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  • David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Calvin Blackburn

Weekly Report 3|44 8.29.2020-9.4.2020

[Xi Jinping speaks at the Seventh Central Tibet Work Symposium]


Xi Jinping gave a speech at the Seventh Central Tibet Work Symposium where he provided guidance on Tibet-related work and called upon the party committees of Yunnan, Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan to coordinate with the Tibetan Autonomous Region in implementing central directives. Xi’s speech emphasized that the objective of Tibet-related work was achieving national unity as well as securing the border (see Senior Leaders section).

Qiushi published a speech Xi gave last year at a conference for teachers of ideology and political theory courses in which he asserted that such courses are crucial as China's opening to the world introduces new complexities to the ideological field (see Senior Leaders section).


Senior Leaders

Xi Jinping: Fully Implement the Party's Strategy for Governing Tibet in the New Era, and Build a United, Prosperous, Civilized, Harmonious and Beautiful Socialist Modernized New Tibet

8.29 From 28 August to 29 August, the Seventh Central Tibet Work Symposium was held in Beijing. Xi Jinping delivered a speech in which he called for “fully implementing the Party’s strategy for governing Tibet” in order to “forge a sense of community of the Chinese nation,” “strengthen the Party’s organization and regime construction,” “ensure national security and long-term stability,” “ensure the continuous improvement of people’s livelihoods,” and “ensure border defense and consolidate border security,” among other objectives.

Xi asserted that in order to do Tibet work well, the Party must “adhere to the strategic thinking that controlling the country requires controlling the border, and controlling the border requires first stabilizing Tibet (治国必治边、治边先稳藏).” He also called for insisting on the leadership of the Party, adhering to the direction of sinicization of religion, and said that Tibet work is the work of strengthening national unity.

Xi called on the party committees of the four provinces with significant Tibetan populations outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu, to attach great importance to Tibet work and to strengthen their coordination with the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang (汪洋) issued concluding remarks that stressed that relevant regions and departments should pay attention and promptly implement the spirit of the meeting, and break down the tasks meeting one by one, and turn strategy into specific work arrangements. The meeting was hosted by Li Keqiang and attended by the entire Politburo Standing Committee.

Xi’s speech was further publicized in commentator articles in the People’s Daily: 9/1; 9/2.

Xi Jinping: Ideological and Political Courses Are The Key Courses to Implement the Fundamental Task of Lideshuren (立德树人)

8.31 Qiushi released a speech Xi Jinping gave on March 18, 2019 at a symposium for teachers of ideological and political theory classes in schools. Xi opened the speech by saying “having well-run ideology and political theory classes is a matter that I care about greatly.” He proposed that the objective of these courses is safeguarding national security and cultivating socialist builders and successors who will carry out the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Therefore, ideology and political theory courses are irreplaceable and teachers of these courses have a great responsibility.

Xi explained that as China increasingly opens up and moves closer to the center of the world stage, influences from other countries have deepened, and the struggles facing the ideological field have become more complex. In order to build socialist builders and successors, one must establish a correct view of the world, life, morals, and realize that the individual morals and the destiny of the nation and Party are closely connected. Schools are therefore at the forefront (前沿阵地) of ideological work, and can’t be thought of as ivory towers or “peach blossom gardens” (桃花源--referencing a fable in which people lived in a garden utopia unaware of the outside world).

Xi acknowledged that while there has been significant progress in ideology and political theory education, problems remain that must be solved urgently. For example, some schools still do not fully understand the importance of ideological and political courses, there are still shortcomings in the selection and training of teachers, and the construction of ideological and political courses in private schools and in Sino-foreign cooperative courses remains weak.

Xi provided a list of necessary attributes for teachers of ideology and political theory courses: their politics must be strong, their feelings must be deep, their thinking must be “new” (concepts taught should be applicable to contemporary China), they must have broad vision (knowledge beyond Marxist theory), they must have strict self-discipline, and they must have positive personalities.

Xi proposed eight “unifications” that must be achieved in order to promote the reform of ideology and political theory courses:

  1. Unification of politics and academic rationality: While political guidance is the purpose of these courses, they should not come across as political propaganda. They must “guide students with the power of the truth” and “stand up to students’ questions of ‘why?’”

  2. Unification of values and knowledge: The courses cannot simply preach values without the support of “scientific knowledge.”

  3. Unification of “constructiveness” and “criticalness”: While the task of these courses is to transmit ideology, they must also inspire a critical spirit, an essential characteristic of Marxism.

  4. Unification of theory and practice: Political theory should have practical applications.

  5. Unification of universality and diversity: While ideology and political theory courses have universal teaching objectives and materials, they should still adapt to local conditions.

  6. Unification and guidance and subjectivity: Courses should maintain a balance between the teacher’s guiding role and empowering students through class discussion and debate.

  7. Unification of indoctrination and inspiration: While indoctrination is essential to Marxist political education, students should also be inspired by the story of the Chinese nation, the Chinese Communist Party, socialism with Chinese characteristics, Reform and Opening Up, and the New Era.

  8. Unification of explicit and implicit education: While some people advocate for hiding ideology and political theory courses within other courses, it is important to be confident in teaching these courses in the open. At the same time, there are ideology and political theory resources in other courses that should be tapped.

In conclusion, Xi stressed that the Party’s leadership over ideology and political education courses is key to their success. He asked party committees at all levels to place these courses at the top of their priority lists and said that school party committees should take the lead on improving these courses.

Maintain a Strategic Focus on Building an ‘Innovative and Famous City, a Beautiful Ancient Capital’ --- A Visit With Zhang Jinghua, Jiangsu Provincial Standing Committee Member and Secretary of the Nanjing City Party Committee

9.1 During an interview with a People’s Daily reporter, Nanjing Party Secretary Zhang Jinghua (张敬华) discussed how the city was implementing reforms and pursuing economic growth that had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his comments, Zhang noted that the city had recently gone through four phases in these reforms: First, “early stages” from the end of 2019 to late January 2020. Second, responding to COVID-19 from late January to 9 February. Third, implementing a return to work policy from mid-February to late March. And fourth, “going all out to stabilize growth,” implementing the “six safeguards” and “six stabilities,”and pressing the “fast forward button” on the restoration of the economic and social order from late March to the present.

When asked about the basis for Nanjing’s 2.2 percent GDP growth, Zhang said there are “three major supports,” which are stable growth in the city’s “leading industries,” growth from “market entities,” and “project investments.” Zhang was also asked about the specifics of Nanjing’s implementation of the “six safeguards” and “six stabilities,” to which he denoted three focus areas: employment and entrepreneurship, leading industries, and market entities. Zhang concluded the interview by noting progress over the past three years of Nanjing’s project to build an “Innovative and Famous City, a Beautiful Ancient Capital.”

The Central Committee, The State Council, and the Central Military Commission Jointly Host Forum to Commemorate the Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression and the 75th Anniversary of the Global Anti-Fascist War: Xi Jinping Issued an Important Speech

9.3 Xi Jinping’s speech commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II paid tribute to the heroic fighting spirit of the Chinese people. Xi praised the Chinese people’s “spiritual wealth” and indicated the Chinese people could overcome any and all adversity in the pursuit of the revitalization of the Chinese nation. Politburo Standing Committee members Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang attended the forum, and Wang Huning presided over the forum.

Xi’s speech recounted the events at Mukden in 1931, and the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, when the Chinese people heroically resisted the Japanese invasion. All political parties, ethnic groups, classes, organizations, as well as Chinese people abroad were united in will and action.

The Chinese people’s victory, Xi noted, was respected by peace loving people around the world. The end of the war set China on a path to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of old China, and for the Chinese people to resolutely pursue national sovereignty, freedom, and liberation. The end of the war was a victory for patriots, the Chinese Communist Party, and the masses of the nation. The unity of the will is an impregnable stronghold, Xi stated. Since the conclusion of World War II the Chinese nation has undergone profound transformation. The nation is on a successful road of socialism with Chinese characteristics to alleviate poverty and construct a moderately prosperous society, and to revitalize the Chinese nation. Wang Huning (王沪宁) expressed support for the ideological, strategic, and political guidance offered by Xi in the speech. The relatives of veterans and martyrs of the war, political commissars, Beijing municipal cadres, Democratic Party officials, politically unaffiliated people and others were in attendance.


Propaganda Work

Launch of the “Decisive Battle to Win the Battle Against Poverty, Oversee the Fight For Counties that Have Not Yet Stricken their Poverty Label” Themed Interview Activities

8.29 On 28 August, the Central Propaganda Department held the launch ceremony for a themed interview activity intended to drum up enthusiasm for winning the battle against poverty before the end of the year. The article stated that the interview team will go to “Sichuan, Gansu, Ningxia, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, Xinjiang, and seven other provinces (and autonomous regions)” to oversee a month of interviews in poverty-stricken counties. As 2020 is “the year of resolute victory in poverty alleviation,” the interviews would reflect the new changes and the happiness of people in these impoverished areas. The article said that the interviews will include reporting on the epidemic situation and focus on poverty alleviation in many different sectors of society, such as industry, education, transportation, and health. It also said that the interviews are designed to discover difficult problems and weak links that still exist in these counties and to reflect the people’s opinions.

Guo Shengkun Holds Forum at Legal Daily to Emphasize: Promoting the Innovation and Development of Political Propaganda Public Opinion Work

9.3 On 2 September, Politburo member and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) held a forum on political and legal propaganda and public opinion, emphasizing the importance of implementing Xi Jinping’s guidance on political and legal work and public opinion. The article stated that “Guo examined Legal Daily’s editorial platform, media command center, and website. At the forum, Guo pointed out that “all levels and types of media in the political and legal fields are the party’s propaganda front, and all work must embody the party will and reflect the party’s positions.” He said it is important to “strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses,’ solidify the ‘four confidences,’ and achieve the ‘two defends,” among other things to “spread the party’s voice” louder and wider. He also emphasized the need to “provide strong public opinion support for the smooth advancement of various key tasks.”

Comprehensively Deepening Reform

Xi Jinping Presides Over 15th Meeting of Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform

9.1 Xi Jinping delivered an “important speech” while hosting the 15th Meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. In his opening comments, Xi stressed “accelerating the formation of a new pattern of development with the domestic cycle serving as the main component and dual circulation of domestic and international cycles” and urged continuing with reforms and “advancing the modernization of the country’s administrative system and capabilities.” In moving to “establish a new pattern of development,” Xi noted that China has “prominent advantages [in its] system and a robust foundation of reforms,”then specifically highlighted reforms made since the 18th Party Congress, which included “implementing new development concepts, promoting high-quality development, and expanding opening up to the outside.” Xi then emphasized that when facing “new situations and problems” while building the new pattern of development “[we] must excel at utilizing a reform[ative] thinking and methods while planning and considering our short-term response and mid to long-term development.”

Following Xi’s speech, the commission reviewed and approved several government opinions on implementing reforms which included maintaining opening up and multilateralism in foreign trade, revitalizing higher education in China’s midwestern region, maintaining party control over education, improving the system of medical examinations, and garbage sorting. The commission also listened to a report on progress made in rural reforms since the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee.


International Liaison Work

8.31 International Department Head Song Tao participated in an “International High-level Think Tank Cloud Forum” hosted by the International Department-established Silk Road Think Tank Association (SRTA). Song and a number of participants delivered keynote speeches. The list of speakers included former Slovenian President Danilo Türk, former Bosnian Council of Ministers Chairman Zlatko Lagumdzija, former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, former Thai National Assembly President Bhokin Bhalakula, and former Malaysian House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ong Tee Keat (翁诗杰).

9.1 Song Tao and International Department Assistant Head Li Mingxiang (李明祥) participated in the opening of a webinar for Congolese Party of Labour (PCT) cadres. Other participants included Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo Ma Fulin (马福林), PCT Secretary-General Pierre Moussa, and over 50 mid- and high-level cadres.

9.1 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) held a video conference with British House of Lords member and Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chair Jim O'Neill.

9.1 International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) met with Egyptian Ambassador to China Mohamed Elbadri.

9.2 Guo Yezhou, who is also chairman of SRTA, held a videoconference with former Italian Prime Minister and SRTA international advisors committee member Massimo D'Alema.

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

9.2 International Department Spokesperson Hu Zhaoming (胡兆明) strongly condemned Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil’s visit to Taiwan and urged him and others to stop damaging Sino-Czech relations.

9.4 Guo Yezhou held a videoconference with Malaysian Progressive Democratic Party President and Special Envoy of the Malaysian Prime Minister to China Tiong King Sing (张庆信).


Organization Work

8.31 Deng Li (邓励) was appointed Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs.

8.31 Xi Guohua (奚国华) was appointed general manager of the China International Trust Investment Corporation (CITIC) Group.

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