Party membership up in private firms

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-17 06:49

The number of Party members working for private enterprises has reached a new high.

The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee estimated the figure to be about 2.86 million members by the end of 2006.

There were also 810,000 CPC members among the ranks of the self-employed, according to a document released by the department recently. There were a total of 178,000 CPC organs in private firms in 2006, a rise of 79.8 percent over 2002.

About 94.2 percent of the private firms, which have more than three Party members, have set up Party organs.

According to Wang Jinding, vice-president of the Pudong Executive Leadership Academy, the CPC took a significant step forward in its 16th National Congress held in 2002 to include in its constitution provisions relating to Party organs in the private sector. This forms the most important factor pushing the development of Party membership in private firms.

About 330,000 Party workers have been sent to private enterprises to help organize Party organs and recruit members, the organization department said early this year.

Those regions with the most developed private business have witnessed rapid growth of Party membership.

For instance, in the private business hub of Wenzhou in the affluent Zhejiang Province, about 15,000 private firms have set up more than 3,400 Party organs.

Party leaders sometimes join the firms' executive boards to discuss development strategies.

"Recruitment and the establishment of Party committees in private enterprises will help broaden and consolidate the Party's ruling foundation and be a new source for long-term development," Liu Pingqing, an expert on the non-public economy at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said.

In addition to development among private business, the Party has brought in more younger faces from all walks of life.

Of the 72.39 million CPC members by the end of 2006, 23.4 percent were below 35 years old, up 0.4 percentage points over the previous year; 19.7 percent were female, up 0.5 percentage points; and 30.7 percent had received college education, up 1.7 percentage points, according to department statistics.

On the whole, the CPC recruited 11.85 million members from 2002 to 2006, an average of 2.37 million per year, according to the department.

"Organization departments all over the country made significant achievements in recruiting Party members from workers, farmers, intellectuals, soldiers and cadres in the last five years," Wang Zigui, assistant head of the China Executive Leadership Academy in Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, said.

Xinhua contributed to the story

(China Daily 07/17/2007 page2)

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