Weekly Report 5|2 1.7.22-1.13.23
Xi Jinping delivered an “important speech” at the second plenum of the 20th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, in which he emphasized the importance of party discipline. (See Senior Leaders section) From 9 to 10 January, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) held its second plenum, attended by Xi Jinping, CCDI Secretary Li Xi (李希), and all other Politburo Standing Committee Members. According to the plenum’s communique, the plenum planned 2023 work and passed the 2022 work report of the CCDI Standing Committee. (See Party Discipline section) A People’s Daily Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary condemned “some Western media” for expressing “completely baseless pessimism in China’s economy” amid changes in China’s pandemic control policies. (See Propaganda Work section)
Xi Jinping: Carry Out Comprehensive and Strict Party Governance Without a Moment’s Pause, Ensure the Strategic Decisions and Deployments of the 20th Party Congress Are Implemented Xinhua 1.9 Xi Jinping delivered an “important speech” at the second plenum of the 20th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) (see Party Discipline section). In his speech, Xi stressed that the CCDI must incorporate comprehensive and strict party governance (全面从严治党) into the Party’s long-term strategy, stay “problem-oriented,” develop a spirit of total “self-revolution” (自我革命), ensure a long-term atmosphere of strictness, carry out the Party’s self-revolution “to the end,” and spark Party members’ “positivity, proactiveness, and creativity” for the new voyage and new era. Xi stated that “to govern the country, [we] must first govern the Party, and the country can only be strong if the Party is rejuvenated.” He noted the Central Committee’s efforts over the past ten years of his administration to carry out the “four comprehensives” (四个全面), “scrape poison from the bone” (刮骨疗毒), and strengthen the Party through “revolutionary forging.” He stressed maintaining the clear-mindedness and resolve needed to address the unique and difficult problems of a large party, and that addressing such issues would be necessary for accomplishing the tasks of the “new era” and “new voyage.” Xi said the past ten years were the first step in establishing a system of comprehensive and strict party governance, and that building this system involved making mechanisms for party governance more coordinated, standardized, effective, principled, and comprehensive. He noted that “strong political supervision” (有力政治监督) was necessary to ensure implementation of the 20th Party Congress’ decisions and deployments and persist in the Party’s central unified leadership, emphasizing study and implementation of the Congress. Xi also highlighted the importance of the Central Eight Regulations and continued efforts to build a good party work style. He then called for higher prioritization of discipline and strict requirements in party rules, disciplinary education, and supervision of disciplinary action, stressing that party members should have a strong disciplinary consciousness and understanding of the Party Constitution. Xi noted that the fight against corruption was still “severe and complex” with many arduous tasks remaining. He called for a systemic approach focused on preventing officials from “daring to be corrupt,” being “able to engage in corruption,” or “wanting to be corrupt” (不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐). Xi also called for a crackdown on “‘political frauds’ who have so-called [family] ‘background’ (“有背景”的).” He stated that an effective, all-covering supervision (监督) system with robust party leadership is a mark of the modernization of China’s governing system and capabilities; that party committees and groups should play a guiding role in improving supervision; and that discipline and supervision mechanisms must continue to expand, reform, and improve, particularly through the use of inspection patrols. Xi noted the importance of the CCDI and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) as an “important force” in party governance, calling on them to continue to act according to “party consciousness” (党性), the “great spirit of the Party’s founding,” self-revolution, unity around the party center and service to the general situation. He called on disciplinary organs to strengthen their consciousness of law, procedure, and evidence to improve the standardization of their work; to improve internal mechanisms of control and consciously accept supervision; and to carry out strengthened education and discipline. CCDI Secretary Li Xi (李希) then issued remarks praising Xi’s speech as “fundamental guidance for the high-quality development of disciplinary inspection and supervision work” going forward, and called for study and implementation of the speech.
Zhong Sheng: Misconceptions Cannot Change the International Community’s Confidence in China’s Economic Development People's Daily 1.9 A Zhong Sheng (钟声) commentary condemned “some Western media” for expressing “completely baseless pessimism in China’s economy." The commentary emphasized signs of market confidence and accelerated production amid the “optimization” of China’s pandemic prevention and control. It claimed that the international community views China’s economic prospects more positively following its shift in pandemic policy, citing international investment agencies and banks’ revisions to their 2023 forecasts to predict a faster economic recovery. The commentary stated that the same media outlets criticizing China’s pandemic policy adjustment had also exaggerated negative international economic impacts “when China supported ‘dynamic zero’ (动态清零),” a self-contradiction exposing their “political prejudice” and “evil motives” regarding China. It defended China’s record against the pandemic over the past three years, claiming China has effectively defended public health to the greatest possible extent, minimized the social and economic costs of the pandemic, and made important contributions to the global economy by protecting supply chains. The commentary then praised China’s recent economic planning, adjustments to pandemic measures, and reduction of travel restrictions, stating that these would all benefit the domestic and international economy. It stated that throughout the pandemic, “some big countries with a critical influence on the global economy” have been irresponsible about working for economic recovery, not only pushing the pressures of inflation onto the rest of the world, but also harming others, the global economy, and even themselves through “‘decoupling supply chains’(脱钩断链) and extreme sanctions.” The commentary then accused some Western media outlets of disregarding the positive effects of China’s pandemic policy adjustment, instead spreading “ridiculous arguments” about China’s economy. It concluded that this would be unsuccessful in changing the international community’s confidence in China’s economy, nor would it prevent the trend of countries strengthening their “win-win cooperation” with China. He Yin: Advance the High-Level Development of China’s Relations with Central Asian Countries People's Daily 1.10 A He Yin (和音) commentary noted the recent meeting and cooperative agreements signed between Xi Jinping and Turkmenistan’s president Serdar Berdimuhamedow. It described these events as the completion of “three full-coverages” (三个全覆盖) in China’s relations with the five Central Asian nations: relationships of “comprehensive strategic partnership” with all nations, “bilateral-level practice of a community of shared future for humankind” with all nations, and the signing of Belt and Road Initiative (一带一路, BRI) cooperative agreements with all nations. It stated that China and Turkmenistan had shared ideals, goals, and interests; praised the productive and improving friendship between China and Turkmenistan; and said that the nations would continue to develop mutually beneficial cooperation, care for each other’s concerns, and consolidate their friendship. The sides agreed to support each other on matters of “core interests,” respect the other’s choice of its own development path based on national conditions, improve coordinating mechanisms, and broaden cooperation and communication. The commentary stated that the upgrading of relations with Turkmenistan demonstrated the “high-level development” of China’s relations with Central Asia as a whole, claiming that China’s relations with the region over the past 31 years had been a model of neighborly friendship and how to build “new-type international relations” (新型国际关系). It praised the “China-Central Asia (C+C5)” cooperative mechanism and its planned inaugural leaders’ summit. It then noted that the BRI was first proposed with Central Asia and praised “historic, symbolic, and breakthrough accomplishments” in infrastructure under the initiative, such as natural gas pipelines, railways, and shipping ports. In conclusion, the commentary stressed China’s desire to continue deepening relations with Central Asia.
Zhong Yin: Build a Solid Line of Defense to Protect [Public] Health and Prevent Severe Illness
1.11 People’s Daily published a Zhong Yin (仲音) commentary on building a “solid line of defense” (坚实防线) to protect public health and prevent severe illness as China has reclassified COVID-19 as a Category B disease (乙类乙管) and is working to expand medical services and access to medicine across the country. In the opening paragraph, the commentary called for opening up a “green [medical] channel” (就医绿色通道) for at-risk populations to ensure that they receive timely diagnosis and treatment; mobilizing qualified hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies to set up temporary fever clinics to meet the needs of the masses for medical treatment and medication nearby; distributing health kits (健康包) to key groups in remote mountainous areas; organizing grassroots medical forces at the front line; and “taking the initiative” to provide door-to-door services. It further called for all localities to take practical measures to continue to better protect the public’s access to medicine, and “build a solid line of defense” (坚实防线) to protect [public] health and prevent severe disease. The commentary then celebrated the progress and achievements of China’s public health system and medical service system since the 18th Party Congress, and stated that in the past three years of fighting against the epidemic, China has “continuously made up for the shortcomings of the public health system.” It declared that the medical, health care, and disease control systems have “withstood the test,” and “conditions have been created and confidence has been built in hundreds of millions of people” to “finally win complete victory against the epidemic.” In reclassifying COVID-19 as a “Category B disease” (乙类乙管), the commentary called for “fighting a battle of preparation.” It stated that China’s medical treatment capabilities have been improved by strengthening the hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system, adding fever clinics, increasing the number of critical care beds in designated hospitals, and increasing related treatment equipment and material reserves. The commentary declared that bed and equipment resources can meet the treatment needs of critically ill patients, and the opening of fever clinics in township and community health centers around the country has “greatly alleviated the problem of fever patients visiting clinics.” It highlighted research on antiviral drugs to combat the epidemic; Chinese personnel finding effective treatments for COVID-19, such as the “three medicines and three prescriptions” (三药三方: six methods of traditional Chinese medicinal treatment); and the active expansion of medical resources and services to “effectively prevent risks that may arise after adjustments, ensure a smooth transition and stable connection, and better guarantee normal production, normal living, and normal medical and health needs.”
The commentary clarified that reclassifying COVID-19 as a “Category B disease” (乙类乙管) is “by no means ‘laissez-faire’ (放任不管),” as policy focus is meant to shift to “protecting [public] health and preventing severe disease” (保健康、防重症). It declared that “this is not a lower requirement for the medical and health system, but a higher one,” and called for making full use of the plans in place and “rely[ing] on a strong public health and medical service systems to maintain the health and well-being of the people and promote the overall improvement of economic performance.” In closing, the commentary stated that “we have full confidence and ability to ensure that the adjustment and transition of epidemic prevention and control measures are smooth and orderly in order to better protect the lives and health of the people,” and that “dawn is ahead, and victory will eventually come.”
United Front Work
National United Front Department Heads’ Conference Held in Beijing
1.10 The National United Front Department Heads’ Conference was held in Beijing. Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Huning (王沪宁) delivered remarks to the conference. Wang stressed following Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 20th Party Congress; “deeply comprehending the decisive significance of the ‘two establishes’ (两个确立), strengthening the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), consolidating the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), and achieving the ‘two defends’ (两个维护)”; and developing the United Front Department’s role in uniting the people’s sentiment and strength for “using Chinese-style modernization (中国式现代化) to comprehensively advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Wang noted Xi’s guidance on strengthening and improving united front work throughout his time in office, referred to this as the Party’s “important thought” on the topic for the new era, and called for its full, accurate, and complete implementation as “basic guidelines” for all united front work in the future. Wang emphasized that the United Front must grasp the “political, historical, and practical logic of the ‘two establishes,’” thereby ensuring the United Front follows the “correct political direction.” He also called for taking “united struggle” (团结奋斗) as the theme of the times, systemically planning “united front work for the new era,” studying and resolving real-world issues, consolidating and developing the widest possible “patriotic United Front for the new era,” uniting in struggle for the goals set at the 20th Party Congress, strengthening the Communist Party’s leadership of united front work, and improving the organizational systems. The meeting was chaired by Politburo Member and Central United Front Work Department Head Shi Taifeng (石泰峰), who issued remarks reiterating Wang’s points on key ideological precepts the department must follow. Shi also noted the importance of implementing the spirit of the July 2022 Central Conference on United Front Work and the decisions of the Central Committee, resolving key issues in united front work, and resolving “major risks and hidden dangers” in united front work.
Wang Yang Presides Over and Speaks at CPPCC National Chairpersons’ Meeting
1.12 Politburo Standing Committee Member and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chair Wang Yang (汪洋) presided over and delivered a speech at the 83rd Chairpersons’ Meeting of the 13th CPPCC National Committee. The meeting “conveyed and studied the spirit” of Xi Jinping’s recent speech on CPPCC work, and Wang stressed the need to “deeply study, comprehensively understand, and accurately grasp the spirit” of this speech in order to “further enhance the sense of political responsibility and mission” and do a good job in the final stage of the the current CPPCC National Committee. The meeting heard a report on the supervision of key proposals of the fifth session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, after which Wang pointed out that the 77 key proposal topics identified at that session, which involved 261 related proposals, have all “been processed, achieved good results,” and are “making positive contributions” to the central work of the Party and country. He emphasized “systematically summarizing the successful experience and effective practices” of the current CPPCC proposal work to improve the system and mechanism, improve the quality of proposals, and strengthen supervision and negotiation; “further deepening the understanding of regularity”; and achieving high-quality development in proposal work. The meeting also listened to a report on committees “contacting and serving the masses,” and Wang emphasized the need to conscientiously implement the deployment requirements of the 20th Party Congress in improving the system and mechanism for members to contact the public, adhere to the nature and orientation of the CPPCC, “further deepen research in combination with actual CPPCC work,” and do well in transforming and applying research results. The meeting then reviewed and approved various draft documents for the 14th CPPCC National Committee, studied the 2023 CPPCC National Committee draft annual work outline, and reviewed various other draft reports on 13th CPPCC National Committee work. Politburo Member and United Front Work Department Head Shi Taifeng (石泰峰) and CPPCC Vice Chairs Zhang Qingli (张庆黎) and Li Bin (李斌) attended and spoke at the meeting. Fourteen other CPPCC National Committee Vice Chairs also attended the meeting.
Central Military Commission
Symposium Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Yan’an Double Support Movement Held in Beijing, Wang Huning Attends People's Daily 1.12 A symposium on the 80th anniversary of the Yan’an Double Support Movement (延安双拥运动, “double support” refers to government and civilian support for the military and vice versa) was held in Beijing. Participants included Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Huning (王沪宁), Politburo Member and Central Military Commission Vice Chair He Weidong (何卫东), Vice Premier and National Small Leading Group on Double Support Work Chair Sun Chunlan (孙春兰), National People’s Congress Standing Committee Vice-Chair Shen Yueyue (沈跃跃), Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress National Committee Vice-Chair Ma Biao (马飚). He Weidong gave a speech at the event, in which he emphasized the importance of “double support” throughout the Party’s history and noted progress on the issue under Xi’s leadership. He noted the “blueprint” for national strengthening and rejuvenation set in the 20th Party Congress and called for following the Congress’ decisions and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era when doing double support work in the new era, uniting the will and strength of the military under the Party’s flag, and strengthening the military, government, and public’s unity. He called for greater focus on military training and preparations, support for troops’ improvements and reform, protection of the military’s execution of duties, and implementation of policies for the military to help civilians.
Communique of the Second Plenum of the CCP’s 20th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
1.10 From 9 to 10 January, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) held its second plenum. The meeting was attended by Xi Jinping, CCDI Secretary Li Xi (李希), all other Politburo Standing Committee Members, the CCDI’s members and non-voting delegates, and other unspecified Party-state leaders. The plenum was chaired by the CCDI’s Standing Committee. It planned 2023 work and passed the work report of the CCDI standing committee: “Deeply Study and Implement the Spirit of the 20th Party Congress and Unswervingly Advance Comprehensive and Strict Party Governance on the New Voyage.” The plenum studied Xi Jinping’s “important speech” at the event (see Senior Leaders section). Its communique praised Xi’s own character and judgment at length, declared the speech’s significance to understanding and addressing tasks of party governance, supervision, and discipline inspection, and called for study and implementation of the speech’s “spirit” and central deployments. The plenum further called for the entire CCDI and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) to study and implement the spirit of the 20th Party Congress as their primary political task; implement the strategic deployments of the Congress; maintain the correct political orientation, follow the Party Constitution, and carry out assigned duties; resolve the unique difficulties facing the Party and improve the system of party governance; and carry out the struggle against corruption. The communique stated that 2023 is an “important year” for building the foundation of comprehensively building a modern socialist country. It said that discipline work requires following Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, carrying out strategic deployments on strict party governance and relevant tasks, high-quality development of such for for the “new voyage,” and providing a safeguard for progress in socialist modernization. The plenum set the following directives for the CCDI’s future work: “1. Strengthen political supervision around implementing the 20th Party Congress’s strategic deployments; 2. Advance and improve the standardized system of the Party’s self-revolution; 3. Strongly make use of political inspection patrols as a sharp sword (利剑); 4. Persist in deepening implementation of the Central Eight Regulations and correct the ‘four forms’ (四风: formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance); 5. Comprehensively strengthen the construction of party discipline; 6. Firmly win the struggle for the last fortress in the protracted war against corruption; 7. More deeply advance reforms to the disciplinary inspection and supervision system; and 8. Forge a corps of high-quality disciplinary inspection and supervision cadres capable of taking on the heavy mission of the new era and new voyage.”
1.10 Li Chunlin (李春临) and Yang Yinkai (杨荫凯) were appointed vice-directors of the National Development and Reform Commission. 1.10 Dong Jianguo (董建国) was appointed Vice-Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
1.10 Wang Daoxi (王道席) was appointed Vice-Minister of Water Resources.
1.10 Zhong Haidong (钟海东) was appointed Deputy Director of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.
1.11 CCP International Department (CCP/ID) Head Liu Jianchao (刘建超) hosted the opening ceremony of a China-Cambodia exchange platform, the “Youth Home for China-Cambodia Friendship.” Cambodian People’s Party Central Standing Committee member and Youth Work Organization Head Hun Manet co-hosted the event.
1.11 CCP/ID Assistant Head Zhu Rui (朱锐) spoke at the award ceremony, held over video conference, for participants in a video and essay contest held for youth in Arab countries on the theme “The Chinese Communist Party in the New Era.” The event was attended by representatives of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Moroccan Socialist Youth Organization.
1.11 Zhu Rui met with Iran’s Ambassador to the PRC Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh at the Iranian Embassy guesthouse in Beijing.
1.12 Liu Jianchao held separate meetings with Germany’s Ambassador to the PRC, Patricia Flor, and Japan’s Ambassador to the PRC, Hideo Tarumi.