The Chinese Communist Party International Department: Overlooked yet Ever Present

Originally Published in The Diplomat Authors: David Gitter, Leah Fang As the Communist Party of China (CPC) pursues its domestic goal of realizing a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by the year 2020 and struggles to advance Beijing’s interests on China’s troubled geopolitical periphery, Western observers have diligently interpreted the Party’s foreign policy intentions through China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bellicose statements of the state-owned newspaper the Global Times, and inflammatory propaganda videos posted on Chinese social media. And yet, even seasoned China hands have often overlooked one of the most authoritative and increasingly transparent channels of CPC … Continue reading The Chinese Communist Party International Department: Overlooked yet Ever Present

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 20

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY State media continues to advance the importance of “cultural self-confidence,” stating that confidence in the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is based on confidence in China’s 5000-year-old culture. Warnings that the country’s success depends on cultural self-confidence mirrors ongoing efforts to warn Chinese citizens against Western values. United Front Work Department head Sun Chunlan argued in CCP journal Qiushi that China must tolerate, guide, and Sinicize religion for the indefinite future, warning that to seriously restrict religious freedom would destabilize the state. Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan spoke with 56 experts at Beidaihe, emphasizing that all … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 20

Does China Care About the South China Sea Ruling?(And if not, can Beijing be made to care?)

An interesting video surfaced on the Chinese Internet after China lost its South China Sea arbitration case to the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Titled “South China Sea Arbitration, Who Cares?” the video was promoted by the Chinese Communist Youth League, and featured a disturbing mix of youth, some donning animated cat whiskers, nonchalantly stating, “South China Sea Arbitration, who cares?” These images were interlaced with those of missiles, fighter jets, and explosions. It is likely that many of those featured in the video are unable to care, because the country’s censorship machine blocked all … Continue reading Does China Care About the South China Sea Ruling?(And if not, can Beijing be made to care?)

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 19

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In a series of events, senior CCP officials encouraged China’s media organs, propaganda theorists, and non-CCP members of varied backgrounds to support national efforts on the One Belt, One Road framework, implementation of the New Development Concept, and economic supply-side reform. Citing recent cases, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) continues to emphasize the importance of the “CCP Accountability Provision,” and made clear the CCP Central Committee’s intent to punish those officials that tolerate and overlook the discipline violations of their subordinates. PROPAGANDA WORK Xi Urges Media Cooperation on “One Belt, One Road” State Council Information Office … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 19

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 18

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The CCP Central Committee has issued a new CCP Accountability Provision, which is designed to ensure that every CCP committee, committee of discipline inspection, and CCP organization holds themselves and those under their supervision accountable to the Party and the people. The provision marks an important effort to eliminate misconduct, evidenced by its prominence in Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. Chinese state and CCP diplomacy continue to focus on building support for China’s position on the South China Sea dispute. Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao sought to ensure cooperation from Laos on the issue during his meeting with the … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 18

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 17

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A State Council Information Office white paper and statements made by President Xi Jinping, the Defense Minister, and CCP International Department officials all reiterate China’s stance of having historical rights in the South China Sea, as well as China’s position that the South China Sea arbitration ruling at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague is illegitimate. Xi Jinping’s 1 July speech delivered on the CCP’s 95th anniversary is being pushed as a major work for all state and CCP organs to study, in order to fully understand the CCP’s historical achievements and ideological basis for continued … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 17

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 16

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Propaganda organs warned of enemies under the influence of hostile Western forces, seeking to split the CCP and the country. To counter this relentless enemy, propaganda workers were encouraged to hold the front line in the fight to dominate public opinion. The United Front Work Department established a new “Eighth Office” dedicated to managing and uniting a new social class, said to be comprised of: managerial and technical staff at private sector and foreign-owned enterprises, employees of intermediary organizations and social organizations, the self-employed, and workers in new media. CCP sources have once again advocated leniency for cadre … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 16

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 15

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated that various cross-Strait people-to-people exchanges will continue, and expressed hopes that cross-Strait youth exchanges will increase. The statements came just before the Taiwan Affairs Office’s 25 June announcement that cross-Strait communications have been suspended. The first national “Internet Media National Defense” activities were held in Nanchang, with close to 70 attendees from major Internet media firms. The event aimed at strengthening public opinion work on the Internet to help people learn about China’s glorious military history, and included lectures on network security. The conference on “Democratic Oversight of Poverty Alleviation” was … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 15

REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 14

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Beijing’s efforts to rally international support for its boycott of the South China Sea arbitration case at The Hague continue unabated, with CCP International Department press releases and state media outlets regularly quoting supportive excerpts from statements made by foreign scholars and organizations. The CCP Central Committee General Office and State Council General Office jointly published opinions on how to reform China’s lawyer system. The opinions focus on how to manage China’s lawyers and guarantee their “correct” political orientation. Measures to be taken include the strengthening of inspections and disciplinary measures at law firms, and targeting lawyers with … Continue reading REPORT: Volume 1 Issue 14