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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl

Weekly Report 3|2 10.5.2019-10.11.2019

[Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Beijing]


People’s Daily issued its first commentator article on the Hong Kong protests in 5 weeks, expressing the central government’s support for the Hong Kong government’s 4 October decision to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact anti-mask regulation (see Propaganda Work section).


Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping Meets Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare

10.9 Xi Jinping met with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the ‎Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing following the establishment of “a formal diplomatic relationship based on the One China Principle” between the two countries. Xi Jinping expressed his hope for expanded cooperation and exchanges in diverse domains between China and the Solomon Islands.

Xi Jinping stated that the two countries should use the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity to “strengthen complementary development strategies, expand cooperation, enhance the living standards of the people of the Solomon Islands and their capacity for independent and sustainable development.” He also expressed willingness to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Solomon Islands on global challenges within multilateral frameworks, including the United Nations, in order to defend the common interests of developing countries.

Sogavare congratulated Xi on the 70th anniversary of the PRC and stated that the Solomon Islands “hopes to gain lessons from China’s successful development experience.” He praised China for its support for the development of the Pacific Islands and expressed hope of fostering cooperation with China in trade, investment, agriculture, fishery, and tourism.

Sun Chunlan and Chen Xi Attend Conference on Party Construction, Ideological and Political Work in Colleges and Universities

10.9 Politburo member and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) and Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) both attended a conference on party construction and ideological and political work on university and college campuses.

In a speech, Sun Chunlan stressed the role of universities in breeding “the constructors and successors of socialism.” She called on “incorporating Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into and textbooks and coursework” and “cultivating talent for the Party and the country.”

Chen Xi emphasized the importance of carrying out the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration and Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” education campaign and cultivating “useful talent that love the Party, country, and socialism” and “are committed to striving for socialism with Chinese characteristics for a lifetime.” He stressed the university’s responsibility to serve as a place for selecting university-level party leadership and as a “battling fort for the grassroots Party organizations at the university level.”

Xi Jinping Congratulates the 2019 China International Digital Economy Expo

10.11 Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2019 China International Digital Economy Expo held in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, under the theme “Digital Economy Leads High-Quality Development.”

Xi pointed out the growing importance of the digital economy in everyday life, social and economic development, the global governance system, and human civilization. He said China is “placing great emphasis on developing the digital economy” and “integrating the digital economy and real economy for high-quality economic development.” He expressed hope of increasing international cooperation on the digital economy “for the benefit of humanity.”


Propaganda Work

PD Commentator: Ban Masks, Stop the Violence, Control the Chaos

10.5 People’s Daily put out its first commentator article on the Hong Kong protests in 5 weeks, expressing the central government’s support for the Hong Kong government’s 4 October decision to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact anti-mask regulation.

The article said that the past three months of “violent activities” have clearly shown that the “disturbance that arose around the revision of the extradition law has already completely degenerated” and that certain street protests “are evolving in the direction of premeditated, planned, organized violent crime, and have already seriously threatened public safety.” It argued that an important reason for the violence was that the “bandits” covered their faces with masks, which it said is highly correlated with violence. Thus, the mask ban would “tear down the bandits’ ‘psychological umbrella’ and provide a powerful starting point for stopping violence, controlling the chaos, and restoring order.”

The article also noted international precedent for their mask ban, saying such laws have been implemented in “more than 10 US states,” various European countries, and Canada (where wearing a mask during a riot carries a maximum ten-year prison sentence). It claimed that the law would only affect the “minority that uses masks to violently throw Hong Kong into disorder,” and “will not impact the rights and freedoms that Hong Kong residents legally enjoy, including the freedom to assemble,” because legal demonstrations and normal petitions “need not be secretive.”

China’s Ambassadors Write Commentaries on the Future of Chinese Diplomacy

10.5-10.11 People’s Daily published a series of commentaries written by the Chinese ambassadors to various major countries, including the UK, South Africa, Egypt and India.

Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming (刘晓明): According to Liu, “the international community’s understanding of Chinese diplomacy is unceasingly deepening.” First, “the idea of Chinese diplomacy is deeply entering people’s hearts”: China’s construction of a “Community of Shared Future for Mankind,” a “new type of international relations,” and the Belt and Road Initiative has received high praise and widespread approval from the international community. Second, Liu assessed that the “scope of Chinese diplomacy is widening,” that China as a major country will “contribute Chinese power to world peace, contribute Chinese motivation to international economic development, contribute Chinese proposals to the improvement of global governance, and contribute Chinese wisdom to the path of human development. Third, Liu said “Chinese diplomacy’s strength of character is becoming more robust.” He said “China will absolutely not sacrifice other countries’ interests to develop itself, and will also absolutely not abandon its own legitimate rights and interests.” Lastly, Liu said that “the voice of Chinese diplomacy is getting louder and clearer.” He stressed that “Chinese diplomacy will increase its discourse power and influence, [and this] will solve the problem of [China] ‘being scolded’ [by other countries]”.

Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian (林松添): Lin focused on win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa. He said China and Africa have “all along defended the natural alliance of fairness and justice,” noting their anti-imperialist, anti-colonial struggles for independence and national liberation; Africa and China’s cooperation on development and anti-poverty projects; and African countries’ support for China’s core interests in issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and human rights. Lin explained that Xi Jinping’s “Ten Cooperation Plans” and “eight major initiatives” in the China-Africa relationship focus on resolving the “three developmental bottlenecks” of lack of infrastructure, lack of human resources and lack of capital, and coordinating the development strategies of African countries through the Belt and Road Initiative, to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang (廖力强): Liao called for a more “comprehensive, multilayered, and multidimensional” China-Egypt relationship. Liao said that the Sino-Egypt relationship under the leadership of Xi Jinping and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is “historic, comprehensive, strategic, exemplary, and leading,” that the two have been deepening and widening pragmatic cooperation in various domains. He wrote that “Egypt is willing to cooperate with China to vigorously promote the ‘eight major initiatives,’” looks forward to China’s growing constructive role in regional affairs, and wants to coordinate with China on many important issues of global governance.”

Zhong Sheng: Meddling in China’s Internal Affairs Is Doomed to Fail

10.10 People’s Daily published an article under the Zhong Sheng (钟声) byline, which authoritatively conveys the paper’s views on foreign affairs, to criticize the US decision on 7 October to blacklist 28 Chinese government agencies and companies over their alleged role in carrying out human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

The article said that this decision “seriously violates the basic norms of international relations, meddles in China’s internal affairs, and harms Chinese interests” and expressed China’s “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.” After insisting that Xinjiang matters are purely China’s domestic affairs and “the Chinese government and Chinese people have the most right to speak [about them],” it accused the US of using the “pretense” of human rights to “unilaterally impose sanctions” and to “smear and discredit China’s Xinjiang policies.” It claimed “the so-called human rights problems referred to by the US fundamentally do not exist in Xinjiang,” and insisted that China’s Xinjiang policies were both necessary and effective in countering terrorism and extremism, which it referred to as “the public enemies of human civilization.” It claimed these policies enjoyed widespread support from all ethnic groups within Xinjiang, noted that Xinjiang has not seen any terrorist attacks in three years, and alleged that “diplomatic envoys, journalists etc from all countries” who visited Xinjiang praised China’s “vocational and technical education and training organizations [that] help people remove the influence of extreme ideology.”

A similar Zhong Sheng article was published on 11 October, lambasting the US Department of Commerce for its “thoughtless remarks” on Xinjiang.

Zhong Xuanli: No Force Can Prevent Chinese People and the Chinese Nation from Moving Forward

10.10 People’s Daily published an article under the byline Zhong Xuanli (钟轩理), representing the Central Propaganda Department’s Bureau of Theory, analyzing why “no force can prevent the Chinese people and the Chinese nation from moving forward.”

1. Patriotism and National Spirit: The article quoted Xi Jinping as saying that “patriotism is a strong spiritual drive of the Chinese people and Chinese nation to protect [their] national independence and dignity.” People will not forget past struggles with foreign powers, the article said. “With the strong leadership of the CCP, with socialism’s political advantage of concentrating effort to achieve great things, with the spirit of a nation united as one, and with a solid material foundation of rapid development since the reform and opening up, no force can obstruct the status of our great motherland!”

2. China’s Strength in Facing Struggle: As the world’s largest developing country, “China is still and will, in the long term, remain in the primary stage of socialism.” Gross national income per capita, technological breakthrough in core technologies, imbalanced development, and instability and unpredictability of the external environment, are some of the challenges China is currently facing. However, the article said, “Chinese nationals have every reason to be confident.”

3. The People’s Support: Nothing can stop Chinese people and the Chinese nation from moving forward because it “has the public support.” “Our party is a political party that is from the people, rooted in the people, and serves the people.”

4. A Community of Shared Future for Mankind: China’s path of peaceful development “is in tune with the trends of history and the world.” China’s goal for development is “to earn dignity and security.” It added that “China... does not want to threaten, challenge, or replace anyone, not to mention to be a hegemon” on its way to development.

5. Self-reliance: “The unyielding Chinese nation will always hold its destiny in its own hands.” The “diligent and brave, and unremittingly striving Chinese people will have struggle as their unchanging motto.”


United Front Work

Mainland Youth Federation Members Launch Exchange Activities with Hong Kong Youth in Beijing

10.6 A delegation of Hong Kong youth groups, including the Hong Kong Army Cadets Association, Hong Kong Adventure Corps, Hong Kong Road Safety Patrol, Scout Association of Hong Kong, and the Association of Hong Kong Flag-guards, visited Beijing and participated in exchange activities with the All-China Youth Federation and other mainland organizations.

Participants visited the National Flag Honor Guard room, shared their growing-up experiences with Olympic athletes, and sang a patriotic song. The activities were jointly organized by the All-China Youth Federation Secretariat, the Beijing Youth Federation, and the Committee of Youth Activities in Hong Kong. The head of the All-China Youth Federation Secretariat said that in the future, the All-China Youth Federation would “continue supporting the education, work, and entrepreneurship of Hong Kong youth on the mainland, promote exchange activities between Hong Kong and mainland youth, and help Hong Kong youth enhance their national identity, understand national development, and integrate into mainland life.”


International Liaison Work

10.8 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with Social Democratic Party of Germany Interim Leader and Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer.

10.10 Qian Hongshan met with the second seminar of African political party cadres. The cadres were led by Rwandan Patriotic Front National Executive Committee member Francine Tumushime.

10.10-10.12 At the invitation of the Nur Otan Democratic People's Party, Politburo member, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Deputy Secretary, and National Supervision Commission (NSC) Director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) led a CCP delegation to Kazakhstan. While there, Yang met with Nur Otan First Deputy Chairman Bauyrzhan Baibek, held talks with Kazakh Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Chairman Alik Shpekbayev, and signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the NSC and ACA.

10.11 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with a South African Communist Party (SACP) high-level cadre study group led by SACP National Chairman Senzeni Zokwana.

10.11 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with a joint Mongolian and Cambodian non-governmental organization study group.


Organization Work

10.9 Yang Dan (杨丹) was appointed president of Beijing Foreign Studies University and deputy secretary of its party committee.

10.10 Gao Yu (高雨) was appointed deputy secretary-general of the State Council.

10.10 He Peilin (和培林) was appointed deputy head of the National Government Offices Administration.

10.10 Sun Da (孙达) was appointed deputy head of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

10.11 Zhu Tianshu (朱天舒) was appointed vice minister of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

10.11 Luo Yonggang (罗永纲) was appointed deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region.

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