- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, Sandy Lu
Weekly Report 2|43 8.24.2019-8.30.2019
Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission that focused on discussing ways to improve coordination of economic development across China’s many regions.
The Politburo met to discuss improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing governance capabilities.
Xi Jinping: Promote Regional Economic Planning that Features Complementary Strengths and High-Quality Development
8.26 Xi Jinping presided over the fifth meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission since its establishment in 2018. The meeting was called to study issues regarding “promoting regional economic planning that features complementary strengths and high-quality development [and] upgrading basic industrial capabilities and value chains,” and focused on discussing ways to coordinate economic development across China’s many regions.
Xi called for China to “create national goods and factor markets that are unified, open, competitive, let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation, [and] improve mechanisms for market integration and regional cooperation.” He particularly called on the Northeast region to “actively adjust its economic structure, promote diversified industrial development, accelerate reform of state-owned enterprises, create a new frontier for further opening-up, accelerate the transformation of the government’s role [in the economy], [and] enhance the entrepreneurial spirit…”
The meeting concluded that “it is necessary to build a strategic and global value chain” and to strengthen its resilience and innovation.
Han Zheng Presides Over Meeting of 4th National Economic Census Leading Group
8.29 Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正) presided over a meeting of the Fourth National Economic Census Leading Group. In a speech, Han praised the achievement of the leading group and government and party bodies at all levels in carrying out the economic “checkup” (体检), and stressed the importance of reliable data for statistical work, saying the recent survey has “taken a big step” in data authenticity. He also said survey work should strive for openness and transparency, making the data as accessible as possible, and that it should be deeply explored, systematically analyzed and utilized to provide fundamental statistical support for the drafting of the fourteenth Five-Year Plan.
The census collected data up to the cut-off date of December 31, 2018 and surveyed all legal persons and business entities involved in secondary and tertiary industries.
Xi Jinping Presides over Politburo Meetings, Decides to Convene Fourth Plenum of 19th Central Committee
8.30 Xi Jinping presided over a Politburo meeting devoted to reporting to the Central Committee, research on adhering to and improving the socialism with Chinese characteristics system, and major issues relating to pushing forward the national governance system and governance capabilities modernization. The meeting reviewed the “CCP Intra-Party Regulations Formulation Rules,” “CCP Intra-Party Regulations and Standards Document Filing and Review Rules” and “CCP Intra-Party Regulations Implementation Responsibility System Rules (Trial).” It also decided to convene the Fourth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee in October 2019.
After emphasizing that “the socialism with Chinese characteristics and national governance systems are rooted in China’s soil,” the meeting declared that “strengthening intra-Party regulation system building must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era as a guide, adhere to the correct political orientation, adhere to fundamental compliance with the Party Constitution, adhere to implementing democratic centralism, adhere to serving the general situation of Party and national work, adhere to systematic advancement, and adhere to the organic integration of ruling the country according to the law and ruling the Party in accordance with regulations.”
Continuing Zhong Sheng Series: “Currency Manipulation” Charges Are a Smear
8.24 People’s Daily published the eighth and final article in its Zhong Sheng (钟声) series on “the Absurdity in Some Americans’ Untruthful Remarks,” which the paper published to refute White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s “Seven Deadly Sins” of China. The article called US claims that China manipulated its currency “mud-slinging,” saying the accusation has been condemned by international public opinion. It cited a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, the Group of Seven (G7), former US Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers, and other experts and organizations to refute the allegation, and asserted that China has “a managed floating exchange rate system based on market supply and demand, with reference to a basket of currencies; the RMB exchange rate is determined by market supply and demand, and there is no ‘currency manipulation’ problem.” The article also said that “some Americans’” “politicization of economics” and “weaponization of exchange rates” threatens the world economy, and that the US has a long history of labelling other countries “currency manipulators” in pursuit of US interests.
Wu Yuehe: The Third Round of Countermeasures Is A Promise Kept People’s Daily
8.24 People’s Daily published an article under the pseudonymous Wu Yuehe (五月荷) byline, which is being used to address the US-China trade conflict, to defend China’s recent tariffs on $75 billion of imported American goods and on American-made cars and components, saying that this “third round of countermeasures is a promise kept (说到做到).” It accused “some Americans” of unscrupulously sacrificing the American people’s interests and their country’s international image to “unreasonably and without restraint brandish the big stick of tariffs,” turning a deaf ear to “wave after wave” of domestic criticism, using “amnesia” to avoid fulfilling official promises, piling on lies to respond to criticism, and using delusions to maintain the appearance of “winning.”
Zhong Sheng: Do Not Misjudge China’s Determination and Ability to Resolutely Take Countermeasures
8.27 People’s Daily put out a Zhong Sheng article that argued that newly-announced US tariffs on Chinese goods showed that the US “misjudged the situation, and especially seriously misjudged China’s willpower and capability to take resolute countermeasures.” It said that China maintains a “reasonable and restrained attitude” in the face of “extreme pressure” from the US, resolutely protects its core interests, and “absolutely does not yield” on important matters of principle, and that “anyone vainly attempting to force China to accept unreasonable demands through extreme pressure cannot succeed.”
8.28 A People’s Daily Zhong Sheng article warned that US tariffs harm the world economy. It cited analysis from Morgan Stanley and the head of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) to argue that American “weaponization of tariffs” would depress the global economy, increase trade barriers around the world, reduce the overall volume of trade, and create a vicious competition that will drag down the global economy. It accused “some Americans” of “destroying multilateral trade regulations, threatening global value chain and supply chain security, inciting turmoil in international financial markets, [and] burdening international trade and global economic growth,” and said this opposition to economic globalization runs counter to principles of market competition and increases the risk of global recession.
Zhong Sheng: The United States’ Endless Escalation of Tariff Threats Harms Others and Harms Itself
8.29 A People’s Daily Zhong Sheng article criticized US tariffs once again, arguing that they will impact the US consumer market and urging American policymakers to listen to the American public’s “recurring protests and criticisms of wantonly levying tariffs.” It said that “the United States’ endless escalation of tariff threats is an entirely irrational behavior that violates basic rules of economics” and harms the interests of US businesses, and that ordinary American consumers will “ultimately pay the bill.” It cited an IMF report which found that almost all of the cost of a tariff increase will be assumed by US importers; a JPMorgan report which found that the newest tariffs could reduce average US family income by $1000 per year; and a finding from “The Trade Partnership” consulting firm that a 25% tariff on all Chinese exports to the US could cost 2.16 million US jobs. The article also cited articles from Foreign Policy and the Wall Street Journal warning of the possibility of a US recession if the US “decouples” from China or follows the policy advice of White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.
United Front Work
Standing Committee of the 13th CPPCC National Committee Holds 8th Plenary Session
8.27 The Standing Committee of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee held a plenary session for its 8th meeting in Beijing. CPPCC National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) attended, and 16 CPPCC National Committee Standing Committee members gave speeches on the theme of “Managing Education that Satisfies the People.”
The speakers presented suggestions on how to improve China’s education system, which included prioritizing “moral education” that “guides students to love the Party, love the country, love the people, and love socialism;” accelerating legislation to make preschool more accessible and affordable; improving the enrollment and testing systems and reducing the workload for primary and secondary school students; reducing class sizes; improving innovation capacity in higher education; prioritizing educational development in rural areas; using the Internet to share high-quality educational resources between urban and rural areas; promoting vocational training as a long-term development strategy for ethnic minority areas; innovating overseas Chinese-language education methods; strengthening “patriotic education” for Hong Kong’s young people, and other proposals.
International Liaison Work
8.27 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) met with a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) female Diet members delegation led by LDP Chief Deputy Secretary-General and former Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada.
8.27 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a Japanese ruling party female Diet members delegation led by LDP member in the House of Representatives Seiko Noda.
8.27 Song Tao and International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with Myanmar’s Minister of the State Counsellor’s Office Kyaw Tint Swe.
8.27 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with a German Junge Union Deutschlands (JU/Young Union of Germany) delegation led by JU Chairman Tilman Kuban.
8.27-8.28 On 27 August, Guo Yezhou met with an Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadre study group led by BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh.
On the following day, Song Tao and Guo Yezhou as well as Politburo member and Central Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) also met with the delegation.
8.26 Qiu Xiaoping (邱小平) was appointed vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.
8.26 Wang Tiemin (汪铁民) was appointed deputy secretary-general of the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
8.26 Shen Liang (沈亮) was appointed a member of the Supreme People’s Court Adjudicative Committee.
8.26 Meng Xiang (孟祥) was appointed a member of the Supreme People’s Court Adjudicative Committee.
8.26 Wang Fubo (王富博) was appointed vice president of the Supreme People’s Court Second Circuit Court.
8.26 Tian Hongjie (田宏杰) was appointed vice president and judge of the Supreme People’s Court Fourth Criminal Division.
8.26 Sheng Xuejun (盛学军) was appointed vice president and judge of the Supreme People’s Court Second Civil Division.
8.26 Qin Tianbao (秦天宝) was appointed vice president and judge of the Supreme People’s Court Environment Resources Division.
8.26 Yu Lingyun (余凌云) was appointed vice president and judge of the Supreme People’s Court Administrative Division.