Kim Jong-un made a surprise visit to China to meet with Xi Jinping. State media reports of the visit emphasize China’s integral role in affairs on the Korean peninsula ahead of the anticipated summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
Former Politburo member and Party Secretary of Chongqing Sun Zhengcai was sentenced to life in prison.
Propaganda continued discussions of Karl Marx’s legacy this week, covering topics ranging from whether Marxism should be considered a foreign cultural import in China, to how Marx and Engels laid the foundation for united front work.
Xi Jinping Meets with Kim Jong Un in Dalian
5.8 Xi Jinping held a surprise meeting with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in Dalian to discuss China-DPRK relations and “major issues of common concern.” According to Xinhua, the two leaders reached a consensus on the principles for the development of China-DPRK relations in the new era at their first meeting in March. The principles include: 1) The traditional friendship between China and North Korea is a precious asset for both sides. The development of friendly relations between China and North Korea is the unswerving policy of the two countries and “the only correct choice.” 2) China and the North Korea are both socialist countries, making bilateral relations of great strategic importance. The two sides must strengthen solidarity, cooperation, and understanding. 3) High-level exchanges between the two parties have an irreplaceable role in leading bilateral exchanges. Both sides must maintain regular contact, strengthen strategic communication, increase mutual understanding and mutual trust, and safeguard common interests. 4) Strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries is an important way to advance the development of China-DPRK relations.
Xi said that shortly after their March meeting in which the two leaders exchanged views and reached these important consensuses, Kim made efforts to promote dialogue on the Korean peninsula, which achieved very positive results. Xi emphasized China supports the DPRK’s commitment to denuclearization of the peninsula, as well as the upcoming meeting between the US and DPRK. He said China will continue working with all concerned parties to play an active role in the long-term peace of the peninsula.
Kim Jong Un reportedly thanked China for its contributions to denuclearization of the peninsula and maintenance of regional peace and stability. He said that as long as relevant parties avoid hostility and security threats against North Korea, North Korea does not need nuclear weapons, and denuclearization will be achievable. He expressed hope that the upcoming talks between the US and DPRK will establish mutual trust and that lasting peace on the peninsula will be achieved.
Xi Jinping Conducts Phone Call with Trump
5.8 Xi Jinping and Donald Trump talked on the phone on 8 May. During the call, Xi pointed out that the development of US-China relations is now at a critical stage. He hoped both sides will implement the consensus that they previously reached in Beijing, which is to maintain exchanges at all levels and mutual respect, focus on cooperation, and manage differences. Xi said that economic and trade cooperation has always been the ballast and propeller of the US-China relationship. The US and China had honest, efficient, and constructive negotiations last week. Both sides’ teams can continue communicating to find a way to properly address existing problems and gain a win-win result. Trump said that the US is willing to work with China to reinforce cooperation in all fields and properly address trade issues. Xi and Trump also talked about the current situation on the Korean Peninsula during the call.
Li Keqiang Visits Tokyo for the Seventh China-Japan-South Korea Leaders Meeting and Official Visit
5.8 Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Tokyo after his official visit to Indonesia to attend the seventh China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting on 9 May. Li said that China, Japan, and South Korea, as three of the world’s major economies and important countries in the region, have significant responsibilities for defending the globalization of the economy and liberalization of trade and investment, leading the process of regional integration, and defending the peace and stability of the region. The three leaders released a joint statement after the meeting and held a press conference. During the press conference, Li said the three countries have agreed to hold the summit regularly to expand common interests and manage and resolve differences. Li emphasized that they hope to accelerate the negotiations on establishing a China-Japan-South Korea free trade zone and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). They had also agreed to establish a cooperative mechanism called “China-Japan-South Korea+X,” which will allow the three countries to jointly work with a fourth market. China will be the next host country for the cooperative mechanism.
Wang Qishan Attends the Third Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation
5.8 Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) attended the opening ceremony of the Third Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation in Beijing. During his speech at the event, Wang pointed out China and Africa have stuck together and supported one another through thick and thin. He stated China is prepared to use its own development to help Africa develop and credited the exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation and sustainable development between local governments carried out under the forum’s framework with helping the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation to put down roots. Wang met with the Prime Minister of Niger Brigi Rafini and former Prime Minister of Tanzania and chair of the Tanzania-China Friendship Promotion Association Salim Ahmed Salim on the sidelines of the forum.
Myanmar President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi Meet Zhao Kezhi
5.9 State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi (赵克志) met with the President of Myanmar Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. Zhao said that China highly valued the development of the China-Myanmar relationship and supported the efforts Myanmar has made to defend its national security and stability. It is willing to work with Myanmar to implement the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, reinforce cooperation under BRI, raise the level of cooperation in law enforcement and security, and push the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Myanmar to a new stage. Win Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi said they hope to push for the continuous development of Myanmar-China relations and cooperation on BRI projects, such as building an economic corridor between the two countries.
Ministry of Commerce Spokesperson: China Has Accepted the Invitation to Go to the US for Trade Negotiations
5.9 A Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said that China has accepted the invitation of US Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin for Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Politburo member, and Vice Premier Liu He (刘鹤) to visit the United States and continue negotiations on trade issues between the US and China. The spokesperson said China has agreed to visit the US at a proper time and both sides have been in close communication.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson: Foreign Companies in China Should Respect China’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity
5.7 PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Geng Shuang (耿爽) responded to a White House statement which described China’s letter asking foreign companies to not list Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as countries as “Orwellian nonsense.” Geng said that no matter what the US said, the fact that there is only one China and Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are inseparable parts of it will not be changed. He added China will continue to conduct its foreign relations according to the One China Principle and foreign companies which operate in China should respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese laws, and the feelings of the Chinese people.
China Releases Blue Book on Belt and Road Initiative Investment Security for 2018
5.7 A blue book focusing on the current situation of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) investment security, assessment of investment risks, and impact of cultural differences and climate change on investment was released by a BRI think tank cooperative alliance and Beijing International Studies University. The blue book pointed out Southeast Asia is still the key area for BRI investment and the majority of Chinese investment went to countries such as Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. The book also suggested conducting a comprehensive assessment of the business risks, political risks, and societal inclusivity of the BRI countries. In addition, it recommended strengthening the construction of Chinese overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in BRI countries and expanding financing channels with multilateral industries.
Is Marxism Foreign Culture?
5.7 An article on the Qiushi website written by the deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ (CASS) Research Center for National Cultural Security and Ideological Construction argues that Marxism should not be considered a foreign cultural import in China, explaining that Marxism is a global historical phenomenon rather than a cultural phenomenon.
The relationship between Marxism and the great Chinese traditional culture is not a relationship between foreign and indigenous cultures; rather, it is a “relationship between a national ideology and its cultural resources.” The article quotes Xi Jinping as stating at the 19th Party Congress that the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics is rooted in the 5000 year history of the Chinese civilization, meaning China’s socialist culture is rooted in China’s historical development process. The article calls on readers to “profoundly realize that Marxism and the great Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture, and advanced socialist culture, are not mutually opposing poles.” In fact, “only by using Marxism as a guide and vigorously promoting the prosperity of socialist culture can we make the great Chinese traditional culture more vital in China’s new era.”
CCP Central Committee Releases Plan to Integrate Core Socialist Values into Legislation
5.7 The CCP Central Committee recently released a plan to integrate core socialist values into legislation (社会主义核心价值观融入法治建设立法修法规划). The plan emphasized that, taking Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide, core socialist values should be integrated into the legislative process within the next 5 to 10 years. The plan set up six main missions, including improving the legal system for a socialist market economy, establishing a property rights protection system based on equity, promoting the rule of law in a socialist democracy, improving the legal system for the cultural industry, and focusing on improving the legal system for the medical system, social organization, ecological civilization, food security, hero and martyr protection, and social credit system. The plan emphasized that, as integrating core socialist values into laws is an arduous task, every party committee as well as the Central Propaganda Department, Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, National People’s Congress Standing Committee, and the State Council should all support and contribute to this goal.
UNITED FRONT WORK
Review Marx and Engels’ United Front Thought
United Front Work Department
5.4 The top story on the United Front Work Department (UFWD) website this week was a call to review Marx and Engels’ thought on united front work in commemoration of the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. Though the united front as a concept is typically attributed to Lenin, this article said “Marx and Engels proposed the strategic and tactical principles of the united front, not only providing the proletariat with a powerful ideological weapon, but being outstanding practitioners of these principles themselves.” The article discussed two ways in which Marx and Engels’ shaped the united front concept: first, by emphasizing that the proletariat must form alliances with other classes, parties, and social forces that can participate in the revolutionary process; and second, by stressing that the Communist party, as the superior party, must maintain its own ideological and political independence when it aligns with other groups. The article concluded united front thought was founded by Marx and Engels, developed by Lenin, and then further developed by the CCP.
United Front Work Department Holds Theoretical Discussion Seminar for Self-Employed Persons
United Front Work Department
5.7 The UFWD held a week-long theoretical discussion seminar for 39 self-employed individuals from all over China. The UFWD reported that the seminar was organized specifically to “guide self-employed professionals to seize the opportunities of the new era, enhance the ‘four consciousnesses’ and the ‘four confidences,’ practice and carry out core socialist values, and vigorously promote the flourishing of socialist culture.” According to the UFWD, self-employed individuals rely on their own knowledge, skills, and expertise to serve society, making them an important part of the “new social classes” and an important force in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China Deploys “Use the First Form” Education for an Honest and Clean Party Environment
United Front Work Department
5.11 The UFWD reprinted an article from the High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China (中国藏语系高级佛学院) on a meeting held for Party members at the institute on “using the first form,” (运用好第一种形态) referring to the “four forms” (四种形态) of discipline and supervision. The first form is the normalization of the frequent use of criticism and self-criticism. The meeting asserted that Party members must implement the college’s plan for an honest and clean Party environment, correct mistakes promptly, and “prevent a minor sickness from becoming a serious illness.”
Former Vice Minister of Finance Suspected of Serious Violations of Discipline and Law
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
5.7 Former Vice Minister of Finance Zhang Shaochun (张少春) is suspected of serious violations of discipline and law and is currently being investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervisory Commission.
Sun Zhengcai Sentenced to Life in Prison
5.8 Former Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai (孙政才) was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of amassing over 170 million yuan in graft money. Xinhua said that, “As a high-level leading cadre, Sun Zhengcai should have set an example and modeled compliance with the law. However, he ignored the law, accepted an especially large sum in bribes, severely undermined the normal working order of state organs, infringed upon the integrity of state employees, corrupted the reputation of state employees, and should be punished according to the law.”
Former CPPCC Standing Committee Member Stands Trial
5.9 Former member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee and head of the Committee for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Compatriots and Overseas Chinese of the CPPCC National Committee Sun Huaishan (孙怀山) stood trial for accepting bribes. According to the prosecutor's indictment, Sun used the various positions he held from 1994 to 2016 to help certain work units and individuals with land usage rights, business operations, project approvals, and job promotions. Sun accepted money and property worth 39.75 million RMB either directly or through family members between 2000 and 2016.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
5.7 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the President of Turkey’s Patriotic Party Doğu Perinçek.
5.7-9 Politburo member and Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi (蔡奇) led a CCP delegation to Athens, Greece at the invitation of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza). Cai met with the Prime Minister of Greece and leader of Syriza Alexis Tsipras on 7 May. He also met with Deputy Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Anastasia Christodoulopoulou, Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura, and Mayor of Athens Georgios Kaminis during the trip.
5.9 Qian Hongshan met with the chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange.
5.9-10 Politburo member and Propaganda Department head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) met with a South African Communist Party (SACP) cadre study group led by SACP General Secretary and South African Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande. International Department Vice Minister Xu Luping (徐绿平) met with the group the following day.
5.10 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with the newly appointed Peruvian Ambassador to China Luis Felipe Quesada Inchaustegui.
5.10 Qian Hongshan attended the CCP and Social Democratic Party of Germany’s (SDP) fifth dialogue on sustainable development in Beijing. A SDP delegation led by SDP Deputy Leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel and experts from the China Macroeconomic Research Institute, China Institute of International Studies, and Central Party School also attended the dialogue.
5.7 Mu Hong (穆虹) was appointed deputy secretary of the National Development and Reform Commission’s Party committee.
5.7 Wu Yansheng (吴燕生) was appointed chairman of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
5.8 Tan Ruisong (谭瑞松) was appointed chairman of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and secretary of its Party committee.
5.8 Yang Jinlong (杨金龙) and Du Jiangfeng (杜江峰) were appointed vice presidents of the University of Science and Technology of China.
5.9 Li Shushen (李树深) was appointed president of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
5.11 Lu Erxue (吕尔学) was appointed deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China and a member of its Party committee.