The appointment of Shi Taifeng, a member of the 24-member Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as Minister of the United Front Department, has significant implications for China’s united front efforts against Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. hold. Taiwan’s political future, in particular, is one of the top issues on the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda for 2020 and party convention.

Shi, 66, succeeds You Quan, 68, who is reportedly retiring from politics after You’s name was dropped from the CPC’s Central Committee membership.

By convention, United Front Department ministers must address issues affecting Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Given that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan occupy a central part at the beginning and end of the report that General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, submitted on his 20th,th At the Party Congress on October 16, it is clear that the newly appointed Shi will play a key role in formulating and implementing China’s united front work in three locations.

Shi’s rapid rise to the top of the cabinet comes as a surprise to some outside observers. Nevertheless, a closer look at his qualifications reveals that he is very well qualified.

Shi was born in 1956 in Shanxi province. During the Cultural Revolution, Shi was one of the young girlfriends sent to the countryside to experience peasant life. After that, he studied mechanics and worked as a worker in a factory. In 1978, he entered Peking University to study legal theory and was a classmate of the current Premier Li Keqiang. In 1982, Shi graduated from Peking University’s Faculty of Law with a master’s degree, his master’s thesis on Engel’s legal theory.

In July 1985, Shi entered the Communist Party of China School and became a law teacher. From November 1987 to his November 1988, he became the deputy secretary of Ningjin County, Hebei Province. In June 1990, Shi was appointed deputy director of the Socialist Legal Department of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China. From September 1991 to September 1992 he studied law at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In September 1992, Shi returned to China and became the head of the socialist legal department of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China. He was promoted to professor in his November 1995. Three years later he was promoted to director. In July 2001, he was appointed deputy director of the organization department of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, and was in charge of organization, education and research work. Then, in February 2002, Shi was appointed Vice Principal of CPC Party School. This is an important position in his career. In February 2008, he was elected a member of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and later he joined the NPC’s Legal Committee.

In September 2010, Xi was appointed as a Standing Committee member of the Communist Party of China in Jiangsu Province and was responsible for organizational affairs. In August 2011, he was promoted to deputy party secretary of Jiangsu province. In November 2012, he was elected as an alternate for the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. In June 2014, Shi was appointed party secretary of Suzhou, separate from his position as deputy secretary of Jiangsu province. In November 2015, he was named Acting Governor of Jiangsu Province. Three months later, he was elected governor of Jiangsu province.

Shi not only gained extensive experience in the Central Party School and Jiangsu Province, but also became the party secretary of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in April 2017. This position will ultimately help him in his current job covering Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In October 2017, Shi was elected a member of the Central Committee for his 19th party convention. Another of his key positions Shi took was in October 2019 when he was appointed and rotated as party secretary of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In January 2020, he assumed responsibility for conducting anti-corruption activities in the region, addressing unethical behavior in coal handling and other resource allocation operations. Many corrupt officials were investigated and punished. Most importantly, Shi implemented the widespread use of Chinese characters in primary and secondary schools in Inner Mongolia. In April 2022, he was rotated to the dean of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Two months later, he became Vice-Chairman of his NPC’s Education, Science, Technology, Culture, and Health Committee. In October 2022, Shi was elected a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China.

Shi’s anti-corruption campaign in Inner Mongolia is notable.The anti-corruption work he carried out is not only fully consistent with General Secretary Xi Jinping’s emphasis on clean government, but also about 1,000 officials in Inner Mongolia have covered corruption for 20 years. As Xi Jinping emphasized in 2020,th Shi’s work was clearly appreciated by Xi at the Party Congress, which said the Chinese Communist Party must engage in “self-revolution” and continuous renewal through anti-corruption campaigns.

According to the Xinhua News Agency report on Inner Mongolia on January 21, 2022, Shi Taifeng delivered a powerful speech in the city of Inner Mongolia, emphasizing high-quality development and promoting the banner of “Xi Jinping New Era Chinese Socialist Thought.” He pointed out the need to “fully implement Xi Jinping’s instructions” on improving economic activity and the business environment. Shi said he listened to eight city officials and had a dialogue on how to revitalize the economy, promote sustainable development and develop high-end industrial sectors. Mr. Shi emphasized the need for efficiency and effectiveness in economic management, including the need to meet construction deadlines and the use of digitized platforms to improve governance and city service delivery.

Therefore, a closer look at Shi’s work reveals that he is not only a loyalist to Xi Jinping Thought, but also an experienced official dealing with legal theory, educational activities, organizational issues, autonomous region development issues, and full implementation. I understand. Fulfilling the need to promote anti-corruption activities, the adoption of economic pragmatism, and electronic governance. If the job of the united front calls for new leaders who are ideologically clean, experienced, economically realistic, and politically loyal, then Shi’s credentials have been questioned by some observers. It’s obviously very powerful, unlike anything you’ve done.

Indeed, Shi’s work on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan remains a challenge. First and foremost, since his Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, Beijing’s United Front efforts against the people of Taiwan have been seriously disrupted. After 2023, progress will be made in all aspects of education, economy and society. So far, united front efforts on the mainland appear to be focused on the dark blue and blue camps, failing to achieve any breakthrough, let alone unity, contact with more people in the green camp. was. Perhaps reaching out to moderates in the green camp and explaining the two elements of peaceful reunification and step-by-step negotiations in the “one country, two systems” Taiwan model would be a great way to bring mainland China’s two It will be a prerequisite for successful united front work in Taiwan in the coming years.

Second, although the introduction of the National Security Law has significantly stabilized Hong Kong society since late June 2020, many Hong Kongers remain politically agitated, fearful and disappointed, and are tempted to leave Hong Kong. from the transition to the family, showing different trends. From immigration to a return to political apathy, and from political irony to the “patriotic” elite to attitudes to political apathy. As such, the United Front’s activities in Hong Kong cannot be narrowly confined to the “patriotic” elite and masses. It must be extended to those whose political psyches have been “bruised” by the relatively conservative and hard-line policies adopted by the authorities dealing with Hong Kong affairs.

Third, while Macau is often a mainlandized city with a great deal of influence of the “patriotic” elite and masses, some Macau people believe that in the 2021 Macau legislative elections, He was very unhappy with the relatively hard disqualification of some very moderate and rational democrats politically. The new leader believes that the united front effort could indeed succeed, and if it succeeds, it will promote a more relaxed political environment, where Macau’s image of political tolerance will be paramount, as it has in Hong Kong. We may consider the possibility. All moderates in Macau and Hong Kong recognize the paramount importance of national security, but want a more relaxed political and social atmosphere in the coming years.

Hopefully, the central authorities under Shi Tai Feng’s leadership will really win the hearts and minds of middle-class people in Hong Kong and Macau, and reach out to various socio-political sectors in Taiwan with strong local identities. I hope you can. They are stronger and more vibrant than the people of Hong Kong and Macau.

In conclusion, Shi Taifeng’s appointment as the new minister of China’s United Front Department is due to his extensive experience in education, organization, anti-corruption, and capacity building. , Macau, Taiwan, especially in Taiwan, where many people resist using “one country, two systems” to deal with island nations, it remains to be seen how and if work can be improved . political future. The “patriots” who rule Hong Kong are a phenomenon firmly established by the new electoral system under the National Security Law, yet many Hong Kongers remain indifferent, cynical and silent. How and how the Central Authority can really win the hearts and minds of these Hong Kong people remains to be seen. It may reconsider its relatively hard-line approach of disqualifying many very moderate people from parliamentary elections. , Shi Tai Fung’s future challenges are likely to be more difficult than conventional wisdom had envisioned.

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