Weekly Report 4|11 1.9.2021-1.15.2021
Sun Chunlan toured epidemic prevention and control efforts in Hebei Province following its Covid-19 outbreak (see Senior Leaders section).
The Central Committee issued a “Rule of Law Construction Plan,” the first of its kind (see Senior Leaders section).
Sun Chunlan in Hebei: Implement Prevention and Control Efforts with Haste, Quickly Stop the Spread of the Outbreak
1.6-8 Politburo member and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan visited Hebei to inspect the prevention and containment efforts for the recent local coronavirus outbreak. The Hebei outbreak is concentrated in rural areas and among middle-aged to older individuals. However, it has spread quickly across multiple generations and neighborhoods, a worrisome development for the Party and central government. During her visit, Sun inspected two villages, a residential neighborhood, two hospitals, and the provincial center for disease control. She held three meetings with regional department officials, and with experts, as well as additional virtual meetings at the provincial, municipal, and county levels at the Hebei Command Center. She emphasized that all prevention and containment efforts must be implemented with haste, under the guidelines of Xi Jinping’s important instructions, Party leadership and State Council policies. She also highlighted the importance to protect the public health safety of Beijing and the national progress in the fight against the virus.
Sun demanded the immediate activation of war-time command systems at all levels of Party committees and government in Hebei. Mobilization efforts should fulfill the “Four responsibilities” (local, department, danwei, and personal responsibilities). Traffic around Beijing and Hebei, as well as key points inside Hebei, require close inspection and control. Comprehensive testing drives should be completed as soon as possible in key areas to record newly infected cases and close contacts. Isolation facilities should closely follow “three sections two pathways”, “one person per room” guidelines. Outbreak origin needs to be quickly determined through epidemiological investigations and the use of information technology. Control and prevention efforts must be enhanced in villages, elderly homes, penitentiary and religious facilities. Lastly, basic amenities should be protected in isolation neighborhoods in order to ensure social stability.
Xi Jinping: Further Emphasize Systematic Thought on Rule of Law and Grassroots Guidance, Concretely Implement High-quality Development of Political and Legal Work
1.9 During the Central Political and Legal Work Meeting in Beijing, Politburo Member and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Commission Guo Shengkun conveyed Xi Jinping’s important instructions on political and legal work for 2021.
Reviewing the previous year, Xi emphasized that the political and legal work battle lines of 2020 strictly implemented the policy directives of the central Party leadership, and created a safe and stable social environment for prevention and control efforts against the coronavirus and for socio-economic development. The year 2021 is the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan and political and legal departments at all levels need to carefully adhere to the essentials of the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th Party Congress and the Central Comprehensively Rule the Country by Law Work Meeting. Political and legal work should further emphasize systematic ideology, rule-of-law ideology, and works at the grassroots level, in order to concretely promote the high-quality development of political and legal work.
Guo emphasized that political and legal work bodies must adhere to Xi Jinping’s Thought on the New Era as guidance, deepen the implementation of Xi Jinping’s Thought on the Rule of Law, strengthen the “four consciousnesses”, consolidate the “four confidences”, and achieve the “two defends”. Under such ideological guidance, political and legal work should recognize the Party’s political development as leadership, and lead with prevention and resolution of various risks. Focal points should include protecting national political security, advancing the normalization of crackdown on “underworld forces,”, deepening the modernization of urban social governance, and promoting the high-quality development of political and legal work. They are all to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Party with outstanding achievement.
With the first ever “Chinese People’s Police Day” coming up on January 10th, Xi Jinping, on behalf of central Party leadership, sent sincere regards to police officers nationwide. He hopes that they all can exercise Party loyalty, serve the people, enforce the law with fairness, and adhere to strict discipline. All should work hard in building a higher standard of peaceful China, a rule-of-law China, in order to guarantee people’s happiness, national security, and social stability, and to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Party with outstanding achievement.
State Council Member and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi, President of Supreme People’s Court Zhou Qiang, and Supreme People’s Attorney General Zhang Jun were all present at the Meeting.
CCP Central Committee Issues Rule of Law Construction Plan
1.10 The Central Committee issued the “Rule of Law Construction Plan (2020-2025),” the first ever of its kind since the founding of the PRC. It detailed the overall guidance, goals, and measures to advance toward the rule-of law country, government, and society envisioned for 2035. Legal Daily, the official media for the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, condensed the important points in an infographic.
The Plan’s main principles were summarized into “six insists”: insist on centralized and unified Party leadership; insist on implementing the rule-of-law socialist ideology with Chinese characteristics; insist on the people as the center; insist on coordination and promotion; insist on problems- and goals-oriented; and insist on starting from China’s situation on the ground.
The Party’s central leadership role was to be reinforced through the further study and promotion of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Rule of Law, legal governance, further theoretical research on Rule-of-law with Chinese characteristics.
In 2025, the Plan called for a basic formation of a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics. It envisioned improved legal institutions with more comprehensive laws based on the Constitution. Its vision also called for a healthier, more balanced legal governance, and more well-rounded internal Party regulations. 2035 would mark the effective completion of the socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics, one that would guarantee protection for the people’s equal participation and their right to equal development.
In order to realize those visions, the Plan stipulated the Constitution’s importance, which must be reflected through better enforcement, oversight, and more legal education. The construction of a comprehensive Rule-of-law system was subdivided into five smaller systems for improvement: legal standards, enforcement, supervision, safeguard, and internal Party regulations.
Aside from addressing domestic legal and military reforms, the Plan also incorporated “One Country, Two Systems” as a part of the Rule-of-law agenda, aimed to be upheld in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. It called for enhancing laws pertaining to foreigners and being active in building international legal institutions.
Xi Jinping Teaches Key Lesson to the “Critical Minority”
1.11 According to Xinhua, Xi Jinping conducted an important seminar for the “critical minority” at the Central Party School. “Critical Minority” refers to those who occupy top positions in the central Party apparatus and government bodies, and Party Secretaries at the provincial- and municipal levels. Xi spoke at length about the essence of the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th Party Congress. In particular, he elaborated on how to understand the “three news” (new development stage, new development concept, new development structure) as the main logical thread of the 5th Plenum.
Xi emphasized that while the country still remains in the beginning phase of Socialism, 2021 does mark a new beginning for a new stage of development, the opening year toward a modern Socialist country. The beginning phase should not be viewed as static but rather as a continuum in which the country is always moving forward.
Xi said, the new development concept, first espoused during the 5th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, should be implemented “completely, correctly, and comprehensively.” The concept should be grasped from three aspects, core mission, problem orientation, and the “concerned mindset” (to be concerned for the Party, for the country, and for the people).
Lastly, Xi emphasized that the new development structure “would be achieved through fluid and free economic circulation”, and that its essence lies in “achieving high-standard self-sufficiency and self-strengthening.” He cautioned against the overemphasis of internal circulation over external, or vice versa, and against using internal circulation to justify local protectionism or unsustainable lending.
He Yin: Create More Opportunities for the Recovery and Development of the World Economy
1.14 People’s Daily published a He Yin (和音) commentary about China’s economic goals and contributions to the recovery and development of the world economy. The commentary mentioned the second centenary goal and stated that as China implements its new development pattern, the prospects for win-win cooperation between China and the world will widen. It also noted the “complicated and grim” global economic situation and “unstable and uneven” recovery, cited a World Bank report that said that the global economic downturn will continue into the first half of 2021, and highlighted that China is the only major economy in the world that had positive economic growth in 2020.
The commentary stated that China’s 14th Five-Year Plan gained worldwide attention and that China’s experience of high-quality economic development and its expansion of high-level opening up provide new global opportunities that are “fervently anticipated” by the international community. It highlighted China’s people-centered development thought as central to its commitment to achieving common prosperity and avoidance of the widening wealth gap seen in other countries. The commentary stated that accelerating the construction of the new development pattern is an important strategic task of the 14th Five-Year Plan and cited the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, negotiations on a China-European Union investment agreement, and consideration of a Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as proof of its efforts expanding international cooperation and mutual benefit. The commentary concluded by reaffirming China’s commitment to continue contributing to the recovery and development of the global economy.
Commentary: Leading Cadres to Improve Political Implementation
1.13 In a Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection (CCDI) commentary on Xi Jinping’s speech at the annual Politburo Democratic Life Meeting in December, leading cadres were exhorted to “improve political implementation ability” in order to achieve the Party’s political objectives. Explaining the importance of political implementation ability, the commentary noted that, not only is such ability the “fundamental requirement of the Party’s ideological line,” but also “the center of its leadership, its combat effectiveness, and its vitality.” The commentary lauded the Party’s successful navigation of the many challenges faced in 2020, including its handling of COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout as well as “completing the task of poverty alleviation in a new era as scheduled.” It attributed this success in large part to “leading cadres at all levels firmly implementing the political line, resolutely following the Party center’s unified direction,” and “assuming the great responsibility of ‘the two defends’ with a high degree of political consciousness.” According to the commentary, this clearly demonstrated the Party’s “powerful political leadership ability” and validated the Party center’s “‘decisive role’ steering and navigating,” importantly locating “Comrade Xi Jinping at the core.”
The commentary heavily emphasized morale and loyalty, warning against “political passivity,” “losing heart” while doing mass work, “weak political consciousness,” and other threats to cadres improving political implementation. Concluding with a focus on the importance of Party loyalty to effective implementation, the commentary asserted that political implementation ability was a “direct test” of cadres’ “political loyalty,” sense of political responsibility, and “political acumen.” Significantly, it went on to stress that cadres must not only demonstrate “absolute loyalty” to the Party but also must closely follow, internalize, identify, and act on all that the Party center says and does, reflecting major themes of the Democratic Life Meeting, which stressed the importance of correctly aligning political consciousness with the Party line.
International Liaison Work
1.12 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of a webinar on “China’s Future Development and China-Europe Relations.” Representatives from 12 left-wing Western European political parties participated in the webinar. These representatives included Party of the European Left (PEL) President Heinz Bierbaum, Communist Party of Spain (PCE) President José Luis Centella, German Communist Party (DKP) Leader Patrik Köbele, Italian Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) Secretary Maurizio Acerbo, Swiss Communist Party (PCS) General Secretary Massimiliano Arif Ay, and Italian Communist Party (PCI) Secretary Mauro Alboresi.
1.13 International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of an online training seminar for Mauritanian Union for the Republic (UPR) cadres. Other speakers included UPR Vice President Mohamed Yahya Ould Horma.
1.14 International Department Deputy Head Wang Yajun (王亚军) met with Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi.
1.12 Song Yuanming (宋元明) was appointed vice minister of emergency management and head of the National Workplace Emergency Management Center.
1.12 Zhuang Guotai (庄国泰) was appointed head of the China Meteorological Administration.
1.12 Li Shulei (李书磊) was appointed vice president of the National Academy of Governance.
1.13 Wang Shaofeng (王少峰) was appointed vice minister of human resources and social security.
1.14 Yu Jianhua (俞建华) was appointed the Ministry of Commerce’s international trade negotiations representative.
1.15 Yu Xiaohui (余晓晖) was appointed president of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology and secretary of its Party committee.