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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, Sandy Lu

Weekly Report 2|31 5.25.2019-5.31.2019


  • People’s Daily issued a commentary furthering warnings that China will leverage its dominance of the rare earth mineral market in the trade conflict with the US (see Propaganda Work section).

  • Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (see Comprehensively Deepening Reform section).

  • An organizing meeting for the “Remain True to Our Original Aspiration, Keeping the Mission Firmly in Mind” education campaign was held in Beijing, attended by the entire Politburo Standing Committee (see Senior Leaders section).


Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping Kicks Off “Remain True to Our Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Themed Education Campaign

5.31 Xi Jinping presided over a meeting on the “Remain True to Our Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly In Mind” education campaign, attended by all members of the Politburo Standing Committee, which outlined the objectives and tasks of the campaign. Xi defined the original aspiration of the Chinese communists as “seeking happiness for the Chinese people” and the mission as “rejuvenating the Chinese nation.” Xi said that this education is urgently needed to arm the whole party with socialism with Chinese characteristics of the new era, promote party building in the new era, and to maintain “flesh and blood” ties between the Party and the people. Xi also defended efforts to advance theoretical study like this campaign, saying “theoretical study has produced results.”


Propaganda Work

Zhong Sheng Series on “Inevitable Failure” in the Trade War

People’s Daily

5.23-5.31 People’s Daily launched a new Zhong Sheng series on the US-China trade war. Each article focused on a particular reason why US actions will result in “inevitable failure” (必将失败).

The first article argued that “ignoring the rules inevitably fails” (无视规则必将失败). After describing the US as both “a bull in a china shop” and “the international community’s biggest ‘troublemaker,’” it lamented that “the relevant policies and words and deeds of the US” lack “a bare minimum sense of responsibility” and are not “conducive to world ‘governance’ as opposed to ‘disorder.’” It stated that the US “has chosen a hopeless path” as a result.

The second article contended that “zero-sum games inevitably fail” (零和博弈必将失败). It claimed that “the reason why people are caught in irreversible disasters is often their own stupidity” and criticized “US politicians whose brains remain in the olden days of the Cold War mentality and zero-sum games” for being a “new example” of this phenomenon. It added that “as China and the US are two great powers, cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides.”

The third article maintained that “going against trends inevitably fails” (逆势而动必将失败). It portrayed the US as a “disruptor” and “destroyer” of economic globalization and China as a “builder of world peace, contributor to global development, and defender of the international order” before warning that “history has proven that… whoever rejects the world will surely be rejected by the world.”

The fourth article asserted that “rejecting competition inevitably fails” (拒绝竞争必将失败). It accused US politicians of “flying the banner of scientific and technological hegemony” by “suppressing other countries’ legitimate right to develop” and the US government of “abusing its national power” by “opening fire on Chinese high-tech firms such as Huawei.” It added that attempts to “check the strong momentum of China’s scientific and technological progress” are “doomed to be a waste of effort.”

The fifth article argued that “being extremely conceited inevitably fails” (唯我独尊必将失败). It claimed that “under the banner of ‘America First,’ [US politicians] never take the interests of other countries and common welfare of all the world’s people seriously.” It accused these politicians of using “naked hegemonic logic” before warning that “being extremely conceited and going against trends only wears down a country’s power and makes it fall from its pedestal more quickly.”

The sixth article contended that “double standards inevitably fail” (双重标准必将失败). After renouncing US politicians for using “empty rhetoric” on trade, debt, international rules, and human rights that “reveals confused logic and an arrogant attitude,” it described American exceptionalism as “a theory of civilizational superiority” that makes Americans believe they are “‘destined for greatness’ and ‘must lead the world.’” It also cautioned that US double standards were “clearly understood by the international community long ago” and often made the US a “laughing stock.”

The seventh article maintained that “going back on one’s word inevitably fails” (言而无信必将失败). It claimed that US politicians are “ignoring facts” while “criticizing China for ‘breaking promises’” since it is the US that has “gone back on its word and been fickle in the course of China-US trade negotiations.” It warned that “people around the world have a common perception that some Washington politicians’ breaking of promises is nibbling away at the foundation of US credibility.”

The eighth article asserted that “insisting on having one’s own way inevitably fails” (一意孤行必将失败). It contended that US politicians have “ignored the strong opposition of the people of China, the US, and the world” to tariffs, protectionism, and unilateralism since they “have been blinded by ‘America First’” rhetoric before claiming that “being persistently headstrong and reckless is spoiling the international reputation and image of the US as well as disrupting the world’s cooperative environment for all countries.”

The ninth article argued that “trying to be clever inevitably fails” (自作聪明必将失败). After citing “thinking ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win,’” “regarding going back on one’s word as ‘the art of the deal,’” and “abusing national power to defame and suppress other countries’ businesses” as examples of US politicians being “clever in trivial matters,” it cautioned that “when the US opens fire on the whole world, it also opens fire on itself.”

The US Side Should Not Underestimate the Ability of the Chinese Side to Hit Back

5.29 A page-three commentary in the People’s Daily doubled down on warnings that China is willing to cut off US access to China’s rare earth mineral market. The explicit warning comes after Xi Jinping’s visit to Jiangxi Jinli Permanent Magnet Technology Company last week, which was taken as a veiled threat. The article discusses how China’s dominance of the global rare earth mineral market provides it with a way to fight back against US trade restrictions.

Asking if rare earths will become a weapon against the unwarranted suppression of China, the article said, “the answer is not mysterious.” “The US side wants to use products made with China’s rare-earth mineral exports to contain and suppress China’s development. The Chinese people will never accept this.” Indicating China’s resolve, the article issued a rarely-used warning phrase, “do not say you were not forewarned.”


United Front Work

Wang Yang Conducts Inspection Tour of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

5.25-5.27 Wang Yang (汪洋) conducted an inspection tour of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Xinhua reported that he “fully affirmed the achievements of religious affairs management and poverty alleviation work in Sichuan’s Tibetan regions since the 18th Party Congress” during the tour.

Wang called for “persisting in the sinicization of China’s religions,” “guiding religious communities to consciously embrace the CCP’s leadership,” and “better adapting [religion] to socialist society.” He stressed the need to “take the lead in the ‘key point’ of temple management,” “resolutely guard the defensive perimeter against the infiltration of hostile foreign forces,” “augment the cultivation and use of outstanding representatives of Tibetan Buddhism,” and “accelerate the standardization of Buddhist schools.”

Wang also emphasized that “launching the tough battle of poverty alleviation is an important embodiment of the Party’s ruling objectives and powerful measure for doing ethnic and religious work well in Tibetan regions.” He added that the CCP must “concentrate its efforts on overtaking the fortress of absolute poverty in Tibetan regions” and “ensuring no ethnic group is left behind on the road to a comprehensive moderately prosperous society.”

“Outstanding Traditional Chinese Culture Learning and Experience Activity” for China’s Religious Communities Held in Qufu, Shandong

5.27 The United Front Work Department (UFWD) hosted an “outstanding traditional Chinese culture learning and experience activity for religious figures” in Qufu, Shandong. Nearly 100 representatives of religious communities from all over China participated in the activity.

UFWD Deputy Head and National Religious Affairs Administration Head Wang Zuoan (王作安) attended and delivered a speech at the activity’s opening ceremony. Buddhist Association of China Deputy Head Yan Jue (演觉), Taoist Association of China Deputy Head Zhang Chengda (张诚达), Islamic Association of China Deputy Head Wang Shuli (王树理), Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association Chairman Fang Xingyao (房兴耀), and China Christian Council President Wu Wei (吴巍) all participated in the activity.

According to the UFWD website, all the participants stated that the decision to gather in Qufu, Confucius' hometown, represented “China’s religious communities collectively paying respect to outstanding traditional Chinese culture and expressing their high degree of approval for Chinese culture and conscious integration into Chinese culture.” They also called for the “continuous and thorough advancement of the sinicization of China’s religions.”

Xi Jinping Meets with Representatives from Ninth Conference for Friendship of Overseas Chinese Associations and Meeting of Fifth China Overseas Friendship Association

5.28 Xi Jinping met with representatives from the Ninth Conference for Friendship of Overseas Chinese Associations (世界华侨华人社团联谊大会) and a meeting of the Fifth China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA/中华海外联谊会) in the Great Hall of the People. More than 450 leaders from overseas Chinese associations located in over 90 different countries and regions were in attendance.

According to Xinhua, the meeting “thoroughly analyzed the opportunities and challenges facing Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan work and overseas friendship work and called on the members of wide array of overseas friendship associations to use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as their guide, unite as one and jointly struggle, and make greater contributions to realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, deepening the new round of external opening, promoting the peaceful unification of the motherland, and pushing forward mutual learning between civilizations.”

Politburo Standing Committee member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) and CCP Secretariat Member and United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) also participated in the meeting. The meeting elected the latter to serve as COFA’s president.

Wang Yang Meets with Taiwan Delegation Led by Yok Mu-ming

5.29 Wang Yang met with a Taiwanese delegation led by New Party Chairman and New China Youth Association (新中华儿女学会) Honorary Director-General Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) in Beijing.

Wang expressed “high praise” for Yok as the latter has “taken a clear-cut stand on adhering to the one-China principle, resolutely opposing ‘Taiwan independence,’ and actively striving for national unification for many years.” He stressed that China “will actively promote the implementation of consensus reached during consultation, deepen cross-Strait exchange, cooperation, and integrated development, promote stronger, more effective policies that benefit Taiwan, and support Taiwan’s youth coming to China to study, live, work, and start businesses to make more Taiwan compatriots see with their own eyes and experience for themselves the changes in China’s development and to increase their sense of approval and participation in national rejuvenation.”

Two days earlier, Yok and the delegation held talks with Taiwanese businessmen and women in Shanghai. Other participants in the talks included Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Taiwan Affairs Office (SMPG/TAO) Head Li Wenhui (李文辉), SMPG/TAO Deputy Head Wang Lixin (王立新), and Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland (ATIEM/全国台湾同胞投资企业联谊会) President and Shanghai Taiwan Compatriot Investment Enterprise Association President Li Zhenghong (李政宏).

Wang Yang Meets with Hong Kong Association for Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China Delegation

5.31 In his capacity as head of the Council to Promote the Peaceful Reunification of China, Wang Yang met with a delegation from the Hong Kong Association for Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China. Wang praised the contributions of the association to the cause of peaceful reunification and urged delegates to study Xi Jinping’s speech on the 40th anniversary of the Letter to Taiwan Compatriots and profoundly understand the necessity and inevitability of reunification. He said the association should continue to promote exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan and communicate the story of “One Country, Two Systems,” allowing Taiwan compatriots to realize the superiority of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.


Party Discipline

Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in April 2019

5.27 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 April 2019.

The month saw 4,090 investigations, 5,767 punished individuals, and 4,024 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 15,909 investigations, 22,517 punished individuals, and 15,931 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.

“Red List Fugitive” Mo Peifen Returns to China, Turns Herself in to Authorities

5.28 The CCDI and NSC reported that “Red List fugitive” Mo Peifen (莫佩芬), a former project leader from a Hangzhou-based real estate company suspected of embezzlement who fled abroad in August 2013, has returned to China and turned herself in to authorities. The organizations noted that she is the ninth such fugitive that has been brought to justice since the 19th Party Congress and 57th since the launching of “Operation Skynet.”


Comprehensively Deepening Reform

Xi Jinping Presides over Eighth Meeting of Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform

5.29 Xi Jinping presided over and delivered an important speech at the eighth meeting of Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. Politburo Standing Committee members Li Keqing, Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) participated in the meeting.

Xi used the meeting to stress that “China’s reform and development situation is undergoing profound changes. External factors of uncertainty and instability are increasing. Reform and development face many new circumstances and problems. We must maintain strategic focus, insist on being problem-oriented, make the best of new opportunities, make comprehensive plans, precisely carry out policies, make strong moves in preventing and resolving major contradictions and prominent problems, and push reform to better serve the overall situation of economic and social development.”

After deliberating and passing ten opinions and reports, the meeting emphasized that “[we] must insist on using the deepening of reform to crack tough problems and resolve new problems, accelerate reform and innovation, promote task implementation, strengthen systematic integration, increase domestically-driven economic development, and enhance our ability to respond to challenges and withstand risks.” It called for “enhancing evaluations of the efficacy of reform, sorting out existing prominent shortcomings and weak points, and promoting targeted, one-by-one resolutions.”


International Liaison Work

5.27 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramiz Hasanov.

5.27 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) led a CCP delegation to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. While there, the delegation individually met with Prime Minister and Mongolian People's Party (MPP) Chairman Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, State Great Hural Chairman Zandanshatar Gombojav, MPP General Secretary Dashzevge Amarbayasgalan, Democratic Party Leader Erdene Sodnomzundui, and former State Great Khural Chairman Miyegombo Enkhbold as well as attended the opening ceremony of a series of people’s welfare cooperation activities organized by the China Foundation for Peace and Development.

5.28 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) met with Nigerien Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration, and Nigerians Abroad and Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism First Deputy Secretary-General Kalla Ankourao.

5.29 Song Tao met with Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communist Party of Cuba Politburo member Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

5.30 Song Tao and International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a Russian Presidential Executive Office delegation led by Aide to the President Anatoly Seryshev.

Politburo member and Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) also met with the delegation on the same day.


Organization Work

Central Committee General Office Releases Methods for Supervision, Inspection, and Responsible Investigation of Cadre Selection and Appointment Work

5.27 The General Office of the CCP Central Committee released a list of methods for the supervision, inspection, and responsible investigation of cadre selection and appointment work and notification requiring all regions and departments to conscientiously implement these methods.

The methods required Party committees to focus on supervising and inspecting the implementation situation of “adhering to the principle of the Party managing cadres,” selecting cadres with both integrity and talent, following the required process for personnel management, and encouraging cadres to take on responsibilities. The methods also listed out necessary measures needed for making personnel changes and conducting special inspections.

Zhong Zuwen: Further Improve the Supervision System for Cadre Selection and Appointment Work

5.28 People’s Daily published an article under the byline Zhong Zuwen (仲祖文), which represents the Central Organization Department, publicizing the list of methods for the supervision, inspection, and responsible investigation of cadre selection and appointment work the CCP Central Committee General Office recently released (see above).

Zhong Zuwen praised the list as an “important institutional accomplishment” that “deepens the implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the organizational line of the Party in a new era, highlights political supervision, strengthens disciplines and rules, and comprehensively and systematically reinforces and advances the supervision for cadre selection and appointment work.” It urged Party committees and leadership groups at all levels, especially their secretaries, to strengthen their willingness to take on and fulfill their political responsibilities.

Cadre Appointments

5.29 Luo Zhaohui (罗照辉) was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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