On 100th anniversary, key things to know about China's Communist Party
- The Chinese Communist Party claims 95.1 million individuals are its members, making it the second largest political party in the world, right after Bharatiya Janata Party
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which celebrates its 100th anniversary today, traces its origins to an underground Marxist Movement. Now under the leadership of current President Xi Jinping who has proclaimed that "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical course", the party has started to chart a new course after years of being criticised.
Read on to find out more about the party
Who are its members?
CCP claims 95.1 million individuals are its members, making it the second largest political party in the world, right after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, complete list of names has never been made public. The CCP has a strict and rigorous process for recruiting candidates, one that spans a total of two years. All interested candidates need to possess a spotless personal record to be considered.
How is the party funded?
CCP’s budgets are not a matter of public knowledge. All members have to contribute to the party’s revenue collection by donating two per cent of their annual earnings. The annual earnings and personal wealth of its members are an extremely sensitive topic within and outside China, and it is rarely ever discussed. The party also has controlling interests in businesses like hotels, factories, and real estate.
Who are its opponents and supporters?
CCP has no political opponents in China but it faces resistance from activists, lawyers, and international bodies. This was in full display in the past year during China’s crackdown on civilian unrest in Hong Kong.
The party enjoys widespread support from citizens. The support base comprises young nationalists who study in CCP-funded universities and those who have benefitted from the economic boom brought about by its policies. During the centenary celebrations Li Luhao, 19, a student at Beihang University, told news agency AFP, "We should thank the party and the motherland.” Another 42-year-old man shared his sentiments, crediting the CCP with solving many developmental issues. "Now the streets are full of light. Food, clothes, education, and traffic are all better," he was quoted as saying by AFP. The party, however, finds little acceptance overseas, especially in countries it considers to be a part of China.
CCP’s use of technology in furthering its interests
CCP has been harnessing technology to attract the younger generation. They have come under fire for misusing technology for spying on countries like the US. In 2017, the CCP introduced a law that made it mandatory for any organization and citizen to “support and cooperate in national intelligence work”. Citing this mechanism, the United States has insisted that the relationship between companies, especially tech companies, and the CCP are not like the ones found in the West.
A party shrouded in secrecy
Matters discussed in the high-level meetings of the party’s Central Committee are limited to its 200 members and never broadcast on state television. Its political bureaus and inner cabinets also function in near total secrecy.