Weekly Report 5|3 1.14.23-1.20.23
Qiushi published the full text of Xi Jinping’s 25 October speech to the new Politburo at its first collective study session, which he stated should serve as a model for the entire Party in its study of the 20th Party Congress. (See Senior Leaders section)
Xi Jinping marked the Spring Festival by connecting with the masses, various grassroots cadres, and troops across the country and in various industries via video link. (See Senior Leaders section)
A Zhong Sheng (钟声) article in People’s Daily was one of several recent Zhong Sheng articles to defend China’s newly-“optimized” pandemic response and economic performance against supposed Western media bias. (See Propaganda Work section)
Xi Jinping’s Speech at the First Collective Study Session of the 20th Politburo
1.15 Qiushi published the full text of Xi Jinping’s 25 October speech to the new Politburo at its first collective study session. As an introduction, Xi stated that the study session should serve as a model for the entire Party in its study and implementation of the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, the new “primary political task” of the Party and state. He noted the major “political, theoretical, and practical” results of the Congress and called upon the Politburo to guide the Party and nation in studying, understanding, and implementing its spirit. He noted the effectiveness of the Party’s model for Party-wide study of central decisions and policies; told listeners they must fulfill the requirements he had set forth in meetings of the 20th Party Congress Central Committee, Politburo, and Politburo Standing Committee; and proposed three lines of effort for the Party: complete study, grasping, and implementation of the spirit of the Party Congress.
First, Xi emphasized that only through thorough study can the spirit of the Congress be correctly understood and have a basis for implementation. He called for the study of primary documents, reports, and speeches from the 20th Party Congress, as well as study of the spirit of the 18th and 19th Congresses. He stated that this study should not stop at “memorizing a few precepts or keywords (概念和提法),” but must be “lively,” reflect the major historic accomplishments and changes under his administration, discuss the “extremely unusual” changes and risks the Party has faced in the last few years, and explain the “historical, theoretical, and practical logic” of the Party Congress’ strategy and decisions. Second, regarding understanding, Xi praised the robust content, long-term political and theoretical view, and strategic decisions and deployments of the Congress. He stressed that understanding the spirit of the Congress required understanding history and the present, theory and practice, and international and domestic issues, both holistically and with attention to detail. He highlighted four specific examples of topics that must be understood: 1. The worldview, methodology, and implementation of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era; 2. The importance of major changes in the past ten years of the “new era”; 3. The “Chinese characteristics,” basic requirements, and key principles of “Chinese-style modernization” (中国式现代化); and 4. The strategic decisions and deployments made at the Congress. Third, regarding implementation, Xi stated that nine-tenths of a policy decision is in its implementation, and good plans and decisions are void if not correctly implemented. He stated that implementation must be planned out, based on understanding the overall goals set by the Congress, and proceed according to detailed and specific plans and timetables. He called on the Politburo’s members to take the lead in ensuring concrete progress and issuing deployments related to their areas of responsibility. He emphasized the significance of the Congress for many topics of national importance and called on the National People’s Congress, State Council, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, and Central Military Commission to create and implement plans and clear requirements for the Central Committee’s policies. He stated that the goals and tasks set by the Congress included both short- and long-term issues and that some goals should be prioritized, but all goals should be kept in mind and prepared for. He warned against “formalism and bureaucratism” (形式主义、官僚主义) and stressed maintaining continuity with past policies and plans provided that they accord with the spirit of the Congress. He also noted that localities and ministries should implement the Central Committee’s deployments into their work, in unity with local realities, while calling for maintaining a holistic view of the entire nation. Xi then stressed the importance of the Central Committee’s authority, the united leadership collective, and Party- and nation-wide ideological unity for the successful governance of China, calling on Politburo members to uphold the Central Committee’s authority and the united leadership collective, implement Central Committee decisions, carry out their own duties, and coordinate work with others. He emphasized that the Party must strengthen its ability to “struggle,” motivate society’s confidence, and work to face risks and challenges. Xi then noted planned programs for study of the 20th Party Congress, such as Central Propaganda Department lecture group tours, and called on “relevant ministries” to make work plans for study of the Congress in places such as the workplace, communities, schools, and the internet. He stated that all Party School branches should make study of the Congress the primary content for training cadres, and called on local governments and ministries to organize and attend study sessions.
Xi Jinping’s Discussion with Non-Party Figures Emphasizes Having a Work-Hard Mentality to Perform Duties and Responsibilities
1.16 Xi Jinping held a discussion meeting with the central committees of democratic parties, leaders of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and other non-Party representatives. Xi emphasized that 2023 is the first year to study and implement the “spirit of the 20th Party Congress” and stressed that it would be a year in which “hopes and challenges co-exist.” He urged the “mobilization and encouragement” of all present to further promote “Chinese-style modernization (中国式现代化) and unity in struggle (团结奋斗).” Xi emphasized that 2022 was an “important year” for the Party and country’s development and extolled non-CCP members for “unswervingly walking with the Party and joining hands to forge ahead in the new era.” He emphasized “not forgetting the original intention of cooperation, carrying forward fine traditions (优良传统),” and further consolidating “ideological and political consensus.” He noted that the central committees of democratic parties and non-Party figures had conducted “in-depth research” on various important issues involving reform, development, and stability and “provided important considerations for the party’s scientific decision-making and effective policy-making.” He cited the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce’s “Ten Thousand Enterprises Prosper Ten Thousand Villages” (万企兴万村) initiative as an example, praising it for having successfully “guided private enterprises (民营企业) to actively fulfill their social responsibilities and realize high-quality development.” He stressed that the “basic political foundation of multi-party cooperation (多党合作)” is upholding the leadership of and “uniting as one” with the Chinese Communist Party. He stated that those present should emphasize the “strengthening of the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), consolidating the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), achieving the ‘two defends’ (两个维护), and uniting thought and action with the major decisions and deployments made at the 20th Party Congress.” Xi proceeded to emphasize “focusing on the construction of a new development pattern, implementing the ‘two unswervings’ (两个毫不动摇), and solidly promoting ‘common prosperity’ (共同富裕).” He stated that it is necessary to “continuously improve the targeting and effectiveness of democratic supervision (民主监督)” and to have the “courage to overcome difficulties and dangers on the path ahead.” Next, Xi emphasized “giving full play to the political advantages (政治优势) of China’s new-type party system” and highlighted the need for each “democratic party to strengthen self-construction (自身建设), continuously elevate their ability to grasp [issues] politically (政治把握) and participate politically,” improve their capabilities in “organizational leadership and cooperation,” and possess the ability to solve problems by themselves. Politburo Standing Committee members Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), Wang Huning (王沪宁) and Politburo members Shi Taifeng (石泰峰), Chen Xi (陈希), and Wang Yang (汪洋) attended the meeting.
Xi Jinping Connects Via Video to Greet Grassroots Cadres and the Masses on the Eve of the Spring Festival
1.18 Xi Jinping marked the Spring Festival by connecting with the masses and various grassroots cadres via video link. Citing his concern about pandemic prevention and control and the work of patient treatment, Xi first engaged with a hospital director in Heilongjiang who stated that the number of severe cases was decreasing and that there was sufficient supply of hospital beds and medicines. Xi emphasized that over the past three years China has taken a correct approach to managing the pandemic and that it has successfully limited severe cases and deaths to the greatest extent. Such an approach has “won precious time” for the country to now “optimize” pandemic prevention and control measures and implement “Class B” management of the pandemic. Xi stressed that the country has now entered a “new stage” of pandemic prevention and control and that, although the country is still in embroiled in “strenuous” (吃劲) times, the “dawn is just ahead.” He emphasized that “persistence is victory” and asserted that “it is necessary to expand medical resources, increase the provision of medical services, and bolster preparations related to medicines.” He stressed the importance of doing a particularly good job with “making preparations for responding to severe cases and ensuring normal medical operations.” Xi further emphasized making up for the “shortcomings (短板) in pandemic prevention and control in rural areas.” Xi proceeded to connect with residents of an elderly care center in Fujian, where he emphasized that the “virus is continuously mutating” and that although the virulence of the virus is decreasing, its “transmission is faster” and its “transmissibility is stronger.” He emphasized that the risk of the virus to the elderly is particularly large and that the elderly are the “top priority” of current pandemic prevention and control measures. Xi noted that the country’s population has “aged further and further” and articulated the importance of promoting the interests of the elderly. Next, Xi connected with workers at a PetroChina site in Xinjiang and emphasized that “energy security (能源安全) concerns the country’s overall economic and social development and is one of the most important [types of] security.” Xi emphasized that China is approaching the “peak” of energy use due to the winter and emphasized ensuring steady supply and price stability for coal, electricity, oil, and gas. Xi proceeded to connect with staff at a railway station in Zhengzhou, where he stressed the importance of seriously implementing each aspect of pandemic prevention and control rules to minimize cases of “cross-infection” (交叉感染) during upcoming Spring Festival travel. Xi then connected with merchants at a wholesale market in Beijing and emphasized the need to “strengthen food monitoring and market management” and stated that such markets are“important sites” for pandemic prevention and control. Xi emphasized that it is important to “do a good job of sanitizing market environments” and stressed the importance of “price stability” (价格稳定) of market goods. Next, Xi connected with the residents of a village in a Qiang (羌) ethnic autonomous county of Sichuan with a substantial tourist industry, and emphasized that in the “new era of rural revitalization (乡村振兴)” it is important to do a good job of cultivating agricultural products and rural tourism. He also noted his concerns about the particular difficulties of pandemic prevention and control in rural areas. Xi concluded by emphasizing the importance of ensuring sufficient supplies of energy and gas, stable food supply, improving food safety monitoring, and implementing the next stage of pandemic prevention and control well. Politburo members Liu Guozhong (刘国中) and He Lifeng (何立峰) and State Council Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) accompanied Xi during his video connections.
On the Eve of the Spring Festival, Xi Jinping Inspects Combat Readiness Work by Troops and Extends Spring Festival Greetings to All Soldiers and Officers of the PLA and PAP
1.19 Xi Jinping conducted a video inspection of the combat readiness of troops at the August 1st Building in Beijing and expressed his well-wishes to all soldiers and officers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and People’s Armed Police (PAP) ahead of the Spring Festival. Xi emphasized that he places a “high degree of importance on how the entire military’s combat readiness is doing.” During his inspection, Xi held separate video calls with relevant units responsible for border, sea, and air defense and maintaining stability. Xi talked with border guards from the Xinjiang military region stationed at Khunjerab (红其拉甫) about “management and control in border patrolling,” extolled them for being “old examples (老典型) of defending the country,” and “encouraged everyone to redouble their efforts” and consolidate new achievements. Xi proceeded to speak with troops attached to a naval formation currently on a “combat readiness cruise” (战备巡航) and asked about their “emergency response preparedness” (应急处置准备). He encouraged them to spend the Spring Festival preparing for combat and told them to “guard the motherland’s territorial waters well.” Next, Xi spoke to an on-duty aviation brigade, asked about their daily work pertaining to air defense preparedness, and requested them to stay alert and “elevate vigilance,” particularly during the Spring Festival, period to “protect the country’s air defense and security well.” Xi also spoke with soldiers from the Falcon Commando Unit (猎鹰突击队) of the PAP, a “national-level anti-terrorist unit” currently undergoing training exercises. Xi asked about their training in “special combat skills” (特战技能) and encouraged them to work assiduously to harden their skills and be “loyal defenders” (忠诚卫士). After connecting with the relevant units via video call, Xi fully affirmed their combat readiness. He emphasized that as the Spring Festival approaches, the entire military must strengthen its combat readiness, “firmly defend the country’s security and social stability,” and “complete troubling and dangerous tasks” related to disaster relief that they may have to “bear.” Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chairpeople Zhang Youxia (张又侠) and He Weidong (何卫东) in addition to CMC Members Li Shangfu (李尚福), Liu Zhenli (刘振立), Miao Hua (苗华), and Zhang Shengmin (张升民) attended the relevant events.
Central Committee and State Council Hold Spring Festival Reception, Xi Jinping Delivers Speech
1.20 The Central Committee and State Council hosted a Spring Festival event at the Great Hall of the People, at which Xi Jinping delivered a speech expressing the Party and state’s New Year’s greetings to the people of China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. The event was attended by Premier Li Keqiang (李克强), National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chair Li Zhanshu (栗战书), National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress Chair Wang Yang (汪洋), Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), State Council Vice Premier Han Zheng (韩正), and Politburo Standing Committee members Li Qiang (李强), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Cai Qi (蔡奇), Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥), and Li Xi (李希). In his remarks, Xi noted the international and domestic challenges the Party, military, and Chinese people had successfully faced in the past year through “united struggle” (团结奋斗). Reflecting on accomplishments of 2022, Xi noted the convening of the 20th Party Congress; implementation of policies for controlling the pandemic, stabilizing the economy, and securing development; continued progress in economic development and transformation; progress in environmental protection, military modernization, party discipline, and social stability; the “continued optimization” of pandemic policies which prioritized public health; the hosting of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games; the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to the mainland; firm struggle against “separatism” and “interference” regarding Taiwan; and progress in “large country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.” Xi noted that these successes had not come easily, but were won through the Party and people’s efforts, demonstrating that nothing can impede the Party and people when united in thought and action. He then described 2023 as the first year of fully implementing the spirit of the 20th Party Congress and a year when “hope coexists with challenges.” He called for a focus on “seeking progress while maintaining stability” (稳中求进); better coordination of domestic and international issues, pandemic control and socioeconomic development, and development and security; deepening reform and opening; ensuring economic recovery; and improving living standards, concluding that all this could be done through staunch faith and effort. He described the road ahead as both difficult and glorious, stressing the need for practical efforts as opposed to making a superficial show of things. In conclusion, he expressed his good wishes for the Chinese people in the lunar new year.
Zhong Yin: Doing Better in Guaranteeing Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals to the Masses
1.14 People’s Daily published a Zhong Yin (仲音) commentary titled “Doing Better in Guaranteeing Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals to the Masses.” The commentary emphasized that since 8 January the country has shifted towards “Class B” management of the pandemic. It emphasized that pandemic prevention and control has “entered a new stage” and stated that “Class B” management did not constitute “letting go” or “not caring” but actually meant “strengthening services and guarantees.” It stated that the new approach entails more “scientifically, accurately, and effectively carrying out pandemic prevention and control” and “better coordinating pandemic prevention and control with socioeconomic development.” It noted that the Central Economic Work Conference had stressed “optimizing and adjusting (优化调整) pandemic prevention and control policies” in addition to “smoothly moving (顺利渡过) through the pandemic period” and ensuring “stable transitions (平稳转段), social order, and stability.” It stated that in this period of the pandemic the demands of the masses for pharmaceuticals has “obviously increased” and asserted that “each region and department” has tried its hardest to expand provision of medical services, increase the supply of medicines, guarantee the masses access to medical care, and respond to issues facing the masses in a timely manner. It proceeded to state that during the past three years, “medical treatment (医疗救治) abilities” have “continuously increased,” that the vast majority of medical personnel has accumulated “diverse experience” in pandemic prevention and control, and that the foundations of the country’s “complete” pharmaceutical industrial supply-chain are “strong.” It emphasized the importance of “combining Chinese and Western medicine” and called for “giving full play” to the “distinctive role” of traditional Chinese medicine in “clinical treatment” (临床救治). Next, it stressed going a step further in ensuring medical care and pharmaceuticals for the masses. It noted that in this period different locales have spurred the opening of new fever clinics, expanded resources for “intensive treatment,” and used internet-based healthcare services to provide guidance and to fulfill the masses demands for medical care. Lastly, it highlighted that production of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been successfully stepped up and that the production of analgesic drugs has been accelerated and increased. It asserted that “we have given full play to our advantages, are completely capable of ensuring medical care and pharmaceuticals for the masses, and can protect people’s health and safety with confidence.”
Qiushi Commentator: Have Firm Confidence in Doing Economic Work Well
1.16 A Qiushi Commentator article discussed principles of economic work for 2023. It first noted Xi Jinping's speech to the December 2022 Central Economic Work Conference and called for study and implementation of the spirit of that conference and the 20th Party Congress. The article stated that the foundation of economic recovery is not yet fully stable, facing major pressures from contracting demand, supply shocks, weakening predictions, and international turmoil. To respond to these challenges, the commentary stressed “bottom-line thinking,” guarding against major risk, maintaining strategic focus, firm confidence, a “spirit of struggle,” and optimism in eventual recovery. Citing remarks to this effect by Xi, the commentary claimed that positive trends of China’s economic development and long-term outlook are unchanged. It called for a “fully confident” view of the following factors: 1. “Our country’s development possesses many strategically beneficial conditions and development advantages”; 2. China’s “historic accomplishments” over the past ten years, shift towards high-quality development, and economic advancement as seen in historic perspective; 3. The Party’s ever-deepening understanding of economic work and more mature grasp and usage of economic rules; and 4. The scientific and theoretical guidance for economic work offered by Xi Jinping Economic Thought (习近平经济思想). The commentary stressed that China’s economy had successfully weathered obstacles throughout the ten years of the “new era” and created a “miracle” of rapid development, and that it can do so again to “comprehensively establish a modern socialist country” (全面建设社会主义现代化国家).
The commentary then stressed that 2023 economic work must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and implement the spirit of the 20th Party Congress and Central Economic Work Conference. It specifically highlighted principles and goals such as “Chinese-style modernization,” “new development thinking” (新发展理念), the “new development pattern” (新发展格局), better coordination of pandemic prevention and control with economic development, better coordination of development and security, deepening reform and opening, preventing risks, and achieving growth. It stated that economic work should focus on stability, noting strategic aims and policy efforts including a more active and effective fiscal policy, stable monetary policy, industrial policies that balance development and security, self-strengthening science and technology policies, and social policy focused on the “bottom line” of public welfare. Specifically, it emphasized the following goals for economic work: 1. Expansion of domestic demand; 2. Accelerated construction of a “modernized industrial system”; 3. Implementation of the “two unswervings” (两个毫不动摇, referring to unswerving state support for both the state-owned and private sectors); 4. Stronger attraction and usage of foreign capital; and 5. Effective defense against and resolution of major economic and financial risks. In conclusion, the commentary noted that the Central Economic Work Conference had set clear requirements, tasks, and policies. It called for firm confidence while implementing central economic policies.
Zhong Sheng: Disregarding China’s Three Years of Contributions to Fight the Pandemic Exposes Ignorance and Bias People’s Daily 1.20 A Zhong Sheng (钟声) article in People’s Daily was one of several recent Zhong Sheng articles defending China’s newly-“optimized” pandemic response and economic performance against supposed Western media bias. The article stated that the international community has gained a better understanding of China’s “persistence in highly-effective coordination of pandemic prevention and control with socioeconomic development” and gained confidence in China’s rapid economic recovery by witnessing the “stable and orderly” progress of new pandemic policy measures. In contrast, “there are still some Western media outlets that stick to political biases” and disregard or intentionally smear China. The commentary stressed that such smears will not harm international confidence in China’s development, but merely expose these outlets’ prejudices. It claimed that China has taken “responsible policy measures” throughout the pandemic to protect its people’s health, unite the world to fight the pandemic, and promote global economic recovery. The commentary claimed that China has held consistent principles of prioritizing its people’s lives and health, effectively minimizing severe cases and deaths during the worst waves of the pandemic. It also stated that China had won the greatest accomplishments at the minimum cost, minimizing the pandemic’s social and economic impacts to achieve a relatively strong economic performance over the past three years compared to “some of those countries who chose to ‘lie flat’ (躺平) early on [in the pandemic]” with a passive approach to disease control. The commentary then claimed that throughout the pandemic, China has acted according to law, promptly, openly, and transparently by sharing information, data, progress on scientific research, and its supply of pharmaceutical goods with the world and international public health institutions. It stressed that China had made use of its top industrial capabilities to supply vaccines to the world, claiming that the international community holds China’s global cooperative efforts against the pandemic in high esteem. It then stated that amid global economic pressures, China has actively expanded its international openness to supply goods and services, helping to stabilize the world economy. The commentary said that trade data serves as a “barometer” (晴雨表) of economic development, noting increases in China’s import-export volume and its continued global preeminence in import-export market size as signs of China’s economic stability and global contributions. It cited BMW’s rising sales in the Chinese market (and falling sales in Europe) as a sign of China’s importance to multinational companies, even over their home countries. In conclusion, the article stressed that China’s pandemic situation is currently improving, daily life and business is returning to normal, and the economy and society are gradually returning to a vigorous state. It stated that China will continue to pursue international cooperation, face challenges from the pandemic, protect citizens’ lives and health, and contribute to global economic recovery.
United Front Work
The 25th Meeting of the 13th Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Closes; Wang Yang Presides and Delivers Speech People’s Daily
1.17 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 25th meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC 13th National Committee. The Standing Committee approved its draft work report, proposal work report, and draft amendment to the CPPCC charter, also giving a high evaluation to the work of the 13th Standing Committee. The committee held that the 13th National Committee and its Standing Committee adhered to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; deeply implemented the spirit of the CPPCC Central Committee Work Conference; played the role of a special consultative agency around the tasks of the Party and the state; promoted the decision-making and deployment of the CCP Central Committee; and effectively gave full play to the advantages of the CPPCC in the national governance system. In his speech, Wang paid tribute and gratitude to the Standing Committee and members of the CPPCC, stating that the achievements of the past five years “have not been easy” and that this experience has been “precious.” He noted that their achievements are “the result of strong leadership of the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, the result of strong support from party committees and governments at all levels and all aspects of society, and the result of all members and units at all levels of the CPPCC being united.” Wang stated that the members of the Standing Committee played the role of a “leading model” (模范带头), which “fully demonstrated the mission and responsibility of performing duties and responsibilities for the country.” He emphasized the study and implementation of the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, and noted that the first session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee will be “a major event in [China’s] political life,” so it is necessary to make careful preparations to ensure the success of the conference. The meeting passed a number of decisions on the work report of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee; draft amendments to the CPPCC constitution; the addition of Liu Jieyi (刘结一) as a member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee and deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Committee; the end of the tenures of Zhang Jingan (张敬安) as the director of the Proposal Committee, Zhang Xiaolin (张效廉) as the deputy director of the Economic Committee, and Liu Hui (刘慧) as the deputy director of the Education, Science, Health, and Sports Committee; and the acceptance of Zhu Jiman’s (朱吉满) resignation as a member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee.
Nineteen vice chairs of the CPPCC National Committee also attended the meeting.
1.9-18 A CCP delegation led by CCP/ID Deputy Head Chen Zhou (陈洲) visited Bangladesh, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, meeting with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and leaders of other Bangladeshi political parties; Thailand Deputy’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party Chair Prawit Wongsuwan and leaders of other Thai political parties; and Sri Lanka’s President and United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Party leader Dinesh Gunawardena, and former Prime Minister and Sri Lanka People's Front leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.
1.18 CCP International Department (CCP/ID) Head Liu Jianchao (刘建超) met with the Ambassador to the PRC from the United Kingdom, Caroline Wilson.