- 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 experts have the responsibility to make China a technological powerhouse. His meeting with experts is thought to signal that the CCP’s annual summer closed-door retreat was underway.
State Council Information Office
8.2: China Radio International’s Southeast Asian Center organized a 2016 “International Journalist Silk Road,” allowing journalists from Malaysia and Indonesia to better understand social and religious accomplishments in Shanxi Province, Qinghai Province, and Beijing. The event involved topics such as China’s tourism, economic development, railway infrastructure, Muslim culture, and social livelihood. During the event, China Radio International broadcasted these activities in Malay and Indonesian, and also posted media covering activities on Facebook, Wechat, and Weibo. The piece claimed that journalists from Malaysia and Indonesia experienced the extent of China’s economic, technological, and social development first-hand and will report these experiences back to their home countries.
8.3: A People’s Daily article highlighted Xi Jinping’s emphasis on supply-side structural reforms, the first in a series of five economic tasks for the Party in 2016 (cutting industrial capacity, destocking, de-leveraging, lowering corporate costs, and improving weak links). The article focused on issues in the housing market, starting by pointing out that China’s amount of housing stock is the highest in history, though it is declining thanks to 23 consecutive months of government effort, despite a recent rebound. A mismatch between supply and demand was seen to be the cause of an oversupply in the market. The article singles out Hefei as the city with the largest supply increases in China, despite the provincial government setting a goal to hold prices steady. The contradiction between rapidly rising prices and accumulating stock is a serious challenge, according to China Real Estate Association Vice Secretary General Hu Andong (胡安东), who says that the government should not take a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with the problem.
8.5: A Xinhua article discussed the meaning of the concept of “cultural self-confidence” (文化自信), which Xi Jinping described as the foundation of confidence in the nation’s path, principles, and political system. Xi has discussed the importance of cultural self-confidence on numerous occasions, asserting that confidence in the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is based on confidence in China’s 5000-year-old culture, and that any culture that lost its cultural spirit would not be able to last. It described China’s cultural tradition as the greatest source of its soft power and patriotism, and related responsibility for the nation’s rise or fall. Along with Eastern philosophy, the article listed numerous traditional sayings related to governance, harmony, and serving the people as the source of Chinese philosophy on national governance, and as the unconscious background of the values of every Chinese person, describing them as part of their “cultural genes.” It went on to say that Marxism is the source of China’s more recent progressive direction and the source of China’s accomplishments.
8.1: Sun Chunlan (孙春兰), United Front Work Department head, wrote an article in the CCP journal Qiushi outlining the Party’s guiding principle on work related to religion. She acknowledged the significance of religion, as there are over 200 million openly religious people in China, and she stated that religion itself would co-exist with the “socialist society of China” for an indefinitely long period before its final extinction. For China, religions have their positive side as well as their negative side. However, the CCP must insist on “Dao” (导), or “directing” various religions to a “better path,” the piece stated. The article stated that the CCP must also facilitate the localization and sinicization of all religions and make them suitable to Chinese culture and society; in doing so, the Party can educate the religious masses on the “rule of law,” resolve all inconsistencies between state laws and religious teachings, and encourage religious communities to respect China as a nation as much as they would their faith. In the end, she warned against the danger of forcefully removing religions or cancelling freedom of religion, arguing that it would alienate the religious from the Party and destabilize the state.
United Front Work Department
8.2: Zhang Yijiong (张裔炯), vice chairman and secretary general of the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture (CAPDTC/中国西藏文化保护与发展协会), delivered an opening speech at the 6th International Forum of Tibetan Studies in Beijing. He stated that Tibetan culture has developed substantially under the CCP’s leadership, as demonstrated in four main areas. First, Tibetan language is well-preserved, with 14 magazines, 11 newspapers, and 42 television programs currently available in the Tibetan language. Second, Tibetan material culture has been put under the great care of the Chinese government. Altogether, the government has spent 1.45 billion yuan to maintain heritage sites such as Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Jokhang Monastery and Sakya Monastery. Third, in the domain of intangible cultural heritage, the Chinese government has contributed a substantial amount. With its assistance, Tibetan opera and the Gesar epic tradition have been registered under UNESCO. Fourth, Tibetan religion and lifestyle have been respected, as Tibetan people are free to practice and believe as long as their activities are within the confines of Chinese law.
8.5: CCP Secretary and vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang (王志刚) hosted a study session on the “CCP Accountability Provision” (中国共产党问责条例). The Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang (万钢) also attended the session. The session demanded that all deeply understand and thoroughly implement the provision, and use accountability as a pressure mechanism to govern the Ministry of Science and Technology. CCP committees at all levels throughout the ministry will integrate the provision into their “Two Studies, One Action,” education model, the article stated. In addition, the session asked Party cadres to combine the provision with the “CCP and Government Cadres Selection and Appointment Provision” (党政领导干部选拔任用工作条例) to improve the CCP management system and promote suitable cadres; this provision was revised in January 2014, and emphasizes moral integrity in the selection and promotion of officials. Lastly, the session also studied the spirit of the speech made by Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Wang Qishan (王岐山) at the Mobilization Conference for the 10th round of discipline inspection work.
8.1: Wang Xiude (王修德), CPPCC leading Party group member and vice chair of Zibo City, Shandong Province. Wang has served in various positions in Zibo Municipal Financial Bureau throughout his career, including leading Party group member, assistant chief, and deputy chief. He was most recently the leading Party group secretary and chief of Zibo Municipal FinancialBureau.
8.1: Wang Wei (王炜), leading Party group member of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Health and Family Planning Commission. Wang was previously the deputy director of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Health and Family Planning Commission and a delegate to the National People’s Congress.
8.2: Xu Dagang (许大刚), vice mayor and Public Security Bureau chief of Shangqiu City, Henan Province. Xu spent most of his career working in public security enforcement in Kaifeng City, Henan Province. Notably, he is the latest in a string of investigations launched against public security enforcement officials in Henan Province, which included the deputy governor of Henan Province and the Public Security Bureau chiefs of Xinxiang City and Xinyang City.
8.2: Ding Shaoqing (丁少青), CPPCC vice chair of Pingdingshan City, Henan Province. Ding graduated from Henan Agricultural University and has served in various Party positions in Jia County and Ruzhou City, Henan Province. He was most recently the Party committee deputy secretary and district chief of Weidong District, Pingdingshan City.
8.3: Xie Zhixiu (谢治秀), Shandong Province Department of Culture leading Party group member and Shandong Administration of Cultural Heritage leading Party group secretary. Xie advanced his career through various positions in the Shandong CCP provincial committee general office as a secretary at the assistant section level and the CPPCC provincial committee general office as head of the secretariat.
8.3: Mai Chengbiao (麦承标), CCP standing committee member and United Front Department head of Yulin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Mai has served in various Party positions in Guiping City in Guangxi, including mayor and CCP committee secretary. He has also served as a CCP standing committee member in Beihai City, Guangxi Province.
Ministry of National Defense: Authoritative Announcements/Military Diplomacy
8.2/8.5: General Fang Fenghui (房峰辉), chief of the Joint Staff Department of the CMC, met with General Qadam Shah Shahim, chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army in Urumqi this week for the Inaugural High Level Military Leader Meeting on Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism in Counter Terrorism by Afghanistan-China-Pakistan-Tajikistan Armed Forces. Admiral Sun Jianguo (孙建国) was also at the meeting. Fang held subsequent talks with Shahim at the 5 August China-Afghan Strategic Dialogue held in Beijing, the first of its kind. Fang expressed hope that the establishment of the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism would enhance joint exercise training, intelligence sharing, and capacity building. General Shahim expressed agreement and said Afghanistan will continue to fight against terrorist groups, including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.
8.5: Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan (刘云山) spoke with 56 experts at Beidaihe, a popular beach resort in Qinhuangdao City. Beidaihe has become well known for the CCP’s annual summer closed-door retreat. Liu Yunshan’s meeting with experts is thought to signal that the annual meeting was underway, although its start is never formally announced. Since 2001, the CCP Central Committee and State Council has invited more than 900 experts to Beidaihe. Liu Yunshan pointed out that the CCP Central Committee highly values the work and development of talented cadres and experts. With the ongoing social and economic development of China, the country was said to be able to provide a better environment for these experts. Liu emphasized all experts have the responsibility to make China a technological powerhouse, and to advance the strategic mission of developing philosophy and social science with Chinese characteristics. In addition, CCP committees and government at all levels have to respect experts in different fields, Liu Yunshan stated.
8.5: According to a People’s Daily article, the CCP and State Council have achieved great progress on judicial reform. According to the piece, 85 percent of judicial staff (including those working in People’s Courts and Prosecutor’s Offices) are now directly involved with cases, the highest figure in history. The independence of judges and tribunals has also been greatly strengthened, the article states. Furthermore, the number of petitions (上访) has dropped by 30 percent even while the court has received 10 million cases during the first half of 2016. “This phenomenon shows people now prefer to resolve disputes through the due process of law, because the reforms have made filing a lawsuit much easier;” Chen Weidong, a professor at Renmin University China Law School commented.
8.1: International Department Vice Minister Guo Yezhou (郭业洲) met an American Foreign Policy Council delegation led by former U.S. Under Secretaries of State William Schneider, Jr. and Richard McCormack in Beijing. Both sides exchanged views on core issues of interest in U.S.-China relations.
8.1: International Department Minister Song Tao (宋涛) met an American Foreign Policy Council delegation led by former U.S. Under Secretaries of State William Schneider, Jr. and Richard McCormack in Beijing. Song stressed that the healthy development of U.S.-China relations benefits both sides’ mutual interests, and both sides pledged to increase communication and cooperation to further bilateral relations. Song also reiterated China’s stance on the South China Sea issue.
8.3: Kou Wei (寇伟) was confirmed to be the new State Grid Corporation of China leading Party group vice secretary and Member of the Board. He was previously a leading Party group member and vice general manager at China Huaneng Group Corporation.
8.3: Dai Deming (戴德明) was confirmed to be a new outside director at Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corporation. He previously served as a Member of the Board at Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology Group Co., Ltd.
8.5: Wu Dejin (吴德金) was confirmed to be the new Ministry of Transportation Department of Road Transportation director. He was previously the mayor and Party committee deputy secretary of Baishan City, Jilin Province.