Weekly Report 4|65 3.26.22-4.1.22
People’s Daily published four successive Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentaries on the United States’ role supposed role in starting the “Ukraine crisis.” (See Propaganda Work section)
A People’s Daily Ren Ping (任平) commentary expounded on the metaphor of the Party as an exam-taker that must give “outstanding” results as it pursues the second centenary goal. (See Propaganda Work section)
Qiushi published Xi Jinping’s speech at the Central Agricultural Work Conference on 28 December, 2020 on the importance of the three rural issues (三农/agriculture, rural areas, and farmers). (See Senior Leaders section)
Xi Jinping Participates in Voluntary Tree-Planting Initiative in Beijing
3.30 Top officials including Xi Jinping, the full Politburo Standing Committee, and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) attended an annual tree-planting initiative in Beijing. Xi expressed his wish that his years of participation in the initiative would encourage all members of society, particularly youth, to “sow the seeds of an ecological civilization.” The article described how Xi planted trees with cadres, members of the public, representatives of the National Forest and Grasslands Administration and its Beijing branch, and Young Pioneer members at a park in Beijing’s Daxing District. In remarks at the event, Xi said that “realizing the Chinese nation’s sustainable development” must be a constant goal; that “ever since the founding of New China” and particularly since the 18th Party Congress, the Party had led great accomplishments in forestation and ecological conservation; and that ecological preservation and restoration would require long-term, unremitting efforts. He emphasized the significance of forests and grasslands, stated that ecological efforts in China were now changing “from a quantitative, to a qualitative” nature, called for China to continue and expand its environmental policies, and said that tree-planting initiatives should be more strongly promoted.
Politburo Standing Committee Convenes Meeting, Xi Jinping Presides
3.31 The Politburo Standing Committee convened to hear a report on and further direct the emergency response to the crash of China Eastern Airlines Flight MU 5735. The Politburo Standing Committee noted the Central Committee’s high concern over the crash; Xi Jinping’s prompt issuing of “important instructions” to organize an emergency response and investigation; and the rapid, hard-working, and organized response of the various organizations handling the crash’s aftermath. In addition, the meeting also expressed sorrow over the loss of the 132 victims of the crash, emphasized the respectful treatment of victims’ recovered remains and support for their bereaved relatives, and called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash, which must release accurate and timely information. The Politburo Standing Committee also stated that “safety absolutely cannot be sacrificed at the cost of development.” It said that other sectors should draw lessons from the crash about responsibility for safe manufacturing, carry out comprehensive risk assessments to prevent accidents and “preserve overall social stability,” and ensure that safety checks are not treated as formalities and that leaders are also held accountable for accidents.
Xi Jinping: Persist in Making Resolving the “Three Rural Issues” the Priority of the Entire Party’s Work, Use All of the Party's and Society’s Strength for Rural Revitalization
4.1 Qiushi published Xi Jinping’s speech at the Central Agricultural Work Conference on 28 December, 2020, intended to “give a clear signal to all of the Party and society: on the new voyage [of comprehensively constructing a modern socialist country], working on the three rural issues (三农/agriculture, rural areas, and farmers) is still extremely important, [we] cannot slack off for a moment, [and must] grasp [the work] firmly and practically.” Xi’s speech discussed the following points:
Doing “three rural issues” work amid the new developmental stage of shifting between the centenary goals, consolidating the anti-poverty campaign, and dealing with the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Xi praised the results of the anti-poverty campaign but warned that “the agricultural base is still unstable” and urban-rural inequality remains severe, calling for goals of rural modernization to be set for by 2035. Xi stated that resolving rural issues would be a stabilizing factor for the nation as a whole, and noted the stability risks posed by migrant workers.
Consolidating results of poverty alleviation work, shifting from ensuring the basic livelihoods of impoverished rural households to preventing households on the margins from falling back into poverty while developing a stronger and more equal rural economy.
“Seizing the initiative” on food security, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the supply of food and agricultural products amid increased demand and instability caused by the pandemic. Xi said that this would involve increasing the quantity of arable land and technological improvements, making grain cultivation more financially viable for farmers, ensuring local officials take on responsibility for such work, and maintaining the quantity, variety, and quality of agricultural output.
Promoting the practical impact of rural revitalization. Xi described the following main directives for rural revitalization: “accelerate the development of rural industry; strengthen the construction of socialist spiritual civilization; strengthen the construction of a rural ecological civilization; deepen rural reforms; carry out rural [infrastructure] construction operations; promote visibly effective urban-rural integrated development; and strengthen and improve countryside governance.”
Strengthening the Party’s comprehensive leadership of “three rural issues” work. Xi discussed organizational arrangements and policies for coordinating and implementing this work, such as making county-level party committee secretaries the “frontline commanders” of rural revitalization and addressing issues among grassroots cadres such as excessive meetings.
People’s Daily Commentator Article: Democratic Reform is a Magnificent Feat That Truly Benefited the Tibetan People
3.28 People’s Daily published a Commentator Article commemorating the 63rd anniversary of “democratic reforms” and the abolition of serfdom in Tibet. It declared that “under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee” and with support from the National People’s Congress (NPC), the people of Tibet and cadres improved the socioeconomic conditions, lives, and “urban and rural appearance” of Tibet. It further noted that “the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core” had “attached a high degree of importance to Tibet work” since the 18th Party Congress, stating that “a brand-new socialist Tibet has appeared before the eyes of the world” as a result of the Party’s efforts. Moving on, the Commentator Article stated that the “democratic reforms” enacted 63 years ago allowed Tibet to ultimately have an “ample guarantee for the rights of people from every ethnic group.” It then emphasized that “adhering to “the Party’s strategy for governing Tibet in the new era” was necessary to “construct a “modern socialist new Tibet that is unified, prosperous, civilized, harmonious, and beautiful,” in addition to listing other elements to adhere to in order for Tibet to benefit and prosper. The Commentator Article then noted that “Tibet’s socio-economic development stood at a new historical starting point” in the midst of “changes unseen in a century” (百年未有之大变局). As a consequence, it stressed the need to engage in actions such as “strengthening the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), consolidating the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), achieving the ‘two defends’ (两个维护)” and ultimately “strive to write a new chapter of long-term peace and stability (长治久安) and high-quality development in the snowy plateau.” After extolling the positive impacts of “democratic reforms” in Tibet, it concluded: “Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, [by] uniting with one heart; dauntlessly pushing forward the agenda; and struggling with great effort to write the Tibet chapter of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Tibet’s tomorrow will inevitably be more splendid and the lives of the Tibetan people will inevitably be more happy and beautiful!”
Zhong Sheng Series: Seeing US-Style Hegemony from the Ukraine Crisis
3.29-4.1 People’s Daily published four successive Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentaries on the United States’ supposed role in starting the “Ukraine crisis.”
The first commentary, titled “The United States Has Unavoidable Responsibility for the Crisis,” emphasized that the United States leading NATO in expanding eastward caused the “Ukraine crisis” and called the United States “the first person to bury funerary dolls (始作俑者/the creator of a bad precedent) of the Ukraine crisis.” It observed that the United States had styled itself as a “defender of peace” and “guardian of the rules-based international order” while using tactics such as “camp confrontation” (阵营对抗) to “reach its goal of… containing the development of other countries.” The commentary asserted that such actions “cause the people of the world to clearly see the character of US-style hegemony and the destructive influence of Cold War thinking (冷战思维).” Calling NATO a “product of the Cold War” and “a tool [that the United States uses] to promote hegemony,” the commentary remarked NATO had “broken its promises” through five rounds of US-led eastward expansion toward Russia and cited a French scholar’s assertion that that NATO’s activities in Eastern Europe and the Middle East had caused Russia to feel “encircled.” After detailing how the United States had interfered in other regions of the world since World War II, it concluded: “As the first person to bury funerary dolls and the greatest driving force of the Ukraine crisis, the United States should reflect deeply upon on its disgraceful role, thoroughly abandon Cold War thinking and hegemonic behavior, and genuinely do practical things for global and regional peace and stability.”
The second commentary, titled “Adding Fuel to the Fire Creates Obstacles to a Political Solution,” criticized the United States for claiming it would provide weapons to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russia, and harming the interests of other countries. After reiterating the United States’ leading role in causing the “Ukraine crisis,” the commentary accused the United States of “pouring oil on the fire” (火上浇油), “lur[ing] [Ukraine] into the trap of conflict and confrontation with Russia” by promising Ukraine it could join NATO, and hypocritically calling for “upholding peace” after “the [Ukraine] crisis broke out” while simultaneously delivering millions of dollars worth of military aid to Ukraine. It then claimed that “the path of the Ukraine crisis is to a great degree dependent on the United States’ conduct” and that the United States’ objective is to “continue using Ukraine as a geostrategic pawn to serve [its] multiple goals of containing Russia, suppressing the trend of Europe’s strategic autonomy, and safeguarding its tottering position of hegemony in Europe.” The commentary noted the United States’ habit of blaming other countries to safeguard its hegemony, citing as evidence that after the outbreak of the crisis, it “vilified China for ‘knowing beforehand but not preventing the war,’” among other things. It contrasted US actions with China’s support of “all efforts that promote de-escalation and a political resolution,” calling US actions “Cold War thinking.” The commentary asserted that to safeguard its hegemony, the United States “has always disregarded the world’s interests.” It called the US sanctions on Russia “indiscriminate” and self-serving before noting that “history and reality have proven that sanctions cannot bring about peace and security and will only bring about a ‘lose-lose’ or ‘many losses’ situation.” The commentary concluded by stating that the United States should “stop adding fuel to the fire, stop wantonly waving the big stick of sanctions, stop starting rumors to smear other countries, and truly stand on the side of peace and justice.”
The third commentary, titled “Cold War Thinking Leads to Destructive Evil Consequences,” criticized US priorities and goals. It began by mentioning a large-scale “We Oppose NATO” demonstration in Belgrade, Serbia in 1999 protesting NATO’s “continuous bombing of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia for 78 days” to highlight the harm that NATO has caused in the past few decades. It accused the “US-led NATO” of “pos[ing] as the ‘champion’ of peace, order, and morality and consider[ing] [itself] the final arbiter of international affairs” after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, engaging in activities such as provoking opposition and threatening sanctions in order to achieve its geostrategic goals. The commentary also claimed that “it was the conspiracies and interference of the United States that led to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” and that NATO’s actions had essentially “clos[ed] the door to resolve the conflict through consultation with Russia.” It called the United States a “war-addicted country,” and claimed that its history is an “out-and-out (不折不扣) war history,” noting that “the shadow of the United States is behind almost every conflict in the world.” The commentary listed civilian harms caused by US military interventions in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. It then stated that the fact that the United States had “repeatedly provoked conflicts and wars” showed US “indifference to promoting peace and negotiations” and intention to prolong conflicts, and proved that “safeguarding global and regional security and stability” has never been a US strategic priority. After asserting that this is apparent in the Ukraine crisis, the commentary concluded that “the minds of some US politicians are still stuck in the past” and that “the United States is the biggest destroyer of the international order and does not have the qualifications to act as the defender of peace.”
The fourth commentary, titled “The Bio-Military Empire Cannot Prove Its Own Innocence,” criticized supposed US “double standards” in terms of calling for investigations of bioweapons globally while opposing verification mechanisms that would allow investigations of the United States. The commentary stated that the United States had accused Russia of “fake news” and had not provided a “credible explanation” in response to Russian evidence of US biolabs in Ukraine, which it said only added to the international community’s concern over the safety of US bio-military activities. Noting that the United States had attempted to release material to “prove its own innocence” after Russia’s accusations, the commentary stated that the history of US biological activities itself lacked “innocence” and instead was “clear proof that the United States had poisoned the world.” After questioning the United States’ “excuse” of establishing of cooperative biolab programs with other countries to reduce biohazards and criticizing the United States of double standards by accusing other countries of spreading disinformation, it concluded: “[One] cannot prove [one’s] own innocence while being entrenched in hegemony and wantonly running amuck. [Only by] truly adhering to international rules and accepting a global investigation can the United States give the world an explanation and take on its responsibilities as a major country.”
Ren Ping: The New Era Administers the Exam, [the Party] Takes the Exam, and the People Grade the Exam
3.30 A Ren Ping (任平) commentary expounded on the metaphor of the Party as an exam-taker that must give “outstanding” results as it pursues the second centenary goal. Remarking that this metaphor “unifies the great journey of the Party leading the people to realize national rejuvenation,” the commentary examined how the Party had created the necessary conditions for national rejuvenation throughout its history. Turning to the present, it emphasized that “[the] Party is leading the people irreversibly toward national rejuvenation on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Next, the commentary stated that China needed to “prepare to invest more arduous and difficult effort” as it moved closer to national rejuvenation. Describing the external and domestic challenges China faced, as well as issues plaguing the Party, the commentary stressed the role that the five “roads” and “strategic advantageous conditions” that Xi Jinping mentioned during the Two Sessions played in the Party’s success as it embarked on “the new road to the examination [of realizing the second centenary struggle goal]” (赶考之路上). After this, it remarked: “Shouldering new missions and setting out on the new voyage, every party member is an examinee and respondent of the new era.” Emphasizing that being a good “respondent” was the essence of “practicing the Party’s original intent and mission; consolidating the Party’s ruling position; and realizing the Party’s struggle goal,” the commentary emphasized that Party members must forge qualities such as “self-innovation” (自我革新) amidst testing and a brave “strength of character” amidst challenges.
Next, it emphasized the importance of the people as the ultimate focus and judges of the Party’s policies, stating that readers must deeply comprehend that “the people are the basic force determining the Party and state’s prospects and destiny”; that “[we] must, from start to finish, persist in doing everything [we do] for the people” and “always depending on the people”; and that “the Party must forever maintain flesh and blood ties (血肉联系) with the people.” The commentary then reflected on the Party’s historical accomplishments, saying that grasping “the laws of history” and acting in accordance with them could bring invincibility, and that the CCP Central Committee’s Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party’s 100-Year Struggle embodied a “new understanding of the history of our Party’s hundred-year struggle.” It claimed that “in managing China’s affairs well, the Party is key,” praised Xi Jinping for “steering a steady course at the helm (掌舵领航) as the core of the Party Central Committee and the core of the entire party,” and stated that Xi’s core position in the “two establishes” (两个确立) reflected unanimous national wishes and held decisive significance for the Party, country, and “national rejuvenation.” The commentary noted challenges facing the “new Long March,” saying that the “new voyage for the new era” would nonetheless make the Party become more staunch in its faith, become tenacious in tackling challenges, develop its “fighting spirit,” forge its ideals in practice, and require persisting in the Central Committee’s collective leadership. It concluded by reiterating the metaphor of the Party as an exam-taker, stressing the need for historical consciousness, and encouraging the Party to persist in its advancement.
Central Military Commission
With the Approval of CMC Chair Xi Jinping, CMC Will Select [Personnel] and Award “August 1 Medals”; CMC General Office Issues Notice to Deploy Nomination Work
3.29 With the approval of Central Military Commission (CMC) Chair Xi Jinping, the CMC announced that it will award the “August 1 Medal” (八一勋章) to select recipients on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. The “August 1 Medal” is the highest military honor decided by the CMC and issued by the CMC Chair, awarded to people who have “made great contributions and established outstanding achievements in safeguarding national sovereignty, security, development interests, and promoting the modernization of national defense and the military, and have far-reaching influence throughout the country and the entire military.” The article notes that the selection and awarding work adheres to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implements Xi Jinping Thought on strengthening the military and the military’s strategic policy for the New Era, is in strict accordance with the principles of laws and regulations, highlights and commends the heroic models that emerged in the great journey of Xi’s leadership of strengthening and rejuvenating the army, and strengthens the clear orientation of forging ahead in the new journey and making contributions in the new era. The General Office of the CMC also issued a notice on nomination work, which clarified the scope, conditions, quantity, and procedures for the nomination of the “August 1 Medal.” The notice required strengthening organizational leadership at all levels, carefully selecting and recommending personnel, and selecting role models of “the new era of the strong military” who have made outstanding achievements. Through selection and awarding of this medal, the CMC will “solidly promote the implementation of the military merit and honor commendation system in the new era, promote the in-depth development of the new era’s meritorious service and role-model creation activities, inspire officers and soldiers to realize the Party’s goal of a strong military in the new era, comprehensively build a world-class military through unremitting struggle, and welcome the victorious convening of the 20th Party Congress with concrete actions.”
United Front Work
Wang Yang Presides Over CPPCC National Committee Chairpersons’ Meeting
3.29 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over and delivered a speech at the 70th Chairpersons’ meeting of the 13th CPPCC National Committee. After hearing a summary report on the fifth session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, Wang said the session had been satisfactory and that attendees should study the spirit of Xi Jinping’s speeches at the Two Sessions, stick close to the “strategic decisions and deployments of the Central Committee,” continue the CPPCC National Committee’s consultative activities, and help prepare for the 20th Party Congress. The meeting passed a work plan for looking back on progress made in “implementing the spirit of the Central CPPCC Work Conference,” and Wang emphasized that this task was based on “Xi Jinping’s important thought on strengthening and improving CPPCC work.” The meeting also confirmed proposals from the fifth session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee; approved plans for 2022 inspection and investigative work; approved the decision to remove Shen Deyong (沈德咏) from the CPPCC’s Social and Legal Affairs Committee and revoke his seniority as a member of the CPPCC National Committee; and approved the decision to revoke the seniority of Liu Yanping (刘彦平) as a member of the CPPCC National Committee. Finally, the meeting conducted a collective study session on the “applications of digital currency.”
International Liaison Work
3.29 The CCP International Department (CCP/ID) held a virtual seminar on the theme “Paths toward Modernization Suitable to National Conditions: Exploration and Practice of Political Parties of China and Africa.” Participants included CCP/ID Head Song Tao (宋涛) and leaders of 17 African political parties, including member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) Central Committee and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli, National Secretary of the Transition Committee of the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria John James Akpan Udoedeghe, and Vice President of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) of Togo Tairou Babiègue.
3.29 CCP International Department (CCP/ID) Assistant Head Shen Beili (沈蓓莉) and Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade and Labour Party Chair, E. Paul Chet Greene, spoke at the opening ceremony of an online course for young members of 19 Caribbean political parties from nine different countries.
3.29 CCP/ID Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) spoke at the opening ceremony of an online seminar on anti-corruption with Palestinian officials, also the opening ceremony for an online course for officials from the Fatah party. Participants included member of Fatah’s Central Committee and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Arab Countries and China Abbas Zaki, Commissioner of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission Raed Radwan, and Director-General of the Palestine Institute for National Security Research Nayef Jarad.