- David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl
Weekly Report 3|39 7.25.2020-7.31.2020
The Politburo convened to discuss the 14th Five Year Plan (see Senior Leaders section).
People’s Daily’s Zhong Sheng column continued to attack the US almost daily, blaming US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in particular for tensions in US-China relations (see Propaganda Work section).
Zhao Kezhi Emphasizes All-Out Effort to Grasp the Work of Maintaining Security and Stability Well
On 28 July, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi (赵克志) provided remarks at video conference involving public security organs across the country. Zhao instructed attendees to, on the basis of the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions, strengthen the ‘four consciousness’ (四个意识), consolidate the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), and achieve the ‘two defends’ (两个维护) in order to conduct an all-out effort to maintain security and stability and resolutely safeguard national political security as well as the overall stability of society.
In his speech, Zhao called for rigorous protections and crackdowns against the infiltration, subversion, and disruption activities of hostile forces at home and abroad, and relentless implementation of anti-terrorism measures. Zhao added that it was necessary to strengthen early warning and prediction measures, and particularly focus on flood prevention and relief work as well as epidemic prevention work.
Xi Jinping Issues Important Directives on Graduate Student Education: Suit the Development Needs of the Party and State’s Undertakings, Cultivate and Train Large Quantities of High-Level Talent With Virtue and Ability
7.29 On July 29, Xi Jinping issued “important directives” on graduate education, noting that in the “New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, on the eve of victory in comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society” while beginning a “new voyage of building socialist modernization,” the Party and country have an “urgent need” (迫切需要) for educated talent.
Xi called upon all levels of the Party and government to “highly value graduate education, push for graduate education to suit the development needs of the Party and state’s undertakings, persevere with the “four fors” policy, take aim at the frontiers of science and technology and key fields, thoroughly push for adjustments to academic specialization, promote the level of the advising ranks, improve the talent cultivation system, [and] accelerate the education of high-level talent as urgently needed by the state.”
Premier and Politburo Standing Committee member Li Keqiang emphasized the importance of carrying out Xi’s directives and the policies of the CPPCC and State Council, calling for reforms to the graduate educational model. At a national conference on graduate education held July 29, Politburo member and State Council vice-premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) gave a speech further emphasizing the importance of Xi’s directives.
Politburo Convenes, Decides to Convene the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee, and Analyzes Present Economic Circumstances and Economic Work
On 30 July, Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Politburo. During the course of the meeting, the Politburo made the decision to hold the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee in October and determined that the agenda of the Fifth Plenum would concern recommendations for the 14th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the long-term goals of 2035. The meeting noted that the 14th Five Year Plan would be the first five year plan following the achievement of a moderately prosperous society, as well as the the first five year plan in the effort to achieve the second of the centenary goals.
In the wake of unprecedented changes in the world and ever increasing uncertainties, opportunities must be seized. The meeting called for improvements in the party’s institutional mechanisms to facilitate economic and social development, and commended the party’s role in curtailing the novel coronavirus and mitigating its economic impact. In the meantime, the meeting noted that the current economic situation remained unstable and uncertain, and urged the acceleration of a new development pattern with the domestic cycle as the main entity, with the domestic and international dual cycles mutually advancing this pattern.
The meeting also urged continued efforts to ensure growth while maintaining stability, to persevere with new development theory, to ensure coordination of disease control and economic development, to continually emphasize supply-side structural reforms, to deepen opening up and reform, to expand domestic demand, to protect and stimulate market entities, to do a good job in the “six stabilities” (六稳), to comprehensively implement the “six safeguards” (六保), to push high-quality economic development, to safeguard the overall stability of society, and to complete the economic and social development goals and tasks of the year.
Zhong Sheng: Dangerous and Despicable Attempts Are Bound to Fail
7.25 A commentary under the Zhong Sheng (钟声) byline, which represents the People’s Daily International Department, condemned Secretary Pompeo’s 23 July speech as “a ‘mish-mash’ of China-related political lies concocted recently by high-level US officials.” After noting the speech’s location at the Nixon Presidential Library, the commentary praised the historical development of US-China relations and accused Pompeo of “not respecting history and being even more unwilling to face reality” in his speech. Echoing Wang Yi’s 24 June remarks, it stressed, “In the eyes of people of the world,… [Pompeo] uses fair means or foul and completely lacks a bottom line.” The commentary praised the CCP and emphasized its popular legitimacy before citing Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass’ recent comment that Pompeo’s specific references are “meant to antagonize and make diplomacy impossible.” It concluded by stressing that “Pompeo and his ilk have rummaged up Cold War cliches from the garbage heap of history” and that Pompeo’s attempts to “assemble a so-called ‘oppose-China’ alliance” were contrary to the “trends of the times” and “the wishes of a majority of the world’s countries.”
Zhong Sheng: To Not Reciprocate Is Against Etiquette
7.25 Another Zhong Sheng commentary condemned the US decision to order the closure of the PRC’s Houston Consulate. The commentary noted that “for some time, the US has shown the craziness of ‘McCarthyism’ and has gone further and further down the wrong path of manufacturing confrontation.” It asserted that “meddling in other countries’ internal affairs has never been in the genes or a tradition of Chinese diplomacy” and that “the US’ related accusations against China completely lack a foundation and are purely complete nonsense.” The commentary concluded by emphasizing, “The current situation that has arisen between China and the US is one that China does not desire to see. Responsibility lies entirely with the US. The US should immediately revoke the relevant mistaken decision in order to create the necessary conditions for bilateral relations to return to normal.”
Grasp Food Production Well, Ensure Food Security
7.26 A commentator article on food security referred to Xi Jinping’s remarks on the topic from his inspection tour of Jilin province. Citing statistics about harvest yields, it concluded that “our country’s agriculture has had plentiful harvests from year to year, foodstuff reserves are abundant, [we are] fully able to ensure the supply of foodstuffs and important agricultural products, [we have] constructed a firm defensive line for national food security.” It emphasized the attention Xi Jinping and the Central Committee have paid to the issue of food security, praised the stable provision of food supplies during the epidemic, and called for policies to “accelerate the construction of a more high-level, higher-quality, more efficient, more sustainable guaranteed food security system.”
Strengthen Economic Competitiveness, Innovation, and Anti-Risk Ability
7.27 A commentator article said Xi Jinping’s “series of important directives on promoting high-quality economic growth” issued on inspection tours indicated the direction for the Party and government’s economic work, proactive risk-management, and striving for good results in economic development. Citing economic statistics such as the growth of exports, the commentary said that China’s economy “has competitiveness, innovation, [and] anti-risk ability, possesses great durability and vitality, [and] possesses the ability to go against the headwinds and walk up the slope [of economic challenges].” The commentary stressed that amid “unprecedented” global economic turbulence, “deep and complex changes are now occurring in our country’s internal conditions and external environment for development.” It concluded that as a result, China must focus on the quality of its economy, pushing for a transformation in the quality of development, efficiency, total factor productivity, competitiveness, innovation, and anti-risk ability. It specifically emphasized the need to implement “the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech, important directives, and the strategic policy-making of the Party Central Committee.”
Zhong Sheng: Going Against the Tide, Not Enjoying Popular Support
7.27 A Zhong Sheng commentary criticized US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 23 July speech on US-China relations. The commentary stated that “Pompeo schemed incessantly and thought himself infallible in deliberately selecting the Nixon Presidential Library to disseminate a ‘political virus’ (政治病毒) that distorts history and clamors for antagonism. This not only was an open provocation toward China but also disrespectful to the many US politicians who made historic contributions to the normalization of China-US relations, including President Nixon.” It also stressed that in regard to social systems, “China has no intention of changing the US, and the US is also unable to change China.” The commentary added that “some US politicians have recently crowded together to slander and suppress China for no other purpose than shifting the US public’s attention and escaping the unprecedented political pressure brought about by a series of domestic problems.” It concluded, “some US politicians should abandon Cold War thinking and ideological prejudice, correctly view China and China-US relations, and stop negative words and deeds in order to create conditions for bilateral relations to return to normal.”
From Start to Finish, Take the People’s Peaceful Living, Happy Work, Safety, and Comfort to Heart
7.28 A commentator article highlighted the concern for the common people Xi Jinping showed in his inspection tour of Jilin province, saying that Xi’s “heartfelt care” and “meticulous guidance” “manifested the People’s Leader’s (人民领袖) clear position [among] the people, [and] sincere feeling for the people.” The commentary stressed the importance of the “six stabilities” (六稳) and “six guarantees” (六保) to protect and improve the people’s livelihood (民生), and listed a wide variety of relevant policy efforts including improvements to social security and welfare, the anti-poverty campaign, and efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and flooding.
Zhong Sheng: The Hypocritical Face of ‘The Matrix’
7.28 People’s Daily published a Zhong Sheng commentator article responding to a recent report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee titled, “The New Big Brother: China and Digital Authoritarianism.” The article accuses US politicians of misrepresenting China’s digital technology is “digital authoritarianism” and lying that China is engaged in global censorship and surveillance. The article accuses that “The US wants to maintain ‘digital hegemony’...” and that the Senate report “proclaims the US should take up a ‘leadership role,’ but is afraid of free competition for fear of being surpassed by China.” The article also makes the accusation that US politicians declare that technology is essential to development, yet obstruct cooperation between China and developing nations when China helps to establish technological infrastructure.
United Front Work
National CPPCC Ethnic and Religious Committee Holds Consultative Conference on Religious Circles, Wang Yang Attends and Speaks
7.28 The CPPCC Ethnic and Religious Committee held a conference to discuss religion, specifically “religious talent education” (宗教人才培养). Central Committee Politburo Standing Committee, CPPCC Chairman Wang Yang attended and spoke on the importance of “religious talent education” in doing new religious work. Attendees suggested the Party and Government place importance on religious work, “religious talent training,” and the gradual improvement of the Party’s religious policy. The conference also suggested allowing religious groups to open up and engage in numerous dialogues of faith internationally.
Investigation and Punishment of the Four Winds Doesn’t Yield an Inch: Interpreting the Half-Year Report on National Investigations on Problems of Violating the Spirit of the Central Eight Regulations
7.30 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Security Commission (NSC) published an article summarizing its July 29 half-year report on investigations into violations of the Central Eight Regulations (中央八项规定). The article said that the numbers from the report reflected discipline and supervision organs’ effective enforcement of the regulations, and served as a “strong signal” for stricter enforcement in the future. The article included statistical breakdowns of different categories of cases, such as how many investigations into “formalism and bureaucracy” resulted in punishment and Party disciplinary action, or what kinds of activities made up “hedonism” cases.
International Liaison Work
Political Parties of Southeast Asian Countries Advocate for Jointly Safeguarding the Peace and Stability of the South China Sea Region
7.29 The International Department published an article advertising the support of ten Southeast Asian political parties for resolving disputes in the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation to maintain peace and stability and their shared opposition towards outside interference in local affairs.
China and Vietnam Hold Videoconference of Party Central Committee External Department Heads
7.29 International Department head Song Tao (宋涛) held a meeting with his Vietnamese Communist Party counterpart, Hoàng Bình Quân. Song said the countries’ cooperation, both in fighting the coronavirus epidemic and on trade, illustrated the party centers’ leadership, the advantages of a socialist system, and the prospects of Sino-Vietnam relations.
7.27 Chang Junhong (常军红) was appointed Executive Director for China at the World Bank.
7.28 Wang Xiangming (王祥明) was appointed China Resources Holdings Chairman.
7.29 Qiu Xiandong (邱现东) was appointed CEO of FAW Group Corporation.
7.30 Shen Beili (沈蓓莉) was appointed International Department Assistant Minister.
7.31 Xiao Yaqing (肖亚庆) was appointed Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Party Leadership Group Secretary.
7.31 Hu Heping (胡和平) was appointed Ministry of Culture and Tourism Party Leadership Group Secretary.