Xi Jinping issued a New Year’s address in which he proclaimed that the CCP would achieve its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society during 2020 (see Senior Leaders section).
The Politburo Standing Committee met, as it now does annually, to hear work reports from the party groups of major state bodies (see Senior Leaders section).
Propaganda at the beginning of the year emphasized the first centenary goal and focused especially on progress that needs to be achieved toward eradicating poverty during 2020 (see Propaganda Work section).
The CCP appointed a new head of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (see Organization Work section).
Chairman Xi Jinping Issues 2020 New Year’s Greetings
1.1 On 1 January 2020, the front page of the People’s Daily featured the full text of Xi Jinping’s New Year speech to the nation. It highlighted several paragraphs in particular, emphasizing Xi’s proclamations that “in the year of 2019, China continued to open its arms wide to embrace the world, showcasing a civilized, open, and inclusive China; our friends cover the world over,” and that “2020 will be a year of milestone significance. We will finish comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and realize the first centenary goal.”
Xi’s speech touched upon a number of successes and programs initiated by the government in 2019, and included remarks about a number of salient ongoing affairs. On the economic front, Xi touted China’s “steady pursuit of high-quality development” that has seen China’s per capita GDP approach USD $10,000. Further mention was made of development in various regions across the country, along with the nearly 10 million people lifted out of poverty. Xi also praised scientific achievements such as the launching of lunar probe Chang’e-4, the successful Y3 mission launched from the Long March 5, and the continued development of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, and the launching of the Shandong aircraft carrier.
Xi’s speech recounted the patriotic fervor of the 70th anniversary of the PRC in October, stating that: “We cheered for the glorious achievements the People’s Republic has made over the past 70 years, and were overwhelmed by the sheer force of patriotism.” He described his work touring across the country, inspecting sites and meeting with local people in the countryside, who “shared many of their innermost thoughts with [him],” which he “always keeps in mind.”
Turning toward the international arena, Xi stated again that China “continued to open its arms wide to embrace the world,” as manifested in the Belt and Road Forum, the China International Import Expo, and a number of other such international conferences and gatherings. He noted that 180 countries now have formal diplomatic relations with China.
Xi lauded Macau for its pursuit of the “fully applicable, achievable, and popular” One Country, Two Systems policy. Turning to Hong Kong, he expressed his wish for their prosperity and stability, rhetorically asking “Without a harmonious and stable environment, how can people live in peace and enjoy their work?”
The remarks closed by reaffirming China's commitment to “walk along the road of peaceful development” and “resolutely safeguard world peace and promote common development.”
Xi Jinping Presides over CCP Politburo Standing Committee Meeting
1.7 Xi Jinping convened a meeting of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee to hear reports on the work of the Central Secretariat and the party groups of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the State Council, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. After stressing the importance of the Central Committee’s authority and unified leadership, the meeting praised the above Party groups for “unwaveringly insisting on the Central Committee’s centralized and united leadership, conscientiously putting into practice and implementing the Central Committee’s strategic decisions and deployments, diligently performing their duties regarding the overall situation of party and national work, earnestly strengthening the party groups’ own construction, conscientiously performing [their] duty of the comprehensive strict rule of the Party, actively contributing to the continued healthy development of the economy and society and to general social stability, [and] obtaining new results in all aspects of [their] work” in the past year. The meeting also praised the Central Secretariat for its work in 2019.
Regarding 2020, the meeting pointed out that “this year is the final year for achieving victory in the comprehensive construction of a moderately prosperous society and the ‘thirteenth five-year’ plan.” It called on the party groups to “take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide, comprehensively implement the spirit of the nineteenth Party Congress and the second, third, and fourth plenums of the 19th Central Committee, 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 all along maintain a high degree of unanimity with the Central Committee on political stances, political direction, political principles, and the political path, and reflect the Party’s leadership in all spheres, aspects, and elements of [their] work.”
PD Editorial: Obtain Victory in Comprehensively [Achieving a] Moderately Prosperous [Society], Stride Towards a New Journey
1.1 People’s Daily published an editorial on the comprehensive establishment of a moderately prosperous society. After hailing 2020 as a year of historic transformation that will see China achieve its first centenary goal of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, the article extolled the historical importance of achieving the goal. After quoting Xi Jinping as pledging that China’s progress could not be stopped or reversed (“at present, Socialist China stands tall and rock-solid in the East; there is no power that can deal a shock to our great motherland’s position; there is no power that can stop the Chinese people and nation and their forward march”), the article then proposed three mindsets for Chinese people to adopt in “obtaining victory in comprehensively [establishing a] moderately prosperous [society] [and] striding towards a new journey”: having firm confidence, joining forces with each other, and bravely and resolutely moving forward.
The article invoked China’s great achievements since the establishment of the PRC 70 years ago to encourage the reader to focus on China’s self-sufficiency, as well as to remind the reader that “the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the fundamental guarantor of modern China’s development progress, [and] the leadership of the Party is the greatest advantage of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The article also emphasized the severity of the challenges facing China, before closing with a call for solidarity: “Let us unite even closer around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses,’ resolutely [uphold] the ‘four confidences,’ achieve the ‘two defends,’ not forget [our] original aspiration, keep the mission firmly in mind, dauntlessly pursue progress, break new ground for innovation, determinedly seize a great victory in comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society, stride towards a great journey, and realize a great dream!”
National Propaganda Officials Meeting Convenes in Beijing: Wang Huning Delivers Speech
1.3 A ministry-level conference for propaganda officials met in Beijing at the start of the year. Politburo Standing Committee member and Central Secretariat member Wang Huning (王沪宁) spoke on the components and key themes of propaganda work for 2020. Based on thorough study of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, propaganda should use innovative and practical methods, make “victory in comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society” its main theme, and “arouse the fighting spirit of the entire Party, entire country, and each ethnic group.” Propaganda officials should “vividly tell a good China story, raise the influence of Chinese culture, and strengthen the country’s cultural soft power,” while strengthening the Party’s leadership over and construction in the propaganda work, implementing a system of professional responsibility for ideological work, and building teams with capable and talented cadres.
Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) said propaganda officials should push for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to “enter minds and hearts.” Propaganda should support the “fully-saturated ambiance of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and obtaining victory in the battle against poverty, keeping standing up for societal virtue in mind, [and] cultivating a new era of people willing to take on the great task of national rejuvenation.” They should “persist in the requirements of fulfilling targets, preserving unanimity, and making politics the first priority, make loyalty and reliability the primary standard, and resolutely advance the strict governance of the Party’s propaganda-ideological line.” Finally, they should “constantly summarize experiences in practice, grasp discipline, continue to ensure stability while making progress, keeping the integrity while creating the new, circulate and link [propaganda efforts], while pushing for the strengthening of propaganda and ideological work.”
Politburo member and Central Secretariat member Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥) also attended.
Xuan Yan: The Time for Victory Over Poverty is Now
1.2 This People’s Daily article emphasized the “unprecedented” speed and scale of China’s anti-poverty campaign since Reform and Opening and the 18th Party Congress. The article attributed success to the Party’s centralized planning under Xi Jinping and “the single-mindedness and arduous struggle of millions of people united.” Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty ideology is “rooted in China, but oriented towards the world,” and China’s experience and knowledge will offer new possibilities for the world’s poor. People’s Daily urged readers to remember the rapid success of the Communist revolution, early PRC government, and Reform and Opening in China’s economic development and raising work and living standards.
The article noted that since the 18th Party Congress, Xi Jinping has placed the greatest emphasis on anti-poverty work, and most of his tours and investigations have been of impoverished areas. His empathetic comments on such visits “reflect the innocent heart of the People’s Leader, and display how Communist party members have taken on responsibility [for eradicating poverty].” Victory in the anti-poverty campaign will rely on the combined determination of party cadres and the common people, with the “spirit of the old man moving mountains (愚公移山),” “precise science and a pragmatic, conscientious spirit,” and selfless dedication and sacrifice. The article cited cases of local anti-poverty programs for each component of the fight. Lasting victory against poverty will require determination and the people’s approval, without the impediments of formalism and bureaucracy. The article called on its readers to “run the final kilometer” in comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society well” and “seize the opportunity to start a new voyage of fully establishing a modernized socialist country.”
United Front Work
CPPCC National Committee Holds New Year’s Tea Party, Xi Jinping Issues Important Speech
1.1 People’s Daily published the full text of Xi Jinping’s speech at the New Year’s gathering of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee on 31 December in Beijing. During the speech, Xi praised the country’s achievements in 2019 and laid out goals for the coming year. Xi said that in 2019, the Central Committee unified and led all ethnicities of China; steadily faced growing internal and external risks; strived to fight the “three tough battles”; made important progress in promoting economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, societal construction, and ecological and civilizational construction; vigorously pushed forward the battle against poverty; met main targets of the 13th Five-Year Plan according to expectations; and laid an even more solid foundation for the comprehensive establishment of a “moderately prosperous society.”
He praised the Party’s progress in comprehensively deepening reform, implementing the “Remain True to the Original Aspiration, Keep the Mission Firmly in Mind” educational campaign, unswervingly promoting comprehensive strict governance of the Party, unswervingly bringing formalism and bureaucracy under control, and intensifying the anti-corruption struggle. Xi stressed that 2020 is the year in which China will achieve a “moderately prosperous society” and complete the 13th Five-Year Plan.
CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the event. Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) and the entire Politburo Standing Committee attended, as did PRC Vice-President Wang Qishan (王岐山).
National United Front Work Department Leadership Conference Convenes in Beijing; Wang Yang Attends, Makes Speech
1.9 Politburo Standing Committee member and CPPCC National Committee Chairman Wang Yang gave an address to United Front Work Department officials in Beijing. Along with calling for studying and adhering to such ideologies as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Xi Jinping’s thought on strengthening and improving the United Front’s work, the “four consciousnesses,” and the “four confidences,” among other principles, Wang emphasized the importance of “contributing to the modernization of the country’s governing system and capabilities,” “focusing on concentrating on and amassing energy to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, thoroughly implementing the ‘ten thousand enterprises helping ten thousand villages’ precise poverty alleviation campaign, guiding the democratic parties to continue to properly develop the democratic supervision of the fight against poverty,” and “uniting non-Party members from all walks of life to tell China’s story well and transmit positive energy.”
After Wang’s speech, United Front Work Department head You Quan (尤权) also gave an address. Amongst other themes, You emphasized the importance of improving the United Front’s effectiveness, being aware of risks and dangers, and adhering to the central government’s directives.
CPPCC National Committee Vice-chairman Bater (巴特尔) also attended the meeting.
International Liaison Work
1.7 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) met with French National Assembly member, France-China Friendship Group of the National Assembly President, La République En Marche! (LaREM) National Committee member, and LaREM Asian affairs leader Buon Tan.
1.2 Ma Xiaojie (马小洁) was appointed secretary of Lanzhou University’s Party committee.
1.2 Xiong Sihao (熊四皓) was appointed secretary of the Harbin Institute of Technology Party Committee.
1.2 Gong Qihuang (龚旗煌) was appointed executive vice president of Peking University.
1.2 Zhang Pingwen (张平文) and Huang Ru (黄如) were appointed vice president of Peking University.
1.5 Zhu Yonglei (朱咏雷) was appointed deputy head of the National Radio and Television Administration.
1.6 Luo Huining (骆惠宁) was appointed director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
1.8 Shu Lichun (舒立春) was appointed secretary of the Chongqing University Party Committee.
1.10 Wang Zhimin (王志民) was appointed deputy head of the Central Institute for Party History and Literature Research.