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VOA: Xi Jinping Changed the Selection Criteria for National People’s Congress Delegate

On January 30, China announced that the first meeting of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress will be held in Beijing on March 5. As of the current time, the delegate name list has been finalized. It is particularly notable that, like a few other top leaders of the country, Xi Jinping made the delegate list from Inner Mongolia which is a different region from his residency. Voice of America published an article which was based on a panel discussion on how top leaders get assigned to a region which can be different the location of their residence. One panel commented that Xi changed the delegate selection criteria in 2013. Prior to 2013, leaders of the central administration needed to be assigned to a local region where they might have had work experience or which was their birthplace. The new regulation, after 2013, has the delegate selection tied to three requirements instead: the “one belt one road” project, an ethnic minority region, and a poverty relief target region. This is also an indication that Xi changed the rule to prevent the members of the top leadership from being assigned to a region with which they were familiar and where they, consequently, exercise too much influence. One panel also touched upon the delegate selection from Hong Kong. He said that the so called National Congress delegate does not represent the interests of the Hong Kong people. The Hong Kong people did not selected them and they don’t have an office in Hong Kong, so the people in Hong Kong do not know where to find them to raise their voice. He stated that the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are just like a flower vase and just like a voting machine. They don’t represent anyone other than the interest of the ruling party.

Source: Voice of America, February 1, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/voaweishi-20180201-io-china-npr-xi/4234699.html

Sinchew: Most of the Contractors of “The Belt and Road Initiative” Are Chinese

Major Singapore newspaper Sinchew recently reported that, based on a U.S. think tank study, China’s grand “The Belt and Road Initiative” which pushes infrastructure work across Eurasia has largely contracted out work to Chinese bidders. Among the 34 current projects in Europe and Asia, around 89 percent have been contracted to Chinese construction companies and only 11 percent have been given to contractors from other countries. This dramatic difference made the lofty tone of the Belt and Road Initiative look questionable, especially when China is counting on the Plan to win friends in over 70 countries. International analysts have expressed their concern about this China-centric approach, since more and more countries are rethinking their support for the grand Chinese Plan. Compared to the Chinese way of favoring its own contractors, contracts that the West has funded, typically under the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are more neutral toward the bidders and the grants have been more diversified. The study showed that 41 percent of these grants were given to local contractors, 29 percent went to Chinese contractors, and 30 percent went to a bidder from a third country.

Source: Sinchew, January 25, 2018
http://bit.ly/2rJLUtN

The Vatican Replaced Its Own Chinese Bishops with the Ones Beijing Nominated

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Vatican just made a concession to Beijing to give up its sitting Chinese bishops and instead appointed the candidates that the Chinese government nominated. The Vatican has sent a delegation to China to formalize the decision. Retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen confirmed the news. In 2011, the Vatican had actually punished one of the China-nominated bishops, Huang Bingzhang, with excommunication. Huang is replacing the original bishop, Zhuang Jianjian, who the Vatican officially appointed in 2006 and who had no negative record. For more than one month in 2017, the Chinese police detained another bishop who the Vatican previously appointed, Guo Xijin. Both of these original bishops felt the decision that the Vatican made to remove them was unacceptable.

Source: Sina, January 23, 2018
http://dailynews.sina.com/gb/news/int/cna/20180123/04148224186.html

Mingpao: Guangdong Province Has Given up Achieving Poverty Goal by 2018

Mingpao published an article in its 2018 government work report delivered at the People’s Congress Conference of Guangdong Province which ended on Wednesday, January 24. According to the article there was no mention of the plan to achieve its poverty goal in 2018. The Guangdong provincial government body established the poverty goal back in 2015 after the Central Committee Political Bureau passed a “Decision on Winning the Tough Battle against Poverty.” The goal was to win the battle by 2020. The article reported that in 2015 Guangdong put pressure on itself and vowed to achieve the poverty goal by 2018, two years earlier. At the end of 2017, it gave up trying to achieve the goal due to personnel changes and a lack of experience in dealing with poverty issues. Xi Jinping also directed, during Lianghui in 2017, that the poverty deadline set by the central administration is 2020 and that the local municipal governments should be realistic and shouldn’t casually change the poverty deadline themselves.

Source: Mingpao, January 26, 2018
https://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynews/web_tc/article/20180126/s00013/1516904093908

13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Name List Has Been Published

Well-known Chinese news site Sina published an article on the members of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). There are 2,158 members on the list. Among them 99 are Chinese Communist Party members including Wang Yang, the only member from the Politburo Standing Committee and Xie Fuzhan, the Henan provincial party committee secretary and director of the Provincial People’s Congress of Henan Province. Xie is 63 years old and was born in 1954. He was promoted to the provincial party committee secretary in March 2016.

{Editor’s note: The Chairman of the CPPCC is always a CCP Politburo Standing Committee member. Given that Wang Yang is the only Politburo Standing Committee member on the list, he will most likely take the Chairman’s position and Xie Fuzhan is likely to be the Vice Chairman.}

Source: Sina, January 25, 2018
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/nd/2018-01-25/doc-ifyqyuhy6394518.shtml

Xinhua Article Outlined the Criteria for the 13th CPPCC Member Selection

Xinhua published an article in which it outlined three criteria that the Central Committee would use in the selection of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) name list. The list of these criteria follows:
1) Emphasize the party’s leadership. Adhere to the requirement that “those who make a recommendation should be responsible for the recommended candidate.” Be specific about who can make the recommendation; all candidates that the organization nominates should effectively play a leadership role in the party organization. All units should make recommendations carefully and responsibly after collective research and on the basis of deliberation.
2) Conduct thorough communication and consultation
3) Apply a strict selection criteria to the candidates. Follow the standards and apply strict selection to the candidates who can pass the political and integrity test with positive reputations. Pay attention to candidates’ political and work performance, their images and reputations, as well as their performance as Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee members. Those who cannot pass the selection criteria cannot be selected as candidates.

{Editor’s note: Observers have pointed out that Song Zuying (宋祖英) who has been a member of the 10th, 11th, and 12th CPPCC, is not in the 13th CPPCC list. Song, 51, is widely reputed to have been involved in an extramarital affair with former CCP leader Jiang Zemin.}

Source: Xinhua, January 25, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/2018-01/25/c_1122310656.htm

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