- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan
Weekly Report 2|4 10.27.2018-11.2.2018
A Politburo meeting this week discussed China’s current economic situation in the face of pressure on trade from the US. The following Politburo collective study session discussed the development of artificial intelligence as an “important strategic tool” for China to win in global competition (see Senior Leaders section).
People’s Daily ran an article to correct mistaken interpretations of Xinjiang history (see Propaganda section).
United Front bodies oversaw several major events this week, including the All-China Women’s Federation’s National Women’s Congress, a symposium on private enterprise, the World Buddhist Forum, and a meeting of the new leadership of the All China Federation of Trade Unions (see United Front Work section).
Xi Jinping Presides Over Politburo Meeting
10.31 Xi Jinping presided over a Politburo meeting on China’s current economic situation and economic work. The meeting concluded that “economic operations were smooth and steady overall” during the first three quarters of the year, but “downward pressure on the economy is growing to some extent, there are many operational difficulties in certain industries, and risks and hidden dangers accumulated over the long term have been somewhat revealed.”
The meeting also indicated that “China’s economy is transitioning from a stage of rapid growth to one of high-quality development, and the external environment is also experiencing profound changes. Some of their policy effects have yet to be realized.” It emphasized that China “must adhere to the general work guideline of making progress while ensuring stability, new development concepts, and mainline of supply-side structural reform, increase the power of reform and opening, grasp the principle contradiction, and have targeted solutions” when “confronting the contradictions and problems appearing in economic operations.”
Xi Jinping Presides Over Ninth Politburo Collective Study Session
10.31 Xi Jinping presided over the ninth Politburo collective study session, which focused on the development of artificial intelligence.
He used the session to call for “strengthening leadership over and making good plans, setting clear missions, and laying a solid foundation for promoting [artificial intelligence’s] deep integration with economic and social development and pushing for the healthy development of China’s new generation of artificial intelligence.”
Xi emphasized that “accelerating the development of a new generation of artificial intelligence is an important strategic tool for us to win the initiative in the global competition in science and technology and important strategic resource for promoting leapfrog development in science and technology, upgrades in industrial optimization, and comprehensive advances in productivity in China.” He also stressed that China must “ensure [it] is at the forefront of theoretical research in the important field of artificial intelligence and occupies the high ground in key core technologies.”
Xi Jinping Has Telephone Conversation with Donald Trump
11.1 Xi Jinping spoke with US President Donald Trump on the phone. According to Xinhua, he stated he was “very happy” to speak with Trump again before emphasizing “the Chinese side has already clearly explained its principled stand on China-US relations many times.”
Xi indicated that “mutual beneficiality and profitability are the essence of China-US trade cooperation,” but “differences have appeared in the economic domain” which “adversely affect both countries’ related industries and global trade.”
He added that he and Trump “must work hard to turn aspirations [for the healthy, stable development of China-US relations and expansion of China-US trade cooperation] into a reality” and “both countries' economic teams must strengthen contact and launch negotiations over the issues both sides are concerned with to promote reaching an agreement acceptable to both sides.”
The two leaders also exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Xi stressed that “positive changes” appeared on the peninsula this year, China “hopes the US and North Korea will take each other’s concerns into consideration,” and China “will continue to play a constructive role” on the peninsula.
Zhong Sheng: Promote Sino-Japanese Relations for New Developments
10.27 People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng (钟声) column, which transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, to highlight that China and Japan have agreed to join hands to defend free trade and oppose protectionism.
It stated that more welfares will be brought to the people of the two countries when China and Japan further reinforce cooperation based on the political consensus of “treating each other as cooperative partners, and not posing a threat to each other.” Besides mentioning the expansion of bilateral cooperation in energy-saving, environmental protection, technology innovation, finances and banking, and elderly care, Zhong Sheng stressed that “the BRI has provided a new platform and experimenting field for deepening a mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Japan.”
Correctly Understand the Xinjiang History Question
10.28 The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Theory System Research Center (新疆维吾尔自治区中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心) published an article in the People’s Daily to correct misunderstandings about Xinjiang history, stating that “history questions are critical questions of political principles.” According to the Center, “for a long time, ethnic separatist forces have wantonly distorted, fabricated, and falsified Xinjiang’s history.”
The article stated that “Xinjiang is not ‘East Turkestan,’ moreover, the country ‘East Turkestan’ doesn’t exist. From the beginning to end, the fact that Xinjiang is a component part of our country is undeniable.” Furthermore, “all of the ethnic cultures of Xinjiang take root in the fertile lands of Chinese civilization and are an inseparable part of Chinese culture” and that “the strengthening of Chinese cultural identity is the soul of the prosperous development of the culture of all of the ethnic groups of Xinjiang.” The article tried to dispel any notion that Muslim identity is at all important to Uyghur identity: “Islam is neither the Uyghurs’ and other ethnic groups naturally believed religion nor the only religion they believe in.”
The article gave an example of solidarity between Xinjiang and the rest of China. “For example, during the War of Resistance against Japan, all of Xinjiang’s ethnic groups were united as one, joined in opposition against the same adversary, guarded the homeland, and admitted more than 40,000 Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army soldiers and their dependents to Xinjiang; after the comprehensive breakout of the War of Resistance, all of Xinjiang’s ethnic groups patriotic feelings surged to an unprecedented high, all ethnic groups actively donated money and resources and supported the War of Resistance, ensured that international aid to China travelled unimpeded, and forcefully supported the Resist-Japan front.
The article concluded that the Party “must promote a worldly lifestyle, guide the masses of every ethnic group to pursue a modern, civilized lifestyle; offer a richly colorful, well received cultural life to the masses; improve the public cultural service system; give rise to the masses of every ethnic group’s beautiful feelings of loving the CCP, a socialist China, and the Chinese people, and thereby closely unite the people of every ethnic group in the great family of the Chinese people, [make them become] siblings without rivalry, safeguard and assist each other, achieve the joint struggle of the China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation (为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦共同奋斗).”
Zhong Sheng: Let the Results of China’s Opening Better Benefit the World
10.30 People’s Daily published a Zhong Sheng column praising the China International Import Expo. The column argued that the expo both “embodies the influence of China’s markets, attractiveness of China’s opportunities, and appeal of China’s program” and “signifies the start of a new phase in China’s opening” that “will not only pay enormous dividends for the high-quality development of China’s economy but also let the world board the fast train of Chinese economic development.”
The column also stressed that “China is a beneficiary of economic globalization but even more so a contributor to it.” It concluded by declaring “as a responsible great power, China sincerely hopes to promote open trade and markets in every country, push forward the thoroughgoing development of economic globalization, and build an open world economy through the expo.”
Wen Yan: Persist with Promoting the Construction of a Community of Shared Future for Mankind, Work Hard to Build a More Beautiful World
10.31 A compilation of Xi Jinping’s important statements on persisting with promoting the construction of a community of shared future for mankind was released on 14 October. People’s Daily published an article under Wen Yan (闻言), a pen name used by the Central Committee Party Literature Research Office, to highlight the important points of this book.
The article first stated that “persisting with promoting the construction of a community of shared future for mankind is the core and quintessence of the Xi Jinping Diplomatic Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” It stressed that “comrade Xi Jinping’s important statements have clearly shown that promoting the construction of a community of shared future for mankind is not a diplomatic term; it is an internal requirement for realizing the China Dream.” It stressed that “what China needs most is a harmonious and stable domestic environment and a peaceful and tranquil international environment” and that “China will always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.”
It summarized that the content of the construction of a community of shared future for mankind is “building a world with long-term peace, security, common prosperity, openness, inclusiveness, cleanliness, and beauty.” It mentioned the BRI as an example and stated that “becoming a community of shared future of mankind is the aspiration and ultimate goal of the BRI construction.”
However, the article also quoted Xi as saying that even though “[China] insists on taking the path of peaceful development, it will never give up [its] rightful and legitimate rights and interests and will never sacrifice the country’s core interests.” At the end, Wen Yan urged readers to study Xi’s important statements and “continuously create favorable external conditions for realizing the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation and promoting the construction of a community of shared future for mankind.”
PD Commentator: Adhering to Making Progress While Ensuring Stability, Relentlessly Take Charge of the Implementation of Reform
11.1 People’s Daily published a commentator article in support of the 31 October Politburo meeting. The article stated that “under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, the whole Party, whole country, and people of all ethnicities have carried out the demands of high-quality development, continuously deepened reform and opening, and actively responded to difficulties and challenges while facing an abnormal, complex, and severe international situation and arduous reform and development tasks at home.”
The article emphasized that “to resolve the contradictions and problems appearing in China’s economic operations, the key is practically managing well our own affairs and turning foreign pressure into an impetus for promoting reform and opening up.” It added China also “must unflinchingly adhere to the ‘two unswervingly’ (两个毫不动摇) and promote the shared development of multiple types of ownership economy.”
PD Commentator: Strive to Create a New Situation for Cadre Education and Training in a New Era
11.2 The Central Committee released its 2018-2022 plan for national cadre education and training (2018-2022年全国干部教育培训规划). A People’s Daily commentator published an article praising the plan as “being of great and profound significance to thoroughly implementing the Party’s construction and organizational line in the new era, cultivating a team of high-quality and professionalized cadres who are loyal, clean, and responsible, and ensuring the Party has successors to carry on its undertaking.”
The article stressed that “cadre education and training in a new era must treats learning and carrying out Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its primary task” and urged all regions and departments to conscientiously put the tasks laid out in the plan into practice.
United Front Work
Xi Jinping Meets with New ACFTU Leadership
10.29 Xi Jinping met with the new leadership of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) and gave an important speech emphasizing building a professional trade union cadre team with high qualities.
Xi stressed that “trade unions must be loyal to the Party’s undertakings” and that workers must “firmly grasp the theme of the era, which is to strive to realize the China Dream, and closely tie their own future and fate with the country’s and the nation’s future and fate.” He urged trade unions to “adapt to new circumstances and missions, reinforce and improve worker’s ideological and political work, and conduct more work on organizing…, educating, and guiding people.”
Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Secretariat member Wang Huning (王沪宁) and other senior leaders Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡), Chen Xi (陈希), Guo Shengkun (郭声琨), and Huang Kunming (黄坤明) also joined the meeting.
12th National Women’s Congress Opens in Beijing
10.30 The opening ceremony of the 12th National Congress of the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) was held in Beijing. Senior leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) attended the ceremony, while Zhao Leji (赵乐际) gave a speech entitled “writing women’s magnificent chapter in the journey of a new era” (在新时代征程中谱写半边天壮丽篇章) on behalf of the Central Committee.
During Zhao’s speech, he stressed that “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the guiding thought that the Party and country must persist for a long time” and that “[Xi Jinping] has emphasized to tie the progress of China’s development with the development of gender equality tighter.” He urged the ACWF organizations at all levels to firmly defend the authority and centralized and unified leadership of the Central Committee and unwaveringly carry out the Central Committee’s requirements for women’s work and ACWF reform.
1,637 representatives of the 12th National Women Congress and 79 special representatives from Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions attended the ceremony.
Editorial: Write a Magnificent Chapter for Women in a New Era
10.30 People’s Daily published an editorial “enthusiastically congratulating” the opening of the 12th National Women’s Congress. It stated that “since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has attached great importance to women’s undertakings and work and put promoting gender equality and women’s comprehensive development into the overall situation of Party and state undertakings.”
The editorial also urged Chinese women to “tirelessly struggle to realize the ‘two centenary goals’ and the China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and “consciously integrate their individual dreams in the great dreams of the country and nation.” It concluded with a call for “ever closer unity around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core” to “write a magnificent chapter for women in a new era.”
Fifth World Buddhist Forum Convened in Putian, Fujian; Wang Yang Sends Letter of Congratulations, You Quan Attends Xinhua
10.29 Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) sent a letter to the domestic and international attendees of the fifth World Buddhist Forum in Putian, Fujian. In his letter, Wang stated that “history from the Silk Road to the Belt and Road Initiative has shown that exchange and mutual learning are important forces for promoting the progress of human civilization and peaceful development in the world.”
Central Committee Secretariat Member and United Front Department Head You Quan (尤权) attended the Forum, where he urged Buddhists to “contribute wisdom to promoting humanity’ welfare and safeguarding world peace.”
Xi Jinping Presides Over Symposium on Private Enterprises
11.1 Xi Jinping presided over and delivered an important speech at a symposium on private enterprises. In this speech, he stated that “China’s private economy can only get stronger and cannot be weakened” and “all private enterprises and entrepreneurs can be completely reassured and seek development.”
Xi emphasized that China’s “policy of unwaveringly encouraging, supporting, and guiding the development of the non-public economy” and “policy of devoting itself to creating a favorable environment for and providing more opportunities to the non-public economy” both have “not changed.” He warned, however, that “any words or deeds that reject, doubt, or waver over China’s fundamental economic system do not conform with the Party and the country’s policies.”
Xi also laid out six policy changes for improving the development of private enterprises: 1. “Easing the tax and fee burdens of enterprises,” 2. “Resolving the problems of the difficulty and high cost of financing for private enterprises,” 3. “Creating an environment of fair competition,” 4. “Improving the means of policy implementation,” 5. “Building a new type of close and clean relationship between the government and business,” and 6. “Protecting the safety of entrepreneurs and their property.”
Politburo Standing Committee members Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) all participated in the symposium.
SINOPEC Fuel Oil Sales Co. Party Committee Secretary and Deputy General Manager Expelled from Party and Dismissed from Public Office
10.29 SINOPEC Fuel Oil Sales Co. Party Committee Secretary and Deputy General Manager Ji Bo (纪波) was recently put under investigation for serious discipline and law violations. The investigation discovered that Ji Bo had traveled with public funds, received bribes, and interfered with the transfer of assets and construction projects. Ji was expelled from the Party and dismissed from public office.
Central Committee General Office Releases Opinions Regarding Deepening Reform on CCDI and NSC Dispatch Groups
10.30 The General Office of the CCP Central Committee released opinions on deepening the reform of Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) dispatch groups (关于深化中央纪委国家监委派驻机构改革的意见).
The document pointed out that “dispatching supervision [groups] is an important form of strengthening top-down organizational supervision under the centralized and unified leadership of the Party’s Central Committee.” It also stressed that the dispatch groups must be centrally led by the CCDI Standing Committee and managed by CCDI and NSC.
Ling Ji Meets Pakistani Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Accountability
10.31 Pakistani Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar was invited by NSC to visit China from 30 October to 2 November. On 31 October, CCDI Standing Committee Member and NSC Member Ling Ji (凌激) met with Akbar and introduced him China’s anti-corruption work and reform on national supervision system. Ling and Akbar also exchanged opinions on further deepening China-Pakistan anti-corruption cooperation.
Implementing Inspection Reform is the Touchstone of the “Four Consciousnesses”
11.1 Central Leading Small Group for Inspection Work (中央巡视工作领导小组) published an article on the CCDI and NSC website, stressing that implementing inspection reform is the touchstone of the “four consciousnesses” (四个意识). It stressed that "whether or not [Party organizations] are able to conduct the implementation inspection work reform well according to the Central Committee’s requirements is a reflection of whether or not their ‘four consciousnesses’ are firm."
The article also stated that “inspection reform is a concrete action of implementing the ‘two defends,’” which are to firmly defend General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core status, and the Central Committee’s authority and centralized and unified leadership. In addition, it pointed out that “the prime mission [of inspection] is to supervise and urge the thorough implementation of the Party’s line, principles and policies.”
Former Shanghai Airport Authority Chairman and Party Committee Deputy Secretary Expelled from Party and Dismissed from Public Office
11.2 Former Shanghai Airport Authority Chairman and Party Committee Deputy Secretary Wu Jianrong (吴建融) was recently put under investigation for serious violation of discipline and law. The investigation showed that Wu had violated political discipline, resisted organizational investigation, conducted superstitious activities, violated the spirit of the eight-point guideline, received bribes, and withheld information on overseas deposits. He was expelled from the Party and dismissed from public office.
Central Military Commission
CMC Vice Chairman Meets Australian Chief of Army and Defense Secretary
10.30 Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang (许其亮) met with Australian Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell and Department of Defense Secretary Gregory Moriarty, who were in China for the 21st China-Australia Defense Strategic Dialogue.
Xu stated during the meeting that “there is no historical grievance nor fundamental conflict of interest between China and Australia” and that he hoped the Australian side will “reinforce communication, improve mutual trust, manage differences, and deepen practical cooperation” with China. Campbell and Moriarty said that “both sides should work to push for better and further development in the relationships between the two countries and militaries.”
International Liaison Work
10.24-10.27 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) went to Moscow, Russia as a representative of the CCP to speak at the 10th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).
10.24-10.27 At the invitation of South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Politburo member and Party Secretary of Tianjin Li Hongzhong (李鸿忠) led a CCP delegation to Seoul. While there, he individually met with Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Lee Ju-young, Democratic Party of Korea Leader Lee Hae-chan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha, and Incheon Mayor Park Nam-chun. He also attended a signing ceremony for Tianjin-Incheon cooperative projects and toured Samsung and SK Group.
10.27-10.30 At the invitation of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Li Hongzhong led a CCP delegation to Phnom Penh. While there, he met separately with CPP President and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, CPP Vice President and President of the Senate of Cambodia Say Chhum, and Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong. He also attended a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Cambodia diplomatic relations and signing activity for China-Cambodia cooperative projects.
10.29 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met with an Italian multiparty study group led by Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Vito Rosario Petrocelli.
10.29 Song Tao and Guo Yezhou met with a Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) cadre study group led by BAL Presidium member and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism Chairman Faruk Khan.
10.29 Guo Yezhou met with a Papua New Guinean People's National Congress (PNC) party delegation led by PNC leader Skerry Palanga.
10.30 Song Tao and Guo Yezhou met with an Albanian Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) delegation led by LSI Chairwoman Monika Kryemadhi.
10.31 Guo Yezhou met with a German delegation led by former president of the European Parliament and former Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz.
11.1 Guo Yezhou met with a Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra Party) cadre study group led by Gerindra Party Central Committee Internal Party Advocacy Department Head Muhammad Said Bakhri.
11.2 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the Polish ambassador to China Wojciech Zajączkowski.
11.2 Song Tao met with Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan Movement for Justice Chairman Imran Khan.
10.27 Liu Junchen (刘俊臣) was appointed deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
10.31 Ma Yongsheng (马永生) was appointed president of Sinopec.
10.31 Xu Qiang (徐强) was appointed a board member of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation and deputy secretary of its Party leadership group.
10.31 Gong Bo (龚波) was appointed a deputy general manager of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation and a member of its Party leadership group.
11.1 Shen Yueyue (沈跃跃) was elected chairwoman of the All-China Women’s Federation.
11.2 Bai Zhongquan (白忠泉) was appointed chairman of China XD Group and secretary of its Party committee.
11.2 Pei Zhenjiang (裴振江) was appointed deputy secretary of China XD Group’s Party committee.
11.2 Ding Kuiling (丁奎岭) was appointed executive vice president of Shanghai Jiaotong University.