- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Nathanael Callan
Weekly Report 2|35 6.22.2019-6.28.2019
The Politburo met this week to deliberate on regulations for organizational function and structure adjustment (relating to institutional reform) and rural work. Afterward, the Politburo conducted a collective study session on the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” education campaign (see Senior Leaders section).
Xi Jinping delivered an “important speech” at the G20 this week, where he shared ideas for reforming the governance of the global economy, among other suggestions for world leaders (see Senior Leaders section).
People’s Daily’s Zhong Sheng column produced a commentary series on the need to “protect international morality” amidst US-China trade tensions (see Senior Leaders section).
Politburo Meeting Deliberates on Regulations for Organizational Function and Structure Adjustment and Rural Work
6.24 Xi Jinping presided over a Politburo meeting to discuss regulations on adjusting organizational functions and structure, and rural areas.
The Politburo pointed out that adjusting organizational functions and structure plays an important role in deepening institutional reform and optimizing the Party’s resource allocation. It called on Party committees at all levels to attach great importance to this work and strengthen organizational leadership.
The Politburo also said that regulations on rural work will promote the modernization of agricultural industry and rural area, strengthen the Party’s leadership over rural work, consolidate the Party’s ruling base in the rural area, and ensure the correctness of the political direction of rural work.
Politburo Collective Study Session: The Whole Party Must Remain True to the Original Aspiration and Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind, Promote the Party’s Self-Revolution in the New Era
6.24 The Politburo conducted a study session on the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” education campaign, during which Xi Jinping asked them to think about how the CCP, as a century-old party, can remain both advanced and pure, maintain youthful vitality, maintain the people’s endorsement and support, and maintain long-term governance. This is “a fundamental question we must answer and resolve.”
Xi defined the original aspiration and mission of the CCP as “realizing the happiness of the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The reason the CCP has been able to achieve victory after victory in the face of trials and turbulence is that it has always remained true to this original aspiration.
Xi said that this is not an easy task and the danger of violating the original mission is everywhere. The “four great dangers” (四种危险) (identified by Hu Jintao in 2011--lost vitality, insufficient capacity, alienation from the people, and rampant corruption) and the “four great tests” (四大考验) (governance, reform and opening up, market economy, and external environment) have are still grave and complicated. The Party’s self-revolution has a long way to go, he said, and there can be no idea of stopping or resting. Every party member must take responsibility, strengthen the Party’s will, and actively participate in this education campaign.
The Central “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Education Campaign Leading Group Releases Notice on Conducting the Campaign Well
6.24 The central leading group for the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” education campaign released a notice on conducting the first series of education, learning, research, inspection, and improvement for the education campaign well (关于抓好第一批主题教育学习教育、调查研究、检视问题、整改落实工作的通知).
The notice required departments and units in all regions to creatively implement and combine four key measures, namely education and learning, investigation and research, problem detection, and improvement. It stressed that leading party comrades should self-study, hold study sessions, and take advice from grassroots party members and masses.
Xi Jinping Delivers Speech at G20 Leaders Summit
6.28 Xi Jinping gave a speech on the global economy at the G20 Leaders Summit in Osaka. According to Xinhua, he made four recommendations to global leaders: 1) “adhere to reform and innovation and tap the impetus for growth” through measures like developing the digital economy and advancing structural reform; 2) “adhere to staying abreast of modern times and perfect global governance” through advancing “necessary reforms of the World Trade Organization” and implementing the Paris Agreement; 3) “adhere to meeting difficulties head-on and break through development bottlenecks” through jointly building BRI; and 4) “adhere to the spirit of partnership and appropriately handle disagreements” through “an attitude of mutual respect and trust, fair consultations, seeking common ground, controlling differences, and broadening consensus.”
Xi also called for five important measures to “speed up the formation of a new situation of external opening and strive for the realization of high-quality development.” These were: 1) “further open markets,” 2) “take the initiative in expanding imports,” 3) “continue to improve the environment for running a business,” 4) “comprehensively put equal treatment into practice,” and 5) “vigorously promote trade talks.”
Wu Yuehe: Only Equal Dialogue Can Achieve Mutual Benefit
6.22 People’s Daily published a commentary on the public hearings held by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on the proposed tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. It criticized the US government for pretending to listen to public opinion and persisting in its own policy.
The commentary reported that more than 2,000 written opinions were submitted to the USTR and over 300 industry representatives attended the hearings. One of representatives pointed out that, US consumers will have to pay an extra 8.2 billion dollars for laptops and tablets if the tariffs were imposed. The article stated that “sadly, American people have no control over whether imposing tariffs or not” and condemned “some Americans” for not caring American people’s interests.
At the end, the commentary stressed that “only equal dialogue can resolve the trade and economic issues between countries” and that if the US chooses to talk, “the extra tariffs the US imposed will have to be completely eliminated.”
Zhong Sheng Series: Only by Protecting International Morality Can the World Jointly Prosper
6.24-28 People’s Daily published a new Zhong Sheng (钟声) series, which authoritatively transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, on China-US trade tensions. Each article argued that “only by protecting international morality can the world jointly prosper.”
The first article maintained that “the extreme pressure of some in Washington does not frighten any country. On the contrary, the rules-based multilateral trade system has become the biggest casualty of US unilateralism and trade protectionism.” It contrasted this approach with China’s, arguing that “taking a detailed look at China’s means of responding to the China-US trade dispute, two types of logic are abundantly clear: The first is resolutely defending the core interests of the country and fundamental interests of the people, and the second is resolutely defending international rules.”
The second article claimed that “while facing [the US’] development problems, [some Americans] have blamed others, deemed other countries a threat, recklessly brandished the big stick of tariffs, and put extreme pressure into practice,” which “has revealed their deep-seated and incompatible with the times zero-sum thinking.” After describing unilateralism and protectionism as a “difficult path” and open cooperation and joint development as a “wide-open road,” it declared that “only by upholding the ideals of fair, open, comprehensive, and innovative development can [we] share development’s dividends amidst the general trend of economic globalization.”
The third article accused “some Americans” of “not understanding [the importance of] ‘building the world’ and cherishing the bilateral cooperative achievements obtained over the 40 years since China and the US established diplomatic relations even less” and “some in Washington” of “short-sighted actions that run counter to trends.” It argued that “in facing the four major challenges of a governance deficit, trust deficit, peace deficit, and development deficit, China and the US should cooperate with one another, coordinate their efforts to resolve difficult international problems, and promote the improvement of global governance.”
The fourth article contended that “the mistaken methods of some Americans have given rise to the universal concern and vigilance of the international community and made everyone more clearly see who is the world’s true factor of insecurity.” It contrasted Chinese behavior, which it described as “continuously contributing positive energy to world peace and development,” with that of some Americans, who supposedly “cling to ‘Cold War thinking,’ believe in ‘zero-sum games,’ and do not hesitate to harm other countries’ interests while seeking their own so-called absolute security.”
The fifth article blamed some Americans for “playing the same old tune” of “the clash of civilizations” due to “their deep-rooted sense of civilizational superiority.” It argued that “there is not a single example of success” in these individuals’ attempts to “‘remold’ other civilizations” and that such attempts have “left behind countless disturbances, endless traumas, and unlimited troubles.” Consequently, the US, in the article’s estimation, has “become a ‘troublemaker’ that disturbs the progress of human civilization.”
United Front Work
Overseas Chinese World Conference for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China Opens in Manila
United Front Work Department WeChat Account
6.22 The Philippine Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China hosted this year’s Overseas Chinese World Conference for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China, on the theme of “Promoting China’s Peaceful Reunification, Achieving the Great National Rejuvenation.” More than 1,000 people from over 40 countries and regions attended, and CPPCC National Committee Vice Chairman and China’s Zhi Gong Party head Wan Gang (万钢) gave the keynote speech. Wan encouraged overseas Chinese to “firmly grasp the anti-‘independence’ development theme and direction of the new era and adhere to the One China principle,” to “focus on the Taiwan ‘Two Systems’ plan” and push for cross-Strait democratic consultation, deepen cross-Strait integration, promote friendly international exchanges, and consolidate the forces of the anti-“independence” movement.
The conference also put out a manifesto declaring its support of the Chinese government’s stance on the Taiwan issue.
All-China Women’s Federation Party Leadership Group Convenes Study Session on the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Education Campaign
6.23 The All-China Women’s Federation Party Leadership Group’s Theoretical Study Center held a study session from 20 to 21 June on thoroughly studying Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping’s important speech on the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind.”
All-China Women’s Federation Party Leadership Group Secretary, Vice Chairwoman, and Secretariat First Secretary Huang Xiaowei (黄晓薇) directed the study session and gave a final summary speech. Huang emphasized that, given the role of leading cadres as the organizers, promoters, participants, and demonstrators of the education campaign, they must constantly set an example for Party members.
National Religious Organizations Hold a Joint Meeting to Study and Plan for the Work of Resolving and Preventing Major Risks and Maintaining Harmony and Stability in the Religious Field United Front Work Department WeChat Account
6.25 The 9th Joint Meeting of National Religious Organizations was held in Beijing, attended by the heads of China’s national religious groups as well as the Chinese YMCA and YWCA. The meeting was convened to discuss how to prevent and defuse major risks in the religious field.
The meeting determined that the country’s religious field “remains harmonious and stable,” and there are no major risks, but that the international and domestic situation is undergoing “complex and profound changes” that bring new problems. All groups pledged to strengthen awareness of risk prevention in the religious field, persist in the sinicization of religion, resist the use of religion in illegal activities, and improve their level of self-supervision.
CPPCC National Committee Holds a Chairperson's Council Meeting; Wang Yang Presides and Speaks
6.26 The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee recently held a Chairperson's Council meeting in Beijing to study and discuss the theme of “Using Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a Guide, Promoting the Maturation and Improvement of the System of the CPPCC with Chinese Characteristics, Playing the Role of a Specialized Consultative Organization.” Politburo Standing Committee member and CPPCC Chairman Wang Yang spoke, emphasizing the need for the CPPCC National Committee to lead the organization to “think big things, plan long-term, and solve difficult problems;” to improve strategic and dialectical thinking; and to promote innovation. Wang said the CPPCC must clarify its new functions in the new era, overcome problems such as “soft” management and loose organization, and oppose laziness, bureaucracy, vanity and passivity in its work style.
“Inspirational! The Five Years Since the Second Central Work Conference on Xinjiang Convened!”
United Front Work Department WeChat Account
6.27 The United Front Work Department put out an article celebrating the CCP’s accomplishments in Xinjiang in the five years since the Second Central Work Conference on Xinjiang in May 2014. The 2014 conference established social stability and long-term peace as the goals of Xinjiang work, and the article detailed the Party’s accomplishments toward those ends in the areas of counterterrorism, economic development, and grassroots service.
According to the article, China has had gradual success in countering terrorism and extremism, learning from and contributing to global counterterrorism efforts, and Xinjiang’s overall situation “continues to be stable” and peaceful; there has not been a terrorist attack in 30 months. It further claimed that while fighting extremism, Xinjiang has “increased protection for legal religious activities” and religious freedom, and “improved facilities and conditions for religious venues.”
Quoting Xi Jinping’s statement that “Xinjiang’s most long-term problem is national unity,” the article lauded increasing integration between Xinjiang’s ethnic groups, noting growing bonds among cadres and workers, emphasis on national unity in the education system, and growing numbers of Xinjiang minorities working and studying in cities in the eastern and central parts of China.
The article also claimed that living standards for Xinjiang residents have improved significantly in the last 5 years: the region’s GDP reached 1.2 trillion RMB ($174 billion) in 2018; aid funding has helped construct new schools, hospitals and factories; the poverty rate dropped from 19.4% to 6.1% between 2013 and 2018; employment has increased; the 9-year compulsory education attainment rate reached 94.2%. Rail traffic to and from Central Asia through the Khorgos dry port has increased, purportedly showing Xinjiang’s vitality to the Belt and Road.
Finally, the article noted the increase in grassroots party organizations in Xinjiang, praising the contributions of CCP cadres to Xinjiang’s stability and prosperity.
Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in May 2019
6.27 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 May 2019.
The month saw 4,372 investigations, 6,184 punished individuals, and 4,359 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 20,281 investigations, 28,701 punished individuals, and 20,290 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary actions.
Anti-Corruption Seminar for “Belt and Road” Countries Begins
6.28 An opening ceremony for an anti-corruption seminar for officials from BRI countries was held at the China Academy of Discipline Inspection and Supervision in Beijing. CCDI Standing Committee member and NSC member Lu Xi (卢希) delivered a speech at the ceremony.
The seminar will last for 15 days and include trips to relevant provinces for further studying and carrying out inspections. Thirty-one officials from the national anti-corruption agencies of 12 countries along the BRI are participating in the seminar.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Stable Growth Requires Reasonable and Stable Investment
6.24 Yu Changge (于长革), a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences (中国财政科学研究院) (a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Finance), wrote in China Economic Daily on how government should best guide investment. First, the government should “block the back door” (堵牢后门) against debt risks, especially over-reliance on real estate prices and investment to spur GDP growth and use of illegal businesses to hide local government debt. Then, government should moderately “open the front door” (堵牢后门), since it is necessary to increase expenditures and focus on winning the “three major battles” (三大攻坚战) (poverty alleviation, reducing financial risk, increasing environmental sustainability). Currently, China’s public and private investment rate is still low and unable to meet the needs of urbanization. It is necessary to speed up and meet the needs of infrastructure development and services and reduce the fiscal burden on local governments. The financial relationship between central and local governments should be rationally reevaluated and local governments should have greater financial support to perform their duties.
Economic Globalization is the Road to Common Prosperity for the World
6.28 An article in China Economic Daily written by Hong Guan (洪观) praised globalization, saying economic globalization is an irreversible historic trend, and that China’s ascendancy to the WTO exemplifies the positive effect globalization has on development. The WTO since its founding (building off the principals of its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is the cornerstone of healthy global trade, standing on principles of non-discriminaction, transparency and fair trade. Working hand in hand with globalization and walking with the world, China has closely integrated reform and opening up with globalization. Since being admitted to the WTO, China has become a “superior student of economic globalization” (经济全球化中的“优等生”), opening far beyond its original WTO commitments, actively promoting market opening, continuously improving the socialist market economic system, encouraging market competition, and defending the WTO. Through both the WTO and the Belt and Road Initiative, China is actively increasing economic engagement with the world which has benefited nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people and providing a stabilizing force on global development.
Trade protectionism and unilateralism are impacting the world economic order and adding uncertainties. WTO reforms are urgently needed, especially in three areas: reforming the dispute settlement system, preventing the security exception from being abused, and corralling the few members who are adopting unilateral measures and ignoring the rules. In addition, WTO should address the unresolved issues from the slowed Doha Round negotiations. China will consistently firmly adhere to and uphold the rules of the WTO, support necessary reforms, and defend the multilateral trading system.
International Liaison Work
6.24-6.26 On June 24, International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a Chilean governing coalition high-level cadre study group jointly led by National Renewal President Mario Desbordes and Political Evolution President Hernán Larraín Matte.
On June 26, Politburo member and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen (王晨) also met with the delegation.
6.25 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) attended and delivered a speech at the CCP/ID-hosted and Communication University of China-organized 29th Wanshou Forum. The forum revolved around the theme of “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy: Rising to the Profound Changes of the World Today” and included nearly 100 representatives from political parties and think tanks from 20 countries.
6.25 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) and Li Jun met with a Colombian Liberal Party (PLC) cadre study group led by PLC General Secretary Camilo Sánchez.
Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu (栗战书) and Jiusan Society Chairman Wu Weihua (武维华) also met with the delegation on the same day.
6.25 Guo Yezhou met with a Sri Lankan United National Party (UNP) cadre study group led by UNP leader and Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations Mayantha Dissanayake.
6.26 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Youth of the European People's Party study group led by European Democrat Students Chairman Virgilio Falco.
6.26 Li Jun met with the Iranian Ambassador to China Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh.
6.27 The International Department hosted a thematic session on the CCP’s “Staying True to Our Founding Mission” campaign in Zhengzhou. The session represented the first time since the 18th Party Congress that the CCP has publicly explained the circumstances of intra-Party centralized education to foreign political parties. Nearly 50 representatives of foreign political parties from 19 countries took part in the session. Speakers included Song Tao, Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee member and National Assembly Vice President Somphanh Phengkhammy, Central African United Hearts Movement National Executive Secretary and former Prime Minister Simplice Sarandji, the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee Cadre Organization and Politics Department Deputy Head Humberto Camilo Hernández Suárez, and Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party member and Senator Èlia Tortolero Orejuela.
6.27 Song Tao met with a Central African delegation led by United Hearts Movement National Executive Secretary and former Prime Minister Simplice Sarandji.
6.27 Song Tao met with a Botswanan cadre study group led by Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General Mpho Balopi.
6.24 Zhang Yiquan (张义全) was appointed vice minister of Human Resources and Social Security.
6.24 Xu Hong (徐宏) was appointed permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
6.25 Wang Daoshu (王道树) was appointed chief auditor of the State Taxation Administration.
6.27 Qi Pengfei (齐鹏飞) was appointed deputy secretary of Renmin University of China’s Party committee.
6.27 Liu Liange (刘连舸) was appointed secretary of the Bank of China’s Party committee.