Xi Jinping gave a speech at the Central Conference on Ethnic Work, emphasizing the importance of building community consciousness and national identity across ethnic groups. (See Senior Leaders section)
People’s Daily continued its Zhong Sheng commentary series focused on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, criticizing US nation-building efforts around the world. (See Propaganda Work section)
Xi Jinping convened and presided over the 21st meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. (See Comprehensively Deepening Reform section)
Xi Jinping: Take Forging a Firm Consciousness of Chinese Communal [Identity] as the Central Theme of of Advancing High Quality Development of the Party’s Ethnic Work in the New Era
8.27-28 In a speech at the Central Conference on Ethnic Work, Xi Jinping stressed “accurately grasping and comprehensively implementing our Party’s important thought relating to strengthening and improving ethnic work; forging a firm consciousness of Chinese communal [identity] as the central theme; unswervingly following the correct path of resolving ethnic issues with Chinese characteristics; constructing a common spiritual homeland for the Chinese people”; promoting inter-ethnic group exchanges and integration; accelerating the pace of modernization in ethnic regions; improving the level of standardizing governance and rule of law in ethnic affairs; guarding against risks; promoting high quality development of the Party’s ethnic work for a new era; and mobilizing the whole Party, country, and all ethnic groups to achieve the second centenary goal of comprehensively building a modern socialist country.
Pointing out that since the onset of reform and opening and especially since the 18th Party Congress the Party has emphasized the familial and communal concepts of Chinese identity, Xi went on to outline twelve aspects of the Party’s thinking about ethnic work. First, ethnic work in the new era must be grasped from its historical context of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Second, it must promote all ethnic groups’ common struggle of building a modern socialist country, keeping pace with the times, unity, and prosperous development. Third, it must forge a communal consciousness that firmly identifies with the great motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Fourth, it must “adhere to the correct view of the history of the Chinese nation” and increase national identity and pride. Fifth, it must adhere to equality across ethnic groups, safeguard ethnic groups’ shared autonomy and participation in national affairs, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the masses of ethnic groups. Sixth, it must “hold high the banner of the great unity of the Chinese nation” and promote all ethnic groups in the Chinese family being “closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together” (像石榴籽一样紧紧抱在一起). Seventh, it must maintain and improve the ethnic regional autonomous governance system to ensure the unimpeded governance of the party center and implementation of legislation in order to realize “common development and common prosperity (共同富裕)” for all ethnic groups. Eighth, it must construct a “spiritual homeland” for the Chinese people that consolidates spiritual interdependence between ethnic groups. Ninth, it must promote associations, exchanges, and integration across ethnic groups. Tenth, it must promote the governance of ethnic affairs according to law and modernize the ethnic affairs governance system and capacity. Eleventh, it must “safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests; educate and guide all ethnic groups to carry on and make full use of patriotic tradition; and consciously safeguard the unity of the motherland, national security, and social stability.” Twelfth, it must adhere to the Party’s guidance of ethnic work.
Politburo Standing Committee Member and State Council Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) presided over the Conference. Politburo Standing Committee Members Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), and Han Zheng (韩正) also attended. Politburo Standing Committee Member Wang Yang (汪洋) gave a closing speech.
Politburo Convenes, Decides to Convoke Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee; Reviews the “Comprehensive Report Regarding the Situation of the 19th Central Committee’s Seventh Round of Inspections”; CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping Presided over the Meeting
8.31 At its 31 August meeting, the 19th Central Committee Politburo decided that it will hold its Sixth Plenary Session in November 2021 in Beijing. At the Plenary Session, the Politburo will present its work report to the Central Committee, with the agenda to focus on summarizing the Party’s great achievements and historical experiences over its century-long struggle. The Politburo meeting pointed out that it was important to “learn from history” (以史为鉴) in order to “develop and adhere to the requirements of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”; strengthen political consciousness and other areas of consciousness; adhere to the path of self-confidence and confidence in [one’s own] theory, system, and culture in order to safeguard the role of Xi Jinping and the Party and achieve the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The meeting also addressed education, saying that it had always been a high priority for the Party, but that deep-seated issues remained with regard to party building, cultivating virtue, coordinating authority and responsibility under party leadership, strengthening the construction of team and grassroots party groups, among other areas. It urged that inspections be conducted and improvements instituted to address these issues and reinforce the Party’s leadership over higher education. The meeting also noted that addressing these issues in education would serve to deter corruption. Finally, it stated that it was necessary to implement the “‘Regulations of the Communist Party of China on the Work of Grassroots Organizations in Regular Colleges and Universities,’” earnestly implement the system of responsibility under party leadership, cultivate leadership and talent, and strengthen party organizations in higher education.
Xi Jinping: Be Firm in Conviction, Loyal to the Party, Seek Truth from Facts, and Assume Responsibility; Strive to Become Capable Individuals [Who Are] the Backbone [of Society] and Can Be Entrusted to Shoulder Heavy Responsibility
9.1 On 1 September, Xi Jinping gave a speech at the opening ceremony for a fall semester training session for young and middle-aged cadres at the Central Party School (National Academy of Governance). Xi began by stressing the importance of ideals and convictions, namely the belief in Marxism, the “lofty ideals of communism,” and “the common ideals of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” He exhorted the cadres to “remember that firm ideals and convictions are lifelong issues that must be regularly cultivated and refined, as well as believed and defended for a lifetime.” Xi then pointed out the connection between ideals and convictions and loyalty to the Party, discussing the various “testing criteria” such as the ability to “safeguard the authority and the centralized and unified leadership of the party center” that existed to assess loyalty to the Party. Next, he emphasized the need for cadres to go to the “grassroots” to observe reality while avoiding superficial investigations, calling on them to be “bold in truth, good at independent thinking, and adhere to seeking truth and dealing with concrete issues.” After stressing the importance of “shouldering responsibilities” and upholding principles, Xi stated that increased dangers related to “changes unseen in a century” (百年未有之大变局) and “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation entering a critical period” meant that “always wanting have a peaceful life and not struggle is unrealistic.” He then talked about the need to have reverence for the Party and people and maintain good morals. After stressing the importance of studying and acquiring knowledge, Xi concluded by stating the importance of “putting real knowledge and talent” into practice.
Politburo Member Chen Xi (陈希) presided over the opening ceremony and called on the cadres to remember the task entrusted to them by Xi Jinping, “increase the cultivation of party consciousness, and temper [their] political character (砥砺政治品格),” among other things. Politburo Standing Committee Member and Secretary of the Central Secretariat Wang Huning (王沪宁), Politburo Member Ding Xuexiang (丁薛祥) and Politburo Member Huang Kunming (黄坤明) also attended.
Speech at the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services Summit Meeting
9.2 Xi Jinping gave a speech on 2 September at the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). After noting that the theme of the event was “digital starting up the future, services promoting development,” he said that “trade in services is an important part of international trade and an important area of international trade cooperation” and that it “plays an important role in the construction of the new development pattern.” Xi emphasized China’s willingness to work with all parties to cooperate and share development opportunities in trade in services to promote global economic recovery and growth. He stated that China would raise the level of opening up, “advance the implementation of the cross-border trade in services negative list nationwide,” and “expand space for cooperation and increase support for the development of the national services industry under the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative (BRI).” He also stated that “We will strengthen the establishment of rules in the service sector,” including the implementation of international high-level free trade agreement rules, and set up the Beijing Stock Exchange to “create a main position for service innovation-style small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).” Xi concluded by expressing the importance of “join[ing] hands” in fighting the epidemic and continuing to use the “‘golden key’ (金钥匙) of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit” to solve global economic problems and create a better future.
Huang Kunming: Strictly and Practically Address Both the Symptoms and Root Causes, Build a Clear Atmosphere in the Field of Culture and Entertainment
9.3 On 3 September, Huang Kunming gave a speech at a Central Propaganda Department video conference on comprehensive governance work in the culture and entertainment field. He emphasized the need to increase efforts to resolve outstanding issues in the culture and entertainment field and take strict measures to deal with the symptoms and root causes. He noted past achievements of comprehensive reforms and positive progress but also stated that “for some time, some bad phenomena and issues have appeared in the culture and entertainment field, corrupting the industry’s image, and damaging the social atmosphere.” Huang emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen the guidance of core socialist values, highlight people-centered work, and coordinate the promotion of different types of governance. He mentioned supervision, guidance, and punishments as areas for improvement.
Comrade Jiang Chunyun’s Remains Cremated in Beijing
9.3 On 2 September, former Politburo Member, Secretary of the Central Secretariat, State Council Vice Premier, and Ninth National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) Vice Chair Jiang Chunyun’s (姜春云) remains were cremated in Beijing. During Jiang’s serious illness and after his death, Xi Jinping; Premier Li Keqiang (李克强); Politburo Standing Committee Members Li Zhanshu (栗战书), Wang Yang (汪洋), Wang Huning (王沪宁), Zhao Leji (赵乐际), and Han Zheng (韩正); Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), Jiang Zemin (江泽民), Hu Jintao (胡锦涛), and other comrades either went to the hospital to visit Jiang or expressed their condolences to his relatives. At the ceremony, the aforementioned individuals stood in silence next to Jiang’s body and bowed three times. The relevant party leading comrades went to see Jiang off or expressed their condolences in other ways. Other comrades from relevant central and state organs also went to bid farewell to Jiang.
Zhong Sheng: Engaging in At-Will Wars of Aggression Will Only Create More and More Problems—20 Years of War in Afghanistan Offer a Warning to the United States
8.28 People’s Daily continued its Zhong Sheng commentary series focused on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the lessons to be learned from US engagement in that country with a 28 August commentary titled “Engaging in At-Will Wars of Aggression Will Only Create More and More Problems.” The commentary argued that from Vietnam to Afghanistan, US efforts to “rebuild” other countries lead the United States to “repeat the same disastrous mistake” (重蹈覆辙). After calling the ability of the United States military to create even more problems than it solved in Afghanistan the “enormous irony of the superstitious military force of US hegemony,” it recounted the numerous wars the US has participated in and the death and suffering resulting therein, concluding that “the US engaging in wars of aggression made it become the largest exporter of turmoil and creator of humanitarian disasters.” Next, the commentary described how the United States could avoid a repeat of “Kabul moments” (喀布尔时刻) by “quitting the addiction of engaging in wars of aggression” and “restraining the impulse to rebuild other countries.” It concluded by stating that “the situation in Afghanistan is another negative textbook, and its lessons are very painful. If the US side does not seriously absorb [them], it will still eat new sufferings.”
People’s Daily Commentator Article: Another Farce of Political Manipulation
8.29 People’s Daily published a page-three Commentator Article titled “Another Farce of Political Manipulation” on the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report and accompanying White House statement. Noting that “origin tracing is a complex and serious scientific issue” that should be researched collaboratively by scientists around the world, the commentary accused the United States of attempting to “politicize” the matter. It asserted that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) lab leak theory had been “rejected by the international scientific community,” that the report ignored the China-World Health Organization (WHO) joint report’s “scientific conclusions,” and that the United States’ “despicable conduct” meant that it could even be called an “‘accomplice’ (帮凶) to the spread of the pandemic and the even more harmful ‘political virus.’” The commentary also accused the United States of “attempting to cover up the truth about [its] own failures in the fight against the pandemic” by “passing the buck” to China and of “bluffing” to rally its partners to pressure China. Noting that the timeline for when the COVID-19 outbreak started in the United States had repeatedly shifted to an earlier date and that many suspicions about Fort Detrick's and the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) connection to the emergence of COVID-19 remained, it asserted that the international community “strongly demands” that the United States make relevant data available and that if the United States “really cares” about origin tracing, it should invite the WHO to conduct an investigation within its borders. It concluded, “We sternly warn the US side that engaging in political manipulation has no way out and that [we] cannot delay carrying out scientific origin tracing due to the disturbances of hidden political aims... We strongly advise the US side that [it] should immediately cease conduct that poisons the atmosphere of international origin tracing cooperation and undermines global solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.”
Qiushi Editorial Department: The Compliance and Guidelines of Learning From History and Initiating the Future
8.31 The Qiushi Editorial Department released an article that discussed the “Nine Musts” (九个必须), saying that they ultimately served as the “basic compliance and scientific guidelines of learning from history (以史为鉴) and initiating the future.” Regarding the first “must”—“adhering to the strong leadership of the Party”—the article noted that the Party’s “strong leadership” gave the Chinese people “a backbone and a fixed point” and the “great power” to “advance forward” under any circumstances. It then discussed the need to “adhere to the Party’s comprehensive leadership” and “strengthen the ‘four consciousnesses’ (四个意识), consolidate the ‘four confidences’ (四个自信), and achieve the ‘two defends’ (两个维护)” while “on the new journey.” Next, the article addressed the second “must” of “uniting and leading the Chinese people in continuously struggling for a better life,” remarking that “closely relying on the people” would “acquire more distinct, substantial progress [in] advancing the common prosperity (共同富裕) of all the people.” After going on to discuss the necessity of “continuing to advance the sinicization of Marxism” and the way in which “adhering to and developing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” was “genuinely adhering to and advancing Marxism,” the article addressed the “must” of “adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.” It stressed that adhering to socialism with Chinese characteristics was the only way to “realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The article then turned to comment on the “musts” of “accelerating the modernization of national defense and the military” and “continually promoting the construction of a community of shared future for mankind” (人类命运共同体).” It followed with an overview of the “musts” of “carrying out the great struggle with many historical characteristics” and “strengthening the great unity of China’s sons and daughters,” referring to each as the “magic weapon (法宝) of our Party to defeat the enemy” and an important part of “realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” respectively. The article concluded by outlining the “must” of “continually advancing the great undertaking of the Party’s construction,” calling it vital to the Party’s maintenance of leadership in the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Comprehensively Deepening Reform
Xi Jinping: Strengthen Anti-Monopoly, Anti-Unfair Competition Supervision Efforts, Improve the Reserve System Mechanism, and Thoroughly Fight the Tough Battle of Pollution Prevention and Control
8.30 Xi Jinping convened and presided over the 21st meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform. The meeting reviewed and adopted a series of Opinions, including Opinions on strengthening anti-monopoly efforts and promoting competition, improving the emergency reserve system, fighting pollution, and giving better play to the role of data supervisory work. In a speech at the meeting, Xi emphasized that promoting fair competition was important for improving the socialist market economy system. He said that “from the strategic viewpoint of constructing a new development pattern, promoting high quality development, and promoting common prosperity (共同富裕),” creating a market environment characterized by fair competition opens development space for market entities, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and better protects consumer rights and interests. Xi reviewed the progress that had been made since the 18th Party Congress in combating monopolies, promoting fair competition, and creating an open market system, as well as improving supervision and regulation. He then stressed the necessity of balancing development with security; efficiency with fairness; vitality with order; domestic [interests] with international [interests]; and adhering to oversight and regulation with promoting development.
Going forward, Xi said that China must “accelerate robust market access systems, fair competition inspection mechanisms,” and other oversight mechanisms and regulatory measures to prevent the inhibition of competition. He urged adherence to the “two unswervings” (两个毫不动摇), which refers to unswervingly consolidating and developing the public sectors of the economy and unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sectors of the economy. He called for continuing to “unswervingly advance high-level opening up,” including protecting property rights and intellectual property rights and promoting transparency, and for strengthening enforcement, especially of anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition regulations.
Politburo Standing Committee Members and Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform Vice Chairs Li Keqiang (李克强), Wang Huning (王沪宁), and Han Zheng (韩正) also attended.