On October 8, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China released the full text of the draft of the Law on Disciplinary Rules for Public Employees. According to the draft, Chinese government employees must be politically correct and those who oppose the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be fired.
This is the first time that the Chinese government put into law that the disciplinary scheme for CCP members will apply to all government employees.
Under Article 30, those who publish articles, speeches, statements, declarations, or anything else opposing the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the socialist system or the reform and opening, will be dismissed. Whoever engages in the following will also be disciplined and subject to actions up to dismissal: spreading speech that is harmful to the reputation of the CCP or the State; refusing to implement directives and policies of the CCP and the State or the major decisions and deployments of the CCP Central Committee.
Under Article 31, those who organize or participate in strikes, protests, and demonstrations, or who organize or exploit religious activities to undermine ethnic unity and social stability will be dismissed.
The NPC is soliciting public comments on the draft which may be submitted through November 6, 2019.
Source: Xinhua, October 8, 2019
Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the U.S. Republican National Committee (RNC) just reported the highest-in-history monthly campaign fund raising record of US$27.3 million. It did so while the competition was busy impeaching Trump. Its third quarter reported a total of US$126 million. In the meantime, the Democratic National Committee reported a debt of US$7.3 million. It appears the Republican supporters did not change their minds even with all the stories in the media on Ukraine Gate, the withdrawal from Syria, and even the impeachment. With ample funds in the bank, the Republicans started a new campaign against the Democrats called “Stop the Madness,” spending millions of dollars. The new campaign focuses on urging the voters to contact their Democratic representatives and demand tangible results that will directly benefit the people. According to RNC spokesperson Rick Gorka, the goal is to take back control of the House of Representatives.
Source: Sina, October 18, 2019
Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that, according to a research report that the Australian Strategic Policy Research Institute published, Beijing is establishing a global data collection network. The approach is to work actively with Chinese companies and foreign universities. The goal is to influence global online public opinion and even to exert control. China is quietly penetrating the higher education systems in Britain, the U.S. and Australia. The effort is not done in an aggressive fashion. For example, Global Tone Communications Technology Co. provides advanced online software for translation, voice recognition, and video recognition. In the meantime, it collects online information across 65 language areas globally. This company belongs to the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It works with many universities around the world, such as The University of New South Wales in Australia. Its data is shared with big data Artificial Intelligence Company Haiyun Data, which is the company accused of monitoring the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Similarly, in addition to software and online services, China is using other channels of communication and networking hardware layers such as products offered by Huawei.
Source: DW Chinese, October 16, 2019
China just announced that the GDP growth rate in the third quarter was six percent, but Xiang Zuoxiu, a professor at Renmin University who is the deputy director of the International Monetary Research Institute, publicly questioned the number and stated that it was seriously overestimated.
On October 18th, the National Bureau of Statistics announced that GDP in the third quarter increased by six percent year over year, which was the lowest since 1992 and below the expected rate of 6.1 percent. In his Wechat account, Xiang Zuoxiu stated that the official GDP growth rate was “obviously overestimated.” He said that most of the fiscal revenue and corporate profits show negative growth. In the first three quarters the national tax revenue also showed negative growth, so how could the GDP growth rate be six percent? He analyzed that even if the tax cuts lead to a fiscal decline while GDP still maintains a growth rate of six percent, then either the corporate profits would grow rapidly or the income of the people would grow rapidly. However, neither of them happened. This indicates that the GDP growth is not so rapid.
Xiang spoke to the Executive Class of Renmin University in December last year. His speech was bold and blunt. It spread widely on the Internet but the officials also censored what he said. In his speech, Xiang pointed out that China’s economy is now in serious decline. The GDP growth rate was not 6.5 percent as the statistics bureau’s said. Instead, it was 1.67 percent, and might even be negative. He also pointed to many problems facing the current Chinese economy and society. The biggest obstacle that the companies have to deal with is that the government lacks credibility. Xiang proposed that only tax reform, political reform, and state governance system reform could solve the fundamental problems.
Source: Aboluowang, October 19, 2019
People’s Daily published a long article on Wednesday saying that millions of private enterprises across the country have set up party organizations. The article reported that, by the end of last year, 1.58 million private enterprises in China had established party organizations, which indicates that more and more private entrepreneurs recognize the importance of party development work. Currently there are more than 32 million private companies in China and more than 76 million private individually owned businesses. They contribute more than 50 percent of the tax revenue, more than 60 percent of GDP, and more than 70 percent of technological innovations, accounting for 80 percent or more of urban labor employment and more than 90 percent of the number of companies.
RFA questioned why, in the early days of reform and opening up, the CCP reduced the influence of party organizations, whereas now, it requires the private enterprises to set up party organizations?
According to the comments in an RFA article, after seeing Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu become influential and powerful enterprises, the CCP felt it was losing control. The growth of private enterprises in China does not benefit the CCP’s control. Even though private entrepreneurs do not want to see party organizations set up in their companies, they also don’t want to see their families destroyed. While the head of Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu stepped down, these private enterprises in China always relied on collaboration with the government to grow their businesses. However, even if they are established, they cannot survive on their own for too long. It is impossible for China to return to the public ownership of the Mao Zedong era. China’s current trend is similar to that of Nazi Germany’s state capitalism. Private companies exist in nominal terms, but the government can do whatever it wants to these companies.
People’s Daily, October 15, 2019
Radio Free Asia, October 16, 2019
The China National Press and Publication Administration recently announced that tens of millions of its media reporters working at national news agencies, radio and television stations, journals, and newspapers are required to take an online test on “Xuexi Qiangguo App,” which is a mobile application that the Publicity Department launched in January of this year. The test must be taken between October 28 and November 10. A BBC article reported that the purpose of the online test is to “test their loyalty to the party’s policies and to Xi Jinping.” Reporters who do not take the test or do not pass the exam will not be able to renew their media pass. A BBC reporter took a simulation exercise and found that the content of the test covered many issues. The subjects of journalism, communication, and legal issues accounted for about one-third. More importantly, the test is on the party’s policies and on the talks that Xi Jinping has given on publicity work in the media.
Below is an example from a practice test:
“What is the duty and mission of the party’s publicity work in the media?”
If you choose to “stay firmly on the truth of the news,” a wrong symbol will appear on the screen of the mobile phone immediately, suggesting that the correct answer should be “strongly adhere to positive publicity.”
The online test has to be taken at a testing site which has a surveillance camera. It is also required that, prior to the exam, each media needs to have a minimum of 24 hours of study sessions. It must hire experts and well known reporters or conduct experience sharing among the participants.
“Xuexi Qiangguo” is widely interpreted to be the ideological propaganda platform that Xi Jinping implemented to govern the country after he took office.
At first, all of the CCP members were asked to download and read the articles regularly. In February, it was the most downloaded app in Apple’s China app store. Today, the download requirement has been extended to civil servants, state-owned enterprise employees and public school teachers. Even some non-party members are required to download it.
Source: BBC Chinese, October 14, 2019