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

Weekly Report 2|41 8.10.2019-8.16.2019

[Xinhua: Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming addresses the Hong Kong protests in London]


Official media addressed the political crisis in Hong Kong, putting pressure on the Hong Kong government to bring the protesters to heel and accusing foreign governments of contributing to the mass unrest (see Propaganda Work section).

Qiushi printed a speech by Xi Jinping on poverty alleviation in which he urged poverty alleviation workers to get serious about eliminating poverty before the deadline for achieving the first centenary goals in 2020 (see Propaganda Work section).

International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) penned an article in Qiushi on how the CCP’s external work can promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


Propaganda Work

PD Commentator: The Meddling of Foreign Forces is the Misfortune of Hong Kong Society People’s Daily

8.10 People’s Daily put out a front-page commentator article accusing “some Western countries such as the United States” of having “selective blindness” in their support for Hong Kong protesters, which it said has emboldened “violent extremists’ illegal behavior.” It said that some Western politicians act as though “only violence that happens in their countries is called violence, [while] violence that happens in other countries or regions is a question of human rights and freedom;” people who “attack police and destroy [social] order” in Western countries would be called thugs, but those who attack “public property, government infrastructure and police” in other countries are called “human rights and freedom activists.” This “preposterous, hypocritical double standard,” the article argued, reveals that Western politicians “use freedom and human rights as a pretense to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs.” Finally, the article reiterated China’s official stance that “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s domestic affairs, and any interference by outside forces will not be tolerated.”

Wu Yuehe: The World Should Jointly Resist the Disaster of Extreme Prejudice People’s Daily

8.10 People’s Daily used its Wu Yuehe (五月荷) column to criticize the “unreasonable, unprofessional arbitrary decision-making” of “some Americans” on trade issues, including Washington’s recent decision to label China a “currency manipulator.” It specifically named Peter Navarro, the White House’s Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, as a prime culprit, citing as evidence an 8 August Wall Street Journal editorial entitled “A Navarro Recession?” The PD article profiled Navarro as an “extreme character” with a longstanding prejudice against China, and called his anti-globalization views “extreme selfishness and typical hegemonism,” as well as “lethal” to the US, US-China relations, and the world. It noted that WSJ’s economist survey found that the estimated probability of a US recession in the next year rose from 30.1% in July to 33.6%, and that the “Navarro Recession” editorial argued such a recession could be catalyzed by the White House’s “willy-nilly trade offensive.”

PD Commentator: Economic Development and Improving People’s Livelihood is the Foundation of Hong Kong Society People’s Daily

8.11 A front-page PD Commentator article argued that the “violent activities” in Hong Kong are disrupting and harming the city’s economic development, which is causing more and more people to stop being a “silent majority” and to stand up against the violence. The article noted that as traditional advantages weaken but new sources of economic growth have yet to emerge, Hong Kong is facing deep-seated problems with land, housing, upward social mobility of the youth, and other social issues that will only get worse if they are “politicized.” Development, it said, is the “golden key” to solving various problems in Hong Kong. However, “if Hong Kong descends into chaos, the whole society will ‘pay the bill.’” Thus, the article said that the HKSAR government’s top priority should be to quickly restore social order, so it can focus its energy on economic growth and improving people’s livelihood.

Jin Sheping: Farce of Splashing the Dirty Water of “Currency Manipulation” Will Ultimately End in Failure

8.10 People’s Daily put out an article under the byline Jin Sheping (金社评), used to authoritatively transmit its opinions on economic issues, to criticize the US decision to label China a “currency manipulator” after the yuan (RMB) depreciated to an exchange rate of 7 RMB to USD. It quoted former US Secretary of Treasury Lawrence Summers, who said that the RMB depreciation was “not artificial,” but an “entirely natural market response to newly-imposed US tariffs.” It also noted that a recent IMF report of China did not support Washington’s conclusion that China was manipulating its currency. The article said that “some Americans” “disregard facts and ignore rules with no bottom line” when making their accusations, and that they have opened a “Pandora’s Box”. It also criticized them for “repeatedly politicizing economic issues,” which “openly tramples on international rules” and “has jeopardized the international economic and trade order and the stability of the world economy.”

Zhong Sheng: IMF Report Fully Shows That China is Not a “Currency Manipulator” People’s Daily

8.11 People’s Daily published a Zhong Sheng (钟声) article, which authoritatively conveys the paper’s opinions on international affairs, to discuss the recently-released results of the IMF’s “2019 Article IV Consultation Staff Report” on China. The article argued that the IMF’s conclusion showed that “China is not a ‘currency manipulator,’ no one believes the story some Americans are trying to fabricate, [and] criticizing China for no reason is merely a farce.” Citing a UBS economist report that US tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods will further devalue the RMB, it also argued that despite American fears that RMB devaluation will offset the effectiveness of US tariffs, the effect of the market will far exceed the effect of any “manipulation.” It said that “some Americans” imposed the “currency manipulator” label on China purely to “make trouble,” and warned that the IMF report proved this “trouble” would not accomplish anything.

Guo Jiping: China Has the Confidence and Capacity to Overcome Any Challenge

8.13 People’s Daily released a lengthy article under the pen name Guo Jiping (国纪平), which represents the People’s Daily International Department, to drum up confidence in the Chinese economy in the face of doubts about its ability to sustain growth. “Faced with wave upon wave of extreme external pressure,” the article said, “China’s economy has steadily moved forward step-by-step. The growth rate is stable, the structure is excellent, momentum is sufficient, the internal drive is strong, [and] the people’s livelihoods are continuously improving…” The article referred to China as a “ballast and power source” for the global economy at a time when “downward pressure” is affecting the entire world.

It said that “arguments decrying the Chinese economy have been around for a long time. People with ulterior motives all over the world have produced various predictions, such as ‘the Chinese economy’s hard landing,’ ‘RMB collapse,’ ‘real-estate collapse,’ [and] ‘debt collapse.’ Whenever China’s economic statistics are released, discordant voices always follow.” The article reviewed how the Chinese economy has prevailed despite constant predictions that it would collapse over the years, saying “China insists on taking its own path and doesn’t conform to the rigid thinking of some Westerners that doesn’t account for changes in circumstance (刻舟求剑)... [these Westerners] are unwilling to face the inner logic of China’s economic development.”

PD Commentator: What Did We See Through the Atrocities?

8.15 People’s Daily published a commentator article expressing the paper’s “strongest condemnation” of the recent detention and abuse of Global Times reporter Fu Guohao (付国豪) and another mainland Chinese citizen by protesters at Hong Kong International Airport. The article said that in the past few days, “repeated violent incidents have made people around the world clearly see the true face of Hong Kong’s so-called ‘peaceful protests.’”

Despite the Hong Kong opposition faction’s oft-repeated mantras of “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech,” the article said, the experience of the GT journalist exposed that this freedom only applies to media that favors the protesters. It also criticized “some Western politicians and media” for “turning a blind eye to hair-raising atrocities, turning a deaf ear to innocent victims who suffered bodily harm, [and] loudly praising ‘courageous protesters,’” as well as for “double standards” and “cold-blooded hypocrisy” in their treatment of violent mass protests in China compared to those in their own countries.

It concluded that “the true goal of Hong Kong’s radical protesters and especially the black hands behind them” was to “oppose China, spread chaos in Hong Kong” and to start a “color revolution.”

Xi Jinping: Resolving Outstanding Problems of the “Two No-worries, Three Guarantees”

8.16 Qiushi reprinted the entirely of a speech Xi Jinping gave at a meeting regarding resolving outstanding problems of the “two no-worries, three guarantees” of poverty alleviation work: no longer worrying about food and clothing, and guaranteeing compulsory education, basic medical treatment, and housing security. Eradicating poverty is one of the centenary goals that must be achieved by 2020.

Xi stated that poverty alleviation must enter the “critical state of decisive victory,” as poverty must be eradicated over the next two years. While the “two no-worries” have been generally resolved, Xi said that there are many outstanding problems related to achieving the “three guarantees.” Regarding compulsory education, the nation has more than 600,000 children of compulsory education-age that are not in school. He said this is due to a lack of boarding schools in villages and towns, making it more difficult for children to attend school. Xi also pointed out that many of the nation’s poor have common and chronic diseases that do not get treatment because of a lack of access to basic medical insurance, and because rural medical facilities are lacking. In terms of housing security, Xi said that there are an estimated 1.6 million target households for dilapidated housing renovation, only 800,000 of which have been entered into the system. These problems need to be addressed by 2020, or it will affect the overall goal of poverty alleviation.

Xi called on attendees to “do a solid job of poverty alleviation over the next two years” and listed a few problems, namely that poverty was not regarded as a major political task, there was a gap in ideological understanding, and enforcement was not in place. He also blamed formalism and bureaucracy for getting in the way of poverty alleviation, saying “if you spend your money on whitewashing the walls, you waste your efforts on what is neither edible nor wearable, [and you] waste the country’s money!”

He called on those engaged in poverty alleviation work to continue to work had to achieve this “glorious and arduous historical mission.”

Qiushi also issued an editorial further dissecting the speech.


United Front Work

China Islamic Association Holds Reception for the Eid al-Adha Festival in Beijing

8.12 The China Islamic Association held a reception in Beijing to celebrate the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha. United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) attended the event to give his congratulations. Over 200 Muslim delegates attended, including more than 40 emissaries from Arab countries, foreign Muslim experts, national and Beijing city officials, and others. The article on the event noted that the China Islamic Association is currently launching a patriotic education campaign called “Help the New Era, Jointly Build the China Dream” (助力新时代、共筑中国梦).


Party Discipline

Supreme People’s Procuratorate Lawfully Decides to Arrest Chen Gang

8.13 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) website released a short statement from the Supreme People's Procuratorate reporting the arrest of former China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) Party Leadership Group member and a member of its secretariat Chen Gang (陈刚). He was arrested for suspicion of taking bribes based on an investigation conducted by the NSC and the prosecutor's office.

CITIC Group Former Executive Director Zhao Jingwen Arrested CPC News

8.13 Former CITIC Group Executive Director Zhao Jingwen (赵景文) was arrested by the Hunan People’s Procuratorate on charges of taking bribes and corruption. Investigations were conducted by the NSC and the prosecutor’s office.


International Liaison Work

Song Tao: The Party’s External Work and the High-Quality Development of Jointly Building the Belt and Road

8.16 Qiushi published an article by International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) on the CCP’s can help promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Song stressed that “the CCP is a political party that seeks the happiness of the Chinese people and that also struggles for the cause of human progress. It has always regarded making new and greater contributions to mankind as its mission.” He added that its “external work is an important Party battle line and also an important component of overall national diplomacy. It has unique advantages such as the breadth of exchange, depth of exchange, and flexibility of exchange method.”

After noting that CCP organs can “play an important political leadership role in promoting the high-quality development of jointly building ‘BRI,’” Song called for the CCP to exercise such leadership in four different areas. These were: 1. “Adhere to leadership in orientation to promote a community of shared future for mankind,” 2. “Adhere to leadership in ideas to promote the world’s realization of common development,” 3. “Adhere to leadership in understanding to promote exchange and mutual learning between different civilizations,” and 4. “Adhere to leadership in responsibility to promote political parties of all countries assuming greater responsibilities.”


Organization Work

8.12 Jiang Wanrong (姜万荣) was appointed deputy minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

PD Commentator: Strive to Create a New Situation of Organizational Staffing Structure Work for the New Era

8.16 People’s Daily put out a commentator article about the CCP Central Committee’s recently issued “Regulations on Chinese Communist Party Organizational Staffing Structure Work.” It said that “to do new era organizational staffing structure work well, [we] must maintain and strengthen the Party’s centralized and unified leadership of organizational staffing work.” This broad political principle of centralized party leadership was the central theme of the new regulations. The article also stressed that “to do new era organizational staffing structure work well, [we] must closely center on serving the overall situation of the Party and state’s undertakings:” the 19th Party Congress’s goals of “building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, fundamentally achieving socialist modernization by 2035, and comprehensively establishing a modernized socialist great power by mid-century.” It further pointed out the need to “unceasingly advance the legal institutionalization of organizational staffing structure,” and said the new regulations were a step in that direction.

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