Xi Jinping celebrated the 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to China in Macau this week (see Senior Leaders section).
Party media publicized last week’s Central Economic Work Conference, emphasizing stability and that nothing has changed China’s development plans (see Propaganda Work section).
Wang Qishan Meets With Former Foreign Government Dignitaries and Envoys Stationed in China at Reception for 70th Anniversary of Founding of CPIFA
12.16 PRC Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) met with former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio and other prominent foreign guests at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA). In his remarks, he said:
“China’s development is inevitably linked to a favorable international environment; China’s development is also beneficial to the world. The Chinese government has consistently highly valued non-governmental diplomatic activities... We must continuously deepen understanding between the people of China and the people of the world, and to spur communications, dialogue, and cooperation on all sides to increase positive energy for global peace, stability, and prosperity. You are old friends of the Chinese people; [we] hope that in the future, you will continue to make contributions to promoting friendly and good relations between China and [your] respective countries.”
After Wang’s remarks, Hatoyama Yukio and others reportedly congratulated the CPIFA on the 70th anniversary of its founding and stated that in the future, they would continue to make ever-greater contributions to promoting the development of bilateral relations and friendship among the people.
China’s First Domestically Produced Aircraft Carrier Delivered to the Navy; Xi Jinping Attends Commissioning Ceremony
12.17 The newly minted aircraft carrier Shandong (山东舰) was formally inducted into service at a ceremony attended by Xi Jinping on 17 December at an unnamed naval base in Sanya, Hainan. Xi “affirmed the results achieved by [China’s] carrier building, and encouraged [the personnel] to persist in their efforts, and make new contributions for the people and Party.” The ceremony was presided over by the Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia (张又侠), and attended by Politburo member and Director of the CCP Central Committee General Office Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), Vice Premier Liu He (刘鹤), National Development and Reform Commission Director He Lifeng (何立峰), and CMC member Li Zuocheng (李作成).
Xi Jinping Arrives in Macau; Attends Ceremonies Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Macanese Return to China and the Inauguration of the 5th Macau SAR Government and Giving Inspection; Macau SAR Chief Executive Fernando Chui Greets Him at Airport
12.19 On 19 December, Xinhua reported on the arrival of Xi Jinping in Macau the previous day in preparation for the anniversary celebration of the territory’s return to China on 20 December. In a speech on the airport tarmac shortly after disembarking, Xi praised the development of Macau over the last 20 years, and “[how] the special qualities and experience of Macau’s serious implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy deserves review.” Also present on the trip were CCP Central Committee General Office Director Ding Xuexiang, NPC Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen (王晨), CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia, and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Vice Chairman Ma Biao (马飚), all of whom but for the latter are Politburo members. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) arrived in advance of them all.
Xi Jinping Delivers Speech at Macau SAR Government’s Welcome Reception
12.19 Xi Jinping attended a welcome dinner of the Macau SAR regional government to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macau’s to China. In a speech, Xi congratulated Macau on the anniversary and pointed out that the 20 years since the return of Macau to China have been the period of fastest economic development and greatest improvement in living standards in Macau’s history. He said that these “historic accomplishments and changes obtained in Macau’s economic and societal development” were aided by “the complete implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy,” “the central government and mainland’s vigorous support,” and “the SAR government’s active role and the united struggle of all walks of life of Macau society.” He specifically identified five factors that contributed to Macau’s success:
“Loving the country and Macau (爱国爱奥) have become the whole society’s core values. The SAR government and people from all walks of life in society deeply understand that Macau's prospects and destiny are closely linked to the motherland, and upholding a strong national concept and patriotic feeling will merge patriotism and love for Macau together. After returning to the motherland, the vast number of Macau compatriots treasure core values like democracy, rule of law, human rights, and freedom.”
“The authority of the Constitution and the Basic Law are firmly established. The SAR government and people from all walks of life in society deeply understand that the Constitution and Basic Law together form the basis of the SAR constitutional system.”
“The executive leadership system operates smoothly.” The people and government of Macau understand that “executive leadership is an important principle of the SAR political system designed by the Basic Law, and reflects the fundamental requirement that the Chief Executive is accountable to the central government representing the whole SAR.”
“Actively taking the initiative to integrate with the country’s overall development situation.” Macau understands that “the great motherland is the staunch support for Macau’s development, [and] closely grasps the great opportunity of implementing national strategies like jointly building the ‘Belt and Road’ and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.”
“Tolerance and harmony strengthen social cohesion.” Macau understands that “‘if the family lives in harmony all affairs will prosper’ and amiability leads to harmony.” It “speaks of unity, values consultation, does not argue, does not have internal friction, and consciously resists all kinds of outside interference.”
Xi Jinping’s Speech at Meeting Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Macau’s Return to the Motherland and Inauguration of 5th Macau SAR Government
12.20 Xi gave a speech at a ceremony celebrating Macau’s return to China and the inauguration of Macau’s 5th government. After thanking and congratulating Macau’s new chief executive and governing officials, Xi praised developments in Macau in the 20 years since its return to China and hailed its successful implementation of “one country, two systems.” He then identified three areas that have seen improvement in the last 20 years:
The system of governance: “Macau SAR resolutely upholds the center’s total governing authority and properly exercises its high degree of autonomy.” Xi congratulated Macau on its local legislations of Article 23 of the Basic Law and the National Anthem Law and praised it for establishing a committee to safeguard national security.
Economic development: “Regional real GDP per capita has substantially increased, vaulting to second place in the world,” emerging industries are flourishing, and Macau is making progress on its participation in building “Belt and Road” and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
Social stability and harmony: the period since Macau’s return to China has seen a reversal of its formerly turbulent situation, and “Macau has become one of the world’s safest cities”
Xi then identified four experiences that summarize Macau’s successful implementation of “one country, two systems”:
Always have firm self-confidence in “One Country, Two Systems”: “Vast numbers of Macanese compatriots in their hearts endorse ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and acknowledge that ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is Macau’s optimal system for maintaining its long-term prosperity and stability.” Macau’s government and society have upheld both national considerations of sovereignty, authority, and development and Macau’s own prosperity and stability.
Always accurately grasp the proper direction of “One Country, Two Systems”: “Vast numbers of Macanese compatriots deeply recognize that “One Country” is the prerequisite for and foundation of “Two Systems,” and the Macau SAR government upholds the center’s authority as well as its own autonomy.
Take up the mission of always strengthening “one country, two systems”: “Vast numbers of Macanese compatriots view issues from the standpoint of the whole country’s interests and Macau’s own fundamental interests.”
Always build a firm social and governing foundation for “One Country, Two Systems”: “Vast numbers of Macau compatriots have a tradition of patriotism, a strong sense of identification with the nation, and a sense of belonging and self-esteem; this is the most important reason for the successful implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ in Macau.”
Xi also expressed four hopes for Macau’s new government and its people:
To keep up with the times and progressively upgrade the standard for the SAR governance
To persist in breaking new ground for innovation, further push the economy to continue to develop healthily
To persist in being people-oriented, further safeguard and improve the people’s welfare
To persist in inclusiveness and mutual support, further stimulate social harmony and stability.
PD Commentator Series on Studying and Implementing the Spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference
12.14-12.18 People’s Daily published a five-part series of commentator articles on studying and implementing the spirit of last week’s Central Economic Work Conference.
The first article stressed that “stable, long-term growth is the basic trend of China’s economy,” that this trend “has not changed,” and that Xi Jinping’s important speech at the Central Economic Work Conference had “clearly shown the path that [our] efforts should follow.” It argued that “doing economic work well is extremely important” at present as “2020 is the final-stage year (收官之年) for the comprehensive establishment of a moderately prosperous society and ‘13th five-year’ plan.”
The second article called for “guaranteeing the satisfactory completion of the comprehensive establishment of a moderately prosperous society in 2020,” a goal that it described as “a crucial step for realizing the China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” It argued that the Central Economic Work Conference, by “put[ting] forward general requirements for economic work next year,” had provided such a guarantee but emphasized that “realizing next year’s expected goals will not at all be easy.”
The third article argued that “unswervingly implementing the new development concept and promoting high-quality development” both are necessary for “promoting economic and social development for a new era.” It also stressed that “Whether [we] persist in implementing the new development concept is an important yardstick for testing whether all levels of leading cadres have strengthened the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), enhanced the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), and achieved the ‘two defends’ (两个维护).”
The fourth article emphasized that “completing key tasks well is extremely important to doing next year’s economic work well.” It added that this will require “resolving questions of ‘how to view [the situation],’” such as “maintaining good momentum in economic and social development” to realize the two centenary goals, and “resolving questions of ‘how to act,’” such as “holding firm to the new development concept to promote development and concentrating attention on resolving all kinds of problems of imbalances and insufficiencies.”
The fifth article described “the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over economic work” as “a major advantage of the socialism with Chinese characteristics system” before asserting that the Central Economic Work Conference had “clearly demanded that all regions and departments transform [this] advantage into effective governance.” It stressed that “the fundamental reason” that China’s economy and society have experienced “sustained, healthy development” is that “we have adhered to the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, maintained strategic focus, persisted in making progress while ensuring stability, deepened reform and opening, and made full use of the initiative of both the central and local governments.”
QS Commentator Article: Basis Trend of Stability and Good Long-Term Momentum for Growth of the Chinese Economy Has Not Changed
12.14 Qiushi Journal issued a commentator article on the recent Central Economic Work Conference, praising it for “strengthening the whole party and country and each ethnic group’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and strategic focus” and “letting the world clearly see China’s resolve to vigorously push forward reform and development.” It stated that “Chinese economy has proven itself to be the source of force and anchor of stability for the global economy.”
The article first reviewed China’s economic performance in 2019, highlighting the progress made in waging the three tough battles, fighting against poverty, stabilizing employment, optimizing the economic structure, advancing development, improving people’s livelihood, effectively resolving and preventing risks and challenges, increasing people’s senses of gain, happiness and security, and comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society. In addition, it stressed the importance of understanding and implementing four points, namely holding supply-side structural reform as the main theme for macro-economic control, finding a dynamic equilibrium between economic goals, activating developmental potentials through reforms, and strictly guarding against systematic risks.
The article then moved on to reiterate the economic goals laid out by the Conference for 2020 and stressed that “realizing the goals of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and the ‘13th five-year’ plan is the priority of the whole party’s work for next year. It concluded that China “will most certainly overcome all kinds of risks and challenges and obtain new great victory” with “the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” “the scientific guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” and other advantages and resources of China.
PD Commentator: Retired Cadres Are an Important Force for Pushing Forward the Great Undertaking of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
12.17 People’s Daily published a commentator article on its front page about the importance of continued care for and inclusion of retired cadres in party work. On 16 December, Xi Jinping “cordially met with representatives of model retired officials and organizations, fully demonstrating the care the Central Party with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core has for the numerous retired cadres, giving them great encouragement, and naturally moving them to continue contributing their knowledge and power in completing the historical mission of the Party in the new era.” The article continued to explain the importance of the cadres as they “explored the establishment of and persevered in the perfection of the system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, [and of] modernizing the national governance system and capabilities,” which granted them invaluable accumulated experience.
Zhong Sheng: Global Climate Governance Is Still Advancing
12.17 People’s Daily put out a Zhong Sheng (钟声) article, which authoritatively conveys the paper’s views on foreign affairs, to discuss the aftermath of the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. The article noted that the meeting adopted more than 30 resolutions on the implementation of the Conference, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, but lamented that “due to the inability of all parties to reach a consensus, there is still uncertainty and complexity in the future of global climate governance.” It said the biggest obstacle to preventing the climate problem from worsening was lack of political will: “the discrepancy between the positions of developed countries and developing countries on issues like climate governance and sharing of responsibility is quite prominent; the issue of developed countries insufficiently supporting developing countries is more severe by the day.” It specifically criticized the US from withdrawing from the Paris Agreement while praising China’s accomplishments on climate change, noting a recently released report that China’s national carbon intensity decreased by 45.8% from 2005 to 2018, as well as Western media reporting that China is meeting or exceeding most of its Paris Agreement commitments. The article concluded that “the top priority is to continue holding high the banner of multilateralism, and continue implementing the Paris Agreement based on adhering to principles of fairness and common yet differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”
PD Editorial: Continue Writing New Chapters in the Successful Practice of “One Country, Two Systems”
12.20 People’s Daily put out an editorial commemorating the 20th anniversary of Macau returning to Chinese control. The editorial noted that since Macau’s return to China, the city has experienced rapid economic growth (achieving the highest real GDP per capita in Asia), improvement in the people’s quality of life, social stability and harmony. These successes, it said, “manifested the immense superiority and strong vitality of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’ [...] Practice has fully made clear, only when a broad national identity is formed in the entire society can it completely accurately implement Basic Law; only by earnestly defending national sovereignty, security and development interests can Macau’s long-term prosperity and stability be maintained; only by actively integrating with the country’s development situation can Macau move toward a more beautiful future.” The article went on to stress that both Macau and Hong Kong must adhere to both parts of “One Country, Two Systems” - maintaining the central government’s complete authority over the SARs while safeguarding the SARs’ high level of autonomy - without giving one part unequal emphasis.
The editorial was also printed in the People’s Daily Overseas Edition.
United Front Work
All-China Journalists Association Publishes Revised Code of Professional Ethics
All-China Journalists Association
12.15 The All-China Journalists Association published a revised Code of Professional Ethics for Chinese Journalists. The code consists of seven articles and 31 clauses.
The code’s articles call on journalists to: 1. “Wholeheartedly serve the people,” 2. “Persist in the correct guidance of public opinion,” 3. “Persist in the principle of truth in the news,” 4. “Carry forward outstanding conduct,” 5. “Persist in improving and innovating,” 6. “Abide by the law and discipline,” and 7. “Externally display a good image.”
The code’s clauses provide details on how the articles should be implemented. For example, the first article requires “persisting in arming [one’s] mind with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly studying, spreading, and implementing the Party’s lines, principles, and policies, [and] actively spreading the major decisions and plans of the CCP Central Committee,” among other measures. The seventh article, on the other hand, includes a call for “vividly explaining China’s path, theory, system, and culture and putting an emphasis on telling a good China story, CCP story, socialism with Chinese characteristics story, and Chinese people story to make the world better understand China.”
According to Xinhua, the Code of Professional Ethics for Chinese Journalists was first published in 1991 and previously revised in 1994, 1997, and 2009.
Wang Yang Convenes CPPCC National Committee’s 31st Chairman and Vice Chairperson’s Meeting, Decides 13th CPPCC Standing Committee Meeting to be Convened Late February
12.17 Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCCC) National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the 31st Chairman and Vice Chairperson’s Meeting to “convey and study the spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference, and to research and establish related work.” The meeting also entailed reports presented by the CPPCC National Committee’s Proposals Committee, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, the Learning and Cultural and Historical Data Committee. The meeting also passed a draft agenda and a schedule for the 13th CPPCC National Committee’s 10th Standing Committee Meeting, which will be held in Beijing from 28 to 29 February.
Symposium Celebrating 35th Anniversary of Whampoa Military Academy Alumni Association Opens in Beijing, You Quan Presides and Speaks
12.19 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) presided over a 35th anniversary symposium for the Whampoa Military Academy (Republic of China Military Academy) Alumni Association. In a speech, You expressed congratulations and thanked the association for its contributions to developing cross-Strait relations, containing “Taiwan independence,” and promoting reunification of the motherland. He called on the alumni association to adhere to Xi Jinping Thought, “thoroughly implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speech at the 40th anniversary of the publication of the ‘Letter to Taiwan Compatriots,’ thoroughly carry out the Party Central Committee’s strategic decisions on Taiwan work, fully give play to [its] special advantages, strive to reinforce its own construction, and bravely make new achievements for the reunification of the motherland and the rejuvenation of the nation.”
Eighth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the “UN Convention Against Corruption” Opens in Abu Dhabi
12.17 Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui (罗照辉) led a Chinese delegation to participate in the Eighth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption in Abu Dhabi. At the meeting, Luo Zhaohui said that since the 18th Party Congress, China has “continued to develop its sweeping battle against corruption, the effects [of which] are recognized throughout the world, and is displaying an important leadership role in the global anti-corruption endeavor.” He said that the Fourth Plenum of the 19th CCP Central Committee focused on the modernization of the national governance system and governing capacity, improved the supervision system, and constructed long-term mechanisms to push forward [government officials to] “not dare to be corrupt, be unable to be corrupt, and not want to be corrupt.” Over 1,300 representatives from the states parties and international organizations attended the conference.
International Liaison Work
12.16 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) and Deputy Head Li Jun (李军) met with a Colombian cadre study group led by Democratic Center Director Nubia Stella Martínez.
12.17 Song Tao, International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲), and Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) met with Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) General Chairman and Indonesian Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto. After the meeting, the two sides signed a memorandum of exchange and cooperation between the CCP and Gerindra.
12.17 Li Jun met with Chilean National Renewal leader and Senator Manuel José Ossandón.
12.18 Song Tao and Guo Yezhou met with Sri Lankan United National Party leader and Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya.
12.19 Song Tao and International Department Assistant Head Li Mingxiang (李明祥) met with South African African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule.
12.19 Zhu Rui met with the Turkish Ambassador to China Abdulkadir Emin Önen.
12.20 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with US Special Representative for North Korea Steve Biegun.
12.20 Guo Yezhou met with Singaporean Ambassador to China Lui Tuck Yew (吕德耀).
12.18 Ou Wenhan (欧文汉) was appointed assistant minister of the Ministry of Finance.
12.18 Ren Zhiwu (任志武) was appointed deputy head of the National Energy Administration.