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New Indicator of CCP Official’s Performance Evaluation — Safeguarding Xi’s Core Position

China’s state media Xinhua News Agency reported on November 5 that the Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Central Committee has issued the “Notice on Improving the Performance Evaluation to Promote High-Quality Development.” The item listed in the notice requires CCP cadres to implement the “two safeguards” as a basic criterion for evaluating an officials’ performance. The so-called “two safeguards” are the slogans that the authorities put forward after Xi Jinping took office: “Safeguard Xi Jinping’s core position in the CCP Central Committee and the entire party; safeguard the authority of the CCP Central Committee and centralized leadership.”

According to the report, this notice required all regions and units to implement “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” and implement the “Regulations on the Evaluation of the CCP and the Government’s Leading Cadres.”

The CCP Central Committee issued the full text of its “Work Regulations” in mid-October. This regulation requires that the Central Committee, the Politburo and their members take the lead in safeguarding “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in the Central Committee and the entire party.”

Source: Central News Agency, November 5, 2020
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/202011050337.aspx

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Demands Hong Kong Radio Stations Play China National Anthem

Under pressure from the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) government, all three major Hong Kong radio stations announced that they will start playing the China  national anthem in the morning. Radio Hong Kong announced that it plans to start broadcasting the Chinese national anthem on its radio channels at 8 am starting on the 16th of this month. Commercial Radio and Metro Radio also said today that they will play the national anthem at 8 am.

In addition, the Education Bureau issued a notice to primary and secondary schools, telling the schools to organize activities to promote the “National Constitution Day” on December 4. The request received some concerns that the schools are already overloaded due to COVID and the request was merely a political task.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 7, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/htm/hk-anthem-11072020065629.html

Chinese Officials Sacked for “Carrying Politically Problematic Books”

China’s Hunan provincial government website announced on October 29 that Chen Zehui, a former deputy mayor of Changsha city, was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and transferred to the procuratorial organ for investigation and prosecution. The notice alleges that Chen violated political discipline and that he purchased books and periodicals from abroad, which had serious political problems, stored them privately, and read them for a long time. Other charges include the violation of the CCP’s code of conduct, the acceptance of gifts of particularly large amounts, and suspicion of taking bribes.

A highlighted charge is about purchasing and reading “banned books.” A civil rights activist Huang Xiaomin told Radio Free Asia that, “The purpose is definitely to nip it in the bud and punish a few individuals as an example to others. It is to intimidate officials who wanted to spread views dissenting from those of the CCP.  …  One main reason is that some open-minded officials are increasingly aware of the problems in the current Chinese society.”

Similar incidents occurred in Huainan city of Anhui province. According to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s website, in June, Li Zhong, the former deputy mayor of Huainan City along with a member of the CCP committee of the city government, were investigated and disciplined for violating political discipline, bringing in books and magazines with serious political problems into the country without permission, as well as embezzling public funds.

Another mainland Chinese newspaper Beijing News reported in March that Li Bin, a mid-level officer at Chongqing city’s police bureau, was probed for “serious violation of discipline and the law.” The authorities accused Li of “losing his ideals and secretly bringing books with serious political problems into the country and reading and storing them.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 2, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/QL-11022020035358.html

Jiang Jinquan – New Chief Advisor to CCP Leaders

On October 30, 2020, at the press conference of the CCP Central Committee for the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th CCP National Congress, Jiang Jinquan appeared for the first time as Director of the CCP Central Policy Research Office. His appearance confirms that he has been promoted from Deputy Director.

Jiang’s predecessor, Wang Huning, held the position since 2002 and served three CCP Secretaries, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping. For 18 years, Wang had been the chief advisor to the CCP leaders.

Jiang was the focus of the press conference on October 3 as the new Director of the CCP Central Policy Research Office.

The CCP Central Policy Research Office is the highest level think tank of the CCP and an agency directly under the CCP Central Committee. It is dedicated to researching political theories and policies, and to drafting documents for the Politburo. Its functions mainly include “drafting the work report of the Central Committee of the National Party Congress” and “participating in drafting the documents for large-scale Central Committee meetings.”

Jiang Jinquan has been a veteran at the CCP Central Policy Research Office reaching the position of Deputy Director in 2016. In 2018, he was seen accompanying Xi Jinping together with CCP senior leaders, above the CCP provincial heads. He was thus viewed as a member of the core Xi Jinping group.

Jiang Jinquan is an expert on CCP party development. He specializes in the theory of party development in the Central Policy Research Office. He first summarized Deng Xiaoping’s theory on party building, then studied Jiang Zemin’s party-building ideas, and later systematized Hu Jintao’s party-building activities. He was a member of the document drafting group of the 19th CCP National Congress and a member of the CCP Charter revision group. Currently, he is also a member of the CCP Central Party-Building Work Leading Group and head of its secretary group. He has been regarded as a key assistant to Wang Huning.

Source: The Storm Media, October 30, 2020
https://www.storm.mg/article/3159738

RFA: Xi Jinping’s Warning to the Western World Meant to Ensure Domestic Stability

On Friday, October 23, Xi Jinping spoke at a meeting commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War [Editor’s note: The CCP calls the Korean War the war in which China resisted U.S. aggression and aided Korea (抗美援朝)]. Xi warned that “any bullying actions will come to a dead end.” He advised that if China’s national security, sovereignty, territory, and development interests are threatened, China will “take it head-on.” This is seen as the strongest political statement that the CCP has made in the past 40 years. Chinese Scholars believe that stabilizing internal affairs still remains as Xi Jinping’s first priority.

In his speech, Xi Jinping said that the Korean War shattered the myth of the invincibility of the U.S. military and demonstrated with solid facts that, no matter how powerful any country or military is, if one stands on the opposite side of the world’s development trend, bullies the weak and aggressively expands, one will definitely be crushed. He also said, “In today’s world, any unilateralism, protectionism, and extreme egoism will not work. Any extortion, blockade, or extreme pressure will not work. Any way of doing things on their own and acting on their own will not work. Any act of hegemony or bullying will never work at all. Not only will it not work at all, it will eventually be a dead end.” It is believed that Xi was referring to the U.S. in his speech. Xi Jinping also said, “Now that the Chinese people are mobilized, don’t provoke them or make them angry. Otherwise the situation will be difficult to handle. We will never stand by and watch the country’s sovereignty, security, and development interests suffer, and we will never allow anyone or any forces to invade and split the sacred territory of the motherland. Once such a serious situation occurs, the Chinese people will definitely attack it head-on.”

A former lecturer from Tsinghua University told Radio Free Asia that Xi gave the strongest speech in the past 40 years, but the fact that Beijing remains confrontational with a sense of uncertainty, just as it did during the Korean War, shows that it still lacks a reflection on history. It is dangerous for Beijing constantly to incite nationalism, xenophobia and confrontation among the Chinese people and to exaggerate the possibility that China could be on the edge of a war in the future. One dissident said that China didn’t win the Korean War. In fact, it paid a costly price and suffered a disastrous defeat. One scholar said that Xi Jinping wants to win a war with the U.S. to establish himself in China, but other scholars believe that the statement is a complete bluff. It was only for the need to incite populism and nationalism inside China. China is falling behind the U.S. in military power and it is not prepared to go to a war with the U.S.

In June 1950, when the Korean War broke out, the United Nations, led by the United States, sent troops to support South Korea to resist the invasion from North Korean. Starting in October 1950, China sent more than one million soldiers to the war to support the Kim Il Sung regime of North Korea. According to official Chinese statistics, nearly 200,000 soldiers were eventually killed in battle.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 23, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/QL-10232020030617.html

Exporting Excess Capacity through “One Belt One Road”

An internal Chinese Communist Party (CCP) document that Jilin Province issued reveals that the purpose of China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy is to enable China to export excess capacity.

The document disclosed that one of the main tasks of China’s industrial transformation and upgrading is to “solve the excess capacity” problem through the “One Belt One Road” strategy.

According to the Jilin Provincial Government, “with the ‘One Belt One Road’ strategy leading us, our province should take the initiative to find the consumer market, digest excess capacity, adjust economic structure, promote industrial transformation, and promote product upgrading.” The document mentioned China’s first automobile manufacturing plant “FAW” located in Jilin Province, saying that “Changchun FAW and its supporting enterprises will usher in a rare opportunity.”

FAW has had a serious overcapacity problem. Its brands, Pentium, Red Flag, FAW Jilin, and FAW Tianjin have a combined total production capacity of 780,000 vehicles. In 2017, the sales volume was only 210,000 vehicles, and the capacity utilization rate was less than 30 percent.

According to statistics that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers released, due to the continued decrease in sales and the continued increase in production capacity, the capacity utilization rate of passenger vehicles in China has dropped from 66.55 percent in 2017 to 53.74 percent in 2019.

Internal documents from Anhui Province also show that local governments are actively transferring excess production capacity through “One Belt One Road.”

In the documents, the CCP Chuzhou municipal government in Anhui Province encourages companies with excess capacity to invest in countries along the “One Belt One Road” and focus on supporting companies involving cement, glass and construction materials to establish production facilities along the route.

Source: Epoch Times, October 7, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/10/6/n12458129.html

European Union Chamber of Commerce Concerned about United Front Work in Private Companies

Back in September, the CCP General Office issued the “Opinions on Strengthening United Front Work in the Private Economy in the New Era.” Recently the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China issued a position paper which expressed concerns that the Opinions will further influence a company’s policy and that the CCP will directly intervene in the business decision-making process.

In the Opinions, all private economic enterprises operating in China were required “to strengthen and expand political consensus.” It stated further that the party should “further strengthen its leadership over the united front work in the private companies, let them unwaveringly listen to the party and follow the party, let the entrepreneurs in the private sectors maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee and always be politically sensible persons in their political stance, political direction, political principles, and political path.”

The European Chamber of Commerce stated that this may cause private companies to react to the political elements in the decision-making process, which could pose great harm and hinder the company’s productivity and profitability. This will also impact their business confidence and will make them reconsider their current and future investment strategies in China. These companies worry that, in the long run, such united front policies will appear regularly.

As early as the end of 2017, China passed Article 19 of the “Business Law” which required that a company can have a party sub-branch (in a company) as long as there are three Chinese Communist Party members in any state-owned enterprise, foreign investment company, or joint venture.

In June of this year, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China conducted a survey. Many European companies believed that the major obstacles to operating in China were from imposed scrutiny and from unfair privileges that the state-owned enterprises have. Among the 626 European companies surveyed, 44 percent expect that China will further impose more regulations in the next five years and nearly half expect that the state-owned enterprises will gain growth opportunities this year, while private enterprises will be sacrificed.

The European Chamber of Commerce also mentioned that the Chinese companies operating overseas will also be impacted because foreign companies will face stricter scrutiny from the CCP if they decide to work with any Chinese companies.

Source:
1. Epoch Times, October 18, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/10/18/n12484864.htm
2. Deutsche Welle, October 16, 2020
https://p.dw.com/p/3k14r