- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl
Weekly Report 3|15 1.25.2020-1.31.2020
During the Spring Festival, Party outlets focused almost exclusively on battling the coronavirus outbreak, calling on various Party bodies to assume responsibility to control the crisis.
Central Committee Issues a “Notice on Strengthening the Party’s Leadership and Providing a Strong Political Guarantee for Winning the Battle for Epidemic Prevention and Control”
1.28 The CCP Central Committee recently published a notification on “strengthening the Party’s leadership and providing a strong political guarantee for winning the battle for epidemic prevention and control.” The notification stated that, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, General Secretary Xi Jinping has made a series of important instructions, conducted extensive research, and presided over numerous meetings on efforts to control the outbreak. On 27 January, Xi gave instructions specifically on the role of party organizations, party members, and cadres in the effort.
The notification stressed that party committees and groups at all levels must “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 unify thinking and action in accordance with the “spirits of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions” to fulfill the requirements of “confidence consolidation, mutual assistance, scientific prevention, and precise policy implementation.” Additionally, party committees and groups should lead all the party members and cadres to take on responsibility and work hard and bravely. The notification stated that the performance of leading cadres in the fight against the epidemic is reflective of “their political quality, awareness of purpose, overall understanding, ability to address [issues], and willingness to take on responsibility” and that they will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
Party committees and groups should also mobilize grassroots party organizations and party members to “carry forward the spirit of fearlessness and selfless dedication” and stand at the forefront of the epidemic prevention and control efforts. Grassroots party organizations and members are expected to implement joint prevention and control measures, improve protection networks and enhance monitoring and early warning efforts. Health departments officials and experts along with party members and cadres must play a significant role in medical treatment, scientific research, and basic prevention. The notification added that party organizations ought to organically combine regional governance, departmental governance, industry governance, grassroots governance, and unit governance and organize party members to strengthen the confidence of the masses and fight against the dissemination of false information.
Xi Jinping: “I Believe We Can Definitely Defeat this Epidemic!”
1.28 During his 28 January meeting with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Xi Jinping emphasized that “the Chinese people are now waging a grave struggle against the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus.” He said that in the Politburo Standing Committee’s first meeting of the Chinese New Year, they had made an overall plan for preventing and controlling the coronavirus and found a dedicated Central Committee leading group, which units leadership and command, and provides specific guidance to aid local efforts in disease prevention and control. He stated, “The epidemic is a devil, and we cannot let this devil hide.” He claimed that “from beginning to end, the Chinese government has published information on the epidemic in a timely manner, both domestically and abroad based openness, transparency, and cooperation, proactively responded to concerns from all sides, and strengthened cooperation with the international community.” After stressing that he highly values China’s cooperation with the WHO and expressing hope that the WHO and international community will provide an “objective, fair, cool and rational assessment of the epidemic,” Xi added that “under the staunch leadership of the CCP, fully demonstrating the advantage of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, closely depending on the masses… we have complete confidence and the ability to win this battle of preventing and controlling the epidemic.”
According to Xinhua, Dr. Tedros expressed admiration for the “staunch political will” shown by the Chinese government, and said that “Chairman Xi Jinping’s personal direction and personal deployment displays outstanding leadership.” He highly praised Chinese policy on the outbreak, saying anti-coronavirus measures enacted by China protected the whole world, were worth emulation as a model epidemic response, and demonstrate the “advantages of the Chinese system,” reflecting China’s speed and efficiency.
Xi Jinping Gives Military Important Instructions on Containing Coronavirus Outbreak
1.28 Xi Jinping, in his capacity as Central Military Commission (CMC) chairman, gave the military important instructions regarding the coronavirus prevention and control efforts. Xi told the military that the current epidemic prevention and control situation remains “grim and complex,” he added. Thus, the People’s Army should bear in mind its purpose, act in accordance with orders, assume heavy responsibility, and actively support local governments to contain the spread of the outbreak.
According to Xi, the Chinese armed forces must strengthen organizational leadership, work in coordination with local governments, and persist in applying scientific treatments. Additionally, military hospitals should receive and treat patients; scientific research institutions must develop and improve scientific research to actively assist in disease prevention and control efforts.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervisory Commission Issue a Notice on Implementing the Requirements of the Party Central Committee and Doing Well the Supervision Work on Novel Coronavirus Epidemic Prevention and Control
1.30 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) issued a notice entitled “Notice on Implementing the Party Central Committee’s Requirements, Doing Supervision Work Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus Epidemic Well.” According to the notice, discipline and inspection bodies at every level must thoroughly study the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important instructions, comments and speeches, thoroughly recognize the importance and urgency of epidemic control, and use epidemic control and supervision work as a major test of strengthening the “four consciousnesses,” resolutely upholding the “four confidences,” and achieving the “two defends.” It stressed the need to ensure that the Central Committee’s policy decisions take effect on the ground, and that “wherever the party central committee’s policy decisions are implemented, the political supervision must follow.” It called for disciplinary bodies to strengthen the unity of leadership, command and action, and make the lives, safety and health of the masses the top priority, and it urged grassroots party organizations and cadres to “fully play the role of the battle fort” and the “vanguard model,” and to embody the “touchstone and whetstone of assuming responsibility.” Supervisory bodies must meticulously carry out daily inspection to ensure that departments such as sanitation and health, traffic, market supervision and medicine inspection are fulfilling their regulatory duties, and strictly investigate and handle problems such as misconduct, formalism and bureaucracy, dereliction of duties, misappropriation of rescue funds, etc.