- The Taiwan Affairs Office warned Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) against utilizing transitional justice legislation in order to desinicize the island, and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng sought to promote relations with the China-based Taiwanese business community as a counterbalance to Taiwan’s current political trends.
- The Central Military Commission’s 15 departments and offices released a slew of authoritative announcements ordering each office to protect CMC Chairman Xi Jinping’s authority, and carry out its duties under the military’s new structure.
- CCP Liaison Department meetings with Japanese officials show the CCP’s desire for warmer relations with Japan at a time when China faces multiple territorial and sovereignty challenges along its periphery. Party Liaison work complements the 30 April meeting between Japan’s foreign minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a three-day visit.
4.25: The National Work Conference on Political and Legal Team Capacity Building was held in Beijing, with CCP Politburo members and CCP Central Committee Commission of Politics and Law Secretary Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) transmitting CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping’s (习近平) important directives on the topic. Xi acknowledged recent achievements on political and legal affairs, but pointed out that political and legal affairs work needs to prioritize political and ideological capacity building. In addition, innovation, specialization, professionalization, accountability, and discipline are also key requirements for enhancing capacity building. CCP commissions at all levels are expected to strengthen their leadership over political and legal affairs work in order to enhance innovation, cohesion, and the fighting capacity of political and legal affairs teams throughout the government apparatus. The Commission of Politics and Law is the top internal security organ of the PRC. Unlike his predecessor Zhou Yongkang (周永康), Meng does not sit on the CCP Politburo Standing Committee. This reflects a relative downgrading of Meng’s position and the domestic security apparatus following Zhou’s over accumulation and abuse of power, which culminated in his lifelong prison sentence.
Radio Asia 2016 Convention Held in Beijing; One Belt, One Road Said to Offer Broadcasting Cooperation Opportunities
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television
4.25: The Radio Asia 2016 convention commenced in Beijing on 25 April. CCP Propaganda Department Deputy Head and The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) Party Secretary Cai Fuchao (蔡赴朝) opened the convention with Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Secretary General Dr. Javad Mottaghi, and China National Radio (CNR) head Yan Xiaoming (阎晓明) delivered the keynote speech. Cai explained that ever since China’s media organizations formally joined ABU in the 1970s, they have enjoyed close and fruitful relations with the organization and have actively contributed to the development of world broadcasting. Cai also stated that Xi has instructed China’s main media organizations to “connect China and abroad, communicate with the world” (连接中外，沟通世界), and that SAPPRFT would work toward fulfilling this mission. Yan made three suggestions to ABU on how to best promote national broadcasting cooperation in the surrounding area of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative: possess a sense of the region’s “community of destiny”, expand media cooperation methods, and maintain mutual respect while managing differences. The “community of destiny” concept has been advanced by Xi to foster support for the One Belt, One Road initiative and emphasize the region’s interdependence with China.
4.28: CCP media sources sought to address lingering doubts expressed by Western media regarding China’s economic transformation, stating that there was no reason to be too pessimistic in a recent article. The English language Xinhua piece, which was reposted by People’s Daily, explained that recent economic data points to shifting economic growth drivers and the country’s industrial upgrading. Figures cited by the article included: China’s GDP growth falling within the government’s set range of 6.5 to 7 percent in the first three months of 2016; medium and long-term credit issued to redundant sectors dropping 0.2 percent year on year, with China’s steel and construction materials sectors experiencing 7.5 and 10.3 percent declines respectively; bank loans to high-tech and equipment manufacturing firms rising 8.9 percent; China’s service sector growing 7.6 percent in the first quarter; and domestic consumption making up more than 60 percent of economic growth in the first quarter. The article further explained that faster credit growth at the beginning of the year is temporary and seasonal. It ended with a warning to not ignore the positives of China’s economic transition or doubt Beijing’s resolve to see changes through.
4.29: Xi Jinping met with delegations of intellectuals, workers, and youth in Anhui Province before International Workers’ Day. On behalf of the CCP Central Committee, Xi first expressed his sincere regards to all delegations at the conference. He then emphasized that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation depends upon knowledge, work, and youth. Xi pointed out that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is a difficult task that requires contributions from all Chinese sons and daughters. He encouraged workers across all occupations to study diligently, work industriously, and constantly perfect their skills to create brilliant achievements. Xi stated that young people should dedicate their lives to building socialism with Chinese characteristics, uphold core socialist values, and work hard without fear to fulfill their dreams.
United Front Work Department
4.26: Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声) met with delegations from the China-based Taiwanese business community (Taishang/台商). Yu first praised the Taiwanese business community’s contributions to peaceful cross-Strait relations, and emphasized that China’s policy toward Taiwan is clear and consistent, and would not change with the upcoming transition in Taiwan’s political leadership. The “92 Consensus” remains the political foundation upon which everyone must strive to deepen cooperation and advance economic and social integration between the two sides, Yu added. The CPPCC chairman also expressed hopes that the Taiwanese business community will continue to advance cross-Strait developments and deepen cross-Strait economic cooperation. Following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) January victory in Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, Beijing has sought to signal the consequences of rejecting the “92 Consensus” or “One-China Principle.” Chinese leaders view Taishang and other China-based Taiwanese as an important lever for political influence in Taiwan; they comprise around five percent of Taiwan’s population and have much to lose should cross-Strait relations sour.
United Front Work Department
4.27: An article from the United Front Work Department explained the need for CCP members to unite religious groups in China, but also emphasized that they are not allowed to be religious themselves. Only by following dialectical materialism can Party members understand Marxist theory; this necessitates the CCP to require all of its members to be atheists, the pieces states. The article also reiterated the need to enhance ideological education for currently religious Party members, and stated that if they insist on remaining devout, the Party will expel them. However, the piece explained that it is still important to respect religious customs and activities in minority regions, which is distinct from Party members believing in a religion. In recent years the CCP has sought to address this issue, with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) warning its members that abandoning atheism and dialectical materialism is a grave issue that falls under its purview.
4.28: The Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group’s International Asset Recovery Office hosted a two-day training program in Beijing aimed at thoroughly implementing international asset recovery work and studying the important spirit of Xi Jinping’s speeches. Over 170 CCP cadres from different provinces, municipalities, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC/Bingtuan) attended this training program. The training session asked all trainees to have four “awarenesses”; political awareness, overall situational awareness, core awareness, and conformity awareness, in order to advance “Skynet.” The Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group’s International Asset Recovery Office recently announced the initiation of Skynet 2016” (“天网2016” ). International asset recovery was said to be an important task for advancing party discipline, combating corruption, and maintaining the positive image of the CCP.
CMC Authoritative Announcements: Protect Xi’s Authority, Carry Out Duties Under New Military Structure
Ministry of National Defense
4.28: A slew of authoritative announcements (权威发布) released by each of the Central Military Commission (CMC)’s 15 departments ordered each department to advance Xi’s authority and smooth operations under the new military structure. An authoritative announcement from the CMC Political Work Department (军委政治工作部), the successor to the People’s Liberation Army General Political Department, stated that the new organization better carries out the political work of the CMC. The announcement ordered the department to safeguard CMC Chairman Xi Jinping’s authority, listen to his orders, strive to carry out Xi’s “politics build the army” (政治建军) concept, implement strategic plans and macro-level administration capabilities, and practice fighting to win. It further stated that the corrupt influences of former CMC Vice Chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou must continue to be purged, and that the military must listen to the Party’s commands. A similar authoritative announcement released by the CMC General Office (军委办公厅) explained that the General Office must make protecting and implementing the CMC chairman’s responsibilities its primary political mission and work task. The office was also ordered to strongly promote the CMC chairman’s responsibilities of advancing systemization and normalization in the military. The announcement called on the office to actively research the military’s new structure, mechanisms, and rules in order to ensure the system’s smooth operation. The current CMC organization with 15 functional departments was announced on 11 January 2016. These include the formerly more powerful General Staff Department and General Political Department. Prominent Chinese observers have stated that the military’s restructuring is aimed at creating a military loyal to no one but Xi Jinping.
4.27: A CPC News article written by the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center highlighted the importance of protecting IPR as a foundation for innovation. He first pointed out 26 April was World Intellectual Property Protection Day, and that the theme of 2016’s “propaganda week” was “enhancing the enforcement of IPR protection and quickening the construction of a strong IPR nation.” After elaborating on the achievement of China’s IPR protection work, the author stated that it is still too difficult for IPR owners to collect evidence to defend their rights, despite laws that reduce this burden for IPR owners. In addition, while the cost of defending IPR is high, legal compensation for IPR holders remains low. The author suggested that courts fully acknowledge the value of intellectual property and increase the value of compensation in order to promote respect of intellectual property. Last but not least, the author asked IP owners to defend their rights and take legal actions against infringers. China’s General Administration of Customs released details about the state of China’s IPR protection in 2015 on 26 April, World Intellectual Property Day. According to the statistics, Chinese customs officials seized some 23,000 batches of goods containing around 70 million items suspected of IPR infringement in 2015.
Taiwan Affairs Office
4.27: In response to DPP efforts to advance a “Transitional Justice Promotion Bill,” Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) stated that all parties are paying high-level attention to the issue. In the context of Taiwanese politics and society, transitional justice can be broadly understood as the redress of past institutional human rights violations on the island, particularly during the 228 Incident and the subsequent 38-year period of KMT-imposed martial law. The TAO article asserted that Taiwan’s public understands the true aim of the transitional justice bill to be “desinicization” (“去中国化”) and “Taiwan independence.” TAO’s position on the issue has been consistent and clear, An added. An further reiterated the Mainland’s opposition to “Taiwan independence” through any referendum, constituent assembly, or constitutional amendment . Although the DPP bill does not call for the desinicization of the island, it asks the government to directly address the past human rights violations of the Chinese Nationalist government; this is viewed by Beijing as an indirect attack on the Chinese identity of Taiwan.
4.25: International Department Vice Minister Chen Fengxiang (陈风翔) attended the 26th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and the first Trilateral Meeting among the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), the Coordinating Body of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties in Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPPAL), and the Executive Committee of the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) in Jakarta. The conference was jointly hosted by The Party of the Functional Groups (Golkar Party) and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, with more than 40 political parties and organizations from 30 countries participating. Chen delivered a speech that described China’s experiences strengthening inner-party democracy and elevating the standard of living in China. He emphasized the need to further strengthen cooperation between political parties from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. All participants of the trilateral meeting were encouraged to avoid raising contentious issues regarding bilateral disputes among the region’s countries, as per the understanding reached at the 13th meeting of the ICAPP Standing Committee held in Kunming, China in 2010.
4.25: International Department Vice Minister Chen Fengxiang met Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie, Secretary General of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Hasto Kristiyanto, and other Indonesian political leaders during the ICAPP event. Chen stated that the deepening of the China-Indonesian strategic partnership in recent years has created a positive political atmosphere for both countries to advance mutually beneficial cooperative ventures. Both sides expressed the desire to further communication and educational exchange between the CCP and Indonesia’s political leaders to promote the healthy development of bilateral relations.
4.25: Vice President and member of the CCP Politburo Li Yuanchao (李源潮) met foreign representatives at the China-Arab Political Parties Dialogue in Beijing. Li stressed the importance of Arab countries on the international political stage, and described Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Middle East in January as leading the China-Arab relationship into a new era. He stated that Arab countries are pivotal to China’s construction of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and hoped for greater communication and exchange between the CCP and Arab political parties. Former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Abdel-Aziz Sharaf and others reportedly expressed their admiration of the CCP’s developmental ideals and governance, and anticipated that One Belt, One Road will contribute to the economic development and political stability of the region.
4.26: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周立) met a Parliament of Romania Foreign Policy Committee delegation led by Chairman László Borbély in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on core issues, praised China-Romanian relations, and pledged to further strengthen party-to-party and party-to-parliament relations.
4.26: International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met a Cambodian FUNCINPEC delegation led by Cambodian prince and FUNCINPEC head Norodom Ranariddh in Beijing. Song emphasized the close historical relations between China and Cambodia, and pledged to continue supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia in the country’s economic and social development. Ranariddh expressed gratitude toward Chinese economic aid, and pledged to uphold the One-China Principle and support China’s position in resolving its South China Sea disputes.
4.26: CPPCC National Committee Vice Chairman Wang Jiarui (王家瑞)met a Cambodian FUNCINPEC delegation led by Cambodian prince and FUNCINPEC Chairman Norodom Ranariddh in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on the development of China-Cambodian and party-to-party relations.
4.27: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met an Australian Labor Party (ALP) regional senate delegation in Beijing. Both sides expressed the desire for close coordination between the CCP and ALP in the fields of political, economic, cultural, and regional cooperation as part of the China-Australian strategic partnership.
4.27: International Department Vice Minister Liu Hongcai (刘洪才) met Japanese Ambassador to China Masato Kitera in Beijing. Liu complimented Kitera’s efforts to improve China-Japan relations during his term, but stressed that complications in the relationship still exist. He emphasized that deepening party-to-party exchange and cooperation on various fronts is the key to setting a favorable foundation for bilateral relations. Kitera complimented both sides for bringing tangible improvements to China-Japan relations, and hoped that the International Department would continue to support the new incoming Japanese ambassador and the Japanese Embassy’s work in China.
4.27: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, an attendee of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in Beijing. Zhou emphasized the high importance that the CCP places on international liaison work, and both sides pledged to develop close relations and exchanges with Ukrainian political parties to advance bilateral relations.
4.28: International Department Minister Song Tao met EastWest Institute Chairman of the Board Ross Perot, Jr. in Beijing. Song asserted that China and the U.S. share more convergent interests than divergent ones, and both sides expressed the desire to push for greater party-to-party exchange in promotion of the healthy development of bilateral relations.
4.29: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周立) met Republic of Moldova Ambassador to China Aureliu Ciocoi in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on core issues such as party-to-party relations and global and regional political trends.
4.29: International Department Minister Song Tao met a political delegation led by former vice president of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Taku Yamasaki in Beijing. Song elaborated on the importance of China-Japan relations to both sides and the strategic significance of improving mutual trust through increasing contact between political figures and parties. He stated that the CCP is willing to strengthen friendly communication with Japanese political parties, and hoped that more Japanese politicians would take part in promoting China-Japan relations and objectively view sensitive issues surrounding China. Yamasaki and the delegation agreed that peaceful, win-win relations are the only choice for the China-Japan relationship moving forward, and that Japan would work toward ensuring the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Asian region alongside China.
4.29: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member Liu Yunshan (刘云山) met a political delegation led by former vice president of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Taku Yamasaki in Beijing. Liu stated that China-Japan relations are currently in a rebounding but weak state, and that the Chinese government will continue to manage bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term standpoint. He stressed that China’s rise is an opportunity and not a threat, and hoped that Japan would continue to develop in a peaceful manner so that both sides can contribute toward regional and global stability. Yamasaki reiterated that the China-Japan relationship is one of the most important bilateral priorities for both sides, and that the delegation is willing to continue to build trust and push for cooperative relations.
4.27: The National Railway Administration announced the appointment of 20 new officials to various positions within the administration.
4.27: Zou Jiayi (邹加怡) was confirmed to be the new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) group leader stationed at the Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Office. She was previously the Ministry of Finance Assistant Minister and leading Party group member.
4.28: Zhao Mingji (赵鸣骥) was confirmed to be the new Ministry of Finance assistant minister and leading party member’s group member. He was previously the Ministry of Finance Department of Personnel Education director.
4.28: Huang Yan (黄艳) was confirmed to be the new Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development vice minister. She was previously the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning (Office of Capital Planning & Construction Commission) director.
4.28: Wu Ken (吴恳) was confirmed to be the new Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He was previously the Chinese Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation.
4.28: Shi Zhongjun (史忠俊) was confirmed to be the new permanent representative of China to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He was previously the permanent representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland.
4.28: Ba Te’er (巴特尔) was confirmed to be the new State Ethnic Affairs Commission director. He was previously the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region CCP provincial committee deputy secretary.
4.28: Zhao Zhengyong (赵正永) was confirmed to be the new 12th National People’s Congress Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee deputy director. He was previously Shaanxi Province Party secretary.
4.28: Guo Gengmao (郭庚茂) was confirmed to be the new 12th National People’s Congress Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee deputy director. He was previously Henan Province Party secretary.