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China Tightened Control of Party Officials Making Public Speeches and Comments Online

Officials have tightened control of party officials who make public speeches and comments online. In June, the Ministry of Publicity, the Ministry of Organization and the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs issued a joint statement which required that the party officials must follow “political order while they are online.” They must “safeguard the authority of the central administration. … They are prohibited from publishing improper comments and political rumors. … They are not to visit illegal and anti-China websites.” Below are a few incidents reported recently in which party officials were fired for policy violations.

According to an article VOA published, on July 25, Shi Jiepeng, an associate professor with Beijing Normal University, was fired for “publishing false statements against main stream values on the Internet. This was unfit for a professor to do. It crossed the ideology red line, violated the political order and caused serious damage to the reputation of the university.”

An article in Singtao reported that Li Mohai, a professor from the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology and the party school of Zhifu District of Shandong Province was put on probation and dismissed from the party school for posting comments online criticizing a number of social problems on the Internet.

In January of this year a professor from Shandong University of Architecture and Engineering was fired for posting negative comments about Mao Zedong online.

Source:
1. Voice of America, August 4, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/voanews-20170804-shi-jiepeng/3972326.html
2. Singtao, August 1, 2017
https://www.singtaousa.com/sf/9-中國/225447-批評極權+指責不公+遭到舉報++斥網友愛國奴相+黨校教授被停職/

People’s Daily: The Meaning of “Greetings, Chairman!”

Xi Jinping inspected the large-scale of military parade in Inner Mongolia on July 30, 2017, for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Xi changed the greeting between himself (the inspector) and the soldiers to Xi’s stating, “Greetings, comrades!” and the troops’ shouting back, “Greetings, Chairman!”

This is the second time that Xi used this greeting. The first time was when Xi inspected the military parade in Hong Kong on June 30 this year.

In the past, the greeting was, “Greetings, comrades” and the response was, “Greetings, leader!”

People’s Daily published an article on its overseas website Haiwai Net to comment on the significance of the change to, “Greetings, Chairman!”

“China National Radio’s military commentator Luu Xicheng commented that this reflected the system that the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) is in charge. The troops’ shouting ‘Greetings, Chairman!’ highlighted the key identity of the CMC Chairman and demonstrated the entire army’s attitude and will to follow the Chairman’s orders.”

Zhai Xiaomin, Professor of the PLA’s International Relations Institute commented that the CMC Chairman occupies a significant position in the military structure. “The current military reform structure ensures the implementation of the system that the CMC Chairman is in charge.” “PLA is an army under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) direction. ‘The (Communist) Party directs the gun.’ ‘Greetings, Chairman!’ shows the CCP’s principle of controlling the army from the political direction. It is a manifestation of the Party’s absolute control over the army.”

{Editor’s note: There are two CMCs in China. One is the state CMC and one is the CCP’s CMC. These two CMCs are just two name plates belonging to the same person. The CCP’s CMC is what most of the people refer to. Thus Professor Zhai thinks “Greetings, Chairman” has a political implication.

The Chinese term “主席” could mean either the Chairman of the CMC or the President of China. The People’s Daily article clarified that it meant the CMC Chairman.

Source: Haiwai Net, August 2, 2017
http://opinion.haiwainet.cn/n/2017/0802/c353596-31049372.html

Comments on China’s Military Parade

On July 30, 2017, China held a large-scale military parade at Zhurihe, Inner Mongolia  for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Around 12,000 soldiers participated in the parade. They demonstrated over 600 sets of military equipment (including tanks and missiles) and flew over 100 airplanes.

The following are comments from some overseas Chinese media:

BBC:

The Communist Party showcased its military power. Part of it was to send a warning to India and to the U.S., but mainly, it was to secure Xi Jinping’s leadership position. In (the CCP’s) culture, power is secured by the gun. Whoever controls the military and the police becomes the top leader. This was Xi demonstrating his power; the goal was to warn his political opponents: He has a stable power base and he is the big boss. He can make the calls for official’s appointments at Communist Party’s 19th Party National Congress.

VOA:

From China Central Television’s (CCTV)’s video of the Zhurihe military base, people could see a simulation of the building of the President’s Palace of Taiwan in the background. China purposely didn’t hide it, so as to send a warning message to Taiwan.

Duowei:

Xi gave four requirements to the parade troops. First, “Adhere to the fundamental principle and system that the (Communist) Party has absolute control over the military. (The Military should) always listen to the Party and follow the Party.” Second, “Adhere to the goal of serving the people and always stand alongside the people.” Third, “Adhere to the fundamental standard of combat capability and focus on preparing for wars.” Fourth, “Adhere to building the army via political management, reform, technology, and the rule of law.”

“Adhering to the Communist Party’s absolute control over the military” is the political core intent of this military parade.

Epoch Times:

Five issues can be observed from the military parade:

1. This was the first time that the Communist Party held a military parade on the PLA’s anniversary.

2. This was the first time to focus on real combat. Soldiers wore camouflage instead of formal uniforms. They ran to their positions instead of walking in parade steps. Xi Jinping also wore camouflage.

3. Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of the CMC, called Xi Jinping the “Superior Leader” (领袖) and “Commander-in-Chief” (统帅). It showed that Xi has secure his position and in his power over the military.

4. This was a show of power in front of the upcoming Party’s 19th National Congress, during the in-fight between Xi Jinping and former leader Jiang Zemin and his faction.

5. It also served as warning to certain countries around China.

Sources:
1. BBC, July 31, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/press-review-40781062
2. VOA, July 31, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/xi-military-20170731/3966404.html
3. Duowei, July 29, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-07-29/59827853.html
4. Epoch Times, July 30, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/7/30/n9479244.htm

YouTube: Student Debated with Teacher That Marxism Is Not Traditional China Culture

When a YouTube video was shown in a classroom, a Chinese student stood up to criticize Marxism as not being from China’s traditional culture.

The student said, “With a consciousness that a scholar must have, I want to tell the truth: We are not Chinese! Why? Because what is filled in our brains is the Soviet Union’s version of Marxism, but not the true traditional Chinese culture that talks about the unity of Heaven and man.”

Source: YouTube

CCDI Official: “Prince Qing” Hints about Someone Today

Beijing Daily published an article suggesting that an article published in 2015 on the website of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) used a historical figure to refer to someone who is a corrupt high-ranking official today.

The two-year old article was “Problems with the Lifestyle of the Qing Dynasty’s ‘Naked Official’ Prince Qing.” It was published on the CCDI website on February 25, 2015. While the article criticized a corrupt official from the Qing Dynasty, it created a lot of discussion and many people surmised that it referred to some current or retired official in the present day. Caixin even mentioned the name of Zeng Qinghong, a former high-rank official and the right man of ex-Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin.

The newer article that Beijing Daily published discussed the 2015 article’s author Xi Hua (习骅). Xi is a high-ranking CCDI official, serving as the Deputy Chief of the Discipline Inspection Team at the State Auditing Administration. Xi is a famous writer at the CCDI and has published over 30 anti-corruption related articles on the CCDI website.

“Among those articles, the one that other media republished the most was, ‘Problems with the Lifestyle of the Qing Dynasty’s “Naked Official” Prince Qing.’”

“This is how Xi Hua sees his writing, ’On the surface I was telling a story, but actually I was commenting on current affairs.’ As more and more people read Xi’s articles, they are continually trying to find out which official (in today’s world) Xi was referring to in his writing. Regarding this situation, Xi said, ‘It shows that people are thinking. This was my original goal when I wrote (those stories).”

Beijing Daily’s article was published under its WeChat account Changan Street Zhishi (长安街知事).  Changan Street Zhishi has focused on reporting current political affairs and has written many political observation articles.

Sources

1. Sina, July 22, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/nd/2017-07-22/doc-ifyihmmm8070290.shtml
2. Chinascope
http://chinascope.org/archives/3475

Caixin: Who Is the “Big Tiger” That the CCDI Talked About?

3. CCDI Website, February 25, 2015
http://www.ccdi.gov.cn/yw/201502/t20150215_51495.html

People’s Daily Blog: Xi Jinping Held Important High Level Seminar Ahead of 19th National Congress

According to a blog published on the People’s Daily website, on July 26 and 27, Xi Jinping held a seminar in Beijing. The purpose was understood to be to “unify the understanding among party members” and could be the most important meeting prior to the 19th National Congress. The article listed several differences between this seminar and the ones held in previous years. First, the seminar location was changed from the Party School to the Jing Xi Hotel {Editor’s note: the Jing Xi Hotel is located near the Military Museum and Defense Ministry and run by the General Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army. The hotel is heavily guarded and closed to foreigners}. Second, the participant’s ranks were unprecedented. The participants included seven members of the Political Standing Committee, including Xi Jinping, key members from the provincial levels of government, top leaders from central and government agencies, the military, the People’s Congress, and the judiciary system. Third, there was no paper and there were no pens on the table. The blog also brought up a commentary article that Xinhua published on July 29, titled “Gain Confidence in the Historical Moment – Study and Carry out Key Points from Xi’s Speech Given at a Provincial Level Seminar. Part II.” The blog noted that “being aware of the challenges” and “establishing confidence in the party’s success in this historic moment” were the highlights of Xi’s speech. It quoted from the commentary which stated that “the world is undergoing a dramatic change while China is facing serious challenges. … How do we deal with the complexity of the world and gain control on the international stage? How can we seize the opportunity and break through the conflicts and risks as China is entering a critical development stage? How can the party overcome the tests and risks and continue to be the leading party of the country? … These are the important questions that the party members are responsible for answering.”

Source: People’s Daily, July 29, 2017
http://blog.people.com.cn/article/1501295471040.html

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