- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Sandy Lu
Weekly Report 1|28 4.28.2018-5.04.2018
The CCP celebrated the 200th birthday of Karl Marx this week through a number of highly publicized ceremonies and special publications. In the Great Hall of the People Xi Jinping declared the advancement of Marxism the “sacred duty of Chinese communists.”
After the Dominican Republic switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, CCP publications took the opportunity to emphasize the inevitability of Taiwan’s complete diplomatic isolation.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi traveled to Pyongyang to meet with his North Korean counterpart ahead of the planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
State media reports on the US-China trade talks emphasized China’s forceful defense of global free trade and the effectiveness of its countermeasures against American threats.
Head of State Bureau for Letters and Visits Shu Xiaoqin: The Work of Letters and Visits Has Embarked on a New Journey in the New Era
4.30 State Bureau for Letters and Visits head Shu Xiaoqin (舒晓琴) said in an interview with the People’s Daily that deeply learning and implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress is the primary political task of the current work of letters and calls. Xi Jinping has pointed out that their work is to “understand the situation, collect the wisdom, defend the interests of the people, and unite them.” The bureau will implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, put the people at the center of its work, and address every visit and letter properly. Shu also mentioned that the rule of law aspect of their work will be reinforced and the use of big data technology will be promoted.
Xi Jinping: Grasp the Fundamental Mission of Cultivating Constructors and Successors of Socialism, Assiduously Build World-Class Universities with Chinese Characteristics
5.3 Xi Jinping visited Peking University on 2 May for its upcoming 120th anniversary of establishment. Xi emphasized in his speech that adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and building China into a modern socialist nation is a long-term task that requires generation after generation to continue fighting. He urged the youth to shoulder the hope of the country and the nation. University education should follow the correct political direction, build a team of instructors with high qualities, form a system to cultivate high-quality talents, and establish world-class universities with Chinese characteristics.
During his visit to the university’s science departments, Xi said that innovation is the driver of development and the key factor in the country’s comprehensive strength and core competitiveness. China must hold scientific innovation in its own hands, and more resources should be put into this field. Peking University established a new department in January 2018 to study Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Xi said that the leading status of Marxism in the field of ideology should be consolidated, and Marxism should be pushed into campus, classes, and students’ minds. At the end of the visit, Xi pointed out that the youth shoulder the heavy responsibility of realizing the China Dream. Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning (王沪宁) also attended the visit.
Xi Jinping Addresses Assembly Commemorating Marx’s 200th Birthday
5.4 Xi Jinping addressed an assembly to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birthday in the Great Hall of the People, where he emphasized that the point of the occasion was to “pay tribute the greatest thinker in the history of mankind,” and to “declare our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism.” Marxism, he said, “has always been the guiding ideology of our Party and country, and is a powerful ideological weapon for us to understand the world, grasp rules, pursue truth, and transform the world.” He stressed that the CCP is a party “armed with Marxism,” which is “the soul of the communists’ ideals and convictions.” He said that the CCP must continue the constant development of Marxism as the “sacred duty of Chinese Communists,” and must strive to “constantly open up new realms of Chinese Marxism.”
Editorial: Taiwan Loses Dominican Republic, A Step Closer to Zero Diplomatic Allies
5.1 Upon the Dominican Republic’s announcement that it would switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the PRC, the Global Times issued an editorial to discuss the development. As this is the third country to switch diplomatic recognition to Taiwan since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, the editorial asserted that “DPP authorities are now paying the price for the radical route they pursued.” It declared that since Tsai Ing-wen came to power, the power disparity between the two sides of the Strait has further widened: “Beijing is an international political giant. Taiwan is a small dwarf in the face of Beijing and has completely lost power.” Continuing down this path, it can be expected that “Taiwan’s diplomacy will be completely suffocated,” leaving them with zero diplomatic allies.
The editorial also said that while Taiwanese authorities view recent developments in relations with the US, such as the passing of the Taiwan Travel Act, as major diplomatic victories, the US is simply using Taiwan as a pawn. It concludes that Taiwan independence simply will never come to fruition, and anyone that works for this cause is working against history.
Wang Qishan Meets with Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado
5.2 PRC Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) met with Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado at Zhongnanhai after the announcement that the Dominican Republic would switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the PRC. According to the People’s Daily article, Wang said that the Dominican Republic’s decision “conforms to the trend of the times and is fundamental to the long-term interests of the two countries and their peoples” and that formally establishing diplomatic relations with China releases the full potential for cooperation between the two countries. China will work with Dominican Republic to increase mutual political trust and to build a “community of shared future for mankind.” Vargas promised to uphold the One China principle and conduct exchanges and promote cooperation with China.
AIIB’s “Friend Circle” Expands to 86 Good Friends
5.2 The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced that Papua New Guinea and Kenya have been approved to join the AIIB making its membership reach 86. AIIB vice president Danny Alexander said that the fact that AIIB now has 86 members from six continents shows the firm promise made to promote building infrastructure together through high-quality governance and multilateral cooperation. AIIB said it will continue to welcome new members to join.
Wang Yi Meets DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho
PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs
5.2 Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met with WPK Central Committee member and DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Pyongyang. Wang Yi said Kim Jong Un’s visit to China and meeting with Xi Jinping have opened a new chapter for Sino-North Korean relationship. Leaders from both sides reached important new consensus on developing the traditional friendship and reinforcing strategic communication and cooperation between the two countries. Wang said China is willing to implement this consensus with North Korea and strengthen communication and coordination between the two sides’ diplomatic officials. Wang also congratulated the DPRK on the successful meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea. He said that China has supported the DPRK in pursuing a development path that suits its national situation. Ri said that the WPK and the North Korean government are firm on developing friendship with China and are willing to work with China to increase exchanges and cooperation as well as prepare for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China-North Korea diplomatic ties next year.
Editorial: Curtain Drops on US-China Trade Negotiations; Trade Conflict Leans Toward Negotiations
5.4 The Global Times released an editorial upon the end of this week’s trade negotiations between the US and China, calling the talks positive and constructive, despite remaining differences. Though the conflict between the US and China over trade has been an “unprecedented shakeup” initiated by the US side, the editorial said the US taking the initiative to send a delegation of its highest trade officials was a “different gesture.” The editorial attributed the US officials willingness to negotiate to China’s aggressive countermeasures when challenged by the United States.
The editorial cited “sources close to the negotiations” as saying that the Chinese side strongly attacked US accusations, and “stood by the moral high ground of safeguarding free trade,” assuring the US side that “China will never trade with its core interests.”
5.4 A PLA Daily commentary praised Marx’s contribution to humanity in an article entitled “Cute Marx”: "When his thoughts kiss you, his great personality is holding you tightly...Only when one understands Marx as a person can one understands Marxism more deeply.” The “cuteness” of Marx, the author says, is his love for the people. The commentary later said that "Marx, in his time, is what we now call “gao fu shuai” (tall, rich, and handsome).”
UNITED FRONT WORK
Persist, Develop, and Perfect China’s New Type of Political Party System
4.30 The United Front Work Department published an article in the Central Committee’s theoretical journal Qiushi discussing China’s “new type of party system” (新型政党制度) to mark the anniversary of the “May Day Slogan” (五一口号), a call made by the CCP Central Committee on April 30, 1948 to convene a political consultative conference with non-communist parties and people with no party affiliation. The article notes that this pronouncement was a milestone event in the history of multi-party cooperation, signaling that democratic parties have consciously chosen the leadership of the CCP. The last 70 years of practicing multi-party cooperation has proven that it is still vital despite significant challenges.
Currently, the article says, the Party faces the difficult tasks of reform and development, and the field of ideology is still complicated, making ideological consensus through multi-party cooperation imperative. The article calls for the deep study of the theoretical basis, distinctive features, practical values, and operational mechanisms of multi-party cooperation in order to enhance institutional self-confidence.
Western Returned Scholars Association to Hold the First Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Convention
5.2 The Western Returned Scholars Association (欧美同学会) announced that it would hold its first ever Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Convention 11-13 May in Chengdu. According to the organizers, the focus of the convention is “leading new economic development in an innovation-driven era; China’s link to the world in the rapid development of the global digital economy and artificial intelligence industry.” Four subforums, “smart finance,” “smart manufacturing,” “smart healthcare,” and “smart education,” will be led by returnee researchers and entrepreneurs. Leaders from the central government and the United Front Work Department will be in attendance.
Private Enterprises Should Pursue the Path of High Quality Development With Their Own Characteristics
5.3 United Front Work Department Deputy Head and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Executive Vice Chairman Xu Lejiang (徐乐江) led a research group to Shanxi Province to study how private enterprises can support the CCP’s new economic agenda of pursuing high-quality growth. During the trip he said that the shift in priorities away from high-speed growth toward more sustainable development is required “to satisfy the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” Private enterprises must therefore strive to understand and follow this trend. He emphasized that the path to high-quality development will not be easy, but private enterprises must persevere to achieve long-term success.
Deepen National Supervision System Reform and Improve the Supervision System of the Party and the State
4.30 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) propaganda department penned an article in Quishi lauding the deepening of the national supervisory system reform as a critical decision made by the CCP Central Committee with Xi at its core. The article emphasized that the Party’s leadership must be preserved throughout the reform; through deepening reform, the Party’s comprehensive leadership over anti-corruption work should also be strengthened. Disciplinary inspection is a “sharp tool” for strictly ruling the Party, and national supervision is the most direct and effective supervision over public power. Allowing these two to work together will enhance the efficacy of the Party’s and the State’s supervision and governance.
Make Discipline and Supervisory Work Better Align With The Development of the Internet
China Discipline and Supervision Newspaper
4.30 An article in China Discipline and Supervision Newspaper stressed the importance of utilizing the Internet for anti-corruption work. The article stated that the rapid development of Internet technology has brought new challenges and opportunities to the work of discipline and supervision. Currently, disciplinary and supervisory units at all levels are discovering how to utilize big data. Some units established big data supervision platforms to enhance their ability to collect evidence of corruption and some utilized informatized systems to conduct day-to-day supervision. The article urged all disciplinary and supervisory cadres to enhance their understanding of the application of the Internet to their work and to conduct their work creatively with advanced technological tools.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
5.2 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with a young Japanese congressional delegation from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s faction “kouchikai” led by the LDP Diet Affair Committee Deputy Chairperson Seiji Kihara. Li expressed the hope that both China and Japan will cherish the improvement in their relationship and maintain the political foundation for the two countries to conduct high-level exchanges. Kihara said that Japan is willing to work with China to ensure Li Keqiang’s visit to Japan for the Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) Trilateral Summit Meeting is a success.
5.2 Li Jun met with a delegation led by leader of Uruguay’s Broad Front and Montevideo Mayor Daniel Martínez. Li said that China is willing to implement the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders and to push the strategic partnership between China and Uruguay to a new level. Martínez said that the Broad Front is impressed with China’s achievements in development and hopes to reinforce inter-party exchanges and cooperation.
5.3 Li Jun met with a cadre study group from the National Congress Party of Sudan led by Federal Government Minister Hamid Mumtaz in Beijing. Li expressed that the CCP values the development of a friendly relationship with the National Congress and is willing to deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the two parties. Hamid thanked the long-term support of the CCP and the Chinese government. He said that the National Congress is willing to reinforce the exchanges on governance experiences with the CCP. Politburo member Wang Chen (王晨) also met with the cadre study group on the same day.