Weekly Report 4|27 5.15.2021-5.21.2021
United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) led separate inspection tours in which they both emphasized the importance of promoting ethnic harmony (see United Front Work section).
Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) published an article in Qiushi about the Party’s foreign affairs work (see Propaganda Work section).
Xi Jinping addressed a symposium in Nanyang on the South-to-North Water Diversion Project.
At a Symposium Promoting the High-Quality Follow-Up Development of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, Xi Jinping Emphasized Thoroughly Analyzing the New Situation and New Tasks Facing the South-to-North Water Diversion Engineering Project and Promoting Scientific Planning and Construction of the Project to Improve the Level of Intensive and Economical Use of Water Resources
5.14 Xi Jinping addressed a symposium in Nanyang, Henan aimed at promoting high-quality follow-up development of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. At the Symposium, Xi emphasized that the project concerned “the overall strategic situation,” “long-term development,” and “the people’s welfare.” He also noted that “entering a new development stage, implementing the new development concept, building a new development pattern, forming a unified national market and an unhindered domestic cycle, and promoting coordinated South-to-North development require strong support for water resources.” On the day before the symposium, Xi toured water conservation facilities in Xicheng County, Nanyang and visited a new housing development for migrants to better understand North-South Diversion Project construction management and the situation of migrants displaced by the project. In his speech at the Symposium, Xi identified the challenge for water management posed by China’s geography, and highlighted the leadership role of the Party in developing large-scale water conservancy, water disaster prevention, water ecology protection and restoration, water environment management, and building a number of cross-basin, trans-regional water diversion projects, and said that the South-to-North Water Diversion Project was the “backbone” for cross-basin, trans-regional water resource allocation.
Xi observed that China had gained valuable experience through the implementation of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project and other projects. First, they learned to use a national approach, with the local submitting to the whole and the regional to the central government, so that the central government can optimize resource allocation. Second, to focus on getting big things done, with the central government promoting unity and centralizing funds, construction, land, and materials for migrant resettlement. Third, to respect objective laws of nature, using a careful and scientific approach, mindful of ecology and environmental conservation, emphasizing the harmony between humans and water. Fourth, in addressing the water resource situation across river basins, to simultaneously balance the needs of industry and local areas. Fifth, to prioritize saving water and managing pollution. Sixth, to distribute water precisely and accurately, making sure the right amounts are being allocated. He stated that in order to continue to implement water diversion projects while conserving water it was important to manage water supply and demand.
Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正), Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources Li Guoying (李国英), Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng (何立峰), Jiangsu Provincial Party Secretary Lou Qinjian (娄勤俭), Henan Provincial Party Secretary Wang Guosheng (王国生), Tianjin Provincial Party Secretary Li Hongzhong (李鸿忠), Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi (蔡奇), and Vice Premier of the State Council Hu Chunhua (胡春华) also made speeches at the Symposium.
At the Plenary Meeting of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Enforcement Inspection Teams, Wang Chen Emphasized Grasping the Great Opportunity to Revitalize and Develop Traditional Chinese Medicine, Providing People and the Masses Even More High-Quality and Efficient Health Services
5.18 On 17 May, Politburo member and NPC Standing Committee Vice Chair Wang Cheng (王晨) gave a speech at the second plenary meeting of traditional Chinese medicine enforcement inspection teams. He emphasized adherence to Xi Jinping Thought, “grasp[ing] the great opportunity to revitalize and develop traditional Chinese medicine,” promoting the passing on and innovating of traditional Chinese medicine according to law. He also stated the importance of promoting the high-quality development of the traditional Chinese medicine industry and stated that since the implementation of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Law, the industry has achieved positive development results but still has shortcomings. In response to existing problems, he stated that it is necessary to place equal emphasis on Chinese and Western medicine and “use modern science to understand principles of traditional Chinese medicine.” The meeting studied and discussed the draft of the inspection report on the enforcement of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Law. Vice Chairperson of the NPCSC Zhang Chunxian (张春贤) was among those who attended.
Guo Shengkun Emphasized Closely Centering on Main Line to Plan and Advance All Work, Putting Into Practice the Party Central Committee’s Deployment Requirements for Comprehensively Ruling According to Law
5.18 On 17 May, Politburo member and Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) gave a speech at the CPC Central Committee Commission for Law-based Governance’s 2021 work and task deployment meeting. At the meeting, Guo pointed out the necessity of “fully, accurately, and comprehensively” understanding the scientific implications, spiritual essence, and practical requirements of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and fully implementing the process of comprehensively ruling according to law. He stated, “[We] must combine the study, dissemination, and implementation of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law with the study and education of Party history and with the thorough study of the achievements and experience of our Party in promoting the rule of law over the past one hundred years.” He also stated that “it is necessary to promote high-quality development with high-quality rule of law to serve and ensure that the ‘14th Five-Year Plan’” gets off to a good start. Zhao Kezhi (赵克志), Zhou Qiang (周强), and Zhang Jun (张军) attended the meeting.
During an Inspection in Hebei, Wang Chen Emphasized Strengthening Legal Literacy and Enhancing the Spirit of Rule of Law to Advance Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law Entering Deeply into the Hearts of the People
5.20 According to People’s Daily, Politburo member and China Law Society Head Wang Chen (王晨) attended and conducted an inspection of the “2021 Youth Legal Literacy Volunteer Rule- of-Law Grassroots Culture” Symposium on 19 May. At the Conference, Wang emphasized adhering to the guidance of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; strengthening legal literacy; enhancing the spirit of the rule of law; making solid progress on building a socialist, rule of law culture; and advancing Xi Jinping Thought on rule of law entering deeply into the hearts of the people.” During his investigation, Wang visited several sites related to the Olympics at Zhangjiakou to hear about work teaching and promoting rule of law and to understand the situation of protecting rule of law during the Olympics. Wang reaffirmed that the CCP Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core “attaches a high degree of importance to strengthening the rule of law ideology of the entire population and strengthening the building of a socialist rule of law culture,” affirming Hebei for demonstrating the importance of rule of law education having a grassroots foundation. He concluded by stressing the necessity of studying, implementing, and teaching Xi Jinping Thought on rule of law, integrating it into classrooms and thought work, exhorting attendees to “vigorously promote the constitutional spirit; promote firmly establishing constitutional law as supreme for all of society, equality before the law for all, rights by law, and rights according to the law,” along with other foundational concepts in order to enhance legal literacy and conformity with the law across society. Wang emphasized that the people should be at the center of such efforts.
Wang also visited the Chaha'er Martyrs' Cemetery and offered flowers.
Zhong Sheng: The Chronic Illnesses of US-Style Democracy are Hard to Shake
People’s Daily began a Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary series called “The Chronic Illnesses of US-Style Democracy are Hard to Shake,” and discussed the problems supposedly endemic to American politics and society.
16 May’s article, titled “Democracy Is Actually Ruled by Money,” asserted that “some politicians in the United States” secretly believe that “democracy is a pretense and the rule of money is the substance” of American society. It noted that the 2020 presidential and congressional elections had cost over $14 billion USD, which was more than twice as much as the 2016 elections and larger than the 2020 GDP of tens of countries. The commentary argued that “fundraising ability has become a hard indicator for judging the prospects of US politicians and sometimes is the utmost indicator” that “‘power-for-money transactions’ ( 权 钱 交 易 ) can be completely wrapped in a legal appearance in the United States,” that US efforts to address “legal corruption” often amount to little more than “a decoration to pull the wool over people’s eyes (掩人耳目),” and that the increasing wealth of the upper class is a threat to the democratic rights of US citizens. It concluded, “if ‘money rules politics,’ then there is no true democracy.”
17 May’s article, titled “Who Is Responsible for the Disorder?,” asserted that “governance failures,” such as government shutdowns, the COVID-19 policy response, hate crimes, police brutality, and gun violence, “reflect the structural problems of US-style democracy” and that “the chaos in the United States has already reached the point where many Americans feel hopeless,” which contributed to the 6 January storming of the Capitol. It argued that “the ‘ingenious design’ [of US-style democracy] is pregnant with the deformed fetus (怪胎) of ‘veto politics’ (“否决政治”怪胎)” and that polarization had given rise to a nationwide “plague” (瘟疫) of “political animosity.” The commentary maintained that the US political system makes determining who is responsible for making and implementing policy hard and that politicians “pass the buck” (甩锅) while the public suffers as a result. It concluded, “The protracted polarization and ruptures in US society have coalesced into contradictions. As the contradictions intensify, they develop into confrontations. It is only a matter of time before [US society] goes from disorder to disorder…How could one not worry about US-style democracy?”
18 May’s article, titled “Skin Color Has Become Lifeblood,” asked, “Why is the original sin of US racism so hard to shake? Why is the struggle of minority groups to pursue racial equality and racial justice as lonely, wretched, and hopeless as a cry in the desolate wilderness?” It reviewed the history of racism in the United States and asserted that racism has a “comprehensive, systemic, and continuous existence that unceasingly deepens and ferments” in the modern United States. The commentary highlighted the racial dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and the ways in which US racism violates international law. It concluded, “Can US-style democracy only allow for generation after generation of Americans to hopelessly cry out for racial justice? If the people can make decisions, how can the wishes of the vast masses be so unattainable?”
19 May’s article, titled “Gun Disasters are Continuously Tragic and Numerous,” opened by stating that “Strict gun control can reduce gun tragedies; this principle makes sense, but US-style democracy makes it impossible.” It went on to quote President Joe Biden decrying that the White House flag was still at half-staff for the eight lives taken by a shooter in Georgia when 10 more lives were lost in a mass shooting in Colorado. Chronicling the extent and scope of the problem, which it described as a “flaw in the national character,” the commentary observed that gun violence was part of a “vicious cycle” based in fear, where people buy guns because they feel unsafe, yet are then contributing to the problem. The commentary observed that gun culture is “deeply rooted” in American culture, which also makes it difficult to address. Citing an “American critic,” the commentary stated that “the life of Americans is a ‘zero-sum game’ in which the right to peaceful existence is replaced by the ‘right to kill.’” It concluded by explaining that unfortunately, even though gun control was a reasonable response to this national problem, the power wielded by the gun lobby means that “US-style democracy will not allow it to work.”
Yang Jiechi: The Glorious Course and Far-Reaching Prospects of the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Work in the Century Since the Party’s Founding
5.16 CCP Politburo member and Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Director Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) published an article on the history of the Party’s foreign affairs work since its founding. He said that at present, as the international situation is more complicated, the work of foreign affairs is more arduous, and the mission is more glorious, it is important to “draw strength from history.”
The article first reviewed the Party’s foreign affairs work since 1921, saying that over the past century, generation after generation of Chinese communists have “closely relied on the people, united the Chinese people in struggle, and ushered in the bright prospect of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” He divided the Party’s foreign affairs work into four periods: 1921-1949, when the Party’s foreign affairs work “grew out of nothing” and laid a solid foundation for accomplishing the goals of revolution; 1949-1978, when the main task was to break through isolation, containment, and encirclement by Western hostile forces; 1978-2012, when the task of foreign affairs work was to create a cooperative environment for the country’s development; and 2012-present, during which China’s international status and influence have “risen to unprecedented heights” and China is approaching the center of the world stage and constantly making new contributions to human development and progress.
He laid out eight key characteristics of the Party’s foreign affairs work under Xi Jinping:
It formed and established the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.
It has fully developed the leading role of “head-of-state diplomacy strategy.”
It advocates and advances the Belt and Road Initiative and other new prospects for international cooperation.
It deepens and expands the omnidirectional, multilayered, wide-ranging, and three-dimensional external work layout to build a global partnership network.
It actively leads the reform of the global governance system and contributes Chinese wisdom, ideas, and solutions.
It effectively prevents and resolves a number of risks and challenges and firmly safeguards national interests and national dignity.
It continues to enhance exchange and mutual learning with countries around the world.
It maintains that the control of diplomacy lies within the Central Committee and strengthens the Central Committee’s leadership over foreign affairs.
Yang drew the following lessons from history:
Always adhere to the guiding position of Marxism and lead the Party’s foreign affairs work in the correct direction.
Always adhere to people-centered development thinking and firmly grasp the fundamental purpose of the Party’s foreign affairs work.
Always adhere to coalescing around the center and strive to create a favorable external environment for national development and security.
Always adhere to an independent foreign policy and follow the path of peaceful development.
Always adhere to the spirit of struggle, dare to struggle, be good at the struggle, and safeguard national security, sovereignty, and development interests.
Always adhere to the side of developing countries and solidify solidarity and cooperation with developing countries.
Always adhere to seeking truth from facts, be determined to innovate, and promote innovation in the Party’s foreign affairs work.
Always adhere to the overall plan for safeguarding China’s interests and promoting the common development of the world.
Always adhere to uniting all forces that can be united.
Always adhere to building a team of diplomatic and foreign affairs cadres that are loyal to the Party, loyal to the country, loyal to the people, politically firm, skilled in business, masterful in style, and strict in discipline.
Yang called on the United States to “meet the Chinese side halfway (相向而行) and jointly work to build a China-US relationship featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation” and on China to “firmly struggle and adopt countermeasures against the US side’s words and deeds that harm [its] interests” and to “firmly defend [its] national sovereignty, security, and development interests.” In another section on current and future foreign affairs work, he urged the United States, in accordance with the spirit of the Xi-Biden call, to “meet the Chinese side halfway, jointly uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation, thoroughly carry out cooperation on climate change and in other areas, and promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations.”
United Front Work
You Quan: Maintain Harmony and Stability in the Ethnic and Religious Fields
5.19 United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) conducted an investigation tour of Henan Province, during which he emphasized the importance of maintaining ethnic and religious harmony, cultivating a sense of “national community,” and “the great significance of adhering to the sinicization of China’s religions.” In Zhengzhou and Luoyang, You visited ethnic minority villages, schools, and private enterprises, as well as religious venues and held discussions with comrades responsible for religious and ethnic work in local party committees and government departments. Regarding ethnic work, he said that “forging a consciousness of a Chinese national community” is the “main line.” On religious work, he said that religion has always been a major issue that the party must handle well in order to govern the country and he exhorted religious workers to “establish robust long-term mechanisms to prevent religious infiltration and spread” and “effectively prevent and resolve the hidden risks in the field.”
During Investigation in Ningxia Wang Yang Emphasizes Promoting the High-Quality Development of New Era Ethnic Work, Ensuring that Every Ethnicity Jointly Moves Toward Modernization
5.20 Politburo Standing Committee member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) led a research team to Ningxia from 17 to 19 May. At a symposium to listen to relevant work reports, Wang pointed out that ethnic and religious work is about constructing an overall situation of socialist modernization, consolidating ethnic unity, promoting religious harmony, safeguarding social stability, and ensuring border area security is the responsibility and contribution of ethnic regions. He also emphasized the necessity of guiding cadres and the masses of all ethnic groups to establish a correct view of the country, history, nationality, culture, and religion, developing the fine traditions of joint unity and struggle, common prosperity and development, and promoting the exchanges and integration of all ethnic groups in the process of joint modernization. Wang stressed that it is necessary to fully and accurately implement the new development concept and seize the opportunity to construct a new development pattern. He noted that carbon peaking and carbon neutrality should be incorporated into economic and social development as well as the construction of an ecological civilization. He also stated the necessity of promoting a new type of urbanization centered on people, broadening the employment opportunities of the rural population, and consolidating and expanding the results of poverty alleviation and rural revitalization.
Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission Commends Advanced Units and Advanced Individuals in the Military’s Strategic Planning Work
5.16 The Central Military Commission issued a notification that 10 “advanced units” and 18 “advanced individuals” would be commended for their roles in the military’s strategic planning. The notice pointed out that in recent years, all levels of the military have been guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, have thoroughly implemented Xi Jinping Thought on a Strong Military, have thoroughly implemented the military’s strategic policy for the New Era, and have resolutely implemented the decisions of the Central Military Commission. Through this work, a “large number of advanced units and advanced individuals in strategic planning have emerged.” The notification said that the entire army should look to the commended units and individuals as examples.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Xi Jinping Presides Over Meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform
5.21 During the meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform, Xi Jinping discussed the importance of innovation to scientific and technological self-reliance. Since the 18th Party Congress, he reported, the Party has put into place a scientific and technological evaluation system and has fostered an environment for stimulating innovation, which has led to significant improvement in the nation’s scientific and technological innovation capacity. The Commission put forward ideas for improving the evaluation system in order to further stimulate innovation. The Commission also discussed problems in China’s compulsory education system, primarily that the burden on primary and secondary students is too high. They discussed the “disorderly development” of off-campus training schools and the phenomenon of “burden reduction within school and burden intensification outside of school.” The Commission said that fundamental to reducing student burden is improving the quality of education and standardizing the management of off-campus training schools to prevent corruption, false advertising, and collusion with schools for profit. The Commission also discussed medical services, saying this is the issue the people are most concerned with and discussed the importance of reducing the prices of medication and medical services and the need to create better mechanisms for price management. Additionally, the Commission discussed the limitations of China's ecological compensation system and made suggestions for improvements to the system.
International Liaison Work
5.18 International Department Head Song Tao (宋涛) attended the first meeting of the annual meeting mechanism between the party secretaries of Yunnan, China and the four northwestern provinces of Vietnam via videolink. Song Tao, Yunnan Provincial Party Secretary Ruan Chengfa (阮成发), Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Commission for External Relations Head Lê Hoài Trung, CPV Lào Cai Provincial Party Secretary Đặng Xuân Phong, Hà Giang Provincial Party Secretary Đặng Quốc Khánh, Lai Châu Provincial Party Secretary Giàng Páo Mỷ, and Điện Biên Provincial Party Secretary Nguyễn Văn Thắng attended and delivered speeches. Other participants included International Department Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲), Yunnan Provincial Committee Standing Committee members Chen Shun (陈舜) and Liu Hongjian (刘洪建), PRC Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo (熊波), and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Minh Vũ.
5.19 Guo Yezhou held a videoconference with Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) Central Committee Commission for External Relations Vice Chairman Suos Yara.
5.20 The China Center for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS) of the International Department, the PRC Embassy in Afghanistan, and the Afghanistan-China Friendship Association held a webinar on “A Century of Jointly Discussing and Jointly Promoting Peace.” Nearly 100 people participated, including Song Tao, Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Chair Abdullah Abdullah, People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan Leader Mohammad Mohaqiq, former Afghan National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Jamiat-e Islami Leader Salahuddin Rabbani, National Islamic Front of Afghanistan Leader Ahmed Gailani, and think tank scholars from both countries. Other participants included International Department Deputy Head Chen Zhou (陈洲), PRC Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu (王愚), and Afghan Ambassador to China Javid Ahmad Qaem.
5.19 Liu Guangyuan (刘光源) was appointed commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
5.20 Liu Jianbo (刘建波) was appointed deputy secretary-general of the State Council.
5.20 Ma Youxiang (马有祥) was appointed vice minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.