The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced the results of several high-profile discipline investigations into high-ranking Party officials, including former deputy head of the CCP Central Propaganda Department Lu Wei and former Politburo Member Sun Zhengcai, just ahead of China’s 2018 Spring Festival. It warned against decadent behavior during the holiday.
Wang Yang Attends Spring Festival Symposium for Leaders of National Religious Groups
2.11 Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Yang (汪洋) attended a symposium for leaders of national religious groups to extend General Secretary Xi Jinping’s new year wishes. He noted in 2017 every religious group continued to progress toward Sinicization and made positive contributions to national unity, religious amity, and social harmony. He also emphasized 2018 as an important year for implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and called on religious circles to conscientiously study the Central Committee’s important policies on religious work and continuously guide religion toward adaptation to socialist society.
Use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as Guide to Resolutely Safeguard People’s Food Safety
2.11 Vice Premier and State Council Food Safety Commission Head Zhang Gaoli (张高丽) presided over the fifth plenary session of the Food Safety Commission, and highlighted Xi Jinping’s emphasis on the safety of agricultural products and food as a baseline necessity. He stated that the CCP Central Committee and State Council have led national progress on improving food safety over the past five years. The next step will be to implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th Party Congress. Zhang stressed that inspection, examination, and open information should be used to ensure food safety. Politburo Standing Committee member and Food Safety Commission Deputy Head Wang Yang (汪洋) attended the meeting and made note of related requirements.
Xi Jinping Visits Military Officials in Sichuan
2.14 Xi Jinping visited a launch complex and technology factory in Sichuan and extended New Year’s greetings to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), People’s Armed Police (PAP), and people’s militia and reserve forces. Officials said that they will earnestly implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and contribute to realizing the Party’s goal of a strong military in the new era. Party committee members of the Sichuan base said that Xi’s visit demonstrates his leadership, and that the base will implement Xi’s directives and enhance the comprehensive capability for battle.
CCP Central Committee and State council Hold 2018 Spring Festival Meeting, Xi Delivers Important Speech
People’s Daily, Xinhua
2.14 The CCP Central Committee and the State Council held a 2018 Spring Festival meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. General Secretary Xi Jinping gave an important speech that delivered the Central Committee’s and State Council’s new year wishes to all the nationalities and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan compatriots. Host Li Keqiang (李克强) and leaders Zhang Dejiang (张德江), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Zhang Gaoli (张高丽), Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), Han Zheng (韩正), and others were in attendance. Xi pointed out the various achievements of the previous year, including economic development, deepening reform, deepening rule of law, the improvement of the people’s lives, poverty reduction, national defense building, across the board diplomatic achievements, and strictly governing the Party. These achievements were said to be the combined efforts of several generations. He noted 2018 as being the first year to implement the work of the 19th Party Congress, the 13th Five-Year Plan, and the 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up. In Xi’s words, over the course of 40 years China went from “catching up with the times” (赶上时代) to “leader of the times” (引领时代).
Xi celebrated all facets of Chinese society uniting as one this past year to accomplish major achievements in undertaking socialism with Chinese characteristics. He explained that China’s ability to become richer and stronger depends on the happiness of millions of families, and that the dreams of families have to be integrated into the nation’s dream. Through the wisdom and strength of the 400 million families and 1.3 billion people the country will realize the China Dream of rejuvenating the Chinese nation. Xi emphasized that happiness requires struggle (奋斗), and struggle itself is a kind of happiness, and asked his audience to consider how their self-sacrifice will yield benefits to the country and future generations. The “new era,” he said, will be an era for fighters (奋斗者). China needs to fight alongside the people to build a better life and to realize the great China dream.
Xi Jinping Calls for Improving Poverty Alleviation by Focusing on Areas with Severe Poverty
2.14 Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at a symposium on poverty alleviation in Chengdu. He noted poverty alleviation was one of the three tough battles (三大攻坚战) put forward during the 19th Party Congress and its great significance in realizing the first of the two centenary goals (eliminating poverty by 2020,) and the creation of a moderately prosperous society. Xi explained this battle’s enormous challenges, including lifting more than 30 million people out of poverty in the next three years and the continuation and severity of formalism (形式主义), bureaucratism (官僚主义), fraud, and passivity in the face of corruption and poverty. He also proposed eight requirements for poverty alleviation efforts, namely reinforcing organizational leadership, insisting on targets and standards, strengthening systems and mechanisms, stressing precision, improving the management of funds, enhancing the development of exemplary conduct, organizing rotational training for cadres, and stimulating internal personnel motivation.
China’s “South-South Cooperative Assistance Fund” Works Alongside UN with Bangladesh Disaster Relief
2.12 China’s South-South Cooperative Assistance Fund, established September 2015 and currently administered by the Minister of Commerce, commenced its first assistance program on 10 February in a joint effort with the UNDP for post-disaster reconstruction in Bangladesh. UNDP representative Mukherjee is quoted saying at the opening ceremony that in recent years China has played an active role in supporting developing countries and in helping reach the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
UNITED FRONT WORK
Wang Yang: Private Enterprises Should Contribute to the “Three Tough Battles”
2.10 Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Yang (汪洋) spoke to a gathering of private entrepreneurs in Beijing convened by the United Front Work Department, telling them to contribute to China’s “three tough battles” of fighting and eliminating risks, eliminating poverty, and controlling air pollution. Wang emphasized that guiding the development of the private economy is a crucial part of upholding and improving China’s socialist economic system, and that all localities should create favorable conditions for the development of private enterprises.
You Quan Hopes Panchen Lama Will Defend Country’s Unification
2.14 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) met with the 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu in Beijing. You Quan extended New Year’s greetings and hoped that the Panchen Lama would remember Xi Jinping’s instructions, deeply learn and implement Xi Jinping Thought and the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, and contribute to the unity of the nation. The Panchen Lama responded that he would firmly defend national unity and proactively contribute to promoting the stability of Tibet’s development.
Zhao Leji: Work Report from the 2nd Plenary Session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2.12 The Work Report from the 2nd Plenary Session of the 19th CCDI released on Xinhua states that the goals of the session were to deeply learn Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, comprehensively implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, and study and deploy discipline inspection work for 2018. The Report required following and defending Xi Jinping’s core position of the Central Committee and Party and defending the unified leadership of the Central Committee. It listed key goals for 2018, including making Party and political building a priority, comprehensively advancing national regulatory reform, consolidating and expanding the implementation of the eight-point guideline, implementing the “sharp sword of inspection” (巡视利剑), strengthening Party discipline building, and consolidating overwhelming battle against corruption. Following the establishment of the National Supervision Commission in March 2018, every level of the supervision commission will rapidly begin work according to the law.
Former Vice Chairman of the Guangxi CPPCC Expelled from Party due to Serious Violations of Party Discipline
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2.12 Former Vice Chairman of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Liu Jun (刘君) was expelled from the Party. Among his transgressions were his violation of political discipline, resisting organization investigation, using public funds for his own benefit, and violating the eight-point guideline.
Lu Wei and Ji Xiangqi Expelled from the Party
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2.13 The CCDI announced that the former deputy head of the Central Propaganda Department, Lu Wei (鲁炜), had been expelled from the Party for grave violations of discipline. In the same announcement, the CCDI reported that the former vice governor of Shandong Province Ji Xiangqi (季缃绮) had also been expelled from the Party.
Sun Zhengcai Charged with Bribery
2.13 Xinhua announced that former Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai (孙政才) was found guilty of bribery after investigation. Before he was targeted for corruption, Sun was considered a contender for the Party’s top leadership.
Jilin Provincial Party Committee Convenes Meeting on Sun Zhengcai Case
2.14 The Jilin Provincial Party Committee convened a meeting on conveying and studying the spirit of the CCP Central Committee General Office’s situation bulletin regarding the Sun Zhengcai case. The meeting called for thoroughly purging Sun’s pernicious influence and resolutely defending the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core. It indicated that the enormous amounts of money involved in the case and seriousness of Sun’s crimes have rarely been seen since the founding of the PRC. Also mentioned was the need to continue purging the influence of former Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Su Rong (苏荣) and former Party Secretary of Liaoning and Jilin Wang Min (王珉).
Seven Measures to Guard against the Four Forms of Decadence during the New Year
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
2.14 The Discipline Inspection Unit at the PRC Supreme People’s Procuratorate proposed seven measures to urge Party organizations within the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to strictly follow the “eight-point guideline” and ensure a New Year consistent with integrity. The seven measures include sending out texts regarding disciplinary requirements to Party members, reporting typical examples of the violations of the eight-point guideline, conducting face-to-face meetings to deliver the CCP Central Committee’s requirements, and producing situation reports.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION
A Scientific Guide to Comprehensively Advancing the Building of a Strong Military for a New Era
People's Liberation Army Daily
2.12 The Central Military Commission (CMC) Political Work Department published a lengthy article on thoroughly studying and implementing Xi Jinping’s “strong military thought” (强军思想). It argues that consolidated national defense and a formidable military are strategic pillars of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era. Additionally, it notes the Party’s “strong military” goal for this era is building a military that obeys the Party, can win wars, and displays exemplary conduct (听党指挥，能打胜仗，作风优良), and calls for working hard to complete military modernization by 2035 and become a world-class military by mid-century. It also claims the absolute leadership of the Party is the soul of a strong military (强军之魂).
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
Our Current Financial Crisis and the Urgency of Reform (Op-ed)
China Finance 40 Forum
2.12 In an article to independent think tank China Finance 40 Forum (中国金融四十人论坛), Xu Zhong (徐忠), head of the Research Bureau at the People’s Bank of China, laid out critiques and suggestions for the Financial Stability and Development Committee (金融稳定发展委员会) to reduce financial risk. Xu posited that with China’s history of centralized economic planning, regulators are not accustomed to separating regulatory goals from economic development goals. The resulting haphazard regulatory environment creates a chaotic system and heightens the potential for financial crisis. The People’s Bank of China over the past 20 years has assumed the responsibility of bailing out public offerings without supervisory power. Xu urged financial regulatory reform, but cautioned against closing off China’s economy, actively blocking new financial technologies, or reducing mixed ownership of SOEs.
Opening Up China to Foreign Merchants: “Belt and Road Initiative” Lays the Foundation for Shared Global Business Opportunities
People’s Daily Foreign Edition
2.13 A People’s Daily article quotes leaders of international companies, including Samsung, Intel and Thyssenkrupp AG (a German multinational company and the world’s largest steel producer) on the many opportunities for foreign businesses in China. The article credits the Belt and Road Initiative for laying the foundations for greater economic engagement between China and the World. The article states China’s role in the global community is to connect markets despite the rising tide of protectionism around the world.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
2.12 International Department Assistant Minister Shen Beili (沈蓓莉) met with the newly appointed Hungarian Ambassador to China Máté Pesti. Shen stated the Party looks forward to further cooperation with Fidesz and other major Hungarian political parties. Pesti indicated Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary and President of Fidesz, hopes to deepen cooperation with China via the Belt and Road Initiative and 16+1 frameworks.
2.11 Zhang Chunlin (张春林) was appointed Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Party Group Deputy Secretary and Government Executive Vice Chairman.
Image Source: Xinhua Net