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Government/Politics

To Flex His Military Muscles Xi Jinping Promoted a Political Commissar to the Rank of General

Taiwan Liberty Times News reported that, according to an article Xinhua published, on July 29, Xi Jinping participated in a promotion ceremony that the Central Military Commission held. Xi promoted Xu Zhongbo, the political commissar of the PLA Rocket Force to the rank of general. Video footage from CCTV showed that Xu was the only officer at the ceremony accepting a promotion. The ceremony only lasted a little over one minute while six Central Military Commission members sat in the background with straight faces. In the photo that Xi took with Xu, Xi appeared to be preoccupied and did not seem happy. The report quoted a commentator from the Epoch Times who stated that, as domestic infighting and external pressure have been intensifying, Xi is using his appearances to show off his military power. In the past two weeks, Xi visited the following: On July 22-24 he went to the Siping War Memorial and the Changchun Aviation University in Jilin province. [Editor’s note: During his visit, Xi said, “We must defend the great socialist cause created by the party and pass it on from generation to generation.] A few days later, Xi used his military power to warn his opponent. [Editor’s note: On July 30, members of Central Politburo attended a group study session where Xi Jinping emphasized that “a strong country must have a strong army, and a strong army can ensure national security.”] The promotion of Xu Zhongbo appears have broken protocol because Xu was appointed to the political commissar position not too long ago. It seems obvious that, during this uncertain period, Xi has to make unconventional moves to show that his senior ranking officers are still loyalty to him.

1. Liberty Time News, July 31, 2020
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/3245263
2. Xinhua, July 29, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2020-07/29/c_1126300876.htm

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS: JULY 26 – AUGUST 1

1. The Trump administration is considering banning Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members from entering the U.S. The Chinese people’s response to this policy has been amazing!

2. Beijing has sent signals to and is preparing its people for the possibility that war is coming.

3. As Xi Jinping started taking over Tomorrow Holding, a gigantic Chinese conglomerate whose financial side of the business alone has over RMB 3 Trillion worth of assets, the powers behind Tomorrow Holding fought back openly in an actual public display.

4. The Chinese government’s fiscal deficit in the first half year increased significantly and the government bonds ran over the RMB 24 Trillion yuan red line.

 

Minister of Public Security Emphasizes Social Control

On July 27, Zhao Kezhi, China’s Minister of Public Security, delivered a speech at the video conference of the National Public Security agency.

Zhao emphasized that “in the face of a profoundly changing external environment and severe and complex situations, public security organs at all levels must resolutely implement the decisions and deployment of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. We must … carry forward the fighting spirit, make preparations, be on guard against different risks and challenges, and strive to achieve the ‘two safeguards’ in the actions of maintaining the nation’s political security and social stability.” Here the “two safeguards” is a new slogan coined during Xi Jinping’s regime, meaning to safeguard the position of Xi Jinping as the core of the CCP Central Committee and the core of the whole party, and to safeguard the authoritative and centralized leadership of the CCP Central Committee.

Zhao asked “strictly to guard against and crack down on the disruptive sabotage activities of hostile forces at home and abroad, carry out anti-infiltration, anti-subversion, anti-separatism and anti-evil religion struggles, and resolutely safeguard national political security.” “It is necessary … further to step up social control, strengthen warnings and early assessment, strengthen overall prevention and control … eliminate hidden risks, and severely crack down on different types of illegal and criminal activities in accordance with the law.”

Source: Public Security Department of Hunan Province, July 27, 2020
http://gat.hunan.gov.cn/articles/221/2020-7/65371.html

The Powers Behind Tomorrow Holding Fought Back against Xi Jinping’s Take-Over

Xiao Jianhua is the owner of Tomorrow Holding (trading as the Tomorrow Group), a diversified investment company involved with banking, insurance, real estate development, coal, cement and rare earth minerals. He was involved in crashing China’s stock market in 2015, which was called a “financial coup” against Xi Jinping. He was abducted in Hong Kong and taken back to China in 2017. His whereabouts are unknown.

On July 17, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced it would take over four insurance companies and two trusts from Tomorrow Holding. The China Securities Regulatory Commission also commissioned four institutes to oversee three securities and commodity companies from Tomorrow Holding. Thus, the authorities have taken over all of Tomorrow Holding’s nine core companies in the insurance, trust, and securities fields, with total assets of over 1.2 trillion yuan (US $ 171 billion).

According to New Fortune, a company that specializes in evaluating Chinese financial service companies, Tomorrow Holding holds stocks in 44 financial companies, whose collective financial assets are over 3 trillion yuan (US $430 billion).

On July 18, Tomorrow Holding published a “Solemn Statement” on WeChat. It stated that the authorities “spared no effort to push for the takeover” and questioned the authorities’ underlining agenda. The statement was removed a few hours later.

Tomorrow Holding’s “Solemn Statement” stated that the company has been fully cooperative with the authorities’ investigation since Xiao Jianhua was arrested in 2017. It received several hundred billion yuan through the disposal of assets  and overseas remittances and also raised nearly 300 billion yuan, and thus it paid in full the principle and interest of the wealth management insurance product of the Tianan Property Insurance Co. (so there was no financial risk with the company).

It also pointed out that the regulatory commissions sent “Research and Investigation Teams” into each institute to monitor them closely. The authorities deprived the institutes off operational autonomy, did not allow them to conduct business normally or expand operations, and did not allow employees to enter and leave the company normally. It tried to force the institutes into a state that would “trigger the conditions for a takeover.”

It also stated that the group will report this to the relevant authorities.

He Chun, a Chinese scholar in the China University of Political Science and Law, told Radio Free Asia in an interview, “It is unusual that Tomorrow Holding could issue the statement. Ordinary private business could never do this. We know that the company is not supported by the current leader, but obviously there are political force(s) supporting it. This force is not just a ministerial-provincial level official; it has to be high enough to challenge the top official.”

There are comments that Zeng Qinghong is the power behind Tomorrow Holding. Zeng was the former Vice President of China and the right-hand man of Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head. Xi Jinping’s taking over the core assets of Tomorrow Holding is like ransacking  Zeng Qinghong’s home and confiscating his assets.

Independent commentator Wen Zhao said that Xiao Jianhua managed the Tomorrow Holding not only for Zeng Qinghong, but also for several other top ranking officials. Xi Jinping faces strong internal political pressure at the upcoming annual Beidaihe meeting, where the top leaders, both current and retired, will meet to discuss the overall situation that the CCP faces. Xi wants to confiscate the money bag of the top officials as leverage.

Elmer Yuen, a Hong Kong businessman expressed that there is severe infighting among the CCP’s top leaders. The retired former top leaders are pressing Xi Jinping. Xi is pushing Jiang Zemin and his faction to bring back the money that they pocketed earlier. Now that Xi has control over the military, public security, and the armed police, his next battle is the financial power. To take back the financial power, Xi has shown he is willing to destroy Hong Kong and ruin the economy.

Sources:
1. Apple Daily, July 18, 2020
https://hk.appledaily.com/finance/20200718/37PUZ3FTGEGF6D22DVFFM5BWXU/
2. Radio Free Asia, July 21, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/gangtai/ql1-07212020062426.html
3. Have8.tv, July 23, 2020
https://news.have8.tv/2617231.html

RFA: “Xi Jinping Research Center for Diplomatic Thought” Deviates From Deng’s Diplomatic Principal and Promotes “Wolf Warrior” Diplomacy

Xinhua reported that the inauguration ceremony of the Xi Jinping Research Center for Diplomatic Thought was held in Beijing on July 20. Comments from China experts overseas show they believe that the establishment of this center means that China has formally bid farewell to Deng Xiaoping’s diplomatic principle of “hiding our capacities and biding our time.” Instead, it promotes the “wolf warrior” diplomacy that China has pursued in recent years.

The China Institute of International Studies set up the research center under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims “to coordinate national research resources, and to conduct comprehensive, systematic and in-depth research, interpretation, and publicity with regard to Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thoughts. … It focuses on studying the nature, theory, practice, communication, policies, and specific subjects of Xi Jinping Thought on the subject of Diplomacy … enabling and supporting the guiding role of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thinking on diplomatic practice. … It also makes a positive contribution to opening up a new era of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated at the ceremony that, in the face of the uncertain international situation, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thoughts must be used as the fundamental guiding principles to maintain (China’s) strength in chaos, seize opportunities in changes, and continue to make breakthroughs in a new era of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

It is believed that, since Xi Jinping came to power, the CCP has reversed its course on the party’s ruling ideology on diplomacy.

Sources:
1. Xinhua, July 20, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/2020-07/20/c_1126262860.htm
2. Radio Free Asia, July 21, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/gf1-07212020071317.html

Beijing’s New Brainwashing Campaign for Students

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has once again launched a brainwashing campaign. It is requiring its members and school students to study the “Four Histories,” which refers to “the history of the CCP, the history of new China, the history of the reform and opening up, and the history of socialist development.” In one sentence, it is the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Parents of students shared some WeChat screenshots of a teacher’s message to the parents with Radio Free Asia: “Please ask each student firmly to keep in mind the contents of the ‘Four Histories.’ There will be exams when the new semester begins.”

According to official media, the “Four Histories” is a new political drive and it is a “key task” to promote the contents in classrooms at colleges and universities. East China Normal University in Shanghai has incorporated the campaign materials in the school’s seminar series so that the students will be learning and also preaching to people outside of the campus.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 15, 2020.
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/ql-07152020062503.html

Amid Domestic and International Pressure, Xi Mandates Loyalty to the Party

As China is facing intensified internal and external pressures, the head of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping published an article in the upcoming issue of Qushi magazine, the official publication of the Central Committee of the CCP, warning that one cannot afford to falter even a little bit on the issue of “adherence to the party’s leadership.”

Xinhua News Agency, the mouthpiece outlet of the CCP, reported that Xi’s article entitled, “The Leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the most Essential Feature of Socialism with Chinese characteristics” will be published on July 16th. It emphasizes that the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is “the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party,” and that the CCP is the paramount political leading force.

Xi said that the CCP’s governance is “a great blessing for China, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation.” “On the important principle of adhering to the Party’s leadership, which determines the future and destiny of the party and the country, the entire party and the whole country must maintain a high degree of ideological, political, and behavioral consciousness, and cannot falter even a little bit.”

Observers believe the timing of the article, a signal to compel loyalty from CCP members, as well as people in China, only shows the unprecedented challenges that Xi is now facing.

Source: Central News Agency, July 15, 2020
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202007150432.aspx

CCP Launches Shakeups in the Political and Legal Organs and in the Party School

On July 8, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission announced that it has set up an office that, over the next three months, will launch “rectification work” [Editor’s note: a political shakeup] in a number of pilot cities nationwide. The pilot plan will then be rolled out to the entire country. The goal is to finish it prior to Party’s 20th session in 2022. On the same day, the Central Party School held a seminar specifically to mobilize party members to study the “Yan’an Rectification” in the 1940s. The Central Party School emphasized that “the Yan’an Rectification started with ideological education, focused on solving fundamental ideological problems, and then achieved unprecedented unity among the party members.” On July 9, the Ministry of Public Security announced that it will spend the next year and a half on the “rectification work” within its organs and eliminate the influence of people like Zhou Yongkang and those who engage in forming their own interest groups.

According to the quoted comments in the article that Radio Free Asia published, people are speculating that, similar to the Great Purge in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, the “rectification work” is for Xi Jinping to clean out those who hold different opinions and get ready for personnel shakeups that will occur after the party’s 20th session in 2022. Xi will then develop a political system that he can trust.

An article that Beijing Youth Daily published stated that the main task of the “educational rectification” movement in the political and legal system is to eliminate the leading bad influences. It emphasized that justice is the last line of defense for social justice and the actions of the political and legal teams have a direct impact on the public.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 10, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/gf-07102020083122.html