The membership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been steadily expanding. According to an announcement by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee on October 8, the CPC admitted more than 6.42 million new Party members between November 2002, when the 16th CPC National Congress was held, and June 2007, an average annual increase of 1.43 million. Total CPC membership nationwide reached 73.36 million as of the most recent tally.
"The nature, cause and spirit of the CPC attract millions of Chinese who believe, through observing the Party's 80 years of development, that only the CPC can save China and only the CPC can unite all the Chinese people to develop China," said Ouyang Song, deputy head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, at a news conference held on October 17 for the 17th CPC National Congress.
"The huge changes in the last 30 years since China adopted the reform and opening-up policy was the fruit of much hard work, and also undoubtedly a fruit of the CPC's leadership," said Ouyang. "This will enhance the magnetism of the CPC to the people."
At present, increasing numbers are applying to join the Party and statistics from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee show that at the end of June 2007 the CPC had a total of 19.61 million applicants who hope to become CPC members one day.
Improved quality and structure
According to an article in Qiushi (Seeking Truth), a publication of the CPC Central Committee, organizations at all levels adhere to the principle of admitting Party members among workers, farmers, intellectuals, soldiers, cadres, as well as among frontline production laborers, senior intellectual groups and the youth, ensuring that the quality of new members is constantly improved.
The CPC also attracts an increasing number of Chinese youth. At the end of June 2007, Party members under the age of 35 numbered 17.38 million, or 23.7 percent of the total. Party members between 36 and 59 years of age comprised 38.84 million, or 52.9 percent.
Also, Party members working for non-public enterprises account for an increasing portion of the total membership. By June 2007, CPC members within non-public enterprises nationwide had increased by 1.69 million, or 113.4 percent, compared with 2002. From 2002 to 2006, Party organizations at these non-public enterprises had increased from 99,000 to 178,000, a growth of 79.8 percent.
Progress in Party building
The CPC has led the people in exercising state power and has long remained in power. As a result, what kind of party the CPC should become and how to build it are questions of important and realistic significance for the CPC.
Yu Yunyao, former Vice President of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, pointed out in an article in Qiushi stating that in the past five years the CPC has pushed forward concrete Party building measures with clear direction, emphasized a clear-cut focus and achieved remarkable results. The CPC has focused on the essential task of maintaining the advanced nature of the Party, and actively promoted practical, theoretical and institutional innovations in hopes of strengthening its capacity to govern, said Yu.
Apart from the nationwide campaign to maintain the advanced nature of Party members, the CPC made the improvement of the capacity to govern its top priority. In September 2004, the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee adopted a resolution on the enhancement of the Party's capacity to govern. The plenum made a comprehensive analysis of the importance and urgency of the tasks and focused on several major issues concerning the enhancement of the Party's capacity to govern including the content, principle, goal and tasks.
The Political Bureau of the 16th CPC Central Committee had taken the lead in beefing up educational endeavors, during which all member of the Party are educated and trained. The Political Bureau of the 16th CPC Central Committee had held 44 study sessions since the 16th CPC National Congress held in 2002. (See p.17) Despite piles of work involving state affairs for them to attend to daily, leading officials still persevere in participating in the study sessions. They have set a good example for others to promote the building of a constantly self-educating party, government and society. The CPC Central Committee put forward strategic tasks for the training of officials nationwide to enhance their capabilities and worked out a training program for the period from 2006 to 2010. Grassroots Party organizations have adopted various education and training courses and are focused on enhancing the political and professional quality of Party members. Besides this, they have also actively explored new mechanisms and methods to manage and stimulate Party members to serve the people and improve personal quality voluntarily.
The influence and coverage of grassroots CPC organizations has expanded significantly. Statistics from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee show that there are currently 3.61 million grassroots Party organizations nationwide, an increase of 142,000 from 2002.