2021: Xi Jinping on the Three Political Strengths

The Chinese Communist Party’s laser-like focus on maintaining its political leadership in China, while always evident, has been even more so during Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s decade. Looking at the collection of Xi’s discussions of the “Three Political Strengths” that appeared in Qiu Shi, the Communist Party ideological journal, I found this passage goes to the heart of matters (bolding added).

Stressing politics, we must improve political judgment. The historical process of our party leading the people in revolution, construction and reform has repeatedly proved a truth: having the political initiative is the most important kind of initiative. Political passivity is the most dangerous kind of passivity. To enhance political judgment, we must take national political security as the most important thing, be people-oriented, and support and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and enhance our ability to scientifically grasp changes in the situation.

Ideological security is an essential part of China’s national security concept. Regardless of how it may appear to the outside world, the Communist Party is often in a defensive crouch, reacting strongly to any challenge not matter how minor it may appear. Americans, well aware of our country’s own serious problems, tend to underestimate China’s own problems political, economic and demographic. [See Paul French in Foreign PolicyA Shrinking China Can’t Overtake America“] Not to mention a serious lack of allies and of the hybrid vigor that emigration of talented people brings (still an important US strength despite recent hiccups).

Looking over a March 2022 document on the PRC Treasury website on the execution of the PRC National Budget, I noticed that overall spending on police at all levels exceeded military spending by nearly 50%. Public security spending includes all policing at all levels, and not just the political policing that goes on at all levels by the Ministry of Public Security and its provincial and local counterparts, some of which is for political security from calling on people and their employers if people get out of line, to bringing them to the station “to drink tea” and further escalations of sanctions. China’s Defense spending far exceeds that of all its neighbors.

   The specific details of the main expenditure items of the central general public budget at this level are: general public service expenditure of 157.269 billion yuan, 107% of the budget, mainly due to the central budget investment in information technology construction, etc., and increased expenditure on the prevention and control of the new pneumonia epidemic in the customs system. Foreign affairs spending 49.096 billion yuan, 97.4% of the budget. Defense spending 135.758 billion yuan, completing 100% of the budget. Public security spending was 189.002 billion yuan, 102.1% of the budget. Education spending was 169.035 billion yuan, 101.6% of the budgeted amount. Expenditure on science and technology was 320.554 billion yuan, 99.3% of the budget. Expenditure on food and oil reserves was RMB 111.249 billion, 90.8% of the budget. Debt payment expenditure was 586.769 billion yuan, 97.8% of the budgeted amount.

Excerpted from PRC Ministry of the Treasury, March 2022, “Report on the implementation of the 2021 central and local budgets and the 2022 draft central and local budgets” 关于2021年中央和地方预算执行情况与2022年中央和地方预算草案的报告

See also Chris Buckley’s 2011 article “China internal security spending jumps past army budget”, 2018 Wall Street Journal “China dramatically boosts spending on internal security” and the Wiki article Mass surveillance in China.

General Secretary Xi has focused on stamping out corruption (popular) , strengthening central control in a surprisingly decentralized country. When I worked in China during the late 1990s when China was working on its WTO accession, I used to wonder if the provinces would in effect join the China Trade Organization in order to make WTO acccession possible. Much progress was made on that score, although local protectionism and discrimination against businesses from other cities and other provinces remains a serious problem. [See the July 2022 Economist article “The trade war within China
Local protectionism is pernicious and persistent
” and my late 1990s press clippings from the PRC press on the Chinesee economy. ]

Less popular has been the strengthening of already rigid media and publishing censorship and more vigorous prosecution and harassment of people, human rights lawyers along with peasants caught in local government imposed confiscatory land deals. [See the website of now-jailed Chinese peasant rights activist Huang Qi for examples.]

Glossary:

The Four Consciousnesses” sige yishi 四個意識  enhance political integrity, develop a better understanding of the general picture, follow the core leadership of the Central Committee, and act consistently with CPC Central Committee policy.

“The Four Self-confidences” sige zixin  四個自信“confident in our chosen path, confident in our guiding theories, confident in our political system, and confident in our culture.”

The Two Safeguards” liangge weihu 兩個維護 “‘Safeguard the core position of the Xi Jinping-led Party Central Committee and at the core position of the whole party’ and ‘Safeguard the authority of the Party Central Committee and centralized and unified leadership’” 

The Three Political Strengths zhengzhi sanli 政治三力 strength in political judgement, strength in political insight, and strength to implement the political line.

General Secretary Xi Jinping Repeatedly Stressed the “Three Political Strengths”

Apr 04, 2021 Source: Qiu Shi [Seeking Knowledge] official ideological journal of the Chinese Communist Party. 

On February 20, 2021, the mobilization meeting of Party history study and education was held in Beijing. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, State Chairman of the PRC and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the meeting and delivered an important speech. Xinhua News Agency reporter Huang Jingwen/photo

   We must carry Party history study and education for the entire Party is a major event in the political life of the Party. Recently, the 7th issue of Seeking Truth in 2021 published an important article by General Secretary Xi Jinping, “Speech at the Mobilization Conference on Party History Learning and Education”.

  This journalist noted that the General Secretary in this important speech clearly emphasized the need to improve the “Three Political Strengths” of the whole party. The General Secretary asks of us:

  ”We must educate and lead the entire Party to absorb the positive and negative lessons from the historical experience of the Communist Party.  We must unswervingly look to the Party Central Committee for guidance, and unceasingly work to improve our  Political Judgment Strength, our Political Insight Strength and our strength to implement that political line.  We must make real improvements in our  Four Consciousnesses, hold firmly the Four Self Confidences, and in fact put into practice the Two Upholds.   We must conscientiously in our ideology, politics and action maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee, and ensure that the entire Party is united in holding to one line, with one ideology and pulls together strongly as one in the same direction.”  

  From December 24 to 25, 2020, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed during the democratic life meeting of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee that our Party members must never forget the idealism that made them join the Communist Party, remember their mission, and unceasingly push forward the work of the Party and the people. We must strengthen our political consciousness, be good at seeing things from a political perspective, be good at grasping the overall political situation, and constantly improve our political Judgment Strength, our political Insight Strength and our political line implementation Strength.

  This is the first time the General Secretary mentioned the “Three Political Strengths” in a public report, and since then, the General Secretary has emphasized it many times on different occasions.

From Dec. 24 to 25, 2020, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a
democratic life meeting, and Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee,
presided over the meeting and delivered an important speech. Xinhua News Agency reporter Ju
Peng

    To help you study better, here is a summary of the notes the journalist took.

  Stressing politics means that we must improve our political judgment. The historical process of our party leading the people in revolution, construction and reform has repeatedly proved a truth: having the political initiative is the most important kind of initiative. Political passivity is the most dangerous kind of passivity. We must strengthen our political judgment, we must take national political security as the most important thing, be people-oriented, and support and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and enhance our ability to scientifically grasp changes in the situation. We must accurately identify the nature of matters that we encounter, soberly identify right and wrong behavior, and develop the ability to reduce the risks involved in the challenges we face.

The comrades of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau should be good at thinking about fundamental, global and long-term issues related to the overall situation of the work of the Party and the state, strengthen strategic, systematic and forward-looking research and planning, be particularly clear-headed and bright-eyed on major issues and key links, be good at finding political issues in general affairs, be good at finding political problems that crop up in the course of ordinary work. They should be good at picking up on trends and at political issues involved in incipient problems, be good at grasping the political logic that lies amidst intricate contradictions and relationships, unswervingly hold to their political position and not deviate from it.  

       Stressing politics means that we must improve political insight. Leading cadres, especially senior leading cadres, are politically responsible, and must study the spirit of the Party Central Committee in depth, integrate it into our thinking, adhere to the spirit of the Party Central Committee to analyze the situation, promote work, and always maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee. Comrades of the Central Committee Political Bureau are important organizers and promoters of the implementation of the spirit of the Party Central Committee, and thus should work even hard to improve their political insight,  and understand “the great issues in national affairs” to heart and to be very clear about the responsibilities of their position. 

  Stressing politics means that we must improve the implementation of politics — policy implementation. Leading cadres, especially senior cadres, should always be in line with the spirit of the Party Central Committee, to in their work effectively and resolutely respond to the policies advocated by the Party Central Committee, implemented the decisions of the Party Central Committee, insist on never doing anything that is prohibited by the Party Central Committee, resolutely uphold the authority of the Party Central Committee and its centralized and unified leadership, not to fall behind, not to deviate, not to compromise the implementation of the spirit of the guidance from the Party Central Committee. We must always be thinking about the bottom line, taking the problem-oriented approach in all our work, to be detail-oriented, to prevent problems before they occur. We must strengthen the sense of responsibility, take responsibility to heart, assume responsibility, fulfill responsibility in the line, dare to face problems head-on, do not avoid contradictions, do not cover up problems, when problems arise dare to take responsibility for them. 

  --Democratic Life Meeting of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, December 24-25, 2020.

  Leading cadres at all levels, especially senior cadres, must be based on the overall situation of the strategy for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the great changes that the world has not seen in a century.  They must always keep the “greatness of the nation” in mind, constantly improve their political judgment, political insight, policy execution, and constantly improve their political ability to grasp problems at this new stage of development, implement the new development concept, and build a new development pattern, a strategic vision, to be expert, and to dare to assume responsibility for problems. 

  – January 11, 2021 at the opening ceremony of the special seminar for major leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial levels to study and implement the spirit of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CCP Central Committee

  The overall strict governance of the Party must first be seen first and foremost as a political issue. We must constantly be improving our political judgment, our political insight and political execution.

  — January 22, 2021 at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection

  Leading cadres at all levels, especially senior cadres, should constantly improve their political judgment, political comprehension and political execution, know the “greatness of the country” well, reflect the implementation of the spirit of the Party Central Committee into the practice of planning major strategies, formulating major policies, deploying major tasks and advancing major work, frequently check the table and benchmark, and promptly calibrate deviations.

  –The Twenty-Seventh Collective Study Session of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, January 28, 2021

Xi Jinping, Wang Yang and Han Zheng gather with people from outside the Communist Party at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Feb. 1, 2021 to welcome the festive season. Xinhua News
Agency reporter Ju Peng

   The democratic parties, the Federation of Industry and Commerce and people without party affiliation should continuously improve their political judgment, political comprehension and political execution, guide their members and the people they are associated with to constantly enhance their political, ideological, theoretical and emotional identification with the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics, and always maintain their political nature of being of one mind and unity with the CPC.

  –February 1, 2021, welcoming the New Year with people outside the Party

  We should study the Party’s innovative theories in depth, strengthen the study and education of Party history, and at the same time study the history of new China, reform and opening up, and the history of socialist development, so as to constantly improve our political judgment, political comprehension, and policy implementation.

  – February 3-5, 2021, upon Xi Jinping’s visit to cadres and masses of all ethnic groups in Guizhou

  We must have a systems approach, improve our political judgment, political comprehension and policy implementation, take the initiative to recognize and respond to changed situations, strengthen our understanding of the big picture and think systematically, strengthen coordination on reform policy, on its progress and on its effectiveness, in order to  on measures to improve effectiveness, and  coordination, progress coordination and effect coordination, and give full play to the overall effects of reform.

  –February 19, 2021, at the 18th meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensively Deepening Reform

On February 20, 2021, the mobilization meeting of Party history study and education was
held in Beijing. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, president of the
country and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the meeting and delivered
an important speech. Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhai Jianlan photo

     We must educate and lead the entire Party to absord the positive and negative lessons from the historical experience of the Communist Party.  We must unswervingly look to the Party Central Committee for guidance, and unceasingly work to improve our  Political Judgement Strength, our Political Insight Strength and our Political Implementation Strength.  We must concientiously in our ideology, politics and action maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee, and ensure that the entire Party is united in holding to one line, with one ideology and pulls together strongly as one in the same direction.”  

  – February 20, 2021  Party History Study and Education Mobilization Meeting

  To be based on the overall situation of the great rejuvenation strategy of the Chinese nation and the changes unprecedented in the past century, anchor our work within the grand blueprint, dare to assume our role to make our contributions, strengthen forward-looking thinking in our particular areas of responsibility, and to constantly improve our political judgment, political insight, policy implementation.

  – February 28, 2021, the comrades concerned in accordance with the provisions of the Central Committee of the Party and General Secretary Xi Jinping written report

  Young cadres should take the forefathers and martyrs as a mirror, take the negative examples as a warning, constantly build the foundations of their faith, strengthen their ideological bones with the calcium of the spirit, stabilize the rudder of thought, and sharpen their sincere loyalty to the Party with firm ideals and beliefs. To consciously strengthen political training, accept the rigorous political life of refining themselves within the Party, and constantly improve political judgment, political insight, policy implementation, so that their political ability matches their job responsibilities.

  –Opening ceremony of the Training course for Young and Middle-aged Cadres at the Central Party School (National School of Administration), March 1, 2021


 

提高“政治三力”,习近平总书记反复强调

2021年04月04日 10:52:00 来源: 求是网 作者: 学而时习工作室

http://www.qstheory.cn/n7/v7_search_frame.html

  2021年2月20日,党史学习教育动员大会在北京召开。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平出席会议并发表重要讲话。新华社记者 黄敬文/摄

  在全党开展党史学习教育,是党的政治生活中的一件大事。近日,2021年第7期《求是》杂志发表了习近平总书记重要文章《在党史学习教育动员大会上的讲话》。

  笔记君注意到,总书记在这篇重要讲话中鲜明强调全党要提高“政治三力”。总书记这样要求:

  “要教育引导全党从党史中汲取正反两方面历史经验,坚定不移向党中央看齐,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,切实增强‘四个意识’、坚定‘四个自信’、做到‘两个维护’,自觉在思想上政治上行动上同党中央保持高度一致,确保全党上下拧成一股绳,心往一处想、劲往一处使。”

  2020年12月24日至25日,习近平总书记在中共中央政治局召开民主生活会时强调,我们党要始终做到不忘初心、牢记使命,把党和人民事业长长久久推进下去,必须增强政治意识,善于从政治上看问题,善于把握政治大局,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力。

  这是公开报道中,总书记首次提到“政治三力”,此后,总书记又在不同场合多次予以强调。

  2020年12月24日至25日,中共中央政治局召开民主生活会,中共中央总书记习近平主持会议并发表重要讲话。新华社记者 鞠鹏 摄

  帮助大家更好学习,笔记君简要梳理如下:

  讲政治必须提高政治判断力。我们党领导人民进行革命、建设、改革的历史进程反复证明了一个道理:政治上的主动是最有利的主动,政治上的被动是最危险的被动。增强政治判断力,就要以国家政治安全为大、以人民为重、以坚持和发展中国特色社会主义为本,增强科学把握形势变化、精准识别现象本质、清醒明辨行为是非、有效抵御风险挑战的能力。中央政治局的同志要善于思考涉及党和国家工作大局的根本性、全局性、长远性问题,加强战略性、系统性、前瞻性研究谋划,做到在重大问题和关键环节上头脑特别清醒、眼睛特别明亮,善于从一般事务中发现政治问题,善于从倾向性、苗头性问题中发现政治端倪,善于从错综复杂的矛盾关系中把握政治逻辑,坚持政治立场不移、政治方向不偏。

  讲政治必须提高政治领悟力。领导干部特别是高级领导干部担的是政治责任,必须对党中央精神深入学习、融会贯通,坚持用党中央精神分析形势、推动工作,始终同党中央保持高度一致。中央政治局的同志是贯彻落实党中央精神的重要组织者和推动者,更应该不断提高政治领悟力,对“国之大者”了然于胸,明确自己的职责定位。

  讲政治必须提高政治执行力。领导干部特别是高级干部要经常同党中央精神对表对标,切实做到党中央提倡的坚决响应,党中央决定的坚决执行,党中央禁止的坚决不做,坚决维护党中央权威和集中统一领导,做到不掉队、不走偏,不折不扣抓好党中央精神贯彻落实。要把坚持底线思维、坚持问题导向贯穿工作始终,做到见微知著、防患于未然。要强化责任意识,知责于心、担责于身、履责于行,敢于直面问题,不回避矛盾,不掩盖问题,出了问题要敢于承担责任。

  ——2020年12月24日至25日,中共中央政治局民主生活会

  各级领导干部特别是高级干部必须立足中华民族伟大复兴战略全局和世界百年未有之大变局,心怀“国之大者”,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,不断提高把握新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局的政治能力、战略眼光、专业水平,敢于担当、善于作为,把党中央决策部署贯彻落实好。

  ——2021年1月11日,省部级主要领导干部学习贯彻党的十九届五中全会精神专题研讨班开班式

  全面从严治党首先要从政治上看,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力。

  ——2021年1月22日,十九届中央纪委五次全会

  各级领导干部特别是高级干部要不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,对“国之大者”了然于胸,把贯彻党中央精神体现到谋划重大战略、制定重大政策、部署重大任务、推进重大工作的实践中去,经常对表对标,及时校准偏差。

  ——2021年1月28日,中共中央政治局第二十七次集体学习

  2021年2月1日,习近平、汪洋、韩正等在北京人民大会堂同党外人士欢聚一堂,共迎佳节。新华社记者 鞠鹏 摄

  各民主党派、工商联和无党派人士要不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,引导广大成员和所联系群众不断增进对中国共产党领导和中国特色社会主义的政治认同、思想认同、理论认同、情感认同,始终保持同中国共产党同心同德、团结奋斗的政治本色。

  ——2021年2月1日,同党外人士共迎新春

  要深入学习党的创新理论,加强党史学习教育,同时学习新中国史、改革开放史、社会主义发展史,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力。

  ——2021年2月3日至5日,赴贵州看望慰问各族干部群众

  要有系统观念,提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,主动识变求变应变,强化全局视野和系统思维,加强改革政策统筹、进度统筹、效果统筹,发挥改革整体效应。

  ——2021年2月19日,中央全面深化改革委员会第十八次会议

  2021年2月20日,党史学习教育动员大会在北京召开。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平出席会议并发表重要讲话。新华社记者 翟健岚 摄

  要教育引导全党从党史中汲取正反两方面历史经验,坚定不移向党中央看齐,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,自觉在思想上政治上行动上同党中央保持高度一致,确保全党上下拧成一股绳,心往一处想、劲往一处使。

  ——2021年2月20日,党史学习教育动员大会

  要立足中华民族伟大复兴战略全局和世界百年未有之大变局,锚定宏伟蓝图,勇于担当作为,加强对分管领域工作的前瞻性思考,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力。

  ——2021年2月28日,有关同志按规定向党中央和习近平总书记书面述职

  年轻干部要以先辈先烈为镜、以反面典型为戒,不断筑牢信仰之基、补足精神之钙、把稳思想之舵,以坚定的理想信念砥砺对党的赤诚忠心。要自觉加强政治历练,接受严格的党内政治生活淬炼,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力,使自己的政治能力同担任的工作职责相匹配。

  ——2021年3月1日,中央党校(国家行政学院)中青年干部培训班开班式

  

  策划:学而时习工作室  编辑:尹霞 狄英娜 韩辰  审核:宋维强  监制:马建辉

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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