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

Weekly Report 2|38 7.20-2019-7.26.2019


  • People’s Daily addressed the Hong Kong protests in a commentator article entitled “Central Authority Cannot be Challenged.”

  • The State Council Information Office (SCIO) published a white paper on “China’s National Defense in the New Era,” the first comprehensive national defense white paper published since the 18th National Party Congress in 2012.

  • The SCIO also published a white paper entitled “Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang.”


Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping Holds Talks With UAE Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

7.22 Xi Jinping met in Beijing with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Xi announced that the two countries would publish a joint statement on strengthening the China-UAE “comprehensive strategic partnership,” which was originally established during Xi’s visit to the UAE in July 2018. He said that China regards the UAE as an important strategic partner in the Middle East, and supports the UAE in playing a greater role in regional and international affairs.

He also called for the two countries to accelerate the joint construction of the Belt and Road, strengthen the alignment of their development strategies, work to increase bilateral trade to $200 billion USD by 2030, build the Khalifa Port Container Terminal Two and the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone, and consolidate and expand long-term strategic cooperation in the energy field.

Xi also stressed the need for China-UAE counterterrorism cooperation, thanked the UAE for its support of China on the Xinjiang issue, and expressed China’s willingness to work with the UAE and international community to maintain peace and stability in the Persian Gulf region.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed reaffirmed the UAE’s strategic partnership with China, and expressed willingness to expand the scale of investment, energy trade, and cooperation with China in science and technology. He also praised China’s “efforts to protect the rights and interests of ethnic minorities and promote national unity” as well as China’s “responsible policies in international affairs,” particularly in the Gulf region, and said the UAE was willing to strengthen security cooperation with China and jointly combat terrorism, including the “East Turkestan Liberation Organization.”


Propaganda Work

State Council Information Office Publishes White Paper on “Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang” Xinhua

7.21 The State Council Information Office (SCIO) published a white paper entitled “Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang.” The paper stressed that China is a “unified multi-ethnic state,” that all ethnic groups of Xinjiang are part of the Chinese nation, and that Xinjiang’s destiny is closely linked to the “great motherland” and the Chinese people. In recent years, external and internal “hostile forces” (separatists, religious extremists, and terrorists) have “deliberately distorted” history in order to split up China.

The paper stressed that contrary to such people’s claims, Xinjiang has long been an “inalienable” part of China; it was never “East Turkestan,” and it has always been a place where multiple ethnicities and religions coexisted. Furthermore, Islam is neither the Uighurs’ “innate” religion, nor their only religion: rather, the religion took root in China’s “fertile soil” and integrated with Chinese culture.

Finally, the paper said that Xinjiang’s economy continues to develop, its society is peaceful and stable, its people’s livelihood is continually improving, its culture is prospering, its religions are harmonious, and all its ethnic groups are united as closely as “seeds in a pomegranate.” In short, “Xinjiang is in the best period of prosperous development in history.”

PD Commentator: Central Authority Cannot Be Challenged

7.22 People’s Daily published a commentator article that strongly condemned “extremist protestors” for “surrounding the Hong Kong Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, damaging its facilities, defacing the National Emblem, and spray-painting expressions insulting the country and people” on 21 July. It stated that “this behavior not only trampled on the rule of law in Hong Kong but also brazenly challenged the central government’s authority and touched on the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.”

After arguing that “only safeguarding central authority can ensure… the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and well-being of its residents,” the article declared that “justifications for violent behavior can no longer be found!” It concluded that:

“We resolutely support the special administrative region government’s adoption of all necessary measures in accordance with the law to ensure the security of central agencies in Hong Kong, safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong, and punish criminal elements. We also call on [our] numerous Hong Kong compatriots to work together to oppose violence, defend the rule of law, and treasure peace.”

Symposium Held on Publication of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, Volume II in Minority Languages

7.22 The second volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China was published by the Publishing House of Minority Nationalities in five minority languages: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uighur, Kazakh and Korean. The Central Propaganda Department and the State Ethnic Affairs Commission jointly held a symposium on the publication.

The symposium pointed out that these translated editions were “beneficial for the more direct, broader and deeper study and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in China’s minority areas, and for promoting understanding of the Party Central Committee’s governance philosophy and strategy among cadres and people of all ethnicities.

“China’s National Defense in the New Era” White Paper Published

7.24 The State Council Information Office (SCIO) published a white paper on “China’s National Defense in the New Era.” This is the Chinese government’s 10th such paper since 1998, and the first comprehensive national defense white paper published since the 18th National Party Congress in 2012.

A People’s Daily article on the white paper chose to focus on three main points: China’s “defensive” national security policy, the newly-unveiled “four strategic supports” that define the Chinese military’s mission, and China’s “reasonable and appropriate” defense expenditures.

First, the white paper said that China’s national defense policy has always been defensive, and that the goals of China’s national defense in the new era are to “resolutely defend national sovereignty, security and development interests.” It stressed that China would never seek hegemony, expansion, or spheres of influence.

The white paper officially unveiled for the first time the “four strategic supports” (四个战略支撑) that constitute the military’s mission. This includes providing strategic support for “consolidating the leadership of the CCP and the socialist system; safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity; protecting China’s overseas interests; and promoting world peace and development."

The paper also discussed China’s defense expenditure, characterizing it as open, transparent, reasonable and appropriate. It pointed out that compared to other major countries, China’s proportion of defense expenditure to GDP is relatively low. It said that China’s defense spending will continue to maintain moderate and steady growth, coordinated with the level of national economic development.

Zhong Sheng: Instigating China-US Confrontation is a Dangerous and Mistaken Path

7.25 People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng column (钟声), which authoritatively transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, to condemn an open letter published by American “China hawks” for “maliciously instigating China-US confrontation.” (The letter in question was written by retired US Navy Captain James Fanell, a former Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the US Pacific Fleet, and signed by over 130 foreign policy experts, military veterans, and businesspeople.)

The article said the authors of the letter are uncomfortable with “anything that benefits the development of US-China relations,” and “only wish to cause chaos.” It also said that instigating conflict between the US and China “seriously deviates from the direction of the development of the US-China relationship,” which it said was consistently characterized by mutually beneficial cooperation, no matter what hardships it experienced. The article described the letter as “absurd” and said it showed the authors’ and signatories’ minds were full of “zero-sum thinking” and “extremely banal concepts,” calling into question how such people were capable of strategic thinking.

To support its point, the article cited a number of American foreign policy experts. It noted that former US National Security Adviser and realist scholar Zbigeniew Brzezinski believed continuing on the path of US-China cooperation could prevent China from becoming a threat to the US; quoted former US envoy to China Chas Freeman, who said in his own PD article that some Americans’ “intermittent nativism is actually embarrassing” and that America is now turning China into a “possibly insurmountable adversary”; and referenced former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Susan Shirk’s warning that the US risks an anti-China “Red Scare,” and should avoid repeating the mistakes of the Cold War. The article thus concluded that the hawkish letter did not represent mainstream public opinion.


Party Discipline

Violations of the Eight-Point Guidelines in June 2019

7.22 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 June 2019.

The month saw 6,060 investigations, 8,506 punished individuals, and 5,944 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary action. The most common violation in all three categories was granting subsidies and benefits, which was followed by sending and receiving gifts and money. The cumulative figures for the first six months of 2019 were 26,341 investigations, 37,207 punished individuals, and 26,234 individuals receiving Party and governmental disciplinary action.

CCDI and NSC Release Data on the Work of Discipline Inspection and Supervision Organs for the First Half of 2019

7.23 The CCDI and NSC recently released the circumstances of discipline inspection and supervision organs’ work.

  • In the first half of 2019, the organs received 1,609,000 reports, handled 819,000 leads, sent 168,000 inquiry letters, built 315,000 cases, and punished 254,000 people (215,000 of which were within the Party).

  • Among those punished, 20 were provincial-ministerial level cadres, 2,000 were department and bureau level cadres, 11,000 were county and section level cadres, 37,000 were township and sub-division level cadres, 43,000 were ordinary cadres, and 161,000 were village, company, or other types of personnel.

  • Of the 812,000 people handled through the “four forms” (四种形态), a four-tier system to measure political discipline, 552,000 (68%) were handled with the first form (criticism and self-criticism as well as inquiries through interview or letters), 196,000 (24.2%) handled with the second form (minor disciplinary penalties), 32,000 (4%) with the third form (severely punished or demoted officials), and 31,000 (3.8%) with the fourth form (those prosecuted for law-breaking).


International Liaison Work

7.21-7.22 The CCP and Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) held their 15th theoretical seminar in Guiyang, Guizhou Province. The seminar’s theme was “the laws of socialist modernization in China and Vietnam.”

Politburo member and Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) and CPV Politburo member and Central Information and Education Commission Head Võ Văn Thưởng delivered the seminar’s keynote addresses. Huang and Võ also held talks before the seminar.

7.22-7.24 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan.

On 22 July, Song participated in and delivered the keynote speech at a symposium on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. The symposium was presided over by New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) Deputy Executive Secretary Mubariz Gurbanli and attended by over 120 representatives from the YAP, National Assembly, and think tanks.

On the same day, Song met with President Ilham Aliyev.

On 23 July, Song visited the home of a grassroots YAP member as well as met with YAP Vice Chairman, YAP Executive Secretary, and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Akhmedov and Presidential Administration Head Ramiz Mehdiyev.

On 24 July, Song visited the New Port in Alat and carried out an inspection into the port’s participation in the “Belt and Road” Initiative with Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev.

7.24 International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a Cambodian People's Party (CPP) cadre study group led by CPP Central Committee member and Ministry of Planning Secretary of State Rin Virak.


Organization Work

Chen Xi: Use More Active, More Open, More Effective Talent Policy to Amass Talent

7.22 Politburo member and Central Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) investigated the implementation of the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” educational campaign and inspected the introduction and role of technological innovation and talent cultivation in Beijing’s Zhongguancun neighborhood. He stressed the need to turn the study of the educational campaign into a “powerful force” to build China into a technological and “talent” power, and provide a strong safeguard to achieve the two centenary goals and realize the China Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

After visiting two technology companies to learn about product development, business operations, and talent training, Chen said that “China’s wide open door will only open wider” for technological innovation and welcomed Chinese overseas students as well as foreign talent to innovate in China and participate in China’s modernization.

7.22 Lu Kang (陆慷) was appointed head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs.

7.22 Hua Chunying (华春莹) was appointed head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Information Department.

7.24 Liu Junchuan (刘军川) was appointed deputy director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

7.24 Ren Jianhua (任建华) was appointed head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervisory Commission’s organizational discipline inspection and supervision group in the National People’s Congress.

7.26 Jiang Wanrong (姜万荣) was appointed a member of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s Party leadership group.

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