Asia Society’s ‘The Chinese Communist Party at 100’ webinar: The party has changed, as China has changed

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 27 July 2021: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently celebrated its 100 years. Like the umbilical cord that feeds the fetus baby, the CCP connects to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). China’s emergence as an economic superpower and it’s projected leapfrogging the US, in another 20 years or so is making news for some time now.

Asia Society’s webinar (‘The Chinese Communist Party at 100’) today addressed some of the issues in China and the CCP at this historical juncture.

Mr. Pradeep Taneja, Sr. Lecturer at the University of Melbourne compared the 70s celebration of CCP’s 50 years with today’s 100 year’s celebrations. Pradeep cited Xi’s speech on July 1, 2021, which indicated a strong, confident China and not accepting any bullying.

North Asia Correspondent at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Eryk Bagshaw says, ” The party has changed, as China has changed. Diversity of membership is there. The majority of party members are with a university degree. It now relies less on ideology and more on business. In 73 % of businesses, the party has a branch. Total membership across China is 6% of the population.”

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Adding to this, Assistant Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University Ning Leng says, ” People don’t talk about their being members in public but at the workplace, everyone knows who is a party member. There is satisfaction at being a party member because of the benefits it gives.”

Another aspect of CCP membership revealed it was not easy to get membership as it was a process. Background checks, training, attending meetings, assessment of colleagues, cadre evaluation process, promoting economic growth and population policy, etc., and Standing Committee’s green signal formed part of the process say, Eryk Bagshaw and Ning Leng.

On the organization structure, Pradeep Taneja disclosed, the CCP remains a Leninist party as it adheres to the concept of ‘democratic centralism, with members involved in decision making which trickle downs to the party branches.

The clampdown on corruption, Pradeep Taneja says, has made the private business people worried.

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An interesting observation from Eryk is, ” The CCP is struggling against the aging process. The party leadership does not have enough young people as there are not enough of them in China.”

One major challenge China faces, says Pradeep Taneja, is its image in the world. “In many African and other countries, it has a positive image. But in democratic countries the image is negative.”

China’s view Pradeep says is, “We are what we are. You have to acknowledge it”.

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