- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan
Weekly Report 2|22 3.16.2019-3.20.2019
Xi Jinping presided over a symposium for teachers of ideology and political theory, emphasizing the centrality of their work to advancing the socialist cause (see Senior Leaders section).
The Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform held a meeting in Beijing (see Senior Leaders section).
The International Department held the first China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism in Beijing (see International Liaison Work section).
The Central Committee released a new revision of the “Regulations on the Work of Selecting and Appointing Leading Party and Government Cadres,” last revised in 2014 (see Organization Work section).
Qiushi issued an editorial on “media integration,” addressing how the Party can ensure its message is heard in the current media environment (see Propaganda Work section).
The State Council Information Office released a white paper addressing criticism of China’s security practices in Xinjiang (see Propaganda Work section).
United Front Work Department Head You Quan spoke explicitly of the need to guide the interpretation of religious doctrine as part of the sinicization of religions (see United Front Work section).
Xi Jinping Presides Over Symposium for Teachers of Ideology and Political Theory
3.18 Xi Jinping presided over and delivered an important speech at a symposium for teachers of ideology and political theory in Beijing. Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning (王沪宁) was also in attendance.
In his speech, Xi said “to conduct ideology and political theory courses well, the most fundamental thing is comprehensively carrying out the Party’s educational guidelines and resolving the basic problems of what kind of person to cultivate, how to cultivate people, and for whom to cultivate people.” He went on to state that these courses “are an important guarantee for cultivating generation after generation of builders and successors of socialism” and “are the key academic program for fostering integrity and promoting the well-rounded development of the people.”
Xi also stressed that the key to conducting ideology and political theory courses well “giving full play to the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity” of teachers. He added that teachers’ “politics must be strong,” “feelings must be deep,” “thinking must be new,” “vision must be broad,” “self-discipline must be strict,” and “personality must be upright.”
After calling for “promoting reform and innovation in ideology and political theory courses,” Xi advocated using these classes to “transmit mainstream ideology and face up to all kinds of false viewpoints and ways of thinking.” He also instructed “party committees at all levels to take ideology and political theory course construction as an important agenda item and pay attention to outstanding problems that restrict ideology and political theory course construction.”
Commentator series were published by People’s Daily (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) and PLA Daily (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) to further promote and explain Xi’s speech.
Xi Jinping Presides over 7th Meeting of Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform
3.19 Xi Jinping presided over the 7th meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform and delivered an important speech in which he stressed that “many major reforms have entered the critical phase of implementation” and that “the direction [of reform] must be held steady… and [we must] continue to prioritize increasing the people’s sense of gain, happiness, and security.”
The body approved guiding opinions on advancing the development of China’s western region, expanding autonomy for scientific research, promoting the integration of AI and the real economy, improving rural governance, and other issues. Deputy heads of the commission Li Keqiang (李克强), Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) also attended the meeting.
Editorial: Media Integration: Utilizing the Media Well is the Real Skill
3.16 Qiushi published an editorial about media integration following Xi Jinping’s 25 January speech to the Politburo on the subject. The editorial describes why media integration is the best way to approach the current “all media era” (全媒体时代) in which information dissemination is breaking through previous limitations and is increasingly digitized, interactive, and “unconstrained by time and space.”
Qiushi stated that Xi Jinping, recognizing that news and public opinion work is a “powerful weapon in the revolutionary struggle,” “personally planned, personally deployed, and personally promoted the development of media integration.”
The editorial explains that the relationship between traditional media and emerging media is not one of “substitution” but rather one of “iteration”; “it is not about which is strong and which is weak but rather about how they complement each other and give play to each other’s advantages.”
Nonetheless, the editorial highlights the “mobile priority strategy” (移动优先策略) in which priority is given to innovation in mobile dissemination platforms. In the age of the mobile internet, Qiushi says, information may be omnipresent, but information that is profound, authoritative, accurate, and “sets people’s mind at ease” still has the final word. The editorial therefore urges sticking to the original intention of creating content well, insisting that “content is king,” focusing on content quality, and constantly innovating to launch more and better mobile products.
The editorial also emphasizes that the role that technological innovation can play in media integration, saying “smart media (媒体智能) is no longer science fiction”; robot writing and artificial intelligence-enabled media platforms are becoming reality.
Zhong Sheng: Expand Openness, Show the Power of Belief and Action
3.15 People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng (钟声) column, which authoritatively transmits the publication’s opinion on matters of international affairs, to address China’s new Foreign Investment Law (FIL), adopted at the close of the Two Sessions last week.
The article quoted foreign publications praising the law, stating it would show the world China’s “firm determination” to further open its economy. Though important, the FIL is just one indicator among many. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, free trade pilot zones, and China’s import expos also demonstrate China’s continued commitment to opening up.
The article also details some of China’s successes. It states that China is “2nd in the world” for foreign investment; jumped 32 spots in this year’s World Bank Doing Business 2019 report; and continues to attract multinational corporations like ExxonMobil, BMW, Tesla, and Airbus.
The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang
State Council Information Office/External Propaganda Leading Small Group
3.18 The State Council Information Office (SCIO) published a white paper entitled “The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang” in an effort to counter international criticism over China’s security practices in Xinjiang, where up to 1.5 million Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic minorities are detained.
The paper portrays China’s policies targeting ethnic minorities in Xinjiang as an extension of the global fight against terrorism and extremism: “China’s fight against terrorism and extremism is an important part of the same battle being waged by the international community; it is in keeping with the purposes and principles of the United Nations to combat terrorism and safeguard basic human rights.” The paper is available in both English and Chinese.
United Front Work
Australia China Buddhist Council Delegation Visits Buddhist Association of China
3.18 A delegation led by Australia China Buddhist Council President Master Bo Re (般若法师) visited the Buddhist Association of China at Guangji Temple in Beijing, where they were received by Association Secretary General Liu Wei (刘威) and Association Vice President Yan Jue (演觉).
At the meeting, Yan Jue proposed that the two sides work together for the friendship of the Chinese and Australian peoples and social harmony between the two countries.
Bo Re introduced the state of Australian Buddhism and the spread of Chinese Buddhism in Australia. He also proposed that, in order to promote the development of Buddhist friendship between China, Australia, and Singapore, a Buddhist exchange forum and cultural performance be held in Sydney, Australia at the end of the year.
Xi Jinping Attends Eighth National Meeting of China Law Society
3.19 Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, and Wang Huning attended the 8th National Meeting of the China Law Society in Beijing. Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) gave a speech entitled “Taking on New Responsibilities and New Actions in the New Journey of Comprehensive Rule of Law” (在全面依法治国新征程中实现新担当新作为).
Guo emphasized in his speech that “since the 18th Party Congress, the Central Committee has… strengthened the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over comprehensive rule of law.” He then urged the legal workers to “adhere to using Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guide.” The meeting planned out the China Law Society’s works in the next 5 years and elected new leadership.
All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Convenes Chairpersons Meeting
3.18 The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) held a meeting to study and analyze the “current operational status” of private enterprises.
At the meeting, ACFIC Chairman Gao Yunlong (高云龙) referred to Xi’s comments on the need for the healthy development of the “non-public economy,” stating that the ACFIC vice chairmen are “outstanding representatives” for China’s vast cohort of non-public workers. To that end, the ACFIC vice chairmen should strengthen “self-learning,” be “people with a clear understanding of politics,” and operate in an “open and honest” manner.
You Quan Emphasizes Adhering to the Party’s Leadership over Religious Work, Continuing to Promote the Sinicization of the Country’s Religions
3.19-20 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) visited churches, temples, and religious schools on an inspection tour in Hebei.
In a speech during the tour, You Quan emphasized the legal and ideological requirements for religions in China. Legally, it is necessary to follow the newly revised “Regulation on Religious Affairs (宗教事务条例),” and to manage religious affairs according to law.
Ideologically, it is necessary to “guide religious people to interpret religious doctrine in a way that fits into the country’s laws and constitution and China’s cultural spirit,” promote the adaptation of China's religions to a socialist society, and “unite the masses of religious believers around the Party.”
Former National Energy Administration Head Nur Bekri Expelled from Party and Public Office
3.16 The CCDI and NSC announced that former National Energy Administration (NEA) head and NEA Party Leadership Group Secretary Nur Bekri (努尔·白克力), who was put under investigation last September, was expelled from the Party and removed from public office.
The announcement stated that Bekri, who also served as deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, resisted organizational investigation, received bribes, violated the spirit of the eight-point guideline, and lived an extravagant lifestyle.
Zhao Leji: Conscientiously Fulfill the Responsibilities of Conducting Inspection Work and Political Supervision in a New Era
3.20 Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) attended a meeting for national inspection work and the planning of 19th CCDI’s third round of inspection. Zhao emphasized during the meeting that “state-owned enterprises are an important aspect in [achieving] a full inspection coverage” and that “the 19th Central Committee’s third inspection will focus on holding regular inspection of centrally-managed enterprises.”
Former CNPC Deputy General Manager Put Under Investigation
3.22 The CCDI and NSC announced that former China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Deputy General Manager and Party Leadership Group member Li Xinhua (李新华) is currently under investigation.
Central Military Commission
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Meets Wei Fenghe
3.21 Defense Minister and State Councilor Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) met with UAE Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. During the meeting, Mohamed expressed that “as a leader of the UAE, I am devoted to promoting the relationship between the two countries to obtain new developments.” Wei said that China “views the UAE as a natural partner for joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative” and that China is willing to “promote relations between the two armies.”
Wei met with UAE Minister of State for Defense Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi the same morning.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Absorbing Foreign Investment Steadily Enhances Growth
3.17 The Ministry of Commerce released data showing that foriegn investment into China grew steadily during January and February of this year. The data demonstrate that across the country, 6,509 foreign owned enterprises were newly established, and 147.11 billion yuan was invested which was a 5.5% increase over last year. Investment in high-tech manufacturing as well as the service industry increased significantly. Growth in Central China was bolstered by the absorption of foreign capital, and the Pilot Free Trade Zones saw investment increase by 35.1% compared to last year. Major countries that increased their investments in China compared to this time last year were noted: South Korea (35.6%), Singapore (8.4%), the United States (44.3%), the Netherlands (174.8%), Germany (39.9%), and France (113.3%).
Promote Rural Revitalization and Benefit Hundreds of Millions of Farmers
3.17 A consistent theme of this year’s two sessions was the importance of tackling poverty and members had heated discussions on the topic. Struggling against poverty and increasing farming incomes are the hard tasks of the “three rural” (三农) strategy for this year and next. According to China Economic Daily, China has so far achieved 85% poverty alleviation and lifted 80% of low income villages out of poverty. It is necessary to develop an early warning system to prevent villages from returning to poverty and accelerate the empowerment of the countryside. The Internet is an important tool for expanding opportunities for e-commerce, training, and promoting self-development capabilities for farmers. Enhancing the role of technology in farming is key, as is guiding talent to join the countryside.
International Liaison Work
International Department Hosts First Meeting of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism
3.19 The International Department (CCP/ID) hosted the First Meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism in Beijing. CCP/ID Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) presided over the meeting. Representatives from related Chinese departments and nine Pakistani political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI/Pakistan Movement for Justice), Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), and Pakistan People’s Party, were in attendance.
The meeting featured speeches by CCP/ID Head Song Tao (宋涛), PTI Vice Chairman and Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and PTI Core Committee member and National Assembly of Pakistan Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri. The meeting also resulted in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration of the First Meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism, which supports the Belt and Road Initiative.
International Department Hosts International Liaison Work Conference
3.19-3.20 The International Department (CCP/ID) hosted an international liaison work conference in Beijing. CCP/ID Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) presided over the conference while CCP/ID Head Song Tao (宋涛) delivered a work report there.
Song emphasized that “to create a new situation in the Party’s external work, [we] must earnestly unify thought and action in Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and consciously place ourselves under the command of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.” Song also stated that “the Party’s external work must bring every region and department not only a sufficient sense of participation but also a sufficient sense of gain.” He added that this work “will provide assistance to every region and department in the four aspects of expanding international influence, developing external contacts, promoting practical cooperation, and realizing scientific decision-making.”
3.18 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with a Belgian Federal Parliament group led by Belgium-China Friendship Group Chairwoman Christiane Vienne.
3.18 Qian Hongshan met with the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas.
3.18 International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a Bolivian Movement toward Socialism (MAS) cadre study group led by MAS Vice President Gerardo García.
3.18 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a political parties of western Pakistan study group led by Governor of Balochistan Amanullah Khan Yasinzai.
3.18 Guo Yezhou met with a Pakistani delegation led by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader and Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
3.18 Guo Yezhou met with a Pakistani delegation led by Pakistan People’s Party Deputy President and Senate Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Chairwoman Sherry Rehman.
3.18 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) met with a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI/Pakistan Movement for Justice) cadre study group led by PTI Core Committee member and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri.
3.19 Song Tao met with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman and Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
3.19-3.20 Organization Department Deputy Head Jiang Xinzhi (姜信治) led a CCP delegation to Cuba. While there, they met with Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Politburo member and Workers' Central Union of Cuba General Secretary Ulises Guilarte De Nacimiento and held working talks with PCC Secretariat member and Central Committee Department of Cadre Organization and Policy Head Abelardo Álvarez Gil.
3.20 Qian Hongshan met with Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia Political Consultative Committee member and Georgia–China Joint Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation Georgian Chairman David Saganelidze.
3.20 Guo Yezhou met with a Filippino delegation led by Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (Philippine Democratic Party–Power of the Nation) Vice President and Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi.
3.21-3.22 On 21 March, Song Tao met with Bangladesh Awami League (AL) President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and signed a memorandum of understanding on exchange and cooperation between the CCP and AL along with AL International Affairs Secretary Shammi Ahmed.
On 22 March, Song attended a seminar titled “China-Bangladesh Relationship and Belt and Road Initiatives” along with leaders from Bangladeshi political parties. Those in attendance included Bangladesh Nationalist Party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Bangladesh Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader, Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) General Secretary Dilip Barua, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Fazle Hossain Badsh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (National Socialist Party) President Hasanul Haq Inu, and Communist Party of Bangladesh President Mujahidul Islam Selim.
On the same day, Song met with AL Acting General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif.
3.22 Qian Hongshan met with the Armenian Ambassador to China Sergey Manassarian.
Central Committee Releases Revised Regulations on the Work of Selecting and Appointing Leading Party and Government Cadres
3.17 The Central Committee issued a revised version of the “Regulations on the Work of Selecting and Appointing Leading Party and Government Cadres” (党政领导干部选拔任用工作条例), requesting that all departments and localities carry out the new requirements. This latest revision places emphasis on political integrity as the primary criterion for promotion and requires all cadres to be passed through the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection prior to an appointment or promotion. CCP News provided a detailed comparison of the latest revision with the previous version of the regulations released in 2014.
Xinhua’s announcement said that “it is of great significance to build a team of high-quality and professional cadres who are loyal and clean and willing to take on responsibilities and provide a strong organizational guarantee for the smooth development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.”
People’s Daily published a series under the byline Zhong Zuwen (仲祖文), which represents the Central Organization Department, to publicize the release (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). Each part highlights the critical importance of organization work to maintaining the leadership of the Party and the realization of Party objectives.
3.19 Li Yulu (李裕禄) was appointed deputy head of the National Immigration Administration (Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration).
3.19 Zhao Changhua (赵昌华) was appointed deputy head of the National Immigration Administration (Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration).
3.19 Lu Xinning (卢新宁) was appointed deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
3.20 Wang Chen (王晨) was elected head of the China Law Society.