Party media underscored the importance of Xi Jinping’s 4 July speech at the National Organization Work Conference, where he defined a new “organizational line” intended to strengthen the leadership of the Party. Among other points, Xi declared that political integrity would become the primary criteria in selecting officials, and emphasized the central importance of grassroots Party organizations. On 12 July, the Central Committee issued new organizational regulations for grassroots Party committees.
Xi Jinping sent an important directive to a meeting on advancing political construction in central and state organs that was held in Beijing, emphasizing that these organs “are political organs in the first place” and thus “must take a clear-cut stand in politics, unflinchingly strengthen the comprehensive leadership of the Party, and unremittingly persevere in advancing the Party’s political construction.”
Following the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese exports on 6 July, the People’s Daily has published daily commentator articles attacking the action.
The CCDI widely publicized the repatriation of Xu Chaofan, a former president of a Bank of China sub-branch accused of embezzlement, from the US to China. The CCDI described the repatriation as “the important result of anti-corruption and law enforcement cooperation between China and the US.”
Li Keqiang Attends Seventh Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries
7.7 Li Keqiang attended the seventh leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) in Sofia, Bulgaria. He praised 16+1 cooperation between China and CEEC for establishing a foundation of mutual trust, realizing mutual benefits, and promoting the development of China-Europe relations. He proposed a blueprint for future cooperation, including jointly defending economic globalization and free trade, creating industrial parks, and increasing financial cooperation, regional cooperation, and cultural exchange.
Li stressed that 16+1 cooperation “is not a geopolitical tool but a pragmatic cooperation platform which will be carried out in accordance with European Union (EU) rules. It is advantageous for not only China-CEEC cooperation but also European integration and strengthening, not weakening, the EU.”
Li Keqiang Holds Talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
7.10 Li Keqiang held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. According to Xinhua, he told Merkel that China and Germany “should use deepened bilateral and multilateral cooperation to jointly send positive signals supporting free and fair trade and defending a fair and just international order and promote growth in global trade and the continuing recovery of the world economy.”
Li cited agreements on raising German automobile companies’ shares in joint ventures and allowing a German chemical engineering company to set up a wholly-owned project in China reached during his visit to Germany as evidence China is taking steps to further open up. He called for both countries to cooperate in smart manufacturing, driverless cars, and new energy vehicles.
Xi Jinping Delivers Speech at Eighth Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum
7.10 Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. In it, he stated that Arab states “are natural partners for jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative” and cooperation on the initiative “is comprehensively giving impetus to the development of China-Arab relations.”
Xi called for enhancing strategic mutual trust, realizing the dream of rejuvenation, realizing mutual benefits, and promoting tolerance and mutual learning to further advance cooperation. He also used the speech to stress China’s support for treating the two-state solution and Arab Peace Initiative as a foundation for “impartially handling problems related to Palestine.”
Xi Jinping Sends Important Directive to Central and State Organs Meeting
7.12 Xi Jinping sent an “important directive” to a meeting on advancing the Party’s political construction in central and state organs that was held in Beijing. It emphasized these organs “are political organs in the first place” and thus “must take a clear-cut stand in politics, unflinchingly strengthen the comprehensive leadership of the Party, and unremittingly persevere in advancing the Party’s political building.” In response, the meeting stressed that every unit in central and state organs must “take the lead in resolutely defending General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core status and the authority and centralized and unified leadership of the Party’s Central Committee.”
Xi Jinping: Improve Innovative Capabilities in Key and Core Technologies
7.13 Xi Jinping delivered a speech on improving China’s innovative capabilities in key and core technologies at a meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission. He stressed that these technologies “are of major importance to promoting the high-quality development of our country’s economy and ensuring national security. ”
The meeting pointed out that “Recently, our country’s scientific and technological development has achieved major successes and innovative capabilities in science and technology have been significantly improved. However, there is still a large gap between our country’s scientific and technological development level and the international advanced level, especially in innovative capabilities in key and core technologies.” Li Keqiang and Politburo Standing Committee members Wang Huning (王沪宁) and Han Zheng (韩正) attended the meeting.
2017 CCP Party Statistics Report
6.30 CPC News released several graphs reviewing the demographic changes and other information on the development of the CCP in 2017. The graphs showed that, by the end of 2017, the total number of Party members had reached 89.564 million. 26.7% of them are female, 7.3% are from minority groups, and 48.3% have obtained a college education or above. 28% of members are 61 years old or above while 15% are aged 30 or below. 28% of members worked in the agricultural, animal product, and fishery industries. Another 20% had retired. The number of local Party committees reached 3,208, and 303,000 Party organizations had been established within social organizations.
PD Commentator Article: Use Vigorous Oversight to Advance the Dedicated Struggle to Clean Up Crime and Eliminate Evil
7.7 The People’s Daily published a commentator article in support of the Central Committee and State Council’s recently released plan for cleaning up crime and eliminating evil (全国扫黑除恶专项斗争督导工作方案). It contended that oversight is necessary for the better implementation and continuous deepening of the plan.
The articled maintained that oversight must be centered on six aspects outlined in the plan, namely political stance, severe punishment according to the law, comprehensive administration, thorough investigation, organized construction, and organized leadership. It called for “using oversight to ensure those responsible for the dedicated struggle conscientiously carry out the major political tasks of cleaning up crime and eliminating evil [and] ensure problems involving crime and evil are fundamentally checked.”
PD Commentator Article Series on US Trade Actions
7.7-13 Following the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese exports on 6 July, The People’s Daily published a commentator article series criticizing US trade actions on a daily basis.
The first article stated that “American trade bullying incorporating rude and unreasonable acts actually has disastrous consequences that harm the interests of Chinese and American companies and people, seriously threatens global free trade and the multilateral system, and impedes the advancement of the world economy’s recovery.”
The second article claimed that “the reasons for the daily worsening of America’s rash trade disease (贸易盲动症) are complicated, but one thing is evident. That is: some people openly ignore the overwhelmingly obvious truth that a ‘trade war is a double-edged sword.’” It added “American companies are worried,” “the American people are anxious,” and “American farmers are quitting” as a result of the Trump administration’s actions.
The third article argued that “America’s ‘zero-sum theory of trade,’ violation of rules, and going against trends not only attacks China-US trade cooperation but also brings great uncertainty to the entire world economy” and noted that “The history of international trade has repeatedly proven unilateral protectionism is a zero-sum game and whoever plays it will have bad luck.”
The fourth article focused on “America’s ‘theory of trade imbalance’” and maintained that “by changing direction from advocating ‘free trade’ to rattling on about so-called ‘fair trade,’ the US only has one aim. That is implementing ‘America First’ and having every country of the world pay the bill for US global hegemony.”
The fifth article contended that a trade war “brings the danger of making the normal world trade structure slip into the ‘Cold War trap’ of trade protectionism and unilateralism” but ultimately concluded that “Using protectionism to drag the world into a ‘Cold War trap’ is nothing more than some people’s wishful thinking (一厢情愿)” since “any rational person would be unwilling to return to that painful to recall period.”
The sixth article responded to the Trump administration’s 10 July threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, declaring “the White House’s trade policy is completely irrational and its bullying has accelerated and escalated to the point of shocking the people of the world” and vowing to work with the international community to “jointly defend the rules of free trade and the multilateral trade system and fight back against US trade bullying.”
The seventh article noted the US trade actions impact on the world economy, American people, and China’s poor before proclaiming that “Whether in terms of morality or international rules, the US does not have the right to make a ‘recessionary trap’ for the world.”
Ministry of Commerce Releases Statements Responding to US Tariffs, Announces WTO Suit, and Comments on US-Sino Trade Frictions
Ministry of Commerce Portal
7.6-9 On 6 July at 12 PM, a Ministry of Commerce spokesperson issued an official response to US 301 investigation related tariffs, stating that the US had launched the largest trade war in economic history, and such bullying behavior poses a serious risk to global markets, affecting innocent multinational corporations, ordinary companies and consumers, as well as harming the interests of American businesses and the American people. China “promised not to fire the first shot,” (承诺不打第一枪) but had “been forced to make a necessary counterattack,” (不得不被迫作出必要反击). The announcement stated that China would promptly inform the WTO, and would work with countries around the world to “jointly safeguard free trade and the multilateral trading system,” (共同维护自由贸易和多边体制). The announcement included a reaffirmation of China’s commitment to reform and opening up, and included a promise to work effectively to help businesses affected by the trade war. Later at 8 PM, the Ministry of Commerce announced China had filed a lawsuit in the WTO against the US 301 investigation related tariffs.
On 9 July, in response to a reporter’s question, a Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said the ministry will, (1) assess the impact of tariffs on various industries, (2) use the revenue from China’s counter-tariffs to mitigate the impact of US tariffs on businesses and employees, (3) encourage companies to import goods such as soybeans, automobiles, and seafood from alternative countries besides the US, and (4) accelerate implementation of the State Council’s opinions issued 15 June on utilizing foreign capital to create a better investment environment and promote high quality development. The spokesman ended the statement by encouraging advice and suggestions from all sectors, and asked that all companies seriously affected to report to their local governments.
Zhong Sheng: Developing China-Arab Relations in a New Era Has Great Prospects
7.11 The commentary 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, applauded Xi Jinping’s speech at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
It maintained that the speech provides a blueprint for future cooperation in which both sides “jointly act as defenders of Middle Eastern peace and stability, supporters of fairness and justice, promoters of common development, and good friends learning from one another.”
The commentary also praised the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for “pushing China-Arab cooperation in every dimension into a new phase.” It ended with the assertion that “China-Arab cooperation will help with the rejuvenation of the respective nations and contribute to world peace and development.”
UNITED FRONT WORK
China Zhi Gong Party Central Committee Convenes Conference on Propagating the New Type of Party System
China Zhi Gong Party Website
7.10 The Zhi Gong Party Central Committee convened a conference on “Telling a Good China Story, Propagating Well our Country’s New Type of Party System.” Zhi Gong Party Central Committee Executive Vice Chairman Jiang Zuojun (蒋作君) emphasized a need to “deeply understand the historic logic of the new type of party system.” Jiang also noted a need for a “new ambience, new improvements, new actions, and new appearance” and demanded that when meeting with important foreign political leaders, China’s new type of party system should be propagated well.
China’s First Class of “United Front Studies” Masters Students Graduate
7.8 Eight students have graduated from Shandong University with degrees in “United Front Studies.” The degree program was launched in 2015 as a cooperative project between the Central Institute of Socialism and Shandong University. The institute’s party leadership group secretary Pan Yue (潘岳) spoke at the signing ceremony. The article notes that the graduates’ employment prospects in the united front system are favorable.
Central Government Environmental Inspectors Finish Reexamining 38,000 Cases, Hold 4,305 People Accountable
Ministry of Ecology and Environment
7.9 The Ministry of Ecology and Environment reported that it had “resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council” by addressing 38,000 cases of pollution regulation violations by government officials reported by the public. The first round of review was conducted in 10 provinces and districts between 30 May and 7 July by six different inspection teams, and found that many violations had not been handled properly. 4,305 officials were held accountable as a result of the reexamination, and 464 officials were placed in administrative or criminal detention.
Bank of China Kaiping Sub-Branch Embezzlement Case Culprit Repatriated from US
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
7.11 Xu Chaofan (许超凡), the former president of a Bank of China sub-branch in Kaiping, Guangdong who embezzled $485 million from his employer, was repatriated to China after 17 years abroad. He fled to the US in 2001 and was subsequently taken into custody and sentenced to a 25-year prison term there in 2003 and 2009 respectively. The CCDI described the repatriation as “the important result of anti-corruption and law enforcement cooperation between China and the US” and noted that Xu was the first duty-related criminal suspect to be repatriated since the establishment of the National Supervision Commission.
A commentary on Xu’s repatriation appeared on the CCDI’s website shortly after the news broke. It pointed out that the Xu was the culprit of the biggest bank embezzlement case in PRC history and argued that his repatriation shows “fleeing abroad is only a pipe dream (黄粱一梦).”
China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Daily published an article detailing the many “firsts” involved in the Xu case the following day. These included the first time a fugitive who had been prosecuted and imprisoned in a developed country was repatriated, the first time China and the US cooperated in accordance with the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the first time a Chinese witness testified in an American court via remote video. The article stated that “each of the ‘firsts’ surely signifies making breakthroughs in a succession of unprecedented difficulties, but they also signify the opening of a new phase.”
CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC)
Wei Fenghe Meets with African Representatives Attending The First Session of The China-Africa Defense and Security Forum
7.10 State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) met with 49 African national representatives in Beijing. The representatives were participating in the first session of the China-Africa Defense and Security Forum. Wei told the representatives that “China and Africa are eternally good friends, good partners, and good brothers. This forum’s theme is “Join Hands and Cooperate, Defend and Help Each Other.” Among other points, Wei also noted that China and Africa “jointly push forward the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”
Wei Fenghe Meets Nepalese Army Chief of Staff
7.11 State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with the Nepalese Army Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri at the General Office of the Central Military Commission (the August 1st Building) in Beijing. Among other points, Wei reaffirmed that China attaches great importance to the Sino-Nepalese comprehensive cooperative partnership and that China will continue to offer support and aid to Nepal’s national and military construction.
Among other points, Chhertri stated that Nepal firmly follows the One China Policy and will not let any power exploit Nepal’s territory to carry out anti-China activities.
COMPREHENSIVELY DEEPENING REFORM
Yi Gang, Guo Shuqing and Experts Comment on RMB Exchange Rate Fluctuations
China Economic Daily Portal/ Economic Information Daily
7.4-12 On 3 July, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Yi Gang (易纲) stated in a press interview that recent fluctuations in the foreign exchange market are being watched closely, and are largely due to the strengthening value of the US dollar and other factors variables are attributing to it. Yi Gang stressed that China’s economic fundamentals are good, financial risks generally are under control, the nation’s balance of payments is currently stable, and the economy is entering a stage of “high-quality development” (高质量发展).
He explained that China uses a floating exchange rate based on market forces, and that “this system is effective and must be adhered to,” (这一制度行之有效，必须坚持). He reiterated that the central bank will “continue to implement prudent and neutral monetary policy,” (继续实行稳健中性的货币政策) and will use existing experienced policy tools to maintain a stable exchange rate.
On 11 July, the PBOC authorized the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (中国外汇交易中心) to release that the RMB rate against the dollar had raised for two consecutive days to 6.6234 yuan. However, due to influence from the trade dispute the RMB fell against the dollar. By 7pm (GMT+8), the offshore market rate for RMB stood at 6.70 against the dollar.
The Economic Information Daily (经济参考报) cited unnamed industry experts who said that overall, RMB depreciation is a short-term fluctuation not a long-term trend, and that in the future the RMB exchange rate will be more flexible. The article notes that investor panic may have contributed to exacerbating fluctuations, and quoted China Merchants Securities (招商证券) chief macro analyst Xie Yaxuan (谢亚轩) who advised, “RMB depreciation be must be viewed rationally” (应理性看待人民币汇率贬值). PBOC Party Committee secretary and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (中国银保监会) chairman Guo Shuqing (郭树清) was also cited saying, “based on the fundamentals of China’s economy, the RMB cannot possibly undergo significant depreciation,” (经济基本面决定了其不存在大幅贬值的可能).
Central Committee State Council Publishes Guiding Opinions on Improving State-Owned Financial Capital Management
7.9 The CCP Central Committee and State Council released guiding opinions on improving state-owned financial capital management. The opinions pointed out that state-owned financial capital is “the important material foundation and political foundation for the development of our Party and country’s activities.” The document also promoted the sustainable and healthy operation of state-owned financial institutions, alongside Party leadership of financial institutions. The document noted that the main objective is to build the backbone for robust state-owned financial capital management. The document emphasized that all levels of Party committees and governments should unify their thoughts.
INTERNATIONAL LIAISON WORK
7.10 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met with a Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) high-level cadre study group led by CPV Central Committee member, Hà Tĩnh Provincial Party Committee secretary, and Hà Tĩnh Provincial People’s Council chairman Lê Đình Sơn. Vice president of the CCP Central Party School Huang Xianqi (黄宪起) also participated in the meeting.
7.10 Central Propaganda Department head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) led a CCP delegation to Naypyidaw, Myanmar to meet with National League for Democracy Chairperson and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. While there, he also met with First Vice President Myint Swe and Union Solidarity and Development Party Chairperson Than Htay as well as attended a seminar celebrating the publication of the Burmese edition of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China with Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Tun Tun Hein and Deputy Speaker of the House of Nationalities Aye Thar Aung.
7.11 Song Tao met with the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui. International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) also participated in the meeting.
7.11 Li Jun met with the Sudanese Minister of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Osama Faisal.
7.11 Li Jun met with the Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Hussein Alyemany.
7.13 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Co-leader and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw and New Zealand Ambassador to China Clare Fearnley.
Xi Jinping Gives Speech at the National Organization Work Conference, Lays out New “Organizational Line”
7.4 Xi Jinping gave an important speech at the National Organization Work Conference, in which he declared that “the Party’s strength comes from organization” and defined the Party’s “organizational line” (组织路线) in the new era:
“Comprehensively implement socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era, focus on the construction of the organization system, focus on cultivating high-quality cadres who are loyal, clean, and responsible, strive to gather outstanding talents that are patriotic and devoted from all fields, insist on both morality and ability (德才兼备), put morality first, make appointments on the basis of merit, provide a strong organizational guarantee for persevering with and strengthening the comprehensive leadership of the Party, and persevering with and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
In his speech, Xi paid particular attention to the Party’s grassroots organizations, which should play a leading role in strengthening the Party’s leadership, and called for efforts to enhance the Party organizations in enterprises, rural areas, governments, public institutions and urban communities.
He also declared that “political integrity will be the foremost criterion for selecting officials,” and that supervision mechanisms will be strengthened to ensure that officials are evaluated by the faith, performance, and integrity.
PD Commentator Series on Xi Jinping’s Speech at the National Organization Work Conference
7.5-9 The People’s Daily published a series of commentator articles supporting Xi Jinping’s speech at last week’s National Organization Work Conference, emphasizing the importance of the new “organizational line” he laid out in the speech.
The first article emphasized the importance of upholding the Party’s organizational line in a new era. It argued that this undertaking depends on people since “the correct political line must be ensured by the correct organizational line.” The article named “adhering to and strengthening the Party’s comprehensive leadership and adhering to Party Central Committee’s authority and centralized and unified leadership” as the most important means of upholding the Party’s organizational line in a new era. It called on Party organizations and organizational departments at all levels to conscientiously assume responsibility for this undertaking.
The second article contended that the Party’s strength comes from organizations because its comprehensive leadership and whole work must be realized via its organization system. The article noted that the Party has a tight organization system including central, regional, and grassroots organizations and described the system as “a formidable advantage the world’s other political parties do not possess.” It stated that “building a strong Party organization system must adhere to setting up a clear-cut orientation stressing the grassroots and vigorously strengthening grassroots Party organization”and designated “paying strict attention to implementation” the key to reinforcing the Party’s grassroots organization building.
The third article focused on the need to “create a contingent of high-quality cadres who are loyal, clean, and responsible.” This is because “after the political line has been determined, cadres are the decisive factor.” The article posited “education fosters outstanding political character” and consequently called for “improved political consciousness and political ability to run through the whole process of cadre education and training” and “unremittingly persevering in strengthening Party education, political moral self-cultivation, and discipline building.”
The fourth article argued that finding, cultivating, and selecting outstanding young cadres is “a project of vital and lasting importance to the development of the Party and country.” It stated that such cadres “must be loyal to the Party, insist on taking the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and be obedient to and follow the Party.” The article described Party loyalty as the first aspect of selecting outstanding young cadres and teaching Party loyalty and the resolute prevention of political two-facedness as the first aspect of training them. It concluded by observing “doing young cadre work well is a common task of the whole Party” and “all levels of Party committees must regard being concerned about the healthy growth of young cadres as an incumbent political responsibility.”
The fifth article stressed the importance of “making a contingent of outstanding talents who vow patriotic dedication and are brave enough to innovate and create.” It stated that the competition for comprehensive national power is ultimately a competition for talents and the key to this latter competition is the competition between systems and mechanisms. This means China must “continuously deepen the reform of systems and mechanisms for talent development” and “implement a more active, open, and effective policy for bringing in talents.” According to the article, it also requires “promoting the spirit of patriotic dedication,” “strengthening the political guidance and absorption of talents,” and “increasing their sense of political recognition and cohesion.”
Central Committee General Office Releases Opinions on Term of Office for Grassroots Party Organizations”
7.12 The Central Committee General Office released opinions on term of office for grassroots Party organizations to be implemented immediately. The new regulations stated that the term of office should be five years for grassroots-level Party committees; three years for Party general branch committees and branch committees; five years for village and community Party committees, general branch committees, and branch committees.
The regulation also stated elections must be held at the end of terms. If an election is delayed, elections can be moved up or postponed generally no longer than a year with senior approval. The length of term for grassroots level party organizations in the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Armed Police Force will be determined by the Central Military Commission.
7.9 Li Xiaozhong (李晓钟) was appointed member of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions’ Party leadership group.
7.10 Lu Jun (吕军) was appointed chairman of COFCO Group and secretary of its Party leadership group.
7.13 Cong Liang (丛亮) was appointed secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission.