Weekly Report 4|47 10.16.2021-10.22.2021
Qiushi published a portion of Xi Jinping’s 17 August speech at the tenth meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, which focused on the theme of common prosperity. (see Senior Leaders section)
Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Liu He (刘鹤) provided written remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2021 annual meeting of the Financial Street Forum in Beijing, addressing concerns about China’s real estate market. (see Senior Leaders section)
PLA Daily published two successive commentaries on the USS Connecticut collision in the South China Sea under its Jun Sheng (钧 声) byline. (see Propaganda Work section)
Xi Jinping: Firmly Advance Common Prosperity
10.16 Qiushi published a portion of Xi Jinping’s 17 August speech at the tenth meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission (CFEAC), which focused on the theme of common prosperity. Xi began by stating that after reform and opening up, the Party had allowed a group of people and regions to become rich first as a means to “promote the liberation and development of social productivity” (社会生产力). However, since the 18th Party Congress, the Central Committee had “grasped new changes in the development stage” and concluded that China was now in “the historical stage of strongly promoting common prosperity.” Next, Xi said that as China moved toward the second centenary goal, common prosperity was needed to “adapt to the change in [China’s] primary social contradictions,” foster high-quality development, and “realize social harmony and stability.” He then elaborated on the meaning of common prosperity, calling it the “essential demand of socialism” and “an important characteristic of Chinese-style modernization.” However, Xi stressed that common prosperity was “the common prosperity of the masses’ material life and spiritual life, not prosperity for a small number of people [or] uniform egalitarianism.”
After defining the concept, Xi outlined the milestones along the way of achieving common prosperity. By the end of the 14th Five Year Plan, the gap between the income and “actual consumption level” of residents will have narrowed. By 2035, basic public services will be equalized, and by the middle of the century, the gap between income and “actual consumption level” will be further reduced to a “reasonable interval.” Xi then listed principles necessary to achieve common prosperity, namely: 1. Increase education levels and “employment and entrepreneurship capabilities”; 2. Use the public sector to realize common prosperity while “promoting the healthy development of the non-public sector”; 3. “Establish a scientific public system” to “form a structure of reasonable allocation enjoyed by every person”; and 4. Make incremental progress toward realizing common prosperity. At the practical level, Xi listed the concrete actions involved in realizing common prosperity: 1. “Increase the balance, coordination, and inclusivity of development”; 2. “Strive to enlarge the scope of middle income groups”; 3. “Promote the equalization of basic public services”; 4. “Strengthen the regulation and adjustment of high incomes”; 5. “Promote the common prosperity of the people’s spiritual life”; and 6. “Promote the common prosperity of peasants and rural areas.” He concluded by stressing that common prosperity should be viewed as a whole, that common prosperity will not occur for all people at the same time, and that national disparities in the level of common prosperity will exist.
Xi Jinping Presides Over Politburo Meeting
10.18 On 18 October, the Politburo met to confirm the dates of the upcoming Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee, which will be held from 8 to 11 November in Beijing. During this meeting, the Politburo also listened to a feedback report regarding a draft of the upcoming “CCP Central Committee Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party's Century of Struggle” (中共中央关于党的百年奋斗重大成就和历史经验的决议). All regions, departments, and representatives of the 19th Party Congress fully affirmed the draft resolution and unanimously agreed with the framework structure and main content. The meeting also pointed out that over the past 100 years, the Party has faithfully fulfilled its original mission, and “united and led people of all ethnic groups across the country to paint a magnificent picture in the history of human development,” illustrating the bright prospects for the the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The meeting further emphasized that “uniting around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” China has enjoyed major new achievements, increased its standing on the world stage, and “demonstrated the powerful vitality of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Despite this, the entire Party is urged to “bear in mind” the maxim, “live in suffering, die in peace and happiness (生于忧患、死于安乐), [to] always take the long view, [and to] be ready to protect against potential dangers even in times of peace (居安思危).” They must “continue to promote the new great project of party building in the new era, always maintain flesh and blood ties (血肉联系) with the people, and continue to lead people of all ethnic groups across the country to strive for a better life.”
Xi Jinping: Grasp the Trend and Law of the Development of the Digital Economy, Promote the Healthy Development of [China’s] Digital Economy
10.18 Xi Jinping gave a speech at the 34th Politburo collective study session on the theme of “promoting the healthy development of [China’s] digital economy.” He stated that the innovations in technology such as big data and artificial intelligence had become part of socioeconomic development and that the digital economy had become a “key force in changing the structure of global competition.” Xi then called on attendees to “promote the deep integration of digital technology and the real economy” and “continually make [China’s] digital economy strong, superior, and great,” among other exhortations. Xi then recounted that the “the Central Committee has [attached] a high degree of importance to the digital economy since the 18th Party Congress,” remarking that the digital economy played an important role in supporting efforts to fight COVID-19 and fostering a return to life and productivity. Further, Xi stated that the digital economy presented “new opportunities and strategic decisions” regarding the most recent technological revolutions and industrial transformation, namely fostering new development patterns, “promoting the establishment of modernized economic systems,” and “promoting the construction of new advantages in national competition.”
Next, Xi emphasized the need to solve the issue of “crucial core technology” and use the superiority of China’s socialist system, state system, and market to “realize a high level of self reliance and self improvement as soon as possible” and “grasp the autonomy of developing the digital economy firmly in our hands.” Regarding concrete actions, Xi emphasized four points: First, he highlighted the need to “accelerate the construction of basic infrastructure” and establish an “intelligent and synthesized digital economic infrastructure” that should be “green and low-carbon” and “safe and controllable,” among other features. Second, Xi stated the need to “promote the integrated development of the digital economy and real economy,” which included promoting the digitalization of the manufacturing, service, and agricultural sectors and “promoting digital industry development in important spheres.” Third, he discussed the need to establish oversight and investigation mechanisms for the digital economy. Finally, Xi underscored the need to “perfect the digital economy governance system, [have a] robust legal, legislative, and policy system” in place and “actively participate in international digital economic cooperation,” along with other elements. He concluded by calling on cadres at all levels to “raise [their] digital economy thought, capability and professional quality” and stressed the need to “increase the digital accomplishments and skills of all the people and society” in order to have a firm social foundation for the development of the digital economy.
Han Zheng: Firmly Grasp the General Theme of Making Progress While Maintaining Stability Work, Ensure Steady Social and Economic Progress
10.19 Politburo Standing Committee Member and State Council Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正) convened a National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) symposium studying key tasks for 2021 fourth quarter and early 2022 deployments. In his remarks at the symposium, Han emphasized “completely, accurately, and comprehensively implementing the new development concept”; more holistically planning development and security; “maintaining the continuity, stability, and sustainability of macro[economic] policy”; protecting energy supply security; and “ensuring the masses of people’s warmth through the winter.” Han addressed economic deployments, focusing on macro[economic] policy research and adjustments and then turned to energy-related issues. He stressed the need to ensure a “secure and stable electrical power supply” for winter and spring by increasing coal production capacity while maintaining security and environmental protection. He further called for research on “powerful measures to firmly curtail and regulate stockpiling and speculation according to law”; the implementation of policies expanding the floating range of coal fuel prices; help for coal power companies during difficult times; and improving the coal price marketization mechanism. Han emphasized adhering to marketization and rule of law principles, providing policy incentives and constraints for economization of usage, promoting the steady and healthy development of both supply and demand in the energy industry, and regulating high energy consumption industries while strengthening infrastructure and upgrading national energy reserve capacity. Finally, he highlighted the priority of people’s livelihoods and of defending the bottom line of security.
NDRC Director He Lifeng (何立峰) also attended.
Li Keqiang: Promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation to a New Level, Gather the Surging Forces that Promote Economic Development
10.19 Politburo Standing Committee Member and State Council Vice Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) attended the National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week opening ceremony in Beijing, where he gave a speech and announced the start of the week’s activities. In his speech, Li began by saying that China has achieved remarkable economic development “under the strong leadership of the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core” and that entrepreneurship and innovation are indispensable in this work. According to Li, entrepreneurship is directed toward the masses and innovation comes from the people, converging into a surging force to promote economic development. Thus, “the masses are very important for entrepreneurship and innovation, in addition to being the fundamental force of modernization. China is still and will be in the primary stage of socialism for a long time. It is the largest developing country in the world, and in the face of the current economic slowdown and other challenges, development is the foundation and key to solving all problems.” In order to promote the sustained and stable recovery of the economy, Li stated that China must adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, continue to reform and open up, implement new development concepts, focus on high-quality development, and continue implementing the ‘six areas ’ (六保) well, with special attention paid to the top three areas: employment, the people’s livelihood, and market entities. Li pointed out that there are nearly 150 million market entities in China, and so it is necessary to rely on them to ensure employment and the people’s livelihood. In addition, it is necessary to further advance reforms in “delegating power, streamlining administration, and optimizing services” (放管服), create a market-oriented legalized international business environment, oppose monopolies, and maintain a fair and just market order. He also proposed entrepreneurship incentives, such as increased support and preferential tax treatment for startups in order to “provide urgently needed assistance” (雪中送炭). Lastly, Li called for the development of crowd-sourced spaces integrating technology incubation, financing, and investment; using “internet+” to promote innovation; and integrating entrepreneurship and innovation as a multiplying effect.
NDRC Director He Lifeng (何立峰) hosted the opening ceremony.
Liu He Delivers Address at the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Financial Street Forum
10.20 Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Liu He (刘鹤) provided written remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2021 annual meeting of the Financial Street Forum in Beijing. Liu said that “under the strong leadership of the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” China’ had “effectively implemented macro[economic] policies” and the national economy had stabilized and recovered, overall achieving “positive results” in the face of difficulties that year. He then stated that China had a “large economy [that was] strong and tough.” Specifically, Liu said that “under the strong leadership of the Central Committee and State Council,” the toughness and strength of China’s economy came from the competitiveness of the market, the “integrity of the economic structure,” the “correct policies after reform and opening up,” the size of China’s domestic market, and the “tireless pursuit” of the Chinese people in struggling to realize a better life. He then asserted that the financial system should “move toward taking initiative in [its] actions,” such as by “serving the real economy,” “support[ing] green and low-carbon development,” “maintaining a high level of external openness,” “placing greater emphasis on financial technology,” “planning doing financial risk prevention and control well,” and “achieving equilibrium between risk protection and stable development.” Liu concluded by stating that although problems existed in the real estate market, risks were controllable, “reasonable capital demands were satisfied,” and the “overall posture of the healthy development of the real estate market will not change.”
Zhong Sheng: US-UK-Australia Nuclear Submarine Deal Threatens Global Stability
10.19 A page-three Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary titled “US-UK-Australia Nuclear Submarine Deal Threatens Global Stability” again addressed the US-UK-Australia trilateral security partnership (AUKUS). Noting the countries’ announcement of their agreement to help Australia build nuclear submarines, the commentary declared that “international opinion” regarded the move as dangerous and selfish and that “representatives of many countries’ governments” had recently expressed opposition to the agreement at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Disarmament and International Security Committee (UNGA DISEC). It criticized the agreement for “seriously violating the purpose and goals of nuclear non-proliferation,” arguing that the deal “involves the transfer of large amounts of extremely sensitive weapons-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU) and [poses] serious nuclear proliferation risks” and that if other countries were to copy such moves that are difficult for the non-proliferation system to oversee, long-standing non-proliferation efforts “could be destroyed in a day.” The commentary asserted that Australia was “setting a vile precedent” as a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty signatory, increasing nuclear proliferation risks, and “attacking” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system. It linked AUKUS to the Quad, described both as “serving the US-led so-called ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’” aimed at “creating antagonism between regional countries and carrying out geopolitical competition,” and cited both as examples of “the rekindling of Cold War thinking, the politics of forming narrow-minded ‘small cliques,’ and open provocations against multilateralism.”
The commentary also cited representatives from the DPRK, Malaysia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela as making critical remarks about AUKUS. It argued that the agreement represented a “double standard” that “fully exposes the hypocrisy of [the AUKUS members’] so-called ‘commitment’ and ‘contributions’ to the nuclear non-proliferation system.” The commentary criticized the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia for their historic pursuit or involvement in nuclear tests and nuclear waste disposal in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which it said had “brought serious disasters to regional countries and people.” Noting domestic Australian and international opposition to AUKUS, it quoted “the main Australian labor union” as saying that the Australian government should have focused on pandemic-related work instead and had exposed Australia to “danger on all sides.” The commentary concluded, “In pursuit of absolute military superiority, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia defied world opinion (冒天下之大不韪) and engaged in a nuclear submarine deal. [The deal’s] nature is extremely vile, and the danger [associated with the deal] is very serious. [We] strongly advise the three countries to rein in the horse before the precipice and promptly stop the nuclear submarine cooperation project. Otherwise, the countries that have opened ‘Pandora’s box’ (潘多拉魔盒) will ultimately have [their actions] come back to bite them.”
People’s Daily Commentator Article: Create an Important Pole of Growth and New Source of Power that will Drive the Country’s High-Quality Development
10.20 A Commentator Article addressed the “Chengdu-Chongqing Dual-City Economic Circle Construction Plan Outline,” which was released by the Central Committee and State Council on 20 October and will serve as a guide for the close economic integration of these two cities moving forward. The commentary referenced Xi Jinping’s October 2020 remarks that “this dual-city region has become an important economic center with national influence, a center for scientific and technological innovation, and a ‘new highland for reform and opening up’ (改革开放新高地), creating an important pole of growth and new source of power driving China’s high-quality development.” The Commentator Article then stated, “Being positioned at the crossroads of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Yangtze River as well as being the starting point of a new western land-sea corridor, this dual-city area holds a unique and important position in China’s overall development.” It encouraged “praising the ‘tale of two cities’ (双城记) and working together to create a high-level model of regional collaboration,” saying that the Outline has “made clear the strategic position of this dual-city economic circle and established development goals to 2025, as well as long-term goals to 2035. The Outline proposes the construction of a new pattern for development, in addition to jointly building a modern infrastructure network, a modern industrial system, and a scientific and technological innovation center with national influence, among other important tasks.” The commentary then noted that they should “fully implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speeches, firmly establish a big-picture mindset and integrated development concept, and adhere to ‘dual-core leadership (双核引领) with regional linkage,’ ‘reform and opening up, driven by innovation,’ ‘ecology-first green development’ (生态优先，绿色发展), ‘improving the people’s livelihood through burden sharing (共享包容),’ and ‘planning coordination with cooperation in joint construction.’” In doing so, the Outline will allow the Chengdu-Chongqing dual-city area to “help spur on the construction of the BRI, as well as play a demonstrative role in promoting the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.”
PLA Daily Jun Sheng Series on the US Nuclear Submarine Collision Accident
10.21-10.22 PLA Daily published two successive commentaries on the USS Connecticut collision in the South China Sea under its Jun Sheng (钧 声) byline.
The first commentary, titled “What Exactly Does the US Side Want to Cover Up?” echoed a PRC Ministry of National Defense (MND) Spokesperson’s remarks calling on the United States to provide a “satisfactory explanation” to the international community for the 2 October collision of the USS Connecticut nuclear submarine in the South China Sea (SCS). Jun Sheng observed that the US Pacific Fleet had delayed reporting of the incident while official accounts provided only vague details about its nature and location. Such an “irresponsible” approach left the PRC and SCS-adjacent countries with “no choice but to call the truth about the events and the US side’s intentions into question.” It lauded recent cooperative efforts by China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in the SCS, while calling the United States “the greatest promoter of South China Sea ‘militarization’” and the real “‘troublemaker’ (麻烦制造者) destroying the peace and stability of the South China Sea.” The United States appeared to suffer from “persecution paranoia” (被害妄想症), claiming to be “deeply worried and sick at heart” (忧心忡忡) about other countries’ military growth when its own military spending has “set records” in recent years. Moreover, the cover up of the collision demonstrated the danger posed by the United States to international nuclear security. The commentary then turned to the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) trilateral security partnership and its plan to provide nuclear submarines to Australia, which it asserted would “trigger a nuclear arms race, destroy the building of the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, [and] substantially increase the probability of a nuclear accident.” It concluded by locating the “root cause of the accident” in the US’ “obsession with global hegemony and unilateralism” (全球霸权、单边主义的执迷).
The second commentary, titled “The Source of the Greatest Risk to International Nuclear Security” continued to underscore the nuclear threat posed by the United States in light of the USS Connecticut collision and subsequent US lack of transparency, calling special attention to the potential impact of nuclear activity on the environment and regional industry. Stating that the United States was both the largest nuclear state and also posed the greatest threat to nuclear security, the commentary first addressed US nuclear tests outside its borders, which had caused “serious disasters,” citing the 1954 Bikini Atoll nuclear tests and nuclear dumping in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans between 1946 and 1982 as particularly egregious examples. With regard to nuclear security policy, Jun Sheng stated that the United States had “consistently pursued Cold War thinking (冷战思维) and double standards,” adopting different policies for itself and others and dividing countries into those it provided “selective support” for and those against whom it applied “discriminatory pressure.” Furthermore, the United States is the only one of the five nuclear powers not to have signed the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, and the US-UK plan to furnish Australia with nuclear submarines is now poised to undermine the Southeast-Asian-Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The aforementioned actions show that, rather than the United States being an “international nuclear non-proliferation effort leader” it instead constitutes the greatest risk to international nuclear security.
International Liaison Work
10.18 CCP International Department (CCP/ID) Deputy Head Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) held a video exchange with Great Britain-China Centre (GBCC) Honorary Vice President David Lidington.
10.21 Guo Yezhou attended and addressed a seminar with over 40 cadres from departments under the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and Vietnamese provinces via videolink. Other participants included CPV Central Commission for External Relations Deputy Head Trương Quang Hoài Nam.
10.22 CCP/ID Deputy Head Chen Zhou (陈洲) met with Nepali Ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.
10.20 Li Ligong (李立功) was appointed deputy head of the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense.
10.21 Louise Ho (何珮珊) was appointed commissioner of customs and excise of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.