Weekly Report 4|20 3.27.2021-4.2.2021
People’s Daily released trial “CCP Organizational Discipline Regulations” (中国共产党组织处理规定) from the General Office of the CCP Central Committee (see Party Discipline section).
Xi Jinping Presides over Politburo Meeting
3.31 A Politburo meeting was held in Beijing to deliberate over the “Guiding Opinions on Promoting High-Quality Development of the Central Region in the New Era.” The Politburo asserted that the resource-rich central region is crucial to the overall development of the nation. The development of the central region must therefore be guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the New Development Concept, adhere to seeking progress while maintaining stability, and adhere to innovation as the driving force behind development. The Politburo emphasized the importance of building a modern industrial system supported by advanced manufacturing, building a “beautiful” central region through green development, promoting internal opening up at a high level, enhancing the coordination of urban and rural development, improving the level of basic public services, promoting the accelerated rise of the central region, and making greater contributions to the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country.
Issuing Important Instructions on the Work of Revolutionary Cultural Relics, Xi Jinping Emphasizes Earnestly Safeguarding, Managing, and Using Revolutionary Cultural Relics Well to Arouse the Spiritual Force of the Cadres and Masses on a Large Scale
3.30 A national conference on “revolutionary cultural relics work” was held in Beijing on 30 March. At the meeting, Politburo member and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) delivered Xi Jinping’s instructions on revolutionary cultural relics. In his instructions, Xi emphasized the important role of revolutionary cultural relics along with the “glorious history of the people’s heroic struggle” and written accounts of moving revolutionary deeds for strengthening revolutionary culture, “strengthening the building of a socialist spiritual civilization,” inspiring patriotism, and teaching national consciousness. He stated that this work of safeguarding revolutionary cultural relics, “enhancing revolutionary culture,” and passing on the “red gene” (红色基因) is the “common responsibility” of the entire Party and society, and should be done at every level of the Party and government. He especially stressed the role of revolutionary cultural relics in “Party history study and education, education in revolutionary traditions, patriotic education, etc.,” saying that these would inspire the “spiritual force” of cadres and the masses to, “brimming with confidence (信心百倍), build a modern socialist country and achieve the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Politburo member and Propaganda Department Head Huang Kunming (黄坤明) delivered remarks affirming Xi’s instructions and suggesting they be studied and implemented. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and “relevant responsible comrades” from Jiangxi, Shaanxi and Hunan also gave speeches at the conference. Also in attendance were “responsible comrades” from each province, region, and municipality and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the relevant departments of central and state organs, responsible comrades from the relevant departments of the Central Military Commission organs, and others involved in the protection of revolutionary cultural relics.
He Yin: Understanding the Lively Experiment of Democracy with Chinese Characteristics
3.29 Reflecting back on the Two Sessions and the legislative process behind the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan, a People’s Daily He Yin (和音) column argued for the institutional advantages of Chinese-style democracy.
He Yin quoted Xi Jinping’s remarks on democracy with Chinese characteristics: “Under the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, it’s good to discuss issues when they occur; issues of the public should be discussed by the public. Identifying the will and demands of the majority of society is the truth of a people’s democracy.”
The formulation process of the Fourteenth Five Year Plan and the 2035 Long-Term Objectives Outline, He Yin said, fully manifested the unity of wisdom from the masses and the integration between top-level design and grassroots-level consultation. He Yin then presented supporting evidence, ranging from Xi Jinping’s local site visits to his presence among the Two Sessions delegates discussing the draft plan. Supporting evidence also included more than 1,000 pieces of public feedback synthesized from the more than one million suggestions received during the drafting process last August, over 900 edits of the draft plan based on public feedback, and 55 edits by delegates during the Two Sessions.
He Yin pointed out that democracy with Chinese characteristics works because it guarantees the people are their own masters through legal elections and allows people’s representatives to participate in the management of national and social life, as well as allowing the people to participate in such management via non-elected bodies. Western-style democracies are more restrictive, He claimed, because the public only has voting rights but not the right to widely participate in politics. The masses are only awakened when voting in elections, and return to being dormant after voting. He Yin asserted that Chinese-style democracy is better because it not only ensures the people’s agency but it also concretely transforms people’s wisdom into governance capacity, thus ensuring the happiness and safety of the masses.
He Yin concluded that democracy with Chinese characteristics makes up for the deficiencies of Western-style democracy and that it is the most “widespread, authentic, and effective” form of democracy. Democracies can take many forms, He said, and there should not only be one sole criteria for evaluating all the world’s democracies.
Zhong Sheng: Those Who Fabricate and Spread Lies Must Pay the Price
3.28 “The Chinese side does not cause trouble but is not afraid of getting into trouble. We refuse to accept any political blackmail; justice must be upheld. The Chinese side’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, national security, and development interests is unshakeable,” People’s Daily’s Zhong Sheng column solemnly declared at the beginning of its commentary.
The commentary defends the Chinese government’s decision to sanction ten individuals and four entities in the European Union, nine individuals and four entities in the United Kingdom, and related personnel in the United States and Canada as necessary, fair, and just. China’s actions, argued Zhong Sheng, have shown “the small number of Western countries” that those fabricating and spreading lies must pay the price.
People of all ethnicities in Xinjiang are enjoying stability, safety, development, and the improvement of their living standards, all of which tell one of the most successful human rights stories, Zhong Sheng said. The commentary dismissed the work of certain researchers, internal documents, and first-hand testimonies as fake and not clearly sourced. According to the commentary, “certain Western politicians” from the US, Canada, the UK, and the EU don’t care about the truth, nor do they care about human rights. The commentary claimed that all they want is to find an excuse to interfere with China’s internal affairs, to try to obstruct China’ development, and to sabotage China’s stability. It added, “They use their lies to denigrate and offend the Chinese people’s reputation and dignity and to harm Chinese national interests.”
Zhong Sheng quoted a sensational excerpt of the 2018 speech by an adviser to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who claimed that if the CIA wanted to destabilize China, it ought to use Uyghurs in Xinjiang to mount pressure on Beijing and collapse the regime from within. This was presented as proof of the US and Western countries’ nefarious intentions to destabilize China through the Uyghur issue. China, he said, is able and willing to retaliate against Western pressures.
PD Commentator Article: A Radical Policy for Ensuring the Steady, Long-Term Practice of “One Country, Two Systems”
3.31 People’s Daily published a Commentator Article titled about the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) passing the amendments to Annexes I and II of the Hong Kong Basic Law (Amended Annexes). The article began by noting that the “amendment crisis” (修例风波) in 2019 and resulting chaos in Hong Kong society showed that there were “obvious loopholes and flaws” in the existing electoral system. It asserted that the Amended Annexes were passed in order to “plug the Hong Kong electoral system’s loopholes, ensure that ‘patriots govern Hong Kong,’ and that anti-China, stoke-chaos-in-Hong Kong people are eliminated” before underscoring the legitimacy of the Amended Annexes and strong support for them in Hong Kong. The article mentioned Xi Jinping’s remarks and stated that “those who are in important positions, control important powers, and shoulder important governance responsibilities must be firm patriots.” It also noted the changes to the Election Committee’s functions and the method of selecting the Chief Executive and Legislative Council (LegCo), reiterated the importance of “patriots governing Hong Kong” and stated that this is a “new democratic electoral system with Hong Kong characteristics.” Explaining the concept of “patriots governing Hong Kong,” the article said that it is intended to prevent “unpatriotic anti-China, stoke-chaos-in-Hong Kong elements from entering the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government organs” and that “as long as [they] are in accordance with the standard of “patriots governing Hong Kong, anyone can legally run for office and be elected.” It claimed that by adjusting the “scale, composition, and formation” of the Election Committee and LegCo, the revised electoral system “broadened the space for Hong Kong residents to participate in politics.” The article concluded by claiming that “only patriots can govern Hong Kong well” and that the improvement of the electoral system will allow Hong Kong to “return to the right track,” among other things.
General Office Releases Trial Regulations on CCP Organizational Discipline Regulations
3.28 With the approval of the Politburo Standing Committee, trial “CCP Organizational Discipline Regulations” (中国共产党组织处理规定) were released by the CCP Central Committee’s General Office on March 19th and revealed for the first time in People’s Daily on 28 March. The General Office also issued a nationwide notice requiring all regions and departments to carefully execute the measures stipulated in the regulations.
The notice stated that organizational discipline is an essential measure for educating and managing cadres and it is also an important measure for realizing the objective of comprehensive and strict rule of the Party. The regulations are said to be the key basis for executing the work of organization discipline well. They organically connect guidance and standardization of organizational discipline with advancing disciplinary measures and the assignment of legal responsibilities. They constitute an important step toward building a more comprehensive cadre management and oversight mechanism.
People’s Daily released the full-text version of “Regulations,” which contains nineteen articles. The following stipulations are noteworthy:
Article Five states that regulations apply to leading party cadres in party organs at all-levels, people’s congresses, administrative organs, people’s political consultative conference organs, supervisory organs, judicial organs, and prosecutory organs and their affiliated public institutions and organizations. Furthermore, Regulations also apply to non-party cadres, cadres without leadership duties, and leadership personnel in state-owned enterprises. Article Seventeen stipulates that the Central Military Commission will make similar regulations for military officers, and Article Eighteen specifies that the Central Organization Department is responsible for clarifications.
Article Six assigns the responsibility of organization discipline work to party committees and party groups, plus the organization or human resources departments. They are to exercise such authority within their cadre management jurisdiction.
Article Seven stipulates seventeen cases that would be subject to organizational discipline. They include loss of Marxist thought and illegally participating in religious and cult activities; not fully abiding by central policy directives; neglect of responsibility during moments of crises; negligence, irresponsibility, grave errors that cause major accidents related to production safety, group incidents, and public safety; formalism and bureaucratism, not serving the masses; disobeying democratic centralism; using nepotism, bribery, and other non-compliant measures in personnel promotions; cultivating personal influence and factions at work; disobeying work relocation and delegation requests made by the Party; causing grave damage due to failing to report important incidents; disobeying regulations restricting leading cadres’s travel abroad and business activities; framing and prosecuting others based on disinformation.
Article Nine presents a caveat that exempts leading cadres who lack experience and make mistakes due to policy experimentation from punishment as long as errors were not made intentionally and the consequences were not grave.
International Liaison Work
3.29 International Department Assistant Head Li Mingxiang (李明祥) attended and addressed the opening ceremony of an online training seminar for the SWAPO Party of Namibia. Other participants included SWAPO Deputy Secretary-General Marco Hausiku.
3.30 The International Department held the opening ceremony of the China-Arab Young Leaders Forum via videolink. International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛), Communist Youth League Central Committee Secretariat Executive Secretary and All-China Youth Federation Chair Wang Hongyan (汪鸿雁), Palestinian Fatah Central Committee member and Palestianian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Heart of Tunisia Politburo member and Tunisian Assembly of the Representatives of the People First Deputy Speaker Samira Chaouachi, and Yemeni Al-Islah (Yemeni Congregation for Reform) member and Yemeni House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Mohsen Basurra all delivered speeches at the ceremony. International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) presided over the ceremony. Other participants included leaders, young politicians, and youth representatives from more than 60 political parties and organizations from 17 Arab countries.
3.31 Song Tao held a videoconference with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) Secretary General Augustin Kabuya. Other participants included Li Mingxiang (李明祥), Chinese Ambassador to the DRC Zhu Jing (朱京), and the chargé d'affaires ad interim for the DRC Embassy in China.
3.31 International Department Deputy Head Chen Zhou (陈洲) held a videoconference with former Solvenian President and Silk Road Think Tank Association (SRTA) International Advisory Board member Danilo Türk.
3.31 International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) held a video exchange with I-Kiribati Minister of Employment & Human Resources Taabeta Teakai. Other participants included Chinese Ambassador to Kiribati Tang Songgen (唐松根) and Tobwaan Kiribati Party President Ioteba Redfern.
4.1 International Department Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) attended and addressed the closing ceremony of the China-Arab Young Leaders Forum. Other participants included politicians from more than 60 political parties and organizations from 17 Arab countries, such as Palestinian Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Central Committee Relations with China and the Arab World Commission Head Abbas Zaki.
4.2 Song Tao held a videoconference with Socialist International President and former Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou.
4.2 International Department Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) held a videoconference with United Russia General Council Deputy Secretary Andrei Klimov.