Chinese leader. Xi’s words are said to have inspired this year’s Davos forum participants to remember and strive towards a “ community with a shared future for mankind” (人类命运共同体.)
This new mode of thinking about a shared future replaces the zero-sum Western model, the article states. The concept of building a shared future originates from China and belongs to the world. In particular, the international community has reached consensus that the Belt and Road Initiative has become an important and laudable practice for China to promote global human welfare.
Foreign media disputes the veracity of many personal quotations by overseas public figures claimed in Chinese state media to be attributing their current actions as being directly inspired by Xi’s Davos speech.
Commentary: Shared Future or America First?
1.24 An English language Xinhua commentary explicitly names Chinese leadership as an alternative to American leadership: “The world is indeed fracturing, if not completely fractured yet. On the international horizon, with the United States bent on "making America great again" by putting America first, and Britain untying the knot with the European Union, the bandwagon of globalization and integration has been put into reverse.” As the world faces a choice between China and the US, “The right choice is the latter -- the Xi-style collaborative approach.”
Zhong Sheng: The World Needs Leadership Consistent with the Times
1.23 The commentary pen name “Zhong Sheng,” which 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, reflected on the opening of the 2018 World Economic Forum. It pointed out that, despite changes in the world economy, economic globalization and free trade still face serious challenges from the trends of anti-globalization and protectionism one year after Xi Jinping’s speech at the previous forum. Additionally, according to the article, China’s message at the World Economic Forum in recent years has been consistent, namely the country is a positive factor pushing economic globalization forward during times of trouble. It concludes by arguing against media reports portraying the forum as a contest between globalization and anti-globalization, claiming true leadership is manifested in practice instead.
Xi Jinping Stresses Party Leadership Over Political and Legal Work
1.23 Politburo member and Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) delivered Xi Jinping’s important directives at the Central Political and Legal Work Meeting (中央政法工作会议), urging attendees to “uphold the Party’s absolute leadership over political and legal work.” Xi also emphasized the importance of deepening the reform of the judicial system and constructing the rule of law. Xi’s remarks came after the Central Committee decided to add the National Supervision Commission (NSC), an anti-corruption organ under the direction of the Central Committee, to China’s constitution, a move that has been met with opposition by a number of Chinese legal scholars.
Central Committee and State Council Issue “Notification on the Launch of the Struggle to Clean Up Crime and Eliminate Evil”
1.24 The Central Committee and State Council jointly issued a notification of a “struggle” to clean up crime and eliminate evil (关于开展扫黑除恶专项斗争的通知). The notification emphasizes that the launch of the struggle is a “major policy decision by the CCP Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, and concerns social stability and the long-term peace and stability of the country, consolidation of the people’s support and grassroots political power...” The notification demanded that the struggle focuses on key industries and areas where gang-related crime is especially prominent, “aiming the tip of the sword toward the various dark and evil forces that violate the law, that the masses react most strongly against and hate the most.” It demanded the organizers of gang-related crime be severely punished.
Commentary: Promote the Timely Improvement and Development of the Constitution
1.21 Following the Central Committee’s second plenary session in which it was declared that Xi Jinping Thought and the National Supervision System would be included in the country’s constitution, Xinhua issued a supportive commentary on the decision. The commentary emphasized that this is a “major policy decision made by the CCP Central Committee,” as part of the Party’s “major strategic plan” for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
Zhong Sheng: Disrupting the Stability of the South China Sea Is Reckless
1.22 The commentary pen name “Zhong Sheng” (钟声) criticized the United States’ latest freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. The article argues any actions meant to fan the flames of disorder will ultimately be proven futile and any outside country’s efforts to interfere with the advancement of peaceful cooperation in the South China Sea will only create trouble for that country. Additionally, it claims American actions clearly show the world the United States is unwilling to help maintain stability in the South China Sea and primarily responsible for the militarization of the territorial disputes there. In contrast, it portrays China as playing a positive role in promoting regional cooperation that has won approval from regional countries.
Zhong Sheng: “A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed”
1.22 The commentary pen name “Zhong Sheng” was used to comment on China’s response to the accident involving the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, arguing the country’s efforts to extinguish the fire on the tanker and search for and rescue its crew demonstrated both bravery and professionalism. The article also criticizes unnamed foreign countries for ignoring the facts of the situation and unreasonably blaming China. Such actions, it claims, are based on absurd logic and reveal an intention to sow discord. It ends by stating China’s response to disasters show the way toward a community with a shared future for mankind.
China’s Diplomacy is Tied to a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
1.23 Guangming Daily published an article explaining the concept of a “community of shared future for mankind” (人类命运共同体), saying it is the quintessence of “Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics” (中国特色大国外交). The article argued that the concept goes beyond political systems, ideologies, and cultures and emphasizes cooperation and integration, which is why nearly 300 leaders from different political parties and organizations were able to gather together in Beijing last year to discuss the “grand plan for the development of mankind.” Finally, the idea of the Community includes a sense of responsibility. China has set up South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (南南合作援助基金) to support developing countries and increased its investments in underdeveloped countries. The article said that emphasizing the community with a shared future for mankind is a way for China to show its good faith in working with other countries to develop, which has manifested in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). By the end of 2017, China had signed BRI cooperative agreements with 80 countries and organizations, built 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries, and invested over $50 billion.
Zhong Sheng: Opening Up A Road to Trans-Pacific Cooperation
1.24 The commentary pen name “Zhong Sheng” highlighted the importance of China’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean following a meeting between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States earlier in the week. During this meeting, China invited the countries of the region to take part in the BRI. The article states this expansion of the BRI will open up new cooperative spaces and opportunities, which in turn will make a major contribution to the creation of a community with a shared future for mankind.
UNITED FRONT WORK
Central Committee Holds Meeting for Non-Party Members; Xi Jinping Gives Important Speech
1.22 The CCP Central Committee held a meeting for non-Party members attended by National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang, CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng, and Politburo Standing Committee members Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, and Wang Huning. The purpose of the meeting was to hear the opinions of non-Party members on the Central Committee’s recent decision to amend the constitution to include Xi Jinping Thought. Xi told attendees that the purpose of the Central Committee’s decision was to make the nation’s constitution better reflect the will of the people and to improve the CCP’s ability to govern for the long-term.
China Federation of Literary and Art Circles’ Professional Ethics Committee: Consciously Carry out the Mission of Literary and Art Workers in the New Era
1.23 The China Federation of Literary and Art Circles is urging all the literary and art workers to “speak quality, style, and responsibility, and resist poor taste, vulgarity, and kitsch,” in an effort to implement Xi Jinping Thought and carry out the mission of a literary or art worker in the new era. They were urged to remember that Xi Jinping “has righteousness in his mind, the people in his heart, responsibility on his shoulders, and heaven and earth (乾坤) in his words.”
National Energy Administration Deputy Head Investigated for Disciplinary Violation
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
1.23 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced that National Energy Administration Deputy Head Wang Xiaolin (王晓林) is currently under organizational investigation for serious disciplinary violations. Wang has served as the deputy head and party group member of the Administration since August 2015.
Seven Centrally Managed Cadres Fall within 60 Days
1.25 60 days after the 19th Party Congress, seven centrally managed cadres (中管干部), including National Energy Administration Deputy Head Wang Xiaolin and former Propaganda Department Deputy Head Lu Wei (鲁炜), had been put under investigation. Deputy Director of Research Centre for Government Integrity Building at Peking University Zhuang Deshui (庄德水) said this demonstrates the Central Committee’s determination on anti-corruption. “Firmly curbing the increase in corruption, gradually dissolving existing corruption, and consolidating an overwhelming posture for anti-corruption development” will be the new trend for the future.
According to CCDI, 440 Party cadres above the provincial and ministerial level and other centrally managed cadres were put under investigation in the past five years. The recently released Report on Combating Corruption and Upholding Integrity in China No. 7 (中国反腐倡廉建设报告No.7) shows that from 2013 to 2016, 208,306 duty-related criminals were investigated throughout the disciplinary inspection units. The Report suggested placing high attention on corruptive “blind spots” in social organizations, solving corruption caused by unequal distribution of public goods, and deepening the reform of the disciplinary inspection system.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
New Military Training Guidelines Issued
People's Liberation Army Daily
1.25 After recently receiving the approval of the Central Military Commission, new military training guidelines were officially issued. These guidelines take Xi Jinping’s “strong military thought” (强军思想) as their fundamental guide and are centered on realizing the Party’s goal of a strong military for a new era (新时代的强军). They are meant to contribute to comprehensively building a world-class military that can fight and win wars.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
Li Keqiang Chairs the State Council Plenary Meeting to Discuss the Annual Government Work Report Draft
1.22 Li Keqiang discussed the duty of the State Council to report to the National People’ Congress, and the importance of listening to the opinions of all walks of life so that the government may more fully meet the needs of the people. He pointed out economic growth and fiscal revenue in 2017 exceeded expectations. It is important, he stressed, to use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era as a guide to further implement supply-side reform and new development to reach for the goal of happiness and security for the people. He made clear that the Party cannot wait for good results and must perform well in the first quarter of 2018.
Xi Jinping Presides over the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform Second Meeting
1.23 Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (中央全面深化改革领导小组) at its second meeting, commemorating the first year of implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up (改革开放). He encouraged the “re-liberation of ideas” (思想再解放改革) and further pushes towards reform. The meeting stressed the importance of combating “formalism” (形式主义) by promoting better feedback and input from all levels of government hierarchy.
The meeting called for greater transparency of information and statistics to facilitate greater implementation of social services, improving the treatment of skilled workers while upholding “the principle of relying on the working class” (全心全意依靠工人阶级), establishing a system for adjusting rural and urban pension systems to better reflect costs of living, the need to create a national innovation strategy, and playing an active role in the international forum by promoting and developing the Confucius Institutes as well as the Belt and Road Initiative. The meeting reviewed and approved 14 different work plans and guiding opinions covering issues related to deepening government and economic reform.
The Two Child Policy is Gradually Producing Positive Effects
1.23 According to recently released numbers from the National Bureau of Statistics, more than half of the accounted births in 2017 were second-born children. 17.86 million and 17.23 million children were born in 2016 and 2017 respectively, both exceeding the previous 12th 5-year plan (2011-2015) annual average of 16.44 million. A professor at the Nankai University Institute of Population and Development (南开大学人口与发展研究) attributes the slight drop between 2016 and 2017 to fewer women being of childbearing age, and that for the near future the population of women between the ages of 15-49 will decrease by 5 million per year. Declining fertility can also be attributed to higher costs associated with childcare and increased pressure in women’s professional development. The article calls for greater access to public daycares and giving subsidies to rural parents who give birth.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
1.21-1.24 Special envoy and International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met with leaders from the Communist Party of Cuba in Havana. He met with the Head of the Department of International Relations and the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba José Ramón Balaguer on 22 January. The two sides signed a party exchange and cooperation agreement and exchanged opinions on regional and international problems of common concern. Song also introduced the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress to the Politburo of the Central Committee on the same day. Song met with the First Secretary of the Central Committee Raúl Castro on the trip’s final day. During the meeting, Song conveyed a message from Xi Jinping and explained the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress. Castro stressed Cuba cherishes its brotherly camaraderie with China and hopes Cuba and China can work together to push socialism toward new achievements.
1.22-1.24 Organization Department Department Affairs Committee member Li Xiaoxin (李小新) led the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Foreign Propaganda Group to Austria at the invitation of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. Li met with Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and others during the trip.
1.24-1.25 Politburo member and Central Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) met with a Communist Party of Vietnam delegation led by Central Organization Commission Head Phạm Minh Chính in Beijing. Chen said the two sides should continue to uphold the “16 Word Guideline” and the “four-good spirit” to maintain the positive development of China-Vietnam relations. The following day Politburo member and Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Zhao Leji (赵乐际) met with the delegation. Zhao said the CCP would like to advance exchanges with the Communist Party of Vietnam on strengthening the management and governance of the Party.
1.25 Song Tao led a CCP delegation to Toronto. He introduced the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress to representatives of Canada’s government, political parties, business community, think tanks, and universities during a meeting. Song also met with the Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger. He told both that China is looking to expand exchanges and cooperation in trade, investment, finance, tourism, and culture with Canada.
1.22 Wang Yajun (王亚军) was appointed Deputy Minister of the CCP International Department.
1.26 Wang Xiaohui (王晓晖) was appointed Executive Deputy Head of the Propaganda Department.
Image Source: CGTN.com