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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl

Weekly Report 2|37 7.13.2019-7.19.2019

Senior Leaders

In Inner Mongolia, Xi Jinping Inspects the Launch of the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Educational Campaign

7.15-16 Xi Jinping visited the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to oversee the implementation of the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” educational campaign. He emphasized that “to keep the original aspiration and mission firmly in mind” is to “thoroughly implement the ideology of development with people at the center.” He called on party members to “reinforce each ethnic group’s sense of gain, happiness, and security.”

During the trip, he visited and inspected local communities, forest farms, rural areas, universities and government agencies. During those visits, he stressed the importance of “consolidating each ethnic group’s identification with the great motherland, the Chinese nation, and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Xi Jinping Makes Important Directives on the Grassroots-level Work of People’s Congresses

7.18 As this year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of standing committees for people’s congresses that are at and above the county level, Xi Jinping gave important directives stating that establishing standing committees for these people’s congresses is “an important measure to develop and improve the people’s congress system." He called on grassroots people’s congresses and their standing committees to follow the Central Committee, work with party committees to implement the Central Committee’s decisions, creatively conduct legislation and supervision work, and contribute to socio-economic development and reform.

Politburo Standing Committee member and National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee chairman Li Zhanshu (栗战书) attended a meeting commemorating the anniversary in Beijing. He gave a speech to stress the importance of studying Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and following the spirit of Xi’s directives.


Propaganda Work

Zhong Sheng: China’s Economic Development Cannot be Denied by Some “Hubbub” People’s Daily

7.16 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 argue that “compared to some people’s chaos-inducing behavior of obsessively attacking the global supply chain,” China’s “stability factor,” which represents the power of peaceful cooperation, appears “even more precious for the world.”

The article claimed that economic growth statistics released on 15 July by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that China’s economy is stable, matching market expectations. It dismissed as “laughable” the “copy-pasted” claim that American tariffs on China are hurting China’s economy, and accused “some people in America” of trying to lead people away from accurately interpreting the economic data by making statements (quoting Donald Trump’s tweets) like “we are receiving billions of dollars in tariffs from China, with possibly much more to come. These tariffs are paid for by China devaluing & pumping, not by the US taxpayer” and “US tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries.”

Instead, the article said the economic report actually signalled to the world that China was remaining stable despite pressure from international trade protectionism and from “cyclical, institutional and structural factors.” The rest of the piece commended various trends in China’s economic performance: a 6.3% growth rate, consumption as a “ballast stone” for growth, continued growth of trade exports, price stability, the growth of high-tech and service industries, integration with the world economy, and so forth.

Ping Yan: The Hard-Earned 6.3%

7.16 Economic Daily put out a commentary under the byline “Ping Yan” (平言), which is likely a pen name used by the Economic Daily Theoretical Commentary Department (经济日报理论评论部), arguing that China’s 6.3% GDP growth rate for the first half of this year fell within a reasonable interval and actually showed China’s success in maintaining stability in the face of unstable and uncertain external conditions.

It pointed out that the external environment China’s development has faced since the beginning of the year has become increasingly complicated and fraught with challenges, yet China is still on track to meeting its economic targets: the 6.3% growth rate is within the 6%-6.5% target range for the year; China has already added 67% of its intended 11 million new urban jobs for the year; average per capita disposable income growth is outpacing GDP growth and the urban-rural disparity is shrinking, etc.

It also pointed to progress in economic rebalancing, noting that tertiary industry added significantly more value and contributed more to GDP growth than secondary industry, and that consumption expenditure growth contributed 60.1% of economic growth. The article praised these “hard-won development achievements” and called for China to continue making progress while ensuring stability.

Two days later, Economic Daily published another Ping Yan article stressing that the key to conduct the economic work for the second half of 2019 well is to “firmly grasp the implementation of the ‘six stabilites’ (六稳) and to work on the ‘eight characters’ (八字).”

The “six stabilites” refer to stabilizing employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, investment and expectations. The article especially stressed the importance of prioritizing employment issues. The “eight characters” stand for “consolidate, reinforce, enhance, and smooth” (巩固、增强、提升、畅通). The slogan focuses on promoting “three cuts, one reduction, one strengthening,” (三去一降一补), market competition, technological innovation, open and modern market system, and circular economy.

Wu Yuehe: Open More Roads, Create Less Obstacles

7.19 People’s Daily’s Wu Yuehe (五月荷) byline, which is being used to address the US-China trade conflict, accused “some people” in the US of trying to “win alone” without ever considering a potential “win-win” outcome. Wu Yuehe attacked the Trump administration for demanding that China buy more US agricultural products while insisting on blocking China’s high-tech enterprises in the name of “defending the future of US 5G” and planning on levying extra tariffs on Chinese exports.

China, on the other hand, has always demonstrated complete sincerity in wanting to achieve a win-win solution, the article says. Wu Yuehe concluded that “only by sincerely and earnestly following the road toward achieving consensus and opening doors for cooperation rather than by creating obstacles, the hopes of both sides in reaching their goals will not get further and further way.”


United Front Work

Xi Jinping Sends Congratulatory Letter to China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the China Writers Association on Their 70th Anniversary

7.16 Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter commemorating the 70th anniversary of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC) and its sub-branch, the China Writers Association (CWA). In the letter, he lauded literary and art workers for their contributions to socialist revolution, socialist construction, and Reform and Opening Up, as well for creating outstanding works of art. He stressed that the CFLAC and CWA are bridges between the Party and government and China’s artistic and literary circles, and bear the responsibility of uniting and leading literary and art workers in developing the cause of socialist literature and art.

Wang Yang: Carry out Ethnic, Religious and Poverty Alleviation Work to Build a Foundation of Long-term Peace and Stability in Tibetan Areas

7.16-17 While conducting investigations in Qinghai, Politburo Standing Committee member and CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) praised recent achievements in Qinghai’s ethnic, religious and anti-poverty work, and stressed that doing a good job in ethnic and religious is important to maintaining social and long-term stability in Tibetan areas. This involves following the Party’s basic guidelines on religious work, strengthening the temple management system, and guarding against foreign influence.

Wang said poverty alleviation would require both economic and political work. This includes fixing problems in water safety, housing safety, prevention and treatment of endemic diseases, etc; developing the yak, barley, plateau tourism, handicraft and other local and green industries; and managing the relationship between poverty alleviation and ecological protection .

Wang Yang Presided Over the 23rd CPPCC National Committee Chairman and Vice Chairpersons' Meeting

7.19 Politburo Standing Committee member and CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the 23rd Chairman and Vice Chairpersons' Meeting of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, which heard reports on the CPPCC National Committee’s work in the first half of 2019, including the work of the Economic Committee, the Agricultural and Rural Committee, and the Population, Resources and Environment Committee.

In a speech, Wang said the CPPCC National Committee has made new progress in strengthening theoretical research, improving the quality of consultations, broadening consensus, and strengthening self-construction. The meeting also approved the agenda and schedule of the eighth meeting of the CPPCC National Committee Standing Committee, which will be held on 26-28 August.


Party Discipline

Ren Ping Series: Do Not Be Politically Apathetic, Muddled Officials

People’s Daily

7.15-18 People’s Daily put out a series of articles under the byline “Ren Ping” (任平), which is likely a homophonous pen name standing for “People’s Daily Commentary” (人民日报评论), each of which warned party officials to not become a certain negative archetype of official, as identified by Xi Jinping.

The first article cautioned Party members to “not be muddled officials that are politically numb and work perfunctorily.” Using examples from the Communist Party’s war against the Nationalists, the article stressed that political work is a core trait of a Marxist party, and the first requirement for party members and cadres. Yet it said that despite the emphasis on the party’s political construction since the 18th Party Congress, some problems still exist with “not talking about politics, ignoring and downplaying politics.” In his speech at the Central and State Organs Party-Building Work Conference, Xi Jinping painted a picture of “muddled officials, lazy officials, mediocre officials, and corrupt officials” as problematic elements in the party, and especially put emphasis on the “muddled officials” problem.

The article defined “political apathy” in a variety of ways: declaring support for the “four consciousnesses” (四个意识), “four confidences” (四个自信), and “two defends” (两个维护) but not embodying them, being “muddle-headed” and not taking them to heart; not deeply studying the Party’s new innovative theories and spirit; being ambiguous about important problems; being indifferent to hearing wrong remarks; etc.

It also explained what is meant by “muddling through one’s job”: in implementing the Party Central Committee’s policies, caring more about appearances than actual effects; caring about one’s works over politics; placing importance on “shouting” about ideological work over actually doing it; promoting “do-goodism” (好人主义) - good intentions without strong principles - and so on.

In a similar vein, the second article cautioned Party members to “not be lazy officials that are sated with food and remain idle.” The third article cautioned Party members to “not be mediocre officials that aren’t willing to take on responsibilities and forge ahead.” The fourth article cautioned Party members to “not be corrupt officials that are degenerated and use their positions for personal gain.”

Former Deputy Director of Shanghai Branch of Agricultural Bank of China Audit Bureau is Under Disciplinary and Supervisory Investigation

7.16 Ma Lu (马路), the former deputy head of the Agricultural Bank of China Audit Bureau’s Shanghai branch, is suspected of “serious violations of disciplines and the law” and is currently undergoing disciplinary and supervisory review and investigation, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Ma attained his post at the Agricultural Bank of China Audit Bureau in July 2009 and was dismissed from the position in February 2018.


Central Military Commission

First China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Opens in Beijing

7.15-20 China’s Ministry of National Defense hosted the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum in Beijing, running from 15 July to 20 July. The forum included 50 African countries and nearly 100 high-level representatives from the African Union defense department and China’s military. Issues discussed included China-Africa security cooperation and regional maritime security.

Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) met with the African delegates on 17 July. He said to the delegation that “China and Africa should implement the important consensus reached by Chairman Xi Jinping and African leaders” to contribute to “developing the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Africa.”


International Liaison Work

7.13-7.16 At the invitation of the Italian government, Politburo member and Tianjin Party Secretary Li Hongzhong (李鸿忠) led a CCP delegation to Italy. While there, the delegation met with Senate President Elisabetta Casellati, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Luigi Di Maio and Democratic Party President and former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and also inspected a Confucius Classroom at the Marco Foscarini Middle School.

7.16 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) and Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Lebanese Future Movement (FM) study group led by FM Secretary General Ahmed El Hariri.

Wang held a separate meeting with the FM study group on the same day.


Organization Work

7.15 Chang Qing (常青) was appointed deputy general manager of China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group.

7.16 Ma Zhaoxu (马朝旭) was appointed deputy foreign minister.

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