Congress President’s official visit to Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 21 February 2020 14:29

Strasbourg, 20 February 2020 – The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Anders Knape, will pay an official visit to Georgia from 22 to 25 February 2020, organised in the framework of the Georgian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Accompanied by Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer, the president will hold meetings with senior representatives of national and local Georgian institutions and authorities. The talks will focus, among other things, on the decentralisation strategy that the Georgian government has just adopted in response, in particular, to the recommendations made by the Congress following its monitoring visit in 2018. Other topics of discussion will be the priorities of the Georgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the Congress's co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) and the Congress's co-operation programmes in the country. 

In Tbilisi, Anders Knape will meet with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Lasha Darsalia and the Vice-premier and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Mrs Maya Tskitishvili. He will also hold meetings with the Deputy Chairman of Parliament, Mr Kakhaber Kuchava, the Mayor of Tbilisi and the head of the Georgian Delegation to the Congress and President of NALAG, Mr Kakha Kaladze, and the Public Defender, Ms Lomjaria Nino.

Meetings are also scheduled in Gori with the Mayor, Mr Konstantin Tavzarashvili, and the Governor of Shida Kartli region, Mr Giorgi Khojevanishvili.

Meetings with the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr Irakli Kobakhidze, and with the members of the Georgian delegation to the Congress will complete the visit.

 

The Congress comprises two chambers: the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. It has 324 full and 324 substitute members, who represent more than 150,000 European local and regional authorities.

President of the Congress: Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities: Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC/G/PD), President of the Chamber of Regions: Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CCE).

Political groups: Group of Socialists, Greens and Progressive Democrats (SOC/G/PD), Group of the European Peoples Party (EPP/CCE), Independent Liberal and Democratic Group (ILDG), European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

 

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  • China Focus: Senior officials explain key report at Party congress

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    Jiang Jinquan, director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, at a press conference held in Beijing said it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the CPC and the people, born from a process embodying intraparty democracy and whole-process people's democracy.

    The report will have profound and significant influences on the cause of building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts, and will help the international community better understand the CPC's governing philosophy, its approach to governance and its ability to govern, he said.

    ADAPTING MARXISM

    The report has a special section on theoretical innovation. It has elaborated what the CPC has done and plans to do to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's particular realities and fine traditional culture, said Sun Yeli, vice head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, at the same press conference.

    The report also explained the worldview and methodology of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Sun said.

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    HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT

    The report places the "quality of development" in a more prominent position and underscores high-quality development in various aspects, including economy, society, culture and ecology, said Mu Hong, deputy head of the Office of the Central Commission for Deepening Reform and deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, at the press conference.

    It confirms high-quality development as the top priority for building a modern socialist country, and such confirmation shows why the quality of development is important to the overall picture and in the long run, Mu said.

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    FULL, RIGOROUS SELF-GOVERNANCE OF THE PARTY

    The report has put forth the idea of improving the systems for exercising full and rigorous self-governance, marking a first for a report at the Party national congress, said Tang Fangyu, deputy head of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, at the press conference.

    In light of the major risks and grave challenges facing the Party, full and rigorous self-governance of the Party should be exercised in a holistic, systemic, continuous manner and with high-caliber, said Tang.

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    Noting the remarkable achievements of the anti-corruption fight over the past decade, Wang said the situation still remains grave and intricate, and the battle against corruption is fierce and must be won.

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  • Xi Jinping attends group discussion with delegates from Guangxi to 20th CPC National Congress

    BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Comrade Xi Jinping on October 17 joined a group discussion with delegates from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region who are attending the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the discussion, he stressed that the report to the Party's 20th National Congress further charts the way forward for the cause of the Party and the country, and it will serve as a political manifesto and guide for our Party to unite and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics on the new journey in the new era.

    Xi said that, to study and implement the spirit of the Party's 20th National Congress, we need to have a good command of the importance of the work of the past five years and the great changes in the first decade of the new era, of the worldview and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and of our mission to advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization. We should also keep firmly in mind the important requirement of using the great transformation of our own to navigate the great social transformation and the call of the times for us to strive in unity. The entire Party and all the Chinese people need to unite as "one piece of adamantine iron" under the banner of the Party and stay committed to the same goal in mind and action to steer the giant ship of our great rejuvenation, braving winds and waves, toward its destination.

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    In a lively atmosphere, Xi exchanged views with delegates. Having listened attentively to them, Xi said that he was happy to join the discussion as a delegate of the Guangxi delegation. He extended his sincere greetings to all delegates present and over 2.5 million Party members as well as 57 million officials and residents of different ethnic groups in the region.

    Xi noted, since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC and regional government have implemented the CPC Central Committee's decisions and plans, and united and led the people of all ethnic groups in the region in promoting the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy in a coordinated manner. Facing the grave challenges of global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic, the regional Party committee and government have led the region in winning the critical battle against poverty, building a moderately prosperous society in all respects together with the rest of the nation, and bringing the comprehensive strength of the region to new heights. As a result, reform and opening up in the region has been deepened comprehensively, ecological system improved continuously, people's living standards raised considerably, and both urban and rural areas have taken on a new look. Great changes have taken place in Guangxi, which can find expression in deepened strict Party governance, solid ethnic unity, sound social stability and border security. These achievements represent successful practices of the Party's ethnic policies and the system of regional ethnic autonomy in the southern border region, vividly reflecting the great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era in our country.

    The past five years and the first decade of the new era have been truly momentous and extraordinary in the development of the Party and the country, stressed Xi. As a Chinese saying goes: "One can't tell how hard it is to get things done unless he is fully engaged; a success may look easy but it takes painstaking efforts." In the past 10 years, by overcoming various hardships as if wading across treacherous waters, climbing over steep slopes and breaking through tough barriers, we have made a series of breakthroughs and milestone achievements in the cause of the Party and the country. Practices have proved that the CPC Central Committee's major principles and policies since the Party's 18th National Congress are absolutely correct, and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a right way leading to sound and steady progress. It conforms to the realities of China, reflects the will of the Chinese people, and meets the requirements of the times. We must gain confidence and initiative from history, and present an "excellent answer sheet" to the people and the future on the new journey ahead.

    Xi pointed out that in order to implement the Party's innovative theories, we need to gain a good command of their worldviews and methodology as well as make good use of their stances, viewpoints, and methods. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed that we should always put the people first, maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet, and constantly uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. We should also adhere to a problem-oriented approach, apply systems thinking, and maintain a global vision. Only through conscientious study and implementation of the above six points can we obtain a deep understanding of the reason, rationale, and philosophy governing these innovative theories. We should not only know their meaning, but also grasp their essence and carry them out in the whole process of the Party and the country's work on all fronts, noted Xi.

    Xi stressed, in the new era, the Party has developed a deeper understanding, more mature strategies and richer practices for building a modern socialist country, and thus successfully advanced and expanded the Chinese path to modernization. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress elaborated on the characteristics and essential requirements of the Chinese path to modernization, Xi said. Taking deep root in China, the Chinese path to modernization is in line with our national conditions. We must always pursue the development of the country and the nation by relying on ourselves, take our country's destiny of development and progress firmly in our own hands, strengthen our confidence, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground so as to write a new chapter of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects.

    Xi pointed out, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has maintained its resolve and exercised full and rigorous self-governance in the spirit of "spending 10 years grinding a sword." Driven by a strong sense of mission, we have resolved to "offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion" and waged an unprecedented battle against corruption, thus forging a synergy in the Party's self-reform, said Xi. Exercising full and rigorous self-governance is a journey to which there is no end; the Party's self-reform is a ceaseless pursuit. We must persist in carrying out self-reform of the Party so as to ensure that it will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character and that the Party is always the firm core leadership guiding the cause of Chinese socialism.

    Xi stressed, only in unity and through strenuous effort can we succeed. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, our Party has firmly relied on the people to stabilize the economy and boost development, fight against absolute poverty and build a moderately prosperous society, contain COVID-19 and resist other major disasters, as well as tackle challenges and defuse crises. We have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and created impressive miracles one after another. The most important task at hand is to roll up our sleeves and work hard to put into action the major decisions and arrangements made at the 20th CPC National Congress and produce tangible results.

    Xi hoped, under the guidance of the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, Party committees and governments at all levels in Guangxi will unite and lead officials and the people of all ethnic groups to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, resolutely implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, and do a better job in promoting high-quality development of the border ethnic area. They should make greater breakthroughs in serving and integrating into the new development pattern, achieve greater progress in pursuing green development, contribute more to safeguarding national security, bring about more results in exercising full and rigorous self-governance of the Party, and strive to open up new prospects for building a magnificent Guangxi in the new era.

  • Major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to 20th CPC National Congress

    BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The following are major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to the ongoing 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

    -- Our Party has dedicated itself to achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation and committed itself to the noble cause of peace and development for humanity. Our responsibility is unmatched in importance, and our mission is glorious beyond compare. It is imperative that all of us in the Party never forget our original aspiration and founding mission, that we always stay modest, prudent, and hard-working, and that we have the courage and ability to carry on our fight. We must remain confident in our history, exhibit greater historical initiative, and write an even more magnificent chapter for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

    -- Through painstaking efforts, the Party has found a second answer to the question of how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall. The answer is self-reform. We have ensured that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.

    -- The great achievements of the new era have come from the collective dedication and hard work of our Party and our people.

    -- The great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People's Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.

    -- At the fundamental level, we owe the success of our Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics to the fact that Marxism works, particularly when it is adapted to the Chinese context and the needs of our times.

    -- There has never been an instruction manual or ready-made solution for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation to turn to as they fought to end the great sufferings endured since the advent of modern times and have moved on toward the bright future of rejuvenation. The Party has led the people in independently blazing the path to success over the past century, and the success of Marxism in China has been realized by Chinese Communists through our own endeavors. One point underpinning these successes is that China's issues must be dealt with by Chinese people in light of the Chinese context.

    -- We must keep to our path and not sway in our commitment. We must not return to the isolation and rigidity of the past, or veer off course by changing our nature or abandoning our system. We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of China's development and progress.

    -- We must foster a firmer sense of purpose, fortitude, and self-belief in the whole Party and the Chinese people so that we cannot be swayed by fallacies, deterred by intimidation, or cowed by pressure. We must meet obstacles and difficulties head on, ensure both development and security, and dig deep to surmount the difficulties and challenges on the road ahead. Let us harness our indomitable fighting spirit to open up new horizons for our cause.

    -- We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary.

    The wheels of history are rolling on toward China's reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can, without doubt, be realized!

    -- Corruption is a cancer to the vitality and ability of the Party, and fighting corruption is the most thorough kind of self-reform there is. As long as the breeding grounds and conditions for corruption still exist, we must keep sounding the bugle and never rest, not even for a minute, in our fight against corruption.

    -- The times are calling us, and the people expect us to deliver. Only by pressing ahead with unwavering commitment and perseverance will we be able to answer the call of our times and meet the expectations of our people. All of us in the Party must remember: Upholding the Party's overall leadership is the path we must take to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics; building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the path we must take to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; striving in unity is the path the Chinese people must take to create great historic achievements; implementing the new development philosophy is the path China must take to grow stronger in the new era; and exercising full and rigorous self-governance is the path the Party must take to maintain its vigor and pass new tests on the road ahead.

    -- The Party has made spectacular achievements through its great endeavors over the past century, and our new endeavors will surely lead to more spectacular achievements.

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