19th Party Congress Work Report, Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era--Sinocism 10.18.17
|Bill Bishop||Oct 18, 2017|
It took Xi Jinping 203 minutes to outline a sweeping and ambitious vision for China's future development and place in the world.--"Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era".
I have not read the full report but the key points are clear.
The new theoretical contribution will be along the lines of "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 新时代中国特色社会主义思想". It is not clear if that will be the final version that goes into the amended Party Constitution in a few days, or if it will include Xi's name alone or something along the lines of "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era that the Communist Party Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping as the Core has developed". But expanding on “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, with or without the inclusion of Xi’s name, is a lot bigger than Jiang Zemin’s “Theory Three Represents” or Hu Jintao’s “Scientific Outlook on Development”.
People's Daily Online explains the "Thought" in CPC rolls out Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guideline - People's Daily Online:
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has given shape to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, a long-term guide to action that the Party must adhere to and develop.
The thought "builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development," Xi Jinping said while delivering a report at the opening session of the 19th CPC National Congress on Wednesday. "It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context."
Xi defined components of the thought, calling it a "guide to action" that must be adhered to and steadily developed on a long-term basis for all Party members and all Chinese people in their efforts to achieve national rejuvenation...
Xi listed 14-point fundamental principles that underpin the endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era:
-- Ensuring Party leadership over all work;
-- Committing to a people-centered approach;
-- Continuing to comprehensively deepen reform;
-- Adopting a new vision for development;
-- Seeing that the people run the country;
-- Ensuring every dimension of governance is law-based;x -- Upholding core socialist values;
-- Ensuring and improving living standards through development;
-- Ensuring harmony between human and nature;
-- Pursuing a holistic approach to national security;
-- Upholding absolute Party leadership over the people's forces;
-- Upholding the principle of "one country, two systems" and promoting national reunification;
-- Promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind;
-- Exercising full and rigorous governance over the Party.
It is also very significant that Xi declared that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved-Principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved in new era: Xi - Xinhua:
"What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life," he said.
The evolution of the principal contradiction represents a "historic shift that affects the whole landscape and that creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country," Xi said.
Previously the principal contradiction was described as one between "the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production."
More to come over the next few days as we all read through and digest the work report, but propaganda aside (and I named this newsletter to rhyme with cynicism) Xi and the Party have laid out a breathtakingly ambitious vision for China's development and role in the world.
Someone has scanned all the pages of the printed copy of the English version and posted them here.
On a lighter note, Jiang Zemin walked to the podium under his own power, looked good if bored at times, but did not greet Xi warmly as Hu Jintao did at the end of the speech. Chinese netizens, conditioned to rumors that Jiang is near death, were impressed with his vitality--Back from the dead: China's internet goes wild over youthful Jiang Zemin.
The Essential Eight
1. PRC Propaganda Coverage Highlights
Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era...
The CPC has drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of the 21st century to develop China into a "great modern socialist country."
In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, the CPC will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized.
In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, the CPC will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
The principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved to be that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life.
Xinhua highlights 19 phrases from the report, useful to see what the propaganda authorities say are the key takeways- 十九大报告：习近平直抵人心的这19句话_国内新闻_环球网
People's Daily Commentary on the work report-开辟中国特色社会主义新境界（社论）--观点--人民网:
An Opinion piece by Han Qingxiang professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee-New thought in the new era - China Daily:
To accomplish the goals, the Party has to depend on the strategic layout of the "Four Comprehensives" — comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively advance the rule of law and comprehensively and strictly govern the Party, and carry out the "Five Development Concepts" of innovation, coordination, green, openness and shared development.
Therefore, the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era reflects the governance philosophy of the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core, which comprises new ideas, new strategies and new thinking. The thought has become a systematic theory about realizing socialist modernization and national rejuvenation in the new stage and will be the guideline for the Party and nation to achieve its goals...
The report reflects the governance philosophy of the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core, which raise the questions of "what kind of modernization and national rejuvenation China should have", and explores ways to achieve the goals of modernization and national rejuvenation.
The Communist Party of China has vowed to satisfy the people's desire for "a better life" and written the idea into a key political document, as the latest assertion of the Party's people-centered approach.
The Chinese phrase "mei hao sheng huo", which can be translated as "a better life" or "a happy life", appeared 14 times, including in both the opening section and the last paragraph, in a report given by Xi Jinping on Wednesday at the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress.
For climate change in particular, Xi proposes that all countries in the world be good friends to the environment, cooperate to tackle climate change, and protect the planet for the sake of human survival.
The report describes China as having been taking "a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change" and "an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization" over the past five years.
2. Period Of Strategic Opportunity, Building A Global Power
“Right now both China and the world are in the midst of profound and complex changes,” Xi said. “China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development. The prospects are bright, but the challenges are severe.”
The Chinese model of growth under Communist rule is "flourishing", he said, and has given "a new choice" to other developing countries.
"It is time for us to take centre stage in the world and to make a greater contribution to humankind," he added.
The CPC will build a powerful and modernized army, navy, air force, rocket force, and strategic support force, develop strong and efficient joint operations commanding institutions for theater commands, and create a modern combat system with distinctive Chinese characteristics, he said.
"A military is built to fight," he said, stressing combat capability as the criterion to meet.
Technology is the core combat capability, he said, adding the people's military will be made more innovative.
3. Reform And Opening While Strengthening Major State-Owned Enterprises
Comment: One fundamental contradiction that seems to be moving further away from resolution…
However, while expressing support for market reform and private firms, Xi also called for stronger, bigger state firms.
The government will “promote strengthening, improvement and expansion of state capital, (and) effectively prevent loss of state assets, deepen reform of state-owned enterprises, development a mixed-ownership economy and cultivate globally competitive world-class firms,” Xi said.
“Assets owned by central government companies have exceeded 53 trillion yuan by now,” Hao Peng, party chief of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the 19th Communist Party Congress.
Profits at centrally owned firms in the past five years totaled 6.4 trillion yuan, a more than 30 percent jump versus the previous five years, Hao said, according to China News Service.
4. North Korea To Behave During The Party Congress?
The central committee of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea said that China had made “great progress in accomplishing the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics” under the correct guidance of the Communist Party.
“We are greatly pleased over this,” the party central committee said in the message carried by the official KCNA news agency, adding that it “sincerely wished” the China congress “satisfactory success”.
5. Kashgar, Xinjiang As Testbed For The Panopticon 2.0
Kashgar-Far from the booming metropolis of Beijing, China is building a sprawling system that combines dystopian technology and human policing. “It’s a kind of frontline laboratory for surveillance.”
Comment: Minority Report. Chilling.
6. Financial Stability Oversight Committee Just Waiting for 19th Party Congress Personnel Changes To Get Started, Will Have Teeth
The State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform and PBOC’s Financial Stability Bureau are now finalizing a more detailed personnel framework, which will likely be announced after the 19th Party Congress concludes, Caixin has learned.
Once the committee begins meeting, its first task will be to draft laws and regulations to clearly state the responsibilities of the central bank and the regulators in combating ballooning financial risks, a source close to the regulator told Caixin. Such clarification is greatly needed, the source added, because it will help facilitate a quicker response during a crisis.
7. Chinese and the US Drug Trade
Police are arresting large numbers of Chinese nationals in raids on illegal marijuana operations in California, Colorado and other states, raising questions about who is financing these grow houses and recruiting the immigrants to tend them.
In one recent indictment obtained by McClatchy, money from a southern China bank account was transferred to California to pay for down payments on homes that later become grow houses, suggesting that some investors in China are putting money into the illicit U.S. marijuana market.
Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38, who are both in China and have not been taken into U.S. custody, were charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues into the United States, the Justice Department said.
8. Cryptocurrencies With Authoritarian Characteristics?
Yao said the digital fiat currency is expected to be “smarter” than the current third-party payment services — a sector now dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay, which are operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. respectively. The central bank, therefore, must catch up with private companies in the burgeoning cashless payment sector, Yao added.
Nikidforov's vague description of the crypto-ruble sounds similar to recent unofficial Chinese proposals. Yao Qian, deputy director of the People's Bank of China's technology division, has discussed a central bank-issued electronic currency for which commercial banks would administer "wallets." Other Chinese officials and state-affiliated researchers have also echoed the idea.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Housing Should Be for Living In, Not for Speculation, Xi Says - Bloomberg "Houses are built to be inhabited, not for speculation," Xi said in his address at the 19th Party Congress Wednesday in Beijing. "China will accelerate establishing a system with supply from multiple parties, affordability from different channels, and make rental housing as important as home purchasing."
China to Roll Out First-Ever Nationwide Regulations for Rental Housing Market - Caixin Global A team of officials from the State Council and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has been sent to cities around the country to solicit local input and advice on the proposed rules, according to the Economic Information Daily, a unit of the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Slowing China Steel Consumption Stymies Global Demand Growth - Caixin Global Chinese steel demand, which accounts for about 45% of the world’s total, is forecast to “show no growth” in 2018 as the Chinese government strengthens its efforts to balance the economy and crack down on pollution, the World Steel Association said in a report released Monday.
Wanda’s Man in Hollywood Steps Down - WSJ The executive, 59-year-old Jack Gao, oversaw Wanda’s international investments as a senior vice president. He also served as interim chief executive of Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment following the resignation of co-founder Thomas Tull in January.
U.S. Softens China FX Criticism, Cuts Taiwan From Watch List - Bloomberg “The Chinese currency has moved recently in a direction that would help correct the bilateral trade imbalance with the United States,” according to the Treasury’s twice-yearly foreign currency report released Tuesday in Washington. “But on a trade-weighted basis, the currency has become more competitive globally” amid a weakening greenback.
China's outbound investment falls 41.9 pct in Jan.-Sept. - Xinhua Chinese companies invested a total of 78 billion U.S. dollars in 5,159 enterprises from 154 countries and regions during January-September, according to the Ministry of Commerce said...Outbound investment to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative stood at 9.6 billion dollars during the period, accounting for 12.3 percent of the total ODI, up 4 percentage points from the same period in 2016.
Qudian raises $900 million in biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese fintech firm - Reuters Qudian, which is backed by Alibaba (BABA.N) affiliate Ant Financial and became profitable last year, operates a website that allows college students and young white-collar workers to buy laptops, smartphones and other consumer electronics in monthly installments.
Politics, Law And Ideology
China vows to scrap secret interrogations of Communist Party members - Reuters In a speech on Wednesday opening a key twice-a-decade party congress, Xi said shuanggui, which only applies to Communist Party cadres, will be replaced by “detention”. Xi did not elaborate and it was not immediately clear what the distinction between the two will be. Officially, China describes “shuanggui” as an internal disciplinary practice that requires officials under investigation “to cooperate with questioning at a designated place and a designated time”.
As Party Gathers, Xi Jinping Displays a Firm Grip on Power - The New York Times - Chris Buckley: “Party leaders always feel peril close at hand, especially Xi, and that has not gone away,” said Deng Yuwen, a former editor with a Communist Party journal who now writes current affairs commentaries. “For him, this hard-line, centralized style of rule is the solution and must be consolidated.” While Mao promoted class struggle and Deng Xiaoping embraced pragmatic capitalism, Mr. Xi’s vision of the party’s rule centers on restoring China to greatness — what he calls the “China Dream” — and it draws on both the fervent dedication of Mao’s era and the glories of China’s traditional culture that Mao tried to destroy.
Why Do We Keep Writing About Chinese Politics As if We Know More Than We Do? | ChinaFile Given the strong consensus in the China-watching ether regarding Xi’s personal power, there is a risk that new information either strengthens this argument or falls afield because it doesn’t fit into a clear narrative. But we must be careful not to paper over reasons to be skeptical given that nearly all of our conclusions rest upon important assumptions. So we should ensure that we are mindful of and constantly reevaluating our assumptions as contradictory information becomes available. So how does one make sense of the reporting and analysis on the Chinese leadership, especially in advance of a major conclave like the 19th Party Congress? How does one know whether to believe news reports that will inevitably characterize Xi as either the new Deng (or Mao) or as an overly-ambitious leader checked by his rivals?
West needs correct understanding of CPC - Global Times: The CPC has a new vision as China has grown to become the world's second-largest economy. The CPC has the tradition of connecting with the masses and overcoming difficulties. It is fully integrated with Chinese society and its governance is backed by a complete legal system. The Chinese public's support for the CPC cannot be measured using Western parameters.
Xi’s Signature Governance Innovation: The Rise of Leading Small Groups | Center for Strategic and International Studies: We now estimate that there currently are 83 LSGs in operation, more than double our original estimate. As Figure 1 shows, there now are 26 Party LSGs and 57 under the State Council....Xi personally heads eight LSGs, but leadership of the LSGs appears to be spread among Politburo members and the State Council members based on their official regulatory responsibilities and irrespective of the individuals’ factional leanings. For example, Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) member Liu Yunshan naturally heads LSGs related to propaganda and ideology, while his PBSC colleague and Executive Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli heads 10 LSGs related to the economy, especially regional issues, such as on the Yangtze River economic belt and the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative.
Xi's Communist Party reasserts itself to ordinary Chinese - AP The new matchmaking mission is just one example of how the ruling Communist Party is reasserting itself under President Xi Jinping. Its resurgence comes after years of seeing its influence over citizens’ daily affairs wane, even while it maintained an iron grip on the political system and military.
从毛到习，姥爷墙上的两个伟人 - 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览 Comment: NYT Chinese contributor Afra Wang on her grandfather and why has pictures of both Mao and Xi on his wall.. // 姥爷依旧觉得毛时代，是中国最好的时代。墙上的习近平的画像在姥爷日复一日的擦拭下，反射着暗淡的光。他跟我说，“现在也是个好时代。”
Chinese police repatriate "Red Notice" fugitive to U.S. - Xinhua According to the MPS, the fugitive conducted multiple sexual assaults on children aged from six to 12 in the United States during July 2009 and August 2012. In June 2017, Interpol issued a "Red Notice" on the fugitive after a year of investigation by U.S. police. The investigation showed that the fugitive fled to Shanghai in May. Chinese police played their part by locating and capturing him after receiving a notice from the United States.
Is China Returning to the Madness of Mao’s Cultural Revolution? – Foreign Policy - Teng Biao In some ways, it feels like Xi is trying to turn back time and relive the Cultural Revolution, where the party reigned supreme and invaded every aspect of Chinese life. Luckily, he can’t, for China and the world are different now. Even if Xi wanted to, he could never realize Mao’s Cultural Revolution-era disregard for all laws, human and holy, nor could he create a pervasive cult of personality. Mao was history’s harshest despot, its greatest persecutor of humanity. But he wouldn’t have been able to persecute hundreds of millions of Chinese people without the historical background, social structure, ideological framework, and international environment of mid-20th-century China.
These are the 100 Terms the Communist Party Wants You to Know for the 19th CPC National Congress | What's on Weibo Posting the 9-page list of a total of 100 terms on Weibo, People’s Daily (@人民日报) writes: “Study time! We want to teach you the translation of 100 hot terms for the 19th CPC National Congress (..) Do you know how to say these things in English? This is how to avoid using Chinglish and to express [these terms] in a more authentic way. They are all useful for CET-4 & CET-6 [national English level tests in China] and other exams. Let’s learn these!”
The Communist App Store: China's endless apps for tracking, organizing, and motivating party members — Quartz China’s Communist Party is getting into app development big time, with dozens of apps to educate and promote social networking among party members hitting the country’s Apple and Android app stores.
WeChat Profile Changes Banned, Delivery and Hospitality Services Disrupted Ahead of 19th National Congress | the Beijinger On the eve of the Congress, WeChat stopped some users from changing their profile picture, alias, or status until the end of the month, citing maintenance. Weibo users are experiencing similar issues.
Foreign and Military Affairs
China's cooperative vision for a productive China-U.S. relationship - USA Today Opinion - Amb. Cui Tiankai During this week's 19th National Congress of the People's Republic of China, China’s leaders will review the country’s efforts over the past five years and draw the blueprint for our country’s domestic and international agenda for the next five years and beyond. While the outlook for our nation is closely connected to the future of the world, I believe the Party Congress will open up new prospects for, and add new impetus to, the exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world, including the United States.
Hong Kong, Macao
CPC successfully deals with emerging issues in Hong Kong, Macao - Global Times "The past five years witnessed unprecedented challenges in work related to Hong Kong and Macao, especially Hong Kong," read an article published by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council in Qiushi Journal, the flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. The article said that by firmly sticking to the "one country, two systems" principle, the Party successfully dealt with problems that emerged during these years while maintaining the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao. 引领“一国两制”航船破浪前行—— 党的十八大以来港澳工作成就回顾
China's Xi says can thwart Taiwan independence, Taiwan says democracy first - Reuters “We have the resolve, the confidence and the ability to defeat separatist attempts for Taiwan independence in any form,” Xi told the audience, including some 300 from the People’s Liberation Army.
Party flagship magazine article reviews CPC's Taiwan work - Xinhua It argued that relevant work under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core had maintained stability across the Taiwan Strait, achieved major progress on cross-Strait ties, contributed to the development of the Party and nation, and advanced the cause of national reunification. 砥砺奋进 克难前行—— 党的十八大以来对台工作的不平凡历程
China’s Lobbying Against the Taiwan Travel Act Backfires | The Diplomat On October 12, in spite of Beijing’s strong protest, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Taiwan Travel Act, which calls for the complete lifting of restrictions on high-level visits between the United States and Taiwan.
Tech And Media
财新成为第一家全面实施收费的媒体 | PingWest品玩 Caixin announces that it putting all its content behind a paywall starting November 6
Shenzhen-Listed Firm Bids for Minority Stake in Forbes - Caixin Global A China-listed media company plans to buy a 10% stake in the century-old U.S. publishing giant Forbes Media. Yinji Entertainment & Media, a Shenzhen-listed unit of U.S.-based DMG Entertainment, is setting up a $256 million investment fund with DMG’s Hong Kong unit in hopes of acquiring the Forbes stake, Yinji said in a stock exchange filing
Google is hoping hip-hop, and Chinese-American rapper MC Jin, can hep it break back into China — Quartz The ad, which was produced by London-headquartered agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBG), shows Chinese-American rapper MC Jin wandering around Shanghai, waving a phone running Google Translate over English signs and logos. Using augmented reality, the app then renders the images to display Chinese script. The ad’s a nod to Chinese pop culture—MC Jin recently featured in a hugely popular Chinese reality show called The Rap of China.
Shared-Charger Startup Pulls Plug - Sixth Tone On Wednesday, Hangzhou-based power bank rental company LeDian announced that it was going out of business and asked its customers to withdraw their deposits.
百度国际化事业部将有重大调整，或面临分拆|百度|国际化|事业部_新浪科技_新浪网 Caijing reports Baidu looking at reorganizing and possibly breaking up its international business
New App Provides Experts on Demand for China Journalists - Sixth Tone Journalists on deadline who need expert input for their stories can now turn to a new app that touts 30,000 specialists as ready and willing to answer their urgent inquiries. After almost a year of tinkering, Youwen — which translates to “have a question” — officially launched Wednesday.
The Accidental Megastar - Sixth Tone With his timid demeanor, lack of ambition, and little formal training in music, Mao Buyi, a 23-year-old recent nursing graduate from Qiqihar in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province, bears little resemblance to China’s glossy stars. However, it was these exact traits — plus a knack for songwriting — that set him apart from his rivals on “The Coming One,” an all-male singing competition from streaming service Tencent Video that debuted in June. Mao gained millions of fans and emerged as the show’s champion in September.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
State media says women aren’t harassed in Chinese culture. Women beg to differ. - The Washington Post It is common for Chinese media to highlight problems in the United States in an implicit or explicit attempt to argue that Chinese society under Communist Party rule is more “harmonious” than Western democracy or to counter Western criticism of China’s human rights record. But the China Daily may have overstepped the mark when it ran an opinion piece by Sava Hassan, a “Canadian Egyptian educator,” titled: “What prevents sexual harassment from being a common phenomenon in China, as it is in most Western societies?”
Pet Hotels are Booming Business in Beijing | What's on Weibo Chinese animal lovers are willing to pay up to 900 RMB (±136$) per night to give their pet the time of their lives while they are out of town.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
From theory prediction to bold observatory, Chinese researchers help usher in new era in astrophysics - Xinhua Chinese scientists on Monday announced observation of the "optical counterpart" of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two binary neutron stars using a survey telescope in Antarctica. The gravitational waves were first discovered by the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on Aug. 17. The Chinese telescope independently observed optical signals resulting from the merger the next day, according to the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy
Food And Travel
China Foods Spills Wine Back to Parent Company - Caixin Global In a HK$5 billion ($649 million) deal, China Foods Ltd. has offloaded its prestigious Great Wall brand, including five production plants in China, five wineries in and outside the country, and the distribution of imported wines, the listed company said in a filing Monday to the Hong Kong Exchange.
Trial operation of Beijing's maglev line to start - Xinhua Beijing's first medium-low speed maglev line is expected to start trial operation by the end of this year. The 10.2-km S1 line will connect the western suburban districts of Mentougou and Shijingshan
Beijing proudly unveils mega-airport due to open in 2019 - Reuters It is expected to serve an initial 45 million passengers a year with an eventual capacity of 100 million, putting it on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “Lined up together there’s roughly 5 km of gates,” said project spokesman Zhu Wenxin. “It’s a shining example of China’s national production capacity.”