What Is the Purpose of the Work Forum on Xinjiang?China’s top leadership, including seven powerful members of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Standing Committee, held the third Work Forum on Xinjiang on Sept. 25 and 26. The theme was about building a socialist Xinjiang.
The last Xinjiang Work Forum was held in 2014. This latest Forum was merely held as a formality to address international criticism against the regime’s tyranny.
But in fact, the CCP rejects criticism of China’s internal affairs. During the EU-China Leaders’ Meeting via videoconference on Sept. 14, European Union leaders raised the issue of human rights. Chinese leader Xi Jinping deflected criticism and said the Chinese people will not accept "an instructor" on human rights.
New Slogans Tell the Same Old Communist StoryPrior to the U.N. General Assembly, Xi Jinping’s slogan “community with a shared future for mankind” was removed from the Commemorative Declaration on the 75th Anniversary of the U.N. Charter. Of course, this is embarrassing to the regime. Xi’s propaganda team had to come up with new slogans to deceive the Chinese in the mainland, such as "community of the Chinese nation," and a series of derivatives, including "community with the shared Chinese history," "the pattern of multi-ethnic integration in the Chinese nation," "the collective consciousness of the Chinese nation," and the "cultural reinforcement project in Xinjiang" to ensure the direction that "upholds the sinicization of Islam in Xinjiang" is followed.
The CCP bureaucracy again tries to cover up various international embarrassments with new phrases to regain political momentum. Xi also demanded to "display Xinjiang stories in a multi-level, all-round, and three-dimensional manner," and to "publicize Xinjiang’s excellent social stability" and "happiness."
Not many people outside China are aware of how far the CCP would go in bolstering its own image. As for the mainland Chinese—under the situation of soaring unemployment, inflated meat prices, frequent natural disasters, and food shortage—they are worried about their livelihood and would care less about the political propaganda on Xinjiang.
Xi is struggling to hold on to his power. He demanded his cadres at all levels to "consciously maintain a high degree of ideological and political alignment with the core Party leadership" and to "ensure that the leadership at all levels is always firmly in the hands of loyal and responsible cadres."
Xinjiang Officialdom Is CollapsingXi Jinping knows that sanctions have left few authorities who would devote themselves to implement policies related to Xinjiang. Therefore, he said to “fully trust,” “boldly select and promote outstanding minority cadres” who “are politically strong and daring.”
Xi’s statement indicates that the local cadres in Xinjiang are ineffective. The so-called achievements in Xinjiang simply implied that the central decision is correct. Xi also said that "cadres of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are trustworthy and capable of fighting" and "effective measures should be studied and adapted to stabilize the cadre and talent team in Xinjiang."
Obviously, sanctions have significantly destabilized the officialdom in Xinjiang. However, the high-level CCP officials can do nothing but continue praising its so-called "strategy in Xinjiang" in the Work Forum even though it only serves as another political show.
Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting, calling Xi's speech "a guiding reference for governing Xinjiang in the new era."
Vice Premier Wang Yang concluded that Xi's speech is a "powerful ideological weapon" with "high-mindedness, profound thinking, and rich content," that ought to be "highly publicized in an organized and dynamic manner.”
The audience at Work Forum was huge, including officials at all levels in Xinjiang, as well as members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, party secretaries of the Secretariat, state councilors, presidents of the courts, chief prosecutors of the procuratorate, heads of financial institutions and state-owned firms, military leaders, and governors of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities.
However, if authorities continue to follow the central command to mess around in Xinjiang, more sanctions are likely to follow.