The CCP Central Committee released its detailed plan on deepening reform of Party and state institutions, comprised of eight sections and 60 articles.
Xi Jinping issued a warning that the Chinese people have sufficient confidence to thwart any activities that aim to separate the country and that all actions which threaten China’s territorial integrity would be “condemned by the people and punished by history.”
In response to US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Ministry of Commerce release list of products from the US that will be subject to tariffs in order to balance China’s losses.
New Vice Premiers Named
3.19 Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng (韩正) and Politburo members Sun Chunlan (孙春兰), Hu Chunhua (胡春华), and Liu He (刘鹤) were all named Vice Premiers of the State Council.
Ministry of Ecological Environment Head Li Ganjie: Four Focuses and Four Structures Require Improvement for Battle for Blue Skies
3.19 Head of the newly established Ministry of Ecological Environment (生态环境部) Li Ganjie (李干杰) highlighted the key points of the three-year pollution alleviation plan for the battle for blue skies (蓝天保卫战三年作战计划). Li introduced four focuses and four structures that require improvement which are mentioned in the plan. The four focuses include improving PM2.5 and smog and concentrating on a few key areas, industries, and time periods, such as fall and winter. The four structures require improvements in industry, energy, transportation, and land usage.
Xi Jinping Delivers Speech at the Closing of 13th National People’s Congress First Session
3.20 Xi Jinping thanked the delegates for electing him president and promised to fulfill the duties of the position as laid out in the constitution. He then reminded cadres at all levels of government to remember their role is to put the people first and praised the creativity, unity and fighting spirit of the Chinese people. He said the Chinese people hold great dreams, and soon the dream of national rejuvenation will be fulfilled. Xi said that China as an ancient and modern Eastern power has shown vitality and that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has presented strong energy. “History has proven and will continue to prove that only Socialism can save China” (历史已经并将继续证明，只有社会主义才能救中国), Xi declared. He then spoke of the importance of developing China’s culture, protecting the people’s livelihoods, reducing ecological harm to the environment, and maintaining the Party’s leadership over the military. He also spoke of accurately implementing the principles of “one country, two systems” and working to enhance patriotism and national consciousness in Hong Kong and Macao. He voiced his commitment to the “one China” principle and called for expanded cross-strait cooperation to facilitate peaceful reunification with Taiwan. He issued a warning that the Chinese people have a firm will and sufficient confidence and capability to thwart any activities that aim to separate the country and that all actions and tricks which threatened China’s territorial integrity would be “condemned by the people and punished by history.” ([一切分裂祖国的行径和伎俩]都会受到人民的谴责和历史的惩罚！) Xi then concluded that China will never seek hegemony, and that the Chinese nation is dedicated to working towards the peaceful development of mankind.
NPC Adopts Supervision Law
National People's Congress
3.20 The National Supervision Law (中华人民共和国监察法) was adopted on the final day of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress. Its nine chapters focus on topics such as the new supervision commissions and their responsibilities, the scope and jurisdiction of supervision, international anti-corruption cooperation, the supervision of supervision commissions and their staff, and legal responsibilities. Supervision over each local supervision commission will be the responsibility of the People’s Congress at the same level.
CCP Central Committee Issues Plan on Deepening Reform of Party and State Institutions
3.21 The CCP Central Committee issued a plan on deepening reform of Party and state institutions (深化党和国家机构改革方案) as well as a notification requiring all regions and departments to implement it. The plan contains eight sections and 60 articles in total. Some of the reforms were mentioned in our coverage of State Councilor Wang Yong’s (王勇) speech on the plan at the NPC last week. Other notable reforms include:
Establishing the National Supervision Commission and eliminating the Ministry of Supervision and National Bureau of Corruption Prevention
Establishing a central commission for comprehensive law-based governance
Establishing a central auditing commission
Transforming the leading small groups on deepening overall reform, cyberspace affairs, financial and economic affairs, and foreign affairs into commissions
Establishing a leading small group on education
Establishing a Work Committee for Central Committee and State Organs by combining the duties of the Work Committee for Departments Directly Under the CCP Central Committee and the State Organs Work Committee of the CCP Central Committee, and abolishing those two committees
Establishing a “new Central Party School” directly subordinate to the CCP Central Committee by merging the Central Party School with the Chinese Academy of Governance (one organization, two signs)
Granting the Central Organization Department unified management over the State Commission Office of Public Sector Reform
Incorporating the State Administration of Civil Service Bureau into the Central Organization Department while maintaining the Civil Service Bureau name externally
Transferring the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television’s regulatory powers over news, publications, and film to the Central Propaganda Department
Granting the United Front Work Department unified leadership over the State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Granting the United Front Work Department unified management over religious work and eliminating the State Administration for Religious Affairs
Granting the United Front Work Department unified management over overseas Chinese work and eliminating the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council
Establishing the National Radio and Television Administration and eliminating the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television
Establishing the Central Radio and Television Station, which will be formed by merging China Central Television, China National Radio, and China Radio International, and placing the network under the leadership of the Central Propaganda Department (the broadcasters’ original names will be maintained domestically, but they will collectively be known as the Voice of China (中国之声) internationally)
Withdrawing border police, fire brigades, and police guards from the People’s Armed Police
Seven Key Points for Understanding the National Supervision Law
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
3.20 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) published an article detailing seven key points necessary for understanding the new National Supervision Law. First, the law safeguards the Party’s leadership since it includes provisions requiring “adherence to the CCP’s leadership over supervision work” and “using Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide.” Second, the law is rooted in the constitution because 11 of the 21 recently adopted constitutional amendments were related to establishing supervision commissions. Third, the law expands the supervisory powers of the administrative supervision law so that it covers all public servants who exercise power. Fourth, the law puts into practice the anti-corruption and supervision system reforms first introduced at the 18th Party Congress. Fifth, the law acts as both procedural and organizational law since it stipulates the organization and authority of the supervision commissions and provides specific procedures for supervision work. Sixth, the law grants the commissions with the powers necessary to ensure supervision work is smoothly carried out, highlighting the importance of replacing shuanggui (双规) (extra-legal discipline for party members) with liuzhi (留置) (time limited investigations under the National Supervision Law). Seventh, the commissions will be subject to both external and internal strict comprehensive supervision.
Xinhua also described the Law in an article outlining its history, as an important milestone for basing anti-corruption work on the rule of law.
PD Editorials: Shoulder the New Missions and Embark on a New Journey; Let the Chinese People Share in the Happiness and Glory
3.21 People’s Daily published two editorials praising the completion of the 13th National People’s Congress and emphasizing the significance of the work reports, constitutional amendments, and State Council institutional reform passed by the NPC as well as the new state institution leadership elected by the NPC. The first editorial stated that the keys to developing socialist democratic politics are to represent the people’s will, safeguard the people’s interests, and inspire the creativity of the people. The NPC system is the fundamental arrangement for a political system that insists on the Party’s leadership, with the people as the master, and adherence to rule of law. The editorial called on the 13th NPC and its standing committee to utilize Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide, take on the responsibilities given by the constitution, insist on the Party’s leadership on all aspects of work and remember all power belongs to the people. The second editorial highlighted the word “people” in Xi’s speech at the NPC closing ceremony. It stated that this showed the Party’s unchanged idea for people-centered governance. In the new great struggles, Xi has become the core of the Central Committee and the Party. With him as the “pilot,” the Chinese people will bring about vigorous rejuvenation.
Li Keqiang: China will Never Engage in Expansion, China will Concentrate on its Own Affairs
3.20 As the two sessions came to a close, Li Keqiang (李克强) answered questions from reporters regarding China’s use of capital and access to the Chinese market as a political tool, and assertions of Chinese interference in overseas political institutions. Li rebutted that China has contributed more than 30% to the world’s economic growth in the past few years, and emphasized the Chinese cultural value of “what you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others” (己所不欲勿施于人). He said that China will not give up an inch of its territory, but that China does not intend to invade an inch of territory either. Li continued, saying China is a developing country pursuing peaceful development, and will never engage in expansion. He reiterated China’s commitment to building a community of shared future for mankind, cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative, and calls from the international community for China to take on more international responsibilities. Additionally, Li stated that China will concentrate on its domestic challenges. He said that diplomatic visits and international exchange are carried out so as to ensure peace and stability, and to find mutually beneficial “win-win” (共赢) development opportunities for China.
Politburo Members Submit Annual Reports to Xi Jinping and Central Committee
3.21 Acting in accordance with the new regulation on enhancing and safeguarding the centralized and unified leadership of the Central Committee, for the first time Politburo members submitted annual reports on their work to Xi Jinping and the Central Committee. The reports focused on seven aspects: 1. Strengthening “the four consciousnesses” (四个意识) and resolutely defending the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized and unified leadership with Xi Jinping as the core, 2. Studying, spreading, and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and spirit of the 19th Party Congress, 3. Carrying out the reporting system which requires asking for instructions on important problems, 4. Putting democratic centralism into practice, 5. Moving the Central Committee’s strategic decisions toward implementation, 6. Launching investigations and thoroughly improving conduct, and 7. Demonstrating integrity and self-discipline. Xi Jinping reportedly provided individualized comments while reviewing the reports.
Jin Ping: Working and Struggling to Achieve Happiness for the People
China Economic Daily
3.19 A commentary under the byline “Jin Ping” (金平) reflected on words spoken by Xi Jinping during the two sessions that the CCP’s purpose is to satisfy the needs and happiness of the people. Jin Ping wrote, “forever working towards the goal of fulfilling the people’s longing for a better life is our Party’s relentless pursuit,” (永远把人民对美好生活的向往作为奋斗目标，是我们党不懈的追求). Jin Ping said that the people’s yearning for a better life is a tangible need, and that China is now the most populous middle-income country in the world, for which the people can feel proud. However, even though China is embarking on a New Era, China is and will remain for the long term both in the “primary stage of socialism” (社会主义初级阶段) and the world’s largest developing country. At times, Jin Ping wrote, we must firmly grasp the principle of “two unchanged aspects” (两个没有变) on these fronts and not set aspirations too high beyond the current national condition. Jin Ping concluded by calling on readers to work and struggle to strive for a better life under the leadership of the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core.
Zhong Sheng: A Key Move that Writes the “China Miracle”
3.20 A People’s Daily commentary under the pen name Zhong Sheng (钟声), which stands for “Voice of China” and/or “Sounding the Alarm Bell” and authoritatively transmits the official positions of People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, quoted Deng Xiaoping saying “what we are doing now is something that China has never done for thousands of years; this reform will not only affect China but also the world” (现在我们干的是中国几千年来从未干过的事。这场改革不仅影响中国，而且会影响世界。) to praise the recent State Council institutional reform. It said that China has been using its own reforms to demonstrate to the world that the governance and modernization of a country require reforms that are compatible with one’s developmental path. The China of the New Era will also motivate the nations of the world to “work together to develop and thrive.” (世界各国共同发展繁荣)
Ministry of Commerce: Trade Wars have no Winners, but China will Take Responsive Measures
3.21 While attending a WTO meeting in New Delhi, Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen (王受文) delivered a speech which responded to the United States launching Section 232 and 301 investigations against China; the former determines the national security implications of imports, the later focuses on unfair trade practices stemming from technology transfer and IP rights. Wang stated that the United States is taking a protectionist stance, which will damage not only the normal international trade order but also the multilateral trade system, emphasizing the need for the international community to prevent the spread of anti-globalism. He stated that China will actively meet the challenges before it and defend the interests of its country and industries. Additionally, Wang affirmed China’s support of the WTO and the multilateral trading system. While in New Delhi, Wang held talks with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo as well as with representatives from the US, EU, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, and Nepal.
“Xin Shiping:” The New Era Belongs to Everyone
3.21 A Xinhua commentary under the byline “Xin Shiping” (辛识平) invoked Xi Jinping’s speech to the 13th NPC, in which Xi said “the new era belongs to everyone” (新时代属于每一个人). In this speech of less than 5,000 words, Xin Shiping noted, “the people” (人民) are mentioned over 80 times. The byline expanded on this theme to discuss how the New Era is based on people-centric development and how Xi Jinping and the Party place the needs of the people foremost in their hearts. Additionally, the people themselves are empowered to create China’s positive future. In the New Era, everyone is “their own master” (主人翁), and everyone is a “struggler” (奋斗者). The commentary stated that there are no benefits to sitting back and enjoying the fruit of others’ efforts (坐享其成) and that to be happy requires struggle (要幸福就要奋斗). It then alluded to Communist martyr Fang Zhimin (方志敏), who over 80 years ago envisioned a bright future for China. Today, Xin Shiping said, the martyrs of the past can be comforted that both their visions for China and “the century-long dream of national rejuvenation” (民族复兴百年梦想的新时代) are coming true.
If a Trade War Starts, There Will Be No Winners
3.22 A People’s Daily article discussed US President Trump’s signing of an order imposing tariffs of 25% and 10% on imported steel and aluminum products from 23 March onward. According to the article, over 100 Republican members of Congress signed a letter to the President urging him to modify the tariffs, and 43 top US economists at the Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) Forum warned that Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum will not improve the welfare of Americans, and will have a catastrophic effect on the US and global economy. The article quotes statements condemning these tariffs and the prospect of a trade war from French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution Eswar Prasad, Nobel Prize winner in Economics Richard Thaler, Yale University professor Larry Samuelson, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Quoting a study by the Brookings Institution, if tariffs increase by 40% the global economy will face a slowdown like the Great Depression of the 1930s. The article points out how steel and aluminum tariffs will affect Canada, Mexico, the EU and South Korea, with statements from officials from each country’s government expressing opposition. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying (华春莹) told the press on 21 March that China does not want to fight a trade war, but if forced to China will not back down and concede. Hua said that for the past 40 years, China-US economic cooperation and trade has created job opportunities and considerably reduced the cost of living for American households. If the US moves forward with actions that harm Chinese interests, China will take necessary countermeasures to protect its legitimate rights.
UNITED FRONT WORK
You Quan Emphasizes Adhering to, Developing, and Perfecting China’s New Type of Party System
3.21 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) presided over and delivered a speech at a conference for non-Party members on deeply studying and implementing the spirit of Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the 13th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing. You indicated Xi’s speech clearly explained the distinct features and unique advantages of the new type of party system (新型政党制度), which refers to a CCP-led system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation. He also emphasized the united front must continuously strengthen confidence in the multiparty cooperation system, promote the creation of a theoretical system for the new type of party system, and improve the efficacy of the multiparty cooperation system.
Push Forward Reform of the Party Discipline Inspection and National Supervision Systems
3.18 Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Deputy Secretary Xiao Pei (肖培) published an article on the CCP’s decision and plan to deepen the reform of Party and state institutions, describing them as strategic deployments necessary for pushing forward reform of both the Party discipline inspection and national supervision systems. He argued these reforms are essential requirements for maintaining and reinforcing the Party’s comprehensive leadership. This is because they provide powerful support for strengthening the overall authority and coordination of the Party’s leadership system, robust safeguards for improving the Party’s governing capacity and leadership, and effective means for enhancing the Party’s self-purification capabilities under long-term ruling conditions. Xiao stated that, since China has entered a New Era and the Party has adopted a new constitution, the Party’s discipline inspection institutions have been given new responsibilities and must make the dual leadership of discipline commissions and equivalently ranking Party committees concrete, procedural, and systematic. He also claimed that, since reform of the national supervision system has reached a new stage, changes must be made for administrative effectiveness, including increasing day-to-day supervision of all sorts of targets, improving education and training, and strengthening self-supervision and the conscientious acceptance of supervision.
Supervision Law Leads and Lays the Foundation for the State’s Supervisory Work
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
3.22 NPC Standing Committee Legislative Affairs Commission deputy head Zheng Shuna (郑淑娜) highlighted a few important regulations of the new Supervision Law in an interview with the CCDI. She pointed out that the Law establishes the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over the country’s supervisory work, realizes complete supervisory coverage over all public servants exercising public power, makes supervision commissions at all levels the institutions responsible for supervision, and regulates limitations on supervisory measures. The supervision of the supervisory institutions and personnel is also regulated in the law by reinforcing the role of the National People’s Congress and requiring work information to be released to the public in accordance with the law. In another article, CCDI Legal Affairs Office director Ma Senshu (马森述) stated that the supervision commissions will work with the discipline inspection commissions and function under the leadership and supervision of the party committees (党委) at the same level.
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
“Jun Sheng:” Proactively Push for a Political Resolution for Korean Peninsula Problem
3.21 PLA Daily published an article using the byline “Jun Sheng” (钧声) that called for all involved parties to show more good will in order to maintain the current positive posture for dialogue on the Korean Peninsula. The commentary reiterated China’s stance on promoting a denuclearized, peaceful, and stable Korean Peninsula and stated that China will continue to use its unique role to push for each party to engage in dialogue. China supports North and South Korea improving their relationship and North Korea and the United States having contact and talking with each other.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
What’s Yi Gang, the New Bank Head’s, Policy Plan? Read this Old Article
China Economic Daily
3.19 After Yi Gang (易纲) was appointed as the new governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) (中国人民银行) on 19 March, China Economic Daily re-published a policy commentary by Yi Gang originally published in “China Finance” (中国金融) 2018 No. 3, in which Yi Gang discussed monetary policy in 2017 and prospects for 2018. Yi Gang has worked for the PBOC for over 20 years and studied overseas for 14 years. He is the 12th Bank Governor since its establishment. In his piece, Yi Gang commended the improved balance between supply and demand in China’s economy and praised the PBOC for grasping the nation’s major social contradiction. Yi Gang discussed the limitations of quantitative targets, need to pursue quality development, and importance of maintaining relative interest rate stability. He said that China’s innovations in macroprudential policies, which were created to reduce systemic financial risk, are the first of their kind throughout the world and a valuable example for the international community. Looking ahead, Yi Gang was cautiously optimistic about global economic growth despite uncertainty as to the effects of the US tax break and prospects of higher interest rates from the US Federal Reserve. Similarly, Yi Gang projected steady growth for China in 2018 but warned that debt and leverage levels are still dangerously high. He noted 2018 is the first year for implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and a key year for the implementation of the 13th Five Year Plan, and that the PBOC will carry out both this year, guided by Xi’s Socialist Economic Ideas with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. He emphasized promoting reform, reducing financial risks, and continuing supply-side structural reform.
The Detailed List Has Arrived! China Intends to Impose Tariffs on these US Imports
3.23 In response to US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Ministry of Commerce released a list of products from the US that will be subject to tariffs in order to balance China’s losses. These tariffs, the article stated, follow the relevant provisions in the WTO Agreement on Safeguard Measures. China has created a two part list which will go into effect should the US and China fail to reach a compensation agreement within a stipulated time frame. The list tentatively contains 128 taxable products. Part one imposes a 15% tariff on $977 million USD worth of products from the US including fruits, wine, ginseng, steel pipes, and dried fruit. Part two, which will be imposed after evaluating the impacts of US measures, imposes a 25% tariff on $1.99 billion USD worth of US products including pork and recycled aluminum. Additionally, China intends to take legal measures against the US under the WTO framework. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said that the US practice of restricting imports based on “national security” severely damages the multilateral trade system represented by the WTO. The spokesperson further stated that “cooperation between the US and China is the only correct choice for both countries” (合作是两国唯一正确的选择). The article concluded by saying China urges the US to resolve China’s concerns as soon as possible, resolve differences through dialogue, and avoid hurting US-China cooperation.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
3.19 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with the 2016-2020 third training class for Laotian leading cadres, which was led by the head of the organization and cadre bureau Thongchanh Phoumyphanh. Li noted that, as China and Laos are both socialist countries led by communist parties, their development paths are similar and futures are interrelated. He also emphasized China hopes to work with Laos to put systematic advantages into play, increase mutual learning, and push forward socialist development. Thongchanh expressed his hope that deeply and comprehensively studying China’s developmental experience will help Laos to develop.
3.20 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun met with a Bolivian Movement for Socialism (MAS) cadre study group led by Plurinational Legislative Assembly member Rodolfo Machaca in Beijing. Li emphasized the CCP values its friendly cooperation with MAS and hopes the two parties can continue strengthening their exchanges on governance and pushing relations between their countries toward stable development. Machaca stated China will surely realize the China Dream and make bigger contributions to world peace, development, and prosperity under Xi Jinping’s leadership.
3.21 International Department Vice Minister Xu Luping (徐绿平) met with the Tanzanian Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM/ Party of the Revolution) national executive workshop in Beijing. She noted China-Tanzania relations are long standing and have only grown stronger over time. Both sides emphasized their hope for increased exchanges and deepened cooperation in inter-party relations.
3.21 Peng Qinghua (彭清华) was appointed Party Committee Secretary of Sichuan Province.
3.21 Lu Xinshe (鹿心社) was appointed Party Committee Secretary of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
3.21 Liu Qi (刘奇) was appointed Party Committee Secretary of Jiangxi Province.
3.21 Nie Chenxi (聂辰席) was appointed head of the State Administration of Radio and Television and secretary of its Party group and re-appointed deputy head of the Central Propaganda Department.
3.22 Wang Guosheng (王国生) was appointed Party Committee Secretary of Henan Province.
3.22 Wang Jianjun (王建军) was appointed Party Committee Secretary of Qinghai Province.
3.22 Liu Jieyi (刘结一) was appointed director of the Taiwan Work Office of the CCP Central Committee and director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
3.22 Shen Haixiong (慎海雄) was appointed as Director of the Central Radio and Television Station (中央广播电视总台).
3.22 Chairman of the former China Banking Regulatory Commission Guo Shuqing (郭树清) was appointed Chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
3.22 Xie Fuzhan (谢伏瞻) was appointed President and Party Secretary of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
3.23 Wang Dongming (王东明) was elected chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
3.23 Minister of the former Ministry of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie (李干杰) was appointed minister of the new Ministry of Ecological Environment.
3.23 E Jingping (鄂竟平) was appointed Minister of Water Resources.
3.23 Liao Xiangzhong (廖祥忠) was appointed president of Communication University of China.
3.23 Wang Yupu (王玉普) was appointed Minister of Emergency Management.
3.23 Wang Wentao (王文涛) was appointed Deputy Party Committee Secretary of Heilongjiang Province.
3.23 Zhang Jianguo (张建国) was appointed Deputy Minister of Science and Technology and a member of its Party group.
Photo Source: CNN Money