- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl
Weekly Report 2|26 4.13.2019-4.19.2019
[Xi Jinping inspects Chongqing]
On an inspection tour of Chongqing, Xi Jinping praised the local leadership for improving living conditions and social services in Chongqing as well as effectively cracking down on corruption in the government (see Senior Leaders section).
The Central Committee released revised work regulations for party leadership groups (see Senior Leaders section).
The Politburo met to discuss the current economic situation and make plans for future economic work (see Senior Leaders section).
Xi Jinping Conducts Chongqing Inspection Tour
4.15-17 Xi Jinping conducted a three-day inspection tour in Chongqing.
On 15 April, Xi visited a school and village in Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County with Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Chen Min’er (陈敏尔) and Chongqing Mayor Tang Liangzhi (唐良智) to gain an “on-site understanding of the circumstances of poverty alleviation work.”
The next day, Xi presided over and delivered an important speech at a symposium on resolving the outstanding problems of the “two no-worries and three guarantees” (两不愁三保障). In this speech, he stressed that “on the whole, the ‘two no-worries’ [about food and clothing] have been fundamentally resolved, but many loopholes still exist in the ‘three guarantees’ [of compulsory education, basic medical care, and housing security].” He added that “all regions and departments must attach a high degree of importance [to these problems], be of one mind, and pay special attention to implementation.”
On 17 April, Xi listened to Chongqing Party municipal committee and city government work reports. After expressing his approval for Chongqing’s achievements, he expressed his hope that the city will “work hard at playing the role of a supporting pillar for promoting the great opening of western China in the new era, driver for promoting the joint construction of the ‘Belt and Road,’ and model for promoting the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.”
Xi called for “comprehensively resolving problems closely related to the lives of everyday people such as education, employment, social security, health care, housing, the environment, and public security.” He also advocated “cultivating a contingent of high-quality cadres who are loyal, clean, and responsible,” “resolutely bringing formalism and bureaucratism under control,” and “maintaining a tough stance toward punishing corruption and consolidating the overwhelming victory in the anti-corruption struggle.”
People’s Daily further publicized Xi’s inspection tour in a commentator article.
Central Committee Releases Work Regulations for CCP Party Leadership Groups
4.15 The Central Committee recently released a revised work regulation for party leadership groups and notification about implementation. According to the notification, the regulations “comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th Party Congress.”
The notice requires that all localities and departments to “strictly implement the regulations;” “ensure that party leadership groups safeguard General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core status;” “resolutely uphold the Central Committee’s authority and centralized and unified leadership;” “conscientiously guide themselves according to the law in both thinking and action;” and “improve the political character and effectiveness of carrying out work duties.”
All localities and departments are required to report their important implementation progress and suggestions “in a timely manner” to the Central Committee.
A People’s Daily commentator article further publicized the revised regulations that it said will “provide a fundamental guideline for strengthening and improving the work of party leadership groups in the new situation.”
The article focused on various aspects of the regulations, including the rule of law and party construction. Regarding the former, Party leadership groups should “guide themselves by law in both thinking and action” and “earnestly strengthen their ability to govern in accordance with the law.” The groups should also comply with Party rules and national regulations, and ensure that propositions from the Party leadership are implemented. Regarding the latter, party leadership groups and their members should strengthen their political responsibility and strictly implement the Party’s political, institutional, and clean governance construction work. The groups should always “strictly abide by political discipline and rules, enrich the Party’s first-rate traditional style, conscientiously accept supervision, and serve as a good model.”
Xi Jinping Presides over Politburo Meeting
4.19 Xi Jinping presided over a Politburo meeting that analyzed the current economic situation and made plans for economic work. The meeting also made requirements for the poverty alleviation battle and deliberated a working regulation for the CCP’s propaganda work.
In regard to economic work, the meeting stated that, while the economy in the first quarter performed better than expected, it must be noted that “many difficulties and problems remain,” namely the increasing pressure from the external economic environment and downward pressure on the domestic economy. The meeting stressed the importance of having a stable macroeconomic policy and flexible microeconomic policy, focusing on stabilizing the demand side through supply-side structural reform, adhering to structural de-leveraging, preventing and resolving risks while pushing for high-quality development, and fighting well the three tough battles.
Emphasizing that “winning the poverty alleviation battle is... a critical mission that must be completed,” the meeting called for imposing the strictest supervision and evaluation on poverty alleviation work.
The meeting also stated that “propaganda work is… an excellent tradition and political advantage of the CCP” and that party committees and party leadership groups at all levels must attach great importance to propaganda and ideological work and strengthen the implementation of the working regulation for the CCP’s propaganda work.
PD Commentator: Bring Together Powerful Forces to Safeguard National Security
4.15 On China’s fourth celebration of National Security Education Day, a People’s Daily Commentator article highlighted the “overall national security outlook” (总体国家安全观) that Xi Jinping put forward on this day in 2014.
In light of unprecedented domestic and international developments, adhering to this concept is more important now than ever before. Across the country, people are “taking all sorts of measures to disseminate the ‘overall national security outlook; striving to raise nationwide awareness of national security; and bringing together powerful forces for safeguarding national security.”
China must create an overall plan that integrates “external and internal security, homeland and citizen security, traditional and non-traditional security, and self and shared security.” China must also adhere to the Party’s leadership regarding national security; “take the road of national security with Chinese characteristics;” strengthen national security propaganda and education; and maintain a national security awareness throughout the country.
Zhong Sheng: Latin Americans Can Clearly See Who Their True Friends Are
4.17 Zhong Sheng, a column that authoritatively transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, reported on and responded to a recent speech made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“US Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo wantonly slandered and sowed discord in China and China-Latin America relations, and did so irresponsibly and unreasonably.” According to Zhong Sheng, Pompeo’s assertion that “the US will stand behind [Latin America]” sounded more like a threat and intimidation than friendliness and support. Latin Americans should know this well, as the US has “exerted pressure, threatened, and even subverted” their countries since the Monroe Doctrine was introduced in 1823.
China, on the other hand, has enjoyed beneficial and productive relations with Latin America. China “firmly adheres to the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, and the idea of open and tolerant development of China-Latin America relations. This is evidenced by the International Labour Organization’s statistics, which show that Chinese companies created 1.8 million jobs in Latin America between 1995 and 2016. Trade volumes have also increased substantially, with China serving as Brazil, Chile, and Peru’s largest trading partner. China’s $42.8 billion in trade with Chile last year, for example, has far exceeded the US’ $24 billion. As such, “China and Latin America have cooperated in good faith and have bright futures.”
Guo Jiping: Jointly Build the Belt and Road, Establish a Beautiful Future
4.19 A commentary published under the People’s Daily’s pen name “Guo Jiping” (国纪平), which stands for “important commentary related to international affairs” (有关国际的重要评论), praised the upcoming Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. It asserted that the forum “will inevitably establish a new milestone in the process of jointly building the ‘Belt and Road’ and write a new chapter in China and all parties joining forces to establish a beautiful future for mankind.”
The commentary argued that “in less than six years’ time, the changes the ‘Belt and Road’ has brought to the world have repeatedly confirmed from different dimensions this conclusion: the ‘Belt and Road’ originated in China, but its opportunities and achievements belong to the world.” It further maintained that the joint building of BRI “is reflective of an open great power actively building a new structure for external cooperation,” “a responsible great power devoting itself to perfecting global governance,” and “civilized great power joining hands with all countries to build a community of shared future for mankind.”
United Front Work
United Front Work Department Holds Internet High-Level Talent Seminar in Shanghai
4.9-15 The United Front Work Department (UFWD) held the week-long Internet high-level talents seminar in Shanghai. Fifty representatives from across the country participated in the event.
Participants were mainly composed of heads of Internet and new media companies, well-known “Big V” (大V) accounts that have numerous followers, online authors, and online anchors. During the seminar, these participants focused on such topics as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the basic theory of United Front, and “Internet information management policy and Chinese traditional culture.”
UFWD Deputy Head Zou Xiaodong (邹晓东) attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. He pointed out that UFWD must fully recognize the important role and advantages that Internet personages can have as "weathervanes" for Internet public opinion, as "boosters" for economic and social development, and as a "brain trust" for the Party and the government.
Xi Jinping: A Nation Cannot Be Without a Soul
4.15 Qiushi released a speech that Xi Jinping gave on 4 March to the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee’s Culture, Literature and Art Circle and Social Science Circle during the Two Sessions. Xi told the circles that a nation cannot be without a soul, emphasizing the integral role that literature, art, and social sciences play in building a nation based on socialism with Chinese characteristics.
He made clear that literary and artistic masterpieces are essential features of all great civilizations, mentioning Laozi, Confucius, and Mencius, as well as Plato, Shakespeare, and Adam Smith. Any great works of art and literature emerging from China should be deeply rooted in local conditions and the current era, and any social science research should be based on socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Xi said that the “four forces” of propaganda and ideology work (the foot, the eye, the brain, and the pen), should be taken as the premise and foundation for the creation of literary and artistic masterpieces as well. 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 characteristics for a new era (the brain), and employing “lively, fresh, and powerful” writing style (the pen).
Wang Yang Inspects Henan, Emphasizes Comprehensively Improving the Quality of Religious Work and Earnestly Safeguarding the Religious Sphere’s Harmony and Stability
4.17 Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Yang (汪洋) conducted an inspection tour focused on religious work in Henan (Kaifeng, Zhoukou, and Zhengzhou). He stressed that it is necessary to study Xi Jinping’s “important statements on religious work,” “comprehensively implement the Party’s fundamental principles for religious work,” and “strive to unite large segments of religious figures and believers around the Party and government.”
Wang said that party committees at all levels should “augment their religious work,” and that China must “enrich the spiritual and cultural life of the masses, guide the masses to see religious beliefs rationally, and conscientiously resist illegal activity arising from religion.” He said that it is necessary to “explore effective methods of religious Sinification,” and that China must “guide each religion to better adapt to our country’s social system, social morality, and social culture.”
Wang also visited Lankao county, which is among the first batch of counties to be removed from China’s list of impoverished counties. He implored the people of Lankao to not have “loose and slackened thinking.” Rather, they must “continue to complete the task of poverty alleviation for the remaining poor” as well as “consolidate the results of poverty alleviation and prevent a large-scale return to poverty.”
International Liaison Work
4.14-4.17 International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) led a CCP delegation to Iraq. While there, the delegation met with Badr Organization leader Hadi Al-Amiri, Victory Alliance leader Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi National Accord leader Ayad Allawi, Kurdistan Democratic Party Vice President Nechirvan Barzani, and Council of Representatives First Deputy Speaker Hassan Karim al-Kaabi.
4.16 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with German Bundestag Vice President Hans-Peter Friedrich.
4.18 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛), International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军), and Central Party School Vice President Chen Yan (陈岩) met with a Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) high-level cadre study group led by CPV Central Committee member and Thái Nguyên Province Secretary Trần Quốc Tỏ.
4.18 Yu Jianhua (俞建华) was appointed vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative.
4.18 Lu Jianhua (陆建华) was appointed deputy director of the National Natural Science Foundation.
4.18 Wu Peng (吴鹏) was appointed permanent representative to the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.