Notes on Xi Jinping’s speech to the 3rd Xinjiang Central Work Forum, 25–26 September 2020

James Millward

Image for post
Image for post

These are my quick notes on reading General Secretary / Chairman Xi’s most recent speech about XUAR. Comments and corrections encouraged (here or on Twitter: @JimMillward )

For convenience, I pasted the Xinhua read-out of the speech below my notes.

  1. Separatism? Extremism? Terrorism?

Though that might not ever be highlighted in a speech of this nature, it is interesting that Xi never mentions the large network of facilities which PRC calls vocational schools (and outside observers note are in fact massive internment facilities). More than that, he barely mentions security, beyond the usual mentions of “stability.” There is no mention of “the three evils” or the phrase’s components (separatism, extremism, terrorism). I haven’t read his previous speeches of this nature — it would be useful to compare this to what he said at the first and second Central Xinjiang Work Forums. Certainly compared other with past rhetoric about Xinjiang, the absence of discussion of the “three evils” is noteworthy.

2. Vast deficits — and questions about the beneficiaries of outside subsidies

The primary substance of the speech is the listing of economic statistics regarding on gross regional product, employment, people and villages lifted from poverty, provision of healthcare and so on. I’m not really qualified to analyze these statistics, as I haven’t worked a lot with PRC reported economic statistics and am not an economist. But a couple things jump out at me.

XJP notes that the region’s general budgetary revenue grew from 128 billion to 158 billion yuan from 2014–2019 (he seems to be using a six-year period for all these figures; of course, stopping before COVID19 hit in early 2020). This amounts to an increase of 23% over the period. [There seems to be some problem with the average annual figure given for Xinjiang revenue increase: the speech says 一般公共预算收入由1282.3亿元增长到1577.6亿元,年均增长5.7%. But the total increase of 295.3亿元amounts to an increase of 23%, which divided over 6 years amounts to an average annual increase of 3.8%; if here he’s using a 5 year period, the average would amount to only 4.6% annually. I might be doing something wrong, but I don’t see how you get 5.7% annual increase from these figures.]

During the same period, central government financial transfer subsidies to XUAR and the Bingtuan (note XUAR and Bingtuan are mentioned separately, but the subsidy figure is aggregate) rose from 263 to 422 billion yuan, a 60% increase). There were also the transfers / investments from 19 provinces and cities of eastern China under the “Counterpart Assistance Program” (Aid Xinjiang) to both XUAR and the Bingtuan (again, mentioned separately, but the total is aggregated) amounting to 96.4 billion yuan over 6 years. Xi doesn’t give the yearly amounts, so we can’t add them up ourselves, but he says that overall central subsidies to XUAR and Bingtuan amounted to over 2 trillion yuan, to which we can add the roughly 100 billion from the Counterpart Assistance program to approximate that from 2014–19, PRC central government and 19 provinces and cities in eastern China poured at least 2.1 trillion yuan into XUAR and the Bingtuan, while XUAR’s own revenue increased by only 30 billion. Between 2014 and 2019, outside finances coming into Xinjiang from the center and eastern Chinese provinces and cities increased by over 60%, compared to 23% increase of XUAR’s own revenue. (This XUAR revenue doesn’t seem to include the Bingtuan’s revenue, if any. I don’t know what a province or region’s revenue derives from: I presume taxation of some sort. Someone more qualified than I might try to figure out if so many people as Xi claims were lifted from poverty, how much should that have increased provincial revenue? Is this 23% increase over 6 years measuring more XUAR population in gainful employment?)

Here’s the bottom line: Not only is the CCP still ruling Xinjiang at a huge deficit, but the size of that deficit has ballooned over the past 6 years. The difference between outside subsidy and XUAR’s own revenue has grown from 135 billion in 2014 to 264 billion in 2019, a 48% increase. Though Xi doesn’t mention this, the figures suggest the huge size of expenditure on the camps, new prisons, orphanages and other infrastructure related to the assimilationist campaign of the past few years, as well as that related to hiring security personnel. The figures in this speech thus also corroborate the earlier research by Adrian Zenz and others regarding the cost of the building and running the camps system. It was in part these huge budget spikes that tipped researchers off that something big was going on in Xinjiang.

And, it’s critical to ask, how much of this more than 2.1 trillion yuan went to the Bingtuan (XPCC), which is over 80% Han in membership, and has been recruiting more people from eastern China to move to Xinjiang, and building new cities for Han people, as well as prisons, camps, and factories for poor Uyghurs during this period? The Bingtuan is also supporting a couple million non-productive personnel on pensions, and continues to pay for free education and healthcare for all its members — services just beginning to be extended (according to Xi’s speech) to poor Uyghurs in the southern part of the region.

This is a key distinction, one that Xi’s figures carefully conceal. We need to see the breakdown of central government / Counterpart Assistance subsidies to the Bingtuan as opposed to the XUAR. And it would be great to see that as a per capita figure. My guess is that the per capita payments to the Bingtuan (80+% Han) is a good deal higher than to Uyghur and other native Xinjiang population outside the Bingtuan — even before taking into account that some large percentage of the XUAR subsidy is being spent on security as opposed to real schools, clinics, and so forth.

Local govt. administrations in XUAR are also building internment camps and security infrastructure, of course, and factories built by the Counterpart Assistance Program in partnership with XUAR local administrations have also employed Uyghur workers from the camps system and broader “educational transformation” system. Some were built adjacent to the camps. So subsidies to XUAR government are also supporting the gulag. But the Bingtuan is the leading institution promoting the settler colonization of the Uyghur region by Han Chinese. This is obliquely referred to in Xi’s call to “Ceaselessly strengthen the Bingtuan’s organizational advantage and mobilization ability so that it may better achieve its special function.” 不断增强兵团的组织优势和动员能力,更好发挥特殊作用. It would be good to learn more about that “special function.”

All these figures, including the increase in annual gross regional product from 920 billion to 1.36 billion reflect the vast investment of outside funds into the region to build the high tech, internment, and coerced labor systems.

3. Ideological language about ethnicity

There is no talk here about Xinjiang’s minzu being like seeds of a pomegranate (i.e. a composite of separate entities), though that has been part of the ideological vocabulary used regarding Xinjiang ethnicities in recent years. Instead, another catchphrase enjoys pride of place: 铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线. “Take firmly casting Zhonghua collective consciousness as the main line.” Zhonghua is the politico-ethnic identity that in theory incorporates all the 56 minzu within it. Note the metaphorical term choulao, which none of my dictionaries (or Google translate) inclue as a word: is it a neologism? Chou means to cast, as in casting iron or bronze. So it is a melting pot analogy for ethnicity, not a composite one, promoted here. Likewise, everything in this ethnicity paragraph of the speech is about the “Zhonghua” national identity, not individual ethnic identities of Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrghyz, Han, Hui or others. Most telling is the phrase 新疆各民族是中华民族血脉相连的家庭成员, “Every minzu (nationality, ethnic group) of Xinjiang is a family-member linked to Chinese (zhonghua) bloodlines.” This phrase referencing blood (hence genetic descent) is not brand new; it’s been around since at least 2018 according to my quick Google search. But then, notably, it was used by the Urumchi Mayor Yasin Sidiq (Ya-sheng Si-di-ke 牙生·司地克 ) an August 2018 editorial that infamously and falsely claimed that Uyghurs are unrelated to the Turkic peoples from the time of the medieval Turkic Khaghate. The argument that all non-Han groups in the former Qing empire were originally racially Chinese was promoted by Chiang Kai-shek in his China’s Destiny (1943), but later abandoned after 1949, when the CCP embraced Fei Xiaotong’s 多元一体格局 “many origins, one body framework” and implemented a multi-national nation system similar to that of the USSR. “Many origins, one body” is still the official formulation regarding ethnicity in PRC, as far as I know, and Xi quotes it again here. Fei also talked about melding and fusion of nationalities. But I don’t think Fei argued that all 56 minzu were originally linked to Chinese bloodlines. The General Secretary’s evocation of bloodlines in comments about minzu in Xinjiang (and here may not be the first time; I haven’t researched all his speeches on the subject) marks the transition to racial vocabulary, an official endorsement of the argument that Uyghurs and other native peoples in Xinjiang are genetically Chinese (and thereby Zhonghua becomes a racial term, not just a political one). In the previous official formulation regarding ethnicity in China, Zhonghua was seen as a culmination of national processes under the leadership of the Party, a merging of diverse elements into one (a kind of e pluribus unum), a historical capstone rather than a racial foundation. Now Xi’s language flips that on its head: all the diverse minzu are biologically linked in the past to “Zhonghua,” which is very hard to distinguish from Han. This “consciousness” is to be inculcated through education to all levels and groups in society, the paragraph continues, and it is explicitly linked to the campaign to Sinicize (here the country name is used: 中国化) the Islamic religion — which we know means in practice razing mosques, flattening shrines and ripping down domes.

Xi Jinping speech at Third Xinjiang Central Work Conference (Xinhua read-out / write-up of the speech)

习近平:坚持依法治疆团结稳疆文化润疆富民兴疆长期建疆 努力建设新时代中国特色社会主义新疆

2020–09–26 18:40:54 来源: 新华网

习近平在第三次中央新疆工作座谈会上强调

坚持依法治疆团结稳疆文化润疆富民兴疆长期建疆

努力建设新时代中国特色社会主义新疆

李克强主持 栗战书王沪宁赵乐际韩正出席 汪洋讲话

新华社北京9月26日电 第三次中央新疆工作座谈会9月25日至26日在北京召开。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。习近平强调,当前和今后一个时期,做好新疆工作,要完整准确贯彻新时代党的治疆方略,牢牢扭住新疆工作总目标,依法治疆、团结稳疆、文化润疆、富民兴疆、长期建疆,以推进治理体系和治理能力现代化为保障,多谋长远之策,多行固本之举,努力建设团结和谐、繁荣富裕、文明进步、安居乐业、生态良好的新时代中国特色社会主义新疆。

9月25日至26日,第三次中央新疆工作座谈会在北京召开。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 鞠鹏 摄

李克强主持会议。栗战书、王沪宁、赵乐际、韩正出席会议。汪洋作总结讲话。

习近平在讲话中指出,第二次中央新疆工作座谈会以来,经过各方面艰辛努力,新疆工作取得了重大成效。新疆经济社会发展和民生改善取得了前所未有的成就,各族群众的获得感、幸福感、安全感不断增强。一是经济发展持续向好。2014年至2019年,新疆地区生产总值由9195.9亿元增长到13597.1亿元,年均增长7.2%。一般公共预算收入由1282.3亿元增长到1577.6亿元,年均增长5.7%。基础设施不断完善,所有地州市迈入高速公路时代。二是人民生活明显改善。2014年至2019年,新疆居民人均可支配收入年均增长9.1%。建成农村安居工程169万余套、城镇保障性安居工程156万余套,1000多万群众喜迁新居。城乡基本公共服务水平不断提升,社会保障体系日趋完善,实施全民免费健康体检,农牧区医疗设施条件明显改善,乡镇卫生院和村卫生室标准化率均达100%,居民基本医疗保险参保率达到99.7%。三是脱贫攻坚取得决定性成就。2014年,新疆共有建档立卡贫困人口77.9万户、308.9万人,贫困村3666个,贫困县32个。截至2019年,全疆累计脱贫292.32万人、退出3107个贫困村、摘帽22个贫困县,贫困发生率由2014年的19.4%降至1.24%。其中,南疆4地州累计脱贫251.16万人、退出2683个贫困村、摘帽16个贫困县,贫困发生率由2014年的29.1%降至2.21%。“两不愁三保障”突出问题基本解决,贫困家庭义务教育阶段孩子因贫失学辍学实现动态清零,贫困人口基本医疗保险、大病保险参保率均达100%,易地扶贫搬迁任务全面完成,贫困群众生产生活条件得到大幅改善。四是中央支持和全国对口援疆力度不断加大。2014年至2019年,中央财政对新疆自治区和兵团转移支付从2636.9亿元增长到4224.8亿元,年均增长10.4%,6年合计支持新疆2万多亿元。19个援疆省市全面加强全方位对口支援,累计投入援疆资金(含兵团)964亿元,实施援疆项目1万余个,引进援疆省市企业到位资金16840亿元,中央企业投资超过7000亿元。总的看,新疆呈现出社会稳定、人民安居乐业的良好局面,为迈向长治久安奠定了坚实基础。事实充分证明,我国民族工作做得是成功的。这些成绩的取得,是党中央坚强领导的结果,是全党全国人民共同奋斗的结果,也凝聚着新疆2500多万各族儿女的智慧和汗水。习近平代表党中央,向参与和支持新疆工作各条战线的同志们,向新疆各族群众,向在基层一线辛勤工作的广大干部职工,表示诚挚的慰问。

9月25日至26日,第三次中央新疆工作座谈会在北京召开。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 王晔 摄

习近平强调,党的十八大以来,党中央深化对治疆规律的认识和把握,形成了新时代党的治疆方略,坚持从战略上审视和谋划新疆工作,坚持把社会稳定和长治久安作为新疆工作总目标,坚持以凝聚人心为根本,坚持铸牢中华民族共同体意识,坚持我国宗教中国化方向,坚持弘扬和培育社会主义核心价值观,坚持紧贴民生推动高质量发展,坚持加强党对新疆工作的领导。实践证明,新时代党的治疆方略完全正确,必须长期坚持。全党要把贯彻新时代党的治疆方略作为一项政治任务,在完整准确贯彻上下功夫,确保新疆工作始终保持正确政治方向。

习近平指出,保持新疆社会大局持续稳定长期稳定,要高举社会主义法治旗帜,弘扬法治精神,把全面依法治国的要求落实到新疆工作各个领域。要全面形成党委领导、政府负责、社会协同、公众参与、法治保障的社会治理体制,打造共建共治共享的社会治理格局。

习近平强调,要以铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线,不断巩固各民族大团结。新疆自古以来就是多民族聚居地区,新疆各民族是中华民族血脉相连的家庭成员。要加强中华民族共同体历史、中华民族多元一体格局的研究,将中华民族共同体意识教育纳入新疆干部教育、青少年教育、社会教育,教育引导各族干部群众树立正确的国家观、历史观、民族观、文化观、宗教观,让中华民族共同体意识根植心灵深处。要促进各民族广泛交往、全面交流、深度交融。要坚持新疆伊斯兰教中国化方向,实现宗教健康发展。要深入做好意识形态领域工作,深入开展文化润疆工程。

习近平指出,发展是新疆长治久安的重要基础。要发挥新疆区位优势,以推进丝绸之路经济带核心区建设为驱动,把新疆自身的区域性开放战略纳入国家向西开放的总体布局中,丰富对外开放载体,提升对外开放层次,创新开放型经济体制,打造内陆开放和沿边开放的高地。要推动工业强基增效和转型升级,培育壮大新疆特色优势产业,带动当地群众增收致富。要科学规划建设,全面提升城镇化质量。要坚持绿水青山就是金山银山的理念,坚决守住生态保护红线,统筹开展治沙治水和森林草原保护工作,让大美新疆天更蓝、山更绿、水更清。

习近平强调,要统筹疫情防控和经济社会发展,做好“六稳”工作、落实“六保”任务,持之以恒抓好脱贫攻坚和促进就业两件大事。要健全完善防止返贫监测和帮扶制度机制,接续推进全面脱贫与乡村振兴有机衔接,着重增强内生发展动力和发展活力,确保脱贫后能发展、可持续。要加大政策支持力度,创新体制机制,坚持就近就地就业和有序转移输出就业有机结合。要大力推动南疆经济社会发展和民生改善。要多层次、全方位、立体式讲好新疆故事,理直气壮宣传新疆社会稳定的大好局势、人民安居乐业的幸福生活。

习近平指出,我们党的初心使命就是为包括新疆各族人民在内的中国人民谋幸福,为包括新疆各民族在内的中华民族谋复兴。各级党委要对标新时代党的治疆方略,自觉在思想上政治上行动上同党中央保持高度一致。要坚持不懈强化理想信念教育,突出政治训练,常态化识别干部政治素质,确保各级领导权始终牢牢掌握在忠诚干净担当的干部手中。要加大培养培训力度,研究制定新疆干部队伍培养培训规划,着力培养一支理论功底扎实、政策把握到位、实践能力强的干部队伍。要把建设一支对党忠诚、德才兼备的高素质少数民族干部队伍作为重要任务常抓不懈。要树立鲜明用人导向,对政治过硬、敢于担当的优秀少数民族干部,要充分信任、坚定团结、大胆选拔、放手使用,表现突出的可以直接破格提拔使用。

习近平强调,新疆各族干部是值得信任、有战斗力的。对他们要政治上激励、工作上支持、待遇上保障、生活上关心、心理上关怀,研究采取有效措施,稳定新疆干部人才队伍。要弘扬民族精神和时代精神,践行胡杨精神和兵团精神,激励各级干部在新时代扎根边疆、奉献边疆。

习近平指出,做好新疆工作是全党全国的大事,必须牢固树立全国一盘棋思想,完善党中央统一领导、中央部门支持指导、各省市支援配合、新疆发挥主体作用的工作机制。中央新疆工作协调小组要在党中央领导下,加强对新疆工作的形势研判、政策研究、协调指导、督促检查,对重大问题及时提出工作意见。中央有关部门要各司其职,密切配合,深入调研督导,及时发现问题,帮助解决困难。新疆自治区党委站在一线,要履行好主体责任,抓好工作落实。内地各省区市要切实做好涉疆工作,支持新疆稳定和发展。各援疆省市要加强同新疆协调配合,长期坚持对口援疆,提升对口援疆综合效益。要持续深化改革,加强维稳能力建设,不断增强兵团的组织优势和动员能力,更好发挥特殊作用。

李克强在主持会议时指出,习近平总书记的重要讲话全面总结了第二次中央新疆工作座谈会以来新疆工作取得的重大成效,深入分析了当前新疆工作面临的形势,阐释了新时代党的治疆方略,明确了当前和今后一个时期新疆工作的指导思想、目标任务、方针政策、战略举措,全面部署了推动新疆社会稳定和长治久安的重点工作,具有很强的政治性、思想性、理论性,是指导新时代新疆工作的纲领性文献。要认真学习领会,结合工作实际深入思考,研究贯彻落实措施。要切实把思想和行动统一到党中央关于新疆工作的决策部署上来,以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,坚定不移抓好各项任务落实,推动新疆社会稳定和长治久安。

汪洋在总结讲话中指出,习近平总书记重要讲话立意高远、思想深邃、内涵丰富,是指导新时代新疆工作的纲领性文献,是引领新疆工作守正创新、胜利前进的强大思想武器。要把学深悟透习近平总书记重要讲话精神作为重要政治任务,真正掌握核心要义和精神实质,把学习的过程变成提高认识、改进工作的过程。要完整准确理解和长期坚持新时代党的治疆方略,结合实际抓好贯彻落实,确保新疆工作始终沿着正确方向前进。要牢牢把握新疆工作总目标,谋长久之策,行固本之举,在事关长治久安的深层次问题上聚焦发力。新疆和中央各部门要制定贯彻落实会议精神的实施意见,对重点任务逐条逐项细化分解,把党中央的决策部署变为实际工作成效。要加强组织领导和协调配合,压实工作责任,强化督促检查。要组织开展丰富多彩的宣传宣讲活动,推动会议精神深入基层、深入人心。

在京中共中央政治局委员、中央书记处书记,全国人大常委会有关领导同志,国务委员,最高人民法院院长,最高人民检察院检察长,全国政协有关领导同志等出席会议。

新疆维吾尔自治区党政负责同志和各地州市党政主要负责同志,新疆生产建设兵团党政负责同志和各师党政主要负责同志,其他各省区市负责同志,中央和国家机关有关部门负责同志,有关人民团体、金融机构、中央企业负责同志,军队有关单位负责同志等出席会议。

Written by

James A. Millward 米華健 is professor of history at Georgetown University and mandolinist for By & By.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store