Weekly Report 4|41 9.4.2021-9.10.2021
Politburo Standing Committee Member, State Council Vice Premier, and Central Leading Group for the 24th Winter Olympic Games Work Head Han Zheng (韩正) conducted an investigation of Olympic facilities and preparations in Zhangjiakou, Hebei. (see Senior Leaders section)
People’s Daily published an authoritative Commentator Article expounding on several recent regulatory actions, specifically referencing oversight measures implemented in the platform economy, education and training, and information security sectors, among others. (see Propaganda Work section)
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission (CCDI-NSC) and other party and state bodies jointly released “Opinions on Further Advancing the Investigation of Bribes.” (see Party Discipline section)
Han Zheng: Make an All-Out Effort to Do All Preparation Work Well, Guarantee the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics are Held As Scheduled and [Go] Smoothly
9.4 On 3 September, Politburo Standing Committee Member, State Council Vice Premier, and C9.4 On 3 September, Politburo Standing Committee Member, State Council Vice Premier, and Central Leading Group for the 24th Winter Olympic Games Work Head Han Zheng (韩正) conducted an investigation of Olympic facilities and preparations in Zhangjiakou, Hebei. During the investigation, Han discussed “deeply implementing and carrying out the important spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speech on making an all-out effort to do all preparation work for the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics well” and ensuring the event would be held as scheduled and go smoothly. In Zhangjiakou, Han visited the National Ski Jumping Center, Winter Olympics and Paralympics Villages, and Genting Snow Park, inspecting each location and hearing reports on COVID-19 prevention and the overall plans for facility and venue construction, among other topics. After affirming current preparation work, Han said that COVID-19 was an “important test” (重大考验) in regards to hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics and stressed the need to develop scientific “strategies, policies, and plans” to fight against the pandemic, including implementing “closed loop management” (闭环管理) of Olympic personnel to facilitate prevention work. Next, Han visited Taizicheng City Ruins Park and heard about its discovery and protection, stressing the importance of protecting cultural relics in the construction of sporting venues and other relevant facilities. Lastly, Han visited Taizicheng Athletic Park, Taiwu Ski Resort, and Taizicheng Ski Resort, emphasizing the need for environmental protection and to investigate plans for post-Olympic venue usage to attract tourists and improve the lives of the people.
Central Committee and State Council Release “Plan for Comprehensively Deepening the Reform and Opening of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone”
9.6 On 6 September, the Central Committee and State Council issued a plan to support Hong Kong’s economic and social development and further advance economic cooperation between Guangdong, Macao, and Hong Kong by expanding the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone (hereafter “Qianhai Cooperation Zone”). The Qianhai Cooperation Zone was initially established in 2009. The 6 September plan included five sections: First, the document outlined the guiding theory and emphases surrounding the expansion of the Qianhai Cooperation Zone, including the themes of high quality development, innovation, supply-side reform, meeting the growing needs of the people, and the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” Identifying goals and benchmarks, the plan stated that, by 2025, it aims to have established a more open system and more competitive business environment, which it will perfect by 2035. Also by 2035, it will have established an engine for high-quality development and a new development model characterized by interconnection, interoperability, and innovation. Second, it delineated the scope and boundaries of the expansion, stipulating that in total the Qianhai Cooperation Zone will be expanded from 14.92 square kilometers to 120.56 square kilometers. Third, it described plans to create a “pilot platform for comprehensively deepening reform and innovation.” The pilot platform will involve advancing the “innovative development of the modern service secor,” “accelerating the reform and innovation of science and technology development systems,” “creating a top-ranking business environment,” and pursuing innovation in Qianhai Cooperation Zone governance.
Fourth, the plan proposed constructing a “high-level gateway hub for opening-up.” This hub will “deepen the liberalization of the services trade with Hong Kong” according to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) framework; expand the opening-up of the financial sector; “upgrade” the level of international opening-up in legal affairs, including establishing cross-border commercial dispute resolution mechanisms and other legal exchanges; and seek “high-level participation” in international economic, development, and science and technology cooperation efforts in ways that support and protect the Qianhai Cooperation Zone. Finally, the plan pointed to several factors acting as guarantees of its success, including adherence to the Party and its guiding ideology, measures to improve and strengthen implementation, and the delegation of oversight and implementation to relevant jurisdictions.
The Central Committee and State Council released a parallel plan for the Hengqin-Macao Cooperation Zone on 5 September.
He Yin: Advocate Trust and Harmony, Promote Win-Win Cooperation
9.5 A He Yin column stated that increased China-Russian cooperation had “great significance for promoting peace, stability, development, and prosperity in Northeast Asia.” The article began by discussing Xi Jinping’s speech at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum, saying that the Forum displayed “the high level of the China-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in the new era” and the significance China places on cooperation in Northeast Asia. It then described how China had striven to promote dialogue and how it “constructed a harmonious and friendly peripheral environment” in Northeast Asia, thereby “displaying the constructive image of a major country that assumes [its appropriate] responsibility.” After noting that Xi Jinping’s speech at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum laid out a “clear and feasible roadmap” for fighting COVID-19 and fostering economic recovery and peace in the region, the article asserted that the Forum came at “the best time in history for China-Russian relations in the new era.” It discussed the joint announcement by Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin of the extension of the China-Russia Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation (中俄睦邻友好合作条约) in June 2021 and the outcomes of “mutually beneficial win-win cooperation” between China and Russia in terms of bilateral trade and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it observed that together China and Russia had also become “one of the most important stabilizing powers in the world today” due to their efforts to protect the international order. Stating that cooperation between Russia and China contributed to peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia, the article concluded by expressing China’s willingness to “continually make the pie of shared interests (共同利益蛋糕) bigger” alongside Northeast Asian countries and ultimately create “a better tomorrow for Northeast Asia.”
The Relevant Persons in Charge of the Central Propaganda Department and the National News and Publishing Administration Summon Tencent, NetEase, and Other Gaming Companies and Platforms in for Talk
9.8 The heads of the Central Propaganda Department and the National News and Publishing Administration (NNPA/国家新闻出版署), along with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC/中央网信办), the PRC Ministry of Culture and Tourism (文化和旅游部), and other relevant departments summoned representatives from Tencent, NetEase and other gaming companies and platforms and gaming-related platforms to a discussion. At the discussion, relevant departmental leaders reviewed recent regulations pertaining to minors’ use of gaming platforms, in particular the “Notice Regarding More Strictly Managing and More Effectively Preventing Minors’ Addiction to Online Gaming” and the “Notice Regarding the Launch of Comprehensive Governance Work in the Culture and Entertainment Sectors.” Such regulations were instituted to demonstrate the Party’s care for minors and concern for their healthy growth. They urged the companies to “strictly and practically implement” the new requirements regarding time limits and restrictions on game content that banned “erronious values, obscenity and pornography, blood and gore, terror, and other illegal content,” as well as eschewing “money worship, ‘effeminate men’ (娘炮), ‘gay love’ (耽美), and other harmful culture.” The Central Propaganda Department and the NNPA said that they would work with relevant departments and localities to conduct inspections and handle violations as well as instituting a new reporting system that will ensure the law is implemented by gaming companies and platforms.
People’s Daily Commentator Article: Adhere to Paying Equal Attention to Both Hands of Supervising Regulations and Promoting Development, Both Hands Must be Firm
9.8 An authoritative Commentator Article expounded on several recent regulatory actions, specifically referencing oversight measures implemented in the platform economy, education and training, and information security sectors, among others. The Article clarified that these actions were made from the “strategic height” of “supervising market order, constructing a new development pattern, and advancing high-quality development” and were pragmatically taken to promote a more competitive market and better protect consumers’ rights and interests. Furthermore, in light of the complexity of the moment and the need to balance competing interests and goals, these regulatory efforts constituted a “powerful move.” The commentary pointed out that since the 18th Party Congress, the Party had focused on anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition efforts, launching a series of important strategic decisions and deployments aimed at improving fair competition systems and reforming market regulatory systems, among other goals. It noted that relevant departments’ targeting “prominent issues” such as some platforms’ “unnatural growth” and “disorderly expansion” had facilitated steady progress toward market fairness.
The Article also pointed out that maintaining the “security bottom line of the new development pattern” (新发展格局的安全底线) was necessary to facilitate future development amid emerging uncertainties, risks, and challenges. Ultimately, regulatory frameworks are meant to provide industries with party guidance so that they better serve social and economic development, encourage innovation, and foster prosperity, ensuring healthier, more innovative, and more sustainable development. The commentary emphasized that the Party’s approach had not changed: it continued to support the non-state economy and non-state market entities according to the “two unswervings,” (两个毫不动摇/unswervingly consolidating and developing the public sectors of the economy and unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sectors of the economy), and new measures were merely meant to target bad actors and provide a foundation for fair market growth. Similarly, it maintained that the Party’s approach to opening up had not changed, citing several examples of new policy measures relating to expanding access to Chinese markets, establishing free trade and other zones, and foreign investment, among others. The Article concluded by reiterating its claim that “regulated development would result in healthy development” allowing the Chinese economy to navigate any storms ahead.
Zhong Sheng: The Lie Creators Are Destroying Their Own Image
9.8 A page-16 Zhong Sheng commentary noted that “the United States’ China policy should not be hijacked by some politicians” or “founded on subjective ideas and lies,” and criticized the notion of a “China threat” (中国威胁). It asserted that “some US politicians” were attempting to “contain and suppress China” by using “outdated tools in the Cold War toolbox,” including “using lies to defame China and provoke disturbances,” and that this was a “dangerous practice” that “reflected the US side’s serious misjudgement of China and China-US relations” and would “harm others and oneself” (害人害己). The commentary criticized US Representative and House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul’s (R-TX) “so-called report” that “once again hyped the ‘Wuhan lab leak theory’ (武汉实验室泄漏论)” as inaccurate and detailed former US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Christopher A. Ford’s account of former Department of State (DOS) officials’ attempts to “circumvent expert evaluation” to promote the notion that the virus was a biological weapon. It further alleged that the US media facilitated these politicians’ efforts, such as through praising McCaul’s report.
The commentary asserted that “some politicians” were attempting to “provoke a ‘new Cold War’ against China” by “manufacturing points of contradiction and conflict in China-US relations,” including by putting Chinese firms on a list of those with military ties for receiving awards from the Chinese government and deporting Chinese students for having photos of military exercises on their phones. It added that the notion of the “China threat” had aroused concern among “a large number of rational voices in the United States,” citing Duke University professor Dr. Bruce W. Jentleson’s argument that this notion was exaggerated and could distort US policy. The commentary asserted that applying the “Cold War playbook” to the China-US relations of today and treating China as an “imaginary enemy” (假想敌) were both “absurd and dangerous” since economic globalization had rendered “all countries’ interests deeply interwoven” and “the need for China-US cooperation” was “not decreasing but increasing” due to the growing number of global risks and challenges. It maintained that “some US politicians” who were attempting to “decouple” from China or engage in “bloc politics” to “win a ‘new Cold War’ against China” were “seriously ignorant of the world and the general trend of China’s development,” that other countries, even US allies, had no appetite for an “anti-China coalition,” and that China and the United States should search for a way to peacefully coexist as this was the only “road [they] c[ould] walk.”
United Front Work
Gao Yunlong and Xu Lejiang Attend the Third Summit on Rule of Law Construction in the Non-State Economic Sector
9.3 The Third Summit on Rule of Law Construction in the Non-State Economic Sector was held in Beijing via teleconference and internet livestream. The summit was hosted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce with support from the Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and the Ministry of Justice and focused on “continuing to advance a rule of law business environment and rule of law in the non-state economic sector,” among other topics. Supreme People’s Court Party Leadership Group Secretary and Supreme People’s Court President Zhou Qiang (周强), Supreme People’s Procuratorate Party Leadership Group Secretary and Procurator-General Zhang Jun (张军), Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Vice Chair and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Chair Gao Yunlong (高云龙), MPS Party Committee Member and Assistant Minister Chen Siyuan (陈思源), and Ministry of Justice Party Group Member and Vice Minister Xiong Xuanguo (熊选国) were keynote speakers, and Central United Front Work Department (UFWD) Deputy Head and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Party Group Secretary and Executive Vice Chair Xu Lejiang (徐乐江) hosted the summit.
In his speech, Gao Yunlong discussued “seriously studying and implementing” the spirit of Xi Jinping’s 1 July speech, adhering to the “two unswervings” (两个毫不动摇/see above), and the need to “promote the marketization, rule of law, and internationalization of business environment construction,” among other things. Zhou Qiang’s speech addressed the role of the Supreme People’s Court in establishing a “rule of law environment” for the non-state economic sector’s development and affording equal legal protection to the non-state economic sector and other market entities. Zhang Jun gave an overview of inspection agencies in establishing a rule of law business environment by investigating non-state economic sector businesses involved in cases and ensuring they were following up on their promise to comply with regulations. Xu Lejiang emphasized that 2021 was the beginning of China’s progression towards “comprehensively building a modern socialist country” and urged federations of industry and commerce at all levels to increase cooperation with public security and legal authorities to “strengthen the construction of rule of law in the non-state economic sector.” In addition, various government agencies and non-state companies presented the outcomes of their efforts to “guarantee the construction of the non-state economic sector.” Supreme People’s Procuratorate Party Group Member and Deputy Procurator-General Yang Chunlei (杨春雷), State Tax Administration Party Group Member and Vice Chair Yao Laiying (姚来英), All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Party Leadership Group Member and Vice Chair Lu Yong (鲁勇), China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Party Leadership Group Member and Vice Chair Lu Pengqi (卢鹏起), and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce Party Group Member and Secretary-General Zhao Dejiang (赵德江) also attended the summit.
Feedback on the 19th Central Committee’s Completion of the Seventh Round of Inspections
9.2-9.4 Several group and one-on-one meetings were held over a three-day period to communicate feedback following the completion of a recent round of inspections at the Ministry of Education party group and the party committees of 31 colleges and universities. The first feedback meeting, convened by the Central Leading Group for Inspection Work (中央巡视工作领导小组), conveyed and studied the spirit of the important speech given by Xi Jinping after hearing the report on the seventh round of inspections and identified common problems discovered by the inspections. Politburo Member and Central Leading Group for Inspection Work Deputy Head Yang Xiaodu (杨晓渡) attended the meeting and gave a speech. During one-on-one meetings held from 2 to 4 September, representatives from each of the 31 universities were informed by 15 central inspection groups about issues discovered during the round of inspections.
While acknowledging the many positive contributions made by the colleges and universities, the feedback sessions pointed out that some institutions had demonstrated the following issues: inadequate efforts at strengthening political construction, failure to implement party guidelines and education work policies, insufficient ideological work, a lack of moral and ethical cultivation, and problems with corruption, among others. Stating that party committees at the universities should “take inspection and rectification work as a powerful tool for managing party governance of education,” the meeting made a number of recommendations and outlined measures to combat these deficiencies, highlighting the primary responsibility of party committee secretaries in this enterprise.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission and Relevant Units Jointly Release “Opinions on Further Advancing the Investigation of Bribes”
9.8 The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission (CCDI-NSC), Central Organization Department, Central United Front Work Department (UFWD), Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, Supreme People’s Court, and Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly released “Opinions on Further Advancing the Investigation of Bribes” (hereafter referred to as “the Opinions”). The Opinions stated that investigating bribery was “an effective way of eliminating the web of relations in transactions and the transfer of money and power” and stressed the need to “deeply grasp the political harm of bribery” and “promote the realization of dealing with bribery’s cause as well as its manifestations (标本兼治).” Next, the Opinions outlined the emphases of investigating bribery, which included, among others, repeated bribes, bribes involving large sums of money, and bribes given to large numbers of people, with a specific focus on behavior that did not diminish after the 18th Party Congress; bribery by party and state workers; bribery in circumstances that included “important national work” and other projects; and bribery involving environmental protection, food safety, finance, and other areas.
After listing the emphases in investigating bribery, the Opinions discussed the responsibilities of the relevant agencies involved in conducting investigations into bribery. First, discipline and supervision agencies were tasked with investigating and handling bribery cases and “establishing an internal restriction and supervision mechanism for the work of handling people who offer bribes.” Second, inspection agencies and judicial agencies were assigned the responsibility of “determining and applying sentences for lenient circumstances of bribery.” Third, all three types of agency were required to recover stolen goods, recall officials, and repossess illegally obtained profits. After calling on all three types of agency to carry out the appropriate punishment while guaranteeing the rights of those involved in bribery cases and minimizing impact to businesses as much as possible, the Opinions concluded by stressing the need to have “robust and well-developed systems and norms for [handling] bribery and advancing the standardization and rule of law in investigating bribery.”
Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission Holds Ceremony for Promotion to the Rank of General; Xi Jinping Issues Order and Expresses Congratulation to Promoted Officers
9.6 On 6 September, the Central Military Commission (CMC) held a promotion ceremony for the promotion of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command Commander Wang Haijiang (汪海江), Central Theater Command Commander Lin Xiangyang (林向阳), PLA Navy Commander Dong Jun (董军), PLA Air Force Commander Chang Dingqiu (常丁求), and National Defense University (NDU) President Xu Xueqiang (许学强) to the rank of general at the August 1st Building in Beijing. Xi Jinping issued orders to the five promoted officers, which were read by Politburo Member and CMC Vice Chair Xu Qiliang (许其亮). The promotion ceremony was hosted by Politburo Member and CMC Vice Chair Zhang Youxia (张又侠). After the ceremony’s conclusion, Xi took a group photo with the five promoted officers. CMC member, State Councilor, and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe (魏凤和), CMC Members Li Zuocheng (李作成), Miao Hua (苗华), and Zhang Shengmin (张升民) also participated in the promotion ceremony.
International Liaison Work
9.8 At the invitation of the CCP International Department (CCP/ID), ambassadors and consuls general from the diplomatic missions in China of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam traveled to Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (ZAR). While there, they participated in an exchange activity titled “Forging a Community for the Chinese Nation while on the Journey from Poverty Alleviation to Common Prosperity: The Vivid Practices of Guangxi Ethnic Minority Areas” and inspected Xilong Village (喜龙村), a local ethnic minority model village for poverty alleviation. Participants included CCP/ID Head Song Tao (宋涛), Guangxi ZAR Party Committee Standing Committee Member and Guangxi ZAR United Front Department Head Xu Shaochuan (徐绍川), Guilin Municipal Party Committee Secretary Zhou Jiabin (周家斌), Bangladeshi Ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman, Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Dato’ Nushirwan Zainal Abidin, and Vietnamese Ambassador to China Phạm Sao Mai.
9.9 The CCP/ID and Guangxi ZAR Party Committee jointly held a CCP in dialogue with Southeast Asian and South Asian political parties event titled “Strengthening Political Parties’ Cooperation in Joint Pursuit of Economic Development” in Nanning, Guangxi ZAR. Over 300 leaders, youth organization officials, and government representatives from more than 40 political parties participated in the event via videolink. Additionally, approximately 30 envoys and high-level diplomats from diplomatic missions in China attended in person. The event passed a joint initiative and held an anti-epidemic and development forum and Generation Z leadership forum. Song Tao and Guangxi ZAR Party Secretary Lu Xinshe (鹿心社) both attended and addressed the event, and CCP/ID Deputy Head Chen Zhou (陈洲) presided over it. Other Chinese participants included Guangxi ZAR Deputy Party Secretary Liu Xiaoming (刘小明), Guangxi ZAR Party Committee Standing Committee member and Guangxi ZAR Party Committee Secretary-General Huang Weijing (黄伟京), and Guangxi ZAR Party Committee Standing Committee member and Guangxi ZAR Organization Department Head Wang Weiping (王维平). Foreign participants included Indonesian Golkar Party Vice Chair and People's Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Politburo Member and Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) President Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, and Nepali National Assembly Chair Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.
9.9 The CCP/ID held a videoconference titled “Respecting Science and Rejecting Politicalization: An Informational Meeting on Novel Coronavirus Origin Tracing” with the São Paulo Forum. Participants included CCP/ID Deputy Head Shen Beili (沈蓓莉), Chinese Preventive Medicine Association (CPMA) Secretary-General and China-WHO Joint Expert Team’s Epidemiology Group Chinese Leader Feng Zijian (冯子健), and more than 40 leaders of 34 political parties from 18 Latin American countries. The political parties represented included the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT), the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the Uruguayan Broad Front (FA).
9.6 Liu Jiongtian (刘炯天) was appointed party secretary of Zhengzhou University’s Party Committee.