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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Jake Eberts

Weekly Report 3|9 11.30.2019-12.6.2019


The Politburo met to discuss economic work for 2020 and improving the construction of “clean party politics” (see Senior Leaders section).

People’s Daily ran two series of commentator articles condemning the United States Congress for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the House of Representatives for passing the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, respectively (see Propaganda Work section).

The Central Military Commission (CMC) released opinions on strengthening its work with retired military cadres (see CMC section).


Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping: Maintain, Improve, and Develop the National Governance System and Legal System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

11.30 Quishi published a speech that Xi Jinping gave during a Politburo collective study session on 24 September. Xi made three points on the national governance system and legal system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

First, these systems were “formed through long-time practice and exploration and are great innovations in the history of human institutional civilization (人类制度文明史).” He reviewed the historical achievements of the Chinese nation since the end of the Opium Wars, including the founding of the CCP, the founding of the PRC, and the 18th Party Congress. He concluded that the CCP has combined Marxist principles with China’s “concrete reality” and established a new type of national system run by the people, and that it “contributed Chinese wisdom and approaches to mankind’s search for constructing a better social system.”

Second, he said the Chinese national governance and legal systems “are scientific systems proven by practice.” He said the systems advantages are in maintaining the Party's leadership, ensuring that people run the country, maintaining comprehensive law-based governance, and implementing democratic centralism. He said in today’s world of growing competition among countries and national systems, the Chinese system has “outstanding superiority and powerful vitality.”

Third, he emphasized maintaining, implementing, ceaselessly improving, and developing the national and legal systems. He stressed the need to consolidate established institutions while continuing to reinforce institutional innovation and accelerate the construction of urgently needed national governance institutions. He also called for strengthening implementation and supervision of the institutions, strengthening theoretical study of the national and legal systems of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and strengthening institutional propaganda and education.

CCP Politburo Convenes Meeting: Researches and Analyzes 2020 Economic Work; Researches Deployment of Work on Constructing Clean Party Politics and Opposing Corruption

12.6 The Politburo met to research and analyze economic policy for 2020 and to listen to a report on the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection’s (CCDI) work on “constructing clean politics and opposing corruption in 2020.”

According to the article, “the meeting stressed that 2020 is the final year for the plan to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society and the 13th Five Year Plan.” Accordingly, the meeting called for “taking Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era as a guide, comprehensively implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and the 19th Central Committee’s Second, Third, and Fourth Plenums, sticking closely to the mission targets of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, persevering in taking supply-side structural reform as the main theme, [and] persevering in taking reform and opening up as the motive force,” among related measures.

In the economic realm, the meeting emphasized holding course, as “in the present and upcoming period, the positive basic long-term trend of our economy being stable and improving hasn’t changed.” It also called for “being adept at transforming external pressure into deepening reform.”

On discipline inspection work, the meeting extolled the achievements of the CCDI “under the strong leadership of the Central Committee” and called for it to “deepen the implementation of the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and the 19th Central Committee’s Second, Third, and Fourth Plenums, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), resolutely [uphold] the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), achieve the ‘two defends’ (两个维护),’ and other measures to “offer a strong guarantee of realizing the first centenary goal.”


Propaganda Work

People’s Daily Commentator Series on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

People’s Daily

11.29-12.5 People’s Daily published a seven-part series of commentator articles condemning the United States for signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (HKHRDA) into law on 27 November.

The first article accused the US of “nakedly hegemonic conduct” as the HKHRDA “seriously interferes in Hong Kong’s affairs, seriously meddles in China’s internal affairs, and seriously violates international law and the basic norms of international relations.” It warned the US that “no threat can intimidate the Chinese people, and any conspiracy to meddle in China’s internal affairs is bound to fail.”

The second article described the HKHRDA as “a law full of prejudice and arrogance, intimidation and threats” that had “fully exposed the bandit features and hegemonic essence of the US.” It warned that “If the US is still infatuated with outdated Cold War thinking and despotic conduct and willfully uses raw power in Hong Kong-related matters, China will certainly impose firm countermeasures.”

The third article claimed that the HKHRDA’s “aims are completely unrelated to ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ and its actual effects will run counter to these goals.” It detailed alleged instances of US of double standards and hypocrisy regarding human rights and democracy before arguing that the “fundamental aims” of the law are “wrecking Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, wrecking the great practice of ‘One Country, Two Systems,’ and wrecking the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

The fourth article asserted that “some US politicians” are using the HKHRDA to “mislead” the public with “prevarication and deliberate falsehoods” and “give a morale boost to forces who oppose China and bring chaos to Hong Kong.” It claimed that such actions “only will arouse the great indignation of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, and expose the ugly face of [the US’] hypocrisy, selfishness, power, and despotism to the world.”

The fifth article argued that the HKHRDA is part of a “sinister conspiracy to use Hong Kong as an anti-China tool.” It warned the US that “Any plot attempting to mess up Hong Kong in order to impede China’s development will fail, and any action attempting to obstruct the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is doomed to be like a mantis trying to stop a chariot (螳臂当车).”

The sixth article stressed that “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s fate has always been closely linked with the motherland, and the central government and 1.4 billion Chinese people will always be the Hong Kong’s strong supporters in overcoming all risks and challenges” despite the HKHRDA. It contrasted China with “some US politicians,” claiming that the latter “is harming others without benefiting themselves,” “does not at all hope that Hong Kong restores order,” and “does not genuinely give thought to ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy.’”

The seventh article cited the HKHRDA as evidence that the US is “the biggest black hand (黑手) messing up Hong Kong.” It further argued that “some US politicians” are “futilely attempting to manufacture chaos in Hong Kong to impede China’s development process” as they are “anxious” about China’s recent success, “suffer from selective blindness and delusions of victimization,” and “wallow in the so-called ‘China threat’ [theory].”

People’s Daily Promotes the “Spirit of the Constitution”

People’s Daily

12.4-12.5 People’s Daily published several articles on the occasion of National Constitution Week. On Wednesday, an article marked “authorized released” (权威发布) detailed the State Council Information Office (SCIO) press conference introducing the week’s Constitution-related activities and other work intended to raise awareness of the law and law-based governance. This year’s theme is “enhance the constitutional spirit and advance the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity,” and programs aim to integrate the constitutional spirit into people’s daily lives.

On the same day, People’s Daily published a commentator article entitled “Let the Constitution Enter Deeper Into People’s Hearts.” It called on the Party to carry out propaganda and education campaigns to honor, study, comply with, defend, and utilize the Constitution, and make all of the people into “faithful followers, conscious compilers, and resolute defenders of socialist rule of law.”

The next day, People’s Daily released Politburo member and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen (王晨)’s speech at a conference on “Enhancing the Spirit of the Constitution.” Wang emphasized that “thoroughly implementing the Constitution has major significance for advancing the modernization of national governance system and governance capacity, and advocating for the spirit of the Constitution is an internal requirement for raising the institutional self-confidence of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Leading Group for the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Education Campaign Publishes Notice on the Regulation of Excessive “Scenic Highlight Projects” and Other “Face Projects” and “Track Record Projects”

12.3 People’s Daily published a front-page piece about a notice sent by the Leading Group for “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” Education Campaign admonishing some local authorities for pursuing unnecessary construction projects for their own reputation and benefit, as opposed to that of the people they serve, and stressed that such actions are intolerable.

According to People’s Daily, “the notice stated that in recent years, there have been discoveries of the construction of impractical, unchecked scenic highlight installations [i.e. related to beautification only], along with ‘face projects’ and ‘track record projects’ that waste manpower and resources in a number of places, particularly in poorer and less-developed towns and cities. This not only leads to waste of national finances and social resources, but also abets the malignant practices of fraud and exorbitant waste.” The notice urged party leadership at all levels to strengthen their oversight such that projects can be examined and assessed more thoroughly.

Zhong Zuwen: Strive to Forge Strong Leadership Groups to Faithfully Put Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into Practice

12.5 People’s Daily published a commentary under the Zhong Zuwen (仲祖文) byline, which is used to convey the views of the Central Organization Department, to summarize the “Outline of the 2019-2023 National Party and Government Leadership Body Construction Plan,” a document recently published by the Central Committee General Office.

After defining the leadership group as a “‘command department’ and ‘combat department’ that implements the central authorities’ strategic decisions and deployments and promotes all kinds of tasks in one region and one unit,” the article called for the construction of leadership groups on the basis of such concepts as Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, the “two defends,” the “four consciousnesses,” the “four confidences,” and the “four comprehensives.” The article explains that in the face of massive challenges and changes, “it is necessary to focus on promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities, insist on and strengthen the Party’s comprehensive leadership, insist on the total and strict rule of the Party, and amass great strength to push [the agenda] forward.”

People’s Daily Commentator Series on Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019

People’s Daily

12.5-12.6 People’s Daily published two commentator articles on the US House of Representatives passing the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 on 3 December.

The first article said that the bill deliberately slandered Xinjiang’s human rights situation, discredited China’s efforts in de-radicalization and counterterrorism, meddled in China’s domestic affairs and trampled on international law and the basic norms of international relations. It said the Xinjiang related issues are “not about human rights, ethnicity, or religion, but about anti-terrorism and anti-separatism”, and China has been effectively implementing preventive measures based on the law and public opinion. It also said China is getting international support for its Xinjiang policy.

The second article argued that “the right to live and to develop are the most fundamental human rights,” and terrorism and religious extremism are “a major malignant tumor” of mankind. It criticized Congress for ignoring China’s efforts to protect human rights against terrorism and extremism, and ignoring the “great situation” of Xinjiang’s economic development, social stability, ethnic unity, and religious harmony. It said the US has been playing with double standards on matters of anti-terrorism to maintain its hegemony.


United Front Work

Firmly Cast the Collective Consciousness of the Chinese Nation—Studying the Implementation of the Spirit of Xi Jinping’s Speech at the National Meeting Honoring National Role Models for Ethnic Unity and Progress

12.1 State Ethnic Affairs Commission Director and United Front Department Deputy Head Bagatur (巴特尔), published an article in Qiushi about Xi Jinping’s speech in late September at a national meeting that honored national role models for ethnic unity and progress in Beijing. The article largely rehashed the main talking points of the speech and made reference to the importance of keeping to the “Nine Persists” (九个坚持) contained therein, which are separate from the “Nine Persists” Xi made in a 10 September 2018 speech at the National Education Conference. These succinct Nine Persists are: “Persist in accurately grasping China’s basis as a unified, multiethnic country, and taking upholding the unification of the nation and ethnic solidarity as the highest interest of all ethnic groups”; “Persist in the Sinicization of Marxist nationality [ethnicity] theory and continuing to take the correct route of solving ethnic minority issues with Chinese characteristics”; “Persist in and perfect the autonomous governance system of ethnic regions, achieving the integration of unity and autonomy, and ethnic and regional elements”; “Persist in promoting contact, exchange, and blending among all ethnic groups, continuously casting firm the collective conscious of the Chinese nation”; “Persist in accelerating the development of ethnic minorities and ethnic minority regions, and continuously fulfill the hopes of every ethnic group for a beautiful life”; “Persist in [seeing that] cultural identity is the deepest form of identity, and construct a collective spiritual home of the Chinese nation”; “Persist in the equality of all ethnic groups before the law, and using the law in guaranteeing ethnic solidarity”; “Persist in development of traditions and creativity in this development so that the Party’s ethnic policy is both consistent and timely”; and, “Persist in strengthening the leadership of the Party in ethnic work, continuously improving the system and mechanisms for the promotion for the development of ethnic unity and solidarity.”

United Front Work Department and Cyberspace Administration of China Convene Meeting on United Front Work for Online Figures; You Quan Attends and Gives Speech

11.28 The United Front Work Department (UFWD) and Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) hosted a meeting on the importance of united front work for online figures (people with a substantial online presence), the first ever such joint meeting. The meeting was held to discuss the challenges arising from a rapidly evolving Internet that can influence netizens’ views of the nation, society, work, and their lives. UFWD Head You Quan (尤权) offered remarks at the meeting on the importance of “continuously enhancing ideological recognition” by online figures, ensuring a timely understanding of their own ideological status and interests.

Wang Yang Presides over the 30th CPPCC National Committee Chairman Meeting

12.3 Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the 30th CPPCC Chairmen’s Meeting. During a speech, Wang assessed that, this year, the CPPCC office and each special commission “adhered to holding Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics as a guide, earnestly studied and implemented the spirit of the 19th Central Committee’s Fourth Plenum and the CPPCC work conference, strived to make efforts in reinforcing and improving its work, and made positive achievements.” The body decided to hold a CPPCC special committee work conference in Beijing on 16 December.

Conference Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Implementation of the Macao Special Administrative Region Basic Law Held in Beijing

12.3 A conference marking the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Macao Special Administrative Region Basic Law was held in Beijing. Politburo Standing Committee member and National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Chairman Li Zhanshu (栗战书) delivered a speech. He emphasized “maintaining and improving ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and promoting the successful practices of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ with Macao characteristics based on the Constitution and the Macao Basic Law.” He expressed four hopes for comprehensively and effectively implementing the Basic Law, namely (1) governing strictly in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law; (2) exercising the central government’s comprehensive governing right over Macao and Macao’s high-level autonomy in accordance with the law; (3) continuing to establish institutions and mechanisms that protect national security; (4) enhancing propaganda on the constitution and the Basic Law and promote the spirit of the rule of law.


Party Discipline

CCDI and NSC Announce Achievements in Breaking the “Protective Umbrella”

12.5 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC), together with the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, announced their progress in advancing the mission of “breaking umbrellas and cutting webs” (打伞破网), which aims at combating “protective umbrellas” (usually used to refer to local governments protecting criminal activity) for criminal activity such as gambling and drug dealing.

The announcement reported progress in four main areas: (1) promoting in-depth development of the battle against criminal activities; (2) improving implementation with a strict accountability system; (3) establishing supporting working mechanisms; (4) seeking reform on a larger scale in order to treat root causes. The announcement assessed that “the people’s senses of gain, happiness, and security have clearly increased, the environment for economic development has further optimized, the strict governance of the Party has further extended to the grassroots, and the Party’s ruling base has been further consolidated.”


Central Military Commission

CMC Publishes “Opinion on Strengthening Work on Retired Military Cadres in a New Era”

12.3 The Central Military Commission (CMC) recently released a document on work pertaining to retired military cadres. After extolling the virtues of retired military cadres (“retired military cadres make important contributions to the cause of Party-led revolution, construction, and reform, [and] are precious treasures of the Party, nation, and military”), the document stated that work relating to retired military cadres should “take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide, comprehensively carry out the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, deepen the implementation of Xi Jinping’s Strong-Military Thought, highlight veneration and special treatment, serve war preparedness and warfighting,” and strive to improve services and systems for retired cadres. The document also called for those working in veterans’ affairs to “upgrade the quality of service guarantees for retired cadres, explore innovative methods of ensuring service to retired cadres, develop health care of excellent quality and effectiveness, create a suitably livable living environment for the elderly,” and make lifestyle improvements for elders’ diets and travel ability.


International Liaison Work

12.2-12.3 On 2 December, International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) met with an American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) delegation.

The following day Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) also met with the AFPC delegation.

12.2 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the Tajik Ambassador to China Parviz Davlatzoda.

12.3 Song Tao and International Department Assistant Head Li Mingxiang (李明祥) met with a Nigerian All Progressives Congress (APC) delegation led by APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.

That same day Li also individually met with the APC delegation.

12.3 International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) met with an Iranian Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) study group led by EDC Deputy Secretary Mohsen Kazemeini.

12.3-12.5 At the invitation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Beijing Municipal Committee Standing Committee member Wang Ning (王宁) led a Spirit of the Fourth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee Foreign Propaganda Group to India. While there, the group met with the leaders of Indian political parties, including BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh.

12.4 Song Tao met with a Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) delegation led by CPRF Central Committee Chairman Gennaday Zyuganov. Following the meeting, Song and Zyuganov signed a 2019-2024 memorandum of cooperation.

That same day Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Secretary Zhao Leji (赵乐际) also met with the CPRF delegation.

12.4 Li Mingxiang met with a Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) high-level cadre study group led by FRELIMO Political Commission member Sérgio Pantie.

12.5 Zhu Rui met with a Moroccan National Rally of Independents (NRI) cadre study group led by NRI Executive Board member and former Minister of Justice Mohamed Aujjar.


Organization Work

12.2 Liu Guoyue (刘国跃) was appointed general manager of China Energy Investment Corporation (China Energy).

12.2 Zheng Xuexuan (郑学选) was appointed general manager of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd.

12.3 Liu Zhenfang (刘振芳) was appointed head of the National Railway Administration.

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