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Official China Digest #5: September 2022 Documents

A monthly list of official Chinese Party and state documents

Hi everyone,

From this issue we are adding the following categories of documents to the digest:

9c. Xi's Instructions and Written Comments 指示批示

Zhǐshì 指示 and pīshì 批示 are both terms used by the Chinese Party-state to refer to instructions (in a general sense) from top leaders. Both are commonly translated as "instructions" by Chinese and international sources. This translation, however, fails to convey the different meanings they have in Chinese: zhǐshì refers to directives that can be verbal or written; pīshì refers to written directives, usually in the form of written comments on a document, such as a report submitted by a subordinate.

Hence, I prefer to translate Zhǐshì 指示 as "Instructions" and 批示 as "Written Comments" to distinguish the two.

In the Xi era, Xi's "Instructions" are all deemed "Important Instructions" (重要指示), and when the occasion warrants him to issue directives alongside Li Keqiang, then Xi's directives are labelled "Important Instructions" whereas Li's directives are labelled "Written Comments". Simply, the language used tells us about the power relativity between the two leaders. Indeed, in the Hu-Wen era, both leaders issued "Important Instructions" alongside each other.

Here is a concrete example of what I'm talking about:

Four hours after flight MU5735 plunged into a mountainous region in Guangxi on March 21, 2022, Xinhua put out a notice titled Xi Jinping issues important instructions on the Eastern Airlines passenger plane crash 习近平对东航客机坠毁作出重要指示. This notice contains directives from Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang on how officials should deal with the tragedy. The notice refers to Xi's directives as zhǐshì 指示 and Li's directives as pīshì 批示.

- Adam

1. Party Congress

  • The 20th Party Congress will be convened on October 16 (and most likely run until October 22).

2. Central Committee - plenums

  • The Seventh Plenum of the 19th Central Committee was held between October 9 and 12.
Brief #125: Seventh Plenum of the 19th Central Committee
The Central Committee concluded its seventh plenary session (October 9-12) on Wednesday. All in all, the outcomes of the seventh plenary session point to a third term for Xi and the further consolidation of his ideology. At the plenary session, the Central Committee decided that the 20th Party Cong…

3. Central Committee and State Council - Central Documents (中央文件)

4. Politburo

4a. Politburo meetings

4b. Politburo Standing Committee meetings

  • N/A

4c. Politburo group study session

  • N/A

5. State Council - meetings

5a. State Council plenary meetings

  • N/A

5b. State Council executive meetings

6. State Council - documents (国发, 国办发, 公报)

6a. State Council guofa documents 国发

6b. General Office of the State Council guobanfa documents 国办发

6c. State Council Gazette 国务院公报

7. State Council Information Office - Chinese government white papers

  • N/A

8. Central/national-level work conferences

  • N/A

9. Xi Jinping

9a. Xi's remarks

9b. Xi's articles

9c. Xi's Instructions and Written Comments 指示批示

10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

10a. Joint statements and communiques

10b. Position papers

10c. Foreign Minister's speeches

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