Weekly Report 4|42 9.11.2021-9.17.2021
Xi Jinping conducted an inspection of Shaanxi from 13 September to 14 September, emphasizing the regulation and reform of the coal sector in accordance with China’s peak carbon and carbon neutral goals, among other regional themes. On 15 September, he visited a military base in the province. (see Senior Leaders section)
A People's Daily Zhong Sheng commentary on the 10 September call between Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden described the call as a “frank, thorough, and wide-ranging” exchange where the two leaders discussed China-US relations, and relevant issues of mutual concern to both countries. (see Propaganda Work section)
Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Committee for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) conducted investigation work in Inner Mongolia from 15 to 17 September. (see Party Discipline section)
Xi Jinping: Liberate [Your] Ideology, [Carry Out] Reform and Innovation, Persist in Struggle; Write a New Chapter in the High-Quality Development of Shaanxi
9.13-14 Xi Jinping conducted an inspection of Shaanxi from 13 September to 14 September. He was accompanied by Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee Secretary Liu Guozhong (刘国中), Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide (赵一德), Politburo Members Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), Liu He (刘鹤), and Chen Xi (陈希), and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Head He Lifeng (何立峰). On the morning of 13 September, Xi first stopped at China Energy Investment Corporation’s (CEIC) Yulin Chemical Company to “understand the situation regarding the construction and operation of the circular economy comprehensive coal utilization program.” At the company, Xi stressed the need to control the amount of coal and reduce substitution in accordance with China’s peak carbon and carbon neutrality goals and “encourage the transformation and upgrading of coal consumption.” Xi also emphasized the need to “promote the high-end, diversified, and low-carbon development” of the coal chemical industry and to focus on “scientific and technological innovation” and “develop coal-based special fuels and biodegradable materials.” That afternoon, Xi visited Gaoxigou Village in the Yinzhou Subdistrict of Mizhi County. At Gaoxigou Village, Xi met with villagers working in the fields and emphasized the importance of “continuing to untiringly launch the construction of an ecological civilization” and “deeply implement the concept of clear waters and green mountains are gold and silver mountains (绿水青山就是金山银山),” among other things. After leaving Xigou Village, Xi visited the Yangjiagou revolutionary site and emphasized that “policies and strategies were the Party’s life,” well as the need to adhere to and sinicize Marxism, and the need to “use red resources” (红色资源), among other things.
On 14 September, Xi visited the former Suide prefectural party committee revolutionary site, where he stressed the centrality of relying on the people in the Party’s ultimate victory in the revolution and highlighted the need to “plant [yourselves] firmly on the side of the masses” (把屁股端端地坐在老百姓的这一面). Xi then visited Suide Experimental Middle School and observed students practicing calligraphy and exercising. At the school, Xi emphasized the need to cultivate students that have a strong moral grounding, intellectual and physical ability, physical fitness, and aesthetic sensibility (德智体美); who are “socialist builders and successors”; and the need to increase the quality of education while decreasing the burden on students, among other things. Xi then went to the Suide County Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall and discussed the role folk arts play in “building a modern socialist country.” Afterward, Xi visited Haojiaqiao Village and met with a villager who “freed himself from poverty” in 2016. Xi stated that “the entire Party, nation, and society” must uphold the spirit of poverty alleviation and “seize new and greater victories in comprehensively building a modern socialist country.” As Xi left the village, he said he hoped that the villagers would “continue to develop fine traditions” and turn Haojiaqiao Village “into a model of rural revitalization.”
The General Offices of the Central Committee and the State Council Release “Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of Internet Civilization”
9.14 On 14 September, the General Offices of the Central Committee and State Council released “Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of Internet Civilization” (hereafter referred to as “the Opinions”). The Opinions began by stating that “strengthening the construction of internet civilization (网络文明)” was both an “inevitable demand” of “promoting the construction of socialist spiritual civilization construction” and an “important task” for “comprehensively building a modern socialist country,” among other things. The Opinions listed several objectives, among them strengthening the ideological basis of the Party and nation; ensuring “core socialist values enter deeply into the people’s hearts”; bolstering the online rule of law environment; and creating a “clearer and brighter” online space.
After discussing its goals, the Opinions examined ways of specifically strengthening six aspects of the “online space”: “ideological leadership,” “cultural training,” “morality construction,” “behavioral standards,” “ecological governance,” and “cultural establishment.” First, the opinions discussed ways to “strengthen the ideological leadership of the online space,” among them “conducting online theoretical dissemination activities in a targeted manner,” conducting “online main theme dissemination,” and increasing efforts to increase the “mobile end construction” (移动端建设) of both central and local-level news units and news websites. Second, the Opinions addressed “cultural training” in the internet space by recommending the holding of online party history study and education activities and encouraging the “stimulation of the outstanding traditional cultural vitality of China” by offering internet cultural products and holding internet cultural activities. Third, the Opinions held up activities highlighting “models of morality,” discussing the establishment of “internal integrity regulations and mechanisms” for online businesses and platforms as ways to “strengthen the morality construction of the online space.” Fourth, the Opinions encouraged the strengthening of online “behavioral standards” by emphasizing the need for “improving” an “internet cultivation and education mechanism” and having a “robust work mechanism for preventing youth from becoming addicted to the internet,” among other things. Fifth, the Opinions discussed “strengthening the ecological governance of the online space,” commenting on the need to “further standardize online content production, information distribution, and dissemination sequences,” “conduct the regulation of fake news online,” and “strengthen personal information protection laws,” among other things.
Finally, the Opinions discussed “strengthening the cultural establishment in the online space,” specifically by “strengthening the construction of netizen internet culture attainment, practice, and education bases” and conducting “civil-military internet culture activities,” among other things. The Opinions concluded by stating that “every district and department must fully know the important significance of strengthening internet civilization construction and establishing a work mechanism that is under the unified leadership of party committees, is jointly administered by the Party and government, has all relevant departments fulfill their individual responsibilities, and has the active participation of all of society.”
Xi Jinping: Focus on Preparing For and Going to War, Comprehensively Promote the Upgrading of [Military] Capabilities to Fulfill Missions and Tasks
9.15 On 15 September, Xi Jinping inspected a military base in Shaanxi and sent a greeting to all of the officers and soldiers at the base. At the base, Xi emphasized the need to “implement the Party’s strong military thought and strategic guidelines in the new era” and “make greater contributions to constructing a world-class military and a major space country,” among other things. While investigating the base, Xi took a group photo with representatives of the base’s officers and soldiers and listened to a report on the base’s work. Xi emphasized the need to “innovate testing and control methods to ensure the accuracy and reliability of measurement and control” and the need to increase the effectiveness of the management and use of China’s space system. He also said that “space assets [were] national strategic assets” that must be protected and called for carrying out international space cooperation and “increasing the effectiveness of space crisis control and comprehensive governance.” Xi concluded by urging the officers and soldiers to complete the tasks at the base, have a firm ideological and political foundation, “maintain the consolidation of purity and the high degree of centralization and unification of the army,” and ensure that talent work was “done well” in order to strengthen support for talent, among other things. Politburo Member and Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chair Xu Qiliang (许其亮) also attended the inspection activities at the base.
Han Zheng Attended an Inauguration Ceremony for the Hengqin Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone and Inspected Zhuhai, Guangdong
9.17 On 17 September, Politburo Standing Committee Member, State Council Vice Premier, and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Construction Leading Group Head Han Zheng (韩正) attended an inauguration ceremony in Zhuhai, Guangdong for the Hengqin Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone (hereafter referred to as “the Zone”) and gave a speech. He said that the Zone was personally planned, deployed, and promoted by Xi Jinping and that the party center and State Council both cared deeply about the Zone’s development. Han also emphasized that the inauguration ceremony was a “historic moment” for the Zone and that it had “entered into a new stage of comprehensive implementation and a faster pace of execution.” He expressed hope that the Zone would “develop new industries that will promote the moderate diversification of Macao’s economy” and stressed the need to “create more convenient study, employment, entrepreneurship, and life conditions” for Macao residents, among other things. Politburo Member Li Xi (李希), Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Vice Chair Edmund Ho (何厚铧), and CPPCC National Committee Vice Chair and Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Director Xia Baolong (夏宝龙) also attended the inauguration ceremony. After the ceremony, Han inspected the Macao New Neighborhood project and spoke about “establishing a new home for Macao residents that has a livable ecology, refined services, and convenient travel.”
Zhong Sheng: Answer the Question of the Century with Strategic Courage and Insight and Political Resolution
9.12 A Zhong Sheng commentary on the 10 September call between Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden described the call as a “frank, thorough, and wide-ranging” exchange where the two leaders discussed China-US relations, and relevant issues of mutual concern to both countries. The commentary said Xi had “elucidated [his] principled position” on how to develop the China-US relationship and advance China-US cooperation, demonstrating to the world China’s responsible attitude in returning the relationship to the “right track of stable development as soon as possible.” Zhong Sheng asserted that whether the United States and China could manage its relationship well was the “question of the century” (世纪之问) that the two countries must answer well, and that if the relationship was antagonistic it would result in disaster for both countries. Noting that the bilateral relationship had met with many challenges and seen many contradictions arise, even in traditional areas of cooperation, the commentary said that this was “ultimately due to the United States’ faulty understanding of China,” which “views China as competitor and adversary.” As a result, the United States constantly seeks to “contain and suppress China,” challenging it’s “important interests,” a comprehensively adversarial approach that is creating global insecurity and concern.
The commentary pointed out that, in light of the epidemic situation and other complex and changing circumstances, the United States and China must work together, yet the United States seems to think it can “on the one hand, actively plot to contain and suppress China, undermining its reasonable rights and interests, [while] on the [other] hand expecting China to unconditionally support and conform to US requirements.” Instead, both sides should respect each other’s core interests and manage differences as the foundation for harmonious cooperation. The commentary concluded by reminding the United States that “whoever hung the bell on the tiger’s neck must untie it,” (解铃还须系铃人) urging it to “take the initiative to correct [its] erroneous policy toward China, meet the Chinese side halfway (与中方相向而行), and develop China-US relations on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.
PLA Daily Commentator Article: Use Youth and Blood to Guard the Sacred Territory of the Motherland
9.14 A PLA Daily Commentator Article offered commentary on a 13 September letter written by Xi Jinping for Mid-Autumn Festival and China’s National Day to a model Tibetan Plateau-based battalion guarding the border. The Article recounted how, in the letter, Xi had affirmed the soldiers’ achievements and progress, encouraging them to strengthen the mission that they had taken on, make full use of the fine tradition, intensify their training and preparation for war, and strive to make new contributions to the Party and the people. According to the Article, Xi’s letter “fully embodied the core of the Party and [his] deep love and concern for the border guard troops as military commander” and his high degree of emphasis on building the grassroots. It then went on to extol the Tibet-based battalion’s performance since 2016, when it was awarded the title of model battalion, saying that it had “passed along the Tibet spirit...taking loyalty as [its] soul, hard work as [its] root, [and] devotion as [its] glory,” making the army like “a steel [nail] that will never rust (一颗永不生锈的钢) nailed into the Tibetan Plateau of the motherland.” Likewise, since its founding, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had “closely tied itself to the nation and to the fate of the nation” and its core vocation had always been to “defend the [nation’s] sacred territory and defend [its] national security.” Stating that PLA soldiers would “prefer to sacrifice [their] lives than lose one inch of national territory,” the Article asserted that the PLA would always be the “great wall of steel” defending China. It concluded by suggesting that, during a time of “changes unseen in a century” (世界百年未有之大变局) where China faced increasing risks and challenges and a serious and complex security situation, the entire Army should follow the example of the Plateau’s model battalion stationed at the border.
People’s Daily Editorial: Compose the Glory of the National Games, Display the Grace and Style of the Times
9.15 On 15 September, People’s Daily published an Editorial on the opening of the 14th National Games in Xi’an, Shaanxi that day. The Editorial began by observing that holding a “wonderful and satisfactory” National Games would “inevitably increase [China’s] comprehensive strength in competitive sports” (竞技体育综合实力) and “contribute power to realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” among other things. Next, the Editorial emphasized the interconnectedness between athletic strength and national strength, discussing China’s sports-related developments and achievements since the 18th Party Congress and stating that the 14th National Games are poised to show China’s achievements in its development of athletics and “write a brand-new chapter in the high quality development of the sports project in the new era.” After elaborating on how the introduction of “mass sports” (群众体育) into the National Games could ultimately “promote the construction of a healthy China,” the Editorial then discussed the actions necessary to “achieve the goal of [becoming] a major sports country” (体育强国目标) and how holding the National Games would help to ensure the success of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. It then shifted to discussing the broader impact of the National Games and described how they had the potential to spur Shaanxi’s “high-quality economic and social development.” The Editorial concluded by stating that “the development of the sports project” both comprised “important content in realizing the Chinese dream” and has the potential to consolidate “a strong spiritual force” for “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” expressing hope that athletes in the National Games could “promote the continual realization of new progress for [China’s] sports project and establish new accomplishments in the construction of a major sports country.”
Qiushi Commentator Article: Gather the Boundless Strength of All Ethnic Groups to Build the Chinese Dream Together
9.15 A Commentator Article in the Party’s bimonthly journal Qiushi focused on the 27-28 August 2021 Central Conference on Ethnic Work. The Article recalled Xi Jinping’s speech at the conference, in which he reviewed the history of the Party’s ethnic work, analyzed the current situation facing the Party’s ethnic work, and outlined its thinking about ethnic work going forward, emphasizing the implementation of measures and policies intended to “forge a firm consciousness of Chinese communal [identity]” (铸牢中华民族共同体意识). The Article pointed out that people of all ethnic groups are “as close as a family” (亲如一家) with a common unity and shared progress, which provides the “fundamental guarantee and basic requirements of achieving the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Further, developing Chinese communal identity across all ethnic groups will impart a sense of its “historic inevitability” and importance, and allow it to inform ethnic work in all spheres and at all levels. The Article then reviewed the history of the Party’s ethnic work and engagement with ethnic minority and religious groups, especially noting the importance of ethnic work to resisting Japanese aggression and the equality and autonomy of ethnic groups in building the new China. Since reform and opening, the Party has deployed policies to foster development in order to address ethnic issues.
In the present, Xi Jinping has continued to attach great importance to ethnic work and to ethnic regional development. The Commentator Article noted that, though China has achieved its first centenary goal, it faces a complex ethnic work situation and is entering a new development stage, making unity and Chinese communal identity critical for effectively countering infiltration, splittism, and subversion. Additionally, the Article highlighted the Party’s focus on the sinicization of Marxism and of keeping in mind the actual circumstances of China as well as being guided by scientific thought. It rejected both Han chauvinism and regional nationalisms in ethnic work and stated that, by adhering to the Party’s leadership and Xi Jinping’s guidance on ethnic work, China will achieve both national unity and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
United Front Work
Wang Yang Presided Over and Convened the CPPCC National Committee Chairpersons Meeting
9.13 Politburo Member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over the 59th Chairpersons Meeting of the 13th CPPCC National Committee and delivered a speech. During the meeting, the chairpersons heard reports from the Proposals Handling Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee, and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee relating to the 2021 launch of thematic democratic supervision work. In his speech, Wang pointed out that, since the 18th Party Congress, the Central Committee had placed a high degree of emphasis on developing the role of the CPPCC in democratic supervision and that Xi Jinping had given many important speeches and issued a series of important instructions clearly indicating the direction for doing the CPPCC’s democratic supervision work well in the new era. After approval by the Central Committee, the CPPCC National Committee formulated and began to implement a plan to conduct democratic supervision work revolving around the 14th Five-Year Plan, with special committees focusing on designated topics and making initial progress. At the meeting, Wang emphasized the importance of “beginning from concrete issues, thoroughly investigating and researching, and seeking the crux of the issue,” as well as “accurately grasping the character of the CPPCC’s democratic supervision work” and exploring the “‘supervision within consultation’ (寓监督于协商之中) style and method.” Democratic supervision work should focus on mutual exchange and draw on experience to improve its efficacy.
Zhao Leji: Adhere to Seeking Truth From Facts, [Pursue] Innovation Correctly, and Advance the High Quality Development of Discipline Inspection and Supervision Work in the New Era
9.17 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Committee for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Head Zhao Leji (赵乐际) conducted investigation work in Inner Mongolia from 15 to 17 September. He emphasized that discipline inspection and supervision organs should study and implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s 1 July speech, “strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四意识), consolidate the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), and achieve the ‘two defends’ (两个维护),” loyally execute their duties, seek truth from facts, correctly pursue innovation, and continue to advance the high quality development of discipline inspection and supervision work in the new era. Visiting several agricultural and rural sites in the region, Zhao heard from local cadres and from the masses and discussed the importance of implementing Xi Jinping Thought on ecological civilization, promoting ethnic unity and Chinese communal consciousness, balancing development with ecological protection, and fighting corruption, among other themes. Zhao also met with regional discipline inspection and supervision cadres, urging them to carry out their work of investigating and punishing corruption and malfeasance across all sectors and to rectify the “four forms” (四风) (formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance). He emphasized taking a preventative approach, saying that cadres should “firmly criticize former mistakes to prevent them from happening again” (惩前毖后) and “treat the disease to save the patient” (治病救人), as well as balancing carrots and sticks in their discipline inspection and supervision work.
International Liaison Work
9.13-9.14 The CCP International Department (CCP/ID), the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. Republican Party, and the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations (Bush China Foundation) jointly held the 12th China-U.S. Political Party Leaders Dialogue. The event featured approximately 50 participants, including representatives of Chinese ministries and commissions, colleges and universities, and other units, the two main U.S. political parties, and major American think tanks and businesses. It centered around the theme of “prospects for the future development of China-US relations: the role of political parties.”
CCP/ID Head Song Tao (宋涛) attended and addressed the dialogue. Other Chinese participants included CCP/ID Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲), former Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao (朱光耀), Consulate General in Los Angeles Commercial Counselor Liu Haiyan (刘海彦), Fudan University Professor Dr. Shen Yi (沈逸), and China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) Chief Research Fellow Zhang Yansheng (张燕生).
Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair and former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean and former US Trade Representative and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carla Anderson Hills served as the lead representatives of the Democratic and Republican Parties, respectively. Other U.S. participants included Democratic Party representatives such as former Governor of South Carolina James Hodge and former DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias, Republican Party representatives such as former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Mike Duncan and former U.S. Representative Charles Boustany, and Bush China Foundation representatives such as Founder and Chair Neil Bush, Vice Chair Charles Foster, and President and CEO David J. Firestein.
9.17 Song Tao held a video call with Mongolian People's Party (MPP) General Secretary Dashzeveg Amarbayasgalan. Other participants included Guo Yezhou, PRC Ambassador to Mongolia Chai Wenrui (柴文睿), and MPP Leadership Group Member, Mongolian State Great Khural Vice Chair, and Mongolia-China Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair Tumurbaatar Ayursaikhan.
9.18 Zhao Jing (赵静) was appointed deputy head of the State Taxation Administration.
9.18 Chen Zhenlin (陈振林) was appointed deputy head of the China Meteorological Administration.
9.18 Yu Bing (余兵) was appointed deputy head of the National Energy Administration.