The Politburo Standing Committee held its annual meeting to hear the work reports of the party committees of state bodies (see Senior Leaders section).
The Central Committee released new regulations on rural grassroots party organizations (see Senior Leaders section) as well as on working rules for discipline inspection bodies (see Party Discipline section).
A three-part series in China Economic Daily defended China’s economic model and Party leadership of economic work (see Comprehensively Deepening Reform section).
Xi Jinping Presides Over Politburo Standing Committee Meeting
1.7 Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee to hear the work reports of the party committees of state bodies, including the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, the State Council, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. The committee also heard the work report of the Central Secretariat of the CCP.
The meeting reportedly emphasized that this year is a crucial year for comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and achieving the first centennial goal. “Facing the current complicated and grim international situation, and the arduous tasks of reform, development, and stability,” the party groups of the above-mentioned state bodies should take the lead in “strengthening the four consciousnesses, upholding the four self-confidences, and achieving the two defends, and should maintain a high degree of unanimity with the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core in ideology, politics, and action.”
Likewise, the Central Secretariat this year should “set an example in strengthening and safeguarding the Party Central Committee’s authority and centralizing and unifying leadership.”
Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Kim Jong Un
1.8 Xi Jinping held talks with Korean Workers’ Party Chairman and State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un in Beijing.
According to Xinhua, Xi emphasized that “China-North Korea relations opened up a new historical chapter in 2018.” He added that both countries “must maintain high-level contacts, strengthen strategic communication, deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation, and promote the long-term healthy and stable development of China-North Korea relations.”
Xi praised “the positive actions North Korea has taken to protect peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and promote the realization of the peninsula’s denuclearization” and the “important progress” toward the “political resolution of the peninsula’s problems” made last year. He went on to state that China “supports North Korea continuing to adhere to an orientation favorable to the peninsula’s denuclearization, North and South Korea continuing to improve relations, North Korea and the US holding talks between their heads of state and obtaining results, and the relevant parties using dialogue to resolve one another’s reasonable concerns.”
Wang Qishan Delivers Speech at Reception Commemorating 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-US Relations
1.10 Wang Qishan delivered a speech at a reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-US relations.
In the speech, Wang called for China and the US to “respect one another’s sovereignty, security, and development interests and adhere to the proper handling and controlling of differences through dialogue and consultation.” He also stated that the two countries “must adapt to new realities, continuously seek out and expand points where interests converge, and deepen and push forward practical cooperation.”
Wang added that “regardless of how the international situation changes, China will unswervingly walk along its own path, steadfastly handle its own affairs, and enable the Chinese people to have a better life.” He also pledged that “China’s reform will not stall and openness will only become greater.”
Central Committee Issues Regulations on the Work of Rural Grassroots Party Organizations
1.11 The CCP Central Committee issued new regulations on the work of rural grassroots CCP organizations, which are said to “strengthen the Party’s leadership over rural work, strengthen and improve the Party’s rural grassroots organizations, and consolidate the Party’s power base in the countryside.” The new regulations replace those issued in 1999, which the Central Committee said have not been able to fully adapt to new requirements and practical needs following the rapid transformation of the countryside in recent years.
Wang Huning Delivers Speech at Meeting of Propaganda Department Heads
1.6 Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning (王沪宁) delivered a speech at a meeting of Propaganda Department heads.
In the speech, Wang described “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important thought on propaganda and ideological work” as an “action plan for doing propaganda and ideological work for a new era well.” He subsequently stated that “we must conscientiously study and thoroughly carry out” this thought.
Wang called for “taking learning, disseminating, and implementing the ideology of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the highest priority” among other measures to “do propaganda and ideological work well this year.” He also advocated “strengthening the Party’s comprehensive leadership over propaganda and ideological work.”
United Front Work
Islamic Association of China Holds Seminar on the “Outline of the Five Year Work Plan on Persevering with Our Country’s Direction of Sinicizing Islam”
Islamic Association of China Net
1.5 The Islamic Association of China held a seminar to discuss the outline of the five year work plan for sinicizing Islam. In his speech, Islamic Association head Yang Faming (杨发明) said that persisting in the direction of sinicizing religion is the “only possible path for the healthy development of Islam in China.” He told the association to resolutely implement the various tasks identified in the outline, such as “leading all Chinese Muslims to be think and act correctly, and ensuring the steady progress of the sinicization of Islam in China.” Specific measures include enriching the meaning of the ‘Four Enters’ mosque campaign, holding lectures, discussions, and training sessions on law, regulations, socialist core values, traditional culture, etc., telling stories about “Good Muslims” well, and through positive examples and a positive spirit, “influence Muslims, correct Muslims, and show Muslims the way.”
Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China: Promote the New Development of “Fight Independence, Promote Unification” for the New Era
1.8 The China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China (CCPPRC), a united front organization that operates chapters throughout the world, held a forum in Beijing to study and implement Xi Jinping’s 2 January speech on cross-Strait relations. The forum was attended by, among others, the chairman of the CPPRC of Spain, the President of the Taiwan Research Institute at Peking University, the chairman of the board of CIIC Group, the director of the Taiwan Research Center at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), and the director of Renmin University’s Cross-Strait Research Center. They were all said to agree that Xi Jinping’s speech “sufficiently embodies the importance attached by the Central Committee to the great cause of the reunification of the motherland.”
CPPRC Secretary General Dai Junliang (戴均良) told the forum that as the banner of “fighting independence, promoting unification,” the CPPRC must be at the forefront of promoting cross-Strait non-governmental exchanges, promoting cross-Strait integration and development, and extensively publicizing and explaining Xi Jinping’s important speech.
Central Committee General Office Releases Working Rules for CCP Disciplinary Inspection Organs
Xinhua / CCP News
1.7 CCP Central Committee General Office released regulations for CCP disciplinary inspection organs’ work on discipline supervision and enforcement (中国共产党纪律检查机关监督执纪工作规则). CCP News stated that the regulations were intended to respond to the question of “who will supervise discipline inspection commissions?” It highlighted the five main points of the new rules, namely “adhering to and strengthening the Party’s unified leadership over disciplinary inspection work,” “emphasizing the priority of the supervision duties,” “unifying the decision making and implementation processes of discipline supervision and enforcement and law enforcement,” and “establishing multiple self-supervision mechanisms.” The rules required the CCDI to regularly report to the Central Committee, discipline inspection and supervision organs to reinforce daily supervision, and investigation groups with more than three Party members to set up temporary Party branches.
CAST Party Leadership Group Member Put Under Investigation for Serious Violations of Disciplines and Laws
1.6 Current member of the standing committee, Party leadership group, and Secretariat of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) Chen Gang (陈刚) was put under the disciplinary and supervisory investigation of the CCDI and NSC for serious violations of disciplines and laws.
“Operation Skynet 2018” Captures 1,335 Fugitives
1.9 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) announced that “Operation Skynet 2018” captured 1,335 fugitives and recovered 3.54 billion RMB. The fugitives captured include 307 Party members and state functionaries, 5 of which were on the Interpol Red Notice list.
Xi Jinping Speaks at 19th CCDI Third Plenary Meeting and Stresses Advancing the Battle Against Corruption
1.11 Xi Jinping gave a speech at the third plenary meeting of the 19th CCDI, emphasizing the importance of reinforcing the “four consciousnesses” (四个意识), consolidating the “four confidences” (四个自信), and achieving the “two defends” (两个维护). Xi emphasized that 2019 is the 70 anniversary of the establishment of PRC and a critical year for achieving a all-around moderately prosperous society and realizing the first centenary goal. He listed 6 tasks for continuingly advancing the anti-corruption battle in 2019, namely “deeply implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress,” “reinforcing the Party’s political construction,” “advocating for great conduct,” “resolutely punishing corruption,” “improving the supervision system,” and “addressing the unwholesome tendencies and corruption problems around the people.”
Politburo Standing Committee members Li Keqiang (李克强), Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) attended the meeting. Politburo Standing Committee member and CCDI Secretary Zhao Leji (赵乐际) presided over the meeting.
Central Military Commission
Wei Fenghe Meets Royal Thai Army Commander
1.7 Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) met with the commander of the Royal Thai Army, General Apirat Kongsompong, in Beijing. Wei stated during the meeting that “China and Thailand are ‘of one family’” and that “the Chinese army views the Thai army as an important cooperative partner.” Wei expressed China’s willingness to reinforce strategic communication, multilateral coordination, and expand joint exercises and training with Thailand. Apirat said that “Thailand and China are friendly neighbors” and that “Thailand’s economic and social developments have benefited from China’s substantial support.”
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Commentator Series: Profoundly Grasp Working for a Successful Economy Under the New Situation for Understanding Development Necessities (Three part series)
China Economic Daily
1.8-1.10 A three-part commentator series took up the front page of China Economic Daily for three days this week: Part 1, ‘Must adhere to the Centralized and Unified Leadership of the Party Central Committee;’ Part 2, ‘Using the Long-Term Trend to Understand the Current Situation;’ and Part 3, ‘The Degree of Macro-economic Regulatory Control Must be Accurately Grasped.’
Part 1 described the need for the Central Committee’s centralized and unified leadership over economic work as a fundamental need for good economic work. China’s economy was described as striving forward towards unprecedented opportunity, but the arduous task of guiding the economy toward high quality development required full commitment to centralized and unified leadership. This included the need to strengthen party leadership and improve corporate governance of state-owned enterprises. The greatest advantage of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Party. To study China’s economic problems requires not only study of the economy itself, but combined study of socialism, Chinese characteristics, and party leadership.
Part 2 explained that when looking at the long-term trend, China’s economy in 2018 under the leadership of Xi Jinping experienced steady progress despite external shocks. In the long run, China’s economy has demonstrated resilience and the positive economic trend would not change. The article then admitted that there are still prominent contradictions, the economy is ‘steadily changing’ (稳中有变) and experiencing downward pressures. For this reason it is important to consider the current situation with regards to the long-term trend, and not waiver due to fears of short term pain in pursuing long-term high-quality development.
Part 3 discussed the importance of utilizing precise macroeconomic controls. Regulators must strike a balance between using macroeconomic controls to maintain stability and releasing them to relieve downward pressures on the economy. Accurately grasping the timing, rhythm and intensity of macroeconomic regulation and control is an important and difficult skill to be used in the face of profound external factors. The article declared it is time for China to take full advantage of its tenacity and great potential. Policies must work in synergy with one another, and promote an open environment for technological development, face the adjustments and pain from deepening supply side reform, and stabilize foreign investments. Leading cadres at all levels should strengthen their study and act boldly, combining the central spirit with local realities.
International Liaison Work
1.8 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) delegation led by FRELIMO Secretary-General Roque Silva Samuel.
1.7 Four central enterprises announced changes to their leadership:
Bu Yulong (卜玉龙) was appointed secretary of China International Intellectech Corporation’s Party committee.
Wang Xiaomei (王晓梅) was appointed deputy secretary of China International Intellectech Corporation’s Party committee.
Chen Shuguang (陈曙光) was appointed deputy secretary of China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group’s Party committee.
Li Wenzhong (李文中) was appointed external director of China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group.
Yang Chuanwu (杨传武) was appointed director of China National Chemical Engineering Group Corporation.
Gao Hesheng (高和生) was appointed director of China Automotive Technology and Research Center Corporation.
1.8 Jiao Kaihe (焦开河) was appointed chairman of the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO) and secretary of its Party leadership group.
1.9 Yu Qun (于群) was appointed deputy chairman of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and a member of its Party leadership group.
1.9 Gao Jinghong (高憬宏) was appointed a member of the Supreme People’s Court’s Party leadership group.
1.11 Three central enterprises announced changes to their leadership:
Xiong Baiqing (熊柏青) was appointed director of the General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals and deputy secretary of its Party committee.
Wang An (王铵) was appointed a member of the standing committee of CRRC Corporation’s Party committee and secretary of the corporation’s discipline inspection commission.
Zhao Xiaodong (赵晓东) was appointed a member of the standing committee of China Railway Signal & Communication Group Corporation’s Party committee.
1.11 Lü Weiping (吕卫平) was appointed chairman of Potevio Group Corporation and secretary of its Party committee.
1.11 Gao Xiang (高翔) was appointed vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.