3.28: Xi Jinping (习近平) arrived in the Czech Republic during a period when China seeks closer relations with Eastern Europe, reports People’s Daily. The visit was the first to the Czech Republic by a Chinese president in 67 years. Xi noted that the country had become an important Chinese partner in the region, with the article suggesting that China-Czech Republic relations have entered “the best time in history.” Xi stated that he looked forward to progress on “16+1” cooperation, the official framework for advancing China’s cooperation with 16 central and eastern European countries, distinct from China’s cooperation with the European Union. The article notes that the Czech Republic is situated at the heart of Europe and possesses a strong industrial base, making it an ideal partner for China in manufacturing, nuclear power, and infrastructure construction. The article also asserted that the One Belt, One Road Initiative presents unprecedented opportunities for developing bilateral ties. It specifically noted that all of the 16 central and eastern European (CEE) framework countries are along the One Belt, One Road route. The two nations signed a strategic partnership on 29 March, and business deals signed by Xi may bring as much as $3.9 billion in Chinese investment.
China Eliminate Pornography and Illegal Publications Net
3.29: The 2016 nationwide “Eliminate Pornography and Illegal Publications” office directors’ meeting kicked off in Beijing, with the National Work Group for the “Elimination of Pornography and Illegal Publications” full-time deputy head Li Changjiang (李长江) and National Work Group for the “Elimination of Pornography and Illegal Publications” Deputy Head and Office Director Wu Shangzhi (吴尚之) in attendance. The meeting focused on studying and implementing the directives of Xi Jinping’s relevant important speeches, as well as carrying out the 2016 “Eliminate Pornography and Illegal Publications” action plan and the spirit of the 29th national “Eliminate Pornography and Illegal Publications” videoconference. The meeting praised the work progress of the previous year. According to the article, the “Elimination of Pornography and Illegal Publications” office has already supervised 16 major work-related cases. The meeting emphasized that such work was expected to intensify. The National Work Group for the “Elimination of Pornography and Illegal Publications” operates under the CCP Propaganda and Ideology Work Leading Small Group, and workers from 27 major Party and Government organs comprise its personnel. The group’s office is located inside the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s offices.
The Economic Daily
3.31: President Xi Jinping met with President Barack Obama in Washington, DC during his visit for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, where they discussed the trajectory of China-U.S. relations and exchanged opinions on international and regional issues. Xi pointed out that China-U.S. relations have achieved new levels of development in areas such as bilateral trade and investment, climate change cooperation, the Iran nuclear issue, and other important areas. Xi asserted that the mutual interests of China and the US far outweigh areas of disagreement, and that both nations can work together to solve global issues. At the same time, Xi maintained that both nations should respect each other’s core interests, and stated that China has always supported the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and using dialogue to solve related problems. While he voiced support for strictly implementing UN Security Council resolutions, Xi said that any words or actions that seek to exacerbate regional tensions, influence the national security of other nations, or tip the strategic balance in the region should be avoided. Additionally, he insisted that China would resolutely defend its sovereignty over the South China Sea, and that while China respects and protects every nation’s freedom of navigation and overflight, it would not accept actions that use such principles as an excuse to hurt China’s sovereignty and national security. Obama was said to reaffirm the United States’ support for a peaceful, stable, and successful rise of China, as well as for China’s economic transformation. Both leaders agreed to deepen cooperation across areas of mutual concern.
The Economic Daily
3.31: The Economic Daily reports that after receiving a warm welcome from President Obama at the White House and hearing his opening speech at the national security summit banquet, President Xi Jinping was the first guest to deliver a speech. Xi emphasized that although international terrorism is entering a new period of increased activity and the related danger of nuclear material proliferation has increased, international cooperation has also been strengthened. Xi urged the international community to increase cooperative measures, and emphasized that the tools and resolve to defeat terrorism will enable the world to successfully manage increasingly difficult nuclear security challenges.
China Spiritual Civilization Net
3.31: CCP Politburo Member, CCP Secretariat Secretary, and Propaganda Department Head Liu Qibao (刘奇葆) conducted a special investigation into Chinese Opera work progress, and concluded that revitalizing Chinese Opera was a requirement to advance the development of Chinese literature and fine arts. According to Liu, it is necessary to implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s speech at the Literature and the Arts Conference, policies that support passing on the tradition of Chinese Opera, and actions that support Chinese Opera’s inclusion in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage protection system. Liu also specifically called for the protection and advancement of Peking Opera in accordance with classical tradition. Party support for traditional Chinese fine arts has markedly increased since Xi came to power, reflecting his desire for art to help uphold core socialist values and the “Chinese spirit.” He has specifically warned against artists “becoming the slave of the market.” The government’s advancement of Chinese culture is in part meant to inoculate Chinese citizens against Western values.
4.01: Written by Jiangsu Province’s Propaganda Department Head Wang Yanwen (王燕文), this article points out that Party media (党媒) must understand the political nature of its work, stating that it is essential for the media to uphold the correct message, enhance mainstream ideology, and spread positive energy. Wang emphasized that all types of Party media need to keep in line with the CCP’s policy implementation, defend the party’s authority, and remain highly consistent with its messages from the Central Committee. Wang called for CCP media to find a better method to convey its message. All media outlets should combine the political nature of their work with a more creative method for conveying messages, Wang wrote. In addition, Wang explained that new media cannot replace traditional media, and that each should complement the other. Last, she suggested that the CCP should guide but also rely on public sentiment in order to better conduct propaganda work.
United Front Work Department
3.28: A United Front Work Department editorial praised developments in Tibet under CCP rule on the March 28th 57th anniversary of the emancipation from “serfdom”, when the CCP dissolved the former Tibetan government and traditional social system. The article identifies four major improvements in Tibet since that day. First, the piece asserts that the Chinese government abolished serfdom and implemented democratic reform in Tibet. Second, it states that Tibet has maintained a double-digit economic growth rate for the past 23 years, with major improvements taking place in the industrial, transportation, and telecommunications sectors. Third, the central government and other provinces were said to play a key role in providing economic assistance to Tibet. Fourth, the Tibetan people’s inner cultural improvement was said to be evident, with the article claiming that more and more Tibetans are choosing to pursue legal means in order to address their grievances. Despite the above reported developments, March is a sensitive month for Tibet. March 10th is Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates the 1959 uprising in Tibet against CCP rule. On 14 March 2008, major riots broke out in Tibet, attracting international media coverage at the time.
234 Western and Minority Cadres went Central Departments for Training
United Front Work Department
3.28: The Central CCP Organization Department, United Front Work Department, and State Ethnic Affairs Commission jointly hosted a three-day conference for 234 cadres from China’s Western regions, ethnic minority provinces, former Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet provinces, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. During the conference, cadres will study the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speeches, ethnic and national security issues, the 13th Five Year Plan, technology innovation work, and party disciplinary topics. After the conference, the 234 cadres will be assigned to different central departments and important state-owned enterprises for a one-year training program while retaining their positions in their previous units. Since 1990, there have been more than 8,500 cadres who have undergone similar training.
United Front Work Department
3.31: The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region CCP Committee decided to initiate a “Progressive Year of Ethnic Unity” (民族团结进步年). Xinjiang CCP Committee Secretary Zhang Chunxian (张春贤) stated that the “Progressive Year of Ethnic Unity” will thoroughly implement the spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speeches, uphold Chinese characteristics in dealing with ethnic issues, and advance stability, long-term safety, and prosperity in Xinjiang. It will also solve livelihood issues, facilitate ethnic integration, advance the ideology of a Chinese community of shared destiny, and secure the Party’s leadership, said Zhang. United Front Work Department Minister Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) also made remarks at the conference. According to a report from China News, the government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region will promote minority cadres, adopt bilingual education, enhance translation for minority language, motivate enterprises to hire more local minorities, and protect traditional ethnic culture and literature.
3.28: A CPC News article stressed that the CCP cannot condone its cadres to neglect or pretend to be unaware of mistakes committed by their subordinates. Apart from demanding cadres to take a leading role in supervising their subordinates, the article notes that the CCDI permits cadres to confront others in order to maintain Party discipline. Finally, the CCDI instructs that holding a cadre accountable is one thousand times more important than simply mobilizing one (动员千遍，不如问责一次)). If a local Party committee or discipline inspection commission is neglectful, the piece states that it will be held accountable as well.
3.29: Xinhua reports that recent local election scandals in Hangyang, Hunan Province and Nanchong, Sichuan Province raised concerns over local election fairness, especially at the county and village levels. The piece first discussed forbidden methods for soliciting or buying votes in local elections, such as gift giving and offering promises of monetary return. Xinhua also stated that canvassing and bribery not only damage the public image of the Party, but also demonstrate a lack of discipline in local CCP committees. Finally, Xinhua emphasized that a lack of legal awareness among the local population is an importnat factor in canvassing and bribery.
Party Discipline is above the Law
4.1: Secretary of the Hubei Commission for Discipline Inspection Hou Changan (侯长安) stated at a disciplinary work conference that disciplinary work does not only focus on a few corrupt cadres, but also every party member. In addition, Hou emphasized that the party must try to educate its cadres and “save their souls” (灵魂救赎), before punishing them. While disciplinary measures against Party members remains the most important task, disciplinary education, oversight, and accountability are also crucial. Finally, Hou Changan stated that party discipline is stricter than the law, before the law, and separate from the law (基本要求是纪严于法、纪在法前、纪法分开), and responsive disciplinary actions must be implemented before any legal action (纪律必须先于法律作出反应，做到执纪先于执法). The CCP’s disciplinary system is completely separated from its legal system, and all cadres will first be handled according to Party disciplinary regulation. Criticism exists over the transparency of these disciplinary investigations and sanctions.
Ministry of National Defense
3.30: Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission General Xu Qiliang (许其亮) met with Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff General Rajendra Chetri in Beijing. Both sides praised the mutually beneficial friendship between the two close neighbors. General Xu voiced his appreciation for Nepal never allowing “any force” to carry out activities on Nepali soil that are detrimental to China’s interests, as well as for upholding the “one China” policy. Xu stated that both sides are expected to implement the consensus reached by Xi Jinping and Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in their 21 March meeting, where Xi called for the development of a community of common destiny. Both sides expressed their desire and willingness to enhance military-to-military cooperation in the areas of communication and training.
Taiwan Affairs Office
3.29: The third session of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) third council opened in Beijing, with a focus on summarizing ARATS work since the previous session as well as planning near-term future work. At the meeting, CCP Central Committee Taiwan Work Office Head and State Council Taiwan Affairs Office Head Zhang Zhijun (张志军) addressed the session, praising the organization’s work over the past eight years and analyzing current trends in the cross-strait relationship. Zhang stated that compatriots on both sides of the strait are paying close attention to new developments, and restated previous CCP assertions that as long as the “1992 Consensus” and the essence of “both sides of the strait belong to one China” (两岸同属一中的核心意涵) is preserved, then cross-strait peace and development will continue. He also stated that ARATS must adapt to current changes in the cross-strait situation. ARATS President Chen Deming (陈德铭) explained that the institutionalized consultations between ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart, the Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), are an effective channel for finding solutions to cross-strait issues and advancing the livelihood and well being of both sides’ compatriots. He also stated that unwavering support for the “1992 Consensus” must continue.
All-China Federation of Trade Unions
All-China Federation of Trade Unions Vice Chairman Jiang Guangping (江广平) met a delegation led by the national chairman of Austria’s PRO-GE Manufacturing Trade Union, Rainer Wimmer. Jiang described China’s current political and economic situation and elaborated on the 13th Five Year Plan and China’s ongoing economic transformation. He stated that the Chinese side attaches great importance to developing mutual relations, and hoped to advance the lawful rights of industrial workers in both countries through cooperating with their Austrian counterpart. Austria is one among many European countries that falls under the One Belt, One Road initiative, and Chinese planners must take into account many regional trade unions that can help enable cooperation between the two countries.
3.28: International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met a delegation led by Chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party and Vice Chairman of the State Great Khural Miyeegombo Enkhbold in Beijing. The two sides pledged to further party-to-party and China-Mongolia relations and push for cooperation in large-scale projects. In 2015, China, Mongolia, and Russia signed cooperation agreements worth $220 million to boost connectivity in travel and promote cross-border tourism and trade.
3.28: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周立) met new Republic of Armenia Ambassador to China Sergey Manasaryan in Beijing. Zhou highly praised the current state of China-Armenia bilateral relations and expressed the desire to continue a cooperative relationship between the two countries, a sentiment echoed by Manasaryan in their meeting.
3.28: International Department Vice Minister Liu Hongcai (刘洪才) led a delegation to Sudan that met with President of Sudan and head of the National Congress Party, Omar Al-Bashir. Al-Bashir noted China’s contributions to Sudan’s economic development, and both sides expressed wishes to deepen cooperation on the political, economic, and cultural fronts.
3.28: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met a delegation from the Canada-China Legislative Association led by Co-Chair and Senator Victor Oh (胡子修) and Senator Geng Tan (谭耕). Guo reiterated the momentous strides that China and Canada have made in the areas of trade, investment and cultural exchange. Both sides agreed on the importance of party-to-party exchanges and the desire to further collaborative efforts in the China-Canadian relationship.
3.29: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周立) met the new Republic of Moldova Ambassador to China Aureliu Ciocoi in Beijing. Both sides agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation between the two countries in areas of mutual collaboration.
3.29: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met the new Argentina Ambassador to China Diego Guelar in Beijing. Zhou pledged China would deepen cooperation with Argentinian political parties in order to facilitate bilateral strategic cooperation. Guelar also emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership between China and Argentina and the desire to foster win-win cooperation. The meeting took place following an incident where Argentina’s coast guard sank a Chinese fishing vessel operating in a restricted area off the country’s coast on 16 March. Following the incident, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon Argentina to investigate the incident and ensure the safety of the Chinese crew.
3.29: International Department Minister Song Tao met with U.S. Senator Tom Carper in Beijing. Both sides reiterated their desire to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in international and regional affairs, as well as make important progress in the fields of climate change, energy issues, and cybersecurity. The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit took place in Washington, D.C. from 30-31 March, where more than 50 state leaders met and discussed pivotal nuclear security issues.
3.29: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member Liu Yunshan (刘云山) met with a delegation led by Chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and Vice Chairman of the State Great Khural Miyeegombo Enkhbold in Beijing. Liu stated China’s commitment to open, collaborative, and win-win development with countries around the world, and China’s desire to work closely with the MPP to improve China-Mongolian relations. Enkhbold recognized the opportunities for bilateral cooperation outlined in China’s 13th Five Year Plan, and reaffirmed Mongolia’s desire for closer relations with China.
3.30: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met a New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) delegation led by Azerbaijian National Assembly regional committee chairman Alif Rahimzadeh in Beijing. Both sides noted the close relationship between the CCP and YAP, and pledged to deepen the cooperation between the parties to facilitate mutual development in bilateral relations. In an earlier meeting between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmer Mammadyarov this month, China expressed its hopes to cooperate with Azerbaijian in the development of transportation corridors as part of China’s Silk Road project.
3.31: International Department Minister Song Tao met the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) delegation led by Azerbaijian National Assembly regional committee chairman Alif Rahimzadeh in Beijing. Song highlighted the desire to expand party-party relations and facilitate cooperation on various fronts through seeking avenues of cooperation under China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative and the 13th Five Year Plan. Song’s statements were met with agreement from Rahimzadeh, who echoed the desire to learn from the CCP’s success in infrastructural and economic development.
3.31: International Department Vice Minister Chen Fengxiang (陈风翔) met with a Myanmar Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) delegation in Beijing. Both sides recognized the historically strong ties between China and Myanmar, and pledged to strengthen the cooperative relationship between the CPP and USDP to advance the China-Myanmar strategic partnership.
3.28: Wang Jingqing (王京清) was confirmed to be the new Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中国社会科学院) vice president. He was previously the vice head of the CCP Organization Department.
3.28: Li Fangyong (李方勇) was confirmed to be the new board chairman China Aero-Engine Group Corporation. He was previously the assistant general manager of Aviation Industry Corporation of China.