September 2019

Vice-governor of Liaoning probed

Liu Qiang, vice-governor of Liaoning province, is under investigation on suspicion of seriously violating Party discipline, according to a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
He is the first sitting senior official to be probed for suspected graft since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.

Last year, Liaoning made headlines around the country as its economic growth declined by 2.6 percent yearon-year.

The province was also criticized for electoral fraud in connection with a leadership change in the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Committee of the CPC in 2011 and the election of deputies to the National People’s Congress in 2013.

Liu was born in February 1964, in the province’s Faku county. He first served as a technical worker, deputy general manager and general manager at the Fushun Petrochemical Co, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp, from 1987 to 2002.

In March 2002, he was promoted to be a member of the Standing Committee of Fushun and then served as the city’s mayor and Party chief.

In 2013, he was appointed vice-governor of the province. According to the Liaoning government website, he was responsible for industry, science, technology, quality and technical supervision.

Two other senior officials appointed in 2013, Wang Yang and Zheng Yuzhuo, both former deputy heads of the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People’s Congress, have also been hit with corruption charges.

The Liaoning provincial inspection team examined Fushun from July to September this year.

Zhu Lin contributed to this story.

China vows steps after US launches probe into aluminum trade

A worker at a production line of Nannan Aluminum Co Ltd in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/China Daily]

China will take necessary measures to ensure Chinese aluminum companies’ legal rights, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday after the United States decided to launch for the first time in more than 20 years self-initiated, anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against common alloy aluminum sheets from China.

The announcement came after the US Commerce Department launched the investigations on Tuesday covering more than $600 million worth of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.

Wang Hejun, head of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at the Ministry of Commerce, said such anti-dumping duty investigation against the aluminum sheet China exports was the first time in 25 years that was self-initiated by the US Department of Commerce instead of the local industrial association.

“It is a rare case in the history of international trade and has sparked strong dissatisfaction in China,” he said.

“The aluminum industries in the two countries are complementary to each other and the trade of such products are two-ways,” Wang said. “Disturbing normal trade activities of aluminum will harm interests of both sides.”

Armed Police must obey Party, says Xi

President Xi Jinping, who also is chairman of the Central Military Commission, confers an Armed Police flag on General Wang Ning (left), commander of the Armed Police, and General Zhu Shengling, political commissar of the force, in Beijing on Wednesday. LI GANG/ XINHUA

Force told to quickly merge with PLA system

President Xi Jinping urged the People’s Armed Police Force on Wednesday to maintain absolute loyalty to the Communist Party of China and continue to improve its operational capability.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the Armed Police Force plays a key role in safeguarding national and political security, social stability and people’s well-being, so it must be under the complete control of the Party.

He said the Armed Police must be flexible, multifunctional and capable and should speed up its integration with the People’s Liberation Army’s joint operation system. He told the force to concentrate on combat-ready training and to be well prepared for emergency-response and counterterrorism operations. He also ordered the force to regulate its officers with the strictest discipline, to leave no room for corruption.

Xi made the remarks after he conferred an Armed Police flag on General Wang Ning, commander of the Armed Police, and General Zhu Shengling, political commissar of the force, at a ceremony on Wednesday morning at the Central Military Commission headquarters in Beijing.

Starting this month, the Armed Police Force has been placed under the unified control of the CPC Central Committee and Central Military Commission. Previously, it was jointly administered by the military commission and the State Council.

Under the new command chain, Armed Police units take orders directly from the force’s headquarters, which, likewise, will follow directives from the Central Military Commission. The Armed Police Force has been included in the Central Military Commission system and no longer takes orders from the State Council.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Xi said the transfer was an important decision made by the CPC Central Committee to make sure it has absolute control over all of the nation’s armed forces, adding the move will extensively boost the Party’s efforts to build a strong military and ensure long-term stability and prosperity.

The history of the Armed Police Force can be traced to 1949, the year the People’s Republic of China was founded, when its predecessor — the Chinese People’s Public Security Central Column — was set up to take charge of internal security. In the following decades, the force’s name and affiliation was changed, but most of the time it was administered by the Central Military Commission.

In 1982, some PLA units responsible for domestic security were merged with police forces in charge of border defense and firefighting to form a new Armed Police Force. At that time, the Central Military Commission and State Council began to share its administration.

China stresses ‘unhurried’ rural vitalization

BEIJING — China should pursue rural vitalization in an unhurried manner, with an emphasis on quality instead of speed, according to a statement released Friday after the central rural work conference.

Implementing the rural vitalization strategy is a historic task for the long term that needs scientific planning, a focus on quality, an unhurried tempo and no obsession with speed, the statement said.

The country should conduct overall planning to guide rural vitalization and design a number of important projects, plans and actions, it added.

Polluters pay policy to soon go nationwide

A girl covers her nose and mouth outside the sewage outfall of the Tairui Pharmaceutical in Shangqiancheng village of Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Xinhua

A pilot reform obliging polluters to pay hefty sums to repair the environment after causing major damage will go nationwide starting next year, which will improve the efficiency of its efforts to protect the environment, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

By 2020, improvements will lead to the establishment of an efficient comprehensive damage compensation system to repair damage, including to the air, water, soil and forests, according to the document issued on Sunday by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

It added that if polluters — individuals and companies — caused severe pollution or environmental deterioration, they should repair the damage or pay for the losses if the damage is beyond restoration.

City and provincial governments will decide the amount of compensation and produce restoration plans after finishing their assessments, and they can sue polluters who fail to implement the measures, it said.

China has conducted pilot projects since 2015 in Jilin, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hunan, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, with notable progress made, according to the document.

Unlike in the pilots, city governments now will have the right to lead assessments and claims for compensation.

“It will improve work efficiency to better protect the environment since city governments are confronted with more cases than provincial governments,” a Ministry of Environmental Protection statement said.

Experience gained in pilot and nationwide projects is expected to help strengthen future legislation on ecological damage compensation, “filling the legal gap in China,” said Wang Jinnan, president of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning.

“It also has helped solve the problem in which companies pollute the environment, the public suffers and governments pay,” said Xiong Dewei, head of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Guizhou, People’s Daily reported.

Guizhou registered the country’s first completed compensation case. A fertilizer plant in Guiyang, the capital, hired a company to illegally dump over 80,000 cubic meters of untreated waste in the village of Dayingtian starting in 2012, severely contaminating the groundwater and causing environmental degradation.

The plant received only administrative punishment before the pilot started in 2016, leaving the environment severely polluted.

After Guizhou started the pilot, it led the assessment and made the plant pay 9 million yuan ($1.36 million) to remove waste and make repairs. Trees will be planted in the spring on the land and other measures will be taken to reduce the pollution, Xiong said.

Spirit of CPC congress studied at top political advisory body session

BEIJING — It is the primary political task for China’s political advisory bodies to arm its members’ mind and promote their work with the essence of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng Monday.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks at the opening of the 23rd session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC.

In a report delivered at the same session, Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said the political advisory body should take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guide for work.

Political advisors should consciously accept CPC leadership and uphold and safeguard the core status of General Secretary Xi Jinping, Wang said.

He called on political advisors to build consensus, unite people and pool the strength in a bid to achieve the goals set at the congress.

Yu also participated in a panel discussion on Monday afternoon.

The 19th CPC National Congress was held from Oct 18 to 24 in Beijing.

Xi tells diplomats loyalty is key

President Xi Jinping addresses China’s diplomats at a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday. DING LIN/ XINHUA

Envoys are required to implement policy of CPC Central Committee

President Xi Jinping called on China’s diplomats to remain loyal to the Party and make contributions to the nation on Thursday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark while meeting with a group of several hundred representative Chinese diplomats who returned from abroad for the Foreign Ministry’s annual meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

“Absolute loyalty to the Party, country and people is the root and spirit of diplomats,” Xi said.

The diplomats should uphold the Four Consciousnesses — to enhance political integrity, develop a better understanding of the general picture, follow the core leadership of the CPC Central Committee and act consistently with CPC Central Committee policy, Xi said.

The president required the diplomats to firmly maintain the authority and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, resolutely implement the Party’s diplomatic policy, safeguard national interests and esteem, and work to serve the people.

Xi fully recognized the country’s diplomatic work in the past five years, and he told the diplomats to understand the spirit of the CPC’s 19th National Congress.

On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi extended sincere greetings to the country’s diplomats. Since the Party’s 18th National Congress in late 2012, the diplomats have overcome difficulties, safeguarded national sovereignty, safety and developmental interests, proactively participated in global governance and pushed the building of the Belt and Road, Xi said.

Noting that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, Xi said that it’s essential for diplomats to understand the spirit of the CPC’s 19th National Congress.

As long as the Chinese people stick to their goals and strive along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the country will definitely become more prosperous, Xi said.

The president encouraged the diplomats to stay true to their original aspirations, being creative and innovative, and make greater efforts for the development of the Party and the country.

The diplomats should press forward with building a community of a shared future for mankind, Xi said, adding that China’s “friends circle” should be enlarged continuously through the diplomats’ efforts.

Xi hails great future for Chinese nation

BEIJING — Xi Jinping said Tuesday that China’s socialist system demonstrates great strength and vitality, and the Chinese people and the Chinese nation embrace brilliant prospects.

Our Party shows strong, firm and vibrant leadership, Xi said at the closing session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Living in such a great era, we are all the more confident and proud, and also feel the heavy weight of responsibility upon us, Xi told more than 2,300 delegates and specially invited delegates to the congress which opened on Oct 18.

It has been 96 years since the CPC was founded, 68 years since the People’s Republic of China was established, and 39 years since reform and opening up began.

The CPC has united and led the Chinese people and the Chinese nation in ending once and for all the miserable plight of old China, which had been bullied by foreign aggressors following the Opium War of 1840, and in walking completely out of poverty and weakness, Xi said.

Xi sends condolences to Trump on deadly Texas shooting

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent condolences to his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, on a deadly shooting in Texas, which left 27 people dead and injured at least 20 others.

In his message of condolences, Xi expressed his deep sorrow to the innocent victims, extended sincere sympathy to the injured and the families of the victims, and wished the injured a quick recovery.

The deadly shooting attack happened on Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 35 km southeast of San Antonio, Texas.

Diplomacy pays dividends as countries benefit

China has taken a more proactive and positive approach in its diplomacy this year, with a number of China-raised proposals translated into real outcomes and actions by the global community, analysts said.

The influential proposals raised by China in recent years include the Belt and Road Initiative, building a community of shared future for mankind, and fostering a new form of international relations. All of them yielded fruitful results in 2017 with China’s promotion.

The Communist Party of China’s 19th National Congress held in October has established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and it has set out the direction for China’s diplomacy in the new era, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a diplomatic symposium early this month.

“This has given Chinese answers to the serious questions confronting the world. That is to say, China believes it is essential to advance peace, development and winwin cooperation, foster a new form of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said.

Building the Belt and Road

The Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi in 2013 to boost interconnectivity between Asia and the rest of the world, has delivered real benefits through win-win cooperation and attracted extensive participation.

In May, Xi successfully chaired the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

The heads of state from 29 foreign countries, senior representatives from over 130 countries and heads of 70-plus international organizations attended the event.

At the forum, Xi set out the objective of building the Belt and Road into a road for peace, prosperity, opening-up, innovation and exchanges among civilizations.