Press conference: CPC's united front and international relations

A press conference was held Saturday morning to introduce the united front work and the external work of the Communist Party of China (CPC). October 23, 2017

Guo Weimin:

Thank you. Let's move on to the Q&A session. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising your question.

Journalists work at a press conference held by the press center of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 21, 2017. Executive Vice Minister Zhang Yijiong and Vice Minister Ran Wanxiang of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, and Guo Yezhou, vice minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, attended the conference on the united front work and the external work of the CPC. [Photo/Xinhua]

China National Radio:

We noticed that currently the head positions of the united front work departments at various places are taken by the members of the local standing committees of the Party Committees of the same rank. And last year, the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee also set up two new bureaus. My question is: does this mean that the CPC has elevated the united front work to a more important position? Why does the CPC still attach such great importance to this work more than 60 years since it took power? Thanks.

Zhang Yijiong:

You raised a very good question. Indeed, General Secretary Xi Jinping has reiterated and emphasized the importance of the united front work since the 18th CPC National Congress and especially in his report at the opening session of the 19th CPC National Congress. We are now facing the task of realizing the "two centenary goals" and fulfilling the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, which are the common cause of the Chinese nation and people of all ethnic groups in China. Therefore, we need to unite the whole nation and strive to achieve this goal under the leadership of the CPC since it is not only our aspiration but also the aspiration of the whole nation.

We need to unite Chinese people in all aspects and strive to achieve this goal together, which requires the united front to play its role. The theme of the united front is great solidarity and unity. We need to strive to achieve this goal by uniting the strength of the whole nation. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed in his report delivered at the opening session of the 19th CPC National Congress that the united front is an important way to ensure the success of the Party's cause and we must maintain our commitment to it over the long term. It is under the leadership of the CPC that the united front has fully played its role and we have achieved success in the cause of revolution, development and reform. The Chinese people have been standing up and achieving prosperity. In order to become stronger and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we have to let the united front play a bigger and more comprehensive role under the leadership of the CPC.

Some of you may not be very familiar with the work of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee. Let me give you a brief introduction to it. The United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee is a functional department in charge of the united front work of the CPC Central Committee. Just as you noted in your question, the head positions of the united front work departments at various places are taken by the members of the local standing committees of the Party Committees of the same rank. This indicates the great importance attached to the united front work by the CPC Central Committee. It also allows the united front work to play a better role in coordination and organization. Thank you.

Guangming Daily:

China has been actively involved in international affairs. General Secretary Xi Jinping has put forward a series of important expositions on the Party's external exchanges, reflecting important thoughts. How are these important thoughts and ideas put into practice in the Party's external exchanges? Thank you.

Guo Yezhou:

As I have just said in the introduction, General Secretary Xi Jinping has been attaching great importance to the Party's external exchanges, wherever he has worked – be it in local government or central government as well as in the top posts of the Party and the country.

He has guided and participated in the Party's external exchanges on numerous occasions. In this process, Xi has followed the trend of global development with a view of China's future and destiny and has made a series of requirements and important instructions on the Party's external exchanges, which are systematic and scientific.

I can't enumerate them one by one for time's sake, but these requirements and instructions which offer a scientific answer to a series of important theoretical and practical questions including "what we should do," "how we should do," "on whom we should rely" and "for whom we should work for" in the Party's external exchanges.

They are Xi's important thoughts on the Party's external exchanges and an important part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They are also the latest achievements of Marxism in China. They are powerful ideological tools, fundamental purposes and the guidelines for promoting the Party's external exchanges.

In the past five years, it has been the key job of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee to study and carry out Xi Jinping's important thoughts. Specifically, it has always been our fundamental purpose to maintain the Party's governing position and national political security. We have always made plans and pushed forward the job of focusing on the dual role of the Party's external exchange as "one of the important fronts of the Party and an important integral part of the country's overall diplomatic work," just as I mentioned at the very beginning.

We have actively created an integrated trinity of inter-party diplomacy, public diplomacy and people-to-people diplomacy. We have strived to work hard on political party development, to improve investigation and research, to make friends and to establish a good image, which has been mentioned in the warm-up video played before the press briefing.

During the past five years of practice, we were deeply aware that we should make efforts in the following five key points in doing the Party's external work and carrying out Xi Jinping's important thoughts on the Party's external exchanges.

First, we must uphold the "Four Consciousnesses" (namely consciousness of maintaining political integrity, serving the overall interests, upholding the leadership core, and keeping in alignment with the CPC Central Committee) and follow the fundamental guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which is the fundamental guideline for us to follow in the Party's external exchanges.

Second, we must maintain the Party's governing position and serve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, which is the basic task of the Party's external exchanges in the new era. Third, we must learn to do ideological work in the international community and make exchanges to promote effective political guidance, which is the fundamental path for the Party's external exchanges in a new era.

Fourth, we must persist in keeping up with the times and making innovations, which is the fundamental force driving the Party's external exchanges in a new era to better implement Xi's important thoughts.

Fifth, we must follow people-oriented principles and make persistent efforts to this end, which is the fundamental guarantee for carrying out Xi's important thoughts and the Party's external exchanges.

The report of the 19th CPC National Congress has raised clear demands for the Party's external exchanges, while the Party Constitution also carries explicit stipulations on that. Therefore, we will uphold the fundamental guide of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the Party's external exchanges. We will strive to serve the overall interest of the country and make innovations to contribute to forging a community of a shared future for humans and pushing forward the Party's construction in a new era.

Thank you.

Bloomberg News:

My question is for Mr. Guo Yezhou. Has China's relationship with North Korea deteriorated in the last year, specifically, has China's party-to-party relationship deteriorated? And when was the last time that Minister Song Tao had a high-level meeting with a North Korean counterpart? Thank you.

Guo Yezhou:

China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are neighbors, and the two countries maintain traditionally friendly and cooperative relations. Maintaining, developing and fortifying the friendly and cooperative China-DPRK relationship is not only in the best interests of both sides, but also bears great significance in regional peace and stability.

You also noted in the question that the communication between the two ruling parties of China and the DPRK plays an important role in the development of bilateral relations. Our Party and the Workers' Party of Korea have a tradition of friendly exchange. As for when and at what level the two sides will carry out exchange between our respective personnel, it depends on the needs and convenience of both sides. That's my answer to the question.


We know that ethnic affairs have always been both international and regional hotspot issues. Different ethnic policies have various influences in dealing with ethnic affairs. My question is, compared to other countries, how does China deal with ethnic affairs in terms of policies and systems?

Zhang Yijiong:

I would be delighted to answer your question. It is generally known that China is a united and multi-ethnic country created through the joint efforts of the peoples of all its 56 ethnic groups. Therefore, the CPC always attaches great importance to maintaining national stability and improving the livelihood of all ethnic groups. With different historic and cultural backgrounds, various multi-ethnic countries under different national conditions are all exploring their own way to handle ethnic affairs. The CPC has developed the right path for addressing ethnic issues in terms of China's distinctive features, which is common development and prosperity achieved through common endeavors against the background of national unity.

In 1947, the government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was founded. This was the first time a system and supporting policies of ethnic regional autonomy were successfully exercised in Inner Mongolia. Now, we have five autonomous regions at provincial level - Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang. We also have some autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties.

Zhang Yijiong:

I would like to answer your question from several aspects:

First, abiding by the principle of ethnic equality. The right of ethnic minorities to participate in the management of state and social affairs on an equal footing has to be guaranteed. Any discrimination against and oppression of an ethnic group are prohibited. I would like to give you an example. We make sure that minority groups have a proportionate number of representatives in legislative, administrative and political consultative organs at both central and local levels.

Second, safeguarding the unity of ethnic groups. In addition to respecting and protecting the customs of ethnic minorities and their freedom of religious belief, we have carried out all kinds of educational programs to advocate ethnic unity throughout society. Because of differing historical, cultural and geographical backgrounds, all our 56 ethnic groups have achieved different levels of socio-economic development. Some ethnic minorities have their own special religious beliefs. The central government pays great attention to not only protecting and respecting the culture, history, words, language and traditions of different ethnic groups according to the law, but also requires all ethnic groups to respect, understand and learn from each other.

Third, implementing the system of ethnic regional autonomy. Under the unified leadership of the central government, regional autonomy is exercised and organs of self-government are established for the exercise of the right of autonomy granted to areas where various ethnic minorities live in compact communities. Their political rights protected by law, various ethnic autonomous areas participate as equals in administering state affairs. For example, the head of any autonomous region has to be an elite citizen of the main ethnic group in the region. This applies in Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions, as well as autonomous prefectures and counties.

Fourth, supporting the fast development of ethnic minorities and the specific ethnic-minority areas. The state has implemented the strategy of developing the western regions and the actions to enrich border areas and their residents, carrying out paired assistance programs for areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang. Since most of the ethnic minorities live in the northwestern and southwestern regions, for historical reasons, their socio-economic development, in terms of the economy, culture, education, transportation, medical and health care, has lagged behind major coastal and hinterland cities. Hence, since the founding of the People's Republic of China and especially since the reform and opening-up, the Party Central Committee and the State Council have provided powerful support.

For example, in regard to infrastructure as well as improving education, health care, employment and housing, we have been providing extensive support and assistance. At the same time, apart from the help given by the central government, intensive paired assistance from other parts of the country has been provided to Tibet, Xinjiang and multi-ethnic Qinghai Province. All of these things show how the Party Central Committee encourages exchanges and interaction among different ethnic groups, helping them to remain closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together, with all ethnic groups working jointly for common prosperity and development.

Zhang Yijiong:

Fifth, protecting and carrying forward the culture of ethnic groups. We preserve and protect the intangible cultural heritage of the various ethnic minorities, supporting the development of their traditional medicine, for example. The system of ethnic regional autonomy we have implemented takes protection of traditional culture as one of its major tasks. You may all have enjoyed the cultural shows, exhibitions and costumes of ethnic minorities, and have even developed a taste for the special snacks of various ethnic groups available here in Beijing. All of these are the achievements we made through protecting ethnic culture. Besides, we should also explore and develop the cultural heritage of ethnic groups that are enriching the Chinese culture.

We attach great importance to the culture and history of the ethnic minority groups which reflect the unity of a nation and the protection of the rights of ethnic minority groups. Our endeavor is welcomed and supported by over 100 million people of the various ethnic minorities. With the support of all ethnic groups, the Chinese people will strive for achieving the two centenary goals and realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Thanks.

Associated Press of Pakistan:

Mr. Guo, we have taken note of the close exchanges between the CPC and parties in countries neighboring China. Can you shed some light on the role that these exchanges have played in promoting bilateral ties between China and its neighbors?

Guo Yezhou:

Your question is much appreciated. Pakistan is called "Batie" (iron friend) by many Chinese people. A Chinese colleague working in Pakistan for a long time told me that China-Pakistan friendship is higher than the mountains, deeper than the ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey. I hope you can tell your people at home of our great desire to value and deepen China-Pakistan relations.

As you indicated in your question, China has many neighbors. It shares a land border with 14 countries and faces some across the sea. As a Chinese saying goes, "With a border dispute unsolved, a country cannot enjoy peace." The CPC and the Chinese government have always paid close attention to aspects of neighborhood diplomacy. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, in particular, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed great value on this. The first work seminar on neighborhood diplomacy convened by the CPC long ago proposed the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the policy of building friendship and partnerships with neighbors to intensify exchanges and promote practical cooperation on all fronts. Guided by the principles and the policy I mentioned just now, the CPC and parties in neighboring countries have expanded contacts in the past five years, which has played a positive role in promoting overall relations.

For instance, General Secretary Xi Jinping met with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and Bounnhang Vorachith, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party on many separate occasions and they reached a consensus on inter-party relations and cooperation in a number of fields, promoting mutual understanding and growth of friendship among the peoples, charting the future course of bilateral ties. Moreover, the CPC holds periodic theoretical seminars with the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party; we have taken measures for cooperation on training their leaders together. Those arrangements have played an important role in building socialism in each country and expanding the governing capacity of the respective parties.

Just as I mentioned in the previous question, we have maintained close communications and dialogue with the Workers' Party of Korea. For our neighbors to the north, we have also kept up a very close dialogue and cooperation with the major parties in Mongolia and Russia. The China-Russia ruling party dialogue mechanism, and the China-Russia political party forum, constitute a fine mechanism and platform for inter-party dialogue, and have contributed much to consolidating and coordinating the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership. We have also maintained exchanges with Japanese parties, which is seen as a major feature of Sino-Japanese relations.

As the CPC has expanded its international influence, neighboring countries around the perimeter, such as those in northeast, southeast, south and central Asia, have attached more importance to exchanges and dialogues with it. Many of their leaders take the opportunity of visiting China to come to the International Department of the CPC Central Committee and see their old friends. With unremitting efforts, we have established multi-level, multi-sectoral and diversified cooperation with the major parties of neighboring countries, which is not only conductive to better bilateral relations, but also helpful to promote regional cooperation and appropriate solutions to longstanding issues. The CPC will follow the four principles of inter-party exchanges to proactively advance the relationship with parties of neighboring countries.

General Secretary Xi Jinping reaffirmed in his report to the 19th CPC National Congress that we will follow the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and the policy of building friendship and partnership to strengthen relations, which is the guideline for our neighborhood diplomacy. What we want to achieve is that, through exchanges with parties of neighboring countries, we can have a friendlier neighborhood, build stronger political trust, cement closer economic ties, deepen cooperation on security, and further people-to-people exchanges, thus making contributions to the development of China and neighboring countries as well as regional peace and stability. Thank you for your question.


For Mr. Zhang, you noted in your report that a large part of your work involves mobilizing overseas Chinese to protect the core interests and to further the core interests of China. And I am sure you are aware that there have been numerous reports in the media and from government and academics, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, that say some of the actions of your organization constitute a degree of spying or manipulating the overseas Chinese communities and the media there in ways that could undermine the sovereignty and political systems of those countries. Just wonder how you respond to those accusations. Thank you.

Zhang Yijiong:

China has a large number of Chinese nationals living overseas due to historical reasons. Since China's reform and opening up, a new wave of citizens have settled and lived overseas. Historically, some Chinese traveled abroad and lived in different countries and regions around the world and became overseas Chinese without Chinese nationality. I noticed that you mentioned overseas Chinese in Australia and New Zealand. We have clear policies regarding overseas Chinese. We welcome the strengthening of communication with local citizens under the premise of respecting the laws, regulations, culture, history and customs of local countries. This is comparable to what we require for foreigners working and living in China, who should respect China's laws, regulations, history, culture and custom. We also warmly welcome overseas Chinese to come back and visit their own country or their motherland to know more about China and its development so that they can make contributions. We encourage overseas Chinese to conform to local laws and regulations and thus become welcome in their local communities. Thank you.

Guo Weimin:

Overseas Chinese have played a very important role in the exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. Moreover, their influence is increasing. Let's continue.


I would like to ask a question regarding the multi-party cooperation system. Most of the countries in the world have a multi-party system, while some socialist countries have a one-party system. China adopts a multi-party cooperation system, but some Western media outlets may not understand this very well. From the perspective of the united front, what is the key role of the multi-party cooperation system? What is the significance of the non-CPC parties? How will the CPC cooperate with them to enhance the system? Thank you.

Zhang Yijiong:

I will invite my colleague, Ran Wanxiang, vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, to handle this question.

Ran Wanxiang, vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), speaks at a press conference held by the press center of the 19th CPC National Congress in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 21, 2017. The press conference was themed on the united front work and the external work of the CPC. [Photo/Xinhua]

Ran Wanxiang:

China's political system, especially the Party aspect, has been receiving increased attention from around the world. This is a CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation system. The basic structure involves leadership of the CPC, and the participation of eight non-CPC parties, namely the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, China Democratic League, China National Democratic Construction Association, China Association for Promoting Democracy, Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party, China Zhi Gong Dang, Jiu San Society and the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League.

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is an important part of this CPC-led multi-party cooperation and consultation system, which minister Zhang Yijiong mentioned in his remarks when previously talking about the united front. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the guidance of Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the cause of multi-party cooperation has made remarkable progress, and its advantages have been fully revealed. China's multi-party cooperation system is like a towering mountain that offers differing perspectives from different angles. If you observe the system from different aspects, you may find various characteristics and advantages.

First, the multi-party cooperation system has a long history. This system was established and has been developed during the long-term practice of the Chinese revolution, construction and reform. It is a choice of history, and a choice made by the people. In the development process of the new democratic revolution, various non-CPC parties gradually endorsed and accepted the political principals the CPC espoused. In 1948, non-CPC parties and people without party affiliation responded to the "May Day slogans" issued by the CPC, which is a milestone marking their voluntarily choice to accept the leadership of the CPC. It opened a new chapter in the construction of China's political democracy and party system.

Second, multi-party cooperation has a common political foundation. The CPC, with the spirit of striving for the well-being of the people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, constantly encourages and inspires other non-CPC parties to join in its efforts. They support wholeheartedly the leadership of the CPC, and they voluntarily follow its endeavors. They have taken socialism with Chinese characteristics as their own political guideline, and incorporated it into their party constitutions, forming a shared ideal and theoretical foundation for the multi-party cooperation system.

Third, multi-party cooperation has a practical social foundation. The CPC is the vanguard both of the Chinese working class and of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It represents the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority. Non-CPC party members, mainly higher and mid-level intellectuals, are part of the political alliance of socialist working people, builders of socialism and patriots who support socialism. Consequently, the multi-party cooperation system shows the diversity of China's political forces in representing various interest groups in China.

Fourth, multi-party cooperation has a unique democratic form. Based on the principle of "long-term coexistence, mutual supervision, treating each other with sincerity and sharing each other through weal and woe," the CPC and the non-CPC parties follow the mode of "multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the CPC, with the CPC holding power and the other non-CPC parties participating fully in State affairs." This clearly demonstrates China's consultative democracy in which the people get to discuss their own affairs. It has ensured the non-CPC parties can participate in China's political life in an extensive, continuing and intensive manner. This is a unique feature and advantage of China's socialist democracy.

After the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress, you may have noticed the non-CPC parties sent congratulatory messages. They all made it clear they firmly support the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and also expressed their commitment to the great cause of the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and to the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation under the leadership of the CPC. Thus, the multi-party cooperation system continues to gain momentum. Thank you.

Japan's Kyodo News:

My questions are for Mr. Guo. The year 2018 will see the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China. Is there any commemorative activity planned for the event between the political parties on both sides? Not long ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the summit meeting between China, Japan and South Korea was going to be held within the year, and he hoped to visit China next year, and that President Xi Jinping would visit Japan. Do you think such mutual exchanges can be achieved, and are there any specific arrangements for them? Thanks.

Guo Yezhou:

As I mentioned earlier in an introduction of the contacts between the Communist Party of China and political parties in neighboring countries, party-to-party exchanges between China and Japan are a major feature of China-Japan relations, and are also an important part of China-Japan relations.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and the year 2018 will see the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the People's Republic of China and Japan. Over the past 45 years, the relationship between the two countries has been tested and experienced twists and turns, but has still made considerable achievements on the whole, bringing great benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, and making positive contributions to the peace, stability and development of the region and the world as well.

Presently, these bilateral ties face both new opportunities and some challenges. The two sides should seize the opportunities to resolve the challenges, and promote the development of bilateral ties towards stability and improvement. There is also an open platform for political dialogue between the Communist Party of China and the ruling party of Japan. In August this year, China and Japan held the sixth China-Japan ruling party talks in Japan, where the two sides had extensive contact and expressed a positive will to continue to improve bilateral relations.

High-level visits between the two countries bear great significance for the development of bilateral ties, but we also know that such visits need support from the public opinion and understanding among the general public. We expect both sides to work together to provide better conditions and a better atmosphere for commemorating these two important events, namely the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the People's Republic of China and Japan, as well as for the development of bilateral relations.

Economic Daily and China Economic Net ( reporter:

My question is, the non-public sector has undergone constant development since the reform and opening up, and the population working in this sector has also grown into a large community. However, there are still some constraints in regard to their further development, which has been likened to three mountains, or, three gates. I would like to ask what the further initiatives will be to promote the development of non-public ownership. Thank you.

Ran Wanxiang:

I'm going to answer this question. Just as we mentioned, the non-public economy has enjoyed fast development and has become an important force in China's national economy. The number of China's private enterprises has reached nearly 25 million. Their role and contribution can be summed up with five figures: "five, six, seven, eight, and nine." The number "five" refers to the fact that private enterprises contribute to more than 50 percent of the country's tax intake. The number "six" refers that private sector contributes over 60 percent of GDP growth, the fixed asset investment and foreign direct investment. The number "seven" refers to the proportion of high-tech enterprises which is well over 70 percent. The number "eight" refers to the urban employment rate which is well beyond 80 percent. The number "nine" refers to private enterprises' contribution to new employment– which is 90 percent.

The non-public economy is an important force of the socialist market economy, and those working in this sector are builders of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. They are both an important member of our united front and also an important object of our united front work. The theme of our united front work towards the non-public economy is to promote the healthy development of two aspects, namely, to promote the healthy development of the non-public economy and those working in this sector. Our united front work is mainly carried out around the two. Specifically, there are three main aspects:

Ran Wanxiang:

First, to get them organized with stronger guidance. Through all levels of federations of industry and commerce and various organizations like the chamber of commerce, we have bridged the Party and the government with those working in the non-public sector - thus strengthening ideological guidance and political leadership.

Since 2013, the United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) carried out ideals and belief education with a focus on "observing the law, acting with integrity and holding a firm conviction." We also encouraged them to take party in poverty alleviation activities such as "the China Guangcai Program" and the "private enterprises helping poor villages program," through which their faith of socialism with Chinese characteristics and their trust of the Party and the government, their confidence in the outlook of their enterprises, and their integrity towards the society are all strengthened.

Second, to collect and report problems. We must strengthen ties with those working in non-public economic sectors and smooth the communication and consultation channels. We must collect the problems, difficulties, views and suggestions, and the variety of demands met by the non-public economic sector during their development and report in time to the decision-making departments at all levels, in order to promote the formulation or improvement of relevant policies.

Just now, you mentioned the so-called the "three mountains" and the "three gates." They refer to the problems encountered by private enterprises during the transformation and upgrading of China's economic structure. The United Front Work Department collected the problems in a timely manner and reported them to the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the relevant departments, who in turn introduced a series of laws and policies to tackle these problems in order to create a favorable environment for the development of the non-public economy.

General Secretary Xi Jinping made an important remark at a panel discussion of political advisors from the China Democratic National Construction Association and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce during the fourth session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on March 4, 2016. His remark, further clarified the government's attitude towards the non-public economic sector, has greatly boosted the confidence of the development of private enterprises, and has injected a powerful driving force for their transformation and upgrading.

Ran Wanxiang:

Third, to mobilize private entrepreneurs and implement various supportive policies. We must arouse the initiative of private entrepreneurs, mobilize the enthusiasm of all sectors of society, and implement with real earnest various policies and regulations published by our Party and the government for the development of the non-public economy, so as to create a favorable environment for the development of non-public economy.

The so-called problems of "three mountains" or "three gates" mostly occur in the policy implementation level. They belong to the "last mile" problem in the implementation of the policy. In order to solve these problems, we have in the past two years pushed governments of all levels to formulate a "close" and "clean" new government-business relationship. We put forward measures and suggestions on market access, private investment and some other aspects, all of which received a warm welcome from private enterprises.

From 2013, commissioned by the State Council, the ACFIC has carried out seven times the third-party assessments on the implementation of related policies. These assessments are aimed at solving the problem of the failure in implementing policies commonly known as problems of the "three mountains" or "three gates," and assessing the progress of the implementation of the policies by local governments, which have forcefully promoted the implementation of the policies. Thank you.

Phoenix Satellite TV:

My first question is for Mr. Guo. It's known that the CPC has kept a good relationship with Myanmar's National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi, whose visits to China were quite successful. In her recent interview with Phoenix Satellite TV, she expressed her willingness to further promote such good bilateral ties. But the political situation in Myanmar is not stable, and the issue of the Rohingya in Rakhine State has attracted intense attention worldwide. Western countries and the U.N. condemned the Myanmar government for ethnic cleansing. In contrast, China has showed its support to the Myanmar government in stabilizing the state's situation. Why has China taken this stance?

My second question is for Mr. Zhang. Despite China's strong opposition, some countries have been consistently inviting the Dalai Lama for a visit. We know that the Dalai Lama just concluded his European trip. I want to know if China will take tougher stance on this issue. And the foreign media have been focusing on the freedom of religious belief. In your briefing, you stressed that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and China will further encourage religious believers to play a positive role. Can you explain more about this?

Guo Yezhou:

Thanks for your attention to the China-Myanmar relationship, especially the relations between the political parties of the two countries. China and Myanmar are friendly neighbors, enjoying a long and deep-rooted friendship. We hope, through various channels, including the exchanges between political parties, to make joint efforts with our Myanmar counterparts to give a strong boost to the China-Myanmar friendship and deepen exchange and cooperation in various fields. As we all know, Myanmar launched its political transformation in 2010. Since then, political parties have been playing more prominent roles in their political life. The CPC has established and developed friendly exchanges and cooperative ties with the major political parties in Myanmar. For example, we established friendly cooperative relations with the Union Solidarity and Development Party in 2010. In June 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, paid a visit to China at the invitation of the CPC, ushering in a deeper communication between the two parties. As for the issue of Rakhine State, China condemned the violent attacks in Rakhine State and understands and supports the Myanmar government in their efforts to safeguard the peace and stability in that region. We sincerely hope that Myanmar, including the Rakhine State, will see sustained peace, stability and development.

Zhang Yijiong:

Let me answer your second question. The 14th Dalai Lama continues to go around the world and seek visits with foreign countries. What new measures will the Chinese government take? First, I want to make clear that the 14th Dalai Lama is not only a religious figure, but also a political one. The aim of the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile" he organized in a foreign country in 1959 is, in essence, seeking "Tibetan independence" and splitting the motherland. As head of the group, the 14th Dalai Lama has never stopped his activities in this regard over the past decades. Therefore, the Chinese government certainly opposes the 14th Dalai Lama's visits to some foreign countries and his meetings with some political leaders of those countries. Here, I want you all to pay attention to two points.

First, no country in the world recognizes the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile." Although individual officials in some countries have received the Dalai Lama, their countries do not recognize the group. Second, there is no country in the world that will not protest about foreign governments receiving an individual who goes around the world with the intention of separating the home country. So, the Chinese government opposes governments and organizations in any country in the world receiving the Dalai Lama in any name. We consider such visits a severe insult to the feelings of the Chinese people and a deviation from their commitment to recognizing the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government representing the whole of China. So we hope governments around the world exercise caution in both words and deeds and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China's sovereignty. I'd like to add the fact that a decreasing number of countries received the Dalai Lama in their official capacity in recent years and the Dalai Lama could only manage to give lectures in universities or hold religious activities instead. All in all, we will continue to oppose the Dalai Lama's visits in any name.

Zhang Yijiong:

As for the issues that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and that China will further encourage religious believers to play a positive role, let me start with Tibetan Buddhism. It was born in ancient China and has Chinese characteristics. It's true that it has been influenced by Buddhism in neighboring countries during its formation and evolution. But Tibetan Buddhism has developed its unique doctrines and rituals in response to local conditions. It is a fine example of religion adapting to Chinese conditions.

There are five major religions in China and also some foreigners working, living and studying in China who believe in other legitimate religions. They are all protected by the Chinese government. Adapting religions to Chinese conditions is a responsibility that should be shared by the government, religious groups and professionals. All religions in the world have their own laws during the process of emergence and development. One of the laws is indisputably that for a religion to exist and develop, it must synergize with the concurrent social stage and trend of development in the country. Otherwise, the development of religions will be met with setbacks and even big obstacles. There are many such examples in religious histories.

Therefore, we have actively guided Tibetan Buddhism to adapt itself to the Chinese conditions in Tibet, with the aim being for it to integrate excellent traditional Chinese culture in its development. The Tibetan culture is an important component of Chinese culture. The greatness and excellence of the Chinese nation is attributable to the abundant and profound cultures of all its ethnic groups. It's necessary for the sound development of Tibetan Buddhism to take in the fine culture of the Chinese nation and give interpretations suitable to the tide of the times. Thank you.

Xinhua News Agency:

My question is for Mr. Guo. Nowadays, Chinese society attaches much importance to the CPC, especially General Secretary Xi Jinping's thought on Party and national governance. How does the CPC handle exchanges with the political parties of other countries over its thoughts and practice in regard to governance? How should we tell Chinese stories concerning this aspect? Thanks.

Guo Yezhou:

Thank you for your question. As you just mentioned, the international community has increasingly focused on the CPC, especially General Secretary Xi Jinping's new ideas on national governance. Our publicity department introduced the distribution of the book "Xi Jinping: The Governance of China" abroad, and I personally witnessed its distribution in South Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa. It's obvious the international community has been paying increasing attention to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era from increasingly diversified angles. A growing number of political parties and government officials from other countries, think tanks and media organizations have realized that China has undergone historic changes in various fields over the past five years, and the key is the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core and the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. If you want to learn about China, you have to first learn about the CPC and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Your question involves two aspects: one is how to tell stories, and the other is how to share the experience of governing a country. Our Party officials at all levels attach much significance to telling stories of CPC work and national development while carrying out foreign relations work. General Secretary Xi Jinping has set a good example himself. While attending State events, meeting with foreign leaders and heads of international organizations, and delivering speeches at various international forums, he will always tell many vivid and moving stories. Leaders of some political parties from other countries once commented that General Secretary Xi Jinping's speeches have depth and demonstrate a great human touch.

Here, I want to share several cases of how we tell stories as the Party's functional organ carrying out foreign relations work. We focus on Party officials at all levels familiar with the CPC's organizational structure. Starting from the basic level, we have invited delegations of political parties from other countries to undertake study tours of community-level Party organizations. We have encouraged the latter to tell stories so that our foreign friends can learn how CPC workers play a vanguard and exemplary role. We have also invited delegations of political parties from other countries to attend meetings of the Standing Committee of local CPC committees at county and municipal level. As you might know, meetings of the Standing Committee are the most important decision-making mechanism for any local Party Committee. We hope our foreign friends can learn how the local Party Committee implements the relevant decisions of the CPC Central Committee according to local conditions. Furthermore, we have invited leaders of political parties from other countries to visit our CPC provincial committees, and major officials of some CPC provincial committees to attend thematic briefings on "Stories of the CPC: Practice of the CPC Provincial Committees". This year, up to September, we held five such briefings on the themes of "Targeted Poverty Reduction," "Supply-Side Structural Reform," "The Party's Strict Self-Governance in All Respects," "Innovation-Driven Development" and "Green Development." These are all important components of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We have also invited political parties from other countries to visit Party departments, including the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Organization Department, International Department and the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. At the highest level, our Party and State leaders have directly held talks with leaders of political parties from other countries. This year, we are also holding a dialogue between the CPC and the world's other political parties.

There are almost 300 delegations of political parties from foreign countries visiting China every year. Nearly every day, there are guests and friends worldwide coming to China to contact the CPC. Besides, our Party officials at all levels also head delegations to visit other countries. Such exchanges at various levels and arrangements in different forms aim to help these countries to better understand the CPC, China, and General Secretary Xi Jinping's practice of governing the country. Such activities are well received by our foreign friends. Many political parties from other countries indicate that, with the Party organizations at various levels open to them, they have understood what the CPC leaders mean by "exercising overall leadership and coordinating all efforts," and how the local committees of the CPC implement the decisions of the CPC Central Committee. They have learned about the advantages and characteristics of China's system of political parties, and believe the CPC is an open-minded and confident party able to advance with the times, work diligently for the people, and that always keeps the well-being of the world in mind.

Here is another example. As a familiar slogan goes in China, our Party has been punishing both "tigers" and "flies" while exercising strict self-governance in all respects and combating corruption. During exchanges with political parties from other countries, we also told stories about our Party's practice of combating corruption and building clean government. They are always very interested and greatly enlightened; despite coming from various cultural backgrounds, some countries have proposed to "catch fish, big or small."

In a word, our Party, from its core leadership to officials at various levels, always takes the initiative to tell stories about Party work. As one of the functional organs directly under the CPC Central Committee, we will consciously tell such stories in a better way and make them known to more people. We hope our journalists can also give more attention and support. Thanks.

Guo Weimin:

The morning's press briefing ends here. At 3 p.m. this afternoon, we will invite He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, and other relevant officials to meet journalists. Welcome back! Thank you.

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