Weekly Report 4|84 8.20.22-8.26.22
Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) visited Hainan to inspect and guide epidemic prevention and control work. She said that the epidemic situation in Hainan had “reached an inflection point” and was now generally under control. (See Senior Leaders section)
People’s Daily published a Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary which condemned the US response to the monkeypox outbreak, saying this demonstrated the United States’ failures in disease control and the hypocrisy of its claims to protect human rights. (See Propaganda Work section)
Politburo Standing Committee Member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) participated in a meeting with leadership of the Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops Conference of [the] Catholic Church in China. (See United Front Work section)
Sun Chunlan: Take Advantage of the Trend to Realize Social Zero [Covid] as Soon as Possible
8.21 Politburo Member and State Council Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) visited Hainan from 13 to 21 August to inspect and guide epidemic prevention and control work and carry out Xi Jinping’s important instructions and the deployments of the Central Committee and State Council. During her visit, it was noted that the return of 163,000 stranded travelers had been “organized in an efficient and orderly manner.” Sun noted that the epidemic situation in Hainan had “reached an inflection point,” as the Rt value of the Sanya (三亚) epidemic transmission index had dropped to 0.9, the main transmission chain is “basically blocked,” and the province’s epidemic prevention control was overall “able to be controlled and stable.” Sun pointed out that Hainan epidemic prevention and control work had entered a critical phase, and so it is necessary to strengthen coordination of resources and forces, highlight key points, overcome difficulties, and “win quick battles” (速战速胜). She called for implementing precise graded and categorized measures; optimizing nucleic acid detection strategies; more closely screening (筛查) areas with severe outbreaks; strengthening close contact determination and isolation; managing “[at-]risk persons” and achieving “social zero [covid]” as soon as possible; and strengthening regional joint defense in cities and counties without outbreaks to prevent the import of cases. Sun emphasized that it is necessary to “dynamically adjust the community management and control measures in a timely manner,” as well as implement strict control of “risk points” (风险点位), isolation points, designated hospitals, and makeshift hospitals in order to “strictly prevent cross-infection.” She further stressed “continu[ing] with normalized epidemic prevention and control without relaxing in the slightest,” as well as strengthening policy training for cadres and improving the level of “informationized construction” (信息化建设).
Central Committee and State Council General Offices Issue “Opinions”: Standardize Village-Level Organizations’ Work, Mechanism Signage, and Certificate Items
8.22 The General Offices of the Central Committee and State Council issued a set of “Opinions on Standardizing Village-Level Organization’s Work, Mechanism Signage, and Certificate Items” (hereafter referred to as “Opinions”). Such village-level organizations include Party groups, autonomous village organizations, economic collectives, village supervisory committees, and other “social and economic organizations.” The Opinions are intended to improve the effectiveness of “the system of village-level organizations led by village Party groups,” reduce the workload of village organizations and cadres, ensure the transformation of Party, government, and mass organizations’ thinking and work style, and otherwise reduce grassroots workloads and improve governing structure. They are also intended to 1. Clarify the rights and responsibilities of the work of village-level organizations; 2. Make said organizations’ mechanisms more simple and effective; 3. Make the signage (牌子) of these mechanisms more simple and clear; and 4. Ensure the certifications they issue are standardized and convenient, all within two years. The Opinions set forth specific tasks:
Reduce the burden of work for village-level organizations. This involves clarifying the tasks of village-level organizations in accordance with existing laws, as determined by county-level Party and government authorities. For example, Party, state, and mass organizations should not assign work to village-level organizations without county approval, and should not make village-level organizations primarily responsible for issues like law enforcement, demolition and relocation of homes, attracting investment, and production safety. It also involves innovation in work methods, such as having township-level authorities resolve issues regarding the public’s needs that village-level organizations are unable to take on, and improving review and evaluation mechanisms.
Simplify work mechanisms and labels. For example, Party, state, and mass organizations should not create new working mechanisms and appoint specialists without the approval of provincial Party and state authorities (unless clearly stipulated by the Central Committee, State Council, or law). Additionally, integrate the physical offices of village-level organizations and work mechanisms, such as by using Party-masses service centers as a hub for village-level public services. Finally, provincial Party committees and governments should standardize the display of village-level organizations’ signage to ensure key organizations are prominently marked.
Improve the issue of certificates by reducing the number of certificates which must be issued by village-level organizations, such as by having provincial-level authorities phase out village-level issuance of certificates in cases where they are not required by central policy, local economic conditions are not “suited” for them, or village-level organizations lack capacity to verify them. Finally, standardize the issuance of certificates, also as determined at the provincial level.
Finally, the Opinions described aspects of organizational implementation, including 1. Strengthening organizational guidance, such as by adhering to the Party’s leadership and ensuring communication between levels of government while carrying out this work; 2. Creating a robust oversight mechanism, such as by making a system of regular oversight, preventing authorities from casually overloading village organizations with excessive work, and exposing “model cases” of problems; and 3. Strengthening the active role of village-level organizations, such as by strengthening their working links with Party, state, and mass organizations and more clearly defining their responsibilities.
Li Keqiang: Place Agricultural Science and Technology in a More Prominent Position, Grasp Tackling [Issues of] Core Agricultural Technologies, Talent Training, and Transformation of Results Practically and Well
8.25 At a national conference on innovation in agricultural science and technology in Nanjing, Politburo Standing Committee Member and Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) delivered “important comments” on the topic. After praising the past accomplishments and contributions of workers in the agricultural science field, Li called for focusing on agricultural quality and effectiveness, placing agricultural science and technology in a more prominent position; implementing the “storing grain in the fields and storing grain in technology” strategy (施藏粮于地、藏粮于技战略, a national plan for dealing with issues of grain supply and demand), and promoting continued innovation and wider adoption of agricultural science and technology. Furthermore, Li called for improving systemic mechanisms for innovation in the field, stimulating new innovative energy from enterprises and talent, promoting the integration of research and practical application, tackling key tasks related to issues like core technologies, talent, and results, and modernizing agricultural science and technology. Politburo Member and Vice Premier Hu Chunhua (胡春华) also addressed the meeting, calling for attendees to follow the spirit of relevant directives from Xi Jinping and to carry out the requirements Li had just put forth, noting the importance of agricultural science and technology for development, national food security, and rural modernization. Hu then stressed more specific goals for agriculture in general, such as focusing on realizing demand, accelerating cultivation of important varietals, and improving the adoption of agricultural technologies. Specifically regarding agricultural science and technology, Hu highlighted areas of effort including making breakthroughs in relevant scientific research; strengthening support platforms and international cooperation, increasing local government and ministries’ focus on the issue; and marketization and use of the results of relevant science.
Zhong Sheng: The US Side’s Various Recent Fallacies Are Full of Bandit Logic
People’s Daily concluded its series of Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentaries on US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
20 August’s commentary, “Where Is the ‘Control’ (克) and ‘Regulation’ (制) in the US Side’s So-called ‘Restraint’ (克制)?,” accused the United States of “whitewashing itself” and “making bogus accusations” (倒打一耙) against China after Speaker Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. It questioned the United States’ “so-called ‘restraint,’” citing as evidence to the contrary the country’s efforts to “write off, hollow out, and distort the one-China principle”; “indulge and support” Speaker Pelosi’s visit; “gather a ‘small clique’ (小圈子)” of the G7 foreign ministers to condemn China’s countermeasures; and “spread disinformation and untrue words” in bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the recent ASEAN summit. The commentary warned of consequences “if the US side continues to add fuel to the fire (拱火浇油), push the situation toward further escalation, and conspire to manufacture a new and bigger crisis.” Noting the upcoming anniversary of the Shanghai Communique and the 40th anniversary of the 17 August Communique, it stressed the importance of the China-US Three Joint Communiques and one-China principle. Accusing the United States of failing to adhere to the communiques and principle, the commentary warned of risks to Taiwan and US-China relations. It stated that US efforts to “use Taiwan to contain China” would be futile in preventing “reunification,” and concluded by telling the United States it should cease provocative behavior over Taiwan, “implement the ‘four nots and one no intention’ (四不一无意) commitment the US leader put forward,” and preserve stable US-China relations.
Jun Zheng: Construct a Strong People’s Army in Response to the Times
8.24 PLA Daily published a Jun Zheng (钧政) commentary, second in a series on Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military (习近平强军思想), which praised Xi Jinping’s guidance of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on its journey to “comprehensively construct a world-class military” under the “new historical conditions” of the new era.
The commentary’s first section, “Defining New Missions of Our Party’s Military Strengthening and Revival (强军兴军),” noted the significance of Xi Jinping’s theoretical and strategic approach to strengthening the military. It then discussed the importance of strengthening the military for the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation (中华民族实现伟大复兴). It stated that rejuvenation would be a challenging process involving struggle with “new historical characteristics,” hence Xi Jinping’s focus on the importance of national defense and strengthening the military to the Party and nation’s goals. The commentary noted that the goals and tasks of military development were driven by current circumstances and national security needs, such as greater global instability and uncertainty, intensifying “great power games” (大国博弈), increased complexity and severity of the “anti-separatist struggle” (反分裂斗争), more prominent conflict over sovereignty in border territories and over maritime rights and interests, the increased possibility of conflict and war at China’s “doorstep,” and the difficulties of maintaining national “political security” and social stability. The commentary explained that a new design for the construction and use of military forces was necessary to gain a competitive advantage and initiative in future conflicts; noted the need for the PLA to keep pace with the global “revolution in military affairs” (军事变革); and praised Xi’s military reforms and proposals in response to these developments, such as reorganizing forces.
The second section, “Establishing the Manner of the Strong People’s Army in the New Era,” stressed that this “manner” (样子) deeply suffused the entire military and was defined by the Party’s leadership. It quoted Xi Jinping’s remarks that this “manner” consisted of obeying the Party’s commands, being able to fight and win, and maintaining traditions and a “favorable work style,” then praised the military’s ideological and combat training, Party discipline, and crackdown on corruption. It emphasized that the strength and past successes of the PLA came from the Party’s leadership, the military’s ideals and convictions, reform and innovation, “fighting spirit,” revolutionary discipline, and unity with the people, noting Xi Jinping and the military’s focus on Party and military history education. The commentary then underscored the importance of the military’s continued transformation and innovation to the strength of the nation as a whole, citing Xi Jinping’s remarks on the high priority accorded to strengthening the military.
The third section, “Strive to Carry the Heavy Historic Task of Winning Victory in Strengthening the Military,” reiterated the importance of strengthening the military, following Xi Jinping’s guidance on the topic, and dedicating individual efforts to this goal. It highlighted the need for the military’s “political character” (政治品格) of absolute loyalty to the Party, especially in adhering to the CMC Chairman Responsibility System and implementing the Central Committee, Central Military Commission, and Xi Jinping’s policy directives; the need for the military to perfect its combat abilities through continued training of troops and improved strategies from commanding officers; and the need for the military to maintain a psychological state (精神状态) of willingness to struggle, stressing the importance of the military’s morale and willingness to take innovative approaches in tackling challenges.
Zhong Sheng: The United States is Repeating the Same Mistakes in Epidemic Failures
8.26 People’s Daily published a Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary which stated that politicians in the United States often discuss human rights but do little in an epidemic situation to protect the lives of their citizens. The commentary asserts that this “demonstrates the hypocrisy of American-style human rights.” It then referenced the monkeypox (猴痘) epidemic, citing US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data that 16,603 cases of the disease had been reported in the United States. The commentary asserted that several “public health experts have worried” that the United States is currently repeating the same mistakes that led to failures during the last pandemic. It stated that monkeypox is not an unknown virus, and that the United States missed valuable time to mitigate the effects of the virus between the time news of the outbreak first emerged and the national declaration of a public health emergency. It also cited media reports in the United States on insufficient testing capabilities, vaccine distribution, medical treatment to those infected, and communication between authorities and the wider public. The commentary states that this has “exposed vulnerabilities and shortcomings in the US health system.” The commentary cited a Boston Globe article which asserted that the US has repeated the same mistakes that occurred in the lead-up to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, in addition to remarks by former Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Scott Gottlieb that monkeypox will “very possibly” become another public health policy failure in the United States. The commentary cited an increasingly serious political divide in the country as an issue, and stated that US politicians are using fighting pandemics as a political tool. It also noted that the White House has estimated it will need USD $7 billion to fight the monkeypox epidemic, but it is unclear whether Congress will allow such spending. Next, the commentary stated that “the right to life is the fundamental human right,” and asserted that while the “United States has the world’s most advanced medical procedures, it has not used them to effectively protect US human rights.” It then cited an article published by an American doctor in the BMJ which pointed out that the United States has largely sidelined the needs of those infected with monkeypox. The commentary stated that racial disparities in the United States have exacerbated the effects of the monkeypox epidemic, citing statistics about the disproportionate number of monkeypox cases among Latin- and African–Americans, and stated that “racial minorities are the most hurt by the monkeypox epidemic, again confirming the direct connection in the United States between epidemic management failures and systemic racism.” The commentary concluded that amid the suffering of the American people, US politicians should stop their idle talk about democracy and human rights and instead take practical action to protect them. It stated that ultimately, the United States’ “flowery speech and cover-ups” as well as “lies and smears against other countries” could not hide the dysfunction of US democracy and hypocrisy of “American-style human rights.”
United Front Work
Wang Yang Met with New Leadership of the Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops Conference of [the] Catholic Church in China
8.22 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) National Committee Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) participated in a meeting with the new leadership of the Catholic Patriotic Association (中国天主教爱国会) and the Bishops Conference of [the] Catholic Church in China (中国天主教主教团). Wang began by emphasizing that China’s Catholic community should diligently study the Central Conference on United Front Work (中央统战工作会议) in addition to the spirit of the National Conference on Religious Work (全国宗教工作会议). He asserted the importance of “deeply grasping General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important thoughts on doing a good job on united front work” in addition to his “important discussions on religious work.” Wang stated that it is necessary to unite Catholics around the Party and the government “to realize and contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Wang then congratulated Catholic leadership for successfully hosting the 10th National Congress of Catholicism in China in Wuhan and stressed that new leadership should “adhere to the correct political direction, resolutely support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, support the socialist system, and push the Catholic Church to become more compatible with a socialist society.” Wang also asserted that they should take a firm political stance, adhere to the principle of independence and autonomy, resist infiltration from external forces, and firmly defend the country’s sovereignty, safety, and development interests. Furthermore, it is necessary for Church leaders to “adhere to socialism as the core guiding principle” and use “Chinese culture, language, and expressions” in religious activities so as to “deeply promote the Sinicization of the Catholic church (天主教中国化).” Wang further emphasized the need to strengthen human capital, to do a good job with running the National Seminary of the Catholic Church in China, and assiduously work to develop clerical personnel that are “politically dependable, religiously accomplished, and morally capable of serving the public.” Wang stated that it is important to develop their patriotism and ensure that Catholic leadership is “firmly in the hands of” people who love both their religion and country. Wang then stated that it is necessary to “comprehensively promote strict governance of religion, implement the country’s relevant laws and regulations, strengthen self-teaching, self-management, self-restraint” and “realize the organic integration of legal and democratic management.” Secretary of the General Secretariat and United Front Work Department Head You Quan (尤权) also attended the meeting.
The 13th Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Holds 23rd Plenum
8.23 The 23rd plenary meeting of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was recently held. At the meeting, 11 Standing Committee members, several representing minority parties or non-partisan figures, delivered speeches under the theme of “adhering to a policy of giving priority to employment” (坚持实施就业优先政策). Standing Committee Member Ouyang Zehua (欧阳泽华) delivered a speech on various measures that can be taken to improve economic and market stability, bolster the policy of giving priority to employment, and push for the economy’s stable recovery. Standing Committee Member Liu Muren (刘慕仁) delivered a speech that emphasized the importance of the “platform economy” and flexible employment such as food delivery, ride-hailing services, e-commerce, and web-based live streaming jobs. Liu stated the importance of creating the conditions necessary for successful flexible employment. Standing Committee Member Liu Wei (刘伟) delivered a speech that emphasized the employment of university graduates. He also highlighted efforts to improve labor supply and bolster the efficiency of job searching and matching. Standing Committee Member Lin Jianyue (林建岳) discussed efforts to create conditions that would enable young workers from Hong Kong to contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (粤港澳大湾区). Lin stated that we should “let the young people of Hong Kong demonstrate their talent and spur them to contribute to the country’s prosperity.” Other speeches delivered by Standing Committee Members focused on issues such as improving working conditions for teachers, doctors, and agricultural technicians (农技人) in rural areas, access to employment opportunities for disabled people, improving social security mechanisms, protecting the interests of pregnant women in the workplace and improving policy support for childbearing, strengthening vocational training, and enabling a good environment for migrant workers to return to their home provinces to start businesses. Politburo Standing Committee Member and CPPCC Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) was present at the meeting. Vice Chairperson of the CPPCC Lu Zhangong (卢展工) presided over the meeting, while various deputy chairpeople also attended the meeting.
Central Military Commission
CCP Central Propaganda Department and Central Military Commission Political Work Department Issue Notice Calling for Study of “Questions and Answers on the Study of Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military”
8.24 The Central Propaganda Department and Central Military Commission Political Work Department issued a notice calling for the study of “Questions and Answers on the Study of Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military” (hereafter “Q&A”). The “Q&A” focuses on theoretical hotspots (热点) and difficult spots in strengthening the military; responds to the concerns of servicemen, cadres, and the masses; and provides an easy-to-understand explanation of the topic. The notice said the “Q&A” should help educate cadres, Party members, and the masses and should be included in theoretical training and political education of party committees, cadres, and throughout the military. These groups should promote the study and implementation “to go into [the] deep” (往深里走), “to go into [the] truth” (往实里走), and “to go into [the] heart” (往心里走). The notice emphasized the theme of “loyally safeguarding the core (忠诚维护核心), [and] pledging to strive to strengthen [the] army” (矢志奋斗强军); “deeply understanding the decisive significance of the ‘two establishments’ (两个确立), strengthening the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), consolidating the ‘four self-confidences’ (四个自信), and achieving the ‘two defends’ (两个维护); implementing the CMC Chairman Responsibility System; resolutely obeying the command of the Central Committee, the Central Military Commission, and Xi Jinping; and making “unremitting efforts” to realize the Chinese dream (中国梦) of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation (中华民族伟大复兴).
International Liaison Work
8.17 (published 8.22) CCP International Department (CCP/ID) Deputy Head Shen Beili (沈蓓莉) spoke at a China-Japan Business Partnerships Meeting.
8.23 CCP/ID Head Liu Jianchao (刘建超) led a goodwill delegation to Cambodia where he paid respects to the late King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk. He met with Member of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party and Vice-Chairman of its Commission for External Relations, Suos Yara. Liu also met with Member of the Standing Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party and Second Vice-President of the Cambodian National Assembly, Khuon Sodary. On 24 August, he met with Prime Minister of Cambodia and Chairman of the Cambodian People’s Party, Hun Sen, Vice President of the Cambodian People's Party and President of the Senate Say Chhum, and Vice President of the National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC), Princess Norodom Ratana Devi. On 25 August, Liu addressed a ceremony for the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund’s “Kits of Love” charity program, organized with the China Foundation for Peace and Development and China NGO Network for International Exchanges. Liu also met with Hun Sen’s son, a member of the Central Standing Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, head of the party’s youth wing, and the party’s chosen candidate as the next Prime Minister, Hun Manet.
8.24 CCP/ID Deputy Head Qian Hongshan (钱洪山) met with the Ambassador to the PRC from Cyprus, Antonis Toumazis.