Zhou Yongkang: more Convenience with “Social Management”

Xinhua / Enorth — The CCP’s Politics and Law Committee directs and coordinates the work of Chinese courts, procuratorates, and police. Reportedly, a Committee decision can also override regular courts’ decisions. It was officially established in 1980, according to Wikipedia (of today). The organ preceding it was a central working group for legal affairs (中央政法领导小组), established in 1958.

The Commission’s secretary is Zhou Yongkang (周永康), who is also a member of the politbureau’s nine-members standing committee.

[Main Link] On Sunday morning [local time, Zhou] made a speech to leading cadres of the provincial level, in a seminar focused on social management (社会管理) and its innovative exploration (其创新专题研讨). He emphasized the need to earnestly study and implement secretary general Hu Jintao’s important speech, to adapt to new economic and social development trends, to strengthen and innovate social management, to build a social management system with the characteristics of Chinese socialism, to solidify the party’s ruling position, to protect the people’s fundamental interests, and to guarantee the country’s long period of peace and stability (长治久安).


Zhou Yongkang pointed out the need to adapt to new circumstances and new demands of economic and social development, the need to practically transform the concept of social management. By establishing a people-oriented (以人为本) service-first concept, containing a management based on service, by efforts to achieve a comprehensive unity of management and service, the people should feel that their rights were protected, and should therefore feel  more comfortable. The establishment of more pluralistic participation (多方参与), a concept of shared governance, the maintenance of party leadership and guidance by the government, cooperation with all benign forces in society, by autonomy, self-discipline, discipline of others, lawful effects, the dynamics of the people and their innovative self-initiative should be mobilized, and become the combined efforts of social management.

Zhou also mentioned legal education, administrative and judicial justice. The outset had to be the reality of our country (必须从我国实际出发), social management should go its own way (走自己的路), and correctly handle the traditional strengths and their relationship with the new situation. By no means should the past be totally repudiated (绝不能全盘否定过去), but be judged along the way, in mutual consultation (绝不能全盘否定过去,另搞一套). He also mentioned an unspecific role for elected village organs (基层群众性自治组织),  but emphasized that they needed to participate in social management in accordance with the law (依法有序参与社会管理). Risks in society needed to be assessed, social conflicts be reduced, and land acquisitions and resettlements be conducted in a harmonious, mediated way. Zhou’s remarks also included the management of industrial relations.

To improve social management, the identity card system (身份证制度) also needed to be improved, in order to serve people better, and a national population database should help services to better meet the reality of daily lives (提高对实有人口的管理服务水平).

For foreign NGOs active in China, a joint management mechanism needed to be built to protect legitimate exchanges and cooperation, and for the internet’s management, Zhou demanded a unified leadership of party committees, and strict government management (在互联网管理方面,要形成党委统一领导、政府严格管理). Another aspect of social management was an early warning and channeling system  (要建立预测、预警、疏导、救助机制) for spiritual hygiene.

Hui Liangyu (回良玉) presided over the session, Wang Lequan (王乐泉), Liu Qi (刘淇), Liu Yunshan (刘云山), Liu Yandong (刘延东), Li Yuanchao (李源潮), Wang Yang (汪洋), Zhang Gaoli (张高丽), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Xu Caihou (徐才厚), Bo Xilai (薄熙来) and others were scheduled to attend.

The actual article was much longer, but I believe I have covered all the main buzzwords it contained. The whole lecture was hardly specific. No particular reason was given for the meeting and its topic.

The BBC establishes a link between the meeting and the current Arab Jasmine Revolution.

Figures published last year suggested the Chinese government spent almost as much on maintaining internal security as on defence,

writes the BBC’s Shanghai correspondent Chris Hogg.


Safeguarding “4.9”, February 19, 2011
You name the Problem, the CCP solves it, February 15, 2011
The Greatest Democracy for Humankind, February 3, 2011
Dangwai, January 31, 2011
Social Engineer, Wikipedia

Un parfum de jasmin à Pékin, Jordan Pouille, Febr 20, 2011

17 Responses to “Zhou Yongkang: more Convenience with “Social Management””

  1. This sounds a bit ominous:

    To improve social management, the identity card system (身份证制度) also needed to be improved, in order to serve people better, and a national population database should help services to better meet the reality of daily lives (提高对实有人口的管理服务水平).

    I am sure this involves a lot of convergences of the Golden Shield ambition as per my prior CD linked post.

    Much cogitation of the Middle East firestorm I am sure.


  2. I think China’s foreign-language media have begun to sell things such as the Golden Shield / Great Firewall as something normal – after all, papers like the Global Times are meant to create “realities”. (Btw, the Global Times has apparently removed that Fang Binxing article the Guardian drew upon.)

    I linked to four of my previous posts, all rather recent ones, under this post, because they seem to belong to the same political cable harness. Especially “You name the problem…”. It’s probably no coincidence that they chose a party member or cadre as the “ordinary handicapped person” who got the ear of Uncle Wen. You’ll get some “democracy” sooner, as a party member, or if you belong to the benign forces in society, rather than to the troublemakers. And of course, you need to utter grievances in a proper way. The emperor is still the emperor.

    I expect nothing good from the database advocated by Zhou. Affording myself some polemic, his face suggests that clubbing, not serving the people, is on his mind.


  3. Yes, I clicked on the face and decided not to let him peek into my second hand pc.

    I should have commented on the fact that that letter to Wen took something like three months to write. Must have been parsing even character to see if it had sufficient praise/grovel power before it hit Wens desk.

    While others are fixated on that Shaun fellow, the interplay on the Middle East house of cards and this “improved social management ” is the development to follow, even though it is not producing those big stories beloved by blog owners.

    Very minor incidents of Middle Eastern protest rapidly turning into massive social tsunamis.



  4. Are you referring to Shaun Rein? He seems to be a big media personality, but not really important otherwise. I wouldn’t even ask Net Nanny or Hermit to discuss his views.
    (That said, given the fact that Rein writes for some pretty influential papers, I think it’s good that his statements are regularly counter-checked by blogs.)

    I think there are still many developments to follow, re China, and the interplay with the Middle East events surely is one of them.
    But there are too many different scenarios that one could buy into – and chances are that neither of those will apply. We’ve seen the same discussion about China when central and eastern Europe liberated themselves.



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