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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Jake Eberts

Weekly Report 3|8 11.16.2019-11.22.2019


People’s Daily published a commentator series on the Hong Kong protests. While the commentaries condemned the violence of Hong Kong protesters, the overarching concern of the commentator series was the perceived interference of foreign countries in China’s internal affairs (see Propaganda Work section).

The Central Military Commission published an “Opinion on Strengthening Military’s Political Construction of the Party” (see CMC section).

The International Department held several major events this week, including dialogues with political parties representatives from the United States, and Central and Eastern Europe, respectively (see International Liaison Work section).


Propaganda Work

PD Commentator Series on Hong Kong

People’s Daily

11.16-22 Beginning on 16 November, People’s Daily carried nearly daily commentator pieces condemning the Hong Kong protests and foreign interference in China’s internal affairs.

The first commentary, “The Most Urgent Task at Present is to Stop Violence, Control Chaos, and Restore Order,” took its title directly from a line of Xi Jinping’s 14 November statement on Hong Kong. It maintained that “the actions of [these] violent criminals in Hong Kong have far exceeded the bottom lines of ‘peaceful assembly,’ ‘freedom of speech,’ civilization, and humane morality.” It went on: “Extremist, violent activity is absolutely intolerable and cannot be indulged in any society. Stopping the violence, controlling the chaos, and restoring order is the shared responsibility of Hong Kong’s executive, legislative, and judicial bodies.” Finally, the article ended with a warning that any interference in Hong Kong’s affairs and the internal affairs of China will be “countered.”

The second commentary, from 17 November, was titled “The Central Government Firmly Supports Hong Kong in Stopping Violence, Controlling Chaos, and Restoring Order,” and opened by again reiterating that Xi Jinping, while visiting Brazil for the BRICS summit, “provided clear guidance for Hong Kong to stop violence, control chaos, and restore order.” The article portrayed the issue as critical for the preservation of the “One Country, Two Systems” system and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability in general. After reiterating its support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government led by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong police, the article closed by stating: “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s destiny has always been closely connected with the motherland; the central government and the 1.4 billion-person Chinese nation will always be the strongest backing for Hong Kong to defeat whatever risks and challenges [it faces]. The central government will continue to support the Chief Executive leading the HKSAR government to govern in accordance with the law.”

The following day, 18 November, another commentator article appeared, entitled “Absolutely Do Not Permit Anyone to Challenge the Bottom Line of the Principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’” Again, it reminded readers of Xi Jinping’s guidance on the Hong Kong issue from the previous week, summarizing the position as such: “We absolutely cannot tolerate any actions that challenge the bottom line of the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’ We must resolutely punish in accordance with the law any unlawful, criminal activity that openly challenges the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ bottom line.”

Continuing on 19 November, a commentator article titled “Foreign Forces’ Attempts to Interfere in Hong Kong Affairs Are Doomed to Fail” appeared. As the title implies, this article focused primarily on warning against any form of foreign intervention in Hong Kong. Addressing these unnamed foreign elements, the article advised: “The Chinese people have never been scared of or intimidated by evil forces. Hong Kong is not a place where you can do whatever you please.”

After a one-day hiatus, on 21 November, the article “The Bill Interfering in China’s Internal Affairs is but Wastepaper” was published in response to the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (HKHRDA), which was passed by the US Senate on 19 November. Whereas previous articles featured more generalized warnings against foreign interference, this one explicitly named America. The article stated that the Act “openly inflates and encouraged bandits, using a domestic American law to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and the internal affairs of China, recklessly trampling on international law and the basic norms of international relations.” The article further warned that “The Chinese government absolutely does not permit external forces to do as they please on the issue of Hong Kong, and no country should count on [the idea that] China will simply swallow the bitter fruit that harms national sovereignty, security, and developmental interests.”

People’s Daily published another commentator article the next day titled “American Double Standards are the Logic of Hegemony Through and Through,” criticizing the HKHRDA. It denounced the bill for “deliberately distorting the truth and confusing right and wrong” and suggested it should be renamed as the “Support Hong Kong Violence Act.” It said the long history of American double standards came to light through the Hong Kong issue, with the “labeling violent criminals ‘warriors of democracy.’” According to the article, some US politicians are merely interested in “messing up Hong Kong and impeding China’s development at the expense of Hong Kong.” It emphasized that Hong Kong’s future “must and can only be determined by the hand of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots,” and warned that “the double standards of some US politicians... will be disdained by the people of the world.”

Zhong Sheng : Ceaseless Clamoring Cannot Deceive the World

11.17 People’s Daily used its Zhong Sheng (钟声) column, which transmits the opinions of the People’s Daily on matters of international affairs, to criticize US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying that he has recently enjoyed “provoking and discrediting China with unceasing lies.” The article castigated his recent speeches for “disseminating lies.” It wrote, “the world can further see clearly how the Cold War and zero-sum game mentalities are a source of evil” through Pompeo and people like him. It claimed that “various kinds of ‘China threat theories’ have already collapsed in the face of facts,” and the facts have “already proved that the path of development China chose is absolutely correct.” It added, “it is well recognized by the world that China will never sacrifice other countries’ interests to develop itself,” and “any campaign of Pompeo’s to undermine the friendly and cooperative relationships between China and its global partners will only hit a wall.” The article emphasized that the US-China relationship is not a zero-sum game and that the two countries should “respect each other and seek common ground while holding back differences.” It urged Pompeo to “abandon [his] ideological prejudice and old-fashioned Cold War mentality, stop chattering and harping on anti-China rhetoric, do things that fit his role as the Secretary of State, and not walk further down the wrong path of damaging mutual trust and poisoning the bilateral relationship.”

Wen Yan: Unswervingly Maintain and Reinforce the Party’s Leadership over All Work

11.22 People’s Daily published an article under Wen Yan (闻言), a pen name used by the Central Committee Party Literature Research Office, to promote a recently-published compilation of Xi Jinping’s important statements on “maintaining the Party’s leadership over all work.” According to the article “the leadership of the CCP is the most fundamental characteristic of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The article discussed the importance of upholding Xi’s status as “the core of the Central Committee and the whole Party” in order to maintain and reinforce the Party’s comprehensive leadership.

The article also discussed “upholding and improving the party’s leadership system and enhancing the party’s scientific, democratic, and law-based governance.” It especially emphasized establishing and improving systems that (1) remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind (2) firmly safeguard the Central Committee’s authority and centralized and unified leadership (3) construct the Party’s comprehensive leadership (4) serve and depend on the people (5) improve the party’s governance capabilities and leadership (6) promote comprehensively strict governance of the Party.


Party Discipline

CCDI Standing Committee Convenes Meeting, Holds Collective Study Session on “Deeply Studying and Implementing the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Fourth Plenum, Pushing Forward the High-Quality Development of Discipline Inspection and Supervision Work in the New Era”

11.19 The CCDI Standing Committee held a meeting and collective study session on the theme of “Deeply Studying and Implementing the Spirit of the 19th Party Congress Fourth Plenum, Pushing Forward the High-Quality Development of Discipline Inspection and Supervision Work in the New Era.” CCDI Secretary and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhao Leji (赵乐际) presided. The meeting pointed out that the Fourth Plenum issued top-level plans to put supervision and anti-corruption work into country’s institutions and governance system, put out implementation arrangements to upgrade the party and state supervision system to “an important system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics” and “an important task for the modernization of the governance system and governing capacity.” It stressed that discipline inspection and supervision organs should “closely center on the major political questions of ‘adhere to and consolidate what, improve and develop what,’ and strive to give play to the role of discipline inspection in safeguarding the implementation and promotion of improvement and development.”


Central Military Commission

CMC Publishes “Opinion on Strengthening Military’s Political Construction of the Party”

11.17 With the approval of Xi Jinping, the Central Military Commission (CMC) released an opinion on strengthening the Party’s political construction within the military. The opinion called for those involved to “deeply study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era, firmly consolidate the guiding role of Xi Jinping’s strong military ideology in the construction of national defense and the military, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), resolutely [uphold] the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), carry out the ‘two defends’ (两个维护), [and] implement the CMC Chairman responsibility system (军委主席负责制).” The report emphasized supervisory functions and “impelling Party management and Party governance to move from lenient and flexible to strict and hard.”

PLA Daily Commentator Series on Studying and Implementing the Spirit of 19th Central Committee’s Fourth Plenum, Upholding and Improving System for Party’s Absolute Leadership over PLA

PLA Daily

11.19-21 PLA Daily published a series of commentator articles on studying and implementing the spirit of the CCP 19th Central Committee’s Fourth Plenum. The first article emphasized that the highest leadership and command authority of the PLA belongs to the Party Central Committee and assessed that thoroughly implementing the CMC Chairman responsibility system is the primary task. It said that only by “adhering to the series of principles and institutions [that ensure] the Party’s absolute leadership over the military can the political and organizational advantages of the party be transformed into winning advantages.”

The second article emphasized a sound PLA party building system to advance the party’s absolute leadership over the PLA. It said that political army building is the “unique strength and lifeline of our party and our army” and called for strengthening party organization construction and cadre construction of PLA.

The third article stressed carrying out the party’s absolute leadership over every field and the entire process of military construction. The article explained, the scope of leadership should cover areas of military construction such as military activities, politics, logistics, and equipment, and includes political, ideological, and organizational leadership. It contended that all levels of the PLA should treat implementing this system in which the party has absolute leadership over the military as its primary responsibility.


International Liaison Work

Yang Xiaodu Meets Joint Delegation of Ruling Parties from Central and Eastern Europe

11.18 National Supervision Commission (NSC) Director Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) met with a joint delegation of ruling parties from Central and Eastern Europe. Yang explained the circumstances of the Central Committee’s Fourth Plenum to the delegation and expressed the CCP’s willingness to foster exchange and cooperation with the ruling parties in Central and Eastern Europe. The delegation expressed its willingness to promote the “Belt and Road” and advance “17+1” (the 17 Central and Eastern European countries and China) cooperation under the BRI framework.

11th US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue Held in Beijing

11.18 The 11th US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue was held in Beijing under the theme of “US-China Political Party and US-China Relations.” International Liaison Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. He expressed hope that political party dialogues can promote a long-lasting and stable US-China relationship. He called on political parties and politicians from both countries to “lead the US-China relationship to be in line with the trend of the times” and reinforce cooperation, integration, and exchange. The US delegation expressed that the political leaders of both countries should “promote mutually beneficial cooperation and properly handle differences” to advance the wellbeing of the people. The US delegation also expressed hope that “the US-China economic and trade frictions will end soon to avoid damaging the foundation of the long-term development of the US-China relations.”

US-China Entrepreneurs Roundtable Held in Beijing

11.19 The China Economic Contact Center (中国经济联络中心) and East-West Center jointly held the US-China Entrepreneurs Roundtable in Beijing. Over 70 people, including members of the US Democratic and Republican parties who planned to participate in the 11th US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue and representatives of the relevant Chinese central departments, local governments, think tanks, and enterprises, were in attendance.

International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) delivered the keynote address at the roundtable. In his speech, he stressed that “resolving the ‘trust deficit’ (信任赤字) is more urgent and important than resolving the ‘trade deficit’ (贸易赤字)” in China-US relations.

Wang Qishan and Yang Jiechi Meet US Delegation for US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue


11.20-21 On 20 November, Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) met the US delegation attending the 11th US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue. Wang emphasized that the US and China “should use a broader historical perspective... to further deepen understanding of the world, each other’s history, and current development, to promote healthy and rational development of the bilateral relations and the peace and stability of the world.” He expressed the hope that the dialogue will continue to contribute to this end. The US delegation expressed that the representatives of both the Democratic and Republican Parties are “willing to play an active role in keeping active communication and frank dialogue with China, jointly finding ways to properly resolve frictions and differences, and promoting the development of US-China relations.”

The following day Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) also met with Democratic and Republican delegations participating in the Dialogue. He expressed hope that “the two sides [will] use the political party dialogue platform well, promote mutual communication and understanding, and jointly push for China-US relations in which coordination, cooperation, and stability are the main themes.” He also explained “China’s principled position” on Hong Kong.

Briefing on the Spirit of the 19th Central Committee Fourth Plenum Held

11.20 The International Department hosted its “Briefing on the Major Outcome of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” for an audience of over 200 political party representatives from nearly 50 countries. The briefing included a video made especially for the purpose of explaining the background, details, and ultimate outcome of the Fourth Plenum so that the delegates might further understanding the Chinese socialist system and its unique strengths.

“The Story of the CCP—Implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Jiangxi” Briefing Held in Nanchang

International Department

11.21 The International Department and Provincial Party Committee of Jiangxi held an event entitled “The Story of the CCP—Implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Jiangxi,” which was attended by more than 300 representatives of over 50 political parties from over 60 different countries. In his opening address, International Department Head Song Tao stated the specific theme of the meeting as “Seeking Prosperity for the People: The Mission of Political Parties.” After lauding the successes of the CCP had on that front, Song concluded by saying that “the CCP is willing to explore establishing a new type of political party relationship with political parties from each country [based on] seeking common ground, mutual respect, mutual learning, [and] strengthening exchange of governing experience.” Following Song, the CCP Secretary of Jiangxi, Liu Qi (刘奇), gave remarks on the province’s success in reducing poverty in line with Xi Jinping thought. The International Department noted in particular the praise from the Laotian delegation for the success of the CCP, and that additional dialogues were held with representatives from Serbia, Egypt, Cyprus, and Cambodia on the theme of the conference.

11.18 The International Department held two events for Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) in Beijing.

International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) delivered a speech at the Promotion Symposium on China-CEEC Sub-national Cooperation. The symposium was attended by over 60 people from eight Chinese provinces and cities and various CEEC governing parties.

11.18 International Department Assistant Head Li Mingxiang (李明祥) met with a Ghanian delegation led by Presidential Office Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare.

11.19 International Department Head Song Tao and Deputy Head Wang Yajun met with a Mongolian delegation led by Democratic Party Chairman and Parliament of Mongolia member Erdene Sodnomzundui.

That same day, Wang Yajun and Politburo member and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen (王晨) also individually met with Erdene and the delegation.

11.19 International Department Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a cadre study group made up of members of the Jamaica Labour Party and Trinidad and Tobago’s People’s National Movement.

11.19 Qian Hongshan met with an African mainstream media study group led by the president of the Chad Press Agency.

11.19 Li Mingxiang met with a Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros (CRC) delegation led by a CRC leader.

11.19-11.22 On 19 November, Song Tao, International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐), and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiaodong (陈晓东) met with a Syrian delegation led by Syrian Regional Branch of the Ba’ath Party Assistant Regional Secretary Hilal al-Hilal.

On 22 November, Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) also met with Hilal.

11.22 Song Tao met with a Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) delegation led by LPRP Politburo member, Secretariat member, and LPRP Commission for Propaganda and Training Head Khamphanh Phommathath.

11.22 Li Jun met with a Christian Democrat Organization of America (ODCA) delegation led by ODCA President Juan Carlos Latorre.


Organization Work

Chen Xi: Improving the Party’s Comprehensive Leadership System

11.16 Central Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) penned an article discussing the consolidation of the Party’s leadership. Drawing on quotes from Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Deng, he argued that “insisting on the leadership of the proletarian political party is a basic principle of scientific socialism” and attributed the fall of the Soviet Union to the abrogation of that principle. The article focused on three key arguments throughout: first, that “improving the Party’s comprehensive leadership system is related to insisting on and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to promoting the basic direction and basic guarantee of the modernization of the national governance system and national governing capabilities;” second, that “in improving the Party’s comprehensive leadership system, it is necessary to implement the basic requirement that the Party’s leadership be comprehensive, systemic, and holistic;” and third, that “in improving the Party’s comprehensive leadership system, it is necessary to improve high-level authorities’ effective implementation mechanisms.” Chen Xi supplemented his arguments throughout with quotes from Xi Jinping and references to the “Decisions” document of the Fourth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee.

11.20 Lu Jin (卢进) was appointed chairman of China National Gold Group Corporation and secretary of its Party committee.

11.20 Zhao Lingyun (赵凌云) was appointed secretary of Central China Normal University’s Party Committee.

11.20 Hao Fanghua (郝芳华) was appointed president of Central China Normal University.

11.22 Tao Zhiguo (陶治国) was appointed head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervision Commission’s discipline inspection and supervision group at the General Administration of Customs.

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