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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan

Weekly Report 2|9 12.1.2018-12.7.2018


  • Party-state media addressed the meeting between Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump to discuss trade issues. A key theme was that China would meet US demands simply by meeting the requirements of the 19th Party Congress, and therefore “will meet the needs for high quality development without changing due to external pressures” (see Senior Leaders and Propaganda Work sections).

  • China celebrated its 5th National Constitution Day and Xi Jinping issued directives on ruling the country according to law (see Senior Leaders section).


Senior Leaders

China and US Reach Consensus on Trade, Decide to Cease Escalation of Tariffs and other Trade Restrictions

12.1 Xi Jinping met with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina to discuss trade tensions between the two countries, and according to Xinhua, the two leaders “reached consensus.”

Xinhua reported that the two sides agreed to cease upgrading tariffs and promised not to introduce new trade restrictions on other commodities.

The two sides also agreed to “immediately address each other’s concerns in a spirit of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit.” Xinhua said that, in accordance with the requirements of the 19th Party Congress, China will take measures to deepen reform and opening up, and “some economic and trade issues the US is concerned about will be resolved in the process.” At the same time, “the US will actively resolve trade issues of concern to China.”

According to Xinhua, the two heads of state instructed their trade teams to intensify consultations in order to reach an agreement to cancel tariffs imposed this year altogether. See here for a comparison of the two sides’ statements on the meeting.

Xi Jinping Meets with American President Donald Trump

12.3 In a review of Xi Jinping’s meeting with Donald Trump, People’s Daily said the two sides agreed to expand cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, manage difference on the basis of mutual respect, and jointly promote China-US relations based on coordination, cooperations, and stability. The two leaders reportedly agreed that “China and the US share important responsibilities in promoting world peace and prosperity” and that “cooperation is the best choice for China and the United States.”

On trade, the two sides were said to have agreed to stop adding new tariffs, instruct their trade teams to intensify consultations, move toward to the elimination of all tariff increases, and to reach a concrete agreement based on mutual benefit. People’s Daily reported that “the specific agreement between the two sides to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results is the basis and premise for China to take the relevant positive actions toward the US.”

Xi Jinping Issues Important Directive on Fifth National Constitution Day

12.4 Xi Jinping issued an important directive at a seminar on studying and implementing the constitution co-hosted by the General Office of the National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee, Central Propaganda Department, and Ministry of Justice, for China’s Fifth National Constitution Day.

In his directive, Xi said that “adhering to ruling the country according to the law and ruling the country according to the constitution must be put in the first place.” He added that “the CCP leading the people in drawing up and improving the constitution is meant to allow the constitution to play an important role in the governance of the country.”

Xi also called on the whole of the Party and society to “carry out propaganda and educational activities on venerating, studying, abiding by, defending, and using the constitution, promote constitutional spirit, establish constitutional authority, and make all people become loyal admirers, conscientious followers, and resolute defenders of socialist rule by law.”


Propaganda Work

Economic and Trade Consensus Reflects Mutual Benefit, China’s Rhythm Remains Unchanged

12.3 A front page story of China Economic Daily recounted the meeting between Chinese and US delegates in Buenos Aires for the G20, and described the important consensus both sides made to stop adding tariffs. However, the article asks if China-US trade frictions disrupting China’s development “rhythm.” The article answers that from the consensus reached between the two parties, China’s development will not be disrupted. The consensus reflects China’s commitment to reform and opening up, sincerely pursuing a healthy bilateral relationship, and China’s adherences to following its own development needs and following its own “Chinese rhythm.”

The article articulates that China’s decision to import more from the US was not made under pressure from US negotiators, and that China will continue to reform and open up in accordance with the requirements of the 19th Party Congress. Thus, China will meet the needs for high quality development without changing due to external pressures.

Editorial: Consolidate the Constitutional Foundation for National Rejuvenation

12.4 People’s Daily published an editorial on China’s fifth National Constitution Day and first “Constitution Week” (宪法宣传周). The editorial stated that “propaganda on the constitution, promoting the spirit of it, and defending its authority in society will improve the ability of the constitution to play its significant role in advancing comprehensively ruling the country according to law and building a socialist rule of law country in a new era.”

It praised the current constitution as a “good constitution” that “fits the national situation,” “fully embodies the people’s general will,” and “safeguards the people’s fundamental interests.” It also emphasized that “the constitution must follow the development of the implementation of socialism with Chinese characteristics led by the Party and continuously improve and develop.” Including Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the constitution was pointed to as an example of such development.

The article warned that “the people’s rights and freedoms would not be guaranteed and the Party and country’s undertakings would suffer setbacks if the constitution were neglected, weakened, or even destroyed.” The editorial concluded that “with the guidance and guarantee provided by a good constitution,” China is “more confident and more capable than ever” to “realize the China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”


United Front Work

“1992 Consensus” Becoming a Buzzword in Taiwan Is No Surprise

12.1 A Tuanjie Bao article noted that following Taiwan’s recent election, the “1992 Consensus” has become a popular Internet search term. In Kaohsiung, previously considered a DPP stronghold, it has become the most popular search term, the article said. The article noted that this trend, on the one hand, is the result of the successful KMT candidate for the city’s mayor Han Kuo-yu's (韩国瑜) repeated mentions of the “1992 Consensus” as his view on cross-Strait relations. On the other hand, it shows that “whether cross-Strait relations are positive or negative is indeed important in Taiwanese people’s hearts.”

Cannot Allow Some Companies to Enjoy Special Privileges

12.5 On 2 December the Economic Daily and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (全国工商联) jointly held a symposium at the “2018 (17th) China Entrepreneur Summit” (201 (第十七届) 中国企业领袖年会). At the meeting, Party secretary and deputy director of the State Council Development Research Center (国务院发展研究中心) Ma Jiantang (马建堂) said that the main responsibility of the government is to create an equal and fair environment for state-owned enterprises (SOEs), private enterprises, and domestic and foreign capital. Many entrepreneurs at the meeting expressed concerns when discussing the state of private enterprises. Ma Jiantang believes that to empower private entrepreneurs, the first thing to do is improve the environment to assist their development, and not allow some enterprises to enjoy special privileges. Several private business leaders are quoted with their recommendations for the business environment, including ensuring rule of law and property rights, all parties following market rules, and allowing the market to allocate resources.

However, private enterprises also have room to improve. Mao Zhenhua (毛振华), founder and chairman of China Chengxin Group (中诚信集团), said that many enterprises have not adapted to new problems and are still in the mindset of the rapid growth of the past. Zhang Xiaoying (张小影), president of China Economic Daily said that private enterprises are facing three challenges; first, adjusting to China’s shift towards high quality development; second, adapting to the pathway of globalization; third, is private enterprise itself and improving corporate governance. To overcome these difficulties, there are three key points to grasp: one is to use good policies, the second is to deepen reform and innovation, and the third is to promote entrepreneurship.

“Cross-Strait Family” Taiwan Public Opinion Seminar Held in Zhuhai

12.6 The All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ (CASS) Institute of Taiwan Studies organized a conference on Taiwanese public opinion ahead of the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Message to Compatriots in Taiwan. Keynote addresses were delivered by All China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots Vice President Yang Yizhou (杨毅周) and CASS Institute of Taiwan Studies Deputy Director Zhu Weidong (朱卫东).

Zhu said that Taiwan’s recent elections demonstrate that “social conditions and public opinion on Taiwan are undergoing profound changes.” The current administration is unpopular, he said, and the mainland’s Taiwan policies are becoming more and more popular.

Huang Ching-hsien (黄清贤), director of the Mainland Policy Studies Institute at the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum, a pro-unification think tank in Taiwan, told the forum that the number of local officials who acknowledge the 1992 consensus will soon increase, bringing new opportunities for cross-Strait relations.

Lin Xinxiong (林信雄), a researcher for the South Taiwan Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Institute (南台湾两岸关系协会联合会两岸和平发展研究院), told the forum that the Mainland’s “31 Measures,” released in February 2018, were beneficial for Taiwanese enterprises saying that the mainland’s preferential measures for Taiwan people “have become more and more perfect” and “lay a solid foundation for deepening cross-Strait social and economic integration and development.”

Xinhua said that the views expressed in the forum are “close to the island’s public sentiment and reflect the island’s public opinion.”


Party Discipline

G20 2018 Buenos Aires Summit Reaches Important Consensus on Strengthening Anti-Corruption Cooperation

12.1 After the release of the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) published an article to stress that G20 leaders have reached an important consensus on anti-corruption cooperation: “We agree on the new action plan 2019-2021 and endorse Principles on Preventing Corruption and Ensuring Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises and on Preventing and Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector” and “will further explore the links between corruption and other economic crimes and ways to tackle them.”

The article also pointed out that that the NSC has signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with Argentinian Ministry of Justice and Human Rights during Xi Jinping’s visit to the country.

“Golden Namecard” Will Never Fade--Written on the 6th Anniversary of the Eight-Point Guidelines

12.3 Xinhua published an article to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the Eight-Point Guidelines (中央八项规定). The article stated that since the approval of the Eight-Point Guidelines, building the Party’s workstyle has become the “golden namecard" (金色名片) of Party construction. The article showed how Xi Jinping repeatedly stressed the importance of the Eight-Point Guidelines and listed out a series of measures taken by the Party to ensure its implementation. The article pointed out that after the 19th Party Congress, the work of building the Party’s work style focuses more on regulating formalism and bureaucracy. It emphasized that “work style building is an ongoing process that will never end.”

Six Characteristics of 2018 Anti-Corruption Work

12.5 CCP News released an article reviewing the anti-corruption work in 2018 and highlighted six characteristics demonstrated in the past 11 months:

  • “efforts to ‘beat the tigers’ (打虎) did not decrease,” nor did they stop during the central inspection period

  • “the cycle of carrying out investigation and punishment has become shorter”

  • “new expressions have emerged in the punishment announcements for the ‘tigers’”

  • “‘self-surrender’ has become a new trend,”

  • “the videos of ‘tigers’ being punished have been released for the first time.”

In details, the article concluded that, in the first 11 months of 2018, an average of 2 provincial-ministerial level officials were reported every month, and that the investigation for these cases only took from one to less than 6 months before punishment announcements were released.

CCDI and NSC Holds International Anti-Corruption Day Reception

12.6 The CCDI and NSC held a reception in Beijing to commemorate the 15th International Anti-Corruption Day. Politburo member, CCDI deputy secretary, and NSC director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) attended and gave a speech. Yang emphasized that “to use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guide to deeply advance the battle of comprehensive strict governance of the Party and anti-corruption.” He urged attendees to “defend the authority of the United Nations and the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption as the main channel for anti-corruption cooperation.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres sent a congratulatory letter to the event. 125 representatives from countries’ and international organizations’ agencies in China attended the reception.

Operation Skynet Captures 4,833 Fugitives and Recovers Over 10.3 Billion in Assets

12.7 The Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group (中央反腐败协调小组国际追逃追赃工作办公室) disclosed that since Operation Skynet (天网行动) began in March 2015, 4,833 fugitives have been captured from more than 120 countries and regions, including 995 state personnel, and more than 10.3 billion in assets have been recovered. It stated that China has signed 50 extradition treaties and 61 treaties on judicial assistance in criminal matters with 71 countries and has made major headway this year in international anti-corruption cooperation, fugitive repatriation, and asset recovery.

Red Notice List Fugitive Turns Himself In

12.7 Under the coordination of the Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group and the work of relevant departments in Beijing, duty-related criminal suspect and Red Notice List fugitive Liu Jin (刘晋), who had fled China 14 years ago, returned and turned himself in on 7 December.

Liu, the former head of the General Affairs Division of the China Food and Drug Administration’s Drug and Cosmetic Registration Department, was suspected of embezzlement. In the article, Beijing City disciplinary and supervisory commissions warned all corrupt fugitives to “seize the last deadline and turn themselves in as soon as possible.”


Central Military Commission

Central Military Commission Political Work Department Demands PLA Daily Subscription

12.7 The Central Military Commission Political Work Department released a notice demanding each level of the military subscribe to central Party and PLA newspapers and magazines. The notice emphasized that each unit must ensure “officers and soldiers are reading the military newspapers as required” and actively supporting the new media platforms of the PLA Daily and other central and military newspapers and magazines. The notice stressed that subscriptions to the PLA Daily for 2019 must be conscientiously reviewed and approved and cannot be reduced at discretion.


International Liaison Work

12.3 International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) delegation led by NCAFP President Susan M. Elliott.

12.4 International Department Vice Minister Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the European Union Ambassador to China Nicolas Chapuis.

12.4 International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) went to Tshwane, South Africa to attend and make a speech at the opening ceremony of the second BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue.

While in South Africa, Song also met with African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Ace Magashule and President of South Africa and ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa.

12.5 International Department Vice Minister Li Jun (李军) met with a South Sudanese Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) cadre study group led by SPLM National Liberation Council Jacob Aligo Lolado.

12.5 Qian Hongshan met with the Spanish Ambassador to China Rafael Dezcallar.

12.6 Song Tao went to Oslo, Norway. While there, he met with the Second Vice President of the Storting Morten Wold and Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre.

12.7 Qian Hongshan met with a Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) cadre study group led by CPRF Presidium member, CPRF Penza Regional Committee First Secretary, and Penza Legislative Assembly CPRF deputies leader Georgy Kamnev.


Organization Work

12.3 The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced the following appointments:

Wen Gang (文岗) was appointed a member of the standing committee of China Communications Construction Company’s Party committee.

Chen Dayang (陈大洋) was appointed deputy secretary of China Railway Construction Corporation’s Party committee.

Lu Bin (鲁斌) was appointed a member of the standing committee of Xinxing Cathay International Group’s Party committee.

12.5 Liu Guangying (刘广迎) was appointed deputy general manager of China Datang Corporation and a member of its Party leadership group.

12.6 The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced the following appointments:

Wang Jiuling (王久玲) was appointed an external director of the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO).

Wang Jianqiang (王建强), Liu Deheng (刘德恒), and Li Wanyu (李万余) were appointed external directors of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Li Yanbin (李燕斌) and Jin Yi (金毅) were appointed external directors of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

Li Ping (李平), Zou Nairui (邹乃睿), Zhang Ruen (张汝恩), and Lu Zhijun (陆志军) were appointed external directors of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Zhao Lixin (赵立新) and Hong Shuikun (洪水坤) were appointed external directors of the China Grain Reserves Corporation.

Ge Fuxing (葛付兴) was appointed an external director of the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation.

Tian Yong (田勇), Mo Fumin (莫扶民), Ma Zonglin (马宗林), and Chen Minjun (陈民俊) were appointed external directors of the China South Industries Group.

12.7 Zhang Jianhua (章建华) was appointed head of the National Energy Administration.

12.7 Sheng Laiyun (盛来运) was appointed deputy head of the National Bureau of Statistics.

12.7 Zhou Jiewei (周劼为) was appointed vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics.

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