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Xi Jinping Hosted Democratic Life Meeting to Strengthen Party Ideology and Leadership Control

Xinhua reported that, on December 26 and 27, 2019, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo held a specific Democratic Life Meeting (民主生活會) on the topic of “Don’t forget our original intention and keep our mission in mind.” Each of the 25 Politburo members took turns giving their individual reports to compare and inspect (their actions and thoughts) as required.

(Editor’s Note: A Democratic Life Meeting is a periodic gathering of cadres of the CCP who engage in criticism and self-criticism. It is one of the means by which the party forces each member to report his thoughts and receive criticism from the leader or other party members.)

At the meeting, each Politburo member spoke about seven areas. The first was maintaining a firm belief (in the CCP). The second was improving the “four consciousnesses” (consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, to think in big-picture terms, to follow the leadership core, and to maintain alignment (with the top leader)), fostering the “four confidences” (confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics), and carrying out the “two upholds” (upholding Xi’s position as the core of the party and upholding the CCP Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership). The third was reporting on one’s own work performance; fourth was fulfilling the original goal of “serving the people;” fifth was supporting the authority of the (communist) system; sixth was executing power cleanly without corruption; and seventh was offering consideration and suggestions about the party’s and the nation’s work.

Xi Jinping hosted the meeting and gave a key speech. In his speech, Xi pointed out that some party members and cadres deliberately do not perform, perform slowly, or fake the performance their job duties. Xi also asked the Politburo members to conduct self-discipline, stay clean, and “control their relatives, friends, and the staff members around them.”

Source: Xinhua, December 27, 2019
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2019-12/27/c_1125397179.htm

Kuomintang Collaborated with the CCP in Attempt to Use Chinese Spy to Influence Outcome of Taiwan Election

The Australian newspaper The Age reported that a Taiwan politician, Alex Tsai, and a China-based businessman Sun Tianqun tried to threaten and induce Wang Ziqiang, the Chinese spy who confessed to the Australian authorities, to make a false statement in order to help the Kuomingtang (KMT) in the Taiwan Presidential election.

Alex Tsai is a former legislator and the current Deputy Secretary of the KMT. The KMT is the main party opposing the governing party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and President Tsai Ing-wen. The KMT was trailing the DPP in the Presidential election race.

Mr. Wang revealed the messages that he had received from Alex Tsai and Sun since Christmas eve. They included a photo from Tsai of Tsai meeting with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping.

Mr. Wang was given a script to read. He was to say that a person from the DPP had “promised me . . . that the Democratic Progressive Party would guarantee that it would give me a large sum of money and sort out my asylum application in Australia or help me settle in Taiwan.”

In return, Alex Tsai and Sun promised, “If you take up the offer, then by the end of this month, everyone will help ensure that you safely return to mainland China. At the same time they will help you resolve all your debts.” Another message said, “The KMT has agreed that they can let you freely settle in Taiwan.”

Sun also warned that Mr. Wang could be extradited to China and killed or his family on the Chinese mainland punished if he did not co-operate.

The Australian police are investigating the case.

After the case was reported, Alex Tsai held a press conference acknowledging that he had contacted Mr. Wang but stressed that he didn’t threaten him.

A DPP legislator called this an international scandal that a Deputy Secretary of a Taiwan party collaborated with the CCP.

On January 11, Tsai Ing-wen (DPP) won the Taiwan election with 57.1 percent of the votes and the KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu got 38.6 percent of the votes.

Sources:
1. The Age, January 8, 2020
https://www.theage.com.au/national/recant-or-die-alleged-threat-to-self-confessed-chinese-spy-wang-liqiang-20200107-p53pkl.html
2. Deutsche Welle, January 9, 2020
https://www.dw.com/zh/王立强案现罗生门-台湾两大党出面回应/a-51935865
3. Chinascope, December 2, 2019

Who is Wang Liqiang?

The Nikkei: China’s Government Subsidies to Companies Doubled in Five Years

The Nikkei, Japan’s largest financial newspaper, reported that, in 2018, China’s government subsidies to companies had reached 156 billion yuan (US $22.4 billion), about five percent of the net profit of all publicly traded companies in China. That subsidy amount doubled from the amount five years earlier in 2013.

Government subsidies in the first nine months of 2019 increased 15 percent from the same period a year ago. Out of the 3,748 companies that were included in the statistical calculations, 3,544 companies (over 90 percent of the total base) have received government subsidies.

Sinopec received the largest amount of subsidies, followed by Guangzhou Automobile Group, and then Shanghai Automobile Group. Among the top ten most subsidized companies, four are auto makers. Several electronic companies are also in the top ten list, including BOE Technology Group (#4), TCL Group (#6), and Gree Electric (#7).

Source: The Nikkei, December 27, 2019
https://cn.nikkei.com/china/ccompany/38619-2019-12-17-10-37-58.html

China’s Ministry of Education Officially Prohibits Schools from Using Foreign Textbooks

In recent years, the Chinese authorities have been proactively investigating teaching materials. On Tuesday, January 7, the Ministry of Education issued a notice, making it clear that schools of compulsory education should not use foreign teaching materials and that universities and vocational schools should follow relevant national policies when selecting foreign teaching materials.

The Ministry of Education released the “Administrative Measures for Teaching Materials for Primary and Secondary Schools,” which requires that schools, when selecting teaching materials, should not replace national curriculum materials with local curriculum materials or school-based materials. At the same time, “compulsory education schools must not use overseas teaching materials.”

The Ministry of Education demands that the teaching materials that the schools use at all levels must “represent the will of the Party and the country,” “adhere to the guiding position of Marxism, reflect the requirements of Marxism in China, reflect the style of China and the Chinese nation, reflect the Party and the country’s basic requirements for education, and reflect the basic values of the country and the nation.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 7, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/kejiaowen/gf2-01072020083441.html

Apple Daily: China Replaced Mainland HK Liaison Office Director

Major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily recently reported that Luo Huining, former Secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and current Deputy Chairman of the Finance and Economic Committee of the National People’s Congress has replaced Wang Zhimin, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is no coincidence that Wang’s replacement happened at a time when the social stability of Hong Kong was at high risk. Many anonymous sources thought that the central government was extremely unhappy with the handling of the recent Hong Kong movement for democracy and freedom. The Liaison Office is the central government’s direct representative in Hong Kong. Wang is the Liaison Office Director with the shortest term since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997. According to past records, the new Director Luo Huining has no previous experience on Hong Kong related matters. At the age of 65, he is very close to retirement. Many analysts expressed the belief that Luo is on a temporary assignment. The Hong Kong government issued a statement welcoming the new Liaison Office Director.

Source: Apple Daily, January 4, 2020
https://tw.appledaily.com/new/realtime/20200104/1686446/

Yazhou Zhoukan Magazine Selected the Hong Kong Police as the “People of the Year”

Yazhou Zhoukan (亚洲周刊) is a widely circulated Chinese-language weekly magazine in Asia, headquartered in Hong Kong. Michael O’Neill and Thomas Hon Wing Polin, who also established the magazine Asiaweek, created it in December 1987. The Ming Pao group owns this magazine after purchasing it from Times Warner in 1994. Yau Lop Poon is the editor-in-chief.

Recently, Yazhou Zhoukan selected the Hong Kong Police as its “People of the Year” for 2019. The top story of its most recent issue published 7,000 Chinese letters that praised the Hong Kong police as their “guardian angel” and the “anchor that stabilizes the sea,” which, at the critical moment, “impacted the path of history and safeguarded Hong Kong’s rule of law.” It called the Hong Kong police “the most twisted and most insulted” group but also the “most dependent and most respected group.” It claimed that it was all because of the police that the “Hong Kong people maintained their freedom without fear.”

Many people criticized Yazhou Zhoukan for lining up with the Chinese Communist Party and ignoring the simple facts in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s renowned Chinese-language fiction writer Dung Kai Cheung posted on his Facebook site that he refused to have his novel “Mingzi” named in Yazhou Zhoukan’s 2019 Top Ten Novel List.

Wang Dan, a student leader at the June 4th Student Movement and dissident from China, called for people to boycott the magazine. “There are plenty of media even without this one,” Wang wrote on his Facebook page. “We must take the bad media off the shelf!”

Source: Radio France International, January 4, 2020
http://www.rfi.fr/cn/港澳台/20200104-香港亚洲周刊评选香港警察为年度风云人物备受争议