CPC experience slow growth as party looks towards quality, not quantity

World Today

In the first meeting of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, the party had less than one hundred members. Now, it has more than 88 million.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports on its growth.

CPC experience slow growth as party looks towards quality, not quantity

This year’s meeting of the Communist Party of China comes during the Year of the Rooster. As President Xi Jinping recently pointed out, the first meeting – back in 1921 – also took place during the Year of the Rooster. Back then, the party had less than one hundred members. Now, it has more than 88 million.

It wasn’t until 1949 – when the People’s Republic of China was founded – that membership in the Communist Party of China began to grow. But it was in the decades following 1979 that its numbers really started to surge. Now, one in every 15 people in China is a member.

According to official figures, more than a third are farmers and blue collar laborers. A quarter are professional white collar workers. The rest are government officials, students and retired people.

Despite being a national party, membership is handled quite locally, with members divided into more than 4 million party branches all across the country. Almost every town, every community, and every neighborhood has a local CPC branch. More than 90 percent of public enterprises also have a branch. Half of all private enterprises do as well. And more than 40 percent of social groups.

All new members must apply and be approved. And then, abide by the rules of the CPC Constitution and the recently introduced “Eight-Point Rules,” meant to curb extravagance and corruption. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action, or expulsion.

The last three years have seen the rate of party growth slow, to less than 2 percent annually. Officials said it’s because the party is more concerned with the quality of its members than the quantity of its members.