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Party recruitment to tilt toward working class

2014-06-12 08:47 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan
Graphics: GT

Graphics: GT

Top body says CPC should be more prudent in selection

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee urges all local Party committees to enlist new Party members in a "prudent" and "balanced" manner, a rare description that analysts say is aimed at adjusting its structure to focus on recruiting members from the working class, a return to the Party's traditions.

According to the latest detailed rules for recruiting new Party members, released by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee late Tuesday, new recruitment efforts should control the overall size of the Party, optimize the structure, improve the quality and enhance the role of Party members in society.

"The new version of the recruitment rules is trying to revive some of the old traditions in the Party which were ignored in the process of reform and opening up," Yin Yungong, a political science scholar with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Starting as a proletarian party, it took decades for the CPC to accept entrepreneurs as members. The idea had long been mooted and was finally introduced in 2002, when people with "advanced thoughts" were welcomed into the CPC.

"Optimizing the structure has three meanings, to optimize the age structure, the knowledge structure and the class structure. The Party aims to recruit more young members with better educational backgrounds. More importantly, the Party needs to adjust its currently unbalanced structure to recruit more members from workers and farmers, or a new group that's emerged in the past 20 years, the migrant workers," said Cai Zhiqiang, a professor on Party building with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The number of CPC members has doubled in the past 20 years to surpass 85 million, according to statistics from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, but the percentage of workers, one of the basic pillars of the Party, dropped to around 8.5 percent.

"The Party is not an organization that can expand without limit. It is a vanguard organization. The larger the size, the more difficult it is to manage the Party," said Xin Xiangyang, a research fellow on Marxism from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Problems such as corruption, derelict of duty, nepotism and cliques within the Party have come to haunt the CPC, the ruling Party of the world's second largest economy.

"As the ruling Party of China, it naturally attracts different interest groups who join the Party not due to a common ideology, but because doing so will help them gain access to power or wealth," said Cai.

"The Party's goal is not to represent interest groups but to serve the people, which is why the CPC needs to be more prudent in selecting new members and establish an efficient evaluation system, which it currently lacks," Cai said.

The new rules stress the importance of "political criteria," which is evaluated based on how thoroughly members understand Marxism and how firmly they believe in it.

The People's Daily described belief in Marxism as the No.1 criterion in judging whether one is politically mature enough to join the CPC.

"With the development of the market economy in the past 20 years, many new circumstances and new problems have emerged in the enrollment of new members, including a huge impact on the Party members' values," said Xin.

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