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  • David Gitter, Sandy Lu, James Gannon

Weekly Report 2|27 4.27.2019-5.3.2019

Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping Presides over Second BRF’s Leaders’ Roundtable Meeting

4.27 As a part of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), a roundtable meeting was held to “consolidate consensus on cooperation” in Beijing. Leaders from 40 countries and international organizations attended the roundtable meeting and exchanged views on issues such as the joint development of the Belt and Road (BRI) and green and sustainable development. Xi Jinping presided over the meeting and emphasized during his speech that China “is looking forward to work with all actors” to “integrate the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into the BRI” and “to continue to focus on connecting infrastructure and deepening cooperation on smart manufacturing and the digital economy.”

A joint communique was published after the meeting to deliver the broad consensus reached. Xi attended a press conference to reiterate the consensus and stress that “this forum has delivered a clear message to the outside world,” namely that “the friend circle of the BRI joint development has enlarged, [the number of] good partners and the quality of cooperation have increased, and developmental prospects have become better.”

Xi Jinping Attends International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing

4.28 The International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 kicked off in Beijing with more than 120 unofficial participants from 110 countries and international organizations. Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition and delivered an important speech titled “jointly seek for a green life and build a beautiful homeland” (共谋绿色生活,共建美丽家园). Xi emphasized in his speech that “China is willing to work with all countries to jointly construct a beautiful home on earth and build a community of shared future for mankind.”

People’s Daily further publicized Xi’s speech in two commentator articles published on 30 April and 1 May and in a Zhong Sheng article.

Authorized Release: Steadily Building Our Country into an Intellectual Property Powerhouse

4.28 People’s Daily released an article on a State Council Information Office press conference on the developmental situation of China’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in 2018. The article highlighted five developments in 2018.

First, in line with strategic objectives for 2035, China’s quest to become an IP powerhouse has steadily progressed. For example, China has “shortened the average trademark registration review period to six months.” Second, IP protection has been “comprehensively strengthened,” such as by drafting amendments to the Patent Law and by “substantially raising the penalty for infringement.”

Third, IP creation has risen, with patents reaching 1.6 million (18.1% year-on-year increase) by the end of 2018, and China becoming the “only middle-income economy to rank in the [2018 Global Innovation Index’s] top 20.” Fourth, IP benefits have “increased significantly,” with a 12.3% year-on-year increase in the “total amount of patent and trademark pledge financing.” Fifth, China has continued to deepen international cooperation regarding IP, including through multilateral forums.

Wang Yang Hosts CPPCC National Committee Bi-Weekly Consultative Meeting

4.28 The 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee held its 21st bi-weekly consultative meeting in Beijing. Politburo Standing Committee member and CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the meeting and gave a speech.

Wang stressed the importance of “implementing the spirit of the Central Ethnic Work Conference” and “improving the management of services provided to ethnic minorities in cities, letting cities improve admittance of ethnic minorities [into their cities] and letting ethnic minorities better integrate into cities.”

The twelve committee members focused on such tasks as promoting the “embedded development” of all ethnic groups, guiding them to participate in public affairs of the community, and supporting impoverished ethnic minorities to ‘go out’ and find work.” Some members suggested areas of improvement, such as “further clarifying the policy orientation of encouraging ethnic minorities to ‘go into town,’ and supporting the orderly movement of ethnic minorities to cross regions and industries.” To that end, it is necessary to ensure ethnic minorities enjoy equal public services and provide them with training in vocational skills and the national language. This will help ensure that the “transient population” of ethnic minorities “can come, stay, live well, and integrate well.”

Wang Yang Meets With Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

4.28 CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang met with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Beijing. At the meeting, Wang stated that the two countries’ bilateral relations had endured the test of a “dynamic international situation” and “have become more resolute with the passing of time.” He emphasized that China supports Myanmar to promote economic and social developments based on its own national situation.

Xi Gives a Speech at Meeting Commemorating May Fourth Movement Centenary

4.30 Politburo Standing Committee members Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang (李克强), Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), Han Zheng (韩正) and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) attended a gathering that commemorated the centenary of the May Fourth Movement. The auditorium was decorated with banners advocating for “tightly uniting around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core; promoting the great spirit of the May Fourth Movement; adhering to a correct path for China’s youth movement in a new era; and striving to compose a magnificent youthful chapter that will realize the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Xi gave a speech emphasizing that “the May Fourth Movement started at a time when the nation was in crisis” and that “it is a great social revolutionary movement initiated by the Chinese people to save the nation, defend the nation’s dignity, and consolidate the nation’s strength.” He stressed that the core of the Movement is patriotism and made 6 demands on Chinese youths in a new era. The demands include building beliefs in Marxism, socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the China Dream, loving the great motherland, listening to the Party, and following the Party.

People’s Daily further publicized Xi’s speech in a series of commentator articles published on 1 May, 2 May, 3 May, and 4 May.

CCP and LPRP Sign Action Plan to Build China-Lao Community of Shared Future

4.30 Xi Jinping met with Lao President and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachit in Beijing. During their meeting, both sides agreed to sign and begin the implementation of a 5-year action plan on building a China-Lao Community of Shared Future (构建中老命运共同体行动计划).

The action plan stated that China and Lao “must firmly support each other to strengthen the parties’ leadership and socialist system.” It set the overall goal of the plan as pushing forward coordination and cooperation on political, economic, security, cultural, and ecological issues. Besides increasing bilateral visits at all levels, the plan especially highlighted the bilateral cooperation between parliamentary and united front organizations and party international departments. The plan also mentioned cooperation in governance, anti-corruption, BRI, scientific technology, regional economic integration, military, and other fields.

People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng (钟声) column, which authoritatively transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, to publicize the plan and stress that “building a community of shared future for mankind is an irresistible trend” and that “political parties played an important role in advancing this process.”


Propaganda Work

PD Commentator Series on Studying and Understanding the Spirit of President Xi Jinping’s Important Speech on Expanding Opening Up to the Outside World at the Opening Ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum

People's Daily

4.27-5.1 People’s Daily published a commentator article on Xi Jinping’s keynote address at the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum. He stressed that China will “expand foreign market access to a wider range of areas,” “continue to significantly reduce negative lists,” and “allow foreign investment to hold controlling shares or sole ownership in more fields.”

The first article explained that historically, it is common to “protect domestic nascent industries” and enact “certain market access restrictions.” However, since 1978, China’s “open doors have grown wider, and the economy has become stronger.” Now, China’s economy has “totally surpassed” the economic phase of relying on protection, and “foreign-funded enterprises should receive the same treatment as domestic-funded enterprises.”

The second article highlighted Xi’s comments on the importance of intellectual property (IP) rights. According to the article, China has “continuously strengthened the judicial protection of IP rights,” is “the country that hears the largest number of IP cases,” and is one of the countries with the shortest “trial cycle for handling foreign-related IP cases.” Moving forward, it is necessary to “comprehensively improve the legal system for IP protection; revise relevant laws, regulations, and regulatory documents; ensure that technology transfer is based on voluntary, market-based principles; eliminate compulsory technology transfer; reduce foreign capital ratio requirements; and eliminate unreasonable practices and regulations that distort the market,” as well as to “introduce a punitive damages system to significantly increase the cost of illegal activities.”

The third article highlighted Xi’s statements on the importance of increasing imports of goods and services. “China will further lower tariffs, eliminate various non-tariff barriers, and ceaselessly open its market’s door.” China’s current total tariff levels have fallen to 7.5%, which is lower than the developing country average. Next, in order to provide Chinese and foreign companies with “fair, effective, and non-discriminatory opportunities for market participation,” China “will further reduce tariffs, and will not adopt non-tariff measures that distort trade.” China also “calls on developed countries to abandon old-fashioned export restrictions on high-tech products.” “Opening up is not a one-way road; it must be two-way.” As such, Chinese companies expect equal access to foreign markets in return.

The fourth article highlighted Xi’s comments on the importance of global economic governance. According to Xi, “a globalized economy needs global governance,” for which China must “more effectively implement its international macroeconomic policy coordination.” This is already the “inevitable choice” for China, which will implement policies that are “conducive to domestic and international economic stability; strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination with the world’s major economies; and strive to create positive spillover effects.” Going forward, China will “strengthen the transparency and predictability of macroeconomic policies, improve the quality of [its] statistical data, publish relevant data in a timely manner, and ensure market players more effectively form rational and stable predictions.” Regarding governance itself, China will “actively support and participate in WTO reforms, as well as safeguard the core values and fundamental principles of the WTO such as openness, inclusiveness, and non-discrimination.” Likewise, China will “participate in formulating international rules, and jointly construct international economic and trade rules with higher standards. Overall, reform is best done not by dismantling organizations such as the WTO and starting from scratch, but by adapting the organization to global development’s new demands.

The fifth article highlighted Xi’s comments on the importance of keeping China’s promises and obligations to the world as China continues its reform and opening up. Xi stressed the importance of strengthening legal institution construction and integrity construction to foster a better business environment for Chinese and foreign investors; the opinions of all sides including foreign investors should be heard and transparency, participatory sense, and market confidence should be increased. Government actions must be scientifically defined and excessive administrative and supervisory actions should be diminished. Unreasonable regulations and subsidies that hinder fair competition and distort the market should be eliminated. An implementation mechanism for abiding by international agreements must be explored and established.

PD Editorial: Write Down the New Glory of Laborers in a New Era

5.1 People’s Daily published an editorial on the International Workers’ Day. The editorial praised that Chinese “working class and broad laborers...have made miracles” and that “the Chines nation has stood up and become wealthier and stronger” under the leadership of the CCP in the past 70 years. The editorial urged to increase the knowledge and quality of laborers and to respect them no matter how the situation changes.


United Front Work

All-China Women’s Federation Chairwoman Shen Yueyue Meets with Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam

4.28 National People's Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairwoman and All-China Women’s Federation Chairwoman Shen Yueyue (沈跃跃) met with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林郑月娥) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Shen stated that she admired Lam’s resolution to “not desire the easy path and not avoid the hard path” (志不求易、事不避难), her resolute defense of the “one country, two systems” principle and basic law, and her patriot spirit and willingness to take on responsibilities when carrying out various undertakings in the HKSAR.

Educational Event on Ideals and Beliefs of the Nation’s Young Generation of Private-sector Entrepreneurs Held in Yan’an

4.29 The United Front Work Department (UFWD) and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) held a series of educational activities on ideals and beliefs for young private-sector entrepreneurs in Yan’an, Shanxi.

UFWD Deputy Head, ACFIC Party Leadership Group Secretary, and ACFIC Executive Vice Chairman Xu Lejiang (徐乐江) attended the event. He said that “strengthening the education and guidance of the younger generation of private entrepreneurs, and enhancing their belief in socialism with Chinese characteristics, is a very important task that’s tasked to UFWD and ACFIC by the Party Central Committee.”

In total, nearly 120 young private-sector entrepreneurs from all across the country participated. Activities included visiting the Yan'an Revolutionary Memorial Hall, holding talks on “putting the Yan’an spirit into practice,” and watching a “red” Yan'an historical drama.


Party Discipline

Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in March 2019

4.29 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) released figures for violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines (中央八项规定) in March 2019.

The month saw 3,711 investigations, 5,143 punished individuals, and 3,452 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary action. The most common violations were granting subsidies and benefits, sending and receiving gifts or money, and dining out with public funds.

The cumulative figures for 2019 were 11,819 investigations, 16,750 punished individuals, and 11,907 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.


International Liaison Work

The Second Forum for a Network for Cooperation among NGOS in BRI Countries Held

4.27 The second forum for a network for cooperation among NGOs in countries along the BRI was held in Beijing. Around 170 NGO representatives from 22 countries and regions attended and held discussions on the topic of “deepening practical cooperation and creating a beautiful life together.”

International Department head Song Tao (宋涛) attended the forum’s opening ceremony and pointed out that “the establishment of a network for cooperation for BRI NGOs is a result of implementing Xi’s important initiative.” Song urged the members for this network to “improve each country’s people’s sense of gain” and “better improve conducting exchanges and mutual-learning.”

28th Wanshou Forum on “Belt and Road Initiative: A New Type of Globalization and Global Governance” Held in Beijing

4.27 the CCP International Department and Tsinghua University co-hosted the 28th Wanshou Forum in Beijing. International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) and Tsinghua University Party Committee Secretary Chen Xu (陈旭) attended.

The event, themed “Belt and Road Initiative: A New Type of Globalization and Global Governance,” attracted important political, business, and academic leaders from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the US. Foreign representatives reportedly spoke highly of BRI, believing it makes economic globalization more “open, inclusive, generally beneficial, balanced, and win-win.”

International Department

4.30 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Vice Chairman Marko Djuric.

Organization Work

Chen Xi: Cultivating a Team of High-Quality and Professionalized Cadres Who Are Loyal, Clean, and Responsible

4.29 A symposium on studying and implementing regulations about cadre appointment, national civil servant work, and the Civil Servant Law was held in Beijing.

CCP Politburo member and Central Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) attended the symposium and stressed that it is necessary to build a team of “high-quality and professionalized cadres who are loyal, clean, and responsible.” To that end, people must strive to achieve such objectives as “deeply grasping” civil servant rules in the new era and improving the civil service system with Chinese characteristics. Furthermore, success requires “comprehensively implementing the parallel system of duties and ranks, strengthening education and training, optimizing team structure, increasing the establishment of grassroots civil servants, and incentivizing civil servants to take on new tasks in the new era.”

4.29 Wang Aiwen (王爱文) was appointed as a member of the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ Party Leadership Group.

4.30 Qu Qingshan (曲青山) was appointed head of the CCP's Party History and Literature Research Center.

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