i) Xinhua (December 11) reported that Chinese President and CCP CC General Secretary Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Politburo in Beijing on December 11 to analyze and study the economic work in 2021; listen to the work report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission; study the construction of party style and clean government and anti-corruption work in 2021; and Regulations on the Election of Local Organizations of the Communist Party of China.  The meeting assessed this year as an "extraordinary" year in the history of New China but said China had maintained "strategic determination" in the face of severe challenges and major difficulties.  The meeting pointed out that next year is a year of special importance in the process of China's modernization drive and it is important to ensure a good start to the "14th Five-Year Plan" and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China with excellent results. The meeting pointed out that "under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, the National Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and local commissions for discipline inspection at all levels have strengthened political supervision on the implementation of the Party Central Committee’s decision-making and deployment, and persevered in supervising and implementing the spirit of the eight central regulations".

ii) The state-owned CCTV disclosed (December 12) that the Politburo held it's 26th collective study session on December 11 afternoon when it emphasised that national security work is a 'very important work' for the party to govern the country, and it is also very important for safeguarding the country and the people. It said "to do a good job of national security in the new era, we must adhere to the overall national security concept, seize and make good use of the important strategic opportunity period for our country’s development, integrate national security into the entire process of all aspects of party and state work, and plan and work together with economic and social development" to guarantee building a modern socialist country. Yuan Peng, President of the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) briefed the Politburo members on national security work. The meeting also studied other matters.

(Comment: This is the first such study session after the Party included an entire chapter dedicated to national security in its latest five-year plan for the first time, amidst growing concern that China’s struggle with the United States could spark more political turmoil at home. 53-year old Yuan Peng is the first foreign relations expert called upon to lecture the Politburo’s group study session on national security under the administration of President Xi Jinping. Yuan Peng was a visiting scholar at the Atlantic Council from 1999 to 2000 and the Brookings Institution from 2003 to 2004.

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