ISSN 2330-717X

China States Its Goals And Justifies Its System As It Celebrates CCP’s Centenary

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On the occasion of the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on July 1, President Xi Jinping spelt out China’s three-point agenda, namely, to build a modern socialist economy, “crush” foreign interference in its internal affairs, and “smash” Taiwan’s bid for independence.

Speaking at a public meeting in Tiananmen Square wearing a gray Mao suit, Xi hailed China’s “Marxism with Chinese characteristics” for   propelling the country towards making it the world’s second largest economy. “The CCP has changed China’s future and destiny, as well as the trend and structure of world’s development,” Xi, who is also Secretary-General of the CPC said.

“I solemnly declare that through the continuous struggle of the party and our people, we have achieved the first 100 th. year goal of building a moderately prosperous society by eliminating absolute poverty,” he added.

Xi contrasted the CCP’s populist policies with the ruling parties in “some” Western countries (presumably the US) in which, he said, there prevails “the rule of 1%,  by 1%, for 1%”.  In contrast, the CCP has remained committed to representing the fundamental will of the majority of the people, Xi claimed.

Indirectly alluding to US President Donald Trump’s open threat to overthrow the CCP and establish democracy and human rights in China, Xi said that these naked attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs will be “crushed”. He contrasted this with China’s approach which, he said, is “mutual cooperation and non-confrontational.”

“The Chinese people have never bullied, oppressed or enslaved the people of other countries. It has never done so in the past, does not do so now, and will never do so in the future. At the same time, the Chinese people will never allow any outside forces to bully, oppress or enslave us. Anyone who tries to do so will be crushed to death before the Great Wall of steel built with the flesh and blood of over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Xi warned.

On the controversial absorption of Hong Kong into the Chinese system,  Xi defended the implementation of the National Security Law, which curbs WEstern-style freedoms. He also reaffirmed China’s goal of reunifying Taiwan and the Mainland. “No one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said. In Mainland China’s lexicon, territorial integrity is incomplete without the absorption of Taiwan which broke away from the Mainland in 1949 when the CCP took it over through a civil war.

“The goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects will surely be realized, and the dream of the great rejuvenation will surely come true,” Xi declared.

Political Management

The CCP, which has been ruling China since 1949, has grown exponentially to becoming 95 million strong now. It is perhaps the largest political party in the world. But it has been the butt of criticism for ruling China monopolistically and with an iron hand. The CCP is however challenging this notion.

Just ahead of the centenary, on June 25, China released a White Paper on the party system and the role of the CCP in it. It says that China actually has a multi-party system, in which, other than the CCP, eight political parties and Independents (called non-affiliates) exist and function effectively though “under the leadership” of the CCP. The non-CCP parties represent sectional interests and have a role in the decision-making process. Many of their personnel are also part of government structures. According to the White Paper, the non-CCP outfits are neither an “opposition” nor are they “idle bystanders”.   

The eight non-CPC parties are: Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang; China Democratic League; China National Democratic Construction Association; China Association for Promoting Democracy; Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party; China Zhi Gong Party; Jiusan Society; and Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League. The system also includes prominent individuals without affiliation to any of the political parties (the “non-affiliates”).

The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK) was created by former members of the democratic group of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China, or KMT). It has a membership of more than 151,000. The China Democratic League (CDL) was founded by a group of well-known public figures and intellectuals seeking democracy and progress. It was with the CPC fighting against Japanese aggression (1931-1945). The China Democratic League (CDL) is composed of senior intellectuals specializing in culture, education, and relevant fields of science and technology. It has a membership of more than 330,000.

The China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA) was initiated by an assembly of businesspeople and associated intellectuals. It was with the CPC in the fight against Japan.  It advocated democratic economic planning and corporate autonomy. The CNDCA is home to businesspeople, economic specialists and academics and has a membership of more than 210,000. The China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD) was founded by intellectuals in the fields of culture, education, and publishing. After World War II, it exposed the KMT’s reactionary rule. The CAPD recruits intellectuals in education, culture, publishing, and relevant fields of science and technology. It has a membership of more than 182,000.

The Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party (CPWD) was founded by left-wing KMT members supporting Sun Yat-sen’s principles of allying with the Soviet Union, aligning with the CPC, and helping peasants and workers. It has a membership of more than 184,000. The China Zhi Gong Party (CZGP) was founded by Overseas Chinese. It is mainly composed of the middle and higher ranks of returned overseas Chinese and their relatives, and representatives of people with overseas connections. It has a membership of more than 63,000. The Jiusan Society (JS) was founded by intellectuals in culture, education, science and technology. The JS recruits intellectuals in science and technology, and relevant fields of higher education, medicine, and health care. It has a membership of more than 195,000.

The Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (TDSGL) was founded by Chinese in Taiwan. It represents the Taiwanese in mainland China and intellectuals in Taiwan studies. It has a membership of more than 3,300.

“The CPC and the non-CPC political parties supervise each other. The non-CPC political parties exercise oversight over the CPC mainly by putting forward opinions, criticism and suggestions; the oversight is consultative and cooperative in nature. The CPC, as the ruling party in a leadership position, willingly accepts the supervision of other political parties. The CPC and the non-CPC political parties are close friends who speak truth to each other and address all mistakes together. The purpose of mutual oversight is not to fight, weaken, or constrain each other, but to promote common progress,” the White Paper says.

According to the White Paper: “More than 12,700 non-CPC individuals are serving as special staffers in relevant departments at and above the prefectural level. Since the First Session of the 13th National People’s Congress in 2018, about 152,000 members of the non-CPC political parties and non-affiliates have served as deputies to people’s congresses at all levels. Among them, 6 have been vice chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee, and 44 have been members of the NPC Standing Committee; 32 have been vice chairpersons of the standing committees of provincial people’s congresses, and 462 have been members of the standing committees of provincial people’s congresses; 364 have been vice chairpersons of the standing committees of municipal people’s congresses, and 2,585 have been members of the standing committees of municipal people’s congresses.”

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P. K. Balachandran

P. K. Balachandran is a senior Indian journalist working in Sri Lanka for local and international media and has been writing on South Asian issues for the past 21 years.

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