[At the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei, Taiwan by Winston Chen on Unsplash]
Xi Jinping Gives Speech Marking 40th Anniversary of the “Open Letter to Taiwan Compatriots”
1.2 Xi Jinping doubled down on the goal of unification between Taiwan and China at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 “Open Letter to Taiwan Compatriots.” While embracing peaceful reunification, Xi explained that the right to use force is reserved to “target the very small number of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and their separatist activities, not Taiwanese compatriots.”
Laying out his vision peaceful reunification through the “one country, two systems” framework, Xi stated that “different systems are not an obstacle to unity, nor are they an excuse for division.” He said that reunification through “one country, two systems” “will give full consideration to the current situation on Taiwan, will fully absorb the opinions and suggestions from people of all walks of life on both sides of the Strait, and will fully consider the interests and sentiments of Taiwan compatriots.”
He urged compatriots on Taiwan to “adhere to the One China Principle and maintain the prospect of peaceful reunification,” warning that deviating from this path will only “lead to tension and turmoil in cross-Strait relations and damage the vital interests of Taiwan compatriots.”
A People’s Daily article summarized the main points of the speech as: a comprehensive review of the overall achievements in Taiwan work and cross-Strait relations, demonstrating the inevitable reunification of the motherland, putting forward the policy proposition of “one country, two systems,” revealing the intrinsic link between Taiwan’s future and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, reflecting care and concern for the interests of Taiwan compatriots, and clearly expressing resolute opposition to “Taiwan independence.”
Editorial: Strive to Compose the “Three Rural Issues” Chapter in Achieving a All-around Moderately Prosperous Society
12.30 People’s Daily published an editorial following the Central Rural Work Conference, which concluded that it is necessary to adhere to the development of agriculture and rural areas, deeply implement the rural revitalization strategy, resolutely win the battle against poverty, and earnestly do “three rural issues” (agriculture, rural areas, and farmers) work well.
According to the editorial, the most “prominent shortcomings” in achieving a moderately prosperous society reside in the countryside. As China’s economic situation becomes more complicated, the editorial said, it is all the more necessary to maintain stability in the three rural issues. Therefore, over the next year, the three rural issues must be a top priority for the entire Party.
The development of agriculture and rural areas depends on deepening reform, the editorial said, and “the key to running rural affairs is the Party.” The editorial called for building and strengthening rural grassroots Party organizations, and giving full play to the role of Party branches as battle fortresses for rural revitalization.
Xi Jinping: Dialectical Materialism is the Worldview and Methodology of Chinese Communists
1.1 Qiushi Journal published Xi Jinping’s speech at a January 2015, as an article entitled “Dialectical Materialism is the Worldview and Methodology of Chinese Communists.” The speech underscores Xi Jinping’s personal commitment to Marxism and socialism. The publication in Qiushi follows his speech last month on 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up in which he emphasized that dialectical materialism and historical materialism will guide China’s reform process in the future. The publication was also announced by Xinhua, which highlighted that “the Party should be constantly nourished by the wisdom of Marxism philosophy and apply dialectical materialism and methodology in order to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.”
Editorial: Create a New Glory Worthy of the Great New Era
1.1 People’s Daily published an editorial on the first day of 2019 that reflects on the achievements of 2018 and outlines the challenges of coming year. After declaring that “2019 is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the new China and a crucial year for the comprehensive construction of a moderately prosperous society,” the editorial noted that “today’s China, which is facing the best development period in modern times and a situation of great change that the world has not seen in a century, still needs us to rely on industriousness, wisdom, and courage.”
The editorial called for the country to be resolute in its “belief in Marxism,” “faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and “confidence in the realization of the China Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.” It ended with a call to continue promoting the “five in one” (五位一体) approach and “four comprehensives” (四个全面) “under the strong leadership of the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core.”
Huang Kunming: Enhance the Force of the Foot, the Eye, the Brain, and the Pen
1.1 In Qiushi, Central Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) discussed strengthening propaganda and ideological work in the new year, specifically by strengthening the “four forces” (四力) of propaganda work: the foot, the eye, the brain, and the pen. These forces roughly symbolize penetrating the grassroots (the foot), correctly understanding domestic and international trends (the eye), arming the mind with Xi Jinping’s socialism with Chinese characteristic for a new era (the brain), a employing “lively, fresh, and powerful” writing style (the pen).
The first step to improving the four forces, Huang said, is to improve the political quality of propaganda workers. He urged propaganda workers to enhance the “four consciousnesses” and wrote that “the more thorough their theoretical arms, the more firm their ideals and convictions will be, and the more self-conscious of the Party’s political line they are, the more vigorously they will be able to implement the Party’s political positions.”
Huang called on propaganda workers to master the professional skills of the trade, especially the ability to carry out online propaganda and handling complex issues and emergencies. Huang also called for innovation in the propaganda field, saying that “propaganda work has always been about constantly discovering and resolving problems.”
Lastly, he told propaganda workers that it is especially important to improve their writing style, saying they should write more about truth and daily life, use less cliches and exaggerations, and strive to be simple, pragmatic, and realistic so that the masses can understand. He asked propaganda workers to “use the language of the people” and to “adopt styles that the masses can understand and accept.”
Editorial: Important Pledge on Advancing the Peaceful Reunification of the Motherland
1.3 People’s Daily published an editorial on Xi’s speech at the event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 “Open Letter to Taiwan Compatriots.” The editorial stated that the speech is the “fundamental action guide to effectively conducting Taiwan work in the new era.” It quoted Xi and again stressed that “Taiwan being a part of China….is a historical and legal fact that no one and no power can change!”
After reviewing the main points of the speech, the editorial pointed out that, by saying China will not promise to give up the use of force, Xi’s speech had drawn a “red line” that intimidates “Taiwan independence” separatists.
Central Military Commission
Editorial: Strive to Start a New Situation for the Undertaking of Strengthening the Military in a New Era
1.1 On the first day of 2019, the PLA Daily published an editorial to praise the people’s army for “effectively safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security, and developmental interests” in the past year. It emphasized that 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the new China and a “battle year” for China to realize the goals set for national defense and military construction in 2020. It especially pointed out that “facing the profound changes in the country’s security environment and the era’s demands for strengthening the country and the military, we urgently need to strengthen [our] awareness of potential dangers, crises, and wars.”
The editorial made four main demands for the new year: deepening “training and preparation for wars,” “planning and implementation,” “reform and innovation,” and “Party construction within the military.”
Commentator: Encourage the Enthusiasm and Passion of the New Era Strugglers
1.3 The Central Military Commission (CMC) General Office released “Opinions on the Implementation of Further Encouraging Military Cadres to Take on New Responsibilities and take New Actions in a New Era” (关于进一步激励全军广大干部新时代新担当新作为的实施意见). The “Opinions” proposed a series of demands, such as “requiring cadres to conduct themselves strictly according to Party principles, discipline, and rules” and demanding the organizations to support cadres’ works and safeguard their welfare. The article urged each level to effectively implement the “Opinions” and also treat them as an important measure for comprehensively deepening and implementing the CMC Chairman Responsibility System (军委主席负责制).
CMC Military Work Meeting Held in Beijing
1.4 Xi Jinping attended and gave a speech at a CMC military work meeting. He emphasized that “the military should adhere to using the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide to deeply implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 19th Central Committee, the Party’s thought on strengthening the army in a new era, and military strategy for a new era.” Pointing out that the risks and challenges have increased for China’s development, Xi urged the military to solidly conduct battle preparation.
Commentator: The Motherland Must and Will be Reunified
1.4 The PLA Daily published a commentator article to promote the study and implementation of Xi’s speech at the event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 “Open Letter to Taiwan Compatriots.” According to the article, the guidance of Xi Jinping’s statements on Taiwan work has allowed China to “firmly seize the power to lead the development of cross-Strait relations, properly address the changes within Taiwan, firmly oppose and restrain ‘Taiwan independent’ separatist forces, and effectively safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait ” for more than 6 years.
The article stressed that “realizing the complete reunification of the motherland” is the “fundamental interest of the Chinese nation” and that Taiwan independence is a “dead end.” It warned that “no powers should underestimate the firm resolution and strong capability of the Chinese government and people and the PLA to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that China “will never allow any separation of its territory.”
12.29 Li Bin (李斌) was appointed deputy head of the National Health Commission.
12.29 Fu Ziying (傅自应) was appointed head of the Macao Liaison Office.
12.29 Hong Bin (洪斌) was appointed deputy head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
12.29 Zhang Maoyu (张茂于) was appointed deputy head of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.
12.31 Chu Nai-cheung (朱乃璋) was appointed director of audit of the Audit Commission of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Commission.nie
1.2 Deng Zhonghua (邓中华) was appointed deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.