The Sinocism China Newsletter – November 8, 2016

Bill Bishop , November 10, 2016 12:13pm


1. Commentary: No matter who wins, US presidential election reveals ‘ill’ democracy - People’s Daily Online no matter who wins this election, the next president-elect will face a true political conundrum. Meanwhile, the world will look on with concern, waiting to see whether the U.S. adopts a more cautious diplomatic policy or decides to make aggressive overtures. So what path will the U.S. choose? We shall wait and see. (The author Yuan Peng is vice president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.) // CICIR is a Ministry of State Security think tank, so very influential

Related: Why Chinese Elites Endorse Hillary Clinton | Foreign Policy Trump’s policies would be softer on China, but the global instability he’d create as President would be bad for business in Beijing.

Related: 揭秘特朗普最大华裔助选团 组织集资全靠微信-新闻频道-手机搜狐 any PRC money going to trump campaign? Says this Wechat Trump support group fundraising group led by someone who can not vote because only a green card holder

2. Hong Kong Elected 2 Separatists. China Took Drastic Action. - The New York Times The two young activists who are testing that limit are advocates of independence for Hong Kong. While being sworn in, they made a statement of defiance against Chinese rule, using a crude obscenity and a term that many consider a slur against Chinese people. In acting against them, the government of President Xi Jinping has asserted new authority to set policy in Hong Kong, opening what could be a more chaotic era here, in which elected officials are held to a vague standard of political loyalty and blacklisted if they fall short.

Related: Hong Kong’s leader CY Leung is angling for a fight by a threatening to revive Article 23, a draconian anti-subversion law — Quartz Leung, who is deeply unpopular, evoked the specter once again of the dreaded “Article 23” of the Basic Law on Monday, a proposed bill that has haunted Hong Kong citizens for nearly two decades. The vaguely worded provision has been robustly rejected by Hong Kongers in the past, over fears it could lead to draconian laws similar to those used in mainland China to crush dissent and imprison political activists.

Related: Full text: Explanations on draft interpretation of Article 104 of Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR - Xinhua The Standing Committee of the twelfth National People’s Congress on Monday adopted the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China at its twenty-fourth Session. Following is the full text of the explanations on the draft interpretation.

Related: Chinese business leaders protest Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers | Close to 100 Chinese business leaders have put their names to the cover of newspaper Sing Tao Daily in protest against two Hong Kong Legislative Council members’ advocacy of democracy. Tencent founder and president, Pony Ma, SF Express founder Wang Wei and Skyworth TV founder Huang Hongsheng were among the signatories calling for the removal of Liang Songheng (Sixtus “Baggio” Leung) and You Huizhen (Yau Wai-ching), ifeng reports.

3. ‘Unsupervised power is very dangerous’: China’s top graft-buster warns Communist Party’s 80 million members to toe the line | South China Morning Post Discipline tsar Wang Qishan tells party cadres to stay clean and vigilant in rare People’s Daily article // the original article 王岐山在人民日报撰文:不受监督的权力是极其危险的

Related: China to set up new anti-corruption body to oversee all public servants as it intensifies battle against graft | South China Morning Post China will set up a new anti-graft body to consolidate separate state agencies and oversee all public servants in the latest move to combat deep-rooted corruption in the country. Beijing and the provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang will set up new supervision commissions as pilot programmes, according to a statement from the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xinhua reported late on Monday. The commissions will later be implemented nationwide, according to the statement.

Related: China to make supervision system more efficient - Xinhua Chinese authorities will conduct a pilot program in Beijing and the provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang as part of efforts to make the current supervision system more authoritative and efficient, according to a statement published Monday.

Related: Xi spells out Party codes on stricter governance - Xinhua  Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed the imperativeness of regulating intra-Party political life and advancing supervision, calling the move “an important approach to promoting comprehensive and strict Party governance.” Xi made the remarks last week when explaining two related documents at the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Xi’s remarks and the two documents, namely the norms of political life in the Party under current conditions, and the regulation on intra-Party supervision, were publicized on Wednesday. The norms, in 12 parts, stress consolidating ideals and beliefs, keeping to the Party’s basic line, safeguarding the authority of the CPC Central Committee, and maintaining close ties with the people, among others. The regulation, which consists of eight chapters and 47 articles, aims to uphold the CPC’s leadership, strengthen Party building, promote the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party and maintain the Party’s status and purity.

Related: China’s Xi lashes out at political cliques, election fraud - Xinhua The top CPC leader pointed out the questionable faith and loyalty of some Party members, including senior ones. He cited a number of faults among such members, including lax discipline, detachment from the people, arbitrariness and inaction, acts of individualism, factionalism, money worshipping and violations linked to formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance. Nepotism and election fraud have endured while some Party officials sold positions of power, and bartered positions, Xi said, adding that power abuse, corruption as well as legal and disciplinary violations have been spreading. In particular, a handful of senior Party officials, overcome by their political cravings and lust for power, have resorted to political conspiracies by working in ostensible obedience, while forming cliques to pursue selfish interests, he said. He went on to list Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and Ling Jihua as examples of such behaviour, citing both their economic and political misdeeds.

Related:  CPC publicizes documents on intra-Party political life, supervision - Xinhua  The two documents were introduced to supplement the layout of the CPC’s “Four Comprehensives,” a strategy to promote reform and opening up, refine the socialist modernization drive, as well as to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics // 关于新形势下党内政治生活的若干准则(全文) and  中国共产党党内监督条例(全文)

Related:[视频]习近平就《关于新形势下党内政治生活的若干准则》和《中国共产党党内监督条例》作说明_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-CCTV evening news Wednesday reads Xi’s explainer on 6th Plenum documents

Related:New Communist Party rules call on top Chinese cadres to inform on each other | South China Morning Post New guidelines tighten party’s grip on members of Central Committee, and suggest blowing whistle on those who don’t toe the line

4. Provincial Party Shake-up Paves Way for Leadership Changes-Caixin and everyone promoted owes their good fortune to the core… //  Throughout China, provincial Communist Party officials have been shaking up the ranks of their powerful party committees in preparation for next year’s National Party Congress, which will elect the top party leadership and shape the country’s political and economic direction in the next five years. About half of the provincial party committees have changed standing committee members in October, while the party’s central committee also held a key session to endorse President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as the “core” leader.

5. The coming clash with China over North Korea - The Washington Post - Josh Rogin Top Clinton foreign policy advisers have been open about their intention to apply to North Korea a version of the playbook the Obama administration used with Iran. They are promising to drastically increase sanctions on Pyongyang before sitting down at the table. They are also considering secondary sanctions on foreign firms that enable North Korea’s illicit industries, which means punishing Chinese companies keeping Kim’s nuclear and missile industries afloat. For the Chinese government, both of those ideas are seen as direct assaults on China’s primacy over an issue it considers a core interest. Rather than respond to the threat of sanctions by leaning on its client state, Beijing is more likely to buck Washington and fight back against the new policy.

Related: U.S. to deploy THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea in 8-10 months: commander| Reuters And Beijing still hysterical about it. Any chance the ROK Presidential scandal will derail this?

Related: U.S. acts to block North Korea access to financial system | Reuters A Treasury Department order requires U.S. financial institutions “to apply additional due diligence measures to prevent North Korean financial institutions from gaining improper indirect access to U.S. correspondent accounts.” The move comes after the Treasury in June declared North Korea a “primary money laundering concern” and proposed the steps to further block its ability to use the U.S. and world financial systems to fund its weapons programs.

6. China Adopts Cybersecurity Law Despite Foreign Opposition - Bloomberg The Cyber Security Law was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, and will take effect in June, government officials said Monday. Among other things, it requires internet operators to cooperate with investigations involving crime and national security, and imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment. Companies must also give government investigators full access to their data if wrong-doing is suspected. // 2016年网络安全法

Related: Xinhua Insight: China adopts cybersecurity law to protect national security, citizens’ rights The government will take measures to “monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack,intrusion, disturbance and damage,” the law states. Efforts will also be made to punish criminal activities online and safeguard the order and security of cyberspace. Individual users and organizations are not allowed to jeopardize security on the Internet or use it to “damage national security, honor and interests,” according to the provisions. Online activities that attempt to overthrow the socialist system, split the nation, undermine national unity, advocate terrorism and extremism are all prohibited, according to the provisions, which also forbid activities including inciting ethnic hatred, discrimination and spreading violence and obscene information.

7. Jeff Bader & Dennis Wilder: “How Should the New President Deal With China?” - YouTube the top two Asia advisors to the last two Presidents—Obama and Bush—visited the Paulson Institute to share their unique perspectives on the state of U.S.-China relations and how the next administration should work with China. Drawing on a deep well of experience, Jeff Bader and Dennis Wilder shared lessons learned from each of their tenures as National Security Council Senior Director for Asia (Bader in the Obama Administration, Wilder in the George W. Bush Administration). In a conversation moderated by Paulson Institute Vice Chairman Evan Feigenbaum, Bader and Wilder discuss a wide range of topics, including the fraying consensus on U.S. policy toward China, how a changing China has unsettled Washington, the leadership of Xi Jinping, China’s role on the global stage, dealmaking with Beijing, what most Americans don’t get about China, how politics affect diplomacy, and much more.  //  see Mr. Wilder’s comments starting about 34:45 on why it is important to remember that they are still Communists and run by the Communist Party, remarkable how many people seem to forget, ignore, or try to elide this away…

8. Comments at CSIS Event “Chinese Public Opinion and the Durability of Chinese Communist Party Rule” | The Sinocism China Newsletter On Wednesday, October 26th, I particpated as a commentator in a Center for Strategic and International Studies panel discussion with Scott Kennedy, Dr. Tang Wenfang, author of Populist Authoritarianism: Chinese Political Culture and Regime Stability, and Dr. Bruce Dickson, author of The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy For Survival. A video of the event is available here, and below are my prepared comments.

You can read the rest of today’s newsletter here.

Bill Bishop

Author and curator of the daily Sinocism newsletter.