- Recent CCP discipline inspections and statements show that Party discipline work continues to target the “critical few” cadres that are in leadership positions. The CCP committees of the PLA Army and Strategic Support Force dispatched inspection teams to their subordinate organizations for the first time, extending the reach of the leadership’s anti-corruption campaign deeper into the military.
- The newly elected president of Laos Bounnhang Vorachit held meetings with top Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, and Liu Yunshan in Beijing, where Vorachit signed cooperative agreements covering a range of topics. Xi Jinping emphasized the need for both countries to enhance strategic cooperation, with specific attention to improving China’s relations with ASEAN.
- CCP Liaison Department meetings with Polish and Czech leaders emphasized the opportunities provided by the One Belt, One Road and 16+1 initiatives, as China seeks to align its interests with those of other nations. Like the ancient Silk Road before it, Xi Jinping emphasized the need for the One Belt, One Road initiative to promote the broader aspirations of other states.
5.2: During the CCP Politburo’s 31st Group Study Session, Xi Jinping led members to study the history of the ancient Silk Road (丝绸之路). Xi connected the contemporary One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to the ancient Silk Road, saying China must draw upon the lessons of history to deliver tangible benefits to all nations along the OBOR route. Xi stated that the ancient Silk Road was not only a road of commerce, but also a road of friendship, demonstrating the Chinese nation’s spirit of peaceful cooperation, tolerance, mutual understanding, and mutual benefit. He further stated that China must promote the spirit of the ancient Silk Road and connect the Chinese dream with the dreams of every other nation. As such, the OBOR initiative was said to not only be for the promotion of China’s development, but also the development of other nations; this means that it is critical for China’s interests to align with those of other nations in order to encourage participation in the OBOR initiative. Last but not least, Xi stated that cultural exchange is also a vital part of the OBOR initiative in order to build the social foundations of nations along the OBOR.
5.3: Xi Jinping met with Bounnhang Vorachit, the newly elected president of Laos and general secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party in Beijing. Xi said the visit was a sign of goodwill and a demonstration of Bounnhang’s commitment to cooperative and friendly relations between Laos and China. He called on both sides to expand people-to-people exchanges, work together on development goals, and seize opportunities to enhance bilateral strategic cooperation, with specific efforts to enhance the relationship between China and ASEAN. Xi emphasized commonalities between China and Laos, which are both Communist-led socialist governments, saying both countries are on a similar development path. Bounnhang agreed that the two countries should foster a high level of mutual trust, reassuring Xi that his administration will continue to promote a close relationship with China. Bounnhang stated his conviction that China would contribute to the stability and peaceful development of the region. The two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperative documents, which will cover security cooperation following the shooting of six Chinese nationals in March and the death of two Chinese in a bomb attack in January. Laos has been the recipient of Chinese loans and infrastructure investment, and Chinese plans call for the construction of a railway through Laos from Yunnan Province to Singapore. Laos is the ASEAN Chair for 2016, where several member states have conflicting claims over the South China Sea.
The State Council Information Office (SCIO)
5.3: The State Council Information Office (SCIO) reported that between 19 and 21 April, an international delegation of diplomats, reporters, and other representatives from 14 countries and international organizations participated in a SCIO organized inspection tour named “Foreigners See China—Innovative China.” The tour took place in Guangdong Province, with participants calling on leaders from provincial level government departments to discuss the local economic transformation, science and technology innovative drivers, and other relevant topics. Participants also saw some of Southern China’s largest science and technology innovative centers, including the robotics program of Southern China Guangdong Industrial Design and Research Institute. The participants were said to have expressed high approval and recognition of China’s development concept and model. The purpose of the program was said to be letting foreigners in China recognize the nation’s true development situation, and transmit this truth to the world. In recent months China’s media apparatus has been tasked with countering pessimistic Western media reporting of China’s economic troubles, of which this tour plays a role in.
United Front Work Department
5.4: An article from the United Front Work Department introduced new concepts for united front work under the label “shared consciousness of the Chinese Nation” (中华民族共同体意识). The United Front Work Department elaborated that it must strive to enhance the “five recognitions” (五个认同) among different ethnic groups in order to cultivate shared consciousness. The first is the “recognition of the great motherland” (对伟大祖国的认同). This requires people to understand that different ethnic groups are part of a community of shared destiny, and that the maintenance of national unity is a fundamental interest of all ethnic groups. Second, “recognition of the Chinese nation” (对中华民族的认同) means to understand that the Chinese nation and other ethnic groups belong to one family. It is therefore critical to maintain ethnic unity. Third, “recognition of Chinese culture” (对中华文化的认同) requires a deep understanding of Chinese culture. The fourth, “recognition of the CCP” (对中国共产党的认同), means that it is important to acknowledge that the CCP’s leadership is the core of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and acknowledge that the people should rally closely around the party. Last but not least, “recognition of socialism with Chinese characteristics” (对中国特色社会主义的认同) is to acknowledge the fact that socialism with Chinese characteristics is the achievement of all ethnic groups and a necessary path to achieve modernization. The United Front Work Department concluded that only by enhancing these “five recognitions,” is it possible to build a shared consciousness of the Chinese nation, which will plant the seed of patriotism in everyone’s soul.
5.3: Chen Yong (陈勇), Xi’an University of Science and Technology vice principal and Party standing committee member. Chen’s responsibilities included management of the university’s state owned assets and information technology.
5.3 Zhang Peiying (张培营), Xi’an University of Science and Technology vice principal and Party standing committee member. Zhang was most recently in charge of university capital construction and logistics. He was previously the university’s discipline inspection commission deputy secretary.
5.4: Zang Xiaojun (臧小军), Xinjiang Office of Civil Air Defence Deputy Director and Party Group Member. Zang spent his entire career in Xinjiang Province, and in recent years held positions as Xinjiang’s deputy director of the Leading Small Group for Housing System Reform and Construction as well as office director of the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
5.5: Li Jufeng (李巨峰), Henan Province Xinxiang City Pingyuan Urban and Rural Integration Demonstration Area Administrative Committee Director. Li spent his entire career advancing through Xinxiang City’s government, with recent leadership posts as Pingyuan area’s Party Work Committee deputy secretary, Yuanyang County Party Committee Deputy Secretary, and head of the Yuanyang County government.
5.7: Huang Aiguo (黄爱国), Hunan Province, Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau Inspector and Party Group Member. Huang previously held numerous local leadership positions in Jingmen City, Hubei, including as Jingmen deputy mayor.
5.2: A People’s Daily article explained the importance of keeping the Party’s “critical few” (关键少数) in line through effective discipline work in order to ensure the successful management of the Party. Xi Jinping first introduced the concept of a “critical few” (关键少数, or “seizing the critical few,” 抓住关键少数) at the 8th session of the fourth plenum of the 18th Party Congress on 2 February, 2015, and has since used the term on several occasions; examples include during the 2015 annual NPC and CPPCC sessions and during CCDI meetings, where he emphasized the strict control of leading cadres at all levels. This relatively new key term is a central focus of the anti-corruption campaign, which has exposed the corruption of a “critical few” party cadres. The piece states that out of 37 CCDI announcements of mid-level cadres being investigated in 2015, at least 13 were stationed at leading posts. Enhancing party discipline by “seizing the critical few” was said to be crucial in building a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics.
5.6: An article from the CCDI reminded CCP members that the CCP constitution demands that “individuals obey party organizations” (个人服从组织). The CCDI mentioned that “individuals” who are Party members are required to follow the party constitution, stating that “obedience” is discipline and discipline is the party spirit (党性). Upon joining the CCP, members take an oath that they will “obey the Party’s constitution, perform Party member obligations, implement Party decisions, follow Party discipline, keep Party secrets, and be loyal to the Party” (遵守党的章程，履行党员义务，执行党的决定，严守党的纪律，保守党的秘密，对党忠诚). The CCDI emphasized that if members follow this oath, disciplinary violations would no longer be an issue. Lastly, party organizations are said to be the lifeline of the party. The CCP must be organized by faith and discipline “forged in steel.” However, if members refuse to obey Party organizations, participate in CCP activities, and pay membership fees, the CCDI would help ensure that “individuals obey party organizations.”
Authoritative Announcement: Army and Strategic Support Force Party Committees Dispatch Inspection Units
Ministry of National Defense
5.4: The People’s Liberation Army has sent corruption inspectors into PLA units for the first time, extending Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign deeper into the military. On 11 April, the PLA Army Party Committee sent two inspection teams to survey the 20th Group Army and an army research academy. In mid-March, the PLA Army Party Committee published two documents, written to establish the official organizational structure for the inspection teams, that name members of the patrol work leading group and define their responsibilities as well as the scope of their inspections. After the completion of the first two inspections, the inspection agency will take three years to complete patrols of each Party committee and member at the army-level unit and above, one-by-one. The authoritative announcement stated that the purpose of the inspections is to root out corruption in the army, uphold the Party constitution, and create a positive political environment within the army. The Party committee of the newly created Strategic Support Force also formed and dispatched two inspection units into the new force, in order to firmly implement the directives of CMC Chairman Xi Jinping.
5.3: An article from Qiushi journal emphasized the importance of “conformity awareness” (看齐意思) for CCP capacity building. First of all, all cadres must understand that the Party’s guiding ideology of communism is the standard to which CCP cadres must conform. Conformity awareness is also the foundation of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the ultimate dream of the CCP. As a party with more than 90 years of history, 87 million members, and 400 party organizations, it is impossible for the CCP to organize itself without conformity awareness, and only a unified Party can advance social development and maintain social stability. Thereby, to strengthen conformity awareness is to build a governing party with unwavering faith, discipline, and accountability. More specifically, conformity awareness requires three dimensions, namely political conformity, ideological conformity, and behavioral conformity. As for political conformity, cadres have to follow Party policy, highly conform with the CCP Central Committee, and safeguard the authority of the CCP Central Committee. It is intolerable for CCP members to issue any statement which contradicts the statements of the CCP Central Committee. Ideological conformity requires members to equip themselves with “Socialist Theory with Chinese Characteristics” (中国特色社会主义理论); they are especially required to utilize Xi Jinping’s speeches as spiritual support. Last but not least, behavioral conformity is required in order to thoroughly implement CCP policies, which will eventually achieve the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation.
China Cadre Study Net
5.3: An article on China Cadre Study Net explained the value that green development has for making breakthroughs in transforming China’s growth model. Xi Jinping’s inclusion of green development as one of the “five great developments concept” (五大发展理念/also known as the New Development Concept) at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CCP Central Committee was said to represent the Party’s deepening knowledge of the rules of economic and social development. The article states that green development has the ability to organically combine resource conservation, environment building, autonomous innovation, and scientific management with low carbon development, societal progress, and ecological civilization building, in order to keep in accordance with the virtuous cycle of sustainable development. Green development was also said to rely on increasing green investment, advocating green consumption, and cultivating emerging environmental strategic industries in order to create a high-end, low-carbon, ecological industrial system. The article concludes that green development is the feasible path that the country must take in order to transform its growth model, thereby necessitating the country to support it and the broader “five great developments concept.”
5.5: 15 days before Tsai Ing-wen takes office as the ROC’s new president, the People’s Daily released a warning against the rejection of the 92 Consensus, which it said could send Cross-Strait relations back into a state of chaos and turmoil. The article promises to “resolutely contain” any separatist efforts to reject the 92 Consensus and the One-China Principle it implies, in order to maintain peaceful stability across the Taiwan Strait. Though the two sides have never reunited, acceptance of the fact that they both belong to one China can never change, the piece states. The article questions the DPP’s stated commitment to maintain the Cross-Strait status quo, saying that a rejection of the 92 Consensus will necessarily disrupt it. Chinese state media’s increase in threatening rhetoric against Taiwan in recent weeks has set expectations for an increase in diplomatic and political pressure on Taiwan after the DPP government comes to power.
5.3: Communist Party Secretary of Sichuan Province Wang Dongming (王东明) met with the Deputy Marshal of the Senate of Poland Grzegorz Czelej in Warsaw. Both sides discussed opportunities to develop the strategic partnership between China and Poland, including the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, the new 16+1 Initiative between China and Eastern and Central Europe, and the promotion of future exchanges.
5.3: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met with Chairman of the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania and former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete in Dodoma, Tanzania. This was a reciprocal visit after Kikwete visited China last month. Both sides agreed to promote further exchanges and solidarity between CCP and Tanzania’s Revolutionary Party.
5.3: CCP General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping met newly-elected President of Laos and General Secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party Bounnhang Voracith in Beijing as part of an official goodwill visit. Both sides engaged in a strategic dialogue and signed important cooperative agreements following the meeting (for details, see Propaganda Work section).
5.4: Communist Party Secretary of Sichuan Province Wang Dongming met with Czech President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague from 1-3 May. Wang discussed enhancing party-to-party exchanges and enhancing the strategic consensus between the two heads of state. The Czech leaders stressed their dedication to strengthening relations with China, and participating in the OBOR initiative and the 16+1 Initiative.
5.4: International Department Deputy Director Zhou Li (周立) met with the Vice Chairman of the Czech Parliament Jan Bartosek on in Beijing. The two leaders discussed Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Prague as an opportunity to deepen cooperation between the two countries.
5.4: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met representatives from the Azerbaijan Office of the President International Bureau and the Secretary of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on core issues of mutual interest.
5.4: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member Liu Yunshan (刘云山) met President of Laos and General Secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party Bounnhang Voracith in Beijing. Liu expounded upon the historical friendship between China and Laos following the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries, and stressed the political importance of maintaining high-level party-to-party communication and cooperation. Both sides agreed upon the importance of implementing key agreements reached between Xi Jinping and Bounnhang during their meeting and further developing the China-Laos bilateral strategic partnership.
5.4: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, Deputy head of the National Security Commission, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang (张德江) met President of Laos and General Secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party Bounnhang Voracith in Beijing. Zhang stated that China and Laos shared a common destiny of strategic importance, and that Xi Jinping’s meeting with Bounnhang achieved a crucial consensus on the future blueprint of China-Laos relations upon which both countries can develop their strategic partnership in various realms. Bounnhang pledged to further promote the China-Laos relationship and undertake mutually beneficial cooperative ventures.
5.4: CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, Vice Chairman of the National Security Commission, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) met President of Laos and General Secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party Bounnhang Voracith in Beijing. Li complimented the meeting between Xi Jinping and Bounnhang on 3 May, and pledged to oversee the success of key developmental projects in Laos such as railroads, as well as further coordinate and cooperate with Laos in international and regional affairs. Bounnhang stressed the importance of China-Laos relations, praised China’s contributions to Laotian infrastructural development and commercial trade, and pledged to ensure the success of the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations Summit, to be held later this year.
5.6: The CCP Central Committee congratulated the Korean Worker’s Party (KWP) of North Korea on the success of the KWP 7th Congress through a phone call. The Central Committee expounded upon the China-DPRK friendship and wished to continue solidifying and developing China-DPRK relations to promote regional stability and prosperity.
5.4: 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.
5.5: The Ministry of Education announced the appointment of nine new officials to various positions within the ministry.
5.6: The Ministry of Commerce announced the appointment of seven new officials to various positions within the ministry.