Weekly Report 4|37 8.7.2021-8.13.2021
Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) visited Yangzhou, Jiangsu to inspect and direct epidemic prevention and control work. (see Senior Leaders section)
People’s Daily continued its Commentator Article series on the United States’ efforts to investigate COVID-19’s origins. (see Propaganda Work section)
Local officials in Guangzhou, Guangdong and Yangzhou, Jiangsu were penalized for ineffective responses to COVID-19 outbreaks in those cities. (see Party Discipline section)
CCP Central Committee and State Council Published “Outline on Establishing and Implementing a Rule of Law Government, 2021-2025”
8.11 The CCP Central Committee and the State Council published an outline for all levels of government in all regions to have an increasingly complete governance system, improved administrative law enforcement systems and mechanisms, high-quality and more effective administrative law enforcement, and strengthened emergency response by 2025. The outline first addressed improving the “system of government institutions and functions” to “better showcase the government’s role.” Specifically, the outline discussed coordinating the responsibilities of and improving the role of government institutions across multiple sectors, “deepening and advancing reform in ‘delegating power, streamlining administration, and optimizing government services’ (‘放管服’改革),” and “continuing to optimize rule of law in the business environment.” Next, the outline discussed improving the administrative system, and emphasized the need for all levels of government to establish laws for important fields like national security and research legal frameworks for fields like artificial intelligence, “perfect the legal work system” by increasing the coordination of government legislation with National People’s Congress (NPC) legislation, and “strengthen the oversight and management of formulating “administrative regulatory documents.” The outline also addressed the administrative decision-making system, emphasizing increased awareness of decision-making in accordance with the law, making decisions in accordance with regulations, and “strengthening the implementation and evaluation of administrative decisions.”
In addition, the outline discussed improving administrative law enforcement work, emergency response, and the social tension and dispute prevention, mediation, and resolution. Regarding the administrative law enforcement work system, the outline emphasized perfecting the administrative law enforcement system mechanisms to increase the “execution of and public trust in law enforcement,” increasing the strength for law enforcement in important areas like public health and transportation, and “perfecting administrative law enforcement procedures” and “innovating administrative law enforcement methods.” As to emergency response, the outline discussed revising relevant laws and establishing a national emergency response contingency planning system, “increasing capacity for handling emergencies according to law,” and providing the necessary systems, measures, and legal clarifications to facilitate the participation of “grassroots organizations and social forces” in emergency response. The outline also addressed ways to improve the social tension and dispute prevention, resolution, and mediation system. Specifically, the outline encouraged carrying out social tension and dispute prevention, resolution, and mediation across a wide variety of situations in a “timely and appropriate manner,” establishing an adjudication mechanism, implementing a “fair, authoritative, unified, and efficient administrative review system” by the end of 2022 and “strengthening and standardizing administrative defense work” by, among other things, establishing systems that allow for persons responsible for administrative organs to appear in court to defend themselves.
Finally, the outline discussed several ways to improve systems to restrict and supervise administrative authorities, to “perfect the technological guarantee system for establishing a rule of law government,” and to “strengthen the Party’s leadership and perfect the driving mechanism of establishing a rule of law government.” The outline concluded by saying that “every district and department must precisely implement the spirit and requirements of this outline, fulfill [their] responsibility, pay close attention to implementation, and guard against formalism and bureaucratism.”
Sun Chunlan: Resolutely Close Prevention and Control Loopholes, Contain Momentum of Epidemic’s Spread as Soon as Possible
8.11 Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) visited Yangzhou, Jiangsu to inspect and guide epidemic prevention and control work in order to implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important instructions and carry out Li Keqiang’s (克强) written comments and requirements. While in Yangzhou, she also conducted an onsite investigation of the Yangzhou City Public Security Bureau Center for Big Data, the Huaihai Road sealed neighborhood, and a neighborhood testing center, focusing on understanding the spread of COVID-19, as well as screening, centralizing, and isolation efforts, and containing community transmission. Sun consulted with experts and assessed the current epidemic situation, identifying “weak links and loopholes” and assigning relevant tasks to address them. In view of the serious epidemic situation in Yangzhou, Sun emphasized “implement[ing] the ‘four earlies’ (四早/early detection, early reporting, early isolation, and early treatment) [and] consolidat[ing] the ‘four responsibilities’ (四方责任/local, department, danwei, and personal responsibilities).” She noted that it was important to ensure effective isolation management, especially of medium- and high-risk communities.
Commentator Article Series: Global Pandemic Prevention Must Purge the “Political Virus”
People’s Daily continued its Commentator Article series on the United States’ efforts to investigate COVID-19’s origins.
A 7 August commentary titled “Scientific Origin Tracing Cannot Allow for Political Black Hands” stated that US politicians are manipulating science for their own political ends. The series’ third installment accused “a minority of US politicians” of becoming “even more obsessed with playing ‘virologist’ (扮演‘病毒学家’).” It alleged that these politicians are “concocting reports completely based on lies” and “citing information without evidence”; they presume guilt and “wantonly hype the so-called ‘lab-leak theory’ (实验室泄漏论).” While origin tracing should be a serious scientific issue, US attempts to shift blame from itself in order to defame and suppress other countries have undermined international origin tracing efforts and research. The commentary noted that, despite US attempts to smear China, it has succeeded in both containing the epidemic and in fostering transparency—inviting the World Health Organization in to investigate the virus’s origins. Such a performance against the pandemic has made US criticism of China unpopular.
Stating that the virus does not distinguish between borders or nations, the commentary concluded by reviewing the past and present state of the virus in the United States. Regarding the past, it claimed that COVID-19 appeared around the world before it was identified in China, including likely appearances in the United States. It further posited that an illness associated with e-cigarettes in July 2019 could actually have been COVID-19. As a result, origin tracing should be conducted in the United States as well as in China. Finally, it highlighted rising US infection rates, advising “some US politicians” not to “place political manipulation above scientific investigation and research” or “place selfish political interests above the life and health of the people.” Not only is this the “minimum requirement for virus origin tracing,” but also the minimum requirement for human conscience.
Zhong Sheng: So-Called “Stand[ing] with the People of Hong Kong” Cannot Cover the Hypocrisy of US Politicians
8.7 A Zhong Sheng commentary spoke against President Biden’s 5 August directive that the Department of Homeland Security implement a “Deferred Enforced Departure” policy for Hong Kongers already in the United States. The commentary characterized the claim that Hong Kongers need asylum as “a distortion of the facts and mainstream public opinion,” and represents “nothing more than [the US’] hope of using oppose-China, stoke-chaos-in-Hong Kong elements (反中乱港) to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability [and] to contain China’s development.” Zhong Sheng then claimed that, in the year since the Hong Kong National Security Law (HKNSL) was implemented, it had only targeted a small group of rioters who threaten national security while bringing down crime rates and ensuring the continued strength of its economy and financial sectors. Moving on, the commentary reviewed the damage done by Hong Kong protestors, which included “[causing] the injury of more than 3000 people”; Hong Kong’s economy posting the “first negative annual growth in ten years”; a decrease in tourism, and increasing unemployment in several industries. The commentary claimed that the United States, rather than seeking to “stand with the people of Hong Kong,” instead merely desires to “endanger China’s national security.” It concluded by asserting that China cares most about Hong Kong and its development; that “the people of Hong Kong know for themselves what peace and prosperity are, and that only [if] secure will Hong Kong improve, have hope, and develop”; and that “the HKNSL is the ‘formidable tiger ‘patron saint’’ (虎虎生威的“守护神”) of Hong Kong’s National Security,” bringing “valuable security benefits” to the Hong Kong public.
Commentator Article Series: On the Spiritual Pedigree of Chinese Communist Party Members
People’s Daily continued its Commentator Article series on the spiritual pedigree of Chinese Communist Party members.
A 10 August commentary, titled “The Great Spirit of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea Transcends Time and Space, Enduring Yet Always New” looked to the example of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) who fought alongside the Korean People’s Army during the Korean War. The commentary characterized the “great spirit” exemplified by the Volunteers as consisting of patriotism, revolutionary heroism, optimism, revolutionary devotion, and internationalism. The commentary recalled that the PRC had always sought peace, but that this desire had been “cruelly challenged” by “imperialist aggressors,” in which case Beijing had to resist and respond. This was true during the Korean war, when China stepped in at a “critical juncture,” which was a “historic strategic decision for national defense.” The commentary insisted that this spirit of resistance be carried on and passed down from generation to generation in perpetuity. Finally, it said that this same spirit has continued to inspire the CCP throughout its history and should now inspire them as they navigate “changes unseen in a century” and work toward the second centennial goal.
A 12 August commentary, titled “Practice the XPCC Spirit of Loving the Motherland, Selfless Devotion, Hard Work, and Breaking New Ground and Showing Initiative” celebrated the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (新疆生产建设兵团/XPCC) as “an important force for social stability and for realizing long-term peace and stability.” The commentary said that the XPCC had made “indelible historical contributions to promoting Xinjiang’s development, advancing ethnic unity, safeguarding social stability, and consolidating national border defense.” It then reviewed the history of the XPCC, saying that over time it had transformed the barren ecology of Xinjiang into “an oasis,” initiating Xinjiang’s modernization. The Article characterized the XPCC’s history as one of “passing on the red gene” (色基) and the revolutionary spirit,” and the XPCC spirit as the “valuable spiritual wealth of the Chinese Communist Party” and part of the “spiritual pedigree” of CCP members. Citing Xi Jinping, it said that “under the new situation, the XPCC’s work can only be strengthened, and cannot be weakened,” underlining its important role in Xinjiang work.
Zhong Sheng: The United States is the Biggest Threat to Stability in the South China Sea
8.12 According to a Zhong Sheng commentary on Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s 9 August remarks at an open meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on maritime security, the United States “promoted the so-called ‘South China Sea Arbitral Case’” and “groundlessly criticized” China’s [actions] in the South China Sea. The commentary claimed that the aforementioned Arbitral Case was nothing but a “political farce from the beginning, and that the United States has been the originator of this evil practice from behind the scenes.” The commentary claimed that such a ruling “violated the principles of ‘[host] state consent’, and that the arbitration tribunal went beyond its authority in hearing this case,” which contained “serious fallacies in its determination of the facts and in its application of the law [and] violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and international law.” It further claimed that the ruling was illegal and invalid. China does not accept and will not participate in this arbitration, and will not accept nor concede to its ruling.
The commentary reviewed statistics related to the amount of goods and trade that passed through the South China Sea, before criticizing the United States, saying that it did not actually constitute “a party to the South China Sea dispute,” yet was still using “every means possible to stir up trouble in the South China Sea.” It also asserted that, “At the slightest pretext, the United States sends large numbers of advanced warships to the South China Sea for military reconnaissance and [military] exercises and illegally enters China’s territorial waters and airspace.” The commentary cited a statistic from a spokesperson for the PRC Ministry of Foregin Affairs (MFA), who last month claimed that this year to date, the United States has conducted “approximately 2,000 reconnaissance missions in China, with over 20 large-scale naval exercises aimed at China.” The commentary then quoted former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said, “We believe that China will exercise restraint on the issue of the South China Sea, but the problem is that foreign countries who are ‘not friendly’ towards China will attempt to provoke it.” It concluded by stating that China will maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and urged the United States to cease its meddling.
Commentator Article: Establish a New Frontier in the Project of Human Rights
8.13 A Commentator Article touted the 12 August State Council Information Office (SCIO) white paper “Comprehensively Establishing a Moderately Prosperous Society: A Brilliant Chapter in the Development of China’s Project of Human Rights.” The Article began by listing the various improvements in poverty alleviation, lifespan, employment since “realizing the goal of establishing a moderately prosperous society,” crediting these with “broadening the horizon of human rights” and “an important milestone in the development of the project of global human rights.” Next, the Article described how the “great practice of comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society accumulated valuable experience in respecting and ensuring human rights,” describing the way in which the Chinese Communist Party “contributed Chinese wisdom and offered a Chinese answer to advancing mankind’s wellbeing” by “adhering to combining the universal principles of human rights and the country’s reality.” After stating that the rights of the Chinese people would “receive a higher level of protection” when the PRC reaches its first centenary, the Article concluded “From the new historical starting point, let us unite more closely around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core; adhere to a people-centered development ideology and to walking the road of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics human rights development; promote the comprehensive development of the project of human rights [and] further strengthen the people’s and masses’ sense of gain, sense of happiness, and sense of security, continuously establishing a new frontier in the project of human rights and composing a new chapter in the project of human rights development.”
Notification on Guangzhou COVID-19 Prevention and Control Accountability Situation
8.12 From 21 May to 19 June, COVID-19 epidemic cases in Guangzhou spread to other cities. During the outbreak, weak links in epidemic prevention and control work were exposed and some party members and leading cadres performed ineffectively and neglected their duties. After an in-depth investigation by the Guangdong Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission and the Guangzhou Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission Joint Investigation Team for Epidemic Prevention and Control Accountability, 20 leading cadres were held accountable in a number of ways, including dismissal, removal from office, demotion, transfer, being given demerits, probation, or admonishment. Among those dismissed or removed from their positions were Secretary and Director of the Party Leadership Group of the Guangzhou Municipal Health Committee Huang Guanglie (黄光烈) and officials from the Liwan District of Guangzhou City. Among those admonished were Director of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention Yang Zhicong (杨智聪) and officials at the Guangzhou municipal government level. Two Party committee officials from Liwan Central Hospital were given probation.
Jiangsu Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission Notified Yangzhou City about Handling the Situation of Relevant Personnel Not Doing Their Best to Carry Out Epidemic Prevention and Control Duties
8.13 The Jiangsu Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission conducted an investigation into Yangzhou’s ineffective epidemic prevention and control and handled the situation of negligent party members and cadres. Four individuals were held accountable. The following officials were given warnings: Member of the Standing Committee of the Yangzhou Municipal Party Committee, Executive Deputy Mayor, and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Municipal Epidemic Prevention and Control Work Headquarters Chen Kaihong (陈锴竑); Deputy Mayor of Yangzhou City Yu Jun (余珽); Secretary of the Hanjiang District Party Committee of Yangzhou City Qian Feng (钱峰); and Secretary of the Guangling District Party Committee of Yangzhou City Zhu Yong (朱勇). The latter two individuals were also removed from their District Party Committee secretary positions.
8.9 Zhang Yudong (张雨东) was appointed vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
8.9 Ren Hongbin (任鸿斌) was appointed vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce.
8.9 Ma Feixiong (马飞雄) was appointed vice minister of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.
8.9 Jiang Hui (姜辉) was appointed vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
8.9 Huang Luqi (黄璐琦) was appointed deputy head of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
8.9 Wu Jianli (武建力) was appointed vice chair of the National Council for Social Security Fund.
8.9 Zhang Guangjun (张广军) will continue to serve as president of Southeast University.