- New guidelines from the CCP Central Committee General Office aim to purify China’s cultural market in order to protect China’s ideological security. The guidelines call for the creation of an effective law enforcement force in the cultural market that is held to newly created certification and testing standards.
- Chinese leaders are working hard to link China’s development under the 13th Five Year Plan with the development projects of other countries, notably through the One Belt, One Road initiative.
- The United Front Work Department recognized the importance of uniting non-CCP intellectuals around the CCP, given that they are needed for innovation and that the majority of intellectuals are not CCP members.
4.05: A Xinhua article denounced any bid for Hong Kong independence as a denial of history with no legal foundation, warning that the concept was poisonous to the entire Hong Kong special administrative region. The Hong Kong National Party was said to be “making fools of themselves,” and the promotion of a “Republic of Hong Kong” was said to be a breach of the Constitution and Hong Kong’s Basic Law, thereby making proponents of the concept enemies of all Chinese people. The article further stated that over the four years and eight months when Basic Law was drafted, the voices of Hong Kong citizens were fully heard through the 23 Hong Kong citizens on the drafting committee and the nearly 80,000 opinions that were collected on the draft. The piece stated that the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office is resolutely opposed to statements or actions advancing “Hong Kong independence,” and that constant vigilance on the issue is warranted. According to recent polls conducted by the University of Hong Kong, 75% of respondents between the ages of 18-29 reported distrust of the central government, and only 13.3 percent of respondents in that age group identified themselves as “Chinese,” even in a broad sense of the term.
4.05: CCP General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping (习近平) met with British Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi praised the British royal family for their efforts in advancing mutual understanding and friendship between China and the United Kingdom. Xi pointed out that this year is the beginning of a “Golden Era” in the China-UK relationship, and that both sides should increase high-level exchanges, establish a systematic dialogue mechanism, and deepen pragmatic cooperation. Xi expressed hopes that the royal family would continue playing a positive role in promoting mutual trust and friendship between the two countries. Prince Andrew praised Xi’s visit to the UK last year, which left a positive image in the country, and also expressed the wish to continue advancing China-UK relations. Xi’s first trip to Britain has been hailed by British and Chinese officials as the start of a “golden era” of relations. The British Treasury hopes that China will become Britain’s second largest trading partner within the next ten years.
China Cadre Study Net
4.05: China Cadre Study Net reports that Xi Jinping participated in Beijing’s volunteer tree planting activities on the morning of 5 April, where he emphasized the importance of a green homeland for the nation and the world. “Building a green homeland is humanity’s common hope. We must vigorously make the land green, build a beautiful China, and also leverage ‘One Belt, One Road’ building and other multilateral cooperation mechanisms to help one another develop reforestation, jointly improve the environment, and actively respond to climate change and other global ecological challenges, and make proper contributions in order to defend global ecological safety,” stated Xi. The article cited the fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CCP Central Committee’s “New Development Concept” (新发展理念), which includes green development as one of the major five development tasks, to emphasize the importance of green development work. It also specifically highlighted the importance of reforestation efforts, and praised China’s role as a responsible power on ecological issues. NASA images have confirmed that China managed to heavily reforest 1.6% of its total land surface between 2000 and 2010. This rate overtook the nation’s 0.38% deforestation rate in the same period.
4.07: Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing. During the meeting, Li stated that China wishes to enhance high-level exchanges, deepen mutual political trust, and expand practical cooperation and coordination in regional and international issues. Li welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s decision to resume the construction of Colombo Port City, and hoped both sides would speed up negotiations regarding the second construction phase of the Port of Hambantota. Li added that both sides should try to complete free trade agreement negotiations by the end of the year. He also stated China’s hope that the Sri Lankan government would support Chinese investment, given that China’s equipment manufacturing industry could help facilitate Sri Lanka’s infrastructural and industrial development. Wickremesinghe reportedly agreed that all parties in Sri Lanka support developing a close relationship with China and wished to connect Sri Lanka’s development strategy with China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Wickremesinghe also stated his wish to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with China by the end of the year. The Colombo Port City is a $1.4 billion project, constructed by a Chinese state-owned enterprise. In March 2015, the project was suspended by the Sri Lankan government due to regulatory and environmental concerns. After a yearlong delay, work was resumed in April 2016.
People’s Daily, Foreign Edition
4.08: A People’s Daily article reviewed the many times that Xi Jinping and other leaders promoted China’s 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) and One Belt, One Road Initiative to foreign leaders. The piece notes that Xi has often linked the 13th FYP with the One Belt, One Road Initiative, such as during his meeting with Nepal’s Prime Minister on 21 March and in his comments at the opening ceremony of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on 16 January. At the 15 October 2015 Asian Political Parties’ Special Conference on the Silk Road in Beijing, Xi pointed out that building cooperation for the One Belt, One Road plan is an important part of the 13th FYP, and that China should utilize the initiative to advance the interests of its neighbors. The article also noted Xi’s repeated emphasis on linking China’s development plans with those of other nations; examples included Xi linking China’s current development under the 13th FYP with Iran’s 6th development plan, and his assertion that foreign nations participating in China’s development will benefit from a vast market and new business opportunities. The CCP International Department has played an important role in explaining how China’s 13th FYP and One Belt, One Road initiative will offer new opportunities for countries that partake in those plans
United Front Work Department
4.08: A United Front Work Department article explained the importance of unifying non-Party intellectuals (党外知识分子) around the CCP’s leadership. It first stated that the CCP is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, and that the working class is the most solid cornerstone of the CCP. Since non-Party intellectuals are a part of this working class, the CCP has to unify non-party intellectuals in order enhance its class base (阶级基础). Furthermore, since 75% of all Chinese intellectuals are not CCP members, non-Party intellectuals are crucial for advancing technological innovation and the promotion of socialist ideals. Lastly, because non-Party intellectuals come from different professions and industries, unifying non-Party intellectuals can contribute to societal stability. During this crucial period of reform in China, the CCP recognizes its need for the knowledge, influence, and connections of non-Party intellectuals in order to achieve social stability and harmony.
United Front Work Department
4.06: United Front Work Department Minister Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) attended the opening ceremony of a training program for 230 United Front Work cadres from provincial, municipal, and county departments. During the opening ceremony, Sun asked all trainees to study Xi Jinping’s important speeches on united front work. Sun pointed out that the workload of the United Front Work Department has increased due to China’s increasingly diversified ownership system, social classes, and ideologies. United front work also needs to enhance cross-party cooperation and unify non-party intellectuals, the non-public sector, minority groups, religious groups, and the people of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Nevertheless, Sun emphasized that united front work has to be guided by the CCP and CCP committees.
4.06: An article from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) explained how letters of accusation (举报信) are handled within the CCDI system. The CCDI will first distribute all letters of accusation to the relevant provincial commissions of discipline inspection every week. The letters are then categorized based on the city and position of the accused cadre, summarized, and entered into the CCDI’s Accusation Management System. If a letter of accusation reflects disciplinary issues at the provincial level, then provincial-level commissions will initiate the investigation. If a letter concerns local cadres, then the letter and related information is passed down to local-level commissions. The article notes that many accusations actually relate to personal-type conflicts instead of disciplinary issues. In such cases, the CCDI lacks jurisdiction.
4.08: An article posted on the CCDI website explained that even though the CCP Central Committee is currently launching its “Two Studies and One Action ” (两学一做) CCP education plan—a plan that aims to instill respect and knowledge of the Party’s constitution, regulations, and Xi Jinping’s important speeches into all Party members—leading cadres remain a “key minority” that can greatly influence the results of the new education model. Xi explained that leading cadres must become leading examples of what they learn; they must learn lessons more deeply and seriously, and advance their political cultivation to higher levels, according to the article. The piece explains that the masses look toward Party members for leadership, and likewise, Party members look towards leading cadres to lead by example. No matter what position a leading cadre is in, they are expected to lead participation in study sessions, Party classes, and all forms of democratic discussion.
Ministry of National Defense
4.05: Former Vice Chairman of the CMC (2002- 2012) Guo Boxiong (郭伯雄) has confessed to taking bribes. Military prosecutors have finished their investigations into Guo, and procedures to prosecute him have now begun. According to a statement from the military procuratorate, Guo has been found to have utilized his position of power to promote and reassign others in return for accepting massive bribes both personally and through his family. The procuratorate stated that large amounts of proof have been gathered, and the case was said to be “clear.” Guo’s family members and others involved will also be dealt with according to the law, according to the military procuratorate.
4.04 In order to curb the spread of perceived destructive and ideologically harmful content that has resulted from an expanding cultural industry market, the CCP Central Committee General Office announced a new set of mandatory guidelines, the “Opinions on Further Deepening Comprehensive Law Enforcement Reform in the Cultural Market”《关于进一步深化文化市场综合执法改革的意见》. The guidelines explain that a cultural product’s societal benefits must be considered before its economic benefits, and that the two must be integrated in a fashion that will protect national cultural and ideological security. Under the main principle of protecting CCP leadership and enhancing core socialist values, the guidelines aim to build the legislative and institutional framework necessary to enforce efficient supervision of the cultural market industry. Objectives include the development of industry-specific certification and testing programs to build an effective law enforcement force across state and CCP apparatuses. The scope of the new guidelines aims to regulate activities ranging from illegal Internet web services and television broadcasts to illegal audiovisual products and copyright infringement.
Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs
4.04: An article on the Cyberspace Affairs Central Leading Group Office website explained the importance of the “Internet Plus” (互联网+) concept for government work, reflected by Li Keqiang’s introduction of a new concept during his 5 March government work report at the National People’s Congress: “Internet Plus + Government Services.” Introducing this new framework into government offices was said to mean leveraging the Internet in order to upgrade and remodel the very nature of government services. The power of the Internet was said to include such technologies as mobile internet, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other core technologies. The concept was also said to be an important framework for helping the government operate as one efficient entity and break through its conservative, department-based mentality when addressing problems. In turn, improvements in government efficiency would lead to increased national competitive advantages, the piece stated. The Internet Plus framework is a broader plan to apply the innovation and efficiency benefits of the Internet to other areas of the Chinese economy as it adjusts to the global economy’s ‘new normal.’
4.05: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) met with Myanmar’s newly elected leader and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. During the meeting, Wang reiterated that his trip to Naypyidaw not only illustrated the friendship between China and Myanmar, but also showed how highly both sides valued their relationship. Myanmar is now at a new point in history and China hopes that its government can unify all political parties and lead the country into a new era. In addition, Wang stated that the China-Myanmar relationship also stands at a new point in history, and that China wishes to increase mutual trust and cooperation with Myanmar in the future. Wang emphasized that China’s policy toward Myanmar will not change in response to its domestic politics and hoped that both sides can start a high-level exchange as soon as possible. Suu Kyi agreed that Myanmar highly values its friendship with China and also expressed the wish to enhance high-level exchanges and economic cooperation.
All-China Journalists Association
4.05: The All-China Journalists Association invited scholars from the China Tibetology Research Center to discuss and answer questions on the topic of “The 65th Anniversary of Tibet’s Peaceful Liberation” with foreign embassy press officers and reporters from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and foreign countries attending. Tibetan society was said to have transformed from a theocratic system of feudal serfdom to the modern system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and the scholars expressed optimism for Tibet’s future. Several figures of improvement over the past 65 years were cited, including: Tibet’s population rising from 1 million to 3.18 million, with a corresponding increase in average life expectancy from 35 years to 68 years of age; Tibet’s GNP rising from over RMB100 million to RMB100 billion; and Tibet’s current .52% illiteracy rating among young adults today.
INTERNATIONAL LIASON WORK
4.05: International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met an Algerian delegation from the National Liberation Front (FLN) led by Secretary General Amar Saadani in Beijing. Song recognized the strategic partnership between the two countries formed in 2014, and expressed the desire to further advance the partnership. Saadani expressed the desire to increase economic cooperation, and said that his country would facilitate investment from Chinese corporations.
4.05: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met a delegation led by the German Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Norbert Röttgen. Both sides discussed issues in foreign affairs, and paid particular attention to the growing possibility of a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
4.05: CCP Politburo member and Chongqing Party Committee Secretary Sun Zhengcai (孙政才) met with Cuban leader Raul Castro in Havana. The two praised the deep friendship between the two countries and ruling communist parties, and Castro said Cuba stands ready to exchange experiences with China as Cuba works to transform its own economic and social models.
4.06: International Department Minister Song Tao met with a Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) delegation led by the head of the LPRP Central Committee’s commission for external relations, Sounthone Xayachack. Both sides expressed the desire to advance bilateral relations and party-to-party ties, and Song expressed the Chinese side’s desire to build a community of common destiny.
4.06: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member Liu Yunshan (刘云山) met with a Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) delegation led by the head of the LPRP Central Committee’s commission for external relations, Sounthone Xayachack. Liu congratulated the LPRP for holding its 10th national congress in January, and said that China will firmly support the country’s socialist construction. Xayachack thanked China for its ongoing assistance to Laos, and stated that the new LPRP leadership is ready to improve relations with the CCP.
4.06: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou met with New Zealand Ambassador to China John McKinnon. Guo stated that bilateral relations between the two nations had increasing regional and international significance, and both expressed the desire to further party-to-party contacts between the countries.
4.06: Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (李源潮) met an Algerian delegation from the National Liberation Front (FLN) led by Secretary General Amar Saadani in Beijing. Li hailed the deep friendship between both countries, and both sides stated the willingness to strengthen practical cooperation and party-to-party exchanges between the two countries.
4.07: International Department Minister Song Tao met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister and leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing. Song highlighted the trend of strengthening and forward-looking strategic relations, and Wickremesinghe expressed the mutual desire to deepen party-to-party relations as a political and civil foundation for the bilateral relationship.
4.08: International Department Minister Song Tao met with Cambodian Prime Minister and President of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) Hun Sen in Cambodia. Both sides expressed great interest in continuing the advancement of party-to-party exchanges and strengthening communication channels between China and Cambodia in regional and international affairs.
4.05: Zeng Guowei (曾国卫) was confirmed to be the new head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Immigration Department. He was previously the department’s deputy director.
4.08: Chen Cungen (陈存根) was confirmed to be the new standing committee chairman of the Central State Organs Trade Union Federation. He was previously the organization’s deputy secretary.