Copyright © 2016 Party Watch by David Gitter, All rights reserved.
- The 2016 National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are being used to emphasize Party discipline and Xi Jinping’s indisputable leadership, which are believed to be necessary for pushing through the economic and military reforms that can facilitate China’s moderately prosperous society.
- Fostering domestic innovation and seeing through reforms are viewed as indispensable if China is to create a stable economic growth engine and world-class military. However, Party leaders continue to exhibit lingering fears that loosening controls may lead to threatening political ideas and diminished loyalty to the CCP.
China Government Net
3.08: At a meeting of Chongqing City representatives during the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and People’s Republic of China (PRC) Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) said that Chongqing’s economy was on fire, just like Chongqing’s traditional hotpot dish. Chongqing has numerous favorable economic indicators, which Li attributed to the city’s persistence and pioneering spirit. When Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来) was purged in 2012 for corruption, Bo’s top economic adviser and mayor of Chongqing Huang Qifan (黄奇帆) was left in office to manage the city’s growth. Bo’s successful economic policies were allowed to continue after his fall; such policies included an early cut in steel industry overcapacity, investing heavily into high-end manufacturing, a heavy-handed corruption crackdown, corporate tax breaks, the pursuit of foreign investment, and fast urbanization. In 2015 Chongqing’s economy experienced 11% growth, while the nation’s average was 6.9%.
State Council Information Office
3.09: At the fourth session of the 12th NPC, Zhang Dejiang (张德江) explained that the nation must clearly understand and carry out Xi Jinping’s “Four Comprehensives” strategy, and that there still exists a gap between the Chinese people’s expectations and the work progress of NPC delegates. Zhang also stated that 2016 is the “opening year” in the push to successfully realize a moderately prosperous society, which China aims to achieve by the year 2020. Zhang stressed that work for 2016 includes strengthening the rule of law, carrying out effective and proper work supervision, maintaining unobstructed communication with the masses, as well as properly carrying out external relations, news dissemination, theory research, and self- improvement. The NPC Standing Committee Vice Chairman Li Jianguo (李健国) also explained that national legislation is an important base for China’s charity system; charity legislation is a special topic of deliberation at this year’s NPC meeting. Li introduced important details of the charity law draft, including regulations on charity organizations, donations and contributions, charitable trusts, and charitable services. Another important focus of this year’s NPC is the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP), which is the final FYP before the target year for achieving China’s moderately prosperous society.
3.09: During this year’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and NPC meetings, Xi Jinping gave an important speech that reiterated the importance of the “92 Consensus” and opposing “Taiwan Independence.” After Xi’s speech, members of the NPC and CPPCC all urged Taiwan’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to take a clear stand on the “92 Consensus.” NPC Member and President of Beijing University’s Taiwan Study Center Li Yihu (李义虎) stated that both sides of the strait will face many uncertainties without a common political foundation. After winning Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election, Tsai Ing-wen stated that she will maintain the status quo of the cross-strait relationship. However, she does not embrace the “92 Consensus” or One China position. With a powerful Xi in Beijing and an unpredictable presidential election in Washington, the future of cross-strait dynamics are likely to remain uncertain in the near-term.
United Front Work Department
3.09: The United Front Work Department Minister Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) asked every United Front Work Department official to study and implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s speech during his meeting with China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA) and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) members at the CPPCC. Sun Chunlan stated that a future united front task is to provide ideological guidance to the non-public sector in order to ensure that its actions and thoughts are consistent with the spirit of Xi’s speech.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)
3.07: The CCDI released an animated cartoon series named “Zhengyimen (郑义门)” featuring the Zheng family, which is famous for their uprightness and refusal to engage in corrupt practices. The cartoon focuses on the Zheng family rules, and how governmental officials should also emulate the Zheng family.
3.08: The CCDI published a piece reviewing Xi Jinping’s important expositions on innovation since his coming to power, which place innovation at the core of China’s innovation-driven development strategy. Xi states that when it comes to science and technological innovation, research is the base and enterprise is the main part; government departments must also actively advance the transformation of science and technology results into production capacity. The 13th FYP consultative draft also proposes to integrate innovation with “introduction, digestion, absorption, and re-innovation,” signaling the continued development model of pursuing technology transfer as a means to advance China’s production base.
3.11: Politburo Standing Committee Member and Secretary of the CCDI Wang Qishan (王岐山) told NPC members of the Guizhou (贵州) Province delegation that creating a comprehensive and well-off society is determined by the CCP’s objectives and promises. Wang asked every CCP organization to mobilize the masses in order to reduce poverty. In addition, Wang Qishan emphasized the importance of Party discipline as an essential pillar of the CCP. One of the most important tasks for the 13th FYP is to eliminate all poverty in rural villages, and Party statements on the subject have become normal occurrences at major political meetings.
Ministry of National Defense
3.07 CMC Chairmen Fan Changlong (范长龙) and Xu Qiliang (许其亮) joined a group of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deputies sent to deliberate at the Fourth Session of the 12th NPC. Fan stressed that the PLA should strengthen real war-fighting capabilities and fully allow disciplinary organs to carry out their inspections and audits. Xu stressed that the next five years would be extremely important for achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, as well as for army building and national defense. Xu stated that for China to have a “world-beating army,” reform and innovation must be made the core of China’s overall military development plan.
Ministry of National Defense
3.08: CCP Politburo Member and CMC Vice Chairman Fan Changlong addressed the PLA’s special delegation to the 4th session of the 12th CPPCC. Fan emphasized the great importance that Xi Jinping places on military building and the goal of having a strong military. He further explained that 2016 is the year to deepen defense and military reform, adapt to the military’s new organization, and achieve new military development. He also stressed the need to study the spirit of Xi’s important speeches, raise the ability of the military to fight wars, strengthen army training, advance good work styles, and fight corruption.
3.09: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) answered questions at the press conference of China’s 4th Session of the 12th NPC in Beijing. Wang Yi reiterated China’s positions on various international issues, such as the One Belt, One Road Initiative and the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration case at the United Nations (UN) tribunal at The Hague. With regard to recent UN sanctions on North Korea, Wang Yi expressed China’s support, but also urged all parties not to further escalate tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
China Law Society
3.09: In its efforts to advance the nation’s fight against domestic violence, the Supreme People’s Court has selected 19 middle and lower level courts to be pilot locations in implementing domestic violence justice reform. Experiences learned from a joint China-Australia anti-domestic violence pilot program in Putian City (莆田市), Fujian Province are now being implemented nationally. China passed its first domestic violence law in December 2015, and although it fails to address sexual violence and same-sex couples, the law’s passage signifies a willingness to correct long ignored and tolerated abuses, as well as a continued willingness to learn from foreign guidance on issues that do not threaten CCP rule.
3.07: CCP International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周立) elaborated on the importance of party-to-party exchanges and international liaison work. According to Zhou, CCP International Department work is crucial because: the CCP International Department can explain Party policies to its foreign counterparts in order to foster understanding and trust; by inviting other parties to visit China, the department can establish the platform for party-to-party exchanges; party-to-party exchanges can serve as an alternative channel for discussing potential cooperation; and political parties can learn from each other for mutual self-improvement. CCP liaison work is an important way for China to build connections with foreign opposition parties and rising leaders before they come to power, and a channel for the CCP to learn the successful practices of political parties that stay in power over extended periods of time.
3.08: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met with Argentina’s Ambassador Gustavo Alberto Martino in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on the China-Argentina bilateral relationship. Martino is expected to finish his ambassadorship to China in the near future.
3.09: CCP Propaganda Department Vice Minister and Policy Research Center Deputy Director Wang Xiaohui (王晓晖) led a CCP friendship delegation to Hungary at the invitation of Hungary’s Fidez-Hungarian Civic Alliance. Wang emphasized the great opportunities that will arise from China-Hungary cooperation in frameworks such as “16+1” and “One Belt One Road.”
3.10: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met with Ukraine Ambassador Oleg Dyomin. During the meeting, Zhou Li highlighted China’s support for using political dialogue and peaceful means to solve the Ukraine’s recent international issues.
On 26 February, Ning Jizhe (宁吉喆) was confirmed to be the new National Bureau of Statistics minister and Party Leadership Group Secretary. He was previously a minister-level Party Committee member of the National Development and Reform Commission.
On 29 February, Yin Chengji (尹成基) was confirmed as Party Committee member and vice minister of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. He was previously the deputy mayor of Rizhao City (日照) in Shandong Province.
On 29 February, Zhao Yaohong (赵耀宏) was confirmed as the vice president of the Yan’an Executive Leadership Academy.
On 1 March, Gao Xiaobing (高晓兵) was confirmed as a new Party committee member of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. She was previously a Shandong Province Party Committee member and head of the Province’s Organization Department.