- CCP organs are strongly encouraging all Party members to repeatedly study Xi Jinping’s important speeches, word by word. Propaganda organs have released a compilation of Xi Jinping’s most important speeches, which were said to be the latest achievement of Marxism in China.
- The United Front Work Department told non-CCP intellectuals not to fear reprisals for offering criticism and oversight of CCP policies. They were also reminded to maintain political awareness and conformity as they make their contributions to national development.
- The February 2016 pledge of loyalty to the PRC constitution by members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee was said to represent an increase in the PRC constitution’s authority and show the power of the rule of law.
China Spiritual Civilization Net
5.9: The “Two Studies, One Action” education initiative commenced in 258 provincial-level Party units last month, the stated goal being for all CCP departments and committees to understand the spirit of the central authorities and the requirements of the Party. The training took place in 31 provincial cities, 128 central state organs and departments, 67 financial companies, and 31 universities. The initiative is described as a program to strengthen the CCP’s ideological and political construction, and to ensure that the strengthening of Party discipline extends to the lowest levels of the CCP. China Spiritual Civilization Net, a website under the purview of the CCP Propaganda Department and the Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress, reported that the program practiced “Precision Guidance,” tailoring the education program to each province’s specific needs. Through the program’s discussions, the majority of Party members were said to have agreed that the CCP constitution was the fundamental law of the Party which members must follow, and that by following the constitution, Party discipline would be maintained. Members were also told to study and faithfully implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s most important speeches (see below).
China Spiritual Civilization Net
5.9: China Spiritual Civilization Net released a compilation of Xi Jinping’s most important speeches, which the recent “Two Studies, One Action” education initiative has required Party members to study and implement (see above). The preface stated that Xi’s leadership has opened up a new realm of governance in China, created a new phase in the development of the Party and the country, obtained the wholehearted support of CCP cadres and the masses, and had a major influence on the international community. His speeches were said to have issued forth a series of new ideas on governance and strategies to further enrich and develop Party theory. The speeches were described as socialism with Chinese characteristics, and as the latest achievement of Marxism in China. The list included 13 speeches on various topics: The Greatest Dream of the Chinese in the Modern Age; Achieving the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation; New National Governance Strategy under Historical Conditions; Striving to Achieve the First “100-year” Goal; The Key to the Fate of Contemporary China; Promoting the Construction of the Rule of Law in China; To Forge Iron, One Must Be Strong; The New Development Concept Leads Development; Leading the Development of the New Economic Normal; Utilize the Superiority of Socialist Values; Utilize Socialist Values to Gather Momentum and Strength; Letting the Common People Live a Good Life; and The Green Mountain is the Golden Mountain. China’s two “100-year” goals (两个百年目标) are building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2021, when the CPC will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and building an “affluent, strong, civilized and harmonious socialist modern country” by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
5.11: Xi Jinping met with King Mohammed VI of Morocco in Beijing. During the meeting, Xi Jinping and Mohammed VI decided to establish a China-Morocco Strategic Partnership based on the principle of equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit. Xi Jinping pointed out that Morocco is one of the earliest African and Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. China appreciates Morocco’s support of the “One China” Principle and other issues with regards to China’s core interests, the Chinese President stated. Xi asserted that China is willing to encourage Chinese companies to participate in Morocco’s major infrastructure projects and deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of phosphate, fisheries, health care, and communication. In addition, China is willing to enhance military exchanges and expand tourism and education cooperation, Xi said. Lastly, Xi welcomed Morocco to participate in wider China-Africa and China-Arab cooperation. Mohammed VI reportedly praised the friendship between the two nations and China’s support for Morocco. Mohammed VI also promised further economic cooperation with China. In 2014, Morocco exported $530 million of goods to China, while importing $3.5 billion from China. In November 2015, the Moroccan city of Marrakech hosted the first Sino-African Business Summit, during which more than 500 participants discussed how this partnership could be strengthened.
United Front Work Department
5.9: An article from the United Front Work Department discusses the role of intellectuals that are not CCP members. The United Front Work Department stated that it welcomes all forms of criticism as long as they mean well, and it shall not retaliate against intellectuals because of their criticism. According to the department, 75% of all intellectuals do not belong to the CCP. Therefore, it is a vital task for united front work to ensure these intellectuals contribute to national development. Among these non-CCP intellectuals, many are members of China’s democratic parties (民主党派). These partisan intellectuals must dare to criticize and take on the responsibility of oversight. The United Front Work Department proposed three requirements for non-CCP intellectuals. First, non-CCP intellectuals, especially those belonging to democratic parties, need to have political awareness, overall situational awareness, core awareness, and conformity awareness in order to create a common political foundation with the CCP and, thus, promote scientification and democratization in the CCP’s decision-making process. Second, non-CCP intellectuals need to utilize their talents and specializations to advance the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP). Lastly, non-CCP intellectuals have to focus on topics that are of major concern to the public. Through the platforms of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and the democratic parties, non-CCP intellectuals must understand the direction of the government’s policies and actively engage in policy debate and democratic oversight. The article’s emphasis on intellectuals having “political awareness” shows the boundaries of what kind of criticism will be acceptable.
United Front Work Department
5.12: The United Front Work Department released a review of China’s cultural reform since the 18th Party Congress, which it called the “Cultural Chapter” (文化篇章) of Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream.” On 19 August 2013, Xi Jinping first discussed the need for cultural reform at the National Propaganda and Ideological Work Conference (全国宣传思想工作会议), emphasizing that socialism must be the force that advances Chinese culture. In March 2014, the “Plan for Deepening Chinese Cultural Reform” (深化文化体制改革实施方案) was released, the first publication by the Leading Small Group for Deepening Comprehensive Reform. The plan sought to guide ideology and objective thinking, and defined the main objectives of cultural reform, the “core objective” being the fostering and promotion of core socialist values and becoming a socialist cultural power. The plan devised several measures promoting cultural reform, the first of which was the issuance of several reform-oriented documents: “On the Prosperity and Development of Socialist Literature and Art,” “On State-Owned Cultural Enterprises Placing Social Benefit First,” and “On the Integration of Traditional Media and New Media,” among others. Second, a number of policy measures have been introduced for implementation regarding the management of cultural institutions, supporting cultural enterprise development, promoting a culture of creativity, and supporting the development of the film industry. Third, a number of reform tasks will soon be implemented, including the streamlining of internal and external propaganda, integrating central and local press and broadcasters, and improving ideological work. The United Front Work Department’s report emphasized that cultural reform will help build China’s national soft power by disseminating the values of contemporary China, and demonstrating the “unique charm” of Chinese culture.
5.9: Wang Jianyou (王建又), former Chairman of the Board at Yunnan Radio and Television Network Co., Ltd. and former Party committee secretary. During Wang’s tenure, Yunnan Province’s Auditing Office found the province’s stake in the firm to be too low (4.6%), making the company difficult to control. Wang is currently a Yunnan Province CPPCC member.
5.10: Li Xuehai (李学海), Shandong Province Qingdao City CPPCC vice chairman. Li previously held various Shandong Province leadership positions, including Laixi County CCP Standing Committee member, Deputy Secretary of Chengyang District in Qingdao City, and Shinan District Party Secretary in Qingdao City.
5.10: Lian Younong (连友农), Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region CPPCC economic committee director. Previous positions held by Lian in Guangxi include deputy secretary of Yulin City and deputy secretary and mayor of Beihai City.
5.12: Zhang Yimin (张益民), Henan Province Ministry of Public Security traffic police corps captain.
5.13: Wang Zhifu (王致富), Liaoning Province State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (China Tobacco) Party group secretary and director. Wang spent most of his career working for the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration in Henan Province before being appointed to his current position in 2015.
5.13: Jiang Jianming (江建明), former Donghua University vice president and Party standing committee member.
5.13: Han Jishun (韩吉顺), CPPCC vice chairman of Dongying City, Shandong Province. Han held previous positions in Shandong Province that include Dongying City Hekou District Party secretary and public security bureau chief of Dongying City and Binzhou City.
5.11: During a conference regarding strengthening Party discipline in China Radio International (中国国际广播电台/CRI), CRI head and Party secretary Wang Gengnian (王庚年) stated that CRI will carry on major political tasks in order to ensure the CCP’s control over the organization. Wang asked all Party cadres to have the four awarenesses: political awareness, overall situational awareness, core awareness, and conformity awareness. He also asked cadres to enhance the accountability of “One Position, Two Responsibilities” (一岗双责) to safeguard the public image of China. Lastly, Wang Gengnian also asked CRI members to study and implement Xi Jinping’s speech at the CCP news and public opinion work conference. The “One Position, Two Responsibilities” slogan means that a Party cadre is not only responsible for their administrative tasks, but also the task of strengthening Party discipline.
New “Keywords” in Chinese Governance Explained by Xi Jinping: “Pledge Allegiance to the Constitution”
5.13: A CPC News article explained that the “keywords” in Chinese governance this week are “pledge allegiance to the Constitution” (宪法宣誓). On 26 February, the members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) pledged to “be loyal to the PRC constitution, safeguard the authority of the constitution, carry out legal responsibilities, be loyal to the motherland and the public, be dedicated to one’s responsibilities, be clean in performing one’s official duties, accept the public oversight, and strive for a prosperous, democratic, civilized, and harmonious socialist country.” This is the first time in the PRC’s history that the members of the NPC standing committee have pledged allegiance to the constitution. The pledge was said to demonstrate the power of the rule of law. Of the 142 countries that have constitutions, 97 require their public servants to pledge allegiance to their constitutions. The article claimed that the requirement of “pledging allegiance to the Constitution” would increase the authority of the PRC Constitution and enhance the idea of a constitutional order among public servants and other societal sectors.
5.13: Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang both attended the 7th Annual National People’s Air Defense Meeting in Beijing on Friday, along with Politburo Standing Committee members Liu Yunshan (刘云山) and Zhang Gaoli (张高丽). The presence of the top leadership demonstrated the importance placed on civil air defense. Addressing conference attendees, Xi described civil air defense as a long-term national strategy that contributes to national security and facilitates the country’s economic and social development. Xi said that air defense reform aims to strengthen the political awareness and the sense of responsibility of air defense comrades. In order to improve Chinese air defense, Xi also stressed the importance of civil-military integration and the strengthening of organizational leadership. He said the civil air defense system should act as a shield against air raids during wartime, and serve the public during peacetime. Li spoke after Xi, saying defense must be integrated with economic development, and advocating for market-oriented reforms that will encourage non-government entities to become involved with the building, operation, and management of civil air defense facilities.
5.11: An article from the CCP’s Qiushi Journal pointed out there is a new phenomenon of abusing the term “New Normal” (新常态) through the use of the term to describe any undesirable situation. The article stated that this phenomenon reflects a lack of understanding toward Xi Jinping’s important speeches. More specifically, CCP cadres have to comprehensively study Xi’s speeches instead of selectively studying any specific part of them, the piece stated. CCP cadres were also encouraged to deepen their understanding of these important speeches. The article stated that Xi’s important speeches are not only highly logical and comprehensive, but also have very profound connotations. Therefore, it is impossible to understand the spirit of Xi’s important speeches by simply reading through them one or two times. It is crucial to repeatedly study these speeches, the article claims. Finally, the piece states that CCP cadres have to study the speeches word by word in order to accurately capture key messages from Xi.
5.11: During a media interview, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Deming (陈德铭), who led delegations of Taiwanese business people (台商/Taishang) to Sichuan Province, stated that Taishang need to look westward for more business opportunities in China. Chen pointed out that Mainland China’s western part, particularly Sichuan Province, has already established a multi-dimensional transportation system that encompasses the Sichuan-EU railway and international flight routes. Chen stated that although eastern coastal regions are major destinations for foreign trade and investment, under the “New Normal of Economic Development” (经济发展新常态), major business opportunities have already shifted to western inland areas. For instance, Sichuan Province, with a population of 100 million and a large elderly population, is a huge market for elderly care services, Chen explained. Although Beijing is putting more pressure on Taiwan’s future DPP administration, it will continue to encourage cross-Strait economic integration not only for political reasons, but also to continue reaping benefits from the advantages Taishang offer.
5.9: CCP Central Committee member and Sichuan Province Party Secretary Wang Dongming (王东明) met with Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Sergei Zheleznyak in Moscow. Wang stated that the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Russia had reached a new stage, and emphasized that the CCP highly values developing relations between the CCP and United Russia Party. The Russian side agreed that developing relations with China is a priority for the United Russia Party. Zheleznyak was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2014 for his involvement in Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine.
5.10: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li (周力) met with Cuba’s Latin American News Agency (Prensa Latina) President Luis Enrique Gonzalez. Zhou discussed the achievements of the CCP during the reform and opening up period, while Gonzalez stated Cuba’s objective of achieving socialist reform. Since the U.S. and Cuba began the process of normalizing relations, Chinese state media has launched warnings against Cuba getting too close to the U.S., and international liaison work in Cuba is likely aimed at ensuring the warming of relations between Cuba and the U.S. will not affect Cuba’s relationship with China.
5.10: International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met with a delegation from Ghana’s National Democratic Congress, the ruling party in Ghana, led by Chairman Kofi Portuphy in Beijing. Both sides exalted the agreement reached by Xi Jinping and Ghana’s President at the December 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to deepen bilateral relations and promote inter-party exchanges. Song discussed the CCP’s success in achieving economic development in China, saying the two countries, being faced with similar challenges, should exchange views on governance and development.
5.10: International Department Vice Minister Xu Lüping (徐绿平) met with Ghana’s National Democratic Party Chairman Kofi Poruphy in Beijing. Both sides voiced their support for the strengthening of bilateral relations and promoting cooperation and exchanges.
5.10: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met with former Hungarian Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy in Beijing. Both sides discussed regional and international affairs and issues of mutual concern.
5.11: CCP Politburo member and Party Secretary of Shanghai Han Zheng (韩正) met with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok as part of a state visit to Thailand. Han commented upon the recent diplomatic achievements between China and Thailand in commerce, cultural exchange, and regional and international affairs, and expressed the wish to further the strategic relationship between China, Thailand, and ASEAN. Prayut reiterated Thailand’s commitment to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and agreed to help facilitate closer ties between China and ASEAN. During the trip, Han also participated in a sister-city signing ceremony between Shanghai and Bangkok.
5.12: International Department Vice Minister Liu Hongcai (刘洪才) met Yasser Yusuf, Sudanese official spokesman for the National Congress Party and the State Minister for Information, in Beijing. Liu highly praised China-Sudan relations and pledged to bolster friendly party-to-party communication channels in promotion of the bilateral strategic partnership. Yusuf reportedly expressed gratitude toward China’s political and economic assistance, and looked forward to further bilateral exchanges in the media and television realms.
5.13: CCP Central Committee member and Party Secretary of Qinghai Province Luo Huining (骆惠宁) led a delegation to Switzerland that met with Raphaël Comte, President of the Council of States of the Swiss Federal Assembly. Luo reiterated the significance of Xi Jinping’s agreement with Swiss leaders to establish a new strategic partnership, and both sides agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation on various fronts.
5.13: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met a U.S. EastWest Institute delegation led by CEO and President Cameron Munter in Beijing. Guo emphasized that U.S.-China relations are extremely important in the global context, and that both sides should strengthen communication channels and build trust through cooperative ventures. Munter expressed confidence that the EastWest Institute will continue to support the healthy development of bilateral relations.
5.13: International Department Vice Minister Zhou Li met a PAIS Alliance delegation from Ecuador in Beijing. Zhou highly complimented bilateral relations and pledged to strengthen party-to-party exchange and advance the strategic partnership between China and Ecuador. The Ecuadorian delegation thanked the Chinese side for their earthquake aid efforts, and expressed the desire to learn from the CCP’s experience with policy governance.
5.13: International Department Vice Minister Liu Hongcai met a Moroccan Authenticity and Modernity Party delegation led by party Secretary General Ilyas El Omari in Beijing. Liu stated that the CCP will seek to implement the important agreements set by both countries’ leaders and deepen relations with Moroccan political parties to advance the bilateral strategic partnership. Omari expressed admiration for China’s trajectory of economic development and pledged to further cooperative ventures through party channels. The meeting followed Xi Jinping’s meeting with King Mohammed VI in Beijing (see Propaganda section).
5.14: CCP Politburo member and Party Secretary of Shanghai Han Zheng met Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam. Han referenced strong historical ties between China and Vietnam as the foundation for close high-level engagement between both countries, and both sides pledge to push for cooperative ventures in various realms and further develop the bilateral strategic partnership. Both sides also expressed the desire to link Shanghai and Hanoi through commercial, technological, and cultural cooperation in order to advance the China-Vietnam relationship.
5.9: Huang Ming (黄明) was confirmed to be the new Ministry of Public Security Party committee deputy secretary. He was previously a Ministry of Public Security vice minister and Party committee member.
5.10: Fu Zhenghua (傅政华) was confirmed to be the new Ministry of Public Security vice minister and Party committee deputy secretary.
5.12: Jiang Jinquan (江金权) was confirmed to be the new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) group leader stationed in the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. He was previously the CCP Central Committee Policy Research Office deputy director.
5.13: Qu Shuhui (曲淑辉) was confirmed to be the new CCDI group leader stationed in the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. She was previously the CCDI group leader stationed in the Ministry of Civil Affairs.