[Photo by Yiran Ding on Unsplash]
Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection head Zhao Leji visited Belarus, Laos, and Vietnam this week on official goodwill trips (see Senior Leaders section).
The Politburo held a meeting on CCP branch work and national cadre education and training, as well as a study session on rural revitalization (see Senior Leaders section).
People’s Daily articles and commentaries focused on attacking the US’ imposition of sanctions, warning that the US will ultimately “be hoisted by its own petard” (搬起石头砸自己的脚) since the sanctions “harm the United States’ own interests” (see Propaganda section).
Xi Jinping Presides over Politburo Meeting on CCP Branch Work and National Cadre Education and Training
9.21 Xi Jinping presided over a Politburo meeting on reviewing trial regulations for CCP branch work and a 2018-2022 plan for national cadre education and training.
The meeting pointed out that the regulations are “an important measure for promoting the extension of the comprehensive strict governance of the Party to the grassroots level” and “of great significance to strengthening Party organizational system construction, comprehensively upgrading Party branch organizational power, strengthening Party branch political capabilities, and consolidating the Party’s long-term in power organizational base.” It stressed that the Party “must take paying special attention to Party branches as the fundamental content of organizational system construction.”
The meeting also indicated that “cadre education and training is the pioneering, foundational, and strategic project of cadre contingent construction” before emphasizing that “cadre education and training work in a new era must have a new atmosphere and conduct.” To this end, it stated that the Party “must take education in ideals and convictions as its most important task, persevere unremittingly in strengthening theoretical armament, and not relax in the least in strengthening education on Party character.”
Xi Jinping Presides over Eighth Politburo Collective Study Session
9.22 Xinhua reported that the eighth Politburo collective study session, focusing on rural revitalization strategy, was held on 21 September. Xi Jinping presided over the session and emphasized that “without modernization for agriculture and rural areas, there will be no modernization for the whole country.” He pointed out that “effective measures must be taken in providing funding, allocating resources, [providing] public services, and assigning cadres in order to accelerate strengthening the weakness in developing agriculture and rural areas and narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas.” Xi stressed that “fighting the poverty alleviation battle is the priority for implementing rural revitalization strategies” and that “Party Committees and organizations at all levels must strengthen their leadership…, adhere to the nature of collective ownership of rural land…, and give full play to rural Party organizations.”
Zhao Leji Makes Official Goodwill Visit to Belarus
9.22 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) met with the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on an official goodwill visit to the country. Zhao told Lukashenko that the China-Belarus comprehensive strategic partnership has become a “model for the development of relations between countries.” He reported that the purpose of his visit is the implementation of the consensus reached by Lukashenko and Xi Jinping during their meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in June to “defend the leadership core of the party and state.” He discussed with Lukashenko how “comprehensive and strict ruling of the Party” is being promoted by the CCP.
Zhao also held meetings with Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas, National Assembly Chairman Vladimir Andreichenko, and Presidential Administration head Natalya Kochanova.
Zhao Leji Makes Official Goodwill Visit to Laos
9.23-9.26 At the invitation of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), Zhao Leji made an official goodwill visit to Laos. While there, he separately met with President of Laos and LPRP General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Vice President and LPRP Secretariat standing member Phankham Viphavan as well as held talks with LPRP Central Committee member and LPRP Inspection Committee Chair Bounthong Chitmany.
According to Xinhua, while meeting with Bounnhang, Zhao stated that “the purpose of my visit is the implementation of the important consensus reached by the general secretaries of both parties.” He also indicated that “the China-Laos railway is a model project of Belt and Road Initiative cooperation” and that “China attaches a high-level of importance” to this project
China Publishes White Paper on Facts and Its Standpoint on China-US Trade Frictions
9.24 The State Council Information Office (SCIO) released a white paper entitled “The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction,” intended to “clarify the facts on China-US trade relations, explain China’s policy stance on China-US trade frictions, and promote to resolve the problems reasonably.” The white paper includes six parts that discuss the win-win and mutually beneficial aspects of China-US economic and trade cooperation, the facts on China-US economic and trade relations, the US government’s trade protectionist actions, the US government’s actions as a trade bully, the damages to global economic development done by the US government’s wrongdoing, and China’s stance.
According to the white paper, the new US government has “abandoned the fundamental norms of mutual respect and equal consultation that guide international relations,” made “false accusations against many countries and regions, particularly China” and intimidated “other countries through economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure.”
The white paper stressed that China has “adhered to its fundamental principle of resolving conflicts through dialogue and negotiation” even when faced with this situation.” It blamed the US for escalating China-US trade friction but emphasized at the end that "cooperation is the only correct option for China and the United States, and only a win-win approach will lead to a better future. China's position is clear, consistent and firm."
The full text of the white paper is available in English.
Han Zheng Meets Kazakhstan First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin
9.25 Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正) met with Kazakhstan First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin in Beijing. During the meeting, Han urged both sides to “comprehensively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries,” and further reinforce cooperation on deepening industrial capacity, investment, economics, trade, finance, and energy. Mamin said that “Kazakhstan-China relations have become a model for friendly relations between neighbors” and expressed Kazakhstan’s willingness to strengthening the deep connection between “Nurly Zhol” and BRI.
Xi Jinping Entrusts Zhao Leji with Offering Condolences for Vietnam President’s Passing
9.26 Xi Jinping entrusted Zhao Leji with offering China’s condolences over the recent passing of President of Vietnam Trần Đại Quang during Zhao’s official goodwill visit to Vietnam. A photo in Xinhua indicated that International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) and Vice Minister Wang Yajun (王亚军) and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Deputy Secretary Li Shulei (李书磊) were also present in Vietnam to offer condolences.
Xi Jinping: The Equipment Manufacturing Industry Should Improve Its “Internal Ability” to Forever Stand in an Invincible Position
9.26 Xi Jinping inspected Qiqihar, Heilongjiang where he visited China First Heavy Industries (中国一重集团), among other corporations and industrial sites. While visiting Heilongjiang, Xi stated that “[China] needs to rely on itself for its food supply, real economy, and manufacturing industry.”
Xi stated that international pressures such as unilateralism and trade protectionism have “forced [China] onto the path of self-reliance, which is not a bad thing.”
Zhong Sheng: Take Action to Realize Long-lasting Peace on the Korean Peninsula
9.22 People’s Daily used its 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, to praise the new consensus reached and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018 signed by North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their 18-20 September meeting. The article reiterated that “China insists on advancing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, defending the peace and stability of the peninsula, and solving problems through dialogues and negotiations.” The article concluded by urging North and South Korea to continue implementing their consensus and pushing for interaction and cooperation.
PD Commentator: Salute Farmers, Praise Bumper Harvests
9.23 People’s Daily published a commentator article on the autumnal equinox and first Chinese Farmers' Harvest Festival (中国农民丰收节). The article stated that the Central Committee’s decision to establish the festival “demonstrated ‘three rural issues’ (三农) work’s status as a foundation of the utmost importance.” It quoted Xi Jinping to stress that “agriculture must be strong for China to be strong; rural areas must be beautiful for China to be beautiful; farmers must be rich for China to be rich.” The article also praised farmers for contributing to China’s industrialization and urbanization.
Zhong Sheng: What Is US Sanctioning of the Chinese Military Intended to Do?
9.24 People’s Daily used its “Zhong Sheng” column to criticize the United States’ 21 September decision to impose sanctions on the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department. It argued that the decision “revealed the United States’ hegemonic character to the whole world” and “inflamed today’s already complicated and sensitive China-US relations.”
The article claimed that “since the Trump administration came to power, the US has embraced a Cold War mentality” and undertaken a variety of measures meant to “suppress China’s new high-level scientific and technological development and delay China’s national defense modernization.” It stressed that such efforts will be unsuccessful since “China absolutely will not accept any foreign intervention or capitulate to any foreign coercion.”
The article warned that “we will continue to deepen the close cooperation between China and Russia” despite the sanctions and that the US will ultimately “be hoisted by its own petard” (搬起石头砸自己的脚) since the sanctions “harm the United States’ own interests.” It concluded by urging the US “to no longer go against the trend of the times and return to a rational and correct path as soon as possible.”
PD Commentator: Cooperation is the Only Right Choice for Handling China-US Trade Frictions
9.25 People’s Daily published a commentator article supporting the State Council’s 24 September white paper on China-US trade frictions. It argued that “trade relations have always been the ballast and propeller of China-US relations” and that “trade frictions that have been instigated and continuously escalated by the US government make China-US trade relations… experience great harm and the multilateral trading system and free trade principles suffer from a grave threat.”
The article stated that “in regards to a trade war, China does not wish to fight one, is not afraid to fight one, and, if necessary, will have no choice but to fight one” before striking a more strident tone, declaring that “We have the confidence, determination, and ability to respond to all kinds of dangers and challenges. No external factor can prevent the expansion of China’s development.” The conclusion, however, proved more optimistic, claiming “cooperation is the only right choice. Only mutual profit can lead to a better future.”
Xi Jinping: Build a New Type of World-Class Mainstream Media Powerful in Guiding, Disseminating, and Influencing
9.26 Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to China Central Television (CCTV) for its 60th anniversary. In the letter, Xi stated that “the television industry is an important component of the Party’s work on news and public opinion” and that he hoped “the China Media Group and the broad people who work in the television industry around the nation will deeply learn and implement the thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and the spirit of the 19th Party Congress.” He also stressed the importance of coordinating between radio broadcast and television, internal and external propaganda, traditional and new media, reinforcing the building of international dissemination capability, and building a new type of world-class mainstream media that is powerful in guiding, disseminating, and influencing.
Zhong Sheng: Be Objective and Accurate with the Facts of China-US Trade Relations
9.26 People’s Daily used its “Zhong Sheng” column to argue that China-US trade frictions arose due to “the US using exaggeration to construct a so-called ‘America loses theory’” that “the facts of China-US trade relations are incapable of supporting.” It declared that “the US is in no way a loser in trade with China. If it were, the natural forces of the market would have already caused a structural adjustment.”
The column also more directly criticized the Trump administration, claiming that “unilateralism, protectionism, and economic hegemony are not adaptable to the trends of today’s era of economic globalization. However, the new US government which shouts the ‘America First’ slogan seems to be incapable of understanding this fact to the point that they do not realize where their own country’s interests ultimately lie.”
Zhong Sheng: Unilateralism Cannot Receive a Pass
9.28 People’s Daily used its “Zhong Sheng” column to criticize the Trump administration’s rejection of globalism at this week’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. It noted that this was not a new development, stating that “for some time, the differences and clash between unilateralism carrying the banner of ‘America First’ and multilateralism advocating equal cooperation have been growing increasingly obvious.”
The column argued that “America First” policies will ultimately come to naught because “the multipolar-ization of the world cannot be stopped and unilateralism cannot get results.” In their place, it advocated “adhering to multilateralism and improving global governance,” both of which “are requirements of the times and also where the common interests of all countries lie.”
United Front Work
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association Spokesperson Issues Statement on Temporary Agreement between China and the Vatican on the Appointment of Bishops
China Patriotic Catholic Association
9.22 A spokesperson for the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (中国天主教爱国会) and the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in China (中国天主教主教团) issued a “heartfelt endorsement” of the agreement between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops.
The spokesperson stated that the “Chinese Catholic Church deeply loves its own motherland and insists on... the principle of independent and autonomous self-management of churches” alongside “persevering with the path of sinicization”. The Chinese Catholic Church also wished that “on the basis of independence and autonomy, mutual respect,and equal friendship, friendly relations with the catholic church of every nation should be launched.”
The spokesperson stated in conclusion that “we wholeheartedly wish that China-Vatican relations unceasingly improve.”
Shen Yueyue Leads Delegation to Romania and Russia to Attend Second Eurasia Women’s Forum
All-China Women’s Federation
9.16-23 All-China Women’s Federation President Shen Yueyue (沈跃跃) led an All-China Women’s Federation delegation to Romania and Russia, where the delegation attended the 2nd Eurasian Women’s Forum in St. Petersburg. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave remarks at the Forum’s opening ceremony.
While in Romania, Shen met the Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea. Shen noted the friendship and partnership between Romania and China, the active role that organizations should play in developing bilateral relations, and called for the “further deepening of women’s exchanges” between the two countries.
Nationwide Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in August 2018
9.25 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 August 2018. The month saw 5,565 investigations, 7,846 punished individuals, and 5,452 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 eight months of 2018 were 36,420 investigations, 51,817 punished individuals, and 36,582 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.
CCDI General Office Releases Opinions on Correcting Formalism and Bureaucracy
China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Newspaper
9.25 The CCDI General Office recently released “Opinions on Thoroughly Implementing the Spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Important Directives and Focusing on Regulating and Correcting Formalism and Bureaucracy” (关于贯彻落实习近平总书记重要指示精神集中整治形式主义、官僚主义的工作意见). The Opinions stated that the work of regulating and correcting formalism and bureaucracy will focus on problems exist in the implementation of Party policy and the Central Committee’s critical decisions, serving the people, advancing economic and social development, and conducting learning, meeting, and supervision.
The Opinions listed nine concrete measures, requiring discipline inspection and supervision units at all levels to “push party committees and party leadership groups of their regions, departments and systems, to concentrate their forces on launching deep investigations and research,” “supervise the entire process of the regulation and improvement work,” and “promptly correct actions that use formalism,” to ensure the effectiveness of the regulation and correction work.
Central Military Commission
CMC International Military Cooperation Office Lodges Solemn Representations to the US
9.22 In response to the US announcement on imposing sanctions on Central Military Commision (CMC) Equipment Development Department (EDD) and its head, CMC Office for International Military Cooperation deputy head Huang Xueping (黄雪平) “lodged solemn representations and expressed opposition” to US Embassy in China Acting Defense Attache David Menser. Huang said that the United States’ action is a “flagrant violation of the principles of international relations and a full demonstration of hegemonism which seriously damaged the relationships between the two countries and the two militaries.”
China has decided to recall its representative to the 23rd International Seapower Symposium in the US and postponed the second meeting of the communication mechanism between China’s and US’ military joint staff departments.
CMC CCDI Unit Releases a Notice on Launching Regular Party Discipline Education
9.26 The Central Military Commission discipline inspection unit recently released a notice regarding launching the Party’s discipline education (关于深入开展党的纪律教育的通知), demanding the PLA and the People’s Armed Police (PAP) conscientiously implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important directives on reinforcing Party discipline and deeply develop the Party’s discipline education. The notice stressed that the Party’s discipline education is required to “implement the strategic deployment of strictly ruling the Party in all respects” and to “realize the Party’s goal of building a strong military in a new era.” The PLA and the PAP are instructed to watch a documentary series on discipline education and take the examples of discipline violation cases as materials for warnings and education.
PLA Daily Commentator: Deeply and Firmly Grasp Party Discipline Education
9.26 PLA Daily published a commentator article stating that launching regular Party discipline education in the military is an important measure that “strengthens the Party’s building of discipline, perseveres with treating both the causes and the symptoms, pushes for an upright atmosphere and strict discipline of the military, and deeply develops anti-corruption.” It stressed that the goals of discipline education are to let Party members and cadres know what they should and should not do, what they can and cannot do, and the punishment for violations.
CMC Science and Technology Commission Releases Proposal on Promoting Honesty and Integrity in Scientific and Technological Research
9.28 The CMC Science and Technology Commission released a proposal on promoting honesty and integrity in scientific and technological research (科研诚信倡议书), focusing on the frontline of national defense technology. The proposal listed out 17 guidelines for researchers, research institutions, and science and technology research activities related to data processing, file recording, report writing, and publishing. It stressed that “honesty and integrity are the foundation of research work in science and technology, basis for an undertaking to thrive, and core [values for a person] to act on and work with; they are extremely important and are related to the undertaking of strengthening the military.” At the end of the proposal, it urged workers in the field of science and technology to “be honest, speak the truth, and do honest work.”
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Hainan: Doors Open for All Customers and the Start of a New Stage of Open Development
China Economic Daily
9.27 On 13 April, at the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Hainan Special Economic Zone, Xi Jinping welcomed the world to participate and invest in the new Hainan free trade pilot zone. For the past five months, Hainan has collected the talent and land to build what is to be a “free trade pilot zone” (自由贸易试验区) and a “free trade port with Chinese characteristics” (中国特色自由贸易港). On 13 May, Hainan issued the “Million Talents to Hainan Action Plan (2018-2025)” (百万人才进海南行动计划(2018—2025年)) calling on the talented people of the world to come, echoing a similar call 30 years ago called “100,000 Talents to Hainan” (十万人才下海南).
Earlier this year Hainan issued a plea to the country to fill 600 management vacancies - and over 14,000 people applied. This story repeated itself at three different job fairs, at which 30% of resumes were from people outside Hainan. Hainan is able to attract this talent because of the province’s preparations in providing services such as high quality education. Efforts have been made to facilitate a good business environment, and in the past three months more than 300 companies have arrived in Hainan including Fortune 500 companies and well known brands.
"Unlike the previous bottom-up approach, this round of strategic cooperation has been built by the provincial government and the central enterprise headquarters from the very beginning," Hainan Provincial State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (海南省国资委) head Ni Jian (倪健) said. Hainan Provincial Party Committee (海南省委) Secretary Liu Cigui (刘赐贵) said that Hainan's development has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate building economic prosperity, a socialist civilization, ecological livability, and build a happy and beautiful new Hainan.
International Liaison Work
9.22-9.25 At the invitation of the Free Egyptians Party, a CCP delegation led by Organization Department Deputy Head Wu Yuliang (吴玉良) visited Egypt. While there, Wu met with First Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Mahmoud El-Sharif and the leaders of the main Egyptian political parties.
9.26 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) went to the Vietnamese Embassy in China on behalf of the department to offer its condolences over the recent passing of Vietnamese President Trần Đại Quang.
9.26 Zhang Mao (张茅) was appointed secretary of the State Administration for Market Regulation’s party leadership group.
9.27 Zhang Xiaolun (张晓仑) was appointed general manager of China National Machinery Industry Corporation.
9.27 Huang Xiaowei (黄晓薇) was elected deputy chairwoman of the All-China Women’s Federation and first secretary of its secretariat.
9.28 Lin Shanqing (林山青) was appointed deputy head of the National Energy Administration.