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Beijing Issues Notice to Speed up Development of New Media

On September 26, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the State Council issued the “Opinions on Accelerating the Media’s In-depth Development.” They then issued a notice requesting that all authorities conscientiously implement it.

The “Opinions” asked, with all speed, to develop new mainstream media that is highly competitive and exerts a strong influence.

It also pointed out that “high-quality content, advanced technology, professional talent, and funding should be geared toward the Internet media and mobile platforms, effectively becoming the basis for emerging communication.”

The “Opinions” considers that it is necessary to “drive the development with advanced technology, make good use of the achievements of information technology such as 5G, big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, and artificial intelligence, strengthen research on new technologies in the news communication, and promote the innovation of key technologies.”

The “Opinions” also mandates to make efforts to “tell Chinese stories well, and to spread Chinese culture.”

Source: People’s Daily, September 27, 2020

Director of Religious Affairs: Christianity in China Is Completely Free from Foreign Influence

On September 23, Wang Zuoan, Director of China’s State Religious Affairs, who is also the Deputy Minister of the United Front Work Department, spoke at the 70th Anniversary of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement conference. He stated that, through the “Three-Self” patriotic movement, Chinese Christianity has completely gotten rid of the control and influence of foreign forces. He also emphasized that the “Sinification of Christianity” should be the main focus of religious work.

Wang said that he hopes that “the Chinese Christian community will focus on the following: the major changes unfolding in the world, something unseen in a century, the overall strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and its earnest study, and the implementation of the important talks that Xi Jinping gave on religious issues and religious work.” Wang also stated that religious work should continuously enhance the “five identities.” This refers to the people of all ethnic groups recognizing the great motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics.

In a separate speech, Rev. Xu Xiaohong, Chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee, said that the committee “must always adhere to the direction of the Sinicization of Christianity in our country, and make a contribution to the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

The “Three-Self” movement is a movement that Chinese Christianity created after the CCP established its power. It is against foreign interference. It means “autonomy” (independence from foreign religious organizations), “self-support” (economic independence from foreign governments or foreign religious organizations) and “self-propagation” (preached and interpreted by Chinese missionaries) of the Chinese church. The Christian church that China officially recognizes is often called the “Three-Self Church.”

Since 2016, Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the “Sinicization of religion” in his speeches. In addition to “Sinicization,” Xi Jinping also emphasized guiding “religion to adapt to the socialist society” and “using socialist core values to guide and educate religious people and believers.”

1. Xinhua, September 24, 2020
2. Central News Agency. September 25, 2020

CCP Created a Drinking Training Base in Xinjiang to Destroy Muslims’ Customs

A drinking training base was established in Korla City, Xinjiang, to change the customs of local Uyghur Muslims. It was used to have the Uyghurs drink in order to determine whether have given up their faith. Drinking alcohol is not allowed in Islamic law, but in Xinjiang, not drinking alcohol is regarded as a symbol of extremism.

The government also built the Wusu Brewery in Wusu City, in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang in order to lure Muslims to drink. The Brewery holds a beer drinking contest every year, bringing together all Xinjiang Kazakhs and Uighurs in every city to hold a beer drinking contest, focusing on women.

It was previously reported that during the Lunar Chinese New Year, the Xinjiang government would distribute pork to Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in the name of “helping impoverished ethnic minorities.” Muslims are also prohibited from eating pork. They were then asked to drink alcohol and perform Han dances. The authorities threatened Muslims that if they refused to celebrate the Chinese New year in accordance with the Han tradition, they would be sent to “re-education camps.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 24, 2020

Xi Jinping Held a Flag Presentation Ceremony for the Police Force

On August 26, to symbolize his control over the police force, Xi Jinping held a flag presentation ceremony for the police force at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This is the first time that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) designed a flag for the police force.

At the ceremony, Xi made four requests to the police force: Be loyal to the CCP, serve the people, enforce the law fairly, and strictly respect discipline.

The police officials at the ceremony took a group vow: “Be loyal to the CCP, serve the people, enforce the law fairly, and strictly respect discipline. Stay firm and pure, let the party rest assured, be willing to make sacrifices, and be able to fight and win.”

Source: Xinhua, August 26, 2020

Xinhua: More on “United Front Work” in the Private Sector

Because of the recently placed emphasis on United Front Work, Xinhua reported on the fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) just had a National United Front Work Conference to discuss the Domestic Private Sector. Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee and the Group Leader of the Central United Front Work Leadership Group, attended the Conference. CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a written speech requiring the Party to strengthen the relationship with the domestic private sector companies and to “direct” them to stay “politically aware.” The targeted group includes business owners in Hong Kong and Macau. Taiwanese investors and other foreign investors were not mentioned. This is the first Communist Party official document describing the “United Front Work” strategy for the private sector in over 40 years. The strategy also mentioned the task of encouraging “politically sound” private business owners to join the Communist party.

(1) Xinhua, September 16, 2020

(2) RFI Chinese, September 16, 2020

CCP to Strengthen United Front Work in Private Companies

The CCP General Office recently introduced a document entitled, “Opinions on Strengthening the United Front Work in the Private Economy in the New Era.” It is the first document on the united front work of the private economy that the CCP has issued since 1978, the start of China’s reform and opening up. It shows that private enterprises are playing a more decisive role in the overall economy. It also shows that, in dealing with the trade conflicts between China and the U.S., the CCP feels the urge to integrate the power of private enterprises with the imposition of the party’s management and control over them.

According to the document, the private economy is China’s “important economic foundation.” Private entrepreneurs are “our own people” and have always been “an important force that the party must unite and rely on in order to serve the long-term in exercising governance.” In the document, it asked that the private entrepreneurs always be politically sensitive and continuously be guided to increase their “political, ideological, and emotional identity” with the party. Meanwhile, the party must actively recruit party members among private entrepreneurs, build and manage a database of talent pools, and develop those private entrepreneurs who will follow the party without deviation. Private entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in the national strategic discussions and the belt and road initiatives but they need to protect the country’s national interests consciously. It requires that the Private entrepreneurs shall not engage in activities including forums, seminars, lecture halls, salons, and other activities without advanced registration.

For 40 years since the start of China’s economic reform and opening up, the many startup companies in China, such as those that follow, have brought it to the world’s stage: Huawei, Bytedance, Tencent, Alibaba and others. Private enterprises in China contribute over 50 percent of business taxes, make 60 percent of investments, own 70 percent of the patents, hire 80 percent of the workforce and account for 90 percent of the total companies in China.

Source: BBC Chinese, September 16, 2020

CCP Secret Trial of Real Estate Tycoon Who Openly Criticized Xi Jinping and the Official Media

On September 11, Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of China Huayuan Group, a real estate tycoon, was put on trial in Beijing. Ren was charged with corruption and bribery, embezzlement of public funds, and abuse of power. There were many policemen in and around the courthouse, and no one except those “specially invited” could enter the courtroom. In 2016, Ren Zhiqiang publicly criticized “the official media which has the party as its last name” and was suspended from the party for one year. In February 2020, Ren Zhiqiang wrote on social media that the CCP lost control of the epidemic due to the lack of freedom of the press and speech and should take responsibility. He also implied that Xi Jinping is “the clown who even if stripped naked, would still insist on being an emperor himself.” Ren disappeared from the public in March. On April 7, the Beijing Municipal Discipline Inspection Department announced that it was conducting a disciplinary review on Ren Zhiqiang. On July 23, Ren Zhiqiang was “expelled from the party for serious violations of discipline and law” was accused of “not complying with the Party Central Committee on major issues” and of “smearing the image of the party and the country.” Ren holds a Law degree from Renmin University and served as a member of the Beijing Political Consultative Conference. His father was the formal Deputy Minister of Commerce.

Source: The Epoch Times, September 11, 2020

Internal Documents: Persecution of Falun Gong Is Part of Chinese Government’s Daily Business

The Epoch Times recently obtained a number of internal documents from different provinces in China. The documents show that the persecution of Falun Gong has been integrated into the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) routine activities, including the officials’ performance assessment, “combating pornography and illegal publications” work, “rural revitalization” activities, and even the recent epidemic prevention and control work.

“The 2019 Evaluation Indicators and Scoring Standards for Provincial City Leadership’s Career Development” and the “2019 Evaluation Indicators and Scoring Standards for Provincial City Leadership’s Party Buildup Work” are two documents that the Anhui provincial government issued  and which were forwarded by one of its subordinate city government staff members. “Party buildup” refers to the official’s work to expand the CCP organizations across the whole society. On the list of activities that are used to evaluate the performance of an official, two items explicitly mentioned Falun Gong. One item said, “conduct searches and solidly collect information on the ‘evil cult’, organize special campaigns to prevent and crack down on ‘Falun Gong’ and other ‘evil cult’ organizations, educate and control key ‘evil cult’ personnel during important activities and sensitive periods.” The other said “conduct in-depth conversion of ‘Falun Gong’ and other ‘evil cult’ members.”

The Chinese regime has been demonizing Falun Gong as an ‘evil cult’ ever since its persecution campaign started in 1999. The “conversion” here usually refers to using any and every means to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their spiritual practice. These means often include coercion and physical torture.

“Incorporate ‘combating pornography and illegal publications’ into grassroots law and order work” is a document that the Wuhu city government in Anhui province issued. The document mentions the ability to “discover the clues about illegal publications that involve political and religious (evil cult) illegal propaganda.” The date of signing of the document was August 6, 2020. Falun Gong books were banned in mainland China right after the persecution was launched.

The persecution of Falun Gong is also part of the CCP’s “rural revitalization” work in Fuyang city, Anhui province. The mention of the crackdown on Falun Gong has appeared in internal documents such as the “2018 Fuyang Municipal CCP Committee’s Opinion on Promoting the Rural Revitalization Strategy,” and the “2018 Fuyang Municipal CCP Committee’s Opinions on Prioritizing the Agricultural and Rural Development and Doing a Good Job for Agriculture, for the Countryside and for Farmers.” The “Countryside Law and Order” section says to “crack down harshly on the infiltration into rural areas of hostile forces, ‘evil cult’ organizations, and illegal religious activities.” According to incomplete statistics from Falun Gong’s overseas website, between April 1, 2019, and May 10, 2019, 17 Falun Gong practitioners were captured in Fuyang city.

The Epoch Times also obtained internal documents from the Guye District of Tangshan city, Hubei province, and Huocheng County, Xinjiang autonomous region. The persecution of Falun Gong is mentioned as part of local governments’ daily obligations.

Source: The Epoch Times, August 30, 2020