[Source: South China Morning Post]
The CCP Central Committee released a revised version of its regulations of disciplinary action, which included stipulations against spreading rumors to damage Party unity and Party members holding religious beliefs (see Party Discipline section).
At a symposium marking the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping defended the program as an “economic cooperation initiative” and an “open and inclusive process,” not a “geopolitical or military alliance,” a “China club,” or a “zero-sum game.” While emphasizing China must continue to have a “strategic vision” and grasp “historic opportunities,” Xi conceded the need to “resolve key problems” (see Senior Leaders section).
Party media focused on promoting Xi Jinping’s speech at last week’s National Propaganda Work Conference, and his speech this week on the Belt and Road Initiative through special columns and commentator articles (see Propaganda section).
Xi Jinping: Strengthen the Party’s Centralized and Unified Leadership over Advancing Law-based Governance
8.24 Xi Jinping presided over the first meeting of the CCP Central Committee Commission for Law-based Governance (中央全面依法治国委员会). Xi, serving as head of the Commission, emphasized that “the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over advancing a law-based governance must be strengthened.” He pointed out that “the Constitution must be comprehensively implemented,” “laws must be made scientifically,” and reforms on administrative enforcement of law and judicial system must be deepened.
Politburo Standing Committee members and deputy heads of the Commission Li Keqiang (李克强), Li Zhanshu (栗战书), and Wang Huning (王沪宁) attended the meeting.
Xi Jinping Attends Symposium Marking the Fifth Anniversary of the Belt and Road
8.27 Xi Jinping attended and delivered a speech at a symposium marking the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Xi pointed out that “today’s world is in a period of great development, great change, and great adjustment; [China] must have a strategic vision, establish a global view, be conscious of risks while being conscious of historic opportunities, and with great effort grasp hold of a course in this stage that has not seen as great changes in a hundred years.”
Xi stressed that “numerous developing countries have accelerated industrialization and urbanization, and then achieved economic independence and continuous national revitalization.” He suggested that the broad support that BRI received demonstrates developing countries’ wishes to promote peace and seek development.
Xi noted that, after five years of foundation building, BRI has started to put down roots (落地生根), the overall deployment of BRI has been established, and now the specific details must be drafted. Party leadership over BRI must also be strengthened.
Xi emphasized that BRI is an “economic cooperation initiative” and an “open and inclusive process,” not a “geopolitical or military alliance,” a “small circle made by closing the door or ‘China club,’” or a “zero-sum game.” He added that China must “resolve key problems related to important projects, financial support, investment environment, risk management, and security guarantees.”
PD Commentator Articles on Xi’s Speech at the National Conference on Propaganda and Ideological Work
8.27-31 People’s Daily published four commentator articles on learning and implementing the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speech at last week’s national conference on propaganda and ideological work.
The first article stressed the importance of the “nine insistences” that Xi mentioned in his speech. These include insisting on the Party’s leadership over ideological work, the fundamental tasks of the “two consolidations (两个巩固),” weaponizing the Party and educating the people with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, cultivating and implementing core socialist values, treating cultural confidence as the most foundational, extensive, and profound confidence, expanding the dissemination, guidance, influence, and credibility of the news and public opinion, having a people-centered creative orientation, creating an upright cyberspace, and telling a good China story and disseminating well China’s voice. The article pointed out that using the “nine insistences” as fundamental guidance means grasping the essence of their spirit, recognizing their realistic significance, and putting effort into implementing them.
The second article focused on the five tasks for propaganda and ideological work in the new situation that Xi outlined in his speech, namely “holding the banner, amassing popular sentiment, educating new people, promoting culture, and displaying an image.” It expressed agreement with Xi’s claim that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will “in no way be effortless” and warned that “The more [we] achieve success, the more [we] must be cautious as if walking on thin ice and have the hardship of thinking of danger in times of safety.”
The third article emphasized that “ideological work concerns the Party’s future and fate, the country’s long-term peace and stability, and the nation’s cohesiveness.” It noted that Xi’s speech described “creating a socialist ideology with strong cohesive and guidance power” as a “strategic task” before stressing that “the task is still arduous” even though “the overall momentum of the field of our country’s ideology is growing better.”
The fourth article focused on the task of “educating new people,” claiming “the key to fostering new people of the times is letting core socialist values play a guiding role.” It cautioned that “if ideals and convictions waver, worldviews, life outlooks, and value systems comprehensively degenerate” and then called for “strengthening education in ideals and convictions among all people, especially the youth.”
PD Commentator Articles on Xi’s Speech at Symposium Marking the Fifth Anniversary of the Belt and Road
8.28-8.31 People’s Daily published three commentator articles on learning from Xi Jinping’s speech at this week’s symposium marking the fifth anniversary of BRI.
The first article praised BRI for being “an open and inclusive cooperative platform” that spans “different regions, different stages of development, and different civilizations,” “enormous cooperative platform for all relevant countries to realize common development,” and “important practical platform for promoting the building of a community of shared future for mankind.” It argued that BRI “has substantially raised the liberalization and convenience levels of China’s trade and investment” and “has great significance not only for developing countries but also for the economic development and cooperation of the entire world.”
The second article commended BRI for “putting new energy into world economic development and strong impetus into promoting economic globalization’s advancement toward more open, inclusive, universally beneficial, balanced, and mutually profitable development.” It contended that “as China is the advocate and promoter of BRI, it is continuously creating conditions for all parties to ride or hitchhike on the Chinese development express.”
The third article maintained that BRI “promotes the development of a global governance system with a more fair and reasonable orientation” and therefore “creates more favorable conditions for world peace and development.” It emphasized that the last five years have demonstrated that BRI “is not just economic cooperation but also an improvement of global development models and global governance.”
PD Editorial: Concentrate the Strength of Overseas Chinese to Achieve the Great Undertaking of Rejuvenation
8.30 People’s Daily published an editorial commenting on the 10th National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Relatives. The editorial first expressed its appreciation for overseas Chinese that support China’s reform and opening up and the modernization of socialism and then pointed out that “since the 18th Party Congress, the Central Committee with Comrade Xi at its core… has deepened the institutional reform of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese (AFROC) and made new plans for its work for a new era.” It stated that “returned overseas Chinese and their relatives and overseas Chinese are an important force for realizing the China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and that the work of AFROC in the new era must be centered on “concentrating the hearts and strength of overseas Chinese and sharing the China Dream (凝聚侨心侨力同圆共享中国梦).”
Wang Yi: Jointly Build a Community of Shared Future for China and Africa, Start a New Journey of Unity and Cooperation
8.30 People’s Daily published an article on the upcoming 2018 Beijing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅). Wang described the summit as a “historic meeting for deepening the traditional friendship and strengthening the strategic cooperation between China and Africa.” He added that it will “definitely push the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Africa to new heights.”
Wang pointed out that this year’s meetings of the FOCAC, China-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Forum, and China-Arab States Cooperation Forum show that “China has realized full coverage in its important collective dialogue mechanisms with developing countries.” He emphasized that the “Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core highly values China-Africa relations” and that “no matter how the world’s situation adjusts, China and Africa will always be like-minded natural allies (志同道合的天然同盟军).”
United Front Work
Wang Yang: Promote the Prosperity, Development, and Long-term Peace and Stability of Tibet
8.26 During an inspection tour of Tibet, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) “fully affirmed” the Tibetan Autonomous Region’s implementation of the CCP Central Committee’s Tibet policies, and called for “putting increasing the quality of poverty alleviation in the first place” in governing Tibet.
Wang emphasized that the Party’s religious work is “related to Tibet’s long-term peace and stability” and called for continued sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism. He said that “religious circles must firmly support the Party’s leadership” and “bravely fight against separatist forces.”
Wang’s comments have been interpreted as an indication that the CCP intends to continue increasing pressure on Tibetan Buddhism.
Wan Gang Attends Talk With Chongqing Zhi Gong Party Leaders
Zhi Gong Party Website
8.27 Zhi Gong Party Chairman Wan Gang (万钢) attended a discussion session with the leaders of the Chongqing branch of the Zhi Gong Party.
At the meeting, Wan Gang noted that “Xi Jinping’s discourse on our country’s new type of political party system marked that the united front and the work of democratic parties have entered a stage of building & perfecting a new type of political party system in a new era.” He urged Zi Gong Party members to “earnestly study and understand the general secretary’s important discourse on the new type of political party system and implement them in order to do political party work well.”
10th National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Relatives Held in Beijing
8.29 Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Han Zheng (韩正), and Wang Qishan (王岐山) attended the opening ceremony of the 10th National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Relatives in Beijing. Nearly 1,300 returned overseas Chinese and their relatives and 700 overseas Chinese from more than 110 countries attended.
Zhao Leji (赵乐际), as representative of the Central Committee, delivered a speech at the congress. He stressed that “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important statements on the work of overseas Chinese affairs provided fundamental guidance for conducting well the Party’s overseas Chinese work in a new era” and that he hoped “returned overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese will… disseminate well China’s voice and help their motherland develop.”
Yang Xiaodu: Increase Political Standing, Deepen Specialized Management, and Provide a Strong Discipline Guarantee to Win the War on Poverty
8.26 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) reported that a meeting on deepening the specialized management of corruption and bad conduct related to the field of poverty alleviation (深化专项治理扶贫领域腐败和作风问题工作推进会) was held in Yan’an on 25 August. Politburo member, CCDI deputy secretary, and NSC director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) attended the meeting and pointed out that poverty alleviation has made decisive progress under the strong leadership of the Central Committee with Xi at its core. He stressed the importance of deeply learning Xi’s important statements on, strengthening supervision of, and ensuring the Party’s leadership over poverty-alleviation work.
CCP Central Committee Releases Regulations of the CCP on Disciplinary Action
8.26 The CCP Central Committee recently released a revised version of the Regulations of the CCP on Disciplinary Action (中国共产党纪律处分条例) and a notice that requires all regions and departments to “conscientiously follow the regulations and implement them.” The notice required party commissions and party leadership groups at all levels to “shoulder the political responsibility of strictly ruling the Party in all respects” and include the Regulations in party commissions’ and party leadership groups’ study sessions. The full text of the Regulations is included in the Xinhua article.
Among new revisions to the regulations are stipulations that Party members must not “spread rumors or damage the Party’s unity” or speak out against Central policies or decisions. The regulations also stipulated that religious Party members should leave the Party if thought education does not change their beliefs.
The new regulations also stipulate that failing to implement government policies is now a discipline violation, which has been interpreted as targeting official inaction due to fear of the anti-corruption campaign.
Nationwide Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in July 2018
8.27 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) released figures for violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines (中央八项规定) in July 2018. The month saw 5,178 investigations, 7,353 punished individuals, and 5,101 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions. The most common violations in all three categories were granting subsidies and benefits, sending and receiving gifts or money, dining out with public funds, and misuse of public vehicles. The cumulative figures for the first seven months of 2018 were 30,855 investigations, 43,971 punished individuals, and 31,130 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.
61,500 Individuals Punished for Poverty Alleviation Related Corruption in the First Half of 2018
8.29 The CCDI recently released figures showing that, in the first half of 2018, disciplinary inspection and supervision units at all levels investigated and addressed 45,300 cases of and punished 61,500 individuals for corruption and bad conduct related to poverty alleviation. Among the punished individuals, 32,000 received Party disciplinary and administrative punishment and 30,000 were subject to organizational management. The figures noted that some individuals received both forms of punishment.
Additionally, 1,300 individuals were transferred to judicial authorities. The figures also showed that 42.16% of the cases investigated and addressed are related to corruption, 35.51% are related to formalism and bureaucratism, and 22.33% are related to breach of duty.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Cost Reductions Must Still Be Pursued
China Economic Daily
8.26 According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of 2018, businesses saw a cost reduction of 0.4 per 100 yuan, and, in the face of the current complex economic situation, further reducing costs will add new vitality to China’s economic development. Vice Minister of Finance Liu Wei (刘伟) previously said that the main focus of the ministry’s policy is increasing tax cuts and fee reductions and reducing costs for the real economy, particularly through continued Value Added Tax (VAT) reforms.
Newly introduced tax policies will favor small and micro enterprises. Liu said that local governments will be rewarded for expanding the scale of financing available to small and micro enterprises. A 22 August State Council executive meeting stressed the need to adhere to prudent monetary policy rather than “flood irrigation” (大水漫灌) and use precise policy implementation to increase loans for small and micro enterprises and reduce costs.
National Development and Reform Commission Spokesman Zhao Chenxin (赵辰昕) told reporters that, thanks to initiatives launched this year, it is estimated annual costs will be reduced by more than 1.1 trillion RMB. He added that China has continued to seize the principle of “letting go” (放管服) and expedited the carrying out of “double random, one public” (双随机、一公开) supervision. China Economic Daily reported cost reductions are an important step in supply side structural reform, which must be lead by the government, and thanks to these cost reductions market vitality is emerging.
International Liaison Work
8.27 International Department Vice Minister Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Department of Internal Affairs delegation led by Standing Member and Director of the General Office of the CPV Central Steering Committee on Judicial Reform Trinh Xuan Toan.
8.27 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) and Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias.
8.27 Song Tao and International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP) cadre study group led by DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang (林吉祥).
8.28 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with the Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rubén Darío Molina.
8.28-30 At the invitation of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Song Tao went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. On 29 August, he met with CPP Vice President and President of the Senate of Cambodia Say Chhum.
The following day Song met with CPP President and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
8.29 Li Jun held talks with the Sudanese National Congress Party’s External Relations Sector Head Mohamed Mokhtar.
8.29 Wang Yajun met with a Japanese delegation led by the Liberal Democratic Party’s International Bureau Director-General Ryuji Koizumi.
8.31 Song Tao met with a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) delegation led by LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai.
8.27 Xia Weidong (夏伟东) was appointed director of Qiushi Publishing.
8.27 Wu Manqing (吴曼青) was appointed general manager of China Electronics Technology Group and deputy secretary of its party leadership group.
8.28 Shen Beili (沈蓓莉) was appointed Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Macau Special Administrative Region.
8.30 Lei Mingshan (雷鸣山) was appointed chairman of China Three Gorges Corporation and secretary of its party leadership group.